The Surrogacy Process
Surrogacy Process for Intended Parents
Shared Conception is eager to partner with you as we determine the right surrogate for you and go through this surrogacy process with you. It is our wish and goal to hold your hand during this unique surrogate pregnancy process and will be there when you finally hold your baby in your arms!
Intended parents will efficiently navigate through the following stages.
- Initial consultation
- Matching process
- Psychological screening and evaluation
- Medical screening
- Legal surrogacy process
- Embryo transfer
- Preparing for the birth
Shared Conception is happy and so privileged to connect with you as you enter into the surrogacy process! We will initially set up a free 60-minute consultation in our offices or via telephone if you are outside Texas or abroad. During this meeting, we comprehensively discuss our entire program, answer any questions and address your unique concerns.
Once you decide to join our program, you’ll complete an application, provide some pictures of yourself, sign your retainer contract and send in the initial deposit.
The Matching Process
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 pregnancy process with each other. A Shared Conception representative will attend this introductory meeting if requested.
Psychological Screening and Evaluation
Once all parties agree to work together and the surrogate pregnancy process moves forward, psychological and medical evaluations will be scheduled. Shared Conception ensures the surrogate is psychologically tested and evaluated by a licensed mental health professional experienced in fertility counseling. This professional will conduct an in-depth interview with the surrogate candidate and her spouse/partner (if applicable), peruse her background, motivation and suitability.
Your surrogate’s initial medical evaluation is conducted by a physician of your choice. Shared Conception will act as the liaison between the surrogate and your IVF physician to coordinate all necessary medical tests and evaluations. Since each IVF center is different, a Shared Conception representative will speak directly with your IVF center’s Third Party Coordinator to discuss their specific testing requirements.
If necessary, Shared Conception will provide a list of qualified and competent family attorneys who are versed in the surrogate pregnancy process and Reproductive Law. This attorney will draft the gestational surrogate contract, validate the contract once the pregnancy is confirmed and establish parental rights prior to the birth of your baby. Contracts must be signed by all parties prior to starting the embryo transfer cycle.
An escrow account must then be established prior to the surrogate ingesting medications for the embryo transfer cycle. These funds cover all fees agreed upon in your contract with the surrogate and include costs such as the surrogate’s compensation, medical co-pays, insurance costs, travel etc. Once again, Shared Conception can refer you to various attorneys and/or escrow companies who are experts in managing trust accounts. Payments begin as stipulated in the contract, usually the month following confirmation of pregnancy.
Embryo Transfer or In Vitro Fertilization
- The intended Mother or egg donor takes medications to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs.
- Eggs are retrieved from the intended Mother or egg donor’s ovaries.
- The eggs and sperm are placed in an IVF laboratory incubator which enables fertilization to occur.
- The fertilized eggs or embryos are placed into the surrogate’s uterus for implantation.
Shared Conception closely monitors and interacts with the IVF physician, all involved nursing staff, and the surrogate so that everyone is cognizant of this part of the process of surrogacy.
Although it’s quite possible for the surrogate to get pregnant on the first attempt, Shared Conception suggests you commit to three IVF attempts as an assurance.
Shared Conception remains active in your journey throughout the entire pregnancy. Provided your surrogate is in our general area, we will attend OB visits with her when you are unable to attend. Shared Conception is a competent liaison between you and your surrogate. Our goal is simply to allow you to focus on the well being of the surrogate and your baby.
Preparing for the Birth
Prior to the birth of your baby, your attorney will prepare and file the necessary documents with the courts. Not to worry, Shared Conception will verify that the birthing hospital has all the paperwork and that the hospital staff is fully briefed on your shared pregnancy.
In the interest of creating an atmosphere of unity and for peace of mind, Shared Conception will fully participate in composing a birth plan that exceeds the expectations of both you and the surrogate. If you so choose, you will also be able to attend any childbirth preparation or infant care classes with your surrogate.
Whenever possible, Shared Conception will be present for the birth of your baby. We sincerely want to support both you and your surrogate as well as discreetly answer any questions the hospital staff may have regarding the surrogacy as well as establishing parental bonds and rights.
Congratulations! The surrogacy process is completed and your baby is born! Many times, this amazing and exhilarating moment is a special time between the family of the surrogate and the intended parents. Upon the formal release of the baby by its pediatrician, the intended parents leave the hospital with their baby. The surrogate happily goes home to her own household knowing she made an impact by creating a much yearned for family unit.