When you think about surrogacy, many questions arise. How to become a surrogate mother? How long is the process? and What does the procedure involve? Here you will find information to help you make the right decision depending on your circumstances.
By becoming a surrogate, you can help someone to achieve their dream of being a parent. If you want to give the surrogacy gift to a lucky individual or couple, we can help you during the process. Apply now!
Surrogate mother process
A surrogate mother is a woman who carries a baby for an individual or couple (intended parents) unable to conceive a baby on their own for different reasons.
There are two types of surrogacy: traditional and gestational surrogacy.
A gestational surrogate or gestational carrier does not use her eggs and is not biologically related to the baby or babies she carries and delivers.
A traditional surrogate uses her eggs and is artificially inseminated using donated sperm of sperm from the intended father. Therefore, the mother has a genetic relationship with the baby she carries and delivers.
At First Step Surrogacy, we only focus on gestational surrogacy.
What is the surrogacy process?
Generally, this process involves seven steps: pre-screening, consultation, matching, medical screening, legal process, medical procedure, and pregnancy.
Pre-screening: First, you fill out an application. If your application is selected, you pass through pre-screening tests such as medical and background checks.
Consultation: You will have a reunion in person, via video, or by call, depending on your case, with a social worker or case manager who will offer a complete surrogacy consultation.
Matching: Your profile gets matched with the intended parents. Once we identify a good match, your profiles can be exchanged, and you can have a video call to determine if you are willing to partner.
Medical Screening: You have a medical screening appointment at the in vitro fertilization clinic (IVF) to check your health.
Legal process: You have negotiations with your lawyer, who does the legal contracts and paperwork, according to your agreement with the intended parents.
Medical procedure: You will begin receiving surrogate medications and attend doctor appointments to monitor if your body responds well to the treatment. Once your body is ready, you will have the embryo transfer. After the specialist transfers the embryo, if everything goes well, it gets implanted and results in a successful pregnancy.
Pregnancy: You will have some pregnancy tests to confirm you are pregnant. After that, you will have an ultrasound and routine doctor appointments to ensure you and the baby are healthy.
How does surrogate mother get pregnant?
You will begin the preparations for the embryo transfer procedure at the IVF center the intended parents have selected. If the intended parent(s) needed an egg donor, they would have matched, finalized the legal agreements, and finished the medical examinations for the donor. Your reproductive endocrinologist will provide you with a cycle calendar showing the day of embryo transfer and a more thorough physical examination.
The overall medical procedure for surrogacy will be like the following:
Getting ready to transfer the embryo
You will receive estrogen patches to help thicken the lining of your uterus, along with self-administered hormones to prepare your body for pregnancy. Whether your intended parents are using fresh or frozen embryos will affect the time and procedure of the transfer. The transfer will be carried out following your cycle if frozen embryos are used.
With a fresh cycle, your intended mother or the chosen egg donor will make the embryos to be transferred. First, your intended mother (or the egg donor) will be given birth control. Then to synchronize your cycles, you and your intended mother (or the egg donor) will be given Lupron injections which suppress hormone production, helping create more balanced hormone levels and providing the physician more control over both cycles. This also ensures that your uterus will be ready to receive the embryos at precisely the right time.
Following Lupron, your intended mother (or the egg donor) will begin taking fertility hormones (FSH) which stimulate the ovaries to produce several eggs.
Once ready, your intended mother (or the egg donor) will be given an HCG shot to prepare the egg(s) for retrieval 36 hours later. On the day of retrieval, you will begin your hormone shots to prep the lining of the uterus and continue on hormones through the 12th week of the pregnancy.
Transferring the embryo
One or two embryos will be drawn into a small, flexible catheter per the terms of your contract with your intended parent. They will be put into your uterus using an abdominal ultrasound to ensure precise implantation. Transferring the embryo will take about 30 minutes. Usually, the transfer goes well and quickly.
As this is a beautiful stage in expanding their family, your intended parent(s) might be there to offer support.
Around nine days after the embryo transfer, you will have your first pregnancy test via a blood test. If you are pregnant, you will receive monitoring to ensure your HCG levels continue to rise and that the pregnancy remains viable. Around week 5 or 6 of the pregnancy, you will have an ultrasound to check if a heartbeat is detected. If we hear the heartbeat, you can officially be considered pregnant.
Families looking for surrogate mother
As a surrogate mother, you can help intended parents from diverse ethnicities, backgrounds, and sexual orientations to build their families.
Some families looking for surrogates can include:
A single-intended mother unable to have a pregnancy
A single-intended father
An LGBTQIA+ couple dreaming of having a family
A couple who has a health condition that could impede pregnancy or make it dangerous
A heterosexual couple who has struggled to carry a pregnancy
First Step requires each surrogate applicant to meet specific qualifications in order to be accepted into the surrogacy program of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Below is a list of minimum requirements, although each application is considered on a case-by-case basis. If you have additional questions about our requirements, please feel free to address them with a surrogacy professional during your consultation.
Application and Background
Complete an in-depth application and personal interview with First Step that includes details about family life, employment, medical history, medical screenings, and motivation for being a surrogate
Be a citizen of the United States and between the ages of 21-45.
Live in a state that is surrogacy-friendly. States where surrogacy is illegal include: Alaska, Arizona, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, and Wyoming.
Pass a criminal background check (for both surrogate and partner if applicable)
Complete a full medical record review by an IVF physician, including previous pregnancies and deliveries, with at least one full-term pregnancy and delivery completion.
Complete and pass medical examinations that include an intrauterine ultrasound and infectious disease screening with written consent from an OBGYN to carry out a pregnancy.
Have not had a past occurrence of serious pregnancy complications. We value the mental health and safety of our surrogates and the babies they carry so we do not accept surrogates with a history of pregnancy complications.
Do not have any health conditions that can become worse with pregnancy.
Be in overall good health with a BMI of 35 or less.
Evaluation and Insurance
Complete and pass a drug screening of drugs and nicotine.
Complete psychological evaluations (for both surrogate and partner if applicable) and not have any psychiatric illness.
Receive third-party review and pre-approval of health insurance policy to determine if an existing policy can be used for surrogate pregnancy.
Be financially fit with no form of government financial assistance and be in a healthy living situation.
Become a surrogate near me
How to become a surrogate near me? When you go through the matching process, you can specify your preferences, for example, if you want to match only with local individuals or couples.
If you are wondering about surrogacy agencies nearby, you are not alone. Many women prefer to be a surrogate in their local area. For example, they can create closer relationships with the intended parents; they find it easier to attend doctor appointments and make all the arrangements necessary, such as the legal paperwork.
One advantage of choosing a local agency such as First Step Surrogacy is that we have a personalized service, understand and value Miami and South Florida's regional cultural diversity, and are bilingual.
How can Surrogate agencies help you?
Surrogate agencies can help you through the matching process, selecting intended parents that meet the surrogates' criteria. Also, they can help you during the process by finding you the accessory and support you need, from lawyers specializing in surrogacy to psychologists, social workers, doctors, and other specialists.
First Step Surrogacy is one of the top Surrogate agencies in South Florida. We have decades of experience helping create new families through surrogacy. Our past surrogates recommend our service because they had an excellent experience with us.
We want to provide the most rewarding and safe experience possible for the surrogates and intended parents. Let us take your hand on your surrogacy journey.
Our surrogate agency provides you with a comprehensive compensation package, support, and legal advice with the warmth of a small boutique agency. That’s why many women have chosen us as their surrogacy agency.
We are constantly aware of the best practices established by organizations such as American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Growing Families, or Yale Medicine. Every day we improve to provide the best services.
If you are considering becoming a surrogate or ready to become a surrogate, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always happy to speak with potential applicants.
How to become a surrogate mother without an agency?
Some potential surrogates wonder how to have a surrogate mother without an agency. That’s a common question many surrogates have. Although becoming a surrogate without an agency is entirely possible, it will come with more responsibilities and research to make the right decisions.
The main four steps to becoming a surrogate without an agency are deciding if surrogacy is right for you, finding intended parents, completing the screening process, and arranging the details of the surrogacy process (including the payments, clinics, psychological support, legal advisors, assisting with the process, and so on). sperm from the intended father
As you can see, although going through this process without an agency is possible, in most cases is not advisable due to the increased likelihood of complications and the complex arrangement among all the professionals involved in the process of carrying a child.
However, surrogacy is a crucial and personal decision. So, take your time, carefully research the surrogacy process, weigh all the pros and cons, and ultimately follow your heart. If you have doubts, you can contact us. We can give specific details about the process and obstacles you may encounter and how to face them.
What disqualifies you from being a surrogate?
If you are considering surrogation, it is advisable to recognize the disqualifications that wouldn’t allow you to be selected. These are the basic qualifications to become a surrogate:
The main disqualifications for surrogacy are:
You had significant complications during pregnancy, such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, placental abruption, and more.
You had preterm delivery (except twin pregnancies).
You have a BMI higher than 30.
You or your partner have felonies on your record.
You are in the middle of a divorce process.
You have more than five prior deliveries (with some exceptions).
You have or had mental health issues (except postpartum depression or a temporary psychological condition).
You have had multiple miscarriages.
You have specific reproductive health issues such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis, or PCOS.
You smoke or use drugs.
You are over 44.
You are not a US Citizen or permanent legal resident.
You provide false information on your application or interview.
Surrogate mother application form
Do you want to apply to become a surrogate mother? To begin the process, you only have to fill out a form, where we ask you for some information to ensure you meet specific criteria. Surrogates are willing to help others create a new family; we want to thank you for your generosity.
We are excited to know you a little bit better. Thank you for your willingness to help others achieve their dream of being parents. Once you complete the application form, our pre-screening team will assess your application. We will connect with you if selected to give you the next steps.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do surrogates get paid if they miscarry?
Yes, surrogates get paid if they have a miscarriage. A surrogate mother is entitled to compensation to the point when she loses the child. The surrogacy contracts consider this factor and usually compensate until that point to cover any front expenses the surrogate has.
How many times can you be a surrogate?
Although, in theory, you can be a surrogate as often as you want. For the safety and health of the mother and baby, medical professionals recommend that you have no more than five previous pregnancies.
Some agencies accept applicants with their Sixth birth on a case-to-case basis, depending on the surrogate medical history.
Do surrogates get paid monthly?
Overall, surrogates get paid monthly the base compensation and some additional payments. You get a base compensation monthly in nine installments after detecting the fetal heartbeat (around six to eight weeks gestation). Also, although most of the additional payments are delivered once, some expenses and other allowances are paid monthly.
Other fees are not paid monthly but are paid throughout the pregnancy when you reach certain milestones. It is important to note that you can arrange certain aspects of your compensation within the initial contract or agreements with the intended parents. Rest assured that your expenses will be covered every month during your entire surrogacy journey.
How much money do you make being a surrogate mother?
A surrogate can earn between $40,000 to $80,000, including expenses. Every surrogacy case is unique; therefore, how much a surrogate makes depends on her experience (first-time surrogate vs. experienced surrogates), the health insurance used, the state she lives in, and the specific arrangement.
The base pay for surrogates in the USA ranges from $30,000 to $60,000+. The total compensation package depends on various factors, including the surrogate’s state of residence, the number of babies carried, health insurance used, prior surrogacy experience, and the agency you work with.
Apart from the monthly base compensation, women can receive additional cash payments and reimbursements to cover other surrogacy-related things before and during the pregnancy and after the baby’s birth. Therefore, although surrogates generally earn a base compensation of $30,000 to $60,000+ in most agencies, they can receive a total amount of $46,750 to $79,900 with the added benefits and payments they get during the process, paid for by the intended parents.
How long does it take to become a surrogate mother?
Not every surrogation is equal. You can take between 14 to 20 months on this journey. Several factors affect the time you will spend during the surrogation process. The first steps in surrogation, from the pre-screening to the legal process, takes time, there are many things to cover, and sometimes it might last more than we expected. The medical procedure also affects the duration, and the doctors need to see how your body reacts to the IVF medications and the time for embryo creation and transfer. However, you can expect the pregnancy to last nine months.
Surrogacy is not a short nine-month process as one might initially think. That is why you must be confident that this is a process you want to get involved. It's fantastic to help others build a family and have a great disposition, but it's also important to be aware of all the facts.