From the beginning to the end, here are the eight steps you need to follow to have a successful surrogacy journey
A surrogacy process is likely the most challenging one of all fertility treatments, but also the most fulfilling one for all the parties involved.
Here, you will find a step-by-step guide, summarizing the most significant steps of every surrogacy journey:
Step 1: Educate Yourself
The first step, for all intended parents, should be to educate themselves about the surrogacy process. You should have a consult with a surrogacy specialist and a lawyer that specializes in third-party reproduction to help ensure that you understand the legal process and how it applies to you.
Educating yourself on how the process works is the secret to have a successful journey.
Step 2: Looking for a Surrogate Mother
Once you are ready to start your search for a surrogate mother, the first step is to find a surrogacy agency that will support you during this process.
Also, you have the option to pursue an Indy surrogacy process and find a surrogate mother on your own, thanks to online websites like MySurrogateMom community.
Some intended parents may need to find an egg donor too, in that situation, an egg donor database can be useful.
Step 3: Medical/Psychological Assessments
All intended parents, surrogate mothers and egg donors must be medically and psychologically screened by the IVF clinic chosen.
Step 4: Legal representation
Upon medical and psychological screening, you will need to meet with your lawyer to draft a surrogacy contract. Your surrogate and/or egg donor will also need legal representation.
Please note, that contracts must be in place before the egg retrieval and/or pregnancy is attempted.
Step 5: Getting Pregnant!
In gestational surrogacy, pregnancy is achieved via an IVF process, through the transfer of a genetically unrelated embryo to the uterus of the gestational carrier (or gestational surrogate).
The embryo could be the result of IVF using the Intended Mother’s egg and the Intended Father’s sperm, but also donor gametes could be involved in this process. Sometimes, Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) can be done before the transfer.
The main positive characteristic of pursuing gestational surrogacy is that the surrogate mother is not genetically related to the baby.
Step 6: Pregnancy
One of the best aspects of surrogacy is that it allows intended parents to be a part of the whole process. You can take part in as many doctor/ultrasound appointments as you can to support your surrogate mother throughout this process, and to bond with your baby.
Step 7: Birth
The day has arrived when you welcome your child (or children) into the world, with the help of your surrogate. Surrogacy is an act of kindness.
Your lawyer will assist you with the legal paperwork in the US and Canada (DNA requirements, Declaration of Parentage, etc.)
Step 8: Post-Birth
Most intended parents will share updates and photos of their new family and some of them will repeat this process again for a sibling!
Learn more about the surrogacy process in these three posts: