Once a match has been made between the Intended Parents and surrogate, all screenings must be successfully completed. This screening will take place at the IVF Clinic where the Intended parents are working closely with their IVF Doctor for the highest chance of success. Once the Surrogate has received medical clearance from the IVF doctor, the case manager will then issue orders to get the contracts of agreement between the Surrogate and Intended Parent(s) started. Once all negotiations are finalized and the parties receive their final drafts of the contracts, they will then need to be signed and notarized in a designated city given by the attorney for a successful filing of judgement paperwork. Once legal clearance is given by the attorneys, you can then start your IVF cycle.
What to Expect at your Screening:
- The Surrogate mother screening includes the following:
- Medical Screening: You will schedule your screening based on your last menstrual cycle. Some clinics screening timeframes are different than others. At Baby Bump Journeys, we will get the specific IVF protocol and inform you of what to expect.
- You will have to go through a blood draw that may need quite a bit of blood. We at Baby Bump Journeys suggest making sure to eat prior to your screening, possibly bring some juice and crackers with you as well.
- You will have to leave a urine sample, and usually can do that as soon as you have to go to the bathroom.
- Most IVF clinics also require a hysteroscopy, or an exam of the uterine cavity through a thin scope inserted through the cervix. This is done like an ultrasound.
- The IVF doctor will also have you go over a consultation on what to expect with your IVF Cycle.
- Psychological Testing: Baby Bump Journeys will arrange for you to connect with a psychologist to arrange your psychological evaluation. There is normally a multiple choice “personality” test that is done along with a Face to Face type meeting. Depending on where you are located that can be at the psychologist’s office or over Skype.
- Partner Screening: If the surrogate has a partner/spouse, the partner/spouse is also required to undergo blood tests to screen for any infectious diseases that the partner/spouse may have. They are mainly looking for anything that can be passed onto the surrogate or the baby and can cause harm or complication to the baby/pregnancy. The test can usually be done if your partner/spouse joins you at the screening or outside of the clinic at your local lab.
- The surrogates cycle may be synchronized with the egg donor’s or intended mothers cycle through birth control pills if IVF clinic has decided on a fresh embryo transfer.
- The surrogate will start taking estrogen after her menstrual cycle starts. The surrogate will be closely monitored so that the IVF physician can determine when her uterine lining is thick enough to receive the embryos. On the embryo transfer day, the embryos will be inserted into the surrogate’s uterus. The surrogate may be required to stay on bed rest after the embryo transfer.
- Approximately 10-12 days after the embryo transfer, the surrogate will take a quantitative HCG blood test where the pregnancy hormone is measured. If there is a pregnancy, an ultrasound is done at approximately 6-7 weeks to confirm the fetal heartbeat.
- Once the IVF Doctor feels your pregnancy is developing safely, they will release you to continue your care through your chosen OB. If you have to apply for new insurance, you must be positive that the chosen OB is in your network of providers.
This is just a small overview of the surrogacy process. The physicians and program directors will go over the entire process of becoming a surrogate with each individual surrogate candidate, including the potential risks and complications of surrogacy.
At Baby Bump Journeys, we have the utmost respect for the women like you who decide to help others by becoming a gestational carrier. Becoming a gestational carrier may feel complex and overwhelming. Carly and her team are here to guide you through the process step by step to make this a fulfilling experience. Surrogacy has been described as one of the most powerful and rewarding choices a woman can make.
Surrogate Program Requirements
Please review the following minimum qualifications to become a surrogate mother in our program.
- Be between the ages of 21-40
- Have given birth to at least one child
- Have had minor to no complications during previous pregnancies/deliveries
- Be in a stable living situation
- Have some sort of support system at home
- Cannot be receiving government assistance (WIC ok)
- Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States (Visa Citizen can be discussed)
- Have reliable transportation to attend multiple medical appointments
- Be able to pass a background check
- Does not smoke or take illegal drugs, or be exposed to second hand smoke
- Be willing to refrain from alcohol throughout the pregnancy
- Not registered to any Native American Tribe
If the above requirements are met, please complete and submit the application for our surrogacy program.
Provide one on one support to the surrogate and her family.
We offer you the choice to choose to move forward with a couple who chooses you.
Personal contact from your case manager through the whole journey.
No major out of pocket expenses, unless previously discussed with your case manager.