The path to becoming a surrogate mother can seem long and daunting, with a lot of “hoops” to jump through. In fact, although there are many surrogacy steps in between application and embryo transfer, the average time it takes to get from your initial application to your first pregnancy test is about 8-10 weeks, although this can vary greatly depending on many factors. Here’s a breakdown of the surrogacy process, step by step:
Filling out forms and completing all required paperwork.
2. Medical Record Review
We will review your OB/GYN, labor and delivery records to make sure you qualify and are not high-risk for developing serious issues.
3. Background Check
This is a thorough criminal background check to make sure there are no felonies or serious charges on your record. We are not checking your credit, and we don’t care about parking tickets! We are only looking for serious offenses.
4. Intended Parent Match
Based on the answers given in your profile, we will “match” you with a family that we feel will be a good fit for you. Either side has the right to accept or decline the match for any reason. A match has to be a mutually agreed-upon arrangement by both parties.
5. Psychological Screening
At this stage of the surrogate mother process, you will speak to our psychologist about whether you are ready for the physical, mental and emotional demands of surrogacy, as well as assessing whether you can fulfill your obligations as a surrogate mother.
6. Medical Screening
You will visit the Fertility Clinic where the intended parents have their embryos stored and will undergo screening for communicable diseases, drugs, and alcohol, hormone levels, immunities, and receive a uterine evaluation. If you have a partner, they will also be screened for drugs and communicable diseases at this point in the gestational carrier process.
7. Legal Process
During the legal process, you will go over the gestational carrier contract in details with an attorney who specializes in fertility law. You have the opportunity to suggest any changes you want to have made, and once a contract is agreed upon by both sides, you will sign the agreement and it becomes legally binding.
8. Pre-Transfer Medication Cycle
Once you receive legal clearance to proceed, your clinic will draw up a transfer cycle calendar. You will take hormonal medications to help your body prepare to accept the embryo.
9. Embryo Transfer
Once your body is ready and your uterine lining is sufficient, the fertility doctor will transfer an embryo (or two, depending on your contract) into your uterus. This is an extremely quick and painless procedure, and you can go home after a few minutes. Usually the clinic will require you to rest for the remainder of the day after this step in the surrogate process.
10. Pregnancy Test
12 to 14 days after your embryo transfer, you will have a blood pregnancy test to see whether your transfer was successful. If you are – Congratulations! You are officially a surrogate mother!
At around 8 weeks pregnant, you will begin to wean off the fertility medications. By 10 weeks you will leave the fertility clinic and become an OB patient.
12. Choosing your OB doctor
This part is completely up to you! As a surrogate, you get to choose your own OB doctor. Once you ”graduate” from your fertility clinic, you will become the patient of your chosen doctor, and from now on the pregnancy will be just the same as with your own children.
13. Delivering the baby
You will go to your chosen hospital to deliver the baby. Hopefully, the intended parents will be with you on the big day. When the baby is born, you will be able to spend some time and hold the baby or have your children meet the baby, etc. Then the baby will go with his/her parents while you rest up and recover. You will all leave the hospital at the same time, so you will have time to say “Goodbye” to your surrogate baby and to the intended parents.