Surrogacy FAQs

Surrogacy FAQs

General
  • Physician’s Surrogacy at RSMC is not just an agency. We are integrated with a full-service IVF medical center.
  • Our clinic and coordination staff all work together to provide you with a seamless experience, from your application to the embryo transfer.
  • With our integrated model, we have developed process efficiencies that help streamline a complicated process and ultimately improve clinical outcomes. We are accountable throughout the entire process.
  • We have a medical team with over 100+ combined years of industry-specific experience.
  • Our state of the art facility and fully-accredited lab meet the most stringent standards, and upon walking in the door, reflect quality and professionalism.

A gestational surrogate is a woman who becomes pregnant using an embryo created by the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Pregnancy may be achieved using the mother’s eggs and the father’s sperm. Donor eggs or donor sperm can also be used. There will be no genetic relation to the surrogate.

Yes. If you do not have health insurance, a surrogate-specific medical plan may be purchased for you by the intended parents for the duration of your pregnancy. Bills are handled through cash-pay by our medical billing department.

Yes. We believe single mothers are just as capable of being surrogates as a woman who is married. If you are single, it is very important that you have some type of support system in place prior to committing to any surrogate program.

Our surrogate mothers need to live a healthy lifestyle and take care of the life that is growing inside of them. During this process, we ask you to stay in regular communication with us and inform us of any appointments or pregnancy-related questions.

If you are uncertain about the laws in your state regarding surrogacy, please call our office to speak with an expert.

No, you will NOT be biologically related to the baby that you are carrying for the Intended Parents. As a Gestational Surrogate, your eggs will NOT be used. It will be the eggs of either the Intended Mother or the Egg Donor that is being used.

Your name and your husband/spouse’s name will NOT be on the birth certificate. The Intended Parents will be the ones who will have full parental rights to the baby and it will be their names that appears on the birth certificate.

The amount of contact varies case by case. Contact is determined by the Surrogate Mother and the Intended Parent(s)’ preferences identified during the match. Some cultures are a little more closed off than others; however, the relationship and communication develops as the journey progresses.

Process
  • The first initial step will be a medical screening at RSMC for a pelvic exam, ultrasound, blood work, cultures for sexually transmitted diseases, and toxic substances. If applicable, you will be given lab orders for your partner to also have blood work screening for STDs and toxic substances.

 

  • Once medically, psychologically and legally cleared, an IVF cycle calendar will then be created with important dates and prescription medications. Our physician’s office will go over in detail the names of the medications, instructions on use, and side effects. It is important to note that once injections begin, the Surrogate must abstain from sexual intercourse. During the cycle, but prior to the actual embryo transfer, you will be required to go to the doctor’s office for vaginal ultrasounds and bloodwork at least one to two times per week. It is vital that you attend these appointments and take the medications as instructed by your physician.

 

  • The embryo transfer happens approximately four weeks after the start of injectable medications. The transfer itself is about a ten-minute procedure. The embryos are placed in fluid in a syringe with a small catheter tube. The catheter is put through the cervix and into the uterus where the embryo is transferred. You will be required to be on bed rest for 24-72 hours depending on the physician’s protocol. While on bed rest, it is important to remain calm and still to give the embryos the best possible chance for taking. Follow up appointments for blood work between the transfer and the pregnancy test will occur to monitor the hormone levels.

 

  • A pregnancy blood test will be done twelve to fourteen days after the transfer depending on how the calendar falls. There will be two blood tests and a heartbeat ultrasound to verify a positive pregnancy. Once you are preg­nant you will continue your medications to ensure that the pregnancy will continue to grow. Once the pregnancy is stable (around 10-12 weeks) you will be instructed to stop the medications and you will begin to see your personal OB doctor for the remainder of the pregnancy.

This is dependent on each case, but typically one day to two weeks. The length of process depends on your re­sponsiveness and availability. After your initial application, we will call you to talk about the surrogacy process and answer any questions you may have. We will then send you our compensation package and other documents. Once these documents are returned, it typically takes our on-site Intended Parent team less than two weeks to find a match.

It is usually about 2-6 months until the embryo is transferred. We will bring you in for a medical screening and set up a psychological evaluation. Once you agree to your match, you will enter into the legal contracts phase (where you will be provided with your own legal counsel). The clinic will begin a cycle calendar for you, and instruct you to begin hormone injections.

Yes, during your second interview intake we will gather criteria that will help us coordinate Intended Parents with your preferences. Once the Intended Parent(s) reviews your profile and shares an interest in working with you, we will reach out to you and coordinate a call or video chat. After speaking/meeting both parties will communicate to Physician’s Surrogacy if they wish to work together. Once both parties agree, it will be considered a match.

During the initial screening process, we will require a background check of anyone over the age of 18 that lives in your household. If you are married, both you and your spouse will need to sign the acceptance agreement and will be included in your legal contract. During the medical screening process, your partner/spouse will be required to provide a blood and urine sample. You partner will play a significant role as part of your support team during your surrogacy journey.

Yes. Birth control does not prevent you from being a surrogate. Our Surrogate Case Managers will be able to go over the process during your phone interview.

Unfortunately, we require Surrogates to be done with breastfeeding for at least one month before beginning the surrogacy process.

The intended parents that you are matched with will pay any traveling expenses related to your surrogacy.

No, most of the traveling will only be required during the initial stages of the fertility treatment and pregnancy. Once you are near the end of your first trimester, the doctor will release you to your local OB doctor. If you are not a local, we will reimburse you for your traveling expenses.

Medical

As there are risks with a regular pregnancy, there are no additional risks with a surrogate pregnancy. Please consult with your OB to talk about normal pregnancy risks.

Yes you can! The fallopian tubes are not used, instead, the embryo(s) are placed directly into the Surrogate’s uterus during the embryo transfer phase.

Gestational Surrogates need to prepare their bodies for the embryo transfer; injections are required in order to help your uterus accept the embryo. The medical team will help you throughout your injectable period by providing a calendar with a clear timetable and dosages. Typically, the injections will be required through the first trimester.

Yes, provided that your OB accepts the health insurance plan being utilized for the pregnancy. Together, you and your intended parents will decide upon the physician that cares for you during pregnancy. Many surrogates return to the physician that delivered their own children for the surrogate pregnancy.

Being overweight does not necessarily disqualify you from being a surrogate. The IVF physician that performs your medical evaluation will make this determination. If you are considered to be obese, you may not qualify. If this is a concern for you, please call our office and speak with a representative.

After the first trimester, the fertility doctors will be releasing you to your local OB doctor and then for the rest of your pregnancy, that OB will be the one to oversee your medical care. If you need a new OB doctor, then we can provide you with recommendations. You will be able to deliver at a hospital that is local to you.

Compensation
  • Once you complete your online application, a surrogate coordinator will contact you to discuss the surrogacy journey in more detail and provide you with a more detailed explanation of our compensation package.

 

  • Our compensation structure ensures our surrogates are paid an absolute, fixed amount. We want prospective surrogates to be educated on all facets of the journey and also know that their unique situation will translate to a clear, financial end result. We want prospective surrogates to be educated on all facets of the journey and also know that their unique situation will translate to a clear, financial end result.

To be considered employed, you must have a gross annual income of $15,000. Employment is verified by pay stubs and/or a tax return.

Surrogates who are employed may be entitled to lost wages thru the state. Since we realize this may be a factor, we

have decided to include a stipend for lost wages at the outset. We believe whether it’s needed or not, the money will be there and we leave it up to you how to best allocate those funds. Should you need to file with the EDD, we leave that to your discretion.

For local surrogates, travel and other expenses are much less for the intended parents based on proximity to our southern California location. Additionally, as does cost of living, average surrogacy compensation also varies greatly from state to state.

This compensation structure fosters a groundbreaking concept in which all parties mutually benefit.

 

  • For Surrogates:

Our surrogates are paid more with a fixed compensation package than with a line item package.

Surrogates are paid more up front during the beginning of their journey. In most cases, our surrogates can earn 4-5k+ even before confirmation of pregnancy (COP)

Less tedious paperwork: we eliminate the need for submitting miscellaneous expenses such as childcare, mileage, pay stubs and instead entrust you with the reimbursement of your expenses.

 

  • For Intended Parents:

Straightforward compensation – they know up front what they will be paying and can plan accordingly.

Takes into consideration the additional expenses incurred such as travel and monitoring expenses in different regions.

We try to work around your work schedule, however, you will be required to complete your medical screening, pre-transfer testing, and embryo transfer in California which may cause you to take time off from work. During the initial stages of the IVF process you will also be required to complete bloodwork and have ultrasounds which can be done locally, but, may also cause you to miss work. Once you are confirmed pregnant you will be released by the IVF physician and will be able to see your OB in your area and schedule appointments per their recommendation.

No. Medical expenses, surrogate benefits, legal fees, and travel expenses are all handled by the Intended Parents.

All funds related to your surrogacy will be held in a trust account that is managed by or an experienced escrow company, so that all monies due for your surrogate fees and reimbursement of related expenses are timely paid. All financial matters will be handled by the surrogacy agency, removing this component from your relationship with the intended parents.

If you have questions about the process or your application, we would love to help you navigate through this process.

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Please contact us at family@fertile.com or call 858-342-3327.

Fill out this form and we will send you a reminder to complete the application.