The surrogacy process is likely the most challenging one of all fertility treatments but also the most fulfilling one for all the parties involved. From the beginning to the end, here’s a step-by-step guide summarizing the most significant steps of every surrogacy journey.
How Long Does the Surrogacy Journey Take?
The surrogacy journey can vary in duration depending on several factors, including the location, legal requirements, medical factors, and individual circumstances.
On average, the surrogacy process typically takes around 12 to 24 months from the time prospective parents begin their journey until the child’s birth.
Here are the eight steps you need to follow for a successful surrogacy journey.
Step 1: Educate Yourself
Duration: 1-6 months
The first step for all intended parents should be educating themselves about surrogacy. You should consult with a surrogacy specialist and a lawyer specializing in third-party reproduction to help you understand the legal process and how it applies to you. Also, you can look for information in surrogacy blogs.
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 search for a surrogate mother, the first step is finding a surrogacy agency to support you.
Alternatively, you have the option to pursue an Indy surrogacy process and find a surrogate mother on your own, thanks to online websites like the MySurrogateMom community.
Some intended parents may need to find an egg donor, too. In that situation, an egg donor database can be helpful.
Step 3: Medical/Psychological Assessments
Duration: 2-4 months
The chosen fertility clinic must medically and psychologically screen all parties involved (intended parents, surrogate mother, and egg donor).
Step 4: Legal representation
Duration: 1-3 months
You need to meet with your lawyer to draft a surrogacy contract upon medical and psychological screening. Your surrogate and/or egg donor will also need legal representation.
Contracts must be in place before the egg retrieval and/or pregnancy is attempted.
Step 5: Getting Pregnant!
Duration: 2-6 months
In IVF surrogacy, pregnancy is achieved via an In Vitro Fertilization process by transferring a genetically unrelated embryo to the gestational carrier’s uterus (or gestational surrogate).
The embryo could result from IVF using the Intended Mother’s egg and the Intended Father’s sperm. Shttps://www.mysurrogatemom.com/stages-of-ivf/till, 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
Duration: 9 months
Once the surrogate becomes pregnant, there is a typical 9-month gestation period. During this period, the surrogate’s health is closely monitored.
One of the best aspects of surrogacy is that it allows intended parents to participate in the whole process. You can participate in as many doctor/ultrasound appointments as possible to support your surrogate mother throughout this process and bond with your baby.
Step 7: Birth
Duration: 1 day (the day of birth)
The day has arrived when you welcome your child (or children) into the world with the help of your surrogate. Surrogacy is a truly act of kindness!
Step 8: Post-Birth
Duration: 2-6 months
Legal processes are completed after the child’s birth to establish parental rights. This process can include adoption or parental orders, and the time frame varies depending on local laws and procedures.
Your lawyer will assist you with the legal paperwork in the US and Canada (DNA testing, Declaration of Parentage, etc.).
Please note that these timelines are approximate and can vary based on individual circumstances, legal requirements, and medical factors. The professionals and agencies involved will also influence the surrogacy success rate and this timeline.