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Intended Parents Surrogacy FAQs
Why Should I Work With The Fertility Agency?
Our co-founders Kathryn and Lauri are former Intended Parents (through surrogacy and egg donation) and have been helping create families since 2004. Those years of experience have given them and their staff extensive exposure to different scenarios, expertise in anticipating problems before they arise, plus significant business experience to create a perfect balance between business and passion. Our success is based on integrity, stability and honesty. We also have a compassionate and professional team of Case Managers and Surrogate Coordinators.
These are just a few reasons that contribute to our stellar reputation.
How Does The TrueMatch™ System Work?
Matching is a delicate process that needs a skilled hand.
After years of experience, Kathryn and Lauri, and their staff have developed a unique matching technique – TrueMatch™ -- to help create a great experience for you and your Surrogate. Unlike other agencies, we do not offer an online database of Surrogates. The matching process for us is a very personalized one. We are not trying to make “best friends” (although sometimes that happens!) – we are looking to create matches that will result in kind, respectful, and friendly surrogacy journeys where people have similar expectations and that result in a healthy baby and a rewarding experience for all.
How Much Contact Can I Expect With My Surrogate?
Our goal is to create matches that result in a friendly surrogacy experience, and part of that is how much communication the Intended Parents and Surrogates anticipate having.
Some Intended Parents are looking for regular (monthly, bi-monthly, and so on). communication, filled with pictures, texts, visits, and so forth. We understand that this doesn’t fit everyone’s needs. So you, as an Intended Parent, will share your desires with us prior to your match and we will work our magic to find a Surrogate who shares the same hopes about communication.
How Does The Fertility Agency Screen Their Surrogates?
When a Surrogate applies to work with The Fertility Agency, she first fills out an in-depth questionnaire. Once the questionnaire is completed, Surrogate intake team screens each applicant to assure that the Surrogate is a good candidate for our program.
Next we work with the Surrogate to collect her medical records, including pregnancy history and any other information that the IVF clinic might find relevant.
Our team will work with an insurance specialist to review the Surrogate's medical insurance (if she has it). This review will determine if her policy is favorable to cover Surrogacy, or if the Surrogate will need a new policy that has no exclusions for Surrogacy coverage.
We look at the Surrogate’s support network and then do a criminal background check.
Once matched, she will have a psychological evaluation and an in-person appointment with your Reproductive Endocrinologist, aka RE, along with lab work and then be medically approved by your doctor.
Does It Matter What State My Surrogate Lives In?
Each state in the U.S. has its own specific laws regarding surrogacy. Some are more restrictive, and some are what we call “surro-friendly states”. Our agency focuses on matching you with a surrogate who lives in a surro-friendly state where your names will go directly on the birth certificate.
A match is more about finding the right person than about finding the right ‘location.’ Still, if you have a specific state in mind, we will do our best to meet your needs. Keep in mind, no matter which state your Gestational Surrogate will give birth in, our agency will work very closely with you and your attorney to ensure that things run smoothly.
How Do I Get Started?
The journey to become parents starts with a free one-on-one consultation with one of our co-founders. To arrange this, just fill out an Intended Parent Inquiry Form and we will reach out to schedule a free consultation.
During the consultation:
- You will be able to share all your desires, dreams, and challenges.
- You can ask us all questions about choosing your ideal surrogate.
- We explain all your different programs, costs, and timelines.
- We help and guide you with all the referrals you will need.
When you feel ready to go forward, you then fill out a detailed online Intended Parent profile, sign our agency contract, and pay the first agency fee.
What Things Should I Anticipate Paying For?
It is important to understand the different costs that you will encounter on your journey. Here we’ve broken them down into 3 categories to make it easier:
Medical Costs -- These will not only include the fees you pay your IVF clinic but also monitoring for your Surrogate and medications to prepare for the embryo transfer.
Surrogate’s Fees – Beyond a Surrogate’s base fee (which can have a wide range depending upon where she lives, if she’s an experienced Surrogate, etc.), there will be fees for travel, possibly insurance, maternity clothes, housekeeping, childcare, etc.
Professional Fees – A surrogacy journey is new to you, but there are professionals that have been working in this field for years, and those are the people you will turn to and pay fees to. This includes the agency fee to oversee the entire journey, the detectives we employ to do the background checks, the therapist that administers the psychological evaluation, attorneys for the contract, insurance specialist, and escrow company, etc.
Intended Parents who plan to have an Egg Donor will encounter many of these same expenses -- including medical costs, Egg Donor fees and professional fees – in regard to their donor.
To see some actual numbers, you can visit our Costs page
Can I Become A Parent If I'm Single?
Of course! Our team is familiar with the specific needs of a single person/individual looking to become a parent via surrogacy (and/or egg donation) and we believe anyone that wants to be a parent should have that opportunity. So, we don’t discriminate and we are certain we will find you a great Surrogate to make your dreams come true.
Is There An Age Limit To Becoming An Intended Parent?
While we as an agency do not set a specific age limit for the Intended Parent/s, you may find that most clinics will have a combined age limit for the couple: i.e., if there are two of you, a combined 110 years.
Do be aware that some Surrogates have age preferences.
Can I Be A Parent If My Partner Or Myself Is HIV+?
Yes, you can! You will need to get clearance through your IVF clinic. They will connect you with a lab or program that will in many instances be able to wash your sperm so there is a zero viral count load and your sperm will not cause any viral exposure to your Surrogate or unborn child.
While some Surrogates still do not want to take this very minimal risk, others will, and we will work to match you with a Surrogate who is open to this. We have never had an Intended Parent who is HIV+ not find a match.
If I Live Outside The US, How Long Should I Plan To Stay During And After Delivery?
We are very aware of the particular circumstances for International Intended Parents and work hard to help you get your baby home with you as soon as possible – that includes assistance with how to expedite the birth certificate and then passport.
Additionally, we will only match you with Surrogates giving birth in states where these things can be done in a timely manner. In general, most Intended Parents will come about 2 weeks before the expected due date (if you hope to be there for the birth), and stay approximately 3- 5 weeks post birth.
What Does An Escrow Company Do?
A surrogacy escrow account is an arrangement set up with a third-party bonded agent (either your attorney or possibly an outside escrow company that specializes in surrogacy trust accounts) that holds and disperses funds during the surrogacy journey. The payments are dispersed as outlined in the Intended Parent/Surrogate Contract and ensures that the Surrogate is being paid accurately and on time.
Monthly statements are supplied to the Intended Parents and The Fertility Agency also alerts the Intended Parents as to any payments paid during the month.
Our agency is happy to make referrals to our preferred escrow companies, if needed.
Can I Choose My Own Attorney
A surrogacy attorney creates the legal documents that spell out payments and the responsibilities of both the Intended Parent/s and Gestational Surrogate. These legal documents must be signed before any medical procedures begin.
So, while you may choose your own attorney, you are best to entrust your agency to make recommendations since surrogacy is a very specialized field and not any attorney can just jump in and know what to do. Also, your agency will be most up-to-date on who is skilled, experienced and has proven to be excellent and accessible communicators.
Lastly, the choice of attorney can be impacted by the state in which your Surrogate will be giving birth.
Who Needs An Egg Donor And How Do I Choose One?
Single males or same-sex male couples will undoubtedly need an Egg Donor.
For women, the issue is more complicated. Sometimes there are medical factors that will indicate the need for an Egg Donor. In most cases, it will be your reproductive endocrinologist (RE) who will make this determination. Age is an important factor that can indicate your need for an Egg Donor, but sometimes young women need Egg Donors too.
If you are uncertain, please reach out to us and we can discuss your particular situation with you.
Choosing an Egg Donor is a very personal choice, and we have found that there are three major components that people look for: 1. looks, 2. intelligence/talents and 3. family health history.
For some, one of these characteristics may be more important than the other, but in most cases you end up with someone that balances it out for you and your partner (if you have one).
We have many years of assisting in making matches using our TrueMatch™ technique and are happy to help you evaluate your wants and needs with our matching specialist.
What Is The Average Cost For The Egg Donor Journey?
The compensation the Surrogate personally receives can range from $35,000 - $65,000+. This is dependent upon such things as: where she lives, if she is an experienced Surrogate, if she has her own insurance without a surrogacy exclusion.
You should also factor in and anticipate additional non-agency costs including:
- The medical aspects of the journey. This cost will vary clinic-to-clinic. This includes IVF costs, medications, screening, monitoring, etc.
- Legal fees for you and your Surrogate.
- Insurance for your Surrogate (if needed).
- Professional fees including that psychologist, escrow account set up, insurance review, etc.
- Travel costs and per diem for herself and travel companion.
As you can see, there are a lot of variables, but to sum it all up, on an average for expect to pay at least $120,000+ (more if you need an Egg Donor, need multiple attempts, need Surrogate Insurance, live outside of the U.S., etc.).
What Is The Timeline For The Egg Donor And Surrogacy Journey?
In most cases the egg donation part of your journey can move rather quickly. It can be as little as 8 weeks from when you select your Egg Donor until the eggs are retrieved.
In general, it takes 3-4 months depending upon where she is in her menstrual cycle when you are matched.
Surrogacy is a much longer and more involved journey. Depending upon the agency, there can be a 1 to 18-month wait to be matched (for us it tends to be no more than 6 months).
After finding your TrueMatch™, it takes an average of 3 months to medically evaluate your Surrogate. We create and sign contracts. Then, you are ready for your embryo transfer.
You will have a baby in hand 9 months later if your Gestational Surrogate gets pregnant on the first try. But even after the birth, our agency stays involved to give you support, pay expenses, and ensure that everyone’s needs are taken care of for an additional 6 months, or longer if you wish.
How Long Does The Whole Surrogacy Process Take?
Each surrogacy journey is unique. While we have a relatively fast matching track record, we recommend our Intended Parents prepare for an 18-month journey from when they sign up with our agency to when they leave the hospital with a healthy baby.
Some factors that might delay this timeline are legal requirements and the IVF treatment itself.