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“Delivering Dreams”

 

Surrogates

FAQ

We understand that there are so many unanswered questions you have about surrogacy.   Getting answers to questions helps us discover something new or discover new ideas and perspectives we may have never considered before.  Answers to questions might also remind us of something that helped us in the past and is related to our current question. 

These are the most common and frequently asked questions and topics about Surrogacy. 

  • Eligibility
  • Types of Surrogacy
  • The Matching Process
  • Intended Parents Screening
  • Eligibility
  • Types of Surrogacy
  • The Matching Process
  • Professionals
  • Tests
  • Examinations
  • Embryo Donation;
  • The IVF Process;
  • Your profile;
  • Success Rate
  • Agency/Attorney
  • Cost

Eligibility:

Are single men/women or same sex couples eligible?

The answer is yes you can use a surrogate; however, the Florida Statute states that if you are single, you would sign a pre-adoption agreement with the Surrogate and adopt the baby after its birth.

Who is eligible?

  • Single men who want a child
  • Single women who cannot carry a child to term themselves, due to infertility or health risks
  • Same-sex male couples
  • Same-sex female couples who cannot carry a child themselves
  • Heterosexual couples struggling with infertility and the inability to carry a child
  • Medically unable to have children

Types of Surrogacy:

There are two (2) types of Surrogacy; Gestational and Traditional.

What is Gestational Surrogacy?

In Gestational Surrogacy, the surrogate becomes pregnant through IVF and has no biological connection to the baby.

What is Traditional Surrogacy?

In Traditional Surrogacy, the surrogate’s own eggs are fertilized using artificial insemination, making her the biological mother of the baby.  In TS, the Intended Parents will have to adopt the baby.

What if the surrogate wants to keep the baby?

This is not an option in gestational surrogacy but it is an option in traditional surrogacy because it is the surrogate’s egg. 

The Matching Process:

What is done prior to being matched to a Surrogate?

The surrogate must be approved in order to be added to our database and eligible to be matched to Intended Parents.  This process involves blood, drug, urine tests as well as HIV, Hep B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis, HTLV-1 (T-cell Leukemia virus).  She will have a physical examination and psychological test, usually called the MMPI test. 

Once the surrogate passes these tests, she prepares her profile that is shared with prospective Intended Parents.  When the Surrogate and Intended Parents agree to a match, they each contact their attorney and meet with them to discuss, prepare and execute a contract that mutually satisfies the surrogate and intended parents.

Surrogate Mothers:

Who are Surrogates?

Surrogates are selfless women of all different backgrounds who have a passion to help others.  They go through a screening and eligibility process until it is determined that they can represent an intended family.

Do Surrogates have rights?

According to the law, a donor or a surrogate mother of Gestational Surrogacy in the State of Florida has no parental legal rights to the child born and the child born is legally the child of the prospective intended parents. 

In other states, the intended parent may have to go through an adoption procedure. Still, as long as the surrogate is onboard, any state will eventually grant custody to the intended parents. Once legal parenthood is established, the surrogate has no legal relationship to the child—not even visitation rights if contractually agreed upon.

Who works with a surrogate mother?

The following people might consider working with a surrogate:  people who have struggled with infertility, prospective single parents, same-sex couples, or anyone who is unable to safely carry a pregnancy to term.

How do I find a surrogate?

Intended parents can identify a surrogate on their own networking and advertising or with the help of an agency’s matching services.  If the surrogate knows an Intended Parent(s) and want to surrogate for them, the Intended Parent would need to contact Creating an Angel.

How much contact will I have with my Intended Parents?

The surrogate and Intended Parents determine how much or how little contact you are comfortable with and this is specified in your Agreement/Contract.

Will the surrogate be related to the baby?

The surrogate is not related to the baby with Gestational Surrogacy. The relationship the surrogate has with your baby depends on the type of surrogacy the Intended Parents pursue. 

Can a surrogate mother decide to keep the baby?

When the intended parents fulfill their contractual obligations, the surrogate mother has no legal claim to the baby. For this reason, gestational surrogacy agreements are highly recommended, and in some U.S. states, it's actually illegal to hire a traditional surrogate.

What happens if surrogate mother miscarries?

When something goes wrong, the pregnant surrogate is most often not at fault, and the Intended Parents are obligated to satisfy your contractual agreement. If the surrogate  miscarries, she's entitled to compensation up to the point when she loses the child.

Do surrogate mothers share DNA?

The answer is no.  The child already has its DNA from its mom and dad. Also, the baby's own blood passes through its body – not the blood of its surrogate mom. However, there is a possibility that some DNA could be transferred from the surrogate to the fetus that she is carrying and vice versa from the child to the mother.

Do you get maternity leave if you are a surrogate?

If the surrogate meets the normal eligibility criteria, a surrogate mother will be entitled to paid maternity leave.

Can I be a surrogate if I had a Tubal Ligation?

You can. Tubal Litgation is a form of birth control used by many women. The purpose of tying the fallopian tubes is so no eggs can be released from the ovaries and travel through the tubes and settle in the uterus where fertilization occurs and where the embryo grows.  If the surrogate's tubes are tied and she has no available eggs, an egg is taken from another woman, possibly the Intended Mother, and joined with sperm outside the body to create an embryo.  That embryo is placed in the uterus of the surrogate eliminating the step of passing through the fallopian tubes so a child can still be created, conceived and carried.

The embryo is not introduced to the uterus until it's already formed so there is no need for a fallopian tube to exist.  Some woman have no tubes at all and they are still able to conceive through IVF and carry and deliver a healthy baby.

Screening Intended Parents:

Why are Intended Parents screened?

This is a mutual screening process of the surrogate and the intended parents to ensure that all parties are physically, psychologically, legally and financially ready for the surrogacy process.

What’s involved in the screening process for Intended Parents?

  •         Intended Parents will complete an application. 
  •          Talk with a surrogacy specialist about their surrogacy goals and needs
  •         Fulfill agency requirements
  •          Background checks/Child Abuse Registry Check
  •          Home visit
  •          Physical Examination
  •          Psychological Examination

 Professionals:

What professionals will I need to work with?                                                                                                                                                                                           You will need an agency, attorney, and an IVF clinic.  We recommend you speak with other surrogates that have gone through surrogacy and do research on your own so you are confident you are in the best hands with the best professionals that are honest, ethical, trustworthy and knowledgeable in their fields.

Tests/Examinations:

What tests does the surrogate undergo?

The surrogate must be approved in order to be added to our database and eligible to be matched to Intended Parents.  This process involves blood, drug, urine tests as well as HIV, Hep B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis, HTLV-1 (T-cell Leukemia virus). 

What examinations are the surrogate required to have done?

The Surrogate will have a physical examination and psychological test, usually called the MMPI test. 

How does the medical surrogacy process work and who handles the medical procedures?

Nothing can be done unless the contract is agreed to and signed by both parties.  Generally, medical procedures will be handled by an agreed-upon fertility clinic. 

Embryo Donation:

What is Embryo Donation?

Embryo donation is a form of third party reproduction. Embryos remaining after one family's in vitro fertilization are given either to another person or couple for implantation. They are frozen when extracted and thawed when needed for use when another person(s) needs them.

Where is Embryo Donation performed?

Embryo Donation is performed at an IVF clinic.

The IVF Process:

What takes place during the IVF Process?

As with any medical procedure, there are many variables involved.  The same is true of the IVF process; however, this is a basic overview of the process.

Week 1:      Consultations:  Initial, Treatment Plan, and Financial

Week 2-4:   Pretreatment (blood tests, ultrasounds, infectious disease screening, uterine evaluation, male fertility testing); Beginning of Birth Control Pills.

Week  5:   Medications, Monitoring with Ultrasounds and blood tests.

Week 7: Triggering the final maturation of the eggs; Ultrasound egg retrieval; Egg and sperm are combined in the lab; 3-6 days after fertilization, embryos are evaluated for transfer; 3 days after fertilization, embryos are ready for transfer into the uterus.

After IVF, a progesterone supplement is taken to help support the uterine lining and encourage implantation.

About 12 days after the embryo transfer, a first pregnancy test is given.  If the test is positive, a repeat test will be taken about a week later to confirm pregnancy.  An ultrasound will be given 2 – 3 weeks later.

Will the surrogate be the biological parent of my child?

The surrogate is not the biological parent of the baby.  Surrogacy often allows one or both intended parents to maintain a genetic connection to their child.  If your eggs are healthy and viable, or an intended father has healthy, viable sperm, your genetic material can be used to create the embryo.  In many situations, this is a viable option.

The Profile:

Who prepares a profile?

The Surrogate and the Intended Parents prepare their profile.

What is the purpose of a profile?

Profiles are shared with Surrogates and Intended Parents so each can preview information and pictures that will determine if a surrogate and intended parent are compatible.  If both mutually agree to meet, a meeting is set up.  This meeting can be done in person, via telephone or Facebook, Skype or any way that is convenient for each.

What is a Profile?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

A profile is a book about you.  It’s comprised of pictures, captions, notes to the surrogate, and anything you would like to share so she can get to know you before a meeting is set up. 

Surrogacy Success:

What are the chances of success with surrogacy?

Success is influenced by the IVF clinic you and the Intended Parents work with, the health and viability of the embryo you use, and the health and fertility history of the surrogate.  Speak with your fertility clinic.  They will be able to determine your best chances of being successful.  Many clinics will perform multiple embryo transfers until a healthy pregnancy is achieved making the success rate very high.  If a woman is under 39, her chances are approximately 60%

Agency/Attorney?

Should I work with a surrogacy agency?

You should work with either an agency and an attorney.  Surrogacy is complicated process with legal, medical, social and emotional aspects.  It’s easier and safer if you have the guidance of a professional.  We recommend you work with an agency because an agency is able to provide all services such as screening, matching, legal etc.  An attorney may only be able to do the legal agreement with you.

Cost:

What is the compensation I’ll receive?

This is contingent upon the experiences you’ve had.  First time surrogates receive a lower compensation rate.

What will the Intended Parents be responsible to pay?

Intended parents are usually responsible for the following: 

  • Advertising
  • Matching services
  • Counseling, education and support
  • Screening costs
  • General case management and oversight

In addition:

  • Legal services
  • Medical expenses
  • Surrogate compensation and reimbursement                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

How much does it cost to have someone carry a baby for you?

The Intended Parents pay for your maternity needs such as clothing, food, and support group meetings.  There are many variables and fees involved in the process. 

Do surrogates pay taxes? 

Many surrogate mothers throughout the years have contacted the IRS directly to ask if they should be paying surrogacy compensation income taxes.  Surrogates do need to pay taxes on taxable income.

Is surrogacy covered by insurance?

Some private health insurance companies WILL cover the cost of artificial insemination.  Certain insurance companies include a specific clause in their plans that exclude medical coverage for surrogate pregnancies as well.  It’s important you check with your insurance company.

 

 

 






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