Welcome to the 4th installment of our Surrogacy 101 blog where I will be discussing the ins and outs of the matching process. I’m Meriel, one of the Journey Coordinators at Collective Surrogacy, and I am a three-time past surrogate. I have had the pleasure of matching with three sets of intended parents and successfully carried for two. I will share a little about my own experience, as well as what potential surrogates and intended parents might expect at this point in their journey.
Throughout the surrogacy journey there are many days filled with excitement and anticipation, but one of the first is waiting to meet your match. No surrogacy journey is the same and there are many ways matches can be made. Some surrogates carry for someone they know personally. Some surrogates meet potential matches online in various matching groups. One of the benefits of working with an agency is that you get the expertise of those who are familiar with the process, helping to orchestrate a successful match.
During our agency's intake process with new parents and surrogates, we have the opportunity to learn each client's values, personalities, and what they are hoping for in their match. We guide you in considering and deciding the many preferences that are important to ensuring a great match.
As an agency specializing in delivering a boutique, personalized experience to each client, we are in a unique position to have a close relationship with all our surrogates and intended parents. Therefore, it is our process to compare not only the objective criteria that must align in a match (process preferences, legal and insurance factors, etc.) but also the subjective criteria (personality fit, etc.). All parents on our list are reviewed as a potential match for each new surrogate who enters matching for our team to find the most compatible fit. Taking all of this into account, our success rate of achieving wonderful matches is very high!
After a compatible match is identified, the surrogate’s profile is shared with the intended parents, and then the parent's profile is shared with the surrogate. The profiles are detailed and include each party's relevant history, journey preferences, and a detailed introduction of their day-to-day life. We allow each party the time to review the information, although most are able to decide pretty quickly whether it's a potential fit after receiving a profile. Matching is fully a two-way street - if a match is not quite right for any reason, we just move on to the next!
When it's a good match, both parties usually feel a "click" when reviewing the profile. The match meeting follows next, which is a video meeting facilitated by your agency coordinator. Some of the topics that are covered include: introductions to learn more about one another, the pregnancy history and general lifestyle of the potential surrogate, and expectations of the journey ahead.
This is really just a space for the potential surrogate and intended parents to get to know one another and decide if it is the right match. It is important to be yourself. During my 3rd match meeting my intended parents' Bernese mountain dog decided to spend most of the match call climbing all over them. Some might not think that this was the most productive way to conduct a match meeting, but as an animal lover I was happy he decided to join. Quite often it is those smaller, unexpected details that are remembered the best and most match calls end successfully with a match!
As I mentioned above, I was matched with three different intended parents. I will say that each match was a successful first match. Each couple I met shared my vision of what I wanted my journey to look like. I felt comfortable and excited moving forward with each journey, and positive, lasting relationships built as a result of each. Although my first match was successful in that way, unfortunately it did not evolve into a successful journey due to circumstances beyond anyone's control. That journey lasted about a year and ended after three unsuccessful transfers due to embryo quality issues. At that time, my husband was then given orders by the Air Force for a year in Korea and it was my belief that it would not be beneficial for me to continue unsupported. My intended parents agreed, and although we were all saddened, the match ended.
After my husband returned from his tour, I decided I wanted to try again. I was matched with another couple and achieved a successful pregnancy after two transfers. My final match was made when my agency reached out to me about another family they thought would be a great match for me if I decided to do another journey. I wasn't planning on it at that time, but after meeting, I fell in love with them and their story and carried two successful pregnancies for them back-to-back.
I share my own story to illustrate that there is not one perfect match for each intended parent or surrogate, and each journey has its own twists and turns. Sometimes things out of our control dictate how the journeys go. My first set of intended parents went on to match with another wonderful surrogate and achieved a successful journey and I was finally able to achieve my dream of not only helping to create one family, but two. Y
our match is out there and at Collective Surrogacy our expertise and dedicated staff will be there to support you every step of the way.