When you fill out an application, we will create a profile that will be sent to prospective parents to review. Once a prospective parent responds with interest in your profile, you will be given a profile or bio of the parents to review and decide if you want to move forward with meeting them. Most meetings are done on Skype or some other form of FaceTime. If the parents are local or in town, Baby Bump Journeys will arrange a meeting in person. Once both parties officially decide to move forward, your case manager will set everything up with the clinic for medical screening.
Once the match is made, you will be required to get a physical with the IVF clinic the Intended Parents are working with. This includes blood draw, urinalysis and an ultrasound. The blood test is to check for any infectious diseases, immunities and different levels of hormones that are natural to your body. The urinalysis will detect any drugs/alcohol use along with the protein levels of your body. The ultrasound will detect any abnormality in your uterus or ovaries. They want to make sure you don’t have any scarring or polyps/cysts that would prevent a successful pregnancy. Some clinics will also perform a breast exam, to make sure there isn’t any abnormalities that need to be addressed. With all of the medication you are on, the hormones can increase any abnormality that would be in your body. The results for the medical screening take approximately 7/10 days to get back. If you have a spouse or partner, they will need to do blood tests as well to eliminate the possibility of any infectious diseases they may be carrying, that you don’t have. Once the clinic gives us the official medical clearance, we will move on to contracts.
Once we receive Medical clearance from the IVF clinic, your case manager will send information to the attorney to begin drafting the contracts. Your case manager will set you up with your own personal attorney, not affiliated with the drafting attorney. They will reach out to you, in order to get set up with their services. Once the initial draft is in place, the intended parents will review the contract with their attorney and make any changes needed on their end. Once the changes are in place, the drafting attorney will send a copy to your attorney, who will then review the contract and any changes made with you. The draft is then sent back to the drafting attorney with any changes made and will once again be reviewed by the intended parents and their attorney for approval. If no changes are made or the changes made have been approved, the drafting attorney will send the Final contract to your attorney for signatures. The contracts are now required to be signed in front of a licensed notary. The attorney will let you know if you will have to travel to a certain city to have it done. There are some circumstances that require trips to Los Angeles for Notary, to help ease the judgement process for the attorney’s while establishing the parental rights. If you have to travel, there is a mileage compensation in your surrogate benefits package.
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.
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 Screening Also Includes
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.