What is required to be a surrogate?
To be eligible to become a surrogate, you must meet the following requirements:
Have delivered a child of their own and raising at least 1 child now
Healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery history
No more than 5 deliveries/3 c-sections
Between the ages of 21-43
Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) no higher than 32-35
No significant history of mental health treatment
Financially stable and not on public assistance
No significant criminal record
Must have a support system
Willing to travel for medical screening and embryo transfer
Passionate about helping bring a child into this world for someone else
If you have any other questions or unsure if you would qualify, please reach out at any time, we are happy to help!
What screening is required before I match?
All surrogates go through a screening process. This will include providing access to medical records, a background check, and a virtual meeting with a psychologist. CS covers these prescreening costs. All surrogates must have a current annual physical exam and current pap smear.
What screening is required after I match?
After you match, you will have a final medical screening visit at the parents’ fertility clinic for infectious disease screening and a saline uterine ultrasound. This final screening will be an overnight trip.
How long does screening take?
CS will not push you to go faster than you are comfortable with, so the pace is very much up to you. For those ready to move ahead without delay, the screening process generally takes 6-8 weeks. The main variation is how long it takes your providers to send your medical records.
Is there screening required of my spouse/partner?
Your spouse or partner must also undergo a background check and attend the virtual meeting with the psychologist. They will also undergo infectious disease screening locally.
How does the matching process work?
This is the exciting part, and the most important! We have a list of intended parents waiting to be matched. After you review each other's profiles and determine it's a potential match, the CS team then facilitates a virtual match meeting between you. You both should feel 100% about the match. It is important that everyone shares the same values and expectations, and our goal is to find the perfect match for each surrogate and intended parent in hopes of forming a lifelong relationship.
How long does it take to be matched?
Matching can happen very quickly, but we also understand each surrogates’ circumstances are different and will work to match you according to your desired timeline. For those ready to match, you should expect to be matched within 1-4 weeks from becoming qualified.
How long does the whole process take?
Please check out our Surrogate Roadmap. This will give you a detailed overview of the steps and timelines from beginning to end!
When does compensation start to be paid?
This is also detailed on our Surrogate Roadmap, however it is important to note that our payment schedule does begin earlier than most agencies. Our goal is to tie compensation more closely to the time and commitment you are being asked to give at each stage of the journey, versus tying it to pregnancy only.
How much am I paid to be a surrogate?
All fees are outlined in our Collective Benefit Package. We offer a bundled fee that is all-inclusive in order to make your payment schedule easier and more straightforward. Our compensation amount is competitive and acknowledges the incredible physical and time commitment required of each surrogate while also being mindful of the ever-rising cost of surrogacy for intended parents who rely on this process to build their family. Please click here for a more detailed outline of the payment schedule.
How are my expenses covered?
All of your expenses resulting from the surrogacy are paid by the parents. This will be outlined and governed by the terms of your contract.
Who handles my expense and fee payments?
Your CS coordinator monitors to ensure all of your payments are paid timely and correctly from the escrow account that holds funds for this purpose.
Is there a risk that I may get stuck with unpaid bills?
This is always a risk (although it is small), which is why CS offers some extra protection against this that no other agency offers. We are committed to ensuring each of our surrogate’s bills are paid in full and on time, and our requirements for what funds the parents need to place in escrow and at what points offer CS surrogates a higher degree financial protection.
Is travel required?
Travel is required for most surrogates. Parents choose their fertility clinic based on success rates, costs, and other important factors. Our intended parents work with some of the top fertility clinics in the U.S., which helps to maximize the success of each embryo transfer.
How many trips are required?
If travel is required, it will include two trips. The first is for medical screening, which is an overnight trip. Most surrogates will travel independently for this visit. The second trip for embryo transfer is typically 3-4 days (per embryo transfer attempt). You may choose a companion to accompany you, at the parents’ expense.
How is travel arranged and paid for?
CS will take care of all travel arrangements and give you detailed instructions prior to your trip. Surrogates will also be reimbursed for all lost wages and be provided a daily family support allowance during travel.
Is there a contract between me and the parents?
Yes. The gestational carrier agreement is the legal contact between the surrogate and intended parents and will outline all financial terms and expectations for the process. This will be the first step after you and the parents match.
Who represents me in the contract process?
Both parties have their own attorney outside the agency who represents them during the contract phase. You will choose your own attorney, but we do provide referrals. Our Founder & Owner is a highly experienced family formation attorney and has facilitated over 750 contracts between parents and surrogates. She does not represent either side in the CS contract process, but she does oversee the process to be sure it is facilitated positively and collaboratively to help the parties stay aligned as they negotiate the final contract terms.
What is the process to get the parents’ names on the birth certificate?
This varies depending on the state, but the general requirement from the surrogate and her spouse (if applicable) is to sign legal documents that the parents’ attorney then submits to have signed by a judge. This order will result in the parents’ names being placed on the birth certificate. In some states a court hearing is required, however these are private and very straightforward. These steps may happen during pregnancy or immediately after the birth. In all cases, the parents will have authority and sole responsibility to care for the child immediately upon the birth.
Do you require me to sign an exclusivity agreement with your agency?
No. We strongly believe each surrogate should be free to discontinue this process in good faith at any time. We will not obligate you to work with our agency just because you started the journey with us and feel it is on us to ensure you are always satisfied within our process. If life changes and you need to pause the process, we will always be fully supportive and understanding.
Medications & Embryo Transfer
Am I required to take medications?
Yes, this is an important requirement to maximize the success of the embryo transfer. These medications are taken orally and administered via injections and prepare your uterine lining to receive the embryo. The medications will begin 3-6 weeks prior to your embryo transfer and continue until several weeks after, depending on the clinic. The fertility clinic team will go over these medications to make sure you know how and when to administer them.
What appointments are required before and after the embryo transfer?
You will have bloodwork and ultrasounds both before and after the transfer. Before the transfer, you typically attend 3-4 early morning appointments to check your hormone levels and uterine lining. After transfer, you will have appointments to confirm pregnancy via blood test (1-3 weeks post-transfer) and ultrasound (5-7 weeks post-transfer). Your CS coordinator will be here to support you and to help schedule all of your appointments.
How does the embryo transfer procedure work?
A catheter is inserted into your cervix and the physician then implants the embryo into the uterine lining, guided by a small camera. You can choose to have a companion with you for the transfer and to support you for overnight bed rest before you return home.
Do I choose my own doctor?
Yes. Typically surrogates choose to work with the same doctor or clinic they worked with in past pregnancies, or they may choose a new doctor. The doctor must in-network under your medical insurance plan and be willing to allow the parents to participate in appointments and to answer their questions. You will begin prenatal care with your doctor at approximately 10 weeks' gestation and prenatal care should be like any other pregnancy from that point on.
Who makes medical decisions during the pregnancy?
It depends, but the easy answer is that usually the parents make decisions related to the baby and you make decisions related to your health (which is always priority). There are of course some decisions that impact both, and you and the parents must be aligned on this topic during matching. These terms will also be outlined in detail in your contract.
What is required of my support system?
It is very important that surrogates have a strong support system. They will play a vital role to help with your absences during travel and appointments, to support you during pregnancy, and to offer you any emotional support you may need. In addition, although most surrogate pregnancies are healthy and normal, each pregnancy has the potential for complications, bed rest, etc. Your contract will provide for financial support in the event of those low-risk outcomes. Your CS coordinator will of course also be an additional support for you throughout.
What support does CS provide?
You will have a dedicated CS coordinator from start to finish. We feel this is important so that they know you, understand your individual needs, and so you can develop a trust relationship to navigate the journey together as smoothly as possible. Your coordinator will guide your prescreening, match process, and all other steps of the journey. Our goal is to remove as much of the administrative “busy work” as we can so that you are free to enjoy the journey to the fullest!