It’s normal to have lots of questions about surrogacy, whether you are considering the process as a gestational carrier or as an intended parent hoping for a new addition. While gestational surrogacy is a complex experience to navigate on either end, it’s also an exciting and enriching one—and at Extraordinary Conceptions, we’re here to support you during the process.

Understanding the Gestational Surrogacy Process

The term “gestational surrogacy” refers to a type of assisted conception where a woman carries and delivers a baby that is not genetically related to her for another family. Due to the nature of a surrogacy agreement, there are many rules, regulations, and requirements in place to ensure a safe and ethical experience for everybody involved. This makes for a fairly involved process with several legal requirements. This is why most surrogates and families navigate the  gestational surrogacy process through an agency like Extraordinary Conceptions. We help ensure that everything goes smoothly.

The typical gestational surrogacy process consists of 10 steps:

1. Eligibility Check

This step is for surrogates only. There are many rules and regulations about who can become a surrogate carrier. It’s important to check whether you meet the surrogate requirements before embarking on the process.

2. Application or Registration

Once surrogates have confirmed eligibility, they will apply to be a surrogate on the Extraordinary Conceptions database. Intended parents do not need to apply to work with us—instead, they will register on our website.

3. Admissions Interview

After surrogates submit an application, our team will review everything. We will then conduct a phone interview. Once a surrogacy applicant has completed the registration protocol and is approved, she will be automatically added to our database.

4. Matching

With the help of our experienced coordinators, intended parents will be presented with the best surrogate candidates that meet their criteria. Once a potential match is chosen, we’ll facilitate a phone call between everyone to meet. If both parties agree to work together,  it’s a match!

5. Screening

After matching with a family, surrogates are required to undergo extensive medical and psychological screening.

6. The Legal Process

After surrogates are medically cleared, the legal process begins. Surrogates and intended parents will work together with their respective attorneys to create a legal contract which covers everything including a delivery-day birth plan. Ideally this process takes 2-3 weeks.

7. Medications and Monitoring

During this period, surrogates prepare for pregnancy by taking IVF-prescribed medications and sometimes undergoing occasional examinations. This process lasts around 3 weeks.

8. Embryo Transfer

Surrogate embryo transfers are similar to IVF, and are relatively quick and painless. However, surrogates typically are asked to take at least a day of bed rest. Intended Parents are sometimes present for the embryo transfer.

9. Post-Transfer and Pregnancy

Following the embryo transfer, surrogates wait two weeks before taking a beta blood test to confirm pregnancy. In the early stages of pregnancy, surrogates will be monitored by their IVF clinic before moving onto an OBG/YN.

10. Delivery 

The day has arrived! Delivery day will commence according to the unique birth plan which you have all developed together with your attorneys. Generally, surrogates deliver at a local maternity ward or hospital, with her Intended Parents right at her side. Many families remain close friends with their surrogate and go on to maintain a beautiful and unique relationship over the years.

What Does Gestational Surrogacy Cost?

For intended parents, gestational surrogacy is a considerable financial investment. However, there is not one exact gestational surrogacy cost that we can quote, as the number can vary greatly depending on circumstances, like location, pregnancy type, and who your surrogate is.

Location is perhaps one of the most important factors to consider in terms of cost. In the United States, commercial surrogacy, where Intended Parents pay their gestational carrier, is legal in many states. In Canada and Mexico, only altruistic surrogacy, where surrogates receive pregnancy-related expense reimbursements but no compensation, is legal. For intended parents embarking on a commercial surrogacy agreement, they can expect to pay anywhere between $30,000-$70,000 to their surrogate. Regardless of location, intended parents will pay for medical costs, legal fees, insurance, travel etc, as well as a fee to their agency.

For a better idea of how much your surrogacy experience might cost, what the process might entail, or anything else on your mind, get in touch with our team. We can discuss your specific circumstances and help you decide on your next steps. We are here to support you during this exciting time, and we are honored to be part of your family’s story.