How to Get Started as a Surrogate
These pages are directed toward providing information to women considering serving as a surrogate mother for others in need. Our Centers are very different from many other providers of surrogacy services. We are a full time, private medical practice specializing in surrogacy and infertility exclusively. We provide help to patients that need surrogate mothers to assist them in achieving their goal of a healthy pregnancy. The help we provide includes the provision of the most up to date, modern fertility treatment available as well as assuring that every couple that needs a surrogate mother will have affordable access to highly qualified and well motivated surrogates. In addition, our entire staff is dedicated to assuring that the experience for the surrogate will be a joyous and rewarding one. The health and well being of all involved has always been our prime motivation as we lend our expertise and assistance to the miracle of surrogate pregnancy.
We are pleased that you, as a potential surrogate, have taken the time to explore the Internet for the valuable information concerning surrogacy that is now available on-line. We would suggest that you take the time to read not only our surrogate-specific pages in this section, but explore the remainder of our Web site. You will find our various web sections filled with information and links to valuable sites concerning surrogacy.
The Five Steps to Surrogate Motherhood
- Contacting the Fertility Institutes to convey your interest in become a surrogate mother is the first step in what we hope will lead to an exciting and rewarding adventure for surrogates. When you call or send us an Email, you will speak to or hear back from a trained and experienced nurse coordinator in our program. The nurse will be happy to explain the details of our program to you and inquire into your past pregnancy and health history to determine if you might qualify for program participation. If you are a suitable potential candidate, arrangements will be made for you to receive detailed information about the program and participation in it, and to provide us with a detailed health, pregnancy and social history that will be evaluated by the surrogacy team.
- Following completion of Step 1, arrangements will be made for you to undergo a physical and psychological evaluation to assure that becoming pregnant on behalf of a couple poses no physical or emotional threat to you or the pregnancy. Your spouse or partner, if applicable, may be asked to provide a blood sample that will be tested along with your own to assure that results on both are acceptable for program participation. Further details concerning our program will be presented to you at this time as we begin to prepare for your formal acceptance into the program.
- Following your initial acceptance into the program, the nurse coordinators will suggest to you couples that are in need of a surrogate whose situations seem compatible with your own desires. Unlike agencies, the couples in need of a surrogate in our program are active patients in our private medical practice. They are known to us and have been evaluated and scrutinized for their ability to deal with both a surroagte pregnancy and a surrogate. The nurses will speak to you about the medical and social situations of the couples in general to assist you in understanding why your assistance is needed. In most instances, potential surrogates become rapidly willing to meet with a couple after learning more about their situations. Where geographical concerns arise, couples and surrogates that may live in the same part of the country are ofetn found to make excellent matches. You will be given a prescription for prenatal vitamins at this time, and will be asked to begin taking the vitamins daily.
- A meeting will be arranged between you and the potential couple. Just as you will have been informed about the couple, they will have been provided some general information about you. The initial meeting is an informal “meet and get to know you” encounter. It generally takes place in one of our offices. If things go well (they almost always do), you will be asked to call us the next day to advise us of your willingness to participate in a surrogacy arrangement with the couple. The potential couple will similarly be asked to call us the next day to advise us of their willingness to begin.
- Once an agreement in principal has beeen reached between the couple and the surrogate, the legal requirements related to the surrogacy arrangement will be drafted into a surrogacy contract by an attorney representing the couple. You will be contacted by the attorney as the contract is drafted so that your specific needs related to the arrangement can be taken into account. When the preliminary draft is ready for you to review, you will be given a copy of the contract. You will be asked to select an attorney of your choosing so that this attorney may assist you in reading and understanding the contract. Your attorney will be able to answer any questions you may have, and clarify any points about which you may remain unclear. You will be provided a fixed dollar amount to cover the costs of this attorney. Once all parties are happy with the deatils of the arrangement, signatures will be obtained and the medical portion of the cycle may begin.
Medical Eligibility to Become a Surrogate
Potential surrogates in our program are screened to assure they are medically, physically, sociologically and psychologically fit for surrogacy. A successful surrogate candidate will be over the age of 18, and will have delivered at least one infant, at term (9 months), and without major complication. Surrogates must be non-smokers, and must live in smoke free households. The surrogate must have no history of serious or ongong medical conditions. The ability to attend medical office appointments during the treatment cycle and pregnancy must be assured. Surrogates must be financially secure. Surrogacy should not be looked at as a primary source of income or support. Partners of surrogates must be similarly suited for the proposed procedure.
Medications and Procedures
A variety of medications and procedures are utilized to assure our ongoing high gestational surrogate pregnancy success rates. Details of traditional surrogate cycle management are found elsewhere on this site. In gestational surrogacy, menstrual cycles or hormonal status of the mother and the surrogate are ascertained and the cycles of the two women are “synchronized” employing short acting drugs that allow for temporary control of the cycle to be managed by the physician. In most instances, this synchronization will be obtained within one to three weeks of a cycle start. Once control over the cycles has been obtained, the uterus of the surrogate will be programmed to follow the progress of the mother’s egg production so that the resulitng embryos can be successfully transfered to the womb of the properly timed and receptive surrogate.