We understand that the surrogacy process can be complex and sometimes overwhelming, but we are here to guide you every step of the way. In today’s blog, we’ll provide an in-depth look into the Florida surrogacy process, covering essential steps from application and evaluation to the final pregnancy and delivery phase. Our aim is to equip you with the knowledge you need to decide whether surrogacy is the right path for you.
The Florida Surrogacy Process
Understanding the Florida surrogacy process is pivotal for anyone considering becoming a surrogate mother. In Florida, most surrogacies are gestational surrogacies, where the surrogate carries an embryo formed through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) using either the intended mother’s egg or an egg from a donor. The process kicks off with a regimen of hormone treatments for the intended mother or egg donor to encourage follicle development. Simultaneously, the surrogate takes medication tailored to prepare her uterine lining for embryo implantation and to support the subsequent pregnancy. It’s crucial to note that there’s no genetic link between the surrogate and the child.
The journey of becoming a surrogate in Florida is meticulously planned, involving several critical phases. The first is the application and evaluation stage, where you, the potential surrogate, are assessed for eligibility. Next comes the matching phase, where we help you find intended parents who share similar goals and expectations. Following this is the medical screening, which assesses your overall health condition. Finally, legal agreements are prepared to safeguard everyone’s rights. Once these steps are successfully navigated, you will embark on the tailored medical IVF cycle, culminating in the pregnancy and delivery phase. The exact steps can vary depending on the clinic and specific protocols, but this general roadmap gives you a solid understanding of what to expect.
First Step, the Florida Surrogate Application
Embarking on your surrogacy journey begins with completing a comprehensive surrogate application. This questionnaire is designed to collect crucial information about your health, lifestyle, previous pregnancies, and even your employment history. Our team reviews your application against our clearly outlined surrogate requirements. If you meet these standards, we’ll set up an interview, which can be conducted either in person at our office or through Skype for added convenience.
After a successful interview, the next stage involves an in-home visit to better understand your living conditions. Key evaluations such as a Psychological Evaluation, Medical Pre-screening, and a comprehensive Background Check are then carried out. On receiving clearances from these assessments, we help you create a “surrogate bio” to introduce you to potential intended parents. If both parties express mutual interest, we facilitate an introductory meeting, after which medical clearances at the intended parents’ fertility clinic can be arranged.
Step Two, the Surrogacy Screening
The surrogacy screening process consists of several elements designed to ensure that you’re prepared—emotionally, psychologically, and physically—for the surrogacy journey.
Background Check: Both you and your spouse or partner will be subjected to a comprehensive background check that includes federal and state criminal records as well as residential history. This ensures the safety and integrity of the surrogacy process.
Psychological Screening: The psychological screening involves a specialized psychologist in third-party reproduction administering tests like the MMPI-2 or PIA to assess your emotional stability. It’s mandatory for your spouse or partner to attend this screening, emphasizing the need for support throughout the surrogacy process. This appointment is not just an evaluation but also an opportunity for you to discuss any concerns or fears you may have.
Medical Pre-Screening: Your past pregnancy records going back seven years and any current medical records will be requested. A current pap and/or physical exam completed within the last twelve months is also necessary. If you are due for an annual exam, we will make arrangements for its completion. This ensures that you are medically fit to be a surrogate mother.
Step Three, the Surrogate Medical Screening
Once you are officially matched with the intended parents, the next crucial step is the medical screening conducted at the fertility clinic chosen by the intended parents. Here, you will meet with a reproductive endocrinologist to ensure that you are medically suited to be a surrogate mother. This extensive screening includes a variety of tests such as HIV antibody tests, physical and gynecological exams, and screenings for infectious diseases, among others. Your spouse or partner will also be required to complete the FDA infectious disease panel as part of this screening.
It’s important to note that different fertility clinics may have slightly different protocols. The list of tests can include everything from a blood count and chemistry panel to cervical cultures for specific infections. Moreover, a hysteroscopy may be conducted, where a small camera is inserted into the uterus to examine the uterine cavity. Rest assured, all screening costs are covered by the intended parents, making it a no-cost process for you.
Step Four, the Surrogate Mother IVF Cycle
Your clinical IVF nurse will guide you through the steps needed to synchronize your menstrual cycle with that of the intended mother or egg donor. This process involves taking medications like Lupron to down-regulate your system and birth control pills for cycle synchronization. When you’re ready, an embryo transfer will take place where embryos are inserted into your uterus with the hope of successful implantation.
Post-transfer, you will be required to take estrogen, either as a patch or an oral pill, and a beta test will be conducted 10-14 days later to confirm pregnancy. Progesterone will also be introduced into your regimen, either as a suppository or an injection. Throughout the first 8-12 weeks, you’ll have regular blood draws and ultrasounds to monitor the pregnancy before transitioning to an Ob/Gyn for the remainder of your pregnancy journey.
Step Five, the Surrogate’s Pregnancy and Delivery
The final step of the Florida surrogacy process is pregnancy and delivery. A surrogate pregnancy differs from a natural one in several ways, mainly because of the IVF process involved. During the first trimester, you will need to continue taking medications that are naturally produced in a non-IVF pregnancy. The early weeks will see closer monitoring at the fertility clinic compared to a traditional pregnancy.
The intended parents often want to be closely involved in the journey and may wish to attend medical appointments with you. Ongoing communication about each appointment is key, especially if they can’t be physically present. As you approach the delivery, a detailed birth plan will be devised in consultation with the surrogate coordinator, mental health counselor, intended parents, and you, the surrogate, to ensure everyone is comfortable with the process. Throughout your surrogate journey with Creative Love, we will offer support through either in-person meetings or Skype to answer all your questions and provide the support you need.
Interested in Learning More?
If you are interested taking the first step in becoming a surrogate mother, we at Creative Love Egg Donor & Surrogacy Agency would be thrilled to guide you through this life-changing journey. With years of experience and a comprehensive support system, we are well-equipped to provide you with the information and resources you need.
We offer personalized consultations to discuss your questions and concerns, and to help you make an informed decision about whether surrogacy is the right path for you. Whether you’re at the beginning of your surrogacy journey or already on your way, our team is here to offer expert advice and support.
We welcome you to reach out to us for any further information. We are committed to ensuring that your surrogacy journey is as smooth, fulfilling, and positive as possible. Start your journey with Creative Love today, and be part of creating new lives and nurturing dreams.