Surrogacy process

Grid of different women from ConceiveAbilities

Making parenthood possible

Our surrogacy process is designed to support you (our intended parents) and your surrogate every step of the way. Our team of compassionate experts will guide you through the surrogacy process. They facilitate every detail with the fertility center, as well as the day-to-day with you and your surrogate.

What are the steps of the surrogacy process?

The surrogacy process involves six basic steps from the start of your journey to bringing your baby home:

  1. Research Surrogacy
  2. Plan for the Surrogacy Process
  3. Match With a Surrogate
  4. Begin Surrogate Pregnancy
  5. Prepare for Your Baby’s Arrival
  6. Conclude Your Surrogacy Journey

As your surrogacy agency, we will be your guide each step of the way, allowing you and your partner, as intended parents, to experience the joy of family building and bringing home your baby—a new life with modern help.

  • Research Surrogacy

  • Plan for the Surrogacy Process

  • Match With a Surrogate

  • Begin Surrogate Pregnancy

  • Prepare for Your Baby’s Arrival

  • Conclude Your Surrogacy Journey

  • Research Surrogacy

  • 1. Research Surrogacy: Is this Your Path to Family Building?

    • Generous. Almost 90% of surrogate mothers find joy giving to others. They demonstrate that through their actions. For instance, more than 50% regularly volunteer and nearly half are registered blood and organ donors.
    • Timing. The time must be right for a surrogacy contract. Over 80% of women interested in surrogacy examine the timing for their family and turn to their inner circle for support about the decision.
    • Empathy. Two-thirds of surrogate mothers have first-hand experience with a friend or family member’s struggle with infertility.
    • Financial Incentive. The financial incentive of the gestational surrogacy process is meaningful to surrogate mothers. More than 60% report it will help create a safety net for paying down debt, saving for their family’s future, etc.

    Can a surrogacy journey be successful during the COVID-19 pandemic?

    Yes. Surrogacy is an essential service. With the right precautions, more hopeful people than ever are continuing to build their families with the assistance of a surrogate. Listen to this podcast with our CEO Nazca Fontes and Dr. Marie Werner—a respected reproductive endocrinologist—as they discuss surrogacy during the time of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Plan for the Surrogacy Process

  • 2. Plan for the Surrogacy Process: Three-Part Process to Prepare

    • Part 1: Understand Your Starting Point. Take a minute and tell us a bit about you so, together, we can build your step-by-step personalized roadmap as an intended parent to provide for the emotional, financial, and logistical support you will need for your parentage journey ahead.

      We love getting to know hopeful people who are considering a surrogacy journey, and please know that all of your information is maintained with utmost privacy.
    • Part 2: Set Your Expectations. We can introduce you to other intended parents who have had success in family building by working with a gestational surrogate or carrier. They can give you straight answers about the path ahead. We will discuss in detail your hopes for the future and your experiences to date, so we can create a journey that meets and exceeds your expectations.
    • Part 3: Plan Your Custom Roadmap. Together, we will strategize and pre-plan your surrogacy journey. We will help you to understand your financial and legal requirements, including all the details of the All-In Program, as well as customizing another option if that better suits your needs. We value transparency and make sure that any fine print is in plain English.

  • Match With a Surrogate

  • 3. Match with a Surrogate: Your Surrogacy Agency Will Help You Find a Surrogate Who Is Healthy and Qualified

    As your surrogacy agency, we will help you find a surrogate mother who is healthy and qualified. We do this in four parts:

    • Getting Started. When you retain us to recruit and match you with a surrogate mother, you will also make your first payment for us to do so. That payment, however, is fully refundable at any time until you have accepted a surrogate match..
    • Finding Compatible Relationships. We will assign you a Match Expert who will guide you through our proprietary matching process. Matching Matters®, and quickly connect you with your hand-selected surrogate.

      We match you with a surrogate that shares your values and expectations for the type of relationship you want, in addition to being healthy and qualified for the journey ahead. We are able to make most matches in an average of 16 weeks, so there is no languishing on waiting lists for months on end, wondering when you will be able to get started.

      With a 97% success rate after the first introduction, and working consistently faster than any other surrogacy agency, we save you untold time and expense as you get started on your surrogacy journey.
    • Funding Escrow. Once you are matched, you will place all the money needed for your surrogacy journey in escrow so you and your surrogate have the peace-of-mind of knowing that the full financial resources for your journey are safe and secure.
    • Dedicated Sure Hands. You will meet your ConceiveAbilities’ Match Manager, your primary point of contact who will lead your entire match experience team on your behalf, to guide you and your surrogate on the journey ahead, step-by-step.

  • Begin Surrogate Pregnancy

  • 4. Begin Surrogate Pregnancy: Through Embryo Transfer via In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

    • Support for Your Surrogate. Your baby’s health is intricately linked to the surrogate mother. That’s why we put so much support around your surrogate’s emotional health throughout her journey.

      At this stage of the process, as the journey ahead is becoming increasingly real, we introduce her to our Surrogate Sisterhood —a private community of women who are actively engaged with us on their surrogacy journey. She will have routine opportunities to connect with this incredible network of supporters who totally “get it” to help her through the demands of the journey. .
    • Medical Clearance by Your Clinic. Your fertility clinic will conduct their own review of your surrogate’s qualifications. ConceiveAbilities’ experience and careful screening process, conducted by licensed nursing professionals, helps to ensure that this is a satisfactory review. In fact, more than 95% of our surrogates pass your doctor’s medical evaluation on the first attempt.
    • Clearance for Embryo Transfer. While your surrogate is being medically cleared by your fertility clinic, you will execute a legal contract with one another that confirms surrogacy services, payments and other key terms of your agreement. We will help you coordinate and tackle all the details like health insurance and other necessary paperwork, working in coordination with all the professionals who will support your journey. Pre-pregnancy payments to your surrogate start during this time.
    • Embryo Transfer. For the embryo transfer, your surrogate’s body will need to be medically prepared for in vitro fertilization (IVF). She will learn more about the medical protocol, restrictions and expectations during this time and begin certain medications. Once your embryo is transferred and your medical team is able to confirm a fetal heartbeat for a second time, we consider the pregnancy as “established.”

  • Prepare for Your Baby’s Arrival

  • 5. Prepare for Your Baby’s Arrival: Your Family Is Growing

    Before you know it, it will be time to prepare for your baby’s arrival. This is an exciting time for intended mothers and intended fathers. Here are a few steps to consider in your preparation:

    • Transfer Surrogate to Obstetrician. As your pregnancy continues, your fertility clinic will determine when is the right time for your surrogate’s obstetrician to take responsibility for your surrogate’s medical procedures and care, as well as your baby’s. Your surrogate will begin routine appointments with the obstetrician. You will check-in regularly with your surrogate and continue to receive dedicated support from your match manager.
    • Make a Birth Plan. During the middle of your surrogate’s pregnancy, we will work with you and your surrogate to create a Birth Plan, which is an exciting milestone to ensure everyone is ready for the delivery of your baby. An important part of the Birth Plan is to review the legal parentage process, ensuring that your parentage is properly established.
    • Celebrate the Birth. It is our honor to bear witness to a most precious and joyful moment, as your baby (a new life) enters the world.
    • Taking Your Baby Home. After your baby’s birth, your baby goes home with you with a birth certificate and, if needed, passport for international travel. At long last!

  • Conclude Your Surrogacy Journey

  • 6. Conclude Your Surrogacy Journey: Your Dreams Fulfilled

    Finally, your surrogacy journey has come to a close and your dreams have been fulfilled. There are a few final pieces to the surrogacy process as you conclude your journey:

    • Continued Support. Our surrogacy agency works to ensure that your surrogate has the support she needs at the end of your journey, physically and emotionally. Your surrogate will receive post-pregnancy payments to ensure her time and energy can be directed toward her recovery.
    • Settling Accounts. We ensure your monies are properly accounted for and ensure your escrow account is closed, with any remaining funds returned to you.
    • Starting a New Journey. While the surrogacy journey is demanding and unique, it is also immensely rewarding. Did you know that 56% of our surrogates are highly interested in a repeat journey and 78% want to refer a friend to be a surrogate? Their personal experience as a surrogate is the top driving factor for this strong interest. Similarly, many intended parents are excited about a sibling journey and referring friends to start their own journeys.

    We will support you in making decisions about a new journey, whether it is your own or one that you can help inspire for someone else.

    Now that you understand the six basic steps of the surrogacy process, start your journey today!

    Surrogacy process FAQs

    Is surrogacy legal everywhere?

    Yes, almost. On February 15, 2021, New York became the last large state to legalize compensated gestational surrogacy, which is great news for hopeful parents everywhere. That said, there are still a few states where compensated gestational surrogacy is either not yet legal or the path to a legally enforceable surrogacy agreement has some complexity. There can even be differences from one county to another in a given state. Our experienced in-house legal team will guide you, step by step, through the process to ensure your parentage is properly and fully established.

    What are some of the hallmarks I should look for in a surrogacy agency?

    Intended parents want to work with an agency that is experienced in all aspects of gestational surrogacy and should look to ensure the three most critical components of a surrogacy engagement are an integral part of the program. Licensed clinical, psychological, financial and legal professionals should be on staff, exclusive to the program at all times, and play an active role in each surrogacy engagement to provide continuity of care. This level of full-service, comprehensive support is the best assurance you will be getting the attention and accountability necessary in an unregulated field where services or expertise are often one-dimensional. A full service, comprehensive agency like ConceiveAbilities can help meet your needs at every stage of the surrogate journey, from prescreening surrogate mothers to closing the escrow account, and everything in between.

    Why should I use a surrogate from an agency?

    Most surrogate mother applicants will first apply to the nation's largest surrogate agencies. The level of screening and “filtering-out” ultimately results in many rejected candidates finding their way onto independent “matching” forums where they have learned to withhold information that caused their rejection from other programs. For intended parents, there are typically several agencies to choose from that are the right fit professionally and more personally when it comes to identifying a great surrogate. ConceiveAbilities cannot and does not recommend surrogates from any source other than a reputable agency. There is very little reason for a discerning, responsible and healthy gestational surrogate to work independently without the benefit and support granted by a full-service agency.

    How long does the surrogacy process take?

    The surrogacy process takes between 15 to 18 months on average once you are matched, however, any individual journey could take more time, or less time. Working with a reputable surrogacy agency with experienced subject matter experts that are fully dedicated to your journey is the key to expediting the experience.

    ConceiveAbilities Surrogate Michellen next to stuffed toy rabbit