One of the most frequently asked questions we get from both surrogates and parents is how long does the surrogacy process take? 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. It is our goal to ensure our surrogates are fully qualified and understand the process before moving forward with their surrogacy journey. It is said that the surrogacy process is a lot of “hurry up and wait”, and there is certainly some truth to that as you can see in the timeline and steps below.
- Research – Take as long as you need! This is a critical step in the decision to become a surrogate. It is important to understand all the steps involved. More importantly, a potential surrogate needs to understand the emotional and physical aspects of the journey.
- Application and Interview – Typically 1-2 weeks. This can happen fairly quickly with most agencies. And of course, this is predicated on the carrier meeting the minimum guidelines to become a surrogate. Once the interview is satisfactory, we will then start a criminal background check (for you and your spouse if applicable).
- Medical Records Procurement and Evaluation – Typically 4-6 weeks. Most of this timeframe hinges on your medical providers and their ability to send complete records to your agency. The records will be reviewed by a medical professional to ensure there are no medical issues to be resolved.
- Psychological Evaluation – Typically 2-4 weeks. This evaluation entails meeting with a licensed mental health professional to discuss the intricacies of surrogacy and a psychological evaluation.
- 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 parent profiles for you to review and approve. It is crucial that both parties are aligned and “just right” for each other on this journey.
- 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 a 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.
It is impossible to list all the scenarios for your surrogacy journey. A typical timeline is between 15-18 months from starting the process with our agency to the delivery of the baby. We understand the desire to move quickly through this journey, but we will always keep the best interest of the IPs, your family and the baby first, every step of the way.
If you would like to learn more about becoming a surrogate, please contact us today.