One of the most frequently asked questions we get from both surrogates and parents is how long does the surrogacy process take? What does the timeline of surrogacy look like? There are so many variables and every journey is different so it is difficult to give an exact answer. However, we’ve outlined below the steps in surrogacy and rough estimates of timelines for those in the Family Choice program.
For Intended Parents
- Research – Take as long as you need! It is critical to understand all the steps involved in Surrogacy and what you are looking for in a surrogate.
- Application and Interview – Typically 1-2 weeks. This can happen fairly quickly. Once the interview is satisfactory, we will then start a criminal background check (for you and your spouse if applicable).
- Agency Agreement – Once you have signed our agency agreement, this gives us permission to begin the quest to help build your family. We will also facilitate the opening of an escrow account and funding for your journey.
- Matching – 4+ weeks. This timeline is the most flexible in that there are so many variables. It depends on many factors, such as your preferences for your journey and what type of parents you desire to match with. FCS will present you with profiles for you to review and approve based on your criteria and goals. It is crucial that both parties are aligned and “just right” for each other on this journey.
- Psychological Evaluation – Typically 2-4 weeks. This evaluation entails meeting with Licensed Therapist to discuss the intricacies of surrogacy and a psychological evaluation. We do require a psychological evaluation submitted to our agency before matching with a gestational carrier. You will also have a “match” meeting with your potential surrogate facilitated by a Mental Health Professional.
- Medical Clearance – Typically 2-4 weeks. Once you are matched, the carrier will need to get medical clearance from the intended parent’s fertility clinic. This involves the review of medical records and a physical examination.
- Legal Contracts – Typically 2-6 weeks. Legal contracts are an important and necessary part of the surrogacy journey to protect all parties involved. Each party will have their own counsel to when drawing up and negotiating contracts.
- Medical Preparation – Typically 1-2 months. Once contracts have been finalized, the carrier will begin the medication protocol to ready her body for the embryo transfer. While the exact medication regimen varies by clinic, it typically takes about 30 days for the body to be ready, and also includes regular monitoring appointments.
- Embryo Transfer – This is the day we’ve all been waiting for. Carriers will take a blood test approximately 10 days after transfer to test for pregnancy.
- Establishment of Parentage – Typically around 16-18 weeks of pregnancy. If the transfer is successful and the parties achieve pregnancy, it is important for the Intended Parents to properly establish their legal parentage in the state where the child will be born.
The above timeline assumes embryos are created and cryopreserved. If you still need to create embryos, the timeline will differ based on the medical protocol of your fertility clinic and other factors.
It is impossible to list all the scenarios for your family building journey. A typical timeline is between 15-18 months from starting the process with our agency. We understand the desire to move quickly through this journey, but we will always keep the best interest of your family and your baby first, every step of the way.