Finding a Surrogate
Working with a gestational surrogate to move your dream of parenthood forward is exciting due to the opportunity it provides you. However, parents-to-be also commonly feel the process is daunting: emotionally, physically, and financially. Grief, sadness, excitement, anxiety, hope. All of these feelings may be surfacing as you think about the process. At Forward Fertility, navigating the process of surrogacy is done with kindness, patience, and great attention to detail.
As you consider the process of using a surrogate, are you in search of the following?
- A knowledgeable guide who is always thinking about the details?
- Flexibility to incorporate what matters to you into the process?
- An advocate who can help you avoid the common pitfalls?
- Easy access to a point person that knows your story?
- Quick, responsive, customer-centered care?
- A healthy, honest, genuine woman as your gestational surrogate?
If these are items you would want to have as you navigate the process of becoming a parent thru surrogacy, then working with a surrogate through Forward Fertility may be for you.
NOTE: AS OF AUGUST 2021, FORWARD FERTILITY IS NOT TAKING ON NEW CLIENTS IN SEARCH OF A GESTATIONAL CARRIER. WE HOPE TO REVISIT THIS JANUARY 2022.
Becoming a Parent thru Gestational Surrogacy
Whether you are just starting to gather information, still on the fence, or have decided to use a gestational surrogate, this consultation is an opportunity to learn more about how the process works with Forward Fertility.
Benefits of working with Forward Fertiltiy include:
- Flexibility: Work with the IVF clinic you choose. If you ask, recommendations are available.
- Availability: You probably don't think of your plans to become a parent Monday through Friday or just 9 to 5. Neither do we. Forward Fertility is available on weekends and evenings.
- Affordability: An agency fee that nears that of the surrogate's compensation? Unthinkable.
- Professionalism: As a nurse practitioner and founder of Forward Fertility, Christie Olsen's focus is on you and your experience. Unlike other agencies that are run by former egg donors or surrogates, she is there for your experience as a professional.
- Quality People: That includes genuine gestational surrogates to the 'above and beyond' care you will receive.
Use the Contact Page to share how Forward Fertility can help you. There is no charge and no obligation. If you prefer to speak by phone, simply call!
If after your consultation, you are interested in working with Forward Fertility, you will be given a link to complete an application so your preferences, priorities, and desires can be understood and the best match possible can be made.
Once you have decided to work with Forward Fertility, you will formalize the relationship by signing the Service Agreement. At that time, you will make the initial payment to Forward Fertility and work will begin to match you with a gestational surrogate that meets your needs. Now is a good time to interview and select a reproductive endocrinologist.
With your preferences taken into consideration, we will share with you the profiles of one or more potential surrogates. The profile includes medical history, compensation request, and a letter written by the surrogate introducing herself.The more specific your preferences are, the longer this process can take. If, after reviewing a profile, you are interested in meeting the potential surrogate, Christie will share your profile (identifying information excluded) with the surrogate. If there is mutual interest, we help arrange a meeting.
Once you and the gestational surrogate have agreed to work together, you will make an initial deposit of $3500 into the escrow account to cover the costs of the surrogate's medical screening, psychological evaluation, and legal fees. Once the account is ready, the pre-cycle requirements outlined below will begin.
Your IVF clinic will let you know exactly which tests you and your gestational surrogate need. Testing for sexually transmitted testing is always included.
MEETING WITH A PSYCHOLOGIST OR MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL
A lot of attention is paid to the physical well being of the surrogate, egg source, and sperm source. The emotional health is equally, if not more, important. A psychological evaluation for the gestational surrogate (and her partner, if she has one) is required. Many IVF clinics also suggest you meet with a mental health professional who has experience working with clients undergoing third party reproduction.
Forward Fertility will connect you with experts in the field so you and your surrogate have high quality experts helping you understand your strengths and identify potential challenges navigating the social and relationship aspects of surrogacy.
Laws surrounding surrogacy are state specific and nuanced. You wouldn't go to a real estate attorney for a patent and reproductive law is its own legal niche. Forward Fertility will connect you with attorneys who are experts in surrogacy and the laws in your state. Both you and your gestational surrogate each be represented by your own attorney as you finalize the Gestational Surrogacy Agreement, which outlines the details of your relationship.
You may be planning on creating embryos to transfer into the gestational surrogate or perhaps you have frozen embryos already that will be used. Either way, Forward Fertility will be there to assist with scheduling, injection training, and anticipatory guidance and support along the way. The IVF process includes preparing the surrogate's uterus, stimulating the ovaries of the egg source (either mom-to-be or egg donor), retrieving the eggs, fertilizing the eggs, and growing the embryos in the lab. The entire process takes about 4 to 6 weeks. To minimize the risk to the gestational surrogate, the Food and Drug Administration requires specific infectious disease screening and testing of the egg and sperm sources during this time. Usually, about 10 to 12days after the embryo transfer, the gestational surrogate goes to the clinic for a blood pregnancy test.
Two to three weeks after the positive pregnancy test, the gestational surrogate will return to the IVF clinic for a pregnancy ultrasound. This is when the fetal heartbeat is heard and you will find out if the pregnancy is a singleton or twins.Once the IVF clinic has released the surrogate, she will continue her prenatal care with her regular OB provider.
Forward Fertility will work closely with the hospital where the gestational surrogate is delivering to make sure everything is in place for the big day. Most hospitals are familiar with surrogacy deliveries, but meeting ahead of time with the labor and delivery team can make the labor, delivery, and post-partum stay smoother.You and the gestational surrogate have worked out the desires and priorities for the delivery such as: who will be there, who cuts the cord, who holds the baby. If you are a mom-to- be, you may have already met with a lactation consultant to discuss the possibility of nursing your baby. Many parents-to-be will want to have skin-to-skin contact with their son or daughter right after the delivery to facilitate early bonding.
in most cases, the gestational surrogate and baby stay at the hospital for two days with a vaginal delivery and three days with a C-section. Most hospitals will allow the new parents to stay at the hospital as well. Upon departing the hospital, you will take your baby home with you and begin your new role as parent of a newborn. The gestational surrogate will return to her home and family as she recovers from the delivery. Some gestational surrogates are open to pumping breast milk. Most parents and surrogates keep in some sort of contact after the delivery, given the intimate chapter of life they briefly shared.
Forward Fertility will work with you and the gestational surrogate, as needed, for support and guidance during the post-partum period. If there are any insurance concerns, escrow account details, or legal issues, we will work to finalize every last detail.
Keep us posted on your milestones and thank you for letting Forward Fertility share in your experience. It was an honor.