How Surrogacy Works
STEP 1. FREE CONSULTATION
Schedule a free no obligation 90 minute consultation with us. During this meeting we will explain the surrogacy process, discuss how we can develop a plan to meet your needs, and answer your questions. The consult also tells us your priorities and allows us to help you develop your own criteria for choosing a surrogate. Although we prefer to meet you in person at our Houston or Dallas offices, we can meet by teleconference or videoconference for clients who are not convenient to those offices.
STEP 2. ADMISSIONS
To enter our program you will need to sign our service agreement and fill out an application. Then one of our counselors will schedule a meeting with you to complete the counseling necessary to satisfy court requirements and medical guidelines. Later in the process, your counselor will submit a counseling clearance letter to your IVF physician based on this session. Your counselor will also discuss and review your selection criteria for a surrogate to help us with the matching process.
STEP 3. MATCHING
Our surrogates undergo the most rigorous screening and testing in the industry and are pre-screened before they are presented to you. Matches are primarily based on similar philosophies and values between you and the surrogate, but personality also plays an important role. Once the counselor has identified a potential match, she will review the surrogate’s detailed biography with you (no name basis). If you would like to meet the surrogate, your counselor will send her your biography to review (no name basis). If the surrogate is also interested, your counselor will arrange a joint meeting between you, with an SSA staff member present as a facilitator. We strongly encourage that this meeting be held at one of our offices but it can be held by videoconference depending on everyone’s physical location.
STEP 4. MEDICAL SCREENING
If, after your meeting, you and your surrogate choose to work together, your surrogate will be sent to your IVF physician for her initial medical examination. Upon passing this examination and receiving medical clearance, your IVF physician will provide a tentative IVF treatment plan and schedule.
STEP 5. LEGAL CONTRACTS
After medical clearance, the next step is the contract (gestational agreement) between you and your surrogate. This contract is included in your agency fee and will be provided by the Law Offices of Gregory E. Stern. You will fund your escrow for your surrogate upon signing the contract with her, and your attorney and SSA counselor will issue legal and counseling clearance letters to your IVF physician.
STEP 6. MEDICAL TREATMENT
The process now switches to your doctor and IVF treatment typically begins within a few weeks. Your surrogate will undergo an embryo transfer and then will go back for a pregnancy test 10 to 12 days later. Most IVF doctors keep the surrogate under their care for the first three months of her pregnancy, but this will vary depending on your doctor and whether your surrogate is local to him/her.
STEP 7. PRE-BIRTH COURT ORDER
Once your surrogate is pregnant, your attorney will go to court for a pre-birth order that will give you full parental rights to your child at birth and will direct the hospital and Vital Statistics to place you on the birth certificate as the parent.
STEP 8. DELIVERY
You will have exclusive parental rights to your child upon birth and you will be able to take your child home as soon as he/she is released and medically cleared to travel. You can usually get birth certificates in 5 to 15 business days after the birth, although this varies depending on where the delivery takes place. Your SSA coordinator will be there to help you obtain the birth certificate and, for our international clients, the U.S. passport for your child.