How Does Surrogacy Work?- Complete Guide for Parents

How Does Surrogacy Work?- Complete Guide for Parents

by Neelam Chhagani

How does surrogacy work? – Complete Guide to find a loving surrogate mother.

It is true that Surrogate mothers are real angels for childless couples.  But to know how does surrogacy work is important questions to be answered first.

First, we would like to welcome you in your surrogacy journey. That is just the first step!! I cannot emphasize enough, how this experience will going to change your outlook toward the parenthood and life, in general.

To be honest, Surrogate Mothers are the actual hero of any surrogacy process. No matter how much time and money we spent, the real fruit of love is nurtured and brought to this world by a gestational carrier only. The surrogate mother’s payments are not relevant as compared to the joy she brings in childless couple’s life.

A Gestational carrier is the one who carries the baby for nine months for Commissioning parents. As having my baby, I understand how discomforting and challenging task it is.! On top of that, before and during the surrogacy process, she must undergo numerous invasive fertility treatments. In the end, it can be physically and emotionally exhaustive process her.

Besides this, a surrogate mother must maintain a strictly personal and exhaustive medical protocol during the full surrogacy pregnancy. A gestational mother is not only responsible for her health but also take care of the well-being of the unborn child.

So, how much does surrogate mother cost??

Well, the answers vary drastically from country to country and state to state. Typically, in USA surrogate mother compensation is $35,000 to $65,000. In some State- like- surrogacy in California, the surrogate mother compensation is more due to high demand.

In affordable surrogacy countries, surrogate mother compensation is $15,000 to $20,000. To a large extent, overall surrogacy cost depends on the surrogacy mother cost. The surrogacy cost in Georiga and Ukraine is almost half of what you pay for USA surrogacy cost.

No matter how much appreciation and monetary compensation is given to a surrogate mother. It takes an enormous amount of courage and accountability to create a new life for someone else.

The requirements and demands for the gestational carriers have increased over the years. That is what CDC data shows about how does surrogacy working over the years:

“Between 1999 and 2013, about 2% (30,927) of all assisted reproductive technology cycles used a gestational carrier to have the baby.”

“The number of gestational carrier cycles increased from 727 (1.0%) in 1999 to 3,432 (2.5%) in 2013.”

These are the typical features and results of gestational carrier cycles.

  • Between 1999 and 2013, surrogate mother cycles resulted in 13,380 deliveries and the birth of 18,400 infants. The information shows 9,819 (53.4%) of these infants were twins, triplets, or higher order multiples.
  • Intended parents using a gestational carrier were elder than parents who did not use a surrogate mother.
  • Mostly surrogates were less than 35 years of age at the time of conceiving surrogacy baby/ surrogacy babies.
  • Around 16% of intended parents who used a gestational carrier were from the outside USA.
  • Gestational carrier cycles had higher rates of implantation, pregnancy, and live births when compared to non-gestational carrier cycles.
  • There were higher multiple birth and preterm delivery rates among gestational carrier cycles—largely due to the frequent transfer of two or more embryos per cycle.

Source- https://www.cdc.gov/art/key-findings/gestational-carriers.html

To start with finding a surrogate mother is not a kid job. We have seen many Intended Parents, who took years to find a suitable surrogate mother for them. We aim to offer comprehensive support and guide for finding an ideal surrogate for you.

In this article, we will cover the following topics:

  1. Surrogate Mother Guide and how gestational surrogacy  work

  2. Who needs a Surrogate Mothers?

  3. How to find Surrogate Mothers?

  4. Surrogate mothers requirements you need to consider

  5. Surrogate Mother Process- How does surrogacy work?

  6. Conclusion for how does surrogacy work

How does surrgacy work for a couple

Surrogate Mother Guide and how gestational surrogacy work 

Surrogacy is an arrangement between a woman to carry and delivery baby for another individual or couple who are unable to conceive due to:

  • Missing or abnormal uterus
  • Had multiple failed in-vitro fertilization
  • The couple who had multiple pregnancy losses or due to an unexplained medical condition.
  • For same-sex couples, having a surrogate mother is the obvious choice and a gestational surrogacy work best for them.

At the personal level, first couples need to understand if they are emotionally prepared to enjoy parenthood through surrogacy? Will they be bonding with the child in the same way as nature child. What all information they wish to share with the child when he/she grow enough to understand.

Once these personal questions answered and accepted, you can begin the rest of the journey.

A surrogate mother agency will be happy to share this information with you and will help you in forming a strong bond between Intended Parent and surrogate mother.

The legal aspect of how surrogacy work:

Especially in cross-border surrogacy program, is the most important factor to consider and need to be diligently researched.

  • There are countries where surrogacy is legal and affordable and widely practiced. However, what it is essential to know the surrogacy legislation framework in your own country.
  • Will your country consul give travel documents to the baby resulting from a surrogacy arrangement?
  • What documents and times span needed to bring the baby back?

A few countries have a legal framework which prohibits commercial surrogacy but do allow altruistic surrogacy. You can have an independent attorney who can guide and support you.

How does surrogacy work for high age wowenWho needs a Surrogate Mother?

Surrogacy means an arrangement between a woman and commission parent, under which surrogate mother carry and delivery baby for another individual or couple.

The Intended Parent might need a surrogate mother due to following reasons:

  • As the female partner is unable to conceive due to the missing or abnormal uterus.
  • Biological Mother had multiple failed in-vitro fertilization.
  • Female partner had multiple pregnancy losses or due to an unexplained medical condition.
  • Due to complex health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid and delicate heart conditions, which make it risky for both mother and child.
  • A lady can opt for surrogate mother pregnancy due to a personal or carrier-oriented decision.
  • For a gay couple, hiring a surrogate mother is the obvious choice.
  • Surrogacy Process is the most complicated form of infertility treatment due to medico-legal issues and significant financial stake.

At the personal level, first, the childless couples need to understand if they are emotionally prepared to enjoy parenthood with the help of the surrogate mother.

But remember, it is just the beginning of a long and somewhat tiring surrogacy process.

We want to emphasize that to find a surrogate mother can be an overwhelming task for many parents. There is a lot at stake as creating a new life is not easy. On top of that, Intended Parents want very best for their unborn child.

How to find surrogate Mother?

While finding a surrogate mother, intended parents need to consider a few factors as below:

  • You can take help of numerous surrogacy agencies available. Going with your locally based surrogacy agency is possible. You can choose a cross border surrogacy agency, which can be more cost-effective.
  • Online surrogate mother directories. Many surrogate mothers find online websites are available, where they have a list of surrogate mothers. The data consist of a list of the surrogate mothers and intended parents. Although you can see the detail of the surrogate mothers, to have the contact detail, you need to buy a paid membership. Same goes for surrogate mother.
  • Find surrogate through a friend or relative. In this case, you can reach out to family members or close friends, who are ready to help you.
  • Surrogacy facilitators are an experienced and helpful guide for surrogate mother finder. They have years of experience and networking in the surrogacy domain. It makes them easy for them to guide and support you on this journey. They can put you in touch with the right surrogacy agency or online help so that you can make an informed decision.

In short, with their experience, expertise, and connections, they make your surrogacy journey somewhat easy and less stressful. You can make fewer mistakes and avoid getting cheated by the shady operators.

Surrogate mother requirements you need to consider.

So, while looking for surrogate mother, pay attention to below surrogacy requirements:

  • The appropriate age group for a surrogate mother is 21 to 35 years.
  • Having at least one of her child with event-less pregnancy and delivery history. So look out for a surrogate who is the mother in the past.
  • The surrogate mother has thorough counseling and has cleared psychological evaluation and medical testing. She should understand the responsibility and accountability of her job. The surrogate mother should get adequate counseling to be sure of rights and obligations.
  • If you are using a surrogacy agency, try to ask as many questions as possible. It is good to know the reasons and motivation of surrogate mother to participate in the surrogacy process.
  • Although a monetary benefit is a great way to appreciate surrogate mother services, it should not be the only reason to become a surrogate mother. Surrogacy pay varies country to country, so you need to confirm with your surrogacy agency how much surrogate mother costs and how it is a paid-escrow account?
  • Look out for surrogate mother general attitude toward life. It is good to have someone who has a positive approach toward living with a lot of gratitude.
  • Getting a criminal background checkup for surrogate mother. Any ethical surrogacy agency will be happy to share this information with you and will help you in forming a strong bond between Intended Parent and surrogate mother.
  • If you are planning to have a cross-border surrogacy service, legal aspect regarding baby citizenship need to be considered.
  • For some countries, the birth mother is the legal mother of the child and her name come in the baby birth certificate.

In countries like Russia, Colombia, and Thailand, the surrogate mother is the legal mother. In such cases needs to give up her rights to give full custody of the baby to the commission parents. So, diligent research is required.
In case you are looking for international surrogate mother, further research about the surrogacy laws in your country and the surrogate mother destination country.

How does surrogacy work for high age wowenSurrogate Mother Process- How does surrogacy work?

Now you have found the surrogate mother; let’s see how to proceed with the rest of the surrogacy process.

It is good to set the expectation that there will be times when lots of things will be out of your hands. Having a positive approach and patience is critical for any surrogacy process.  Below is step by step process, to outline how does surrogacy work for you.

Typically, this is how does surrogacy work for a gestational surrogacy arrangment: 

Surrogate Matching Process

Once your detail information is collected by the surrogacy agency, they start the process of matching a surrogate mother with Intended Parents. Looking at the specific requirement by parents and physical attributes they expect in their gestational carrier, a few surrogates can is shortlisted.

We have a reasonable amount of information in our blog where you can read more about the exact matching surrogate process.

Your availability for the IVF Cycles and menses dates are confirmed. Based on that; the surrogate mother is kept on birth control pills to match her cycle with you for the forthcoming IVF Cycle. In case you are using an egg donor, then egg donor and surrogate mother are synchronized for controlled IVF Cycle.

Since surrogacy is not anonymous in any country, so, if needed, Intended Parents can meet surrogate mother before starting the medical procedure.

Screening for surrogate Mother

Once you have selected the surrogate mother, legal documents and medical preparation starts.

The female partner undergoes a fertility evaluation to verify or confirm her fertility. Same way, the male partner needs to undergo a few blood tests and sperm analysis to make sure he is a good fit for IVF. The number of pre-IVF tests and scans are more extensive for a female partner.

For the gestational carrier, most of tests and scan are done to make sure her robust health and her capacity to carry a baby. Her reproductive health and her uterus lining are utmost important in her medical evaluation.
A fertility expert will do a pelvic scan to rule out the possibility of cyst or fluid in the uterus and to examine the thickness of endometrium lining. That consists of a physical examination and pelvic ultrasound and more extensive physical exam; blood tests and hormonal profile. At this stage, the fertility doctor will discuss the overall surrogacy process and associated risk or side effects with you and surrogate mother.

Synchronizing with the Recipient

To match the menses cycle of the female partner or egg donor with the recipient (surrogate mother) in the upcoming IVF, you will be asked to take birth control pills. The birth control pills help the doctor to control the menses of the egg donor, and thus the IVF cycle become manageable. That is especially important if you are using a traveling egg donor.

If a female partner is using her eggs, the doctor might ask you to take control pill on specific dates for managing your menses. Once your menses start, you will be asked to come to the IVF Clinic for evaluation and to get started.

There are times when you are planning to freeze embryos, no synchronization with surrogate mother is needed.

In this case, the couples do IVF and freeze the embryos. In the future, when you are ready to start the surrogacy process, you can look out for a surrogate mother. She is then tested and prepared for endometrium lining for forthcoming frozen embryos transfer (also known as FET).

As compared to the fresh IVF cycle and transfer, it is easy to manage frozen embryos transfer.

Uterus Lining Preparation for surrogate mother

A surrogate mother needs to undergo a slightly aggressive approach for her lining preparation. She must take oral meds/ inject-able, which will help in building the desired thickness of the endometrium layer before embryos transfer.

Fertility doctor advises having a thickness of 10 mm at the time of embryo transfer. Surrogate mother needs to visit the IVF Clinic 3-4 times to review the width of the endometrium lining. If the surrogate mother lining is progressing well, the doctor gives the exact date and time for embryos transfer.

Generally, the embryos transfer is done on around Day 18 to 21 of surrogate menses. At this stage intended parents are one step closer to their dream of having a baby.

Embryos Transfer Day

This process of embryos transfer is relatively easy as compared to egg pick up, and no anesthesia is needed.

Typically, a catheter is used to transfer the embryos to the uterus of a surrogate mother, trans-vaginally, and the whole process can take up to 15 to 20 minutes.

It is a day procedure, and the surrogate mother can go home after 1-2 hours rest in the IVF clinic. She will be prescribed a few oral and injectable meds and needed to take bed rest for 2-3 days.

After this, she can resume your day-to-day activity but need to avoid any strenuous activity. She will be asked to come after two weeks for BHCG Blood test to confirm pregnancy.

BHCG test to confirm pregnancy

The 2-week wait is not easy for surrogate mother and commissioning parents. This is the day, you have been preparing and desperately waiting to come.

The surrogate mother can do home pregnancy tests, known as human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) to confirm the pregnancy. This is a urine test advised to do first thing in the morning. In a pregnant woman’s placenta produces hCG, also called the pregnancy hormone. If the surrogate mother is pregnant, the initial urine test can usually detect this hormone in the urine about ten days after the embryos transfer.
Although the home pregnancy kit is 99% accurate, your fertility doctor would like to have a blood sample drawn to check the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone. The blood tests are almost 100% accurate and leave no room for guesswork.

To confirm the pregnancy is progressing well, fertility doctor advises having 2-3 more BHCG test to see that human chorionic gonadotropin hormone value is increasing. Ideally, the repeat tests are done after 24-48 hours. If values are doubling, that means all is well!!

It is worth to mention that in the case of twins, there will be a higher value of BHCG in your tests. Although at the time of BHCG you will not know if it is twins. But due to 2 placentas, there will be a higher level of the BHCG hormone. Your fertility doctor can hint it, but you need to wait till they see twins gestational sacs to confirm anything.

Pregnancy phase of a surrogate mother

Once pregnancy confirms, and the doctor has seen the gestational sac. They hey will continue with external hormonal support to the surrogate mother till the 12th week.

After that, it will be more or less like a natural pregnancy. The monthly checkup for surrogate mother done as per the standard antenatal care. This phase is full of excitement and expectation for both the surrogate mother and the commission parent.

If Intended parents wish, they can be present at the time of scan of the surrogate mother. Seeing the unborn child pic and hearing the heartbeats can be a satisfying and emotional experience.

The baby delivery for surrogate mother

The birth date is discussed well in advance with the surrogate mother and intended parents.

The arrival of a surrogate baby is a moment of great joy for Intended Parents!! For surrogate mother, it is kind of mix feeing. That is the day she was waiting for months, and now it all seems to come to an end. However, all parties are ecstatic to complete this journey.

Conclusion for how does surrogacy work

Having a baby via gestational carrier is a big decision. Most childless couples struggle with infertility treatment which is emotionally and financially tiring. Sometimes, opting for surrogacy motherhood is the only choice left.

Every parent desire to give very best to thier kids. It is equally applicable to the unborn child. Commissioning parents wish to have a surrogate mother who feels a sense of responsibility for their unborn child. Someone who can nurture the baby with love and care — and have the right influence on the baby.

In our Indian mythology, they say, the baby starts responding to the external environment after 24 weeks. That means the fetus can hear and get influenced by the surrounding environment. The physiological and emotional state of the mother does affect the unborn child!

So, hiring the right surrogate mother is an integral part of the full surrogacy process.

IVF Conceptions is assisting prospective intended parents in finding the surrogate mother since 2010. So, we can safely say we are one of the most experienced and compassionate sources of information. We have already done hundreds of successful surrogacy programs and still doing many!!

Get in touch for a free consultation to get know how does surrogacy works best for you with Us!