Surrogates and gestational carriers are terms that are often used interchangeably for women who carry a baby for someone else. While very similar, they actually refer to something slightly different . . . it’s really a technicality, but let’s start there!
A surrogate is someone who in addition to carrying the pregnancy also acted as the “egg donor,” meaning the child is genetically related to them. Can be completed with IUI or IVF.
A gestational carrier is not genetically related to the child they are carrying. The child can be genetically related to the intended parents or the eggs can be from a completely different egg donor. Can be coupled with IVF or DONOR EGG IVF.
While everyone uses a surrogate because they need help carrying a child there are multiple underlying reasons as to why. Here are some of the most common reasons:
-Hysterectomy: Someone who has had her uterus removed due to health problems.
-Endometrial Ablation: Someone that had a procedure that surgically destroys the lining of the uterus (usually done to reduce menstrual flow) but in most cases also makes carrying difficult or dangerous.
-Recurrent Pregnancy Loss: Someone that experiences numerous miscarriages with unsuccessful immunological treatments.
-Other Medical Conditions: Some medically conditionals like uncontrolled diabetes, heart conditions can make carrying a pregnancy dangerous. Some other conditions can cause a non-functioning uterus.
There are social reasons that an individual or couple may seek to have a child using gestational surrogacy. Gay couples or single men may opt to use a surrogate carrier and an egg donor to have children. Lesbian women may choose to undergo reciprocal IVF, a process in which one woman donates her eggs and the other carries the baby to term, each playing a role in the pregnancy.
#1 Set up a Consultation:
Set up a consultation and a full reproductive workup. Each person is very individualized so there is no one treatment fits all. Even if you saw a previous facility regarding treatment, you will still need to have a consultation with our doctor, and please fax us your results.
#2 Contact a Reproductive Lawyer:
Due to the legal complexities involving surrogacy, we strongly suggest contacting a Reproductive lawyer. They will help you find answers & questions you didn’t think to ask.
(Some lawyers listed below)
#3 Find a Surrogate/Gestational Carrier:
We do not have Gestational Carriers at this time (The law was passed in NYS but we need to wait till Feb 2021) Please check back. For now you will need to seek out your own carrier via family, friends, or a surrogacy agency.
After you have chosen your surrogate, you will need to instruct her to contact our office to become a patient.
(Some agencies listed below)
#4 Surrogate/Gestational Carrier Medical Workup:
After your chosen surrogate establishes as a patient she will visit our practice and work with our practice to have a full fertility workup.
-Full physical, medical releases (PCP, OBGYN, any other specialists she sees), have preconception labs drawn, a saline sonogram, and a mock cycle to understand how her uterine lining develops in response to estrogen.
#5 Decide who’s eggs & sperm you will use:
Whether it be your own or donor eggs, it is important you let our team know. If you are using your own eggs, you need to complete FDA infectious disease testing within 30 days of the retrieval to ensure the safety of your carrier.
We will need to know who’s sperm you will be using. If you are using your own or partners sperm the sperm will be required to go through a 6 month quarantine as well as FDA testing. If you are using donor sperm, that sperm has already had the necessary processing done.
#6: The Treatment:
Prior to the start of a treatment cycle, intended parents must agree to the payment requirements for these services and receive a financial clearance from Your Family Fertility. Any questions surrounding insurance coverage or other finance issues should be directed to our billing department. Your Family Fertility is not responsible for any costs associated with medications and outside monitoring services for a carrier. These costs are paid directly by the intended parents. Any fees related to the use of Your Family Fertility mental health professionals and counseling services are billed separately by YFF and are not included in the cost of treatment. Please contact billing for the cost of these services.
After everything is completed in the steps above your surrogacy and donor coordinator will discuss and coordinate the individualized treatment cycle.
List of Reproductive Lawyers:
List of Gestational Carrier Agencies:
Los Angeles Surrogacy
What are the requirements?
-Be between the ages of 21-39 years old
-Delivered at least one healthy child
-No prior pregnancy complications
-If in a relationship, your partner must comply with all requirements
-A willingness to be completely committed to the intended parents
-Adherence to our screening and counseling protocol
-Have a stable financial base
-Clear our criminal background checks
-U.S citizenship or permanent residency status
-Have a stable financial base
-Reliable form of transportation
-Have a healthy BMI
If you meet the above prerequisites we would love to have you apply to become a Gestational Carrier with us today!
#1 Completing your application:
The application may seem lengthy and personal, but it is one of the most important steps in becoming a Surrogate. We understand that there’s a lot of paperwork to fill out, but once you realize your importance in your job as a Surrogate, you will understand the need for all this information. The intended parents have been waiting a long time for this, so in this application is your time to shine but most importantly be honest- as it will help our team determine if you qualify to becoming one of our Surrogate options. Our team is here for you understand every step of way!
#2 Schedule your Intake & Consultation:
At the time of the consultation, our team will explain the entirety of how the process works and answer any questions you may have before taking the next step with us on your journey. Once you fully understand exactly what it takes to become a Surrogate with Your Family Fertility you will move on to our screening process. Our Surrogate screening process is extensive- you will need to of completed the application prior to this appointment which we will go over, an in-person interview, psychological testing & evaluation, medical records evaluation, infectious disease screening, and a criminal background check.
#3 If you are Approved in our program:
You will wait to hear back from one of our members of the team. If you are approved, you now start the journey with our team!
#4 Choosing Your Intended Parents:
At this time, you will focus on matching your Intended Parents with your needs and expectations. Each Surrogate Mother and Intended Parents have different requirements and considerations, which is why our team members will work closely with you to make certain your journey is what you expect.
#5 More Paperwork and Medical Screening
The IVF doctor will conduct a screening on the medical side, and the attorneys will draft and finalize your surrogacy agreement.
#6 Your IVF treatment starts!
Once everything is completed, you have been matched with your Intended Parents, all screenings have been completed, agreements finalized, your IVF cycle will start! At this time, you will take daily medications/injections to sync your cycle with that of the Intended Mother/Egg donor. Next step- The Embryo Transfer!
#7 The TWO WEEK WAIT!
After the transfer, you will wait two weeks before getting bloodwork to determine the results on pregnancy!
#8 After a POSITIVE test, What to expect now that you are PREGNANT:
Now that you are on your way to creating a family for someone else, we will support you both during
pregnancy and after delivery.
We look forward to receiving your surrogate application. Once your file is complete, if you are qualified to become one of our surrogates, we will contact you to complete our surrogate screening process. Intended Parents are already waiting for their ideal surrogate to help them on their journey to parenthood, so please complete this as soon as possible.
Provided information will remain private and confidential, surrogate mothers will only be used by recipient parents in order to select an ideal surrogate for their surrogacy needs. All personal information regarding your name, address, personal medical and health records, etc. will not be provided to potential parents.
Your Family Fertility wants to thank you for taking the first step in applying to become a surrogate and helping an individual or couple complete their dream of having a family. At Your Family Fertility we are with you every step of the way!