Surrogacy Process

This article details the entire surrogacy process, from screening to matching with your surrogate, to pregnancy & delivery of your new baby.

(If you are considering becoming a surrogate, please read this article on our Surrogates-EggDonors.com sister site: Surrogate Process.)

Getting Started

To get started, please complete our online initial screening form. Once you fill this out, it will be submitted directly to our Surrogate Recruiter, who will be in contact with you to set up an initial phone call. This initial call will be informational and will go over all aspects of what it means to be a surrogate with our agency. We will be able to answer any questions you have about our agency and the surrogacy process during this call.

 

DOWNLOAD  ‘The Surrogacy Process: MADE EASY’, a brief guide to really make it easy for you.

 

Application

Once you complete your initial phone call, you will be sent an application packet, which must be filled out and returned to us along with several documents we will need to complete your screening process. These documents include the following:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Driver’s License
  • Social Security Card
  • Passport (if applicable)
  • Photos – (the photos you submit must include at least one headshot and one full length photo)
  • Obstetric records from your most recent pregnancy and delivery
  • A copy of your full insurance booklet
  • Front and back copy of your insurance card
  • A Clearance Letter from your physician stating that you are fit to carry another pregnancy

The two things that we will need in order to begin your screening process are your obstetric records from your most recent pregnancy and your completed application packet. If it takes slightly longer to return the other items, that is fine, but we will not be able to complete your screening process until we have all of the documents listed above.

Screening Process

Unlike most agencies, we prescreen all of our surrogates. We recognize the time, energy, and emotion that goes into the matching process, so we want you and the intended parents to feel confident that you are qualified to be a surrogate before a match is made. The following are the steps that will be completed during your screening process:

  • Obstetric record and health history review and approval – One of the physicians we work with will review and approve your obstetric records and health history.
  • Insurance review – We have a staff member who specializes in reviewing insurance policies to determine whether the surrogate pregnancy will be covered by your policy or not. If it does not cover a surrogate pregnancy or you do not have any insurance at all, we will work with the intended parents to purchase an alternative policy for you that will cover the pregnancy and delivery.
  • Criminal Background check – You will complete a release form with your application packet, and we will use that do to a quick criminal background check for you.
  • Psychological evaluation – You will be required to have an appointment with a psychologist who is experienced in the assisted reproductive technology field. This will include a face-to-face meeting as well as complete an MMPI-2 written personality test. The purpose of this appointment is to evaluate your fitness to act as a surrogate as well as provide you with information about what to expect throughout your journey. If you have a spouse or significant other, they will also be required to attend this appointment.

Matching Process

The surrogate matching process with IARC® is a two-way process where both you and the intended parents must mutually select each other. The first step in the matching process is circulating your profile to intended parents who might be a good fit for you. Your profile will include the following information:

  • General information regarding your physical characteristics
  • Educational and employment history
  • Diet and exercise habits
  • Pregnancy history
  • Personal medical history
  • Your responses to questions that relate to the surrogate pregnancy and program such as your thoughts on selective reduction, how much contact your want during the pregnancy, etc.
  • Photos
  • Dear Parents Letter
  • Insurance Summary
  • Your selected fee

When circulating your profile we will take into account your preferences for types of intended parents you are willing to work with, similarity of views relating to termination and selective reduction, etc. How long it takes to find a match will depend on the intended parents who are searching for a surrogate at the time you become qualified, but we constantly have intended parents from the U.S. and abroad who are signing up for our surrogacy program. We will let you know each time your profile is viewed by intended parents and provide you with their feedback. If they are interested in you based on your profile, we will then send you information regarding the intended parents and their situation. If you are also interested in them as a potential match, we will set up a telephone call between you and the intended parents that will be facilitated by our Matching Coordinator. Most surrogates and intended parents are able to determine whether it will be a suitable match based on the phone call, but face-to-face meetings are also an option if location permits. Once we establish a match, we will immediately proceed with your the contract pha

Contract

IARC® will draft the contract between you and the Intended Parents. This contract is very detailed and extensive and discusses all aspects of your program so that everyone will have clear expectations moving forward. You will be required to complete an independent review of the contract with an attorney. Any attorney’s fees associated with this review will be paid for by the intended parents. The Matching Coordinator will provide you with a list of attorneys in your state who are experienced at reviewing surrogacy contracts, and you will be able to select an attorney to work with based on this list. Once the finalized draft of contract is signed by all parties, we will proceed with the medical portions of your program.

Medical Testing

The first step once the surrogacy contract is signed will be infectious diseasetesting. Your IARC® Program Coordinator will assist you with getting an appointment scheduled to complete this testing in your local area. The testing will involve a blood draw and vaginal/cervical swabbing.

Fertility Treatment

When your medical testing requirements are completed, we will coordinate with you and the intended parents’ clinic to prepare for the medical procedure. For Gestational Surrogates, this will mean preparing your uterine lining for the embryo transfer. This preparation will involve tracking your menstrual cycles so they are in line with the intended mother’s or ovum donor’s cycles as well as taking fertility medications, some of which may be daily injections. You will be required to travel to the intended parents’ fertility clinic the day before the embryo transfer date and will return either one or two days after the embryo transfer occurs. You will be prescribed bedrest for at least 24 hours after the transfer occurs. All of your travel accomodations will be organized by your IARC® Program Coordinator.

For Traditional (AI) Surrogates, you will administer medications, usually via injections, that will improve the quality of eggs produced. You will likely have several appointments in your local area to monitor your hormone levels prior to when you travel to the intended parents’ fertility clinic for the insemination. The Articial Insemination procedure feels similar to a pap smear.

In both cases, you will be instructed to complete a blood pregnancy test at your local doctor approximately two weeks after the insemination/embryo transfer. If you are not pregnant, your Program Coordinator will talk with you and the intended parents to confirm whether all parties want to proceed with another attempt. If everyone agrees to try again, your Program Coordinator will work with the clinic to get another insemination/embryo transfer scheduled. If either of the parties does not want to proceed with another attempt, the Matching Coordinator will facilitate finding you a new match.

Pregnancy and Delivery!

All of your prenatal appointment will happen in your local area, so the only travel required will be for the actual insemination/embryo transfer. Even after a pregnancy is achieved, your IARC® Program Coordinator will stay in regular contact with you to make sure that everything is going smoothly with your program, that you are being reimbursed for program-related expenses, and that contact between you and intended parents is going well. You will likely communicate directly with the intended parents regarding your prenatal appointments and how the pregnancy is progressing. IARC® will assist in coordinating all legal requirements. We are here to make sure that as many administrative responsibilities as possible are taken off of your shoulders so you and the intended parents can enjoy the pregnancy and the relationship that will develop between you! If the intended parents are not local, they will typically plan on arriving a number of days prior to the due date. This will be an incredible experience for everyone, and we truly appreciate your willingness to give this amazing gift to another family; it is truly remarkable!