Welcome Carrot Fertility Members. Family Inceptions is now part of the Carrot Fertility Network. Click to read more.
Welcome Carrot Fertility Members. Family Inceptions is now part of the Carrot Fertility Network. Click to read more.

Building A Family Through Surrogacy – 8 Things You Need to Succeed

Taking that first step to build your family through a gestational surrogate (gestational carrier) can be a scary process since there are so many unknown factors. But if you follow these eight tips, you have a greater chance of succeeding at completing your family and holding your precious baby in your arms.

  1. Pick the Right Agency for Your Family: An agency will help alleviate the frustrations of finding a surrogate who meets your needs and sees the journey playing out in the same manner you do. Family Inceptions’ staff can foresee any obstacles before they arise because they know exactly what should take place during this process since they’ve been surrogates themselves. They will take care of all administrative aspects of your family planning, from the intended parent intake assessment screening to navigating the choices of egg donation options to surrogacy selection, and to finally preparing you for your baby’s arrival. An agency offers individualized attention that will empower you through each step of your family building journey.
  2. Understand the Difference Between Traditional and Gestational Surrogacy: Gestational surrogacy is when the intended mother’s egg (or egg donor) and the intended father’s sperm(or sperm donor) are placed in another woman through in vitro fertilization. Then the surrogate carries the baby to term and then relinquishes all parental rights of the child to the parents. Traditional surrogacy is when a woman is inseminated by the sperm of the intended father and she carries the baby to term and then relinquishes the child to the parents. Surrogacy through Family Inceptions is always gestational surrogacy. This means that the surrogate is impregnated with IVF, and the egg and sperm are donated by outside parties so she has no genetic connection to the baby. This process requires medical and legal expertise since it utilizes IVF to create an embryo in a laboratory. At a fertility clinic, these embryos are implanted into a woman, who carries to term the child or children, which is why gestational surrogates are commonly called “gestational carriers.”
  3. Know the Law for Your State and the State Your Child Will Be Born In: Surrogacy is not allowed in every state in the country. Specifically, laws for some of the state’s Family Inceptions works in:
    • Alabama permits gestational surrogacy. It is best couples are married and genetically related to the child. Results may vary by county.
    • Florida permits gestational surrogacy. It is best couples are married and genetically related to the child.
    • Georgia permits gestational surrogacy. Georgia is a pre-birth order state and parents do not need to be married or genetically related to the child.
    • North Carolina permits gestational surrogacy. It is best couples are married and genetically related to the child.
    • Surrogacy in South Carolina is permitted because no statute or published case law prohibits it. In fact, there is published case law that suggests that it is valid.
    • Tennessee permits gestational surrogacy. Married couples only and genetically related to the child. Results may vary by county.
    • For more specific laws on other states visit Surrogacy Laws by State
  4. Understand the Costs: Before committing to surrogacy, it’s vital to understand the financial requirements that are involved since there are a lot of expenses to take into consideration. Gestational surrogates should not use their own provided medical insurance for any of the IVF procedures including medications, however some policies will allow for her to use her own medical insurance for the pregnancy care. If she does not have insurance, intended parents must purchase a medical insurance policy for the surrogate. They are also responsible for copays, deductibles, STD & Life insurance and the amount of medical costs not covered by insurance. In addition to insurance for the surrogate, future parents will incur the following expenses during this process.
    • Surrogate Compensation (Whether it is referred to as “compensation” or “ancillary living expenses” and the “allowable amount” she receives will be determined according to the state laws where the surrogate lives.)
      • pregnancy compensation
      • travel
      • lost wages
      • living expenses
    • Screening:
      • Criminal background checks
      • Psychological evaluation
    • Agency fees
    • Egg donor fees (if applicable)
    • Medical expenses
      • IVF doctor
      • medications
    • Legal Services
      • Legal counsel for future parents
      • Fees for drafting and execution of legal agreement between future parents and surrogate
      • Fees for establishing parental rights in court
      • Legal counsel for surrogate
    • Travel (if surrogate lives in a different location from future parents)
    • Baby Insurance
  5. Select the Right Surrogate for Your Family: The more we know about you and your expectations, the easier it will be for you to find the right gestational surrogate for you who sees this journey the same way you do. From the amount of involvement, the future parents have during the pregnancy to feelings on terminating the pregnancy, it’s vital that you and the gestational carrier agree on these issues. In order to match you with the best surrogate who meets your needs, our surrogates go through the following processes:
    • One-on-one interview – Each surrogate must meet with a case worker in person or via video to discuss her desire of becoming a gestational surrogate. Each surrogate is interviewed and questioned about what surrogacy involves to make sure she is informed and prepared for this journey.
    • Background Check – A detailed criminal background check is performed on the surrogate and her spouse or significant other.
    • Psychological evaluation – Licensed psychological professionals who have experience in the infertility field conduct clinical/diagnostic interviews. These include a psychological history evaluation of personal trauma, family history, potential substance abuse, coping resources, motivation for being a surrogate, expectations and concerns, current stress. In addition, it will assess the support she will have from significant other and/or family.
    • Psycho-social assessment – A home visit is performed for each surrogate where a licensed social worker visits the surrogate’s home and performs a psych social evaluation at her home.
    • Medical assessment – All surrogates’ previous medical records are reviewed by a nurse practitioner and or licensed reproductive endocrinologist to ensure she did not have any complications during her previous pregnancies.
    • Insurance review – An insurance representative reviews a surrogate’s medical insurance, if she has any, and provides written detail regarding the surrogate’s policy and exclusion determination.
  6. Be Mentally Prepared: Surrogacy isn’t the right option for everyone. Consulting a psychologist to make sure you and your spouse or partner are mentally prepared to let someone else carry your child for you is a good idea.
  7. Know How Much Time is Involved: The length of the process depends on several factors. Normally, it takes a year and a half from the time future parents sign on an agency agreement until the baby is born. Depending on legal requirements and the selected course of IVF treatment, it can be quicker or longer.
  8. Understand the Steps That Will be Taken
    • Step 1: Register as an Intended Parent
    • Step 2: Schedule a Free Consult To get to know your expectations, dreams and challenges, we offer a free one-hour consultation so we can best help you complete your family while you gain a deeper understanding of the process.
    • Step 3: Sign Agency agreement Before your matched, sign an agency agreement.
    • Step 4: Search for a match (two to four months) We will help you find a woman who sees this journey happening the same way you do.
    • Step 5: Interviews (two to three weeks) Then we will schedule a match meeting over the phone once you have found a surrogate who is mutually interested in you. If that goes well, you will then meet face to face at a neutral location.
    • Step 6: Start Screenings
      Your Cycle Coordinator will be your point of contact. She will assist you through the entire process and will oversee all of the screenings and setting up escrow account.
      a. Initial medical clinic screening
      b. Medical screening
      c. Psychological screening
    • Step 7: Legal You Cycle Coordinator will help you set up appointments with the legal team to ensure all of the documents and agreements are handled correctly.
    • Step 8: Begin Transfer The clinic will give you the cycle schedule and all the details of the next steps, depending on whether you are using fresh eggs or frozen embryos.
    • Step 9: Pregnancy and Birth Your case worker will help you and your surrogate decide how involved you will be in attending ultrasound appointments and childbirth classes, feeling the baby kick and other aspects of the pregnancy and birth.

Want to learn more about how you can begin the surrogacy process? Contact us today. We’ll explain the process of gestational surrogacy and help you make the best decision for your family’s future.

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