How Surrogacy Works
Great Beginnings Surrogacy proudly follows the expert guidelines updated last year by the American Society of Reproductive Medicince (ASRM).
ASRM recommends that surrogates:
- Be between the ages 21 through 45 (our guidelines are stricter: 21 through 42)
- Have had at least one uncomplicated term pregnancy (this is essential)
- Have had no more than 5 deliveries (we agree)
- Have had no more than three C-section deliveries (we agree)
- Have a stable family environment with adequate support to provide the help they may need during surrogacy (this is essential as well)
You are required to complete the Great Beginnings Surrogacy application form. Once this has been reviewed and approved by our staff, we will contact you to schedule a more in-depth telephone interview. Psychological Screening, Background check and Medical screening must also be completed (see below for details).
Once we receive official clearances for all your screenings, your profile will be made available for review by intended parents. If and when a match is made, we will schedule a date for you to meet with the intended parents accompanied by Great Beginnings staff. Depending on how everyone feels once this meeting is through, you may be matched with this couple immediately. Depending on their fertility specialist’s requirements, you may be required to have a second, less extensive medical exam and review at their fertility specialist’s clinic.
Both you and your partner/spouse will be required to submit to background pre-screening. Understandably, Intended Parents want assurance all surrogate candidates represent zero risk for placing their future child in harm’s way. While we understand things happen, we appreciate your honesty and being forthcoming with any past events.
One very important requirement will be your psychological pre-screening. You will undergo screening and/or testing with a licensed therapist who specializes in third-party reproduction. Your partner/spouse may also be interviewed by the therapist. The purpose of this screening is to ensure that you are of sound mind and emotionally stable to undergo the surrogate process. There is nothing to be fearful of. The therapist conducting the screening process is also there to provide you support, openly discussing any fears or concerns you may have about the process. The results of this pre-screening will be shared with your Intended Parents’ fertility specialist to assist in completion of your medical pre-screening.
Once you receive psychological clearance, additional medical testing/screening may be performed at the request of Great Beginnings Surrogacy, the Intended Parents or their fertility specialist. You will be sent to your Intended Parents’ fertility specialist for medical pre-screening consisting of an in-depth physical exam (possibly including a hysteroscopy or sonohysterogram which verifies your ability to carry a healthy pregnancy by internally examining your uterus with a small camera), infectious disease screening (including your partner/spouse), drug screening and any other testing deemed necessary to determine both your suitability and ability to conceive and safely carry a child.
Upon receiving your medical clearance from the Intended Parents’ fertility specialist, you will move into the legal contract phase. The Intended Parents’ attorney will draft a contract agreement between you and the Intended Parents. This contract addresses all legal issues pursuant to a surrogate arrangement in California, covering any unforeseen situation that may arise. Everything discussed and agreed upon between you and the Intended Parents will also be included. The Surrogate Legal Contract is a binding and enforceable agreement under the laws of the State of California. It details all the responsibilities you have to each other and protects each individual person’s legal rights. You will also have your own attorney who, at no cost to you, will personally review the agreement with you. You can expect advisement on the terms of the agreement, your legal rights and obligations, important values and priorities (such as carrying multiples, selective reduction, and the type of relationship you hope to have together) and any remaining steps for finalizing the Intended Parents’ parental rights prior to the birth.
As a Gestational Surrogate, you will undergo an Embryo Transfer (ET) procedure using the Intended Mother’s eggs or donor eggs which have been combined with the Intended Father’s sperm or donor sperm. The medical protocol is similar whether the transfer procedure will be a “fresh” cycle or “frozen” cycle. The Intended Parent’s fertility specialist may perform a brief exam to verify the health of your uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes and review the results of your psychological and medical pre-screenings. You will be ready to begin the injectable medications once the fertility specialist feels confident you are ready to proceed. Medications will include birth control pills to regulate your cycle and/or synchronize your cycle with the Intended Mother or Donor. Lupron, Estrogen and Progesterone may also be part of the protocol. You will be required to administer yourself these medications using either subcutaneous or intramuscular injections. Regular monitoring of your uterine lining via ultrasound and status of your hormone levels via blood tests will be performed multiple times during your cycle. Once ready, the embryo(s) will be transferred to your womb and you will be required to rest for two to four days after the procedure. From the day of your ET through delivery, Great Beginnings Surrogacy provides our exclusive Wellness Program to make sure you feel cared for and supported through health-promoting practices every step of your surrogacy journey. Within ten to fourteen days following the transfer, a blood test will be administered to measure your Beta-HCG, Estrogen and Progesterone levels. Optimally, a beta-hcg with a value of 50 or higher will determine if a pregnancy has occurred. Note: It is imperative that you take all medications and administer injections exactly as indicated by the fertility specialist. You must attend + be on time for all appointments required of you. Over the course of your cycle, from the first fertility specialist appointment through the through the end of the first trimester, you will remain under the care of the fertility specialist. You can expect to attend approximately 12-18 appointments over the course of four months. At approximately 10-12 weeks of the pregnancy, you will be released by the fertility specialist to transfer to your OBGYN for the remainder of the pregnancy. At this point, you’ll be following a routine of appointments, similar to those you experienced with your own children’s pregnancy(ies).
Thank you for considering becoming a member of the Great Beginnings family. The gift of a child is truly a wonderful blessing and we hope to take that surrogacy journey with you. Becoming a Surrogate is something you should consider carefully. Candidates are expected to fill out their application as completely and truthfully as possible.
Begin sharing the miracle of life and apply now!