- Step 1: Educate yourself
All intended parents should educate themselves about the surrogacy process by having a consult a surrogacy specialist and a lawyer that specializes in third party reproduction to help ensure that you understand the legal process regarding surrogacy in USA, Canada or other country and how it applies to you.
- Step 2: Looking for a surrogate mother
Once you are ready to start your search for a surrogate mother the first step is to find a surrogacy agency that support you during this process, also you can find surrogate mother on your own thanks to online websites like MySurrogateMom.com. In some cases you will need also to find egg donor.
- Step 3: Medical/Psychological Assessments
All intended parents, surrogate mothers and egg donors must be medically and psychologically screened by the IVF clinic chosen.
- Step 4: Legal representation
Upon medical and psychological screening, you will need to meet with your lawyer to draft a surrogacy contract. Your surrogate or/and egg donor will also need legal representation.
Please note, that contracts must be in place before the egg retrieval and/or pregnancy is attempted.
- Step 5: Getting Pregnant!
In gestational surrogacy, pregnancy is achieved by IVF through the transfer of a genetically unrelated embryo to the uterus of the gestational carrier (or surrogate mother). The embryo could be the result of IVF using the Intended Mother’s egg and the Intended Father’s sperm but also donor gametes could be involved in this process. Sometimes Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) can be done befor the transfer.
The main positive characteristic of pursuing gestational surrogacy is that the surrogate mother is not tied to the baby.
- Step 6: Pregnancy
One of the best aspects of surrogacy is it allows intended parents to be a part of whole process, taking part in as many doctor/ultrasound appointments as you can to support your surrogate mother throughout this process and to bond with your baby.
- Step 7: Birth
The day has arrived when you welcome your child (or children) into the world with the help of your surrogate. Surrogacy is an act of kindness.
Your lawyer will help to assist you with the legal paperwork in US and Canada (DNA requirements, Declaration of Parentage, etc)
- Step 8: Post Birth
Depending on your preferences for after birth contact with your surrogate mother, most intended parents will share updates and photos of their new family and some of them will repeat this process again for a sibling!
Learn more about the surrogacy process in these three posts:
– How to talk about surrogacy
– How long does it take to do the embryo transfer after finding a surrogacy agency?– Building a relationship with your surrogate mother
– How to create a good relationship with your surrogate mother?