Frequently asked questions by surrogate applicants
What are the requirements for being a surrogate?
What are the medical risks of being a surrogate?
While the method used to get pregnant as a surrogate is unique, many of the medical risks related with a more traditional pregnancy remain, such as mood swings, nausea, heartburn, weight gain, swelling, increase or decrease in appetite, irritability, back pain, bleeding, sensitivity to certain foods or smells, as well as more serious but rare complications like hypertension or the loss of reproductive organs. You may also experience post partum symptoms such as post partum depression or changes in blood pressure. It is important to note that side effects and risks will be increased if you are carrying multiples. You should discuss all risks with your own OB/GYN as well as the fertility doctor and we recommend that all surrogates be completed with their families prior to commencing this journey as with all pregnancies, there is always a risk that you could lose your ability to carry in the future.
How much is a surrogate compensated?
There is no amount of money that equates to all that you are giving to a family by becoming their gestational surrogate and we hope that you will receive so much more than just monetary gain through this experience. That being said, in several states, surrogates can be legally compensated for their time, energy, risks, and efforts. There are some states where surrogacy is not legal or enforceable. We will let you know if you are in a state that is surrogate friendly or not.
What are the next steps after submitting an application?
1. Phone interview with director.
Can I be a surrogate if I have had a c-section?
The simple answer is yes, you can be a surrogate as long as you have not had more than two c-sections but obviously the physician will evaluate each surrogate on a case-by-case basis. In some very special cases, a surrogate may be approved if she had three c-sections but this is not our standard agency protocol.
Will I need health insurance that covers surrogacy?
Prior to commencing with any embryo transfer, our agency will need to verify that you have an insurance policy in place that does not have exclusions to surrogacy-related pregnancy. If you do not already have an insurance plan that would qualify, one can be purchased for you.
Am I in a surrogate friendly state?
If I had preeclampsia, does that prevent me from becoming a surrogate?
If I have or had endometriosis, can I still be a surrogate?
If I have had issues with depression or post-partum depression, does that disqualify me from becoming a surrogate?
Your wellbeing is very important to us and surrogacy, like other pregnancy, can cause an influx in hormones which can elevate moodiness, anxiety, and feelings of depression. Also, surrogacy pregnancy usually requires that you not take any medications such as anti-depressents, anti-anxiety medications, etc. Perinatal depression (depression while pregnant) and post-partum depression (depression after a pregnancy) can be severe and have serious consequences.
Can I be a surrogate if I have diabetes?
Is it mandatory that I agree to carry multiples?
How many embryos are usually transferred and how is that decision reached?
What is elective single embryo transfer (eSET), and is it a good option?
What is the legal process for a surrogate?
What is a surrogacy pregnancy like?
Once it is confirmed that you are pregnant, you will continue with the medications as prescribed by your IVF physician until approximately 10-12 weeks into your pregnancy. Then you will be transferred to the care of your OB/GYN. At this point, your pregnancy will be much more routine and will largely resemble your past pregnancy(ies). Your appointments with your obstetrician will take place about every 4 weeks and will become more frequent in the final stages of the pregnancy. Since all IVF pregnancies are considered slightly higher risk, you may have a few more appointments then you did in your previous pregnancies as we will likely be under the care of a MFM or maternal fetal medicine doctor who will do an advanced scan of the anatomy of the baby and closely monitor his or her development. We will be there with you through every step of this process to help you through both the emotional and physical aspects of this journey, and we will check in with you at key mile posts along the way to help prepare you for your upcoming delivery.
What can I expect on delivery day?
Does the ACA provide benefits for surrogates?