There are essentially six phases of the surrogacy journey — Intake, Matching, Medical Screening, Legal Process, Embryo Transfer, then of course, Pregnancy & Birth.
Phase 1: The Intake Phase
During the intake phase, we collect all the required medical records and documents to be sure you qualify for our surrogacy program. We’ll also run a background check for both you and your partner and have you each participate in an evaluation with a mental health provider.
Phase 2: The Matching Phase
Once you’ve been accepted, you’ll move onto the matching phase. Some important decisions that you will want to consider at the start of the matching process are:
- Would you be willing to carry for someone in another country?
- Are you interested in working with a same-sex couple or someone who is gay?
- Are you pro-life or pro-choice?(Willing to terminate)
- Are you willing to transfer multiple embryos with the possibility of carrying twins?
- Are you willing to travel outside of your state?
- Are you willing to work with someone who doesn’t speak English?
- Are you willing to work with Intended Parent’s that may already have children?
- Are you willing to work with older intended parent’s?
- Knowing that all travel expenses will be covered, are you willing to travel to a clinic outside of your local area?
We’ll share profiles of intended parents who match your expectations, and if you both show an interest in getting to know each other, we’ll set up a match meeting. Matching with someone who shares your same values and expectations is essential to having a successful journey, so you’ll want to have some questions prepared in advance. Many surrogates say the match meeting feels like a “high stakes” job interview or a strange first date. Remember, the intended parents are feeling anxious and nervous, too!
Phase 3: The Medical Screening Phase
When you’ve officially matched, you’ll begin the medical screening process to be cleared for your embryo transfer. You will need to have blood work and other testing done (procedures vary by clinic, anesthesia may be used) to make sure you’re a healthy candidate to move forward with the IVF process. If you have a partner, they’ll likely have to have blood work done also.
Phase 4: The Legal Phase
Not long after you’re medically cleared, you’ll begin the legal process, where you’ll discuss all the terms of your contract, including compensation and other expectations for your journey. Your contract must be completed and signed before you can begin any medications to prepare for your transfer. The legal phase may seem tedious, but it’s an extremely important part of the process for all involved. We’ll provide you with your own attorney who is experienced in handling gestational carrier agreements. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure your concerns are heard and answered.
Phase 5: The Embryo Transfer
After your contract is signed, we’ll be cheering you on as you prepare for your transfer. You may take injectable medications, patches, suppositories and/or pills to get your body ready to accept the embryo. You will have several monitoring visits with labs and ultrasounds. One of the most exciting moments of the journey is getting to tell your intended parents that the transfer worked and they’re expecting!
Phase 6: Pregnancy & Birth
Once a heartbeat has been detected, your fertility clinic will typically release you between 8-10 weeks of pregnancy to then be cared for by your regular OB/GYN until delivery. You’ll get to choose your own doctor and delivery hospital or birthing center (these things will already be spelled out in your surrogacy contract, so there are no surprises!)
We’d love to have you join our surrogate support group meetings or participate in our online Facebook group. Some surrogates enjoy regular ongoing contact with our Coordinators, but others have less need or desire for this type of support. We’ll be there as often (or as little) as you’re comfortable with throughout your journey and in the days, months, and even years beyond. Many of our former surrogates enjoy mentoring current and potential surrogates long after they’ve completed their own journeys. After all, who better to offer support than the women who’ve experienced the journey themselves?
Ready to get started as a Family Source Consultants surrogate? Just complete our contact form and one of our intake specialists will be in touch!