The Surrogate Matching Process
The compatibility of our Gestational Surrogates (also known as surrogate mothers) and intended parents is an important part of the surrogacy process at West Coast Surrogacy. Our objective is to match surrogates and intended parents in an effort to create a comfortable environment for both parties and to foster an atmosphere of unity and teamwork. Before getting started, we encourage candidates to review our surrogate mother requirements.
It is of the utmost importance to us to identify your beliefs and desires and create a situation that would be ideal for you during your surrogacy process. Once we have an intended parent or couple that we believe is a strong match, we will review their profile information with you in depth. If you are interested in becoming a surrogate for the selected intended parents, we will ask that you and the couple/individual communicate prior to meeting in-person. This in-person meeting will include your spouse or partner, the intended parent or couple and a case manager of West Coast Surrogacy. If all parties agree to work together, the surrogate mother process continues and psychological and medical evaluations are scheduled.
Prescreening process and support
Once your records have been reviewed by a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist, you and your husband/partner will start the prescreening process. You will meet with a licensed mental health professional for a comprehensive interview. You and your husband/partner will also undergo a psychological evaluation as advised by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. WCS will conduct a background check for all parties over the age of 18 that reside in your home. A home visit will be completed by a licensed social worker and a health insurance review, if applicable. Once matched and medically cleared, you will speak with a counselor for monthly support as well as receive email support as needed, continuing until 2 months post-partum. You will have unlimited access to our online support group of surrogate mothers from the time you are matched. All fees associated with the psychological screening and support are paid by the intended parents.
Your medical records will be reviewed by an IVF physician. Once your records are reviewed and approved, you will meet with the IVF physician of the intended parents for a consultation and medical evaluation. You will undergo infectious disease screening, in addition to an ultrasound and vaginal cultures. Your spouse/partner MUST be screened for infectious diseases as well. The medical evaluation is essential for the surrogate mother process to ensure a healthy pregnancy for you and the baby. All expenses related to the medical evaluation are paid for by the intended parents. A representative from West Coast Surrogacy will attend your medical screening appointments with you.
There are potential risks with all aspects of the surrogacy process: The medical process and procedures, infertility medications and, ultimately, pregnancy. We encourage all surrogate candidates to discuss these risks with their physician prior to enrolling in any surrogate program.
The Legal Process
You will have access to independent attorneys specializing in reproductive and surrogacy law. You may select one of these attorneys to review your legal contract and advise you regarding your rights and obligations. The surrogacy contract is drafted by the intended parent’s attorney. Once all parties have signed the contract, you are clear to start medications for the embryo transfer cycle as determined by the IVF physician. All fees associated with the legal process for being a surrogate mother are paid by the intended parents.
The Embryo Transfer Cycle
Once you have completed all aspects of the screening phase, the surrogate mother process continues with an embryo transfer cycle. You will be required to undergo multiple blood tests, injections (both subcutaneous and intramuscular), and vaginal ultrasounds throughout the embryo transfer cycle as well as the first 8-12 weeks of pregnancy. Some of the medications you may be prescribed are: Birth Control Pills, Lupron, Estradiol/Delestrogen, and Progesterone. These medications will be reviewed with you in detail during your initial interview with West Coast Surrogacy as well as during the medical evaluation with the IVF physician.
You may be required to rest in bed for 2-3 days immediately following the embryo transfer. Surrogates in our program stay in a hotel for the rest period to ensure you are removed from your daily responsibilities. All medical expenses, and any travel or hotel related expenses, are paid by the intended parents.
For information on the IVF embryo transfer process, follow this link to the Pacific Fertility Center website: step-by-step guide to the IVF process.
For information on ultrasound guided embryo transfer, visit the San Diego Fertility Center website.
The Final Step! Surrogate Pregnancy
Once you are pregnant, you will continue to see the IVF physician until being released to your obstetrician, generally around 10 weeks of pregnancy. You will be able to see your own OB, provided that he/she accepts your health insurance and all parties agree with this selection.
Your case manager at West Coast Surrogacy will attend some appointments with you when your intended parents are unable to do so. We will also be with you for any important milestones in the pregnancy, as well as any reasonable time you request our presence. Our role is to act as a liaison between you and the couple you are working with, allowing you to focus on your health and well-being and that of the baby. Our commitment to you is to have the surrogate pregnancy experience be one that is completely fulfilling, leaving you with an experience of having contributed to the world in a unique and precious way.
Follow this link for more information on pregnancy after the IVF embryo transfer by the Pacific Fertility Center in San Francisco.