Deciding you want to be a surrogate is huge — you’re giving another person or couple the gift of a lifetime. But being a surrogate affects you, too, and isn’t something you should jump into lightly.
In this month’s blog, Dr. Samuel Wood and our team want to explain what you can expect as a surrogate for our agency.
Before you say yes to surrogacy, you must go through a pre-screening process to see if you qualify. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has guidelines for surrogates that we use as part of our pre-screening process.
At our agency, you must meet the following pre-screening qualifications for us to consider you a candidate:
We also prefer surrogates who live in a surrogacy-friendly state like California and be a citizen of the United States. If you meet our qualifications, we review your medical records and request a clearance letter from your OB/GYN before we move to the next step in the process.
After the pre-screening, we create your personalized surrogate profile. We share your profile with the intended parents to find a match. When the intended parents feel you might make a good match for them, we schedule a meeting.
This meeting is a very important part of the surrogacy process because it gives you a chance to get to know the intended parents (and for them to get to know you) to see if it’s a good match.
Before moving forward with the pregnancy, everyone undergoes medical and psychological screening. When we say everyone, we mean you and the intended parents.
The ASRM also recommends the gestational surrogate (you) undergo a thorough medical exam and have blood done to check for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV.
Next comes the legal part of being a surrogate, where you review and sign the legal contracts between you and the parents-to-be. We can provide guidance for this, but we recommend you work with an attorney who specializes in surrogacy.
This contract lays out your role and responsibilities for the pregnancy and that you will give the baby to the intended parents after birth. The contract also includes any financial arrangements between you and the intended parents.
We only work with gestational surrogates. Gestational surrogates don’t use their own eggs for the pregnancy, so there are no genetic links between you and the baby.
Instead, we use eggs and sperm from the intended parents or an anonymous donor and fertilize the egg in a lab before transferring the embryo (or embryos) into your uterus. This process is known as in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Once you’re pregnant, you move on to regular OB/GYN appointments as outlined in your gestational surrogacy contract, sharing updates with the intended parents along the way.
Surrogacy is a life-changing experience and not something you can just sign up for. If you’re thinking of becoming a surrogate, start by filling out our pre-screening application. After receiving your application, our coordinator gives you a call and answers all of your questions.
Do you want to be a surrogate? Let us help you get started. Call our office or book an appointment online today.