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The Surrogacy Process [7 Steps]

Whether you’re new to the idea of surrogacy as a way to grow your family or you’ve had your heart set on it, there’s a lot to learn about the surrogacy process.

You might be wondering, “How does the surrogacy process work?”

Surrogacy is a beautiful journey with a lot of twists and turns, so it’s important that you have a good understanding of what it means to begin the surrogacy process as intended parents.

There’s a lot to think about, so it’s important that you take the time to do your own research about the process.

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To help give you a better idea of what to expect from the surrogacy process, we’ve broken this article down into a seven-step process.

Step 1. Reach Out to a Surrogacy Agency

If you’re considering surrogacy, the first step you’ll need to take is reaching out to a surrogacy agency. Your surrogacy specialist will be by your side every step of the way to provide practical and emotional support.

At this stage in the surrogacy process, you will likely be asked to fill out a surrogacy planning questionnaire that will ask you to go into detail about your surrogacy goals and what you’re looking for in a potential surrogate.

The questions in the questionnaire are designed to help your specialist create a surrogacy plan tailored to everyone involved.

Surrogacy Planning Questionnaire Questions

  • Will you need a sperm or egg donor?
  • What is your budget?
  • What are your contact preferences with the surrogate during and after the pregnancy?
  • Do you have any location preferences?
  • Do you have any past experiences with surrogacy or adoption?
  • And more

Your answers to these questions will help your surrogacy specialist find your ideal match.

Step 2. Complete the Screening Process

Prospective intended parents and surrogates are required to go through a screening process. This process is to ensure that everyone is physically, emotionally and financially prepared for the surrogacy process.

The screening process you will go through as an intended parent is similar to that of the surrogate screening process. You will be asked to:

  • Explain why you’re choosing surrogacy
  • Undergo state and federal background checks
  • Provide medical records
  • Have an in-home visit
  • And more

For the in-home visit, a surrogacy specialist will visit your home and make sure that your baby will have a safe and healthy home environment.

Your specialist will also ask you a series of interview questions about your day-to-day life and how you feel about surrogacy.

Step 3. Find a Surrogate

This is an exciting part of the surrogacy process!  Many surrogacy agencies, including American Surrogacy, have had years of experience matching intended parents with surrogates who share their surrogacy goals.

Your surrogacy specialist will help you create an intended parent profile that will include pictures, information about your family and home, and a letter to potential surrogates about your surrogacy goals.

Your surrogacy specialist will help narrow down prospective surrogate candidates and show them your profile.

If a surrogate you’re interested in reciprocates your interest, your surrogacy specialist will arrange a conference call where you will be able to get to know each other and ask questions. Your surrogacy specialist will be there to mediate.

If you’re ready to move forward to the next step in the surrogacy process, your specialist will officially match you and the surrogate, have you sign the appropriate paperwork and help you prepare for the legal process.

Step 4. Begin the Legal Process

While this isn’t one of the most fun steps of the surrogacy process, it is a very important one. You and your surrogate will both have separate surrogacy attorneys to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the surrogacy process and that you understand the legal jargon. 

Your attorney will draw up a legal contract that outlines the expectations, responsibilities and roles of both parties.

Once you’ve completed this step, you can move on to one of the most exciting steps of the surrogacy process!

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Step 5. Complete the Embryo Transfer

At this step, you will begin working with a fertility clinic for the medical process. Your surrogacy specialist will be able to help you find a fertility clinic that you feel will be a good fit for you and the surrogate.

Through the IVF process, an embryo is created from the genetic material of the intended parents or by utilizing a sperm or egg donor.

Once an embryo has been formed, it is transferred to the surrogate’s uterus. The surrogate will never be genetically related to the surrogate with gestational surrogacy.

The fertility clinic will make appropriate arrangements with your chosen egg or sperm donor. If they use the intended mother’s eggs, they will put her on a regiment of fertility drugs to ensure there are multiple viable eggs.

The surrogate will also be given fertility drugs to make sure that she is ready to carry a child. When the pregnancy has been confirmed, the surrogate will begin receiving compensation on a monthly basis.

During this part of the surrogacy process, the best thing you can do as intended parents is make sure she feels supported.

Step 6. Create the Pre-Birth Order

After the first trimester, your attorney will begin drafting a document known as the pre-birth order. This document will be the final legal step in the surrogacy process.

This paperwork establishes the intended parents as the legal parents of the child so that the hospital staff will know to include your name on the birth certificate.

This is a very important legal step, as it establishes your legal parentage, and allows you to take your baby home from the hospital.

The type of pre-birth order you will complete will depend on your state, but your attorney will make sure all the proper channels have been gone through.

Step 7. Bring Your Baby Home

This will be one of the most memorable days of your life! This is the day your baby is born. All of the hospital arrangements will be handled ahead of time by you, your surrogate and your surrogacy specialists.

When the baby is ready to be discharged, you’ll be able to bring them home.

You and your surrogate will be forever bonded by this beautiful journey, and you will have the option to stay in contact with her based on the arrangements you made earlier on in the surrogacy process.

If you want to learn more about the surrogacy process or begin the surrogacy process today, you can reach out to a surrogacy specialist to get the information you need.

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