Find a Surrogate

The Intended Parent Surrogacy Journey

What Is A Surrogacy Journey?

This may seem like an obvious question, but in truth, a journey can be different things to different people. It may start with multiple miscarriages, cancer, or just being fertility challenged. It may include using an Egg Donor, or the Intended Mother’s eggs (or even sometimes both) to create embryos. 

The generous woman that will carry your baby, aka your Surrogate, will not have any biological tie to the baby she is carrying because she is not using her own eggs. In a gestational surrogacy journey an IVF clinic is always used to create the embryos. This type of Surrogate is called a “Gestational Surrogate”. 

A Surrogate that is biologically related to the baby (using her own eggs) is called a “Traditional Surrogate”, (our agency only oversees gestational surrogacy journeys). 

Creating Embryos

When working with a Gestational Surrogate, your Surrogate will not have any biological connection to the child she is carrying. Therefore you will need to select an IVF clinic to create embryos and transfer them to your Surrogate.  Here’s how to get started. You should start the search for Egg Donors and a clinic at the same time or before you begin your surrogacy journey.

If you haven’t already done so, select an IVF clinic and a Reproductive Endocrinologist (aka RE, aka fertility doctor). Clinics can greatly impact your journey. Clinics with low success rates (or that don’t regularly handle surrogacy and egg donation journeys) may be more difficult to work with, causing you and your surrogate greater frustration, and costing you more money and time.  So, the key factors in finding a good clinic are:

  • success rates
  • ease of communication
  • location
  • cost

Once you have your doctor and clinic selected you will need to create embryos with either:

  • your own eggs (if possible).
  • an Egg Donor’s eggs
  • sperm from a male partner
  • a Sperm Donor’s sperm

Finding the right clinic and Egg Donor for yourself is something we can discuss during our free consultation. We are happy to make some introductions for you if you’d like. Just let us know!

Where To Start Your Surrogacy Journey

You may be wondering where to start, how long all of this will take, what professionals are needed, how much it will cost, and finally – how you will find the ideal surrogate. That is what we are here for!

Our caring, experienced staff oversees all of the elements of your journey and helps put the top professionals in place for your specific needs. We carefully screen each incoming Surrogate candidate to make sure she meets all of the stringent requirements of our surrogacy program.

If you haven’t already, your first step should be to set up a complimentary consultation with us.

Your Surrogacy Journey Timeline

We know that each journey is unique, but here are some of the milestones you can expect along the way:

Months 1-2
Consultation and Agency Paperwork/Sign up
  • Sign up/have a complimentary consultation
  • Sign Agency Agreement
  • Complete Intended Parent Profile
  • Pay first Agency fee
  • Select your IVF Clinic/Reproductive Endocrinologist
  • Select an Egg Donor (if needed)

Already have a surrogacy clinic? You can skip to the next section.

Need a clinic? We are happy to recommend the ones with the best success rates. Just ask us.  

Need an Egg Donor? This is the right time to get started on the search -- don’t worry, we can guide you through it as well. 

Using your own eggs? Now is the time to create your embryos (if you haven’t done so already).

Congratulations! You’re all set and ready to get matched with your Surrogate! 

Months 3-5
Match With Your Perfect Surrogate
  • Find your True Match™
  • Case Manager assigned
  • Meet your Surrogate 

This is where our years of expertise and talent shine! Your True Match™ Surrogate will be someone who –

  • Has already had at least one child
  • Has passed a background check
  • Is a great communicator 
  • Lives in a surro-friendly state
  • Will meet all of our other agency's & your clinic’s requirements

We will exchange profiles between you and your Surrogate and if you like each other your Case Manager is assigned. 

What Your Case Manager Does Next
  1. Advocate – they are your point person, cheerleader, and support for both you and your Surrogate throughout your journey. 
  2. Guide – they will lead you through every step of the process.  
  3. Call – they will help to set up a video call, which we host
  4. Inform – you get to meet and talk with your surrogate and learn more about each other. 
  5. Share – during this call we will help you to share expectations –
    1. communication preferences
    2. lifestyles
    3. who is going to be in the delivery room
    4. get to know a bit more about each other. 

If all goes well during the video call, and it usually does, we’ll make the match official! 

Now it’s time to get pregnant! 

Initial Screenings
  • Psychological Evaluation
  • Medical Evaluation
  • Medical Clearance
Once matched
  • Your Case Manager oversees having your Surrogate psychologically screened by a mental health professional specialized in evaluating your Surrogate’s mental capabilities and preparedness to do this very special job.  
  • Your surrogate will have an in-person evaluation with your RE, where lab work will also be done. 
  • Your Case Manager will coordinate all of these appointments for payment from your escrow account. This includes travel and submitting appropriate requests. 
  • At the end of this stage, your clinic will issue a medical clearance letter, and we are cleared to move on to contracts.
Legal
  • Draft and Review Contracts
  • Legal Clearance

Your attorney will draft your surrogacy contract and review it with you. Then they will forward it to your surrogate and her own attorney for their review. 

During the matching phase, we will have created what we call “contract points”. This will help guide both attorneys during the drafting and signing of contracts and is our way of helping make the legal phase run as smoothly as possible. 

Once contracts are completed and all parties review and sign them,  your attorney will issue legal clearance.

Months 6-7
The IVF Cycle
  • Surrogate Medical Calendar

  • Embryo Transfer

  • Positive Beta

  • Pregnancy

    Now that you have legal clearance and your team of experts is in place, it’s time to focus on the on the fun part – creating your baby! At this point you will already have your embryos ready for transfer, so your clinic will issue a medical calendar for your Surrogate with the medication start date, monitoring appointments and transfer date.Finally, it is time for the Embryo Transfer. This is a very important milestone, and some Intended Parents like to attend it in person if they can.

    After the transfer, your Surrogate returns home and she will go to a local clinic for her beta tests and confirmation of heartbeat. YAY! You’re pregnant!

     

Months 8-15
Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy monitoring appointments
  • Birth Plan
  • Parental Rights/Birth Order
  • The birth 

Now that you are pregnant, for the first 9-12 weeks –

  1. Your surrogate remains under the care of your Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE).  
  2. She is released to her Obstetrician (OB) with monthly visits, ultrasounds, tests – like every other pregnancy. 
  3. We encourage surrogates to share belly pictures, their cravings, and their good and not-so-good days.
  4. You experience it all alongside her while developing your relationship and bond. 
  5. Of all the monitoring appointments, the 20-week ultrasound is a very in-depth one, and many IPs do try to come to this if they can’t make it for other appointments – but for some, it’s not an option and that’s okay.
Around 22 Weeks
  1. We assist with creating the birth plan.
  2. We set you up with a hospital tour. 
  3. Your attorney will assist with establishing parental rights. This way your name goes on the birth certificate. 

Before you know it, it will be time to go to the hospital for your baby’s arrival. 

Congratulations, your baby is here!

Months 16-22
Beyond the birth
  • Post-birth Support for Your GS
  • Travel Documents
  • Paying Bills and Closing Escrow

While your surrogate’s big job is done, ours is not. 

  • She will still need to attend some post-birth doctor appointments.
  • There will be bills to be paid from your escrow.
  • International Intended Parents may need assistance getting their baby home with them.
  • Your Surrogate might be pumping breast milk for you.

We stay with you for as long as you need us. 

Six months post-birth, your escrow account will be closed and that is usually the end of your journey with us…unless you want to start working on your sibling journey! ☺

Months 1-2
Consultation and Agency Paperwork/Sign up
  • Sign up/have a complimentary consultation
  • Sign Agency Agreement
  • Complete Intended Parent Profile
  • Pay first Agency fee
  • Select your IVF Clinic/Reproductive Endocrinologist
  • Select an Egg Donor (if needed)

Already have a surrogacy clinic? You can skip to the next section.

Need a clinic? We are happy to recommend the ones with the best success rates. Just ask us.  

Need an Egg Donor? This is the right time to get started on the search -- don’t worry, we can guide you through it as well. 

Using your own eggs? Now is the time to create your embryos (if you haven’t done so already).

Congratulations! You’re all set and ready to get matched with your Surrogate! 

Months 3-5
Match With Your Perfect Surrogate
  • Find your True Match™
  • Case Manager assigned
  • Meet your Surrogate 

This is where our years of expertise and talent shine! Your True Match™ Surrogate will be someone who –

  • Has already had at least one child
  • Has passed a background check
  • Is a great communicator 
  • Lives in a surro-friendly state
  • Will meet all of our other agencies & your clinic’s requirements

We will exchange profiles between you and your Surrogate and if you like each other your Case Manager is assigned. 

Here is what your Case Manager does next — 

  1. Advocate – they are your point person, cheerleader, and support for both you and your Surrogate throughout your journey. 
  2. Guide – they will lead you through every step of the process.  
  3. Call – they will help to set up a video call, which we host
  4. Inform – you get to meet and talk with your surrogate and learn more about each other. 
  5. Share – during this call we will help you to share expectations –
    1. communication preferences
    2. lifestyles
    3. who is going to be in the delivery room
    4. get to know a bit more about each other. 

If all goes well during the video call, and it usually does, we’ll make the match official! 

Now it’s time to get pregnant! 

Building Your Team 

  • Surrogacy Escrow Company
  • Attorney
  • Insurance Specialist

We know you wanted to be pregnant yesterday, but we need to build your A-Team before that. 

This journey takes a village of experts, including a surrogacy escrow company, the legal teams for both you and your Surrogate, and the surrogacy Insurance Specialist. We want to make sure you’re in the best hands – so expect your Case Manager to make all the referrals you might need and get you set up with the top specialists specific to your journey.

Initial Screenings 

  • Psychological Evaluation
  • Medical Evaluation
  • Medical Clearance

Once matched

  • Your Case Manager oversees having your Surrogate psychologically screened by a mental health professional specialized in evaluating your Surrogate’s mental capabilities and preparedness to do this very special job.  
  • Your surrogate will have an in-person evaluation with your RE, where lab work will also be done. 
  • Your Case Manager will coordinate all of these appointments for payment from your escrow account. This includes travel and submitting appropriate requests. 
  • At the end of this stage, your clinic will issue a medical clearance letter, and we are cleared to move onto contracts.

Legal

  • Draft and Review Contracts
  • Legal Clearance

Your attorney will draft your surrogacy contract and review it with you. Then they will forward it to your surrogate and her own attorney for their review. 

During the matching phase, we will have created what we call “contract points”. This will help guide both attorneys during the drafting and signing of contracts and is our way of helping make the legal phase run as smoothly as possible. 

They will sign the contracts, and the attorneys will clear any legal issues once everyone agrees.

Months 6-7
The IVF Cycle
  • Surrogate Medical Calendar
  • Embryo Transfer
  • Positive Beta
  • Pregnancy 

Now that you have legal clearance and your team of experts is in place, it’s time to focus on the fun part – creating your baby! 

At this point – 

  • You will already have your embryos ready for transfer.
  • Your clinic will issue a medical calendar for your Surrogate with the medication start date, monitoring appointments, and transfer date. 

Finally, it is time for the Embryo Transfer. This is a very important milestone, and some Intended Parents like to attend it in person if they can. 

After the transfer, your Surrogate returns home and she will go to a local clinic for her beta tests and confirmation of heartbeat. YAY! You’re pregnant! 

Months 8-15
Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy monitoring appointments
  • Birth Plan
  • Parental Rights/Birth Order
  • The birth 

Now that you are pregnant, for the first 9-12 weeks –

  1. Your surrogate remains under the care of your Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE).  
  2. She is released to her Obstetrician (OB) with monthly visits, ultrasounds, tests – like every other pregnancy. 
  3. We encourage surrogates to share belly pictures, their cravings, and their good and not-so-good days.
  4. You experience it all alongside her while developing your relationship and bond. 
  5. Of all the monitoring appointments, the 20-week ultrasound is a very in-depth one, and many IPs do try to come to this if they can’t make it for other appointments – but for some, it’s not an option and that’s okay.
Months 8-15
Pregnancy

Around 22 weeks –

  1. We assist with creating the birth plan.
  2. We set you up with a hospital tour. 
  3. Your attorney will assist with establishing parental rights. This way your name goes on the birth certificate. 

Before you know it, it will be time to go to the hospital for your baby’s arrival. 

Congratulations, your baby is here!

Months 16-22
Beyond the birth
  • Post-birth Support for Your GS
  • Travel Documents
  • Paying Bills and Closing Escrow

While your surrogate’s big job is done, ours is not. 

  • She will still need to attend some post-birth doctor appointments.
  • There will be bills to be paid from your escrow.
  • International Intended Parents may need assistance getting their baby home with them.
  • Your Surrogate might be pumping breast milk for you.

We stay with you for as long as you need us. 

Six months post-birth, your escrow account will be closed and that is usually the end of your journey with us…unless you want to start working on your sibling journey! ☺

Our Two Matching Programs

We know that this journey can also be a financial challenge for some, and we believe that part of our role is to help contain and control costs wherever possible without cutting corners. One way we do this is that we have two unique programs available to you to help fit with your specific needs: The Limited Match Program and The Unlimited Match Program.

Very much like their names, one gives you the opportunity to switch surrogates an unlimited number of times without reason and no additional agency fees, and the other program requires a recommendation from your doctor to switch surrogates and that is the only way you will not incur additional agency fees for a rematch.

Health Insurance

The insurance industry for Intended Parents living outside of the US can be very confusing (it also can be if you live in the US!). Two types of insurance need to be considered for domestic Intended Parents, (three if you are an International Intended Parent).

Insurance For Your Surrogate

All Surrogates need medical insurance for expenses incurred while pregnant with your baby and for them when they give birth. Sometimes Surrogates have their own insurance in place, that does not exclude a surrogacy pregnancy, and sometimes, a Surrogacy Insurance Specialist needs to enroll them in a policy that covers a surrogacy pregnancy.

Intended Parents will be responsible for all medical costs related to the pregnancy that are not covered by insurance: monthly premiums, co-pays, deductibles, insurance review, monitoring, etc.

It is important to remember that most insurance policies do not usually include any coverage for IVF costs. Intended Parents should check with their own insurance company to see if there is any fertility coverage, since it is possible some of your IVF or Egg Donor costs, or medications and testing may be covered.

Egg Donor Insurance
Newborn Insurance