Start Your Rewarding Journey as a Surrogate
There are many steps to becoming a surrogate through our surrogacy program. They may vary slightly based on location, physician, and needs of the surrogate mother and future parents. Surrogacy is a process that can take an average of 14-18 months, from application to delivery, so be prepared to be patient, and flexible.
Below you will find a general idea of what to expect as a surrogate mother. We will guide you through each step as you progress through the process to make becoming a surrogate as easy and enjoyable as possible.
The Surrogate Process
Application & Evaluation Process
Begin by filling out the surrogate application. This application asks about your lifestyle, pregnancy, medical, and work history. It is crucial that you complete the application thoroughly and honestly so that we may get to know you and match you with the appropriate future parents. When your application is accepted, you will receive a call from one of our experienced staff members to answer any questions or concerns and request any additional information.
Once you are accepted into our surrogate program, we will provide you with information about the future parents so that all parties can mutually agree who they would like to work with. Once everyone feels comfortable with the profile selection, the Agency Director will arrange a meeting via phone, Skype, WeChat or in person between all parties to discuss the partnership and expectations.
The psychological evaluation for surrogate mothers will involve 2 parts: A session with a licensed Psychologist, and a written test/questionnaire. Upon psychological clearance you will have your medical screening appointment at the IVF clinic. The screening will include:
A Physical and Lab Work
This may involve blood work, urine test, PAP and Drug Screening. Vaginal Ultrasound (if any polyps, scar tissue, and lining thickness). Hysteroscopy – A procedure where a small camera is placed in the uterus to look at the uterine cavity. Medical instruction of the IVF cycle, injections, medication use, and embryo transfer.
Contracts are a legal document that clarifies the intentions of all the parties involved. Contracts usually take anywhere from three to four weeks to complete, depending on any changes that need to be made. Your agency appointed attorney will explain the contract to you and what you are agreeing to.
As a surrogate, in most cases your medications will begin one month before your actual embryo transfer and continue through the tenth or twelfth week of pregnancy (per doctor’s orders). The IVF nurse will give you full instructions and details about the medications needed, medical protocol, any restrictions, and expectations. In preparation for your uterus to receive embryos created by the future parents you will most likely be asked to take medications in either patch, pill, suppository, or injection form. You may also be asked to take birth control pills to regulate and sync your menstrual cycle with the intended mother or egg donor. You will have regular blood draws and ultrasounds to monitor the progress of the cycle with possible weekly appointments.
There are 2 types of embryo transfers: Fresh: An egg retrieval is usually completed 3-5 days before your transfer, so the eggs can be fertilized and begin to grow before being implanted into you. Frozen: The embryos are ready and will be thawed prior to the transfer. Your IVF Clinic is looking for your uterus to have a nice fluffy lining (thanks to the medications you have been taking) and the ever popular “triple stripe”. The actual transfer itself takes a matter of minutes. A small catheter is inserted into your vagina to your uterus. The embryos will be placed through the catheter and into the uterus for anticipated implantation. After your transfer it is recommended to take it easy for at least 24 hours, and many times bed rest is prescribed.
Ten to fourteen days after your embryo transfer you will have a blood test to confirm your pregnancy. The BETA test is to check the level of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) in your blood. You will repeat the test again in 2 days to check the doubling rate of the HCG, as your numbers should double every 48 – 72 hours.
The ultrasound will confirm there is a heartbeat, at which time you are confirmed “officially pregnant”. Your first ultrasound will be between 4 and 6 weeks of pregnancy. During this ultrasound the IVF Clinic will determine how many embryos you are carrying, or if any split during the implantation process.
Between 10 and 14 weeks of pregnancy, you will be released from your IVF Clinic to your regular OB doctor. From here on out your pregnancy will continue under the care of your own doctor just as any other pregnancy. However, if you are carrying multiples and/or are considered high risk, you may be asked to see a specialist. At this time, you should be able to discontinue your IVF Medications if your IVF clinic has approved.
Pregnancy & Delivery
This pregnancy may be different from your own pregnancies in that it is conceived via In Vitro Fertilization and requires close monitoring. You may be asked to have your blood drawn, ultrasounds, or other procedures far more regular than with your own pregnancy and as there is a possibility of multiples you may be required to have additional office visits, or other monitoring. This pregnancy is shared with the future parents, therefore ongoing communication is required by you about the developing fetus, your health status, needs for support, or other matters.
Delivery is a very special time for everyone. Prior to your due date you will be required to fill out a birth plan that will be shared with your future parents in which will ensure that you all have the same expectations and the delivery day goes smoothly. Your Future parents will most likely want to be with you during delivery, as this is their baby; however, in case of a C-section or if the hospital only allows one support person, you can choose whom you would like for your support. Once the baby/babies are born they will be handed to the new parents, just as your baby went straight to you upon delivery.
During the contract stage you will discuss the option to pump breast milk. Many future parents will not decide if they would like you to pump until the end of the pregnancy and this is your decision. Typically, within 1 to 3 days after delivery you and your family will have the chance to meet and hold the baby you carried.
Congratulations, you gave the gift of life!