Surrogate FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Surrogacy

Get Answers to Your Surrogacy Questions

How do surrogates get pregnant? What is it like being a surrogate? We understand that before you make the decision to undertake this amazing journey, you have many questions. Below are answers to the questions we’re asked most often by potential surrogates. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us. We’re happy to help!   

Once I am pregnant, where will I receive medical care and deliver the baby?

Typically, you see your current OB doctor during your pregnancy. If you need a new OB doctor, we will provide you with a recommendation. You will be able to deliver at a hospital that is local to you so long as it’s approved by your insurance provider; this will most likely be where you delivered your own children.

Where is the IVF clinic I will be using located?

We work with IVF clinics in various cities in California. Most of these clinics are in San Diego or Los Angeles. If long-distance travel is required, you will be compensated for your travel expenses. If traveling, you will make these trips only during the initial stages of the fertility treatment and pregnancy. Once you are near the completion of the first trimester, the IVF doctor will release you to your local OB doctor.

Will my husband’s and my names be on the birth certificate?

Through California’s pre-birth judgment, the intended parents have full parental rights to the child and their names go on the birth certificate — not the surrogate or her spouse.

Will I have any genetic relationship to the child(ren) born?

No. As a gestational surrogate, you will be using the eggs from either the intended mother or an egg donor. You will have no genetic relation to the child(ren).

Is there anything required of my spouse/partner?

Your spouse/partner will be required to participate in the medical screening process by providing the clinic with blood and urine samples. If married, your spouse must be included in your legal contract. Having your spouse/partner agree with you becoming a surrogate and being willing to support you throughout the process are very important.

I had my tubes tied. Can I still serve as a gestational surrogate?

Yes. In achieving a pregnancy through the IVF process, the embryos are placed directly into the surrogate’s uterus; the fallopian tubes are not used.

How much will I be paid?

Surrogate compensation varies by experience. Most surrogates receive $55,000 – $65,000. We will provide you with a detailed list of all the compensations.

Will surrogacy cost me anything?

No. The intended parent(s) are responsible for all expenses incurred because of the surrogacy.

What if the parents decide they do not want the baby/babies?

This is a common question from surrogates. Intended parents are choosing surrogacy for many reasons, but what they all have in common is the sincere longing to have a child. Most intended parents worry that the surrogate will want to keep the child, so both of those concerns cancel each other out. In the worst case scenario (which we have never seen), we will help find an amazing family to adopt the baby/babies.

How will I be compensated?

Once you sign your legal agreement (contract) with your intended parent(s), you will be paid in monthly installments. You will be required to turn in a reimbursement form by the 15th of each month and you will receive the payments due to you per your legal agreement between the 1st – 5th of the following month.

What medical process is involved with being a surrogate?

The first step in the medical process is your screening with the IVF doctor. On this day, the IVF doctor performs blood and urine tests on you and your spouse/partner, if you are in a relationship. You then undergo a pelvic exam, an ultrasound and a consultation with the doctor, followed by the doctor explaining the IVF process in detail.

Once you have signed your legal contract and are cleared to proceed, you then move forward with your IVF cycle. You will receive your medications and specific instructions from a medical professional at your fertility clinic. The medications will cause your cycle to be synchronized with the egg donor’s or intended mother’s menstrual cycle and help your uterine lining thicken to accept the transferred embryos.

After the embryos have been transferred, you are required to be on bed rest for 24 – 72 hours, depending on your fertility clinic’s requirement. You will undergo a pregnancy blood test 10 – 12 days after the transfer. Once you are pregnant, you continue your medications to ensure that the pregnancy continues to progress.

Following your medication protocols exactly as instructed is extremely important during this time. Once the pregnancy is stable, which is near the end of the first trimester, you will be instructed by your IVF clinic to stop the medications and you will see your personal OB doctor for the remainder of the pregnancy.

Can I be a surrogate if I don’t have health insurance?

Yes. If you do not have health insurance, a medical plan will be purchased for you by the intended parents for the length of your pregnancy.

How do I know my intended parents can afford the costs involved?

ISC does not hold the intended parents’ money for the surrogacy process. The intended parents can either open an escrow account or have their attorney manage their funds. ISC requires the intended parent(s) to fully fund their trust account before the transfer. This guarantees us and the surrogate that there will be no issues with the surrogate receiving the compensations due to her during the surrogacy process.

Do I get to choose the intended parent(s) that work with me?

Yes. This is a mutual decision. Once the intended parent(s) review your profile and express an interest in working with you, we share their profile with you. If you are interested in working with the intended parent(s), we set up a video call or personal meeting. After speaking/meeting with the intended parent(s), both parties will let ISC know if they wish to work together. If both parties agree, you are considered “matched.”

What is the time frame to become a surrogate?

We do our best to match our surrogates as quickly as possible. This typically takes a couple of weeks to 2 months. Once you are matched, the screening process and the legal process generally take 2 months. Once you have been cleared to start your IVF cycle, you are typically on medications for 4 – 6 weeks before the embryo transfer.

Why should I go through an agency vs. going independently?

Discussions over cost, escrow accounts, doctors, lawyers and scheduling appointments can overwhelm and stress the relationship between the intended parent(s) and the surrogate mother. Having an agency manage the process and handle the details allows all parties to relax and enjoy the pregnancy.

What is a surrogate?

A surrogate is a woman who agrees to carry a child(ren) for another person or couple. There are two types of surrogates: traditional and gestational.

Most of our surrogates are gestational surrogates, which is the most common type. A gestational surrogate is not genetically related to the child(ren) she is carrying for the intended parent(s). The eggs are retrieved from the intended mother or an egg donor, fertilized with sperm from the intended father or a sperm donor, and then transferred to the surrogate’s womb.

A traditional surrogate is a surrogate who also donates her egg and has a biological link to the child(ren) she is carrying for the intended parent(s).