- What is the medical process for surrogacy?
- What happens after I fill out the application?
- How long does it take to be matched with an Intended Parent?
- Will my Intended Parent live in the same city?
- Is there a screening process for Intended Parents as well?
- Has there ever been a case where an Intended Parent didn't want their baby?
- How are the funds held during my surrogacy?
- How will insurance work? Do I use my own insurance coverage?
With regards to the medical process, each physician has their very own unique protocol but this will give you a basic understanding of how it works. The medical process includes five important elements: 1. Agency Screening 2. Matching you with an IP 3. Medical Screening with the Fertility Specialist 4. Embryo Implantation 5. Pregnancy and Delivery
Agency Screening: The initial screnning process begins on the agency level. We will have you fill out a surrogate application and if everything looks acceptable, we will ask you to do a phone interview with one of our team to go over everything. We will also send you a packet to complete of the required preliminary forms. During this interview, we will give you lots of things to consider about your preferences and desires. We typically will also try and set up a home visit either during this period or once matched to meet with your family. Then once our agency has cleared you, we will ask you to send in medical records for the physician to review and approve. Assuming all looks acceptable. At this point, we will begin trying to find you a surrogate parent match.
Once we have an Intended Parent interested, we will contact you to tell you about the possible match and to see your thoughts on proceeding. If both parties are interested, our agency will facilitate a phone or Skype meeting with the IP and surrogate. If this goes well, we will set up an in-person meeting between the surrogate and the IP. We do not ever accommodate fully anonymous surrogacy arrangements. Once there is a match, you move to the screening process with the fertility specialist for the Intended Parent.
If the fertility specialist doesn't live close to your location, travel will be provided for you to go for screening. All arrangements will be handled by the agency. It typically takes about 2 weeks after your screening for results to come in and for clearance to be issued.
Once you are medically cleared, we move you into the legal contracts phase but don't worry, most terms we will have already gone over in your phone meeting with the IPs so there shouldn't be any surprises.
Once legal and screening is complete, you will have your embryo transfer cycle. This usually involves a 3-6 week process of preparing the uterus for transfer. Each physician follows a slightly different protocol and will review the game plan with you before you begin. During this time, you will likely be required to take injectible medications to support the uterus.
At eight weeks pregnant, you will be transferred to an obstetrician in your local area for the rest of your surrogate journey. Your Intended Parent and you will continue an ongoing relationship during the pregnancy and during ultrasounds and visits.
Finally, you will give an Intended Parent the greatest gift possible, the gift of life as you welcome the new baby into the world.
We'll review your submitted application within two business days and we will let you know if we can proceed forward or not. If we are able to move forward, we'll schedule a brief phone call to go over any questions you may have. After this we will send you the remaining forms and the rest of the application details we need and we will ask you to gather your medical records. From these details, we can let you know if we can proceed with matching you or not.
It really depends on where you are located and what your requirements are for the right Intended Parent. Most surrogates have little to no wait time to get matched as the demand is so high.
Very rarely do intended parents and surrogates live in the same city. We find the most important thing is that you have a similar view on the type of relationship that you desire and that you both stay in regular touch whether by phone, email, Skype, etc. If you only want to consider a local couple, you can request this but it will likely cause a large delay in getting matched.
In addition to required medical screenings, each Intended Parent must have a psychological screening done and be cleared by the psychologist to proceed. In addition, they must complete a full criminal background search.
This has never happened with our agency but in the event that this did occur, we would work with a reproductive lawyer to find a good adoptive family to give the baby a loving home.
All funds to cover through delivery are collected up front and kept in a secure escrow account. Also, since all legal and financial agreements are signed prior to beginning any medical process, surrogates don't have to worry that their Intended Parents will try and re-negotiate anything.
If you have your own insurance we will review it to see if it covers surrogate pregnancy but regardless we will have the Intended Parent purchase a back up insurance product in the event of any type of change in coverage or denial. So, if your policy has an exclusion for surrogacy or you do not have your own insurance, we'll have you apply for a surrogate maternity policy to cover your OB care and delivery. This policy will be paid for by the intended parent.