Women who come into surrogacy because they are loving, compassionate and genuinely want to help Intended Parents have their own family typically find it fairly easy. You are simply giving back their baby(s). We also feel that you should be certain your own family is complete before pursuing surrogacy. Surrogacy is about giving back, helping others experience the same joy in parenthood as you.
Will my eggs be used to create the baby I carry? Will the baby be genetically my child?
No, our surrogacy program is a gestational surrogacy program. In gestational surrogacy, the child you will be carrying for another person will not be your genetic child. The medical process involved (In Vitro Fertilization) means embryos created from the parents’ (or separate egg donor) genetic material are transferred to your uterus. Both you and the parents (also referred to as Intended Parents) will enter into a contract (Gestational Surrogacy Agreement) which specifies the Intended Parents as the legal and/or genetic parents of the child. Traditional surrogacys typically only occur after a series of embryo transfers have been unsuccessful with the surrogate. But only in cases where prior agreement is stipulated within the Gestational Surrogacy Agreement would such an option be possible. Most Surrogates and Intended Parents choose to use eggs from either the Intended Mom herself or an Egg Donor, so there is no genetic tie to you. Ultimately, it’s completely up to the Surrogate and what experience matches her values and priorities.
Can I be a surrogate if I’ve had my tubes tied?
What medications will I have to take? Are there side effects? How long will I have to take them?
Most protocols include the medications Lupron, Medrol, progesterone, estrogen, doxycycline and dexamethasone. These medications are dispensed in liquid form, requiring you to give yourself an injection at the same time every day. Surrogates have reported breast tenderness, bloating, irritability, and mild headaches; similar to being on their period. Over the course of your cycle, from the first fertility specialist appointment through the end of the first trimester, you will remain under the care of the fertility specialist. You can expect to attend approximately 4-8 appointments over the course of three months.
Is it safe?
Surrogacy is no different than any pregnancy that you may have had in the past.
Will I meet the Intended Parents?
Typically, yes. You will actually be presented with profiles for all available couples or individuals who fit your desired criteria and/or have the same values and beliefs as yourself. Because we work with intended parents from all over the world, who may be single, married or gay, we want to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to become matched with the right person for them. The matching process is based on finding you an individual or couple with whom you feel one hundred percent confident in traveling this journey. This is a huge step in your life, an experience we want you to enjoy and remember for years to come.
How does the process work?
In a nutshell, we will pre-screen you by completing a criminal background check on you and your partner/spouse along with completing both psychological and medical screening by a licensed therapist and fertility specialist, respectively. Next, we will match you with Intended Parents (IP) sharing your values and priorities and then you may be required to have an abbreviated screening by the IP’s fertility specialist. We will work with the IP’s attorney to set up an initial funding in the trust account to cover any surrogacy-related expenses that may occur at this stage. You will then move into the contract phase with your own attorney making sure all your requests are included in the final surrogate contract between your IPs and yourself. Once all parties are satisfied and have signed the surrogate contract, treatment becomes possible once the trust account is fully funded. We will make arrangements between the IPs and your designated pharmacy to insure you receive your medications in a timely manner and your treatment cycle will begin! You’ll receive your first compensation upon confirmation of injectible medication start and be required to attend several monitoring appointments for the next several weeks for both ultrasounds and blood work. 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. When your fertility specialist determines you are ready, your embryo transfer (ET) will be conducted. You need to have a companion take you to and from this procedure as well as expecting to be on complete bed rest for that day and the next. For out-of-town surrogates, you will be required to stay overnight at a hotel. Surrogates traveling by air may receive permission from their fertility specialist to go home the following day. You will continue close monitoring by the fertility specialist with an initial pregnancy test approximately 10-14 days following the date of the ET. Typically, following initial positive results (beta), a second beta occurs two days later to confirm the number is increasing appropriately. Upon confirmation of pregnancy by both blood tests, approximately four weeks following the date of the embryo transfer, you will have what is often called the “heartbeat” ultrasound appointment as the fetal heartbeat can be visualized at that time. Although not mandatory, many IPs, especially those in the local area, enjoy attending this appointment with you. You will continue injectible medication until approximately 9-12 weeks of pregnancy at which time the doctor will have you gradually reduce the amount. Once completely off your medication, you will transfer care from the fertility specialist to an obstetrician. As the baby continues to grow healthy and strong, the IPs will begin the process of Parental Rights Establishment with their attorneys so everything will be in place for their baby’s birth. We will be right there with you to support and assistance in every way we can on the day the baby is born. We will make sure everything is arranged both before and after the delivery should your surrogate contract include Breast Milk Service. Once you deliver the baby, you will need some time for rest and recuperation. You can expect to receive any remaining balance on your compensation along with any other expenses the month following your delivery.
Begin sharing the miracle of life and apply now!
I don’t have health insurance. Now what?
Great Beginnings presents all surrogate health insurance information to a company competent to complete coverage reviews as required by law. Some surrogates will receive health insurance through Covered California while others may be added to their partner/spouse’s health plan. If neither of these situations apply to you, Great Beginnings will work with your Intended Parents to obtain a Complications Insurance policy which only covers your medical care should you develop medical problems for up to two years after you deliver the Intended Parents’ baby.
How does compensation work?
Our First-time Surrogates receive $40,000 plus expenses.