Below is a list of common questions we receive from surrogates. If you have specific questions that are not answered below, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why should I work with Agency for Surrogacy Solutions, Inc.?
We are dedicated to making this journey great for you – and it shows! We are always professional – but this is more than a job for us (and we hope for you too!). It is a passion. We are one of the few agencies where 70% of our surrogates return to do at least a second (or even third) surrogacy with us. We are here for you from your first phone call until long after you have delivered your surro-baby(s). We work with the top people in this field and work hard to make a compatible match for you and your IPs.
How do I become matched with Intended Parents?
We take matching very seriously. Some agencies supply databases where IPs can look at a picture and a short description of you online and make choices that way, but we take it much more personally – we look at each personality to see if there a good fit. Do you have similar goals, what is your communications style compared to the IPs’ – do they mesh? How many babies are you open to carrying? Will you selectively reduce if the situation warrants it? Not all of these things can be gleaned from just reading a profile and seeing a picture. When we think we have a good match, we present you with a profile of potential intended parents for you to review. We are committed to ensuring that your match feels like a perfect fit. Generally the longest it takes to match is two months, often times it is as quick as one or two days! A lot depends upon where you live, your past pregnancy history, your insurance situation (and if we can get insurance for you), whether you will selectively reduce or terminate a pregnancy for abnormalities, etc. The one thing you can be sure of is that we will always be honest with you. If we don’t feel that we can match you quickly, we will let you know.
Once we do match you with Intended Parents, we arrange a phone chat for everyone (both IPs and you and your partner if you have one). Someone from the agency will be on the call with you to guide the meeting, making sure it runs smoothly and asking each side questions that will help you get to know one and other better – hearing a voice adds to what you read in the profile). The choice to work together is mutual; you must all agree that you are a good fit. After this phone call almost everyone feels ready to know if they want to move forward and because we are so good at what we do, 99% of the time, everyone moves forward.
How long will it take for me to get matched with Intended Parents?
To be perfectly frank, a lot depends upon where you live, what your past pregnancies have been like, whether you are experienced or not, etc. For us, it is about matching the right IPs with the right Surrogate and vice versa. But that being said, some states are more desirable to IPs than other states. However, you can rest assured that we will always be 100% honest with you. We will not waste your time. If we don’t think we can match you, or if we think it will take a long period of time, we will let you know. Generally our surrogates (if they reside in desirable surrogacy states) are matched within 3 months of deciding to work with us.
Will I have to travel to be a surrogate?
In most cases you will need to travel, but generally it’s only 2 times – once for the medical evaluation and once for the embryo transfer (hopefully it takes the first time!). Your travel arrangements will be made for you with the assistance of our agency and a travel agent, and all of your expenses covered – including childcare and lost wages. This first trip will be one or two days depending upon where you live and where the RE is located. During your first trip, you willmeet with the Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE), and then again after he or she has medically cleared you and contracts are signed, you will return for the embryo transfer. The second trip will be from 2 – 5 days depending upon the RE, and will very likely include bed rest or modified bed rest.
Will I have legal representation?
Absolutely. Your IPs will have an attorney who draws up a contract that outlines all of the rights and responsibilities of both the IPs and GS and also includes our agency guideline for payments, and you will have your own personal attorney that represents you through the surrogacy contract phase. Your attorney is solely looking out for your interests and someone who is skilled in third party reproductive law. We will make recommendations to a top lawyer (unless you are an experienced GS and have an experienced surrogacy attorney you prefer to work with.) Once reviewed by the IPs and the Agency the contract will be sent to you and your attorney who will personally discuss the contract with you. Your attorney fees are paid for by the IPs.
What will the psychological and medical screening be like for me?
After you are matched with Intended Parents, you will move on to the evaluation phase. This includes a background check (this may happen earlier in the process), a psychological screening and a medical evaluation.
The psychological evaluation is usually a very enjoyable and informative process for the surrogate. You will take an MMPI or PAI (Personality Inventory) and also have a meeting with yourself/your partner and the therapist. S/he will go over your motivation, support system and issues that could possibly come up in the surrogacy. S/he may also have a meeting with your IPs to discuss issues that pertain to the IPs and their expectations with the surrogacy arrangement.
You and your partner (if you have one) will also need to be medicallyscreened by the IPs’ fertility doctor. During this appointment, you will have a full consultation with the doctor, the clinic will do blood tests on you and your partner, do a full uterine evaluation on you which includes cultures and vaginal ultrasound as well as drug/nicotine/alcohol screening. After the exam, it will take about 10 days for the lab results to return and for you to be officially medically cleared.
Once you have been cleared medically, you will move on to the contract stage, where you will be represented by your own reproductive attorney.
How does the IVF cycle work?
Once you are psychologically and medically cleared and contracts have been signed, you are ready to start your IVF cycle!You will receive specific instructions about your medications from your Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) or the fertility nurse that will prepare you body for the embryo transfer. The child you carry will not have any biological ties to you but will be created by the intended parents (or with egg or sperm donors) using IVF. You will be given explicit instructions on how to administer the medications that will cause your cycle to be synchronized with the ovum donor’s or intended mother’s menstrual cycle and to help your uterine lining thicken in order to accept the transferred embryos. Some of these medications may require an injection – but don’t worry, most surrogates are at first afraid but become used to it. After the embryos have been transferred, you’ll be on bed rest for 24-36 hours and then you’ll go home. There is nothing painful about the process (aside from maybe the injections!) and generally an IVF fresh cycle takes about 6 weeks from start to finish. A frozen embryo cycle takes about 3 weeks from start to finish.
About 2 weeks after the Embryo Transfer, you will go to a lab close to your home for a blood test to determine if you are pregnant.If you are pregnant, you will continue with the medications prescribed by the fertility doctor to ensure that the pregnancy will grow healthy and strong. Once the pregnancy is stable – about 10 weeks in – you will be instructed to stop your medications and you will be released to your OB. At this time, the surrogacy generally becomes treated like a typical pregnancy (unless you are pregnant with multiples).
Once I am pregnant, will I be able to use my own OB?
Once you are released from the RE, you can pick your own OB. It is best to work with someone that supports your surrogacy – if her or she does not, this can make things difficult for both you and the IPs. Most IPs want you to be happy with your doctor and will work with you to find someone that you like and are comfortable with. You will deliver the baby and receive your customary maternity care in your own community. The medical care must be covered by your insurance or a policy that is purchased for you prior to your match. We’ll work with you to provide your OB and hospital with any information and education they need regarding the surrogacy process. We deal directly with the hospital to help ensure a smooth and respectful process for both you and your intended parents.
How is the legal process for the birth and after handled?
We only work in states where your parental rights are terminated and the Intended Parents are named the legal guardians and their names are placed on the birth certificate. Sometimes this occurs prior to the delivery of the child and other times immediately after delivery. No matter what, as soon as the umbilical cord is cut you have no more legal responsibilities to the child and all financial responsibilities for the baby’s healthcare revert to the IPs health insurance policy.While all this may be new to you, we have helped hundreds of Intended Parents and Gestational Surrogates, and we will be there every step of the way to make sure things happen as they are supposed to.