Expanding Your Family Through the Process of Surrogacy

Sometimes the challenge in getting pregnant lies not with the egg or sperm but with the uterus. If you have been unable to carry a healthy pregnancy to term, have a serious medical condition, or are in a gay male partnership, you may want to consider using a gestational carrier, also known as a  surrogate.

When Surrogacy Wasn’t in Your Plan

Finding out that using a surrogate (or “gestational carrier”) is your best option for having a child may be difficult to come to terms with when you were planning on becoming pregnant yourself. However, surrogacy can be an extremely rewarding process for both the intended parents and the surrogate herself. If surrogacy is part of your personalized fertility plan, you’ll be deeply involved in every stage of the process. Our experienced doctors and caring team will provide thoughtful guidance and compassionate support throughout your journey to becoming a parent.

What to Expect During the Surrogacy Process

Selecting the ideal surrogate is one of the most important decisions you will make during this process. Surrogacy is not anonymous. This means you’ll know the surrogate personally and be involved in her pregnancy. She plays a vital role as the gestational carrier, but you are the baby’s parents. The surrogacy process typically takes around 14 to 18 months, from when you begin looking to when you hold your new baby in your arms.

Finding a Surrogate

If your physician recommends surrogacy as part of your treatment plan, we can refer you to a reputable surrogacy agency that will help you match with a gestational carrier. We strongly discourage you from looking for your own surrogate on the internet. Since you’ll be interacting closely with the surrogate throughout her pregnancy, we recommend selecting a surrogate with whom you feel comfortable — someone you like personally. In addition, her pregnancy will affect her entire family, so it’s essential to choose a surrogate whose family is on board with her decision.

Background Evaluation

Before qualifying to become a surrogate, the surrogacy agency will evaluate her background and refer her for a psychological evaluation. It is important to assess her motivation for becoming a surrogate. While financial compensation will undoubtedly be a factor in her decision, surrogacy agencies are looking for women who exhibit a genuine selfless desire to help other families.

Our team carefully reviews the surrogate’s medical and obstetrical history. One of the requirements to become a surrogate is that she has had at least one full-term, uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery.

Medical Evaluation at RPSD

Once you have selected and matched with a surrogate, the surrogacy agency notifies our office, and the surrogate is scheduled for an evaluation with your physician. Our board-certified doctors will complete a comprehensive medical evaluation, including a careful assessment of her uterus.

Pregnancy and Birth

After successfully transferring the embryo to the surrogate, we will monitor her pregnancy until nine weeks gestation before transferring her care to her OBGYN. You will have the option to attend prenatal appointments with your surrogate and will receive updates about your baby’s development alongside her. When your surrogate is ready to deliver, you (and your partner, if applicable) will be in the delivery room with her as you welcome your child into the world.

If You Already Know Your Surrogate

You may already have someone in mind who has offered to be a surrogate. Her willingness to be part of your fertility journey is generous, but surrogacy is an emotionally and physically demanding process. She will need to undergo a thorough medical evaluation by your physician to improve her chances of achieving a healthy, full-term pregnancy. Additionally, a professional psychological evaluation of both the surrogate and intended parents is required. A legal contract between the surrogate and intended parents is required to clearly outline expectations and responsibilities.

Stories from Our Patients

We’re honored to help patients achieve their dream of growing their families. Here are a few of their success stories.

Let’s Take the Next Step Together

Our skilled fertility specialists are here to help. Contact us today and let’s discuss the next phase of your fertility journey.