Who is a Gestational Surrogate?
With no genetic link to the baby she is carrying, a gestational surrogate is simply the carrier of the fetus. The intended mother or egg donor provides the egg and the intended father or sperm donor provides the sperm. The gestational surrogate has absolutely NO biological connection to the child.
Who is a traditional surrogate?
A traditional surrogate is where the surrogate uses her own biological eggs. As there are numerous emotional and legal aspects of traditional surrogacy, Shared Conception does not handle traditional surrogacy agreements and exclusively offers gestational surrogacy where the eggs of the surrogate mother are never used.
Why should I use Shared Conception Instead of an Independent Arrangement?
It is extraordinarily time-consuming to pursue an independent arrangement. These tasks may include advertising, screening, background checks, and of course, handling all the minute logistical and legal details. Shared Conception efficiently handles all these “bullet points” for you.
In an independent arrangement, if for any reason, your surrogate reneges on your arrangement with her, you will obviously, lose thousands of dollars in upfront costs. Plus, some surrogates who offer independent arrangements are doing so because they do not meet the strict criteria set by highly-reputable agencies such as Shared Conception. Other surrogates may be qualified but might solicit fees that are significantly above the standard industry compensation package.
At the end of the day, Shared Conception is clearly a more effective choice over any independent arrangement.
If, however, you choose an independent arrangement, Shared Conception is ready and available to coordinate and navigate the entire process with you and your independently chosen surrogate. In addition to our full service plan, we offer a designated surrogate plan where you independently locate, interview and designate your surrogate and we expertly guide BOTH of you through the process up to the baby’s birth. We are ready to work with you no matter the situation.
Why should we work with Shared Conception versus another agency?
You should work with Shared Conception simply because we offer first-class service at an affordable price. We sincerely want as many couples or individuals to experience the amazing joy of raising a child without the burden of astronomical surrogate agency costs.
(1) Custom Surrogate Match
Shared Conception will custom-match you with a surrogate based on both of your personalities, values and beliefs.
(2) Professional Mediation
Often in an independent arrangement, you, the intended parent, must raise any concerns or issues directly with your surrogate mother. As you can imagine, this may lead to a few awkward moments and a potentially damaged relationship. Shared Conception discretely mediates your relationship with the surrogate mother–lowering the “tense” factor and increasing the “amicability and rapport” factor.
(3) Customer-centric Case Management
Shared Conception offers an efficient yet compassionate approach throughout your surrogacy arrangement. We are happy to contact the hospital in the last trimester of your pregnancy and discuss the details of your arrangement with their surrogacy or social work team.
(4) Location, Location, Location
Shared Conception is based in Houston, Texas and has an office in Dallas, Texas. Both offices are conveniently located near international airports. Our offices are professional, friendly yet private.
“Partners in Creating Life,” is not only our slogan, it is our way of doing business. Thus, we pledge to actively work with you to create the life and family of which you have always dreamed!
How much contact will we have with our surrogate throughout the process and after the birth?
The amount of contact between you, the intended parent, and your surrogate is completely based on both of your comfort levels. The majority of surrogates want to develop a comfortable rapport with the intended parents because they realize that these soon-to-be parents want to be a part of the pregnancy.
Shared Conception understands the sensitivity of the overall situation. We will be sure to take both side’s thoughts, feelings and wishes into consideration BEFORE making a match.
What is our first step in retaining your agency?
We look forward to hearing from you! Simply call or email us. We will promptly contact you so that we can get started on your journey to parenthood!
How much does surrogacy cost or how much does a surrogate mother cost?
Please refer to the “Surrogacy Cost Page” for all pricing information.
When do I pay Shared Conception?
In order to provide you with the most efficient customer service, Shared Conception collects 50% of its fees up-front when you decide to work with us. We collect the remaining 50% when you are successfully matched with a surrogate.
When do I pay the Surrogate?
After Shared Conception custom matches you with a surrogate and all legal paperwork has been prepared and approved, you will deposit monies into an interest-bearing escrow account managed by an independently-owned escrow agency. These funds will be used to pay for mutually agreed upon fees including the surrogate’s compensation, medical premiums, travel expenses, etc. Payments typically begin the month following the confirmation of pregnancy.
Do you mix the surrogate fees with company funds?
No, there is absolutely no co-mingling of funds! Shared Conception is a unique agency – we refuse to mix client funds with agency funds or put all clients’ funds together in one account. We will refer you to an economical escrow agency where all monies are managed by an accredited, independent third-party.
How are the surrogates screened?
Shared Conception is extraordinarily selective in choosing your surrogate. Our candidates MUST pass an extensive and well-thought out screening process. Our surrogates are medically, psychologically, and financially screened. Finding a surrogate mother is such an intrinsic process but when we find her, rest assured she is fully committed to you and to the process you all are about to experience. To follow is an overview of the qualifications to become a surrogate mother.
Qualifications to Become a Surrogate Mother
- Overall good health without any psychiatric illness or sexually transmitted diseases.
- Financially secure and not be in need of or receiving state or federal government assistance.
- Birthed at least one child that she is currently raising and experienced uncomplicated pregnancies.
- Be between the ages of 21-38.
- Be in a happy, stable living environment and have the full support of her spouse or partner.
- Non-smoker and not be exposed to second hand smoke.
- Must not use illegal drugs.
- Have a healthy height to weight ratio (BMI) as determined by a medical professional – Recognize that an individual does not have to be as skinny as a stick, just be healthy and comfortably fit!
- Possess a high school diploma.
- U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.A.
- Responsibly take all medications (oral, patches, injections, etc.) as instructed.
- Have a reliable mode of transportation.
- Enjoy being pregnant and have a sincere desire help others create or add to their family.
After meeting these rigorous requirements, Shared Conception proceeds with the screening phase.
- Detailed interview.
- Completion of a comprehensive application which includes medical and psychological questions.
- Psychological evaluation and clearance.
- Full and thorough review of all official medical records directly obtained from treating physicians. These records will be reviewed only by a medical professional.
- Successful completion of Criminal and Residential background check.
How do you match couples and surrogates?
The information gathered from our initial meeting and your application is vital to the matching process. After professionally reviewing your needs and circumstances, we immediately start the matching process and will find the ideal surrogate for you. The process of finding the right surrogate mother can be quick or it could take some time, as we are looking for someone whose needs, expectations and views are similar to yours.
Once we have a possible match, we contact the surrogate and you. If both parties are interested in moving forward, Shared Conception will arrange a conference call between you, the potential surrogate and a member of the Shared Conception team. If everyone is in agreement, a face-to-face meeting will occur and you and the surrogate-to-be can start building rapport and determine if you want to journey through this surrogate process with each other. A Shared Conception representative will attend this introductory meeting if requested.
How long does it take to be matched?
As Shared Conception custom matches you with a surrogate, the length of time may vary. We sometimes match couples in a few days or weeks and others in a few months. A custom and thoughtful match depends on many factors including personalities, location, fees, insurance coverage, willingness to terminate if there are chromosomal defects (i.e.: Down Syndrome), willingness to reduce if there are triplets or a higher order multiples and the list goes on and on. Either way, be assured that we are diligently looking for the right surrogate for YOU.
Can we use the surrogate's health insurance?
According to our industry research, a number of insurance companies have started adding surrogacy exclusions to their policies. As a result, some surrogacy agencies suggests using the surrogate’s insurance even though these inclusions exist – they may even tell you that the insurance company won’t know. However, you, the Intended Parent, risk a huge financial loss if there are complications with the pregnancy and the insurance company finds out. Plus, it may even be considered insurance fraud. At Shared Conception, we help the surrogate examine her insurance policy to determine if it contains any surrogacy exclusions. At that point, you can make a determination about using her policy or purchasing a separate insurance policy for your surrogate. Rest assured, we will refer you to quality insurance professionals that can assist you with obtaining insurance if needed. We strive to ensure you have a reasonably priced surrogacy process while protecting your best interest at all times.
What happens if my Surrogate changes her mind?
In the rare situations where a surrogate changes her mind before the contract is signed, Shared Conception will match you with another surrogate at no additional charge.
What if my Surrogate does not become pregnant after the contractually agreed-upon number of transfers are finished?
If your surrogate does not get pregnant after three unsuccessful cycles, where two or more A or B+ embryos are transferred each time, we will gladly match you with another surrogate, free of charge. Shared Conception will match you long as you are willing to try again, until your surrogate finally does become pregnant. We sincerely are committed to helping you become parents!
What if I do not have a Reproductive Endocrinologist?
Shared Conception can refer you to many highly qualified Reproductive Endocrinologists.
What is the typical number of embryos that are transferred?
Your Reproductive Endocrinologist typically makes that recommendation and will consider a number of factors such as embryo quality and the maternal age of the eggs.
What happens if my surrogate wants to keep the baby?
It’s important to remember that all parties are psychologically screened and that legal contracts are created to protect everyone’s interest BEFORE we start the surrogacy process. Based on our research, most surrogates want to ensure that YOU, the intended parent, are committed to moving forward as they are not interested in having any more kids-especially one that is not theirs.
Why should we choose a surrogate in Texas?
Texas is one of very few states that is considered “Surrogate Friendly”. In addition to specific laws in Texas regarding surrogacy, the residency requirement is also favorable. As long as at either the surrogate or intended parents reside in Texas, a surrogacy arrangement can be validated in Texas. Intended parents from all over the United States and the world, specifically seek out Texas for their surrogacy arrangement because of this reason. Please see the “Surrogacy in Texas” page for specifics.
What are the surrogacy laws in the United States?
The Unites States currently has no federal laws regarding surrogacy. Rather each state has its own surrogacy laws. Texas is one of very few states that is considered “Surrogate Friendly”. In addition to specific laws in Texas regarding surrogacy, the residency requirement is also favorable. As long as at either the surrogate or intended parents reside in Texas, a surrogacy arrangement can be validated in Texas. Intended parents from all over the U.S. and the world, specifically seek out Texas for their surrogacy arrangement because of this reason. Please see the “Surrogacy Texas” page for specifics.