You are required to come to California for the medical screening and the egg retrieval/fertilization process if you are using your own eggs and/or sperm. You should expect to be here for at least 7 days. It is recommended, but not required that you try to be here at least once during the pregnancy. If possible, we recommend if you are expecting twins that you arrive 6 weeks before the due date and for a single child that you arrive 3 weeks before the due date.
Discussions over cost, escrow accounts, doctors, lawyers and scheduling appointments can overwhelm and stress the relationship between the Intended Parents and the Surrogate Mother. Having an agency to manage the process and to make sure all of the details are taken care of for you allows the Intended Parents and the Surrogate Mother to relax and enjoy the pregnancy.
Provided the surrogate’s health insurance policy clearly and specifically states coverage for a surrogate pregnancy, you may utilize the surrogate’s personal health insurance plan with her consent. Our insurance specialist will review the policy to investigate what coverage is available. This information will be provided to your attorney for review.
In some states there may be the option of purchasing an individual health plan for your surrogate. Otherwise, there are policies available for surrogate mothers that are designed specifically for surrogate pregnancies.
Our initial contact with a potential surrogate is a phone interview. If she meets all of the criteria she then completes an extensive application, as well as multiple staff interviews, that allow us to assess her motivation and willingness to participate in our program. We will review her medical records from previous pregnancies and forward these records to your IVF physician. We do a city, county and statewide criminal background investigation on the surrogate candidate and her spouse. Better Life Surrogacy follows the guidelines set by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine for psychological testing and screening. Finally, your IVF physician will screen both the surrogate and her spouse/partner for infectious diseases and will evaluate your surrogate’s ability to conceive and carry a pregnancy.
The surrogate matching process can take a matter of weeks or it may take several months to be matched with a surrogate. It is our priority to match parents with surrogates based on their needs and desires, rather than matching you with whomever may be available. You will always be kept informed of any new surrogates who join our program and have access to their profiles.
The purpose of this legal document is to allow each party to state their intentions and their responsibilities to one another. The agreement will clearly state that the Surrogate does not intend on parenting any resulting child(ren) and does not wish to have physical or legal custody of any resulting child(ren). The surrogacy agreement will also define the rights and responsibilities of the Intended Parents.
The finalization and execution of your surrogacy agreement takes approximately 4-6 weeks depending on how quickly you return the necessary information as requested of you. You must account for the time needed for you to review the agreement, as well as the time needed for the surrogate to review the agreement with her attorney. On average, agreements are generally signed within four weeks of the drafts being reviewed and approved by both parties.
This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions of gestational surrogacy. The gestational carrier enters in to the arrangement of surrogacy knowing that the baby she will carry is that of the intended parents, and will have no biological connection to her. Surrogates already have a family and children of their own. Generally it is the result of the surrogate’s love for her children that compels her to become a surrogate, allowing her to provide another couple with the same opportunity to experience parenthood.
All surrogate costs related to the process are required to be held in a trust account. All payment requests are reviewed by the agency for concurrence with your contract for accuracy. In the event of a request that falls outside the realm of the contract, you will be contacted by the agency for approval prior to submitting the request to the manager of the trust account for payment. Many parents retain the attorney who drafted their surrogate contract to be the manager of the trust account, but this is not a requirement of Better Life Surrogacy All financial matters are handled by the agency, removing this element from your relationship with your surrogate.
Many women who become surrogate mothers do so to contribute the unique and valuable gift of parenthood to another person or couple. Surrogates, by nature, are loving and generous women who have found joy and purpose in their own experience as a mother.
During your journey to parenthood through surrogacy, you may encounter many obstacles and experience many joys. Your surrogate will experience these emotions with you. Your relationship will develop and unfold as you share in the experience together. We believe that all surrogates need to know that they have made a difference in your life and that your dream of being a parent has been fulfilled. By staying in touch with her after the birth of your baby and sending her photos from time to time, she can see that she did, indeed, achieve her goal.
The Surrogate Mother will give birth to your child(ren) at a hospital that is local to where she resides. This is typically the hospital where she has given birth to her own children.