Egg donation is currently a major force in the assisted reproduction process. Women donate their healthy eggs to aid other individuals in their journey to starting a family. That said, both intended parents and egg donors work with an agency…Lern more →
A Guide for Intended Parents: 7 Early Questions About the Surrogacy Process
Hopeful parents choose surrogacy for a broad assortment of reasons. For every parent, the path to this decision is deeply personal, one of the main reasons why surrogacy agencies are there to guide the journey. Agencies work one-on-one with intended parents experiencing fertility issues, families in the LGBTQ community, single men and women seeking children of their own and those in countless varying circumstances. No matter why people choose surrogacy, they all long to welcome a child of their own.
Though the popularity around surrogacy is growing, there are still plenty of questions and misperceptions around the surrogacy process. For example, how do intended parents apply for surrogacy options? Are there specific qualifications? Many also wonder how intended parents are matched with egg donors and surrogate mothers.
Removing the mystery around surrogacy is a top priority of an agency. In the end, surrogacy is a highly organized process to help intended parents grow their family with the help of a community. Check out some of the commonly asked questions for parents just beginning the research process.
How do I apply to be an intended parent?
At the start of the intended parent application process, you’ll meet with your surrogacy agency for an open discussion and consultation. Bring up any questions or confusions around the experience you’ve always wanted to know. Afterward, you’ll complete an intended parent application form with your information, go through a standard background check and undergo a psychological consultation with one of our associate psychologists.
Once the application information is confirmed, parents build a profile to become matched with the ideal surrogate mother. If you’re also seeking egg donation, you can also peruse the online egg donation database.
How am I matched with a surrogate mother?
Many surrogate mothers reach out to agencies once they feel a calling to help a family grow. Every surrogate mother is between the ages of 21 and 40 and has already had a healthy child of their own. In order to qualify, they must also have a strong emotional support system in their lives an undergo even more extensive background, psychological and medical consultations. If you’re curious about how surrogate mothers make their decision, explore online blogs and forums created by the tight-knit community of gestational surrogate mothers.
At Simple Surrogacy, surrogate mothers are just as big a part of the process as parents. They are legally supported, highly compensated for their time, travel and generosity and participate in the matching process. They are the first ones to review a profile of the Intended Parent, so that when they select a profile they would like to match with, then you are shown their profile. This ensures that the surrogate is already invested in carrying your child for you when you see her profile.
Once you’ve found a match, a conference call and meeting are arranged and the medical screening process begins.
Where do the agency fees go?
When you work with a surrogate agency, you often have the option to choose select services or comprehensive care. Most Intended Parents who are entering their first surrogacy journey choose a Full Service approach, ensuring all of their needs are met, from medical and psychological screening, Insurance verification, the matching and surrogate screening process to the arranging legal contracts with an associate lawyer. Full service also covers the 24/7 coordination and support of the Intended Parent and surrogate to ensure a smooth coordination process, clinical coordination for an easy and smooth IVF cycle and pregnancy, and coordination and disbursement of the escrow funds. Full service coordination also manages the surrogate’s insurance and the hospital legal arrangements on the big day, as well as post-birth bill payment, passport and birth certificate coordination.
Will I meet with a lawyer?
Your surrogacy agency supports you through the legal process by connecting with trusted associate surrogate lawyers familiar with the process in each individual state. Once you’ve matched with a surrogate mother and the journey goes forward, both you and the surrogate mother will consult separately with their own attorney during the drafting process. Lawyers will also outline financial agreements as well as specifics around health changes throughout the pregnancy—such as the case of multiple babies.
The Lawyers will also draft the validation or termination paperwork which finalized the gestational agreement. In most states where surrogacy is legal, there is no adoption process. Rather, a Pre-Birth order is validated by a judge, resulting in the Intended Parents’ names going directly on the original birth certificate.
Is the surrogacy process different for gay and lesbian couples?
The surrogacy process for gay and lesbian families is very similar to the experience for straight couples. Intended parents go through the same matching methods and consultations, eventually finding a surrogate mother and in certain cases, egg donors, for their baby. The major difference for same-sex couples is choosing who will be genetically related to the child, or in deciding to try for both of you to have a genetic link to one child in a set of twins.
States throughout the US do have varying laws around LGBTQ families going the surrogacy route. While some gay and lesbian couples are given the exact same rights as every parent—receiving a pre-birth order during the pregnancy with both names on the birth certificate—other states add specific stipulations. On the other side of things, states like New York, Louisiana and Michigan do not allow surrogacy contracts across the board.
As a Texas agency, Simple surrogacy recognizes and supports all couples and individuals seeking to become parents. Texas supports gestational surrogacy and all married intended parents or single intended parents will get a Pre-Birth order, resulting in their names on the original birth certificate whether they use their own or donated genetic material.
Will I get to know my surrogate mother?
Yes, as she is a crucial point in your journey. Simple Surrogacy requires that you remain in touch with your surrogate on a regular basis. Just exactly how much contact each of you desires is discussed in your profile and during the matching process, and should be maintained throughiout the journey. Having an involved Intended Parent helps the surrogate to envision the child or children she is carrying as part of your family, and will help her with the emotions after the delivery. The amount that intended parents and surrogate mothers stay in touch after the delivery varies from person to person. It really comes down to both party’s comfort level—but it’s important to be on the same page from the beginning.
Parents most likely meet with their surrogates at a minimum of three times throughout the process. As mentioned earlier, a conference call and meeting happen as part of the matching process. Most Intended Parents meet in person with their surrogate during their mutual screenings at the clinic. Afterward, you’ll visit your surrogate mother at the 20-week ultrasound to find out the gender of the baby. And of course, you’ll travel to the hospital when your baby is born. Additional communication is outlined in the retainer agreement and matching process beforehand to avoid any confusion.
What can I expect during the pregnancy and birth process?
Once the medical process begins, both the egg donor or intended mother—and the surrogate mother begin the IVF process. Their cycles are synchronized, and eggs are retrieved and fertilized. If the IVF procedure is successful, then the pregnancy will continue as a normal pregnancy, with the Parents attending or skyping into medical appointments and sharing in the journey.
On the day of the birth—depending on whether it is scheduled or occurs naturally—you’ll be notified as soon as labor begins so you can be sure to make it in time for the delivery. Your presence in the delivery room is determined by the surrogate mother, but you can wait in an adjacent room during labor if she is not comfortable with you being right there. Once the baby is born and the doctors have evaluated the baby for strong health, you’ll be able to hold your new child for the first time. Pre-birth orders state you as the parent as soon as the baby has been born.
Gestational surrogacy may seem like a complex process at first glance. It brings up a lot of questions that are worth addressing before deciding if this path is right for you and your family. Surrogacy agencies simplify the arrangement and handle all of the many moving pieces, ensuring that each intended parent can focus on the celebration and happy anticipation of a new child.
Starting the surrogacy process begins with a simple conversation. There’s no obligation to make decisions before feeling completely at ease. Speak with our team at Simple Surrogacy today by filling out the form online https://simplesur.wordkeeper.net/intended-parents/register/
or giving us a call 1-866-41-SURRO or local at 214-673-9321 and ask to speak with our Executive Program Director, Stephanie Scott. We look forward to speaking with you!
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