Be A Surrogate: Frequently Asked Questions
Women seeking to be a surrogate have a lot of questions. This article includes many of the answers.
What expenses will be covered by the intended parents?
The intended parents are responsible for all expenses you have as a result of your participation as their surrogate. This includes:
- Lost wages
- Travel expenses
- Maternity clothing
- Prenatal vitamins
- Legal expenses,
- All uninsured medical expenses,
- And more
Your intended parents will have an expense account with our agency, so all payment of your expenses will go directly through us.
What is the average compensation amount?
Your compensation amount will be selected solely by you. You may request the amount of compensation that fits your individual circumstances. Intended parents do take your compensation amount into account when deciding whether you may be a potential match for them, and therefore, if your compensation is outside the typical range, it may affect your desirability as a potential surrogate for certain intended parents.
We will assist you in setting your compensation amount if requested and can talk with you about what is typical. We encourage any woman who is able and willing to be a surrogate without compensation to do so since there are many intended parents who are unable to afford the process otherwise.
Do I get to choose the parents with whom I match?
Yes. The matching process with our agency is 100% a two-way street. Both you and the intended parents must mutually select each other. If a potential intended parent match is interested in you as their surrogate after reviewing your information, we will send you a brief biography from the intended parents along with a photo of them for you to review. If you feel they would be a good match, we will set up and facilitate an in-depth phone call so you can further assess whether they would be a suitable match. You may even have a face-to-face meeting with them, if all parties are willing and location permits. You will then decide whether you wish to work with those particular intended parents. If not, we will continue to circulate your information to other intended parents to find you a good match. Our goal is to match you with intended parents who share the same general values and interests. We believe this is the most important part of your journey as a surrogate.
What happens after I match with intended parents?
As soon as you are matched with intended parents, we will draft a contract that you and the intended parents will review independently. You will be required to review your contract with an attorney, which will be paid for by the intended parents. We will provide a list of attorneys who have experience with surrogacy contracts for you to choose from. The contract addresses every aspect of your surrogacy program including reimbursement, your compensation, expectations of you and the intended parents, the legal process, etc.
Am I able to meet the intended parents during the program?
If you would like to meet the intended parents before you decide to work with them, you may do so. Even if you and the intended parents do not live close to one another, there is technology that can provide you with the opportunity to talk face-to-face before matching. How much contact you will have with the intended parents is something you will discuss with them during the matching process. Some intended parents will be able to attend doctor’s appointments and some will not. The most important thing is setting expectations about the amount of contact upfront. Throughout the program, you and the intended parents will be in direct communication and can arrange to meet at your own discretion. The intended parents will need to be present at the birth or shortly thereafter.
How long does it take to match with intended parents?
How long it takes you to find a suitable match will depend on several factors. These include your compensation amount, insurance coverage, your criteria for intended parents, etc. We constantly have new intended parents signing up with our agency, so your profile will be circulated regularly.
How long between when I start matching until the actual embryo transfer?
The timeline we estimate between when you start the matching process and your first embryo transfer is approximately six to nine months. During these months, you will find a suitable match, complete your contract and medical testing, and prepare medically for the embryo transfer.
Is travel required?
Travel may be required during your program. You will have to travel to the fertility clinic with which the intended parents are working for the actual embryo transfer. Our agency is very familiar with each clinic our surrogates travel to, so you will have detailed instructions regarding hotel, transportation, etc. prior to traveling. The average length of stay is usually about 3-7 days, based on the clinic’s requirements.
Can I bring a travel companion when I travel?
The intended parents are obligated to pay for your travel and accommodations. Flight and food for a travel companion are paid for the first embryo transfer trip. Subsequent trips will also be covered if the clinic requires a travel companion.
What about the child care for my own children?
Each day that you are required to be gone, you will be eligible to receive up to $50 per day per child for child care reimbursement.
Will I be required to take any medications?
Surrogates should expect to take fertility medications in preparation for the embryo transfer. You will receive thorough and specific instructions about your medications. These medications will regulate your cycles, prepare your uterine lining for the transfer, and prepare your body for pregnancy. Some medications may require administrations via small injection under the skin that most women give themselves. Another option is to have a family member or friend help you with the injections. The staff at IARC® will ensure that you have a clear understanding of when and how to administer the medications. Click here for more information about the medications.
Where would the delivery of the baby happen?
All of your prenatal appointments and the delivery will happen in your local area.
What happens after the delivery?
An attorney in the state where the birth takes place (typically your home state) will make all the necessary legal preparations for the baby’s birth. This attorney will make arrangements so that the intended parents have sole control over decisions relating to the child once the baby is born. The intended parents will be able to take the child with them immediately after he or she is discharged from the hospital. A court proceeding will be required to establish the intended parents as the legal parents of the child. The intended parents’ attorney will arrange all of the necessary legal documents and court proceedings at the intended parents’ expense. You and your spouse/significant other, if applicable, may be required to attend the court proceeding(s) to terminate your parental rights and establish the parental rights of the intended parents. The exact legal procedures will vary depending on the state in which you live.
Can I stay in contact with the parents and the baby if I want to?
Again, this is something that is discussed during the matching process. Each surrogate has different hopes and expectations regarding whether and how much you continue to have contact with the intended parents after the delivery. Whether a relationship continues after the delivery typically depends on how your relationship with the intended parents grows during the pregnancy. Most times, intended parents and surrogates keep in touch via annual updates and photos, sometimes the relationship is much closer, and sometimes there is no contact. We try to match you with intended parents who have similar views regarding post-birth contact.