The surrogacy process attracts patients from all over the world. A surrogacy arrangement is a reliable, safe, and incredibly fulfilling experience, both for intended parents and surrogates/gestational carriers, requiring significant commitment from both parties involved. For intended parents, the benefits of surrogacy seem obvious and it is a way to make their dreams of parenthood come true. Reading this content will assure you accurate information on surrogacy and how long it may take for high surrogacy success rates.
We totally understand that it can be daunting to keep up with the intricacies and steps involved in surrogacy and so we thought of simplifying and decoding surrogacy related basic terminologies first, before taking you through the surrogacy timeline route, so let’s get started!
Intended parent/Intended family is a common term you will notice when talking about the surrogacy arrangement. It means people who have tried for years to have a biological child, but unable to do so. The intended parents are the individuals that will become the child’s parent once it is born, the legal parent of a child born through surrogacy.
Surrogate/ Surrogate Mother/ Carrier we use these terms interchangeably in surrogacy, generally, a surrogate definition is a woman carrying a child for intended parents who are unable to build a family of their own. Without the involvement of the surrogate and intended family, your surrogacy procedure will not take place.
Get Free Consultation
Connecting you with trusted infertility specialists!
How long is the Surrogacy Process?
Knowing about how long the surrogacy journey can get, will help intended parents plan their surrogacy journey seamlessly, it is important to keep in mind that your individual circumstances and preferences will shape your surrogacy process timeline. While the surrogacy process may vary based on your state laws, your surrogacy professional, the type of surrogacy method you choose, your selected surrogacy agency will determine the length of the surrogacy treatment plan.
As a general rule, you can expect a surrogacy journey to take at least 18-24 months, but it could take double that depending on the surrogacy route you choose and how your personal journey progresses. From application to childbirth, surrogacy can normally take about a year and a half. The initial steps involve the surrogacy application and consultation, the intended parents will complete a surrogacy application that will ask them some general questions for pursuing surrogacy. After completion of that application, the application will be reviewed by the surrogacy clinic. Then, there will be a consultation to discuss their requirements and more detailed information will be gathered.
Finding the right surrogate match will be the next step after surrogacy consultation, it is a meeting between intended parents and a surrogacy agency, surrogacy consultations can last between 2-2.5 hours because there is so much to cover in a consultation.
Note: Independent surrogacy, sometimes also called private surrogacy comes with many challenges and it may require you to commit more time to the surrogacy process, as they don’t have the inherent safety net of having an agency working to facilitate a smooth journey.
The most common way to go about your surrogacy journey is through a surrogacy agency, as they have teams that are professionally trained and experienced in providing just about every service you need during the process. Some agencies are full service and others are partial- service. Talking about the Intended parents matching criteria, it includes their preferences on: level of communication during the journey, location of the surrogate, number of embryos to transfer, and views on selective reduction and termination. Intended parents will work closely with a fertility clinic to identify their needs and wants in a surrogate mother. The three main types of services provided by surrogacy agencies are: matching and screening, case management and counseling.
Note: Don’t agree to compromise your personal values, as nothing good can come of agreeing to terms in your surrogacy agreement that don’t reflect your personal viewpoints. You should be clued into the realities of what a surrogacy arrangement involves.
Surrogate screening and legal process step is also a very important part of surrogacy, as it provides the health and legal foundation for the surrogacy to take place successfully. A legally binding contract is created for review by your attorney. Also, it is very important to know a few other things such as: types of surrogacy agreements chosen, altruistic, commercial, or traditional. Altruistic surrogacy applies to surrogacy where no monetary compensation is offered to the surrogate. Surrogacy in the UK, Canada, and Australia is altruistic surrogacy and commercial surrogacy involves monetary compensation to the surrogate mother.
One needs to understand that surrogacy is not a straightforward procedure, it involves lots of steps and stages like: deciding whether surrogacy is the right choice, deciding to go with an agency or independently, going through the screening process, finding a match, fulfilling the legal aspects, the medical procedure, preparing for the transfer process, etc., that can impact the timeline of the surrogacy events and can influence the length of the surrogacy cycle.
Brief Timeline of the events | Intended Parents
If your surrogate is pregnant after the first transfer of the embryo, it usually takes about a year and a half to complete the process. The first step of any surrogacy practice is to decide if it is the best option for you or the right choice, you and your partner should analyze all the points and come to a decision designed to ensure the most secure, healthy pregnancy and partnership. Around 1 week to 1 month can go for deciding the surrogacy agency, as it is then that the organization for surrogacy starts to work on your needs.
When selecting the agency, you have to be very patient and seek advice and support when necessary. After the medical and psychological screenings are done, the match is initiated, having a perfect match for the intended parents is one of the most important steps in the surrogacy cycle. It may take 1 to 2 months for medical/psychological/legal evaluation and clearance for your surrogate and two months to prepare your surrogate for the embryo transfer and nine months for a natural pregnancy.
Once the planned parents and the surrogate have decided to move together, it may take two to six weeks for legal contracts, surrogacy legal agreement to be drafted successfully, to ensure both the intended parents and surrogate mother interests are protected. Cross border surrogacy is much quicker as the surrogacy agency has pools of the egg donor and surrogate mother ready to be matched immediately and on top of that, other legal processes take less time due to the already established surrogacy method. Intended parents need to know that each surrogacy journey is different and total time depends on many factors. Therefore, it might take the time of at least one to two years in the planning and execution of the process of surrogacy until childbirth.
Note: All the legal work is accomplished with the approval of the intended parents and the surrogates.
Factors like:The surrogacy ambitions, objectives, and desires can ease or prolong the matching process, number of cycles and embryo transfers required to achieve pregnancy successfully, the legal services available in your specific situation, matching, and screening resources, etc., your timeline may be adjusted based on the individual factors of your surrogacy situation. If you put the surrogate search aside then a typical journey should take no more than 12 months, assuming your qualified surrogate has been found. Generally speaking, 15 to 18 months is a fairly good guideline to keep in mind as you begin the surrogacy process, most surrogacy journeys take about 12 to 24 months to be completed.
The cost of surrogacy depends on a number of factors, also depending upon the circumstances of each individual couple and their specific expectations and requirements. Each surrogacy will be different and so the cost will also vary. Ask your selected agency about many factors influencing the total cost of surrogacy, to gain an accurate understanding of overall surrogacy costs. It’s crucial that you move through surrogacy treatment in an informed, safe, and professional manner.
No matter whether you’re an intended parent or prospective surrogate, we know that your time is precious and there are likely other important aspects of your life that you have to plan around before committing to this life-changing process. Surrogacy will require a great deal from both parties in this journey, including a large commitment from beginning to end, and knowing what to expect before starting will help you ensure that your surrogacy journey meets your expectations.
Understanding the Legal Aspects of Surrogacy Option
Surrogacy is a method of assisted reproduction for people who are unable to conceive due to medical complications or other reasons. It is an important family planning option and the legalities of surrogacy vary by state/territory. As far as the legal process goes, there are generally two steps: The first step is a written legal contract between you and your surrogate, if she’s married, her spouse will also participate in the contract/agreement and the contract phase involves two attorneys one for you, one for your surrogate’s attorney. This legal contract will set out everyone’s rights and responsibilities during the journey and the second step is to secure your parental rights through a court order.
For intended parents to protect their parental rights to their child, they will need to complete certain legal processes, which will vary by state. Keep in mind that in every surrogacy arrangement legal action are required to officially establish the intended parents as the baby’s legal parent, the exact process varies based on the specific circumstances of the surrogacy as well as state surrogacy laws. Because of the Parentage Act, there needs to be an acknowledgment of parentage by the court to establish the intended family as the child’s true legal parents.
It is important for surrogates and intended parents to have a relatively solid understanding of the legal processes involved in surrogacy and each party should work closely with their surrogacy specialist and an experienced assisted reproduction attorney to ensure all steps are completed legally and all parties are protected throughout the process, also remember that every surrogacy contract will outline two major legal issues including finances and social requirements, such as who will be present at key prenatal appointments and birth, etc.
State surrogacy laws play a large role in shaping the legal surrogacy process for both intended parents and surrogate mothers. Some states are considered to be completely surrogacy friendly, having a long history of favorable rulings in surrogacy cases, and on the opposite end of the spectrum are non-surrogacy friendly states, these states typically do not recognize or enforce surrogacy contracts and have statutes or published case law restricting compensated surrogacy. While some states are considered entirely surrogacy friendly and some are considered unfriendly, most states fall somewhere in between, in these states, surrogacy may be practiced, though there may be legal issues or added legal processes that are required to complete the surrogacy.
There are no firm answers about how long does the surrogacy process takes, as everyone’s situation is a little different and there are many variables, however looking at the individual steps that make up your journey is a good way to figure out how it all works.
Many parties and individuals need to sync schedules, testing needs to be done, medical and psychological clearances need to be completed, legal contracts need to be drafted and signed, everyone needs to be responding well to medications, the embryos need to be developing suitably, and more. This is all needed to ensure everyone is in good health both mentally and physically, and able to continue in such a manner. Surrogacy truly is a team effort and you will need your surrogacy clinic, attorney and more, to navigate through surrogacy as efficiently as possible.
As you prepare for your journey, it’s paramount that you prioritize even the subtle details that can make or break your surrogacy experience and don’t forgo surrogacy red flags in the hopes that everything will work out fine.
Get Free Consultation
Connecting you with trusted infertility specialists!