Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How the process will go...

A lot of friends have been asking how the process works. So, I thought I would give a break down of how everything goes!

Apply - Apply to different agencies because you never know how you are going to feel about the people there and you will have a better chance at getting accepted. I absolutely love my agency! They are so kind and very professional. They called me about 4 hours after I had finished my application. 

What is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is an arrangement in which a woman agrees to become pregnant for the purpose of giving birth to a child for others (intended parents) to raise.  This special woman is called the surrogate. XXXXXXXX Surrogacy conducts gestational surrogacies, whereby embryos produced by the intended parents, with eggs from the intended mother or with the assistance of an egg donor, are implanted in the surrogate.  The embryo is produced by a process called in vitro fertilization (IVF).  This process ensures the baby has no genetic relationship to the surrogate. 

Qualifications of a Surrogate
XXXXXXXX Surrogacy conducts an intensive and thorough screening process before a woman is permitted to join our surrogacy program.  To qualify as a surrogate candidate, you must:

  • Be 22-40 years old
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be a non-smoker in excellent health
  • Be within a healthy height and weight ratio
  • Have a healthy reproductive history, having given birth to at least one child that you are raising
  • Have had all births occurring at 36 weeks gestation or later (unless a multiple pregnancy) without complications
  • Not be receiving state or federal financial aid
  • Be willing to undergo subcutaneous and intramuscular injections

We are looking for women who truly want to help others fulfill their wish of becoming parents.  Therefore, surrogate hopefuls are required to attend multiple staff interviews, receive psychological clearance, provide all official medical records from previous pregnancies along with a current pap smear, and submit to a full background investigation, including a search of both federal and state criminal records. It is our role at XXXXXXXX Surrogacy to screen potential candidates to ensure that you begin your journey with an intended parent or couple with ease and certainty knowing that you are a highly qualified and motivated surrogate ready to share in the commitment and joy in giving birth to their baby.

The Matching Process
The compatibility of our surrogates and intended parents is an important part of ***’s program.  Our objective is to match surrogates and intended parents in an effort to create a comfortable environment for both parties and to foster an atmosphere of unity and teamwork.  It is of the utmost importance to us to identify your beliefs and desires and create a situation that would be ideal for you during your surrogacy. Once we have an intended parent or couple that we believe is an ideal match, we will review their profile information with you in depth. If you are interested in pursuing the relationship further, we will ask that you and the couple communicate several times prior to meeting in-person. This in-person meeting will include your spouse or partner, the intended parent or couple and the director of XXXXXXX Surrogacy. If all parties agree to work together, the process continues and psychological and medical evaluations are scheduled.

Psychological Evaluation and SupportOnce you have been matched with intended parents, you and your husband/partner will meet with one of our licensed mental health professionals for a comprehensive interview. You will also undergo psychological testing as advised by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.  You will see our counselor for monthly support group meetings throughout your pregnancy, as well as receive phone and email support as needed continuing until 2 months post partum. You will have unlimited access to our on-line support group of surrogate mothers from the time you join our program.  All fees associated with the psychological screening and support are paid by the intended parents.

Medical EvaluationYour medical records will be reviewed by an IVF physician. Once your records are reviewed and approved, you will meet with the IVF physician of the intended parents for a consultation and medical evaluation. You will undergo infectious disease screening, in addition to an ultrasound and vaginal cultures. Your spouse/partner MUST be screened for infectious diseases as well. All expenses related to the medical evaluation are paid for by the intended parents. A representative from XXXXXXXX Surrogacy will attend your medical screening appointments with you.

There are potential risks with all aspects of surrogacy; the medical process and procedures, infertility medications and, ultimately, pregnancy. We encourage all surrogate candidates to discuss these risks with their physician prior to enrolling in any surrogate program. 

The Legal ProcessYou will have access to attorneys specializing in reproductive and surrogacy law. You may select one of these attorneys to review your legal contract. The contract is drafted by the intended parent’s attorney. Your attorney will advise you on any items that may need clarification or revisions and will be able to answer any questions you may have regarding the content of the contract. Once all parties have signed the contract, you are clear to start medications for the embryo transfer cycle as determined by the IVF physician. All fees associated with the legal process are paid by the intended parents.

The Embryo Transfer CycleOnce you have completed all aspects of the screening phase, the embryo transfer cycle will begin. You will be required to undergo multiple blood tests, injections (both subcutaneous and intramuscular), and vaginal ultrasounds throughout the embryo transfer cycle as well as the first 8-12 weeks of pregnancy. Some of the medications you may be prescribed are; Birth Control Pills, Lupron, Estradiol/Delestrogen, and Progesterone. These medications will be reviewed with you in detail during your initial interview with XXXXXXXX Surrogacy as well as during the medical evaluation with the IVF physician.

You will be required to rest in bed for 2-3 days immediately following the embryo transfer. Surrogates in our program stay in a hotel for the rest period to ensure you are removed from your daily responsibilities. All medical expenses, and any travel or hotel related expenses, are paid by the intended parents.

For information on the IVF embryo transfer process, follow this link to the Pacific Fertility Center website:

For information on ultrasound guided embryo transfer, follow this link to the Southern California Center for Reproductive Medicine website:

PregnancyOnce you are pregnant you will continue to see the IVF physician until being released to your obstetrician, generally around 10 weeks of pregnancy. You will be able to see your own OB, provided that he/she accepts your health insurance.

Your case manager at *** will attend appointments with you when your intended parents are unable to do so. We will also be with you for any important milestones in the pregnancy, as well as any time you request our presence. Our role is to act as a liaison between you and the couple you are working with, allowing you to focus on your health and well being and that of the baby’s. We will do all that we can to remove any aspect from your relationship that may be sensitive or difficult to discuss. Our commitment to you is to have this experience be one that is completely fulfilling, leaving you with an experience of having contributed to the world in a unique and precious way.

{Copied from my agency's Website}

So there you have it!! I am so excited about this Journey!!

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