Because surrogacy is such an intricate process with a valuable end goal, there’s a lot that goes into making sure everyone involved has the best possible surrogacy experience.
You can contact a surrogacy professional to find out how they can help you through each stage of your surrogacy.
All intended parents will go through the following stages in the surrogacy process:
Your surrogacy professional will be there to guide you through each stage of your surrogacy journey. In the meantime, continue reading to learn how surrogacy works for intended parents.
How Does Surrogacy Work? [Common Surrogacy Stages]
The best way to have a positive experience in your surrogacy journey is by working with an experienced surrogacy professional. The following sections detail how helpful surrogacy agencies and professionals are for intended parents.
How Does Getting a Surrogate Work?
This is arguably the most important aspect of a surrogacy agency to consider, because agencies vary drastically on their wait times.
Once you and your surrogacy professional create your surrogacy plan and your screenings are complete, you’ll start the surrogate matching process.
The matching process includes these steps:
- Step 1: You will build an intended parent profile that details the type of surrogacy journey you want to have and how you want to raise your child
- Step 2: Browse pre-screened surrogate mother profiles
- Step 3: Have a first meeting or phone call with the surrogate
- Step 4: You and the surrogate will decide if you want to work together
This process can take days — or years. Many large surrogacy agencies currently have match times of 12-18 months. After a match, there’s still a long way to go for your journey. So, a 12-18 month match time means you are still 2-3 years from holding your baby.
Currently, research shows that American Surrogacy has the shortest average wait time of 30-90 days. You can contact them here.
How Surrogacy Works: Intended Parent Screening
When you start to work with a surrogacy agency that will detail how does a surrogacy work, you’ll first fill out a surrogacy application and questionnaire. These forms will help you determine your wants and allow the agency to understand your expectations. You can expect to need to include information about the following:
- Your estimated budget
- If you plan to use donor gametes
- What you’d like included in your surrogacy contract
- Your understanding of surrogacy
- Your family-building plans
In addition to filling out a questionnaire, you’ll also undergo background checks, in-home visits, and agency screenings. Try not to worry too much about this part of the surrogacy journey. Your surrogacy professional is on your side and wants to help you succeed.
How Does Using a Surrogate Work: Legal Aspects of Surrogacy
After you and the surrogate decide you are ready to work together, you’ll start working with separate lawyers to create a surrogacy contract. Every contract will address the following:
- Surrogacy finances, including a surrogate’s base compensation and the items the surrogate will receive reimbursement for
- “Social requirements,” which include the details about things a surrogate will abstain from during the pregnancy (drugs, alcohol, etc.) and the appointments and meetings you’ll all attend together
You’ll also fill out the pre-birth order and possibly complete other post-birth legal documents and processes.
When you work with a surrogacy agency, your surrogacy professional will ensure you connect with an experienced lawyer who has handled surrogacy.
How Surrogacy Works: The Medical Surrogacy Process
While part of the surrogacy medical process is handled during your initial screening, the other parts occur later in your surrogacy journey.
Although everyone’s surrogacy medical experience is unique, you can expect to go through the following steps:
- A mock cycle so the doctor can see how the surrogate’s body reacts to IVF medications and check the angle of her cervix and the length of her uterine cavity. All of this will help the actual embryo transfer go smoother.
- You and the surrogate will start to prepare for the embryo transfer. The surrogate will take medications to prepare her to receive the embryos, and if you provide the egg, you’ll take medications to stimulate your ovaries. Once your eggs are retrieved, the clinic will combine them with your partner’s sperm. Once an embryo is created, the doctor will transfer the embryo to the surrogate. This process also can be done with donor eggs and sperm.
After a pregnancy is confirmed, you and the surrogate will go to OGYN appointments so you can watch your baby grow. After the surrogate delivers your baby, you get to take your child home! The surrogate will go home and recover.
How Does Having a Surrogacy Work? [Talk to a Surrogacy Professional to Find Out More]
Now that you know how surrogacy works and understand the stages involved, you can reach out to a surrogacy professional and start your journey. Your agency, professional, and everyone else involved with your surrogacy is on your side and want to help you grow your family.