Whether you’re Intended Parents hoping to learn more about the process, or a first-time surrogate yourself, it’s likely that you have quite a few questions about the process ahead. In this article, we will discuss the basics of the gestational surrogacy process with Extraordinary Conceptions, from application to bringing baby home.

Gestational Surrogacy Meaning: What is It?

Gestational surrogacy is a globally popular method of conception. Gestational surrogates are (very special!)  women who undergo an IVF procedure to carry a baby for another family. Gestational surrogates will have no genetic relations to the baby she carries. 

Depending on location, a gestational surrogate may or may not receive compensation. In many parts of the US, commercial (or compensated) surrogacy is legal. In these cases, surrogates receive a financial sum from their Intended Parents which is managed in a trust.

In Canada only altruistic surrogacy is legal. This means that gestational surrogates will not receive compensation. However, they will have all of their pregnancy-related expenses reimbursed (like missed wages, groceries, or travel costs.) They will also receive a wellness package to help them prepare for pregnancy and dedicated support from Extraordinary Conceptions.

What Does Gestational Surrogacy Cost?

Many curious families and surrogates come to us with questions about IVF surrogacy & cost. In truth, there is not just one outright answer to this question. Depending on where the surrogacy is, and the unique circumstances of all parties (like location, type of pregnancy, and financial/employment statuses.)  

As we mentioned above, Intended Parents are expected to pay commercial gestational surrogates for their service. The exact costs of this compensation package will depend on many factors, but typically ranges from $30,000- $70,000. Intended Parents will also pay their fertility agency a fee, cover IVF and medical costs for their surrogate, travel expenses if necessary, insurance costs, and will be expected to hire attorneys for themselves and their surrogate, plus other variable costs associated with their surrogacy cycle.

What Does the Gestational Surrogacy Process Look Like?

There are many steps in the gestational surrogacy process. We’ve broken it down into nine.

1. Surrogate Eligibility

For potential surrogates, the first step of the process is to confirm eligibility. The complete list of US surrogate requirements can be found on our website. Once she has established that she meets all the requirements, she can proceed with her application. 

2. Registry/Application Process and Surrogate Interview

It’s time to get into our system! For Intended Parents, that means registering to work with Extraordinary Conceptions. This can be done online at your convenience. Once families are registered, they can access our online database at any time.

Surrogates will need to complete an extensive application to work with our agency. We will then review this application and get in touch for a phone interview. Once a surrogate has completed her phone interview without any issue and has her medical records reviewed, she’ll appear on our online database. 

3. Matching Time

When Intended Parents find the profile of a surrogate they like, they’ll let us know. We then contact the surrogate and facilitate a phone call for everybody to meet. If the call goes well, everyone can move onto the next step of the process. 

4. Surrogate Screening

During this time, surrogates will undergo a comprehensive set of medical and psychological tests. This will include blood work and a full physical exam. Generally, this takes place at the Intended Parents’ chosen IVF facility.

5. Contracts

After a surrogate has been medically cleared, she and her Intended Parents work respectively with their attorneys to draft a contract. This contract will cover everything related to establishing parentage and your birth plan for the big day.

6. Medications and Monitoring

Ahead of the IVF transfer, surrogates take certain medications to prepare for implantation and pregnancy. This period typically lasts 3 weeks. 

7. Embryo Transfer

Here’s where IVF and surrogacy meet. The surrogate embryo transfer is like an IVF procedure, with the major difference being that she has no genetic tie to  the fertilized egg being implanted. Often, Intended Parents are present at the implantation to support their surrogate. 

8. Post-Transfer/Pregnancy

Following the transfer, surrogates typically take at least a day of bed rest. Two weeks later, they take a blood test to confirm pregnancy and schedule an ultrasound. Afterwards, she’ll be monitored by her IVF clinic before “graduating” to an OB/GYN.

9. Delivery Day

This exciting day will happen according to your contractual birth plan. Congratulations!

If you have specific questions about gestational surrogacy, reach out to our team for a conversation. We’re here to help!