Starting your surrogacy journey is a very exciting time. As much as this time is exciting, it can also be anxiety-ridden with the many instances of “hurry up and wait” we experience with surrogacy. So, when can you expect the much-awaited pregnancy with your surrogate baby to be confirmed?
The Timeline of Surrogacy Screening Process
Check out this previous blog post for an outlined detail of the entire surrogacy process.
It is impossible to give an exact timeframe of each step of the surrogacy process, because each surrogacy journey is entirely unique with its own situations and hang-ups. However, I can give you an estimate of the average amount of surrogacy time it takes to get through each step of the surrogacy timeline for a gestational surrogate.
1. The initial surrogate application.
This part of the process can be very quick, as it all depends on how quickly you are able to fill out the initial application on the GSHC Surrogacy website.
2. Surrogate intake phone call/completing the application.
This is another step of the process that is on your timeline and can be done within a matter of an hour or 2. As long as you answer our phone call and complete the full application and other forms emailed to you via hellosign.com, then this step is complete.
3. Medical records request phase.
This is the first time in your surrogacy journey that the timeline will be out of your hands and into ours. Our medical record department will fax your medical release form to your OB/hospital you used for your pregnancies and will continue to follow up until they are retrieved. This will take no longer than one month.
4. The surrogate match phase.
Once your medical records are retrieved and have been reviewed, then the profile preparation and match phase will begin. This step is one that varies on a case-by-case basis. However, to give a broad spectrum of how long it takes for many of our surrogate mothers to be matched, this step takes anywhere from a few days to 2 months to be completed, with 2 months being on the drastic end of how long it could take to match a surrogate mother – usually it takes this long if the surrogate mother has a unique situation.
5. Psychological screening phone call.
This phase usually happens fairly quickly and is solely dependent on your and the psychologist’s availability. The phone call itself lasts about an hour to an hour and a half, and usually takes about a week to get scheduled. There is a chance your fertility clinic may request that you complete a Personality Assessment Inventory, or a PAI. The PAI is generally 350 questions long and can take an average of a week or two to complete, bringing the average timeline of the psychological screening phase to two weeks or three weeks long.
6. Surrogate medical screening.
The surrogate medical screening appointment is scheduled around your menstrual cycle and availability, so this appointment is often scheduled a month in advance. The appointment itself generally lasts a couple hours at most. During this process, if it is determined that you must receive any immunizations or start on a vitamin regimen, or have any other necessary procedure, then you must wait the amount of time that the clinic determines is sufficient before you can be re-tested again.
7. The legal process.
The length of the legal process is affected by how many changes you wish to propose to the gestational surrogate agreement. The length of time is also affected by your, and your attorney’s, availability. This part of the process generally takes 3 weeks to 2 months to be complete and finalized.
8. IVF Phase.
The factors that can affect how long the IVF phase takes are usually: if your medication protocol needs to be modified, if your cycle is dropped, if you undergo a mock cycle, or if you forget to tell you case manager you are running low on medication and must start over. Assuming none of these common scenarios do happen, then your IVF phase will be 4-6 weeks long total before having your first beta test. With your first and your second and/or third beta test factored in, your wait time will have an added 2 to 3 weeks, equaling an average wait time of 6-8 weeks. With any of those aforementioned complications, your IVF phase could be 10 weeks+.
At the end of your IVF phase, you will have a beta pregnancy test, a repeat beta test, then finally the heartbeat ultrasound confirming pregnancy!
Though the waiting is the hardest part of your surrogate journey, you will never be alone through any of these steps. GSHC will be with you every step of the way, and you can always lean on your case manager and intake coordinator to guide you through.