When it comes to deciding if becoming a surrogate mother is right for you, there are often many things to consider. From making sure you have the support you need, to ensuring you meet all of the surrogacy qualifications, there is a lot to think about.
In today’s blog we wanted to help you by providing details on how to become a surrogate mother. We will cover the 5 main phases to becoming a surrogate mother, what to expect during each phase and other details that could be helpful in making your decision.
As always, if you ever have any questions regarding surrogacy or would like to speak with one of our team members, we welcome you to contact us or give us a call at 954-776-9878.
Phase 1: Applying to Become a Surrogate Mother
After you have decided you want to become a surrogate mother and you have reviewed the requirements, the first step will be to formally apply to become a surrogate. The application to become a surrogate is pretty straight forward, where it will ask you about your medical history, your past pregnancy history, and some other details.
If you would like to apply to become surrogate with our agency, you can fill out our surrogate application here.
Once you have formally applied to become a surrogate mother, a member of our surrogacy agency will reach out to you to begin the next steps.
Phase 2: Psychological Screening, Medical Pre-Screening, and Background Check
Following your surrogacy application, the next step in becoming a surrogate mother will be to go through a psychological screening, medical pre-screening, and background check. This is important as it will ensure you are psychologically and medically ready to become a surrogate mother! Below are some of the details relating to these screens/checks:
- Psychological Screening – Here you will undergo a psychological screening with a PhD Psychologist who specializes in third party reproduction. During this screening the psychologist will administer the MMPI-2 or PIA personality assessment questionnaire. Your spouse/partner will be required to attend this appointment. The purpose of this assessment is to ensure that you are of sound mind and emotionally stable before beginning your surrogacy journey.
- Medical Pre-Screening – For the medical pre-screening we will request your past pregnancy records going back seven years and any current medical records. We require that you have a current pap and/or physical exam completed in the last twelve months and if you are due for your annual exam, we will make arrangements for you to complete it. Lastly, we will need for you to provide a clearance letter from your current OB/GYN stating that you are medically cleared to be a surrogate mother.
- Background Check – For the background check we will need for both yourself and your spouse/partner to complete a background check searched by your name and social security number. This is conducted on both federal and state criminal records, as well as residential history.
Phase 3: Intended Parent(s) Match and Medical Screening to Become a Surrogate
In this step, once we match you with the ideal intended parents, you will need to complete a medical screening to ensure that you are suitable to be a surrogate mother. Here, you will have an appointment with the intended parent(s) fertility doctor, and they will have you complete an in-depth exam. Also, during this step, you will complete an infectious disease test, meet with the clinical nurse coordinator to go over the steps that are medically required and also discuss your medications.
Phase 4: IVF Cycle for Surrogate Mother
After being matched and fully medically cleared, the next step will be to undergo the IVF cycle. During this step your clinical IVF nurse will go over your responsibilities to synchronize your cycle with the intended mothers or egg donors. Below is a sample timeline and possible medication during this step:
- You will start with Lupron to down regulate you. You will then be asked to take birth control to synchronize your menstrual cycle with the intended mother or egg donor.
- You will have an embryo transfer where a small catheter is inserted into your vagina and through your uterus. The embryos will be placed in the uterus with the hopes of implantation.
- You will then start taking estrogen in either a patch form or oral pill.
- You will have a beta test (pregnancy test) 10-14 days later to confirm a pregnancy.
- You will then start using progesterone in either a suppository form or injection.
- You will have blood draws and ultrasound throughout the first 8-12 weeks to monitor the pregnancy before being released to the Ob/Gyn.
- You will have several lining checks before the embryo transfer to confirm that your uterine lining is thick enough to accept the embryo for implantation.
If the cycle is using frozen embryos, then the IVF clinic would only be preparing your lining to accept the embryo for implantation.
Phase 5: Pregnancy and Delivery
Unlike most traditional pregnancies, with surrogate pregnancy you would have gone through IVF so you will be required to continue certain medication to help support the pregnancy. This medication helps in place of what the body naturally would produce during the first trimester of a natural pregnancy.
Based on the clinic you are working with you may find slightly different protocols to following during pregnancy. Some of these protocols can include:
- You and your partner being required to complete the FDA infectious disease panel.
- You will be monitored more closely (vs a traditional pregnancy) throughout the first 8 to 10 weeks of pregnancy through the fertility clinic.
- Since you are on this journey along with the intended parent(s), they might want to visit during some of these appointments.
Throughout this journey, and leading to delivery, you will be provided full support and guidance from our team at Creative Love. Having worked with many surrogate mothers just like you, we understand how the surrogacy journey is and are able to help guide you through it.