Surrogacy Process for Intended Parents

Learn all of the steps involved in becoming a parent with Reproductive Possibilities. Give us a call at (201) 505-0078 to have a member of our team walk you through the process.

Personalized Family Building

Reproductive Possibilities is known for our customized family building packages for surrogacy, affordable services and our staff that offers support and comfort from beginning to end.

At Reproductive Possibilities, the majority of intended parents who come to our surrogacy agency are everyday people with normal jobs and normal lives. Our process is inclusive to intended parents of all kinds, including parents from Georgia, Ohio, Wisconsin, Texas, Pennsylvania, and across the U.S., all over the world, heterosexual and LGBTQ+ parents, and couples and single parents.

We know that becoming a parent via surrogacy might not be how all intended parents envision starting or growing their family. Some intended parents turn to gestational surrogacy to have children after they have not achieved success on their own or with in vitro fertilization (IVF). Other intended parents knew from the beginning they would need assistance to build their family. We understand the hardships you may have faced prior to considering surrogacy, and we work diligently to make sure your dream of having a family comes true.

Photo of smiling father and surrogate child

Step 1: Complimentary Consultation

If you’re ready to begin your surrogacy journey, contact us to schedule a complimentary interview with our founder, Melissa Brisman, as well as one of our Intended Parent Coordinators. We will explain the surrogacy process in detail, what sets Reproductive Possibilities apart from other surrogacy agencies, and we’ll explore the options that would work best for you and your family.

Upon signing our service agreement, our Intended Parent Coordinator will finalize your personal criteria and preferences, and then the search for your surrogate will begin.

Step 2: Find a Surrogate Mother

The time it can take to successfully match with a surrogate mother can vary, depending on your personal preferences. Finding the right match is an important first step, as we want you to feel comfortable and confident moving forward.

Once we find a surrogate that matches the criteria you shared with the RP team, we will share their profile for you to review. The surrogate profile consists of the potential surrogate’s application, photos of her and her family and additional information about her to help intended parents get to know her and what brought her to surrogacy. Within a couple of days, you can decide to move forward with that surrogate or continue searching.

If you choose to move forward, we will schedule a time to introduce all parties — either on the phone or through video chat — to determine a good fit. A member of the Reproductive Possibilities team will also be on this call and will help guide the conversation, asking questions to help everyone to get to know each other better.

After the initial meeting, both parties will let Reproductive Possibilities know if they would like to move forward. If all parties agree, the surrogate will be officially matched with you.

Step 3: Match with Surrogate Mother and Begin Escrow

After you’ve matched with a gestational carrier, you will open and fund an escrow account with Surrogate Fund Management. Your escrow account is used to hold the funds necessary for your surrogacy journey. Surrogate Fund Management will manage all bills and payments associated with the surrogacy, including payments and reimbursements between the intended parents and surrogate mother. This allows you to focus on your surrogate relationship without financial matters impacting your connection. Expenses, fees and bills are paid based upon the terms agreed to in your Gestational Carrier (Surrogate) Contract or your approval (if not already determined).

Step 4: Your Surrogate’s Pre-screening and Screening

A surrogate mother’s pre-screening includes a criminal background check, a social worker at-home visit and the forwarding of her medical history and records to your fertility clinic for their initial approval. Once all of these have been completed, the clinic will reach out to schedule a full day of screening at their facility. If your surrogate and spouse/partner need to have travel arrangements for this trip, our office can assist, or you can choose to make these travel plans on your own.

A typical all-day screening includes blood and urine analysis, a saline sonogram, a physical evaluation, drug and STD testing, and a tutorial on injectable medications. In addition, psychological screening will be completed by an ASRM*-certified psychologist, or by a social worker on staff at your fertility clinic.

*American Society for Reproductive Medicine, a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of reproductive medicine.

Step 5: Contracts and Escrow Funding

Once a screening date is scheduled for you and your surrogate, our legal team will begin drafting your Gestational Carrier Contract. A Gestational Carrier Contract is an agreement between the intended parent(s), surrogate mother and her spouse/partner (if applicable). This agreement is negotiated after the fertility clinic confirms medical testing and screening is complete.

The contract covers: parental rights, custody issues, location of delivery, insurance, medical decisions during the pregnancy, liability for complications, life insurance, etc. Financial considerations, such as the surrogate mother’s compensation and expenses, including lost wages, legal fees, child care and maternity clothes, are also addressed.

This document is shared with you prior to the screening visit, so that you have some time to review. When the clinic confirms with Reproductive Possibilities that the surrogate has passed screening and cleared to move forward, the Gestational Carrier Contract will be forwarded to your surrogate, along with an attorney referral for her representation so her best interest is protected. Your surrogate is not required to use our referral, but she must be represented by an attorney who is familiar with surrogacy contracts and/or reproductive law.

Once the Gestational Carrier Contract is signed and finalized, the escrow account will need to be fully funded with the surrogate’s full singleton fee, as noted within her contract. Once Surrogate Fund Management confirms that the funds have been received, legal clearance will be sent to your fertility clinic to have your surrogate begin her medications to prepare for the embryo transfer.

Questions about contracts and escrow? Our experienced team is happy to answer any questions. Simply call us at (201) 505-0078 or fill out this form.

Step 6: Monitoring and Embryo Transfer

The surrogate’s medications will be managed by your fertility clinic, and she will be monitored at a facility local to where she lives that will work in tandem with the clinic. She will have weekly bloodwork and bi-weekly ultrasound monitoring for about four weeks to ensure that her body is responding appropriately to the medications and that her uterus will be ready for the embryo transfer. Please note that monitoring schedules vary by clinic.

The surrogate will travel to the intended parents’ fertility clinic to have final testing to confirm her uterus is prepared and ready for the embryo transfer. She will typically relax in a nearby hotel for a 24-hour bedrest post-transfer. These arrangements are managed by our office or the responsibility of the intended parents.

Step 7: Pregnancy and Parentage Order

Weekly monitoring will continue at a facility local to your surrogate mother post embryo transfer for HcG level observation. When the pregnancy is confirmed, the surrogate will slowly stop medications — monitored by fertility doctors — to allow the pregnancy to progress naturally. An exciting time early in the surrogacy journey is the heartbeat confirmation, which typically happens around 6 weeks. Once the heartbeat has been confirmed via ultrasound, the surrogate will be released into the care of her OBGYN around 12 weeks of pregnancy.

When the surrogate is between 16- and 20-weeks-pregnant, the legal team will reach out to you to initiate the birth order/parentage process. Birth orders are the documents presented to the courts that declare you (the intended parents) as the legal parents of the child. The process does vary by state and/or county and may be completed as a Pre-Birth Order, Post-Birth Order, or Stepparent Adoption.

Step 8: Delivery and Closing Escrow

In preparation for the big day, we recommend that intended parents reach out to the surrogate’s delivery hospital to confirm that they accept the surrogate’s health insurance and also to determine if the hospital accepts your medical insurance, which will cover your child upon delivery. If your personal insurance is not accepted, please contact our office for further guidance. Our office offers additional services if you'd prefer our help.

Typically, intended parents arrive in the surrogate’s home state a couple of days to a week or so prior to the estimated delivery date. Your surrogate will communicate with you and our office as soon as labor starts, should you need to make or change your travel plans. Once the baby is released from the hospital, you may start your journey home as a family.

The escrow account must remain open for at least 3-to-4 months post-birth. During this time, Surrogate Fund Management will collect and handle all medical bills associated with the pregnancy, finalize the surrogate’s final expenses and close the account once all bills are paid. If any funds remain in the account, you will receive the balance via check.

Pre- and Post-Birth Orders

Intended parents must obtain a court order determining legal parentage for the child. The order declares who the legal parents are and also confirms for the hospital who can make medical decisions for the child. In addition, this document directs the state department of vital records to place the intended parents’ names on the birth certificate of the child delivered.

If intended parents do not obtain a birth order, it is likely that one or both of the parents may be required to adopt their child. Contact our legal team for further details.

Parents holding their surrogate child

Common Questions for Intended Parents

What happens after the baby is born?

Once the baby is born, you will begin bonding with your newborn while the doctors take care of the surrogate. Many intended parents spend this time having “skin-to-skin” contact with their new baby, where the baby is placed against the bare skin of the parents. All legal paperwork should be in place at the time of birth, which will ensure that you have all decision-making rights for the care of your child. Some states do require the parentage order be signed after birth. In these cases, additional paperwork is shared with the hospital that will allow you to make all decisions regarding your child. Once the baby is released from the hospital, you and your child can return home and start your life together as a family.