The Surrogacy Process: A Comprehensive Guide
At IARC Surrogacy, we take pride in our proven Surrogacy Process. We have been helping to build families for over 30 years and we ensure a smooth and safe journey for both Surrogates and Intended Parents. It’s important to find a Surrogacy Agency that is not only reputable but transparent throughout the entire process so that you can always trust that what is happening is in your best interest.
We can break down IARC’s Proven Process into seven steps. From initial research to birth and beyond, we will tell you about our process and things to note along the way.
- Step 1: Is Surrogacy Right for You?
- Step 2: IARC Pre-Screening
- Step 3: Find a Match
- Step 4: Final Medical Screening
- Step 5: Embryo Transfer
- Step 6: Begin Pregnancy with IARC Support
- Step 7: Delivery and Post-Birth
Step 1: Is Surrogacy Right for You?
If you’re considering surrogacy, anyone in the industry will tell you that research is the place to begin. There are so many agencies with various levels of experience, and the one you choose will make all the difference in your journey. In addition to general surrogacy-related topics, it’s also essential to do a deep dive on each agency you consider.
With IARC, you can talk to us and ask any questions, even before submitting a formal application. Our Surrogate Coordinators have all been Surrogates themselves, and they will give honest answers to all of your questions whether or not you decide to work with us.
If an agency isn’t willing to do the same, that’s a red flag. The agency should feel like family, have your best interest at heart, and walk you through this extensive and often complicated process.
Things to Remember:
- Do Your Research. Look at the online and agency review groups. The first-hand experiences that are shared in these groups will be essential.
- Ask Your Questions. Answers to all your questions should be free and easy. If the agency requires total commitment from you before ensuring you’re actually eligible to become a surrogate, you should continue looking for a more flexible agency.
- Transparency. Any agency should be able to keep you regularly updated on the process, make you feel safe, and hold your hand throughout. With IARC, you will always know where you are and what your next steps are.
Step 2: IARC Pre-Screening
Once you have begun the process with IARC, you will work with the Surrogacy Coordination team for those beginning steps. We have four full-time Surrogate Coordinators who all have been Surrogates themselves to help you with this process.
Here is what you should expect during the pre-screening process:
- Informational Call: Whether you complete this as the very first step or after you begin the screening process, you will connect with a Surrogate Coordinator who will make sure you understand all of the steps in the process, answer any of your questions, and make sure you feel confident in moving ahead in your Surrogacy Journey.
- Learn More & Apply: You will complete the application and any screening forms so that we can begin building your Surrogate Profile for matching purposes later in the process.
- Medical Records: We will need to get your pregnancy and delivery records for fertility clinics to review and approve so you can move forward. This will include your most recent annual visit and pap results.
- Doctor Clearance Form: Your doctor will need to complete a medical clearance form for surrogacy for you to proceed. Make sure they address anything notable in your history (gestational diabetes, hypertension, etc.). This letter and all of your records will be sent to the fertility clinic for approval.
- Psychological Evaluation: Once a clinic approves you and we have all of your screening forms, documents, and IDs, you will complete the final step of a psychological evaluation. If you have a significant other or spouse, they will take part in this step with you.
This pre-screening step can last weeks to months, depending on how quickly you get everything to us and how quickly you want to move ahead. Your Surrogate Coordinator will provide updates as you go, and you can connect with her if you have a specific timeline in mind for your journey.
Step 3: Find a Match
For this step, you work with an IARC Intended Parent Coordinator, aka the “Matching Coordinator.” Based on your matching preferences and those of the parents on the waiting list, we begin sharing profiles to find your potential Intended Parent(s).
Here is what happens during the matching process:
- Sending Potential Intended Parent(s) Your Profile: We begin by sharing your profile with parents who match the criteria for you and the parent(s). We provide them with information regarding you and your family, your medical history, pregnancy and delivery history, and a letter called “Dear Parents” that you write during the pre-screening process. We also give them the overall financial outlook if they were to match with you.
- Viewing Intended Parent(s) Profile: Once the matching coordinator has a potential match, you will receive their information. You will see their “Dear Surrogate” letter in addition to pictures of them and their family.
- Match Call: After reviewing your chosen potential match, you’ll have a match call. IARC facilitates this call and will give you a list of topics/questions that will be discussed ahead of time, so don’t worry if you are nervous! You are not officially matched unless you both say yes to the match after this match call. Mutual agreement is essential.
- Introduction to Program Coordinator: Once officially matched, you will be introduced to your Program Coordinator, who will guide you from this point all the way to the birth. They help facilitate the process between you, the parent(s), the attorneys, the clinic and ensure everything runs smoothly.
- Surrogacy Contract (Also known as the GCA or Gestational Carrier Agreement): You will get to choose your attorney with whom you will work to review the contract. IARC will give you a list of trusted referrals, but ultimately you are free to choose your attorney.
Step 4: Final Medical Screening
Once contracts are complete, you move on to the final medical screening at the fertility clinic where your Intended Parent(s) have their doctor and embryos. Occasionally this step is done simultaneously with the contract review step if both you and the Intended Parents agree.
Important aspects of this step:
- 1-2 day trip; will have a 1-2 hour appointment at the fertility clinic
- Screening for sexually transmitted infections, physical exam, uterine exam, medication training, meet the doctor
- Travel booked by IARC
Step 5: Embryo Transfer
The embryo transfer cycle is an exciting time. Your exact protocol, medications, and embryo transfer timeline will be based on your doctor and clinic. You will get a calendar/dates telling you what to do every step of the way, and you will have a clinic coordinator updating you throughout. Your IARC coordinator is there for support and to ensure you have all of your appointments as scheduled.
Important aspects of this step:
- Start medications: detailed instructions are given by the clinic
- Attend monitoring appointments which include blood draws and ultrasounds. You will have some local appointments prior to the embryo transfer and some after the transfer. Your Program Coordinator will help facilitate the scheduling and payment.
- The embryo transfer trip itself is typically 3-6 days depending on the clinic. You will then do blood work following this trip to determine if the transfer was successful.
Step 6: Begin Pregnancy with IARC Support
Following a positive pregnancy test, the clinic will have you do a couple of ultrasounds to confirm the pregnancy and to ensure the baby is growing as it should.
Important aspects of this step:
- 2-3 ultrasounds before 10 week mark
- By 10-12 weeks of pregnancy, transition to care with your doctor and wean off of medications (unless instructed otherwise)
- You will need to complete legal documents regarding the parentage proceedings for the baby and the parent(s)
- Your coordinator will guide you and support you along the way.
Step 7: Delivery and Post-Birth
Your support from us doesn’t stop at birth. We make sure to continue to follow up on any billing until there is a zero balance and everything is processed correctly with insurance. We also work with your hospital and legal teams to ensure everything regarding the legal parentage process is complete.
IARC’s Proven Process
Our reputation speaks for itself as we have been doing this for more than three decades and are one of the most well-known and oldest surrogacy agencies around.
What sets IARC apart?
- We complete all the pre-screening steps, including the Psychological Evaluation and the medical record review from your parent’s clinic before a match is official.
- We are with you from the very first phone call until long after birth. Once an IARC Surrogate, always an IARC Surrogate! You become family to us.
- Our Surrogate Community is very close-knit and one we are so proud of. We have an online Facebook group, and we love to have occasional surrogate get-togethers or official Surrogate Socials so that we can better connect! You will be able to connect with Surrogates beginning during your pre-screening process so that you have support for your journey.
Learn More About the IARC Difference Today
Ready to begin your journey with IARC? Get started today and see how amazing it can be to be building families through surrogacy. Not sure if you qualify? Take a look at the typical Surrogate Requirements or fill out a short Surrogate Questionnaire.
We look forward to hearing from you and showing you the IARC Difference and why our Proven Process has resulted in our exceptional reputation and leadership in the Surrogacy Industry. Join our IARC Surrogate Community!