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Surrogacy in 9 Steps

Matching Process

Great Beginnings Surrogacy Services (Great Beginnings or GBSS) wants to know what you’re looking for in a surrogate. We will bring you profiles of surrogates who share your values and priorities to make this journey as wonderful as possible for everyone! Surrogate profiles include availability, state of residence, pictures of the surrogate and her family, her support system for surrogacy, her desires regarding a relationship with you, her positions on key issues, such as selective reduction, and an individualized Surrogate Benefit Package signed by the surrogate. We will present you our pricing and fee schedule information and ask you to sign our Great Beginnings Agency Agreement. Depending on your wishes, Great Beginnings can arrange telephone or in-person interviews with surrogate candidates to assist in making this very important choice.


Once you select your surrogate, you will be asked to sign her Surrogate Benefit Package to initiate the agreement process between you. Once all documentation is in place, Great Beginnings will provide an outline of next steps to all parties plus the names of the professionals you can expect to assist with your surrogacy arrangement from now on. Great Beginnings then conducts a background check. A licensed therapist specializing in third-party reproduction will complete a psychological screening to insure she meets the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) standards for a psychologically healthy surrogate. Once the licensed therapist provides psychological clearance for your surrogate, Great Beginnings will send all necessary documents to your fertility specialist to request they begin their medical screening process.

You will be contacted by your fertility clinic to make payment arrangements directly to them before your surrogate’s medical screening by your fertility specialist can be scheduled. Your fertility specialist will then review the surrogate’s history and conduct a medical exam as well as complete laboratory tests to insure your surrogate is ready to begin treatment. Experienced surrogates may not need to repeat the psychological evaluation and/or certain medical tests. Once your fertility specialist issues medical clearance for your surrogate, the surrogate contract process will begin. Experienced third-party reproduction attorney information will be presented for your review to assist in the selection of attorneys for all parties. Your surrogate’s own medical insurance will be reviewed by an insurance company specializing in third-party reproduction to determine whether surrogacy is covered by her policy. If necessary, surrogate medical insurance may need to be purchased to insure all her medical needs are met throughout the course of her pregnancy and delivery. Great Beginnings will assist your surrogate in her role of providing information to facilitate the insurance review/acquisition process.


The Surrogacy Contract is drafted and entered into with separate attorneys for you and your surrogate. Attorney interpreter availability information will be provided to you by Great Beginnings upon request. The surrogacy contract is a binding contract between yourselves and your surrogate, outlining in detail every aspect of the agreement ranging from compensation to the details of your baby’s delivery itself.

Trust Account

A trust account will be established with your attorney to provide the funds to issue checks for surrogate compensation and associated costs for the professionals providing direct services to your surrogate. Great Beginnings assists with this financial commitment by asking for funding in stages. Details on these funding points are clearly outlined in the documents provided prior to signing our Agency Agreement.

Full Funding of Trust Account

Once the Surrogacy Contract has been signed by all parties, your attorney provides a legal clearance declaration to your fertility specialist. Your attorney will also verify full funding of the trust account to Great Beginnings.

Pharmacy Arrangements – Cycle Begins

Arrangements with your fertility specialist’s preferred pharmacy will need to be made to insure your surrogate can easily and reliably access the medications/supplements she needs for treatment. Depending on pharmacy policy and procedures, you may need to either provide your credit card information or call in your credit card authorization at specified intervals. Once pharmacy arrangements are in place, the clinic will set your surrogate’s cycle calendar and treatment will begin!

Pregnancy Confirmation and Monitoring

Following the embryo transfer (ET), your surrogate will require mandatory bed rest (ranging from 1-3 days). A blood test, known as a beta hCG, will be performed approximately 10-14 days following the date of the ET to determine pregnancy. If the first beta is positive, a second beta is generally performed 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, your surrogate will have an ultrasound conducted during which the fetal heartbeat can be visualized. Although not mandatory, many intended parents, especially those in the local area, choose to go to this first ultrasound. Your surrogate will continue on supplemental hormone therapy until approximately 9-12 weeks of pregnancy, when she will be weaned off and “graduate” from care by the fertility specialist to an obstetrician.

Parental Rights Establishment

Your attorney will begin the Parental Rights Establishment process, typically at the 16th week of gestation. Parental Rights Establishment in the form of a “Pre-Birth Order (PBO)” does three things: gives you the legal right to make all medical decisions for your baby, legally records your names as parents on the birth certificate, and provides the necessary documentation for the hospital to release your baby to you upon delivery. This process generally takes two to three months. Within weeks of this process beginning, final funding of your trust account will be due to provide for additional costs and fees associated with delivery of your baby.


Delivery of your baby! Be sure to bring all your Parental Rights Establishment documents to the hospital. We’ll be right there with you; we wouldn’t miss this for the world! Both before and after delivery, Great Beginnings will assist your surrogate with any pertinent details should your contract include Breast Milk Service following the birth.

International Intended Parents may wish to have newborn health insurance in place for your baby to begin immediately. You will need to stay on for a few weeks following the birth, awaiting official issuance of your birth certificate by the State of California in order to complete the passport process to finally take your baby home!