Steps to Parenthood with ISC

Presentation of the Agency

You should have received a welcome email from ISC with some attached informative documents. After receiving that email, the first step is having a consultation with one of our agency staff. In this presentation we will discuss the steps for Surrogacy, our services, recommendations of attorneys or clinics if needed, fees and any questions you might have. Based on the circumstances this presentation can be done either in person, through Skype, over the phone and always at your convenience.

Matching with your Surrogate

Once you have decided you are ready, the second step is to decide which Surrogate you feel the most comfortable with. We will send you a few choices that we feel match closest to your preferences. If you do not see one you like we will either send more or wait until we have another Surrogate that best matches what you are looking for. If you like a Surrogate’s profile we send you, please let us know within 24 hours of us sending the profile to you. Once we send a profile to you we will hold that Surrogate for you for 24 hours, if we do not hear from you we will assume you are not interested and she will be available to other IPs. Once you are interested in a Surrogate’s profile we will contact the Surrogate and share your profile with her. If she is interested in your profile we will set up a Skype or an in-person meeting so you can meet her.

Meeting the Surrogate

The third step is to meet the Surrogate, either in person or through Skype. Both parties can ask questions to get an idea of how each other feels about the process and to get to know each other better. Once you have met (through Skype or in person) and have decided that you would like to match with the Surrogate, we will need you to email us confirming you would like to match with her and we will ask her to do the same. If both parties agree, we will consider you matched.

Establish Client Account or Escrow Account to Hold Your Funds

Once you are matched with a Surrogate, you will need to establish a client account through your attorney or an escrow account in the United States. We can suggest an escrow company that we work with frequently or speak with your attorney regarding holding your funds. This escrow account/client account will be used to cover the International Surrogacy Center fee, Surrogacy compensations and any other expenses. The reason Intended Parents must establish an escrow/client account in this country is because it would be more convenient and cheaper to have an escrow or client account to distribute funds, rather than paying expenses by transferring and converting currency each time. A priority of International Surrogacy Center is simplifying this process for both parties so that they can have an experience as pleasant as possible.

The Role of International Surrogacy Center

International Surrogacy Center will notify all the professional parties involved to get your journey started. We will send out a referral to the criminal background agency to do a background check on your Surrogate and her spouse/partner (if applicable). We will send out a referral to our psychologist who will screen your Surrogate and spouse/partner (if applicable). We will notify the attorney you have chosen to represent you, and we will notify the Surrogate’s attorney of your match with your Surrogate. We will also contact the IVF clinic you will be working with to notify them of your match and provide them with any information needed. Our priority is to guide the IPs and the Surrogate through the process as smoothly and delicately as possible. Since many of our IPs are international, we know that it is very important that our IPs feel supported and properly guided from afar.

Criminal Background and Psychological Examination of the Surrogate

We will submit the information provided by the Surrogate for a criminal background check on the Surrogate and her spouse/partner (if applicable). This is to make sure that she does not have a criminal record. Following that, we will have the Surrogate perform a psychological screening to confirm she is mentally stable to become a Surrogate. *We require that the Intended Parents undergo a criminal background screening as well. For your convenience, this examination can be done in your country of origin. We will need this completed prior to your Surrogate being medically cleared. Please submit this to us via email.

Medical Examination of the Surrogate

We will need to submit your Surrogate’s psychological screening to the IVF clinic in order for them to schedule an appointment for her medical screening. We will send the results of the psychological screening to the IVF clinic as soon as we receive it. The IVF clinic will then contact your Surrogate and schedule her medical screening appointment based on where she is at in her menstrual cycle. The medical examination for the Surrogate consists of collecting a urine sample and blood sample to check for drug use, diseases and overall health history. The Surrogate will also have an ultrasound of the uterus to check the health of her uterine lining. Surrogates who are married or are in a relationship will be required to have their Spouse/Boyfriend/Partner undergo blood tests for communicable diseases as well. The blood test results take 7-15 days to come in. Once the results are back, the clinic will notify us that your Surrogate is medically cleared to proceed, and we in turn will notify you.

Purchasing Health Insurance for Your Baby/Babies

The health insurance your Surrogate has only covers her healthcare through the Surrogacy. It does NOT cover the baby or babies after birth. Two options are available to you: you can either pay the hospital directly for the baby’s medical costs; or you can purchase a separate health insurance policy for the baby/ies. Since insurance is not our area of expertise, we highly suggest you contact our insurance specialist, whom we can connect you with for more information.

Your attorney will also give you information regarding insurance for your baby/ies and can help you negotiate the prices with the hospital.

Signature of the Contract by Surrogate and Intended Parents

Once your Surrogate is medically cleared by your IVF doctor, we will notify your attorney that you are ready to review the legal contract that your attorney has prepared for you and your Surrogate. Both parties with their respective lawyers will review the contract and have a consultation with their attorneys before the contract can be signed. Once the contract is agreed upon by both parties, you will need to have the final contract notarized.

Deposit to the Trust Account

Within seven days after signing the surrogacy contract, Intended Parents will be required to make a deposit in the amount of $50,000.00 U.S. currency to their trust/escrow account to cover their Surrogate’s compensations (*exact initial deposit amount may vary based upon the Surrogate’s location and surrogacy experience). Intended Parents may also place an extra amount of money to cover the cost of the egg donor cycle (if applicable), IVF doctor specializing in infertility, and/or any other expenses.

First Payment Due to Your Surrogate

After the legal contract is signed, the first compensation will be paid to your Surrogate. The following will be included: her monthly allowance, the monthly health insurance premium (if it is covered by the Intended Parents), compensation for attending the monthly Support Group Meeting, payment each time she attends the Fertility Clinic (if she works), expenses to the Fertility Clinic (including mileage, parking and food) and travel expenses when the Surrogate has to travel long distance.

Fertility Treatments for the Surrogate

This treatment lasts approximately 4 to 6 weeks as prescribed by the IVF doctor. The pharmacy responsible for providing the medications to be taken by the Surrogate and/or Egg Donor requests that the Intended Parents give payment information to them directly in order to cover the costs of the medications. Such information will not be shared with any other party. This is to ensure payment of any medication that is going to be needed by the Surrogate and/or Egg Donor during fertility treatment; otherwise, the pharmacy will not distribute the medication to the Surrogate or it can result in the delay of fertility treatment or cancellation of a treatment cycle. Once your Surrogate has started medication and her uterine lining looks favorable for accepting an embryo, she then can undergo the embryo transfer dependent on the fertility specialist’s evaluation of the embryo(s).

Testing the Surrogate for Pregnancy

Once the embryo transfer is done, the Surrogate will be scheduled within the next two weeks to perform a pregnancy blood test done by the fertility clinic. If the blood test results are positive, the Surrogate will have another blood test about a week later to ensure the HCG (pregnancy hormone) level is rising appropriately. If the levels are rising correctly, around two weeks after the last blood test your Surrogate will have an ultrasound to confirm the baby has a heartbeat and determine how many embryos implanted successfully during the transfer.

After the first heartbeat ultrasound is confirmed, the first payment for the Surrogate’s base fee will be compensated to her on the first of the following month and the Surrogate will then be able to apply for a life insurance policy.

Releasing the Surrogate to Her Personal OB/GYN

Within eight to twelve weeks after IVF treatment, your IVF doctor will release the Surrogate to her personal OB/GYN to be treated for prenatal care through the remainder of the pregnancy and delivery. It will be the Surrogate’s responsibility to inform the agency with the OB/GYN’s information and the date and time of her first appointment. International Surrogacy Center offers the Surrogate and the Intended Parents to have a member of our team join the Surrogate at her first OB/GYN appointment to ensure the transition from the IVF clinic is smooth, and also any other appointment the Surrogate or Intended Parents wish. From this moment on, the Surrogate will be the means of communicating  information between the OB doctor and Intended Parents. International Surrogacy Center requires the Surrogate to keep us updated throughout the pregnancy with appointment dates, information after appointments occur, and anything else that would be considered important information.

4D Ultrasound

Intended Parents can request that the Surrogate do a 4D ultrasound when their Surrogate is between 26 and 34 weeks gestation. This is a fun and special ultrasound where you can see your baby sleeping or playing in 4D! The cost of this optional ultrasound is usually $80 to $200 depending on if it is a singleton or multiple pregnancy, and will be covered by the Intended Parents. International Surrogacy Center will supply the Intended Parents and the Surrogate with a list of locations near the Surrogate that specialize in this ultrasound.

Parental Establishment Judgement

Around the 24th week of pregnancy, International Surrogacy Center will inform the law firm that the Surrogate is still pregnant; therefore the Judgment for the parental rights of the Intended Parent(s) for the child(ren) can be established. The Parental Establishment Judgement is what allows the Intended Parent(s) to be named as the Parent(s) on the baby’s birth certificate. This is important because this allows all decisions regarding the child(ren) after they are born to be made by the Intended Parents and ensures the child(ren) are legally released to the Intended Parents.

Final Funds Estimate

When the Surrogate is within 25 to 30 weeks gestation, International Surrogacy Center will put together a final estimation for the Intended Parents. This final estimation will explain in detail the Intended Parents’ escrow/funds account balance and whether additional money will need to be deposited or if there are sufficient funds.

Arrival Time for the Birth

International Surrogacy Center encourages international Intended Parents to come to the U.S. by 36-37 weeks of pregnancy if your Surrogate is carrying one baby. If your Surrogate is carrying twins, we highly suggest you arrive within 33-34 weeks to ensure you are here for the birth. Some women may deliver a couple weeks prior to their due date; therefore, we encourage that you arrive at least a couple of weeks beforehand.

Presence of Intended Parents During Childbirth

Expectant parents may be present at the hospital during the delivery if this is agreed upon with your Surrogate. If your Surrogate requires a Cesarean-Section, the doctor will usually only allow one person in the room during the surgery. If a C-Section is required, the Surrogate will inform us of who she prefers to be in the room with her. Normally it is not a problem to have the Intended Mother or Intended Father in the room, but in case of complications the Surrogate may want her own spouse or support person in the room with her for support.

Birth Certificate and Passport

International Surrogacy Center will offer Intended Parents information on how to apply for their baby’s birth certificate, passport and social security card. If you would like, a staff member from International Surrogacy Center can go with you to any of these appointments to assist you in this process and aid you in obtaining the required documents for you to travel home with your new baby.

International Surrogacy Center would like to thank you for allowing us to accompany you on this wonderful experience of turning your dream of parenthood into a reality! If you are ready to get started on this journey, please fill out our initial request form.