Choosing to become a surrogate is an excellent way to bless others with the gift of family. A surrogate’s journey is about helping another family take shape in a way that will change their lives forever. See this overview to learn more about what your experience with surrogacy might include.
Applying to Become a Surrogate
The application process is the first step in your experience with surrogacy. This form provides our team with ample information regarding your social and medical history and helps us to understand if surrogacy would be right for you. The most important aspect of your application is transparency. You must meet several requirements to start your surrogate journey, and your physical and mental health is key to making the most of the coming months.
To become a surrogate, you must meet these basic requirements:
- Ages 21 to 39
- Have already experienced at least one healthy birth
- A healthy non-smoker with no drug use
- Stable and entirely reliable
Our team will collect your medical records to ensure pre-approval by the IVF clinic. You can expect a psychological screening to be sure you are in a good state of mind to help ensure a healthy pregnancy.
Creating Your Surrogate Profile
Part of the surrogate journey is creating a profile on Family Creations easy to use website. Your profile is shared with potential Intended Parents and allows them to get to know you and what you hope for in terms of your surrogate journey. Your profile does not contain any confidential information, but does help the Intended Parents gain an understanding of your lifestyle and background.
Your profile is an essential step to a match with the right intended parents. A positive relationship with the intended parents can make your experience with surrogacy even more meaningful. You’ll likely spend the next year or more in close contact with them, supporting each other throughout the entire adventure.
Another key milestone and very exciting time in your surrogate journey will be the match meeting. Family Creations will facilitate a match meeting between you and the Intended Parents. This meeting is a guided conversation around all the important topics in a surrogate arrangement. It is very important that the surrogate and Intended Parents are on the same page when it comes to fee, birth plan, views on abortion and selective reduction, etc.
During the match meeting, our team will be sure you share similar ideas about boundaries, contact, and even beliefs and values to establish the best foundation for your surrogate journey. If all parties (surrogate, Intended Parents, and Family Creations) feel comfortable with the match meeting, then it becomes an official match woohoo!
Once you’ve passed the screening process and found the right intended parents, it’s time to sign an agreement between you and the Intended Parents. You will be provided with an attorney free of charge to yourself to help guide you through this part of the surrogate journey. This agreement protects you and the intended parents throughout the surrogacy experience.
Medications, Monitoring, & Transfer
After legal clearance, you will begin the next part of your experience with surrogacy, the medical process of becoming pregnant. You will be provided with a calendar that outlines a series of medications you will take pre-pregnancy to prepare your body for an embryo transfer.
These medications are usually taken for 2-3 weeks prior to an embryo transfer and sometimes continue for up to 10 weeks into a positive pregnancy. These medications can vary between physician and surrogate but typically will include the following:
- Birth Control Pills
- Prenatal vitamins
- And other medications deemed necessary by the Fertility Doctor
Some of these medications are self-injectable and will require you or a loved one to administer the injections to yourself.
Next, an exciting milestone on your surrogate journey: the embryo transfer. The transfer is a non-surgical, outpatient procedure. It starts with the doctor inserting an ultrasound guided catheter vaginally. It passes through the cervix and into the uterus, where a carefully selected embryo(s) is then inserted. The entire procedure takes less than 2 minutes, and you are usually able to watch it all happening on an ultrasound monitor. This procedure is typically pain-free, and usually no sedation is necessary. Valium is sometimes prescribed prior to the procedure to help the surrogate to relax her mind and body.
When a pregnancy is achieved
It’s a big time in your surrogate journey! You’re confirmed to be pregnant, and start routine maternity care.
A Unique Pregnancy
Since you’ve already been pregnant before, you’ll be familiar with many aspects of pregnancy. There are a few crucial differences as a surrogate, of course. Your support system now extends beyond your own family — it also includes your case manager at Family Creations, therapists who specialize in surrogacy and the intended parents and any others they want to involve in the process.
Bonding with the Intended Parents
Every surrogate’s journey with the intended parents is different. Some intended parents want to be involved every step of the way, requesting to be present at the embryo transfer, maternity check-ins, and the birth. They may want to take you out to dinner, as well as get to know your significant other and children. Some intended parents may even plan to stay in touch after the baby is born, while others might prefer to keep a respectful distance.
You should know which type of intended parents you prefer to work with and make your preferences clear in your surrogate profile. You’ll also have the chance to speak with the intended parents in person before making a final decision about the surrogate/parent relationship and whether or not your personalities, goals, and preferences are compatible.
Your surrogate journey is complete with the birth of the baby. You’ll hand them off to their parent(s) and return to your life — perhaps meeting with each other to catch up occasionally. Some surrogates have such a life-changing experience that they choose to undergo the process again and again to help as many people as possible start families they otherwise couldn’t have.
Every experience with surrogacy is unique, and you will find it’s a journey all your own. Family Creations hopes you have a fulfilling experience that leaves you feeling blessed, happy, and grateful for the ability to change lives with your generosity.
To learn more about surrogacy, get in touch with Family Creations today.