It really depends on the country chosen, the surrogacy agency you use or if you decide to go Indy.
In Canada some surrogacy agencies are quoting up to 18 months to match with a surrogate mother, in The United States this process can be faster but also it depends on the agency and the State. When you’ve got no particular requirements, most intended parents match in 1 or 3 months. In case you are in search of a surrogate mom of a selected ethnicity, lifestyle, age or geographic location, it may possibly take a bit longer.
If you decide to use a surrogacy agency, remember to do a careful research, find surrogacy agency is not always easy. Ask numerous questions, including how long surrogacy company has been in operation, what screening is required for surrogates, and what requirements and limitations are in place.
Once you have matched with a surrogate mother, you have to arrange the medical and psychological screener, depending on the surrogacy agency and the fertility clinic it might take 2 weeks to 2 months (if she is not breastfeeding).
The next phase is to prepare the contracts. It can take one or two months on average.
After the signature of the contract, the surrogate will start with the medication. Usually, the medication starts 6 weeks before transfer and has to be synchronized with surrogate’s cycle and with the egg donor’s cycle if you are going to do a fresh embryo transfer.
Some clinics start medication without the contract so you save time but they will not do the transfer without the contract signed.
One option to save time is to find an egg donor first, create the embryos and freeze them. As egg donor take longer in the process. By doing this it would take less time to complete the transfer (about 2 to 3 months after matching a surrogate). However you should consider that there are higher pregnancy rates using fresh embryos than using frozen embryos, although there is still some discussion on this topic. This decision should be made between the doctor and the intended parents.
If you use an experienced surrogate and a proven egg donor thinks can be faster, because some of the screening would be skipped as the clinic already would have their charts on file.
TIP: be patient, you’ll need a lot of that during the surrogacy process