So, your wife or girlfriend is considering becoming a surrogate? Perhaps this is something she has been talking about for a long time or an idea you’ve just recently heard about. Either way, we are here to help you learn more about what is involved in the surrogacy process - everything from the compensation, the required commitment, and the phases of the journey. We’ll also provide a rundown of how you, as her partner, will be directly involved. Our priority is making certain both our surrogate applicants and their partners feel informed and empowered.
My husband was actually the one who initially encouraged me to apply because he knew I had always talked about it and was something I really wanted to do!
We would like to clarify three common concerns and questions from husbands and partners.
Your wife will not have a genetic connection to the child she carries. This will not be her child. This will not be your child. An embryo (created with another woman’s egg and another man’s sperm) will be directly transferred into your wife’s uterus by a credentialed Reproductive Endocrinologist. The resulting child will have no tie to your family tree.
We often hear surrogates describe surrogacy as “extreme babysitting” and many say that the most exciting part of the entire journey was seeing the faces of the intended parents when their child is finally born. Your wife will know throughout the entire pregnancy that this is not her child and that she is making parenthood possible for a deserving family. Surrogates rightfully see this as “giving the baby back” to its parents, not “giving it up.”
Surrogacy with a reputable agency in the United States is a very safe and secure arrangement. The horror stories, the Lifetime movies and the urban legends in no way reflect the realities of modern day surrogacy. Thousands of USA surrogacy deliveries occur each year, and the vast majority of these journeys are overseen by capable professionals, committed to the well-being of all parties, medical safety, legal best practices, and the strictest standards of ethics. The multilayered protections built into a reputable agency’s program completely eliminate the possibility of such sensationalized outcomes.
The first time I casually mentioned it, my husband didn’t say much, but then came home the following week and had done all sorts of research on it. We talked it over and he said Well I know you love helping people so this is pretty much a peak experience for you. I'm in if you're in.
My husband was more worried about getting scammed or left with bills. I was too, which is why I wanted to go through a reputable agency.
Although qualifying surrogate applicants are inspired mostly by their altruistic desire to help another family, they are providing a very valuable service and are compensated. In addition to compensation, all costs associated with the journey, including medical and travel expenses, are covered.
Did you know that we offer one of the most competitive compensation packages in the field? Most of our first-time surrogate compensation packages range from $48,000-$55,000 and increase according to individual circumstances. Our high compensation may be a small part of why your wife or partner is looking to work with us. Are you interested in learning about compensation? Visit our compensation page.
There are some things in life that you just can’t do without the love and support of your partner. It just so happens that becoming a surrogate (with a reputable agency) is one of those things. Any agency worth consideration will require that the surrogate applicant has the full support of her partner before beginning the journey.
Being married or in a committed relationship is not a requirement for acceptance into our surrogacy program. But those who are married or in a committed relationship do need the support and participation of their partners in order to be accepted.
The below outline presents every phase of the journey in which you, the surrogate’s partner, will play a direct role in. (We thought you would want to know this up front, so that you know what you are signing up for.)
Background/Credit Check: Early Screening
Early on in the screening process, ConceiveAbilities will ask you, the partner of the surrogate applicant, to sign a form which permits us to run a background and credit check on you. We will of course also run these checks on the surrogate applicant. Doing this helps us learn more about you both and confirm your stable lifestyle.
Mental Health Consultation: Mid Screening
Later in the screening process, both the surrogate applicant and you, her partner, will be required to participate in a mental health consultation. During your consultation you will discuss topics related to the process with a licensed mental health professional. You will complete a clinical interview and assessment as well as establish your matching priorities. The full evaluation appointment usually takes about 2 to 3 hours.
Our mental health evaluations are in-person. Depending on where you live, you may have your appointment with one of our licensed mental health partners located only a few hours drive from your home. Alternatively, you both may be flown into our Chicago or Denver offices to meet with a licensed mental health professional on staff, for an in-office evaluation.
The trip occasionally requires an overnight stay but usually can be completed in just one day. All required travel is covered.
Home Check: End of Screening
As one of the last steps of screening, ConceiveAbilities conducts a home check. This is a review of your home to assure that it is a safe and healthy place for a pregnant woman to live. Partners may be asked to be home and present for the home check if they did not meet directly with a ConceiveAbilites staffer for their mental health evaluation. In such an instance, we would be looking to connect with you in a very casual and relaxed manner, just to confirm that you are indeed fully on-board with the journey.
Medical Workup: Early Match
After acceptance into our program surrogates are carefully matched with intended parents. After the match, surrogates attend a medical appointment at the IVF clinic their Intended Parents (IPs) are working with. ConceiveAbilites works with clinics all around the country. (The preferences you share in your mental health evaluation and the standards and location of the relevant IVF clinic are considered by our matching team.) Medical workup appointments usually require a one to two day trip. Each clinic has its own protocol, but most will require you, the partner of the surrogate, to provide a blood sample and perhaps undergo some additional mental health screening by the professionals at the IVF clinic. Remember, all required travel costs are covered.
Legal Phase: Early Match
During the legal phase, and with the guidance of an independent attorney, hired to represent your interests, both the surrogate and you, her partner, will review agreements and contracts for relevant details. Once properly in order, you will both sign. The legal phase is different for every match, but usually requires 1-3 hours of your direct attention and involvement.
Assistance with Medicine: Medical Phase
Prior to embryo transfer, surrogates take medications to prepare their bodies for a successful implantation and pregnancy. Some of these medications are injections which need to be administered in hard to reach places. Of the surrogates polled, 66% said that their husbands or partner did help them with shots. (Do not worry, you will be given ample instruction on how to do this. We do not expect you to be a pro right off the bat.)
“I don’t do needles well... my husband did every injection like a champ! I was able to bring myself to do the Lupron ones after a few weeks, but he did all of the PIO shots.” - Jolynda, ConceiveAbilities Surrogate
Abstaining from Sexual Intercourse: Medical Phase
Throughout certain phases of the medical phase, it will be paramount to the success of the journey that surrogates abstain from sexual intercourse. The medical staff at your IVF clinic will provide you with very clear instructions about this but it is important to realize that the medications which surrogates take can significantly increase their own fertility. Sexual intercourse during specific phases of this journey could have dramatic, unintended consequences.
The IVF clinic’s policy, the needs of your family, as well as yours and your wife’s preferences, will be among the considerations which determine whether you actually attend the embryo transfer. Some partners choose to attend and provide care after the procedure, while other partners stay home, attend work and manage the homefront.
As you already know, pregnant women sometimes need extra help and TLC. You may need to shift your shared household and child care responsibilities a bit throughout the pregnancy so that your wife can attend doctor’s appointments and provide a nurturing environment for the child she carries.
The good news is that this pregnancy will not require you to begin stocking up on diapers, painting a nursery, or putting together a baby crib.
It is very common for a friendship to develop between you, your wife and the intended parents you are working with. Many partners take up the role of sharing exciting updates with the IPs about how the pregnancy is progressing via phone or text. It is exciting to be a part of such a unique and life-changing mission.
Most partners do choose to be present for the labor and delivery. Although she will not be delivering your baby, your wife will be giving birth and she will likely need your support and encouragement throughout the delivery.
Many partners develop a relationship with the IPs and find the delivery to be an incredibly emotional, and “awesome” experience.
My husband did not cry at our wedding or even when each of our own three children were born. But when I delivered as a surrogate and he witnessed another man finally become a father after a long and trying struggle with infertility, my husband definitely cried.
Hear from Greg, the husband of a ConceiveAbilities surrogate, on his role, how he supported his wife, and how the initial reactions he received from the intended parents were a surprise to me.
As a surrogate, raising your own children can be challenging enough, but explaining surrogacy to them presents a different challenge. They may ask why you have a growing belly, whether or not the baby will be a new sibling, and other insightful questions. Regardless of when or how, it’s important to tell your children about your decision to be a surrogate.
Angel is now into the third trimester of her surrogate pregnancy with a baby girl. Throughout the process her husband Travis has been one of her biggest supporters, and he's sharing his perspective on the surrogacy process – plus his answers to the many questions people have for the "surrogate husband."