Surrogacy is quickly gaining popularity for intended parents that dream of starting or growing their family. Advances in technology and a more accepting society have made it easier than ever to become a parent through gestational surrogacy.
Although there is more awareness, the actual journey from beginning to end can still be a bit unclear. We aim to give all intended parents who are considering surrogacy clarity and peace of mind, so we’re breaking down exactly how the process works. Keep reading for your step by step guide to surrogacy!
Determine Your Desires & Preferences for Your Surrogacy Journey
Building your dream family is an incredibly exciting and special experience. As an intended parent, you need to decide what your desires are. If you have a partner, you’ll both need to be on the same page. Either way, whether you intend to pursue surrogacy as an individual or with a partner, we recommend processing these decisions with an experienced counselor or therapist. Determine what’s important to you during this experience, what you would like in a gestational surrogate and the type of relationship you would like to have with her.
A few things to consider are your:
You want to make the most of your experience so tailor it to your specific wants and needs.
Make A Strategic Plan for Your Surrogacy
As an intended parent you want to be as prepared as possible for this journey. There are many pieces to consider, and you don’t want to be dealing with unexpected issues as you welcome your new baby into the world.
We suggest making a detailed and strategic plan for you to follow that includes all of your preferences, financial considerations, medical and legal team, and birth plan. If there is something you think might be important later on, put it in your plan! It’s better to be over prepared than underprepared when it comes to surrogacy. Having the right professionals in your corner is crucial and can make a huge difference in how smoothly your surrogacy journey goes!
Surrogacy Roadmap walks you through everything you need to consider when making your surrogacy plan so the process will be as enjoyable as possible.
Find Your Match
Finding the best-for-you match is the most crucial step in this process. Emphasis should be on finding the most compatible gestational surrogate for your own situation, whether she is previously unknown to you or is a family member or friend.
Although you may be eager to find a gestational surrogate, don’t ignore warning signs or be afraid to ask difficult questions. You need to get to know the woman that will be responsible for carrying your child and bringing them into the world.
If you think you may have found a match, read these tips on how to make the most of the first meeting with your potential surrogate before you set up the call.
Undergo Medical Screenings
Once you have your plan in place and you’ve found your perfect gestational surrogate, then you are ready to move onto the next step: you and your surrogate’s medical screenings.
Before an embryo transfer can take place, you and your gestational surrogate, along with any partners, need to ensure you’re healthy and ready for the process, both physically and mentally. A series of tests and consultations will be done with your Physician, Nurse Coordinator, and Mental Health Provider who will give the go-ahead to keep the process moving along.
Complete the Legal Contracts for Surrogacy
The legal requirements are one of the most overwhelming aspects of parenthood via surrogacy. If you’re working with a surrogacy agency, then the legal contracts will be handled for you. But if you’ve chosen to go the independent route, you’ll need to choose an experienced attorney.
The Gestational Surrogacy Agreement/Contract (GSA) is there to protect both parties involved as well as the child’s best interest. It is imperative that an attorney knowledgeable in reproductive law draft the GSA so that all requirements are met and you can minimize legal headaches later on. You also need an attorney to draft the pre or post-birth order to establish you as the legal parent, rather than the birth mother/gestational carrier.
Prepare for Transfer, Pregnancy, and Delivery
This is where the experience really starts to get exciting! Your dream of growing your family is starting to become a reality.
With the help of the fertility clinic, an embryo will be transferred to your gestational surrogate. Upon a successful implantation, your surrogate will become pregnant and be monitored for certain milestones to ensure that both her and the baby are healthy and safe.
Then the moment you’ve been waiting for – your baby’s arrival! Pregnancy and delivery are mentally and physically exhausting, and you should be sensitive to what your gestational surrogate is going through. A mutually agreed upon birth plan should be discussed prior to entering a GSA to be sure everyone involved is on the same page and all voices are heard.
Deciding to become a parent via surrogacy is a thrilling experience. Your dreams of building your family are coming to life. Although this is a joyous occasion, it should not be taken lightly. There are many things to consider and the medical and legal requirements are serious.
For an exact guide on how to navigate the surrogacy process, visit Surrogacy Roadmap. It is the framework we use at our own agency so you can get expert guidance for a fraction of the price and be one step closer to bringing home your sweet baby!