The Medical Process - Gestational Surrogacy

Medical Screening

Once you are matched, arrangements will be made for you to undergo the necessary medical screening, which will include a pelvic exam, cultures, and blood testing for sexually transmitted diseases. If you are married or have a partner, he will also be required to have a blood draw for STD screening. The Intended Parents (or genetic contributors) will have the same tests run on them. If the Intended Parents are already working with a fertility clinic local to you, you will be seen at their clinic. If not, we will locate a clinic local to you for cycle coordination, unless you mutually agree that you will travel to the Intended Parents’ clinic.

Medical Process
Gestational surrogacy is accomplished through a process known as In Vitro Fertilization/ Embryo Transfer (IVF/ET), whereby the eggs from the Intended Mother (or an Egg Donor) and the sperm of the Intended Father (or sperm donor) are mixed in a laboratory, creating embryos, which are subsequently transferred into the uterus of a Surrogate Mother. For purposes of this discussion, we will assume the Intended Parents will be using their own genetic material.

The Intended Mother and Surrogate will generally both be put on birth control pills to align their cycles. The Intended Mother will take ovarian stimulation medications to encourage her ovaries to develop multiple follicles. During this time, the Surrogate will also take medications to suppress ovulation and prepare her uterus for embryo transfer and pregnancy. The progress of both are monitored by ultrasound and blood tests. At the appropriate time, the eggs are extracted and fertilized with sperm, creating embryos. Three to five days later, an agreed-upon number of embryos (typically one or two) are placed into the Surrogate’s uterus, a painless procedure. The Surrogate will generally have a period of one to three days of bed rest, as prescribed by the fertility specialist. Two weeks later, blood tests show if the Surrogate is pregnant.

After confirmation of a clinical pregnancy, the Surrogate will be monitored by the fertility clinic for the first 9 to 10 weeks of pregnancy (approx. 6-8 weeks post-transfer), while she is taking supplemental estrogen and progesterone, then “graduate” from the fertility clinic to begin obstetrical care with an obstetrician who is a preferred provider under her health insurance plan and approved by the Intended Parents.

Health Insurance

Surrogate's Health Insurance
If you have a policy of health insurance, we will need to review a copy to determine whether it will cover a surrogate pregnancy. If it does not, or if you do not have health insurance coverage, the Intended Parents will pay for a policy on you for the pregnancy and for a period of time following delivery. Note: due to federal insurance regulations relating to open enrollment for health insurance, it may be necessary either to coordinate the timing of a cycle such that obstetrical care would commence at approximately 11 weeks of pregnancy or for your couple to purchase a “gap” policy. These matters will be discussed at the matching stage. The Case Coordinator will assist you in obtaining a policy for which the cost of premiums, co-pays and deductibles will be paid by the Intended Parents.

Prospective Parents' Health Insurance
The costs associated with the baby's medical care are the legal and contractual responsibility of the Prospective Parents from the moment the baby is born. The type of coverage will depend upon their residency and citizenship.
Domestic Couples: A policy of health insurance that will cover the baby(ies) must be in place prior to pregnancy and maintained for the duration of the pregnancy and following delivery while the baby is in the hospital.

International Couples: While some international couples may have travel insurance that includes dependents born abroad (typically where international travel is required for their jobs), health care coverage options for babies born to non-U.S. residents are limited. The Surrogacy Agreement will provide that the Intended Parents are financially responsible for all expenses relating to their baby/ies.