I loved being a surrogate! That is probably why my husband and I decided to do a second (and final) surrogacy!
This is a legacy! We are helping another family have a child, and that is such a great thing!
I must get asked questions about surrogacy every single week, so I figured I would do a more detailed post on what the surrogacy process looks like.
When you begin to work with a surrogacy center, they will have a list of qualifications. If you do not meet this list, you will not even move forward. Below are some of the qualifications. Please note that each surrogacy center might have different qualifications.
- Be a citizen or legal resident
- Between the ages of 21-40
- Have given birth to a child of your own
- Have had uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries
- Be height/weight proportionate (BMI under 33)
- Have a valid drivers license
- Experiences a full-term pregnancy and delivery
- Be in a stable living situatino
- Have the support of your spouse or partner (when applicable)
- Be willing to adhere to all contractual pbligations
- Not be on public assistance
- Pass a background check
- Be willing to take medications
- Not smoke or take illegal drugs
Apply to Become a Surrogate
The application process is pretty straight forward. You will apply to become a surrogate and fill out a profile form. You will then review your application with a surrogacy coordinator that is assigned to you.
You will then need to sign HIPPA forms to request and release all medical records for review. Then you will need to complete a background check and psychological evaluation.
This is the FUN part! As a surrogate, you get to review profiles of prospective intended parents first. You are sent their profile which is 14-20 pages long. This profile tells you everything you could possibly know about the person or couple.
It goes into why they are choosing to do surrogacy, their background, what they do, genetic history, etc.
When you pick a profile, your profile is then sent over to the person/s that you picked. If they like your profile, then a match call is setup.
Think of this like an awkward first date – via Skype/Zoom. It’s where you chat about your “why’s” and see if you’d be a good fit. So far Dustin and I are batting a thousand! We’ve had two match calls and have been matched with both ones immediately!
Medical Screening & Getting to Know You
Once you are matched, you begin the getting to know you stage. With both intended parents, we started a group chat. This gives us a way to stay involved, and also include my husband. I wouldn’t be doing this without him, so it’s important that he is a part of the group chat.
We also try to FaceTime or phone call every week or two.
We hit it off immediately with Benjamin’s parents, and are in the same boat with this second surrogacy. Quickly became friends, which is amazing!
The medical screening will take place at the fertility clinic of the intended parent/s choosing. With Benjamin it was local to me in the DFW area. With this second round, we will be going to Connecticut.
All expenses are paid for me and my husband to travel there, plus meal allowance, lost wages, bag fees, etc.
Nothing is official until transfer day. At any point either party can back out, even after the contract is signed.
There is so much hurry up and wait in this process. Hurry up and do this…oh sorry, now you have to wait 4 weeks. LOL
Once screening is completed and we are medically cleared by the fertility doctor, we proceed with legal. This can take 4-8 weeks. Once we get a draft of the contract, we will review with our lawyer, and the intended parent/s with theirs.
The agreement then needs to be signed and notarized.
The clearance to schedule the transfer day can only happen after the contract is signed. Then in Texas, fourteen days must pass after the agreement signing before I can begin cycle medication.
I will receive a calendar from the clinic and tracking for all of my medication. With Benjamin, I was on meds one month prior to transfer day and 12 weeks post-transfer day.
The medications are what will get my body thinking it is pregnant, until my body kicks in and takes over.
Once transfer day is set, I will go to the fertility clinic for transfer. This is an easy procedure and takes a few seconds to complete. There will also be an ultrasound machine up to where you can see the embryos swimming along. lol.
The embryo that was transferred before (Benjamin) was 2 weeks 5 days fertilized. So as of the transfer day, I was 2 weeks 5 days pregnant. I could begin taking pregnancy tests within 5 days.
I will then have blood work done 2 weeks post-transfer, and then possibly once more.
Once there is a confirmed heartbeat, compensation payments for surrogacy begins.
I will be a patient of the fertility clinic until released to my OB-GYN, which is typically through the first tri-mester.
At around 22 weeks pregnant, we will have a second set of legal documents that are required. This is the pre-birth order. This paperwork needs to be signed by all parties, me, my husband and the intended parent/s. This paperwork lets everyone know (doctors, hospital, etc.) that this baby is not mine or Dustin’s. Our name is to be nowhere on the paperwork, and everything is under the intended parent/s.
Similar to choosing my own OBGYN, I can choose the method of delivery – hospital, midwife, etc.
With Benjamin, he and his parents had their own hospital room, and I had my own room. Minus having an emergency c-section, it was like a mini vacation since I did not have a newborn in my room with me.
The Baby is Born. Now What?
With Benjamin, we are in his entire families group chat, so we are informed of how he is doing almost daily! It’s been so amazing seeing him grow up and be loved by so many! I expect him to almost be like a nephew. I never want to lose touch with him and his parents. We became such good friends throughout this process, and are so happy to have been able to help them make their dreams come true with having a child!