When you decide to give the gift of surrogacy, it’s normal to have many questions. How do I apply to become a surrogate? What does the surrogacy journey involve exactly? We recommend watching some our videos as well to learn more!
A “surrogate mother” is a woman who agrees to carry a baby for a couple or individual who is unable to conceive. As a gestational surrogate, you are not biologically related to the baby or babies and you will be protected by a legal contract signed by both you and the intended parents or intended parent. It takes an extraordinary woman to become a surrogate. You’re helping someone achieve their dreams of parenthood!
Learn About Our Surrogate Screening Process with Previous Surrogate Niki Renslow!
Meet our Surrogacy Recruiting Manager Niki and learn about the benefits and perks of working with a reputable surrogacy agency like Creative Family Connections.
Who Do Surrogate Mothers Help?
By applying to become a surrogate, you’re helping someone’s dreams come true. Intended parents who are looking for a surrogate match are couples and individuals who cannot have a baby on their own without your help.
There are two types of surrogacy: traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. At Creative Family Connections, we only focus on gestational surrogacy. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate has no genetic relationship to the baby (or babies in the event of a twin pregnancy!) she carries.
When you apply to become a surrogate, you’re empowering intended parents from all over the world of diverse sexual orientations, ethnicities, and backgrounds to build their families through surrogacy.
The different types of intended parents who want to build their family through surrogacy could include:
- An intended mother who is unable to carry a child
- An intended father
- Same-sex intended parents
- Intended parents who have a health condition that would make a pregnancy dangerous
- Heterosexual couples who have struggled to carry a healthy pregnancy
How Long Does the Surrogacy Process Take?
Several factors can affect how long it takes to be matched with intended parents and the length of the surrogacy process. Our matching process is aimed to match you with wonderful intended parents who are the perfect match for you based on your preferences. In general, you can expect the entire surrogacy process — from matching with your intended parent(s) through delivery — to take about 13 to 18 months, depending whether the first embryo transfer results in a surrogate pregnancy. That includes the pregnancy, of course!
When you complete the surrogacy application, your surrogacy journey from the time you apply to the time of meeting your intended parents can take anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks. The length of your surrogacy journey from applying with us to meeting your intended parents can depend on many factors, including how quickly you are able to return documents to us, how quickly we are able to receive your medical records, complete reference calls, schedule an in-home interview, and more steps in our pre-screening process. Your assistance can help us expedite this process so that we can match you to your dream intended parents more quickly!
Surrogacy Timeline: Becoming a Surrogate
Once you’ve completed the surrogacy application, you’ve taken the all-important first step. This surrogacy timeline helps you gauge how long it takes to help intended parents achieve their dreams:
- Step 1: Pre-Screening
- Step 2: Medical Records Pre-Approval by the IVF clinic
- Step 3: Meeting Intended Parents & Matching
- Step 4: Psychological Screening
- Step 5: Legal Contracts (4-6 weeks)
- Step 6: Medical Screening
- Step 7: Cycling Medications, Monitoring Appointments & First Embryo Transfer (4-6 weeks)
- Step 8: Pregnancy Test & Ultrasound Monitoring Appointments (2 weeks)
- Step 9: Discharged to your OBGYN around week 10!
Questions to Ask Before You Complete a Surrogacy Application
Deciding to become a “surrogate mother” is a huge decision. Before completing a surrogacy application, it can help to consider the following:
- Have I discussed surrogacy and being a surrogate with my family and support network?
- Do I meet all the requirements to become a surrogate mother?
- What am I looking for in my intended parents?
- What am I looking for in my surrogacy journey?
How to Become a Surrogate: FAQs
What About COVID19 and Surrogacy? Can I Still Apply to Be a Surrogate?
Yes! There are plenty of parts of the surrogacy journey process we can work on together from the safety of your home, including meeting your intended parent or parents over Zoom videoconference! Earn $1,500 right from the safety of your home. Here’s how. Fill out our application, have a call with us, and sign up for our current Surrogate Exclusivity Bonus Program for the chance to earn $500. This bonus is paid after your pre-screening has been completed (getting medical records alone can take 2 weeks or so!) and there has been an official in-home interview visit with someone on our team. Also, as a CFC surrogate, you will receive a $1,000 advance from your surrogate base compensation after successfully passing psychological screening and completing your surrogacy contract with your intended parents. Once contracts are all signed and ready to go, the $1,000 will be advanced to you via direct deposit!
What are the Qualifications to Be a Surrogate?
If I Don’t Finish My Application, Can I Come Back to it Later?
Yes! You can save your progress and finish it later by clicking the “Save and Resume” button at the bottom of your application. Be sure to copy the URL link so that you can get back to later.
I Have Some Questions Before I Fill Out My Application. Can I Talk To Someone?
Of course! One of the many benefits to being a surrogate with Creative Family Connections is that we have very open lines of communication from the start of the process. Please reach out to our Surrogate Recruiting Manager, Niki Renslow, via email at email@example.com. Niki was previously a surrogate herself (for a twin journey!) and can help answer your questions. While we are always here to answer any and all of your questions about surrogacy, it’s also a super good idea to do your own research as well.
How Much Will I Be Paid to Be a Surrogate With Creative Family Connections?
In addition to our competitive surrogate base compensations, which are disbursed throughout the pregnancy, there are also many additional stipends. Visit our surrogate financial information page for more information on how surrogacy benefits your family AND someone else’s.
Know Someone Who Wants to Be a Surrogate? Receive a Bonus!
If you know someone, or have a friend whom you feel would be a great surrogate, send her to Creative Family Connections! As a “thank you” for sending someone our way, you will receive $500 via check after your surrogate candidate has successfully passed medical and psychological screening, and then an additional $500 after she has signed her contract with her CFC intended parents.
If you have any other questions, we’re here to help! Please email our Surrogate Recruiting Manager, Niki Renslow, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where is Creative Family Connections Located?
CFC is located in the Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia area, but we work with gestational surrogates from all over the country! We also have amazing team members who live in New York, Connecticut, and even Colorado Springs, Colorado!
Will I Be Matched to a Couple or Intended Parent In My state? Will I Have to Relocate?
Most likely, your intended parent(s) might live somewhere else in the U.S. or even abroad! We help lots of international intended parents. That said, many intended parents love to visit for you and your family for a few OB appointments if they can, and of course, they come to your state to support you with delivery. You would not need to re-locate states during the journey if you live in a surrogacy-friendly state, although there is some travel involved to your intended parents’ IVF clinic. During the surrogate pregnancy, you would see your local OBGYN and have cycling monitoring appointments for the cycling injections, which prepare your body for the embryo transfer. We match you carefully based on legal concerns for surrogacy statutes state-by-state, personality, pregnancy preferences, and more.
Does a Surrogate Mother Use Her Own Eggs for a Surrogacy Journey?
No, not in the case of “gestational surrogacy.” In gestational surrogacy, a gestational surrogate never uses her own eggs. In a gestational surrogacy journey, a surrogate or her partner are never biologically related to the baby or babies. The exception is if they are doing a “traditional surrogacy” journey, which we are not involved in at all. Also, because a gestational surrogate is not the mother or parent to the baby (the intended mother or intended father is!), we refrain from using the term “surrogate mother” to be in sync with current standards.
How Long Does It Take for a Surrogate to Be Matched With Intended Parents?
It can range from 2 weeks to several months. Our match process depends on your matching preferences for intended parents, how quickly we get forms back from you, and how quickly we can help obtain your pregnancy and delivery medical records. We also do an in-home interview to meet you and your family, which is one of our last pieces of the puzzle before introducing you to your potential intended parents!
Do I Need to See My OBGYN to Be Approved to Be a Surrogate?
Possibly. You can wait until after applying with us to see your OB/GYN if needed. When we request your pregnancy medical records on your behalf, we also request an OBGYN form for your OB to fill out to approve you to be a surrogate. If you have not seen your OBGYN in a while, they may want you to come in for an appointment before they will agree to fill out the surrogate form. Also, depending on when you had your last pap smear, you might need to complete an updated pap smear result from your doctor. Again, that would be after you apply!
I’m Nervous About Needles for the IVF Injections. Help!
It’s completely normal to feel nervous as a new surrogate. We have lots of tips and tricks for the cycling medications! Some surrogates feel it’s easier to do the shots themselves, while other surrogates always have a partner or friend help them. The IVF clinic will teach you how to do the IVF injections. We also have many previous surrogates who can help you as well! Once you become a CFC surrogate, you will be invited to our CFC Surrogate Support Facebook Group, which is an incredible way to meet other amazing surrogates and get advice about your surrogacy journey.
Are Your Intended Parents In The Room With You for the Embryo Transfer?
Yes, sometimes. Sometimes intended parents are able to fly or drive in for the embryo transfer. By this time in the process, you will have had the chance to connect and develop your relationship with your intended parents or parent. Intended parents will typically stand near their surrogate’s head during the embryo transfer for privacy – It can be a wonderful bonding experience! Other times, intended parents can attend the embryo transfer via Skype or FaceTime. They may be waiting to come visit you later on during the pregnancy for an OBGYN appointment or ultrasound.
Does a Surrogate Have to Deliver In a Hospital?
At Creative Family Connections, because our intended parents have dedicated an enormous amount of emotional energy and resources into a surrogacy journey, we require that all CFC surrogates deliver in a hospital that has a Level III NICU. If there is no Level III NICU nearby, exceptions on a case-by-case basis can be made for a Level II NICU. We provide a ton of surrogate support in coordinating with the hospital. Around the 20th week of pregnancy, we create a detailed surrogate and intended parent hospital birth plan to outline all the details. Labor & delivery nurses and staff and hospital social workers have said that our birth plan is extremely helpful so that hospital staff knows about the surrogacy journey delivery in advance. We help coordinate all the details so that you and the intended parents can have a beautiful birth experience that is as smooth as possible!
Are Mental Health Services Covered For Surrogates?
Yes. Our surrogacy contract sets funds aside just for mental health services in the event that they are wanted during the journey! If you have health insurance that will cover part of the costs, the intended parent(s) would pay for the remainder up to a certain amount based on the contract. Some surrogates feel they want counseling and mental health support for the journey and other surrogates don’t. We absolutely want mental health services to be available for surrogates if they would like it! There is also a psychological evaluation for a surrogate and her partner/spouse (if applicable – we love single mom surrogates too!) where you discuss the surrogacy journey in detail. That surrogate psychological evaluation is paid for by the intended parent(s).
Can a Surrogate Breastfeed the Baby or Babies?
No, but a surrogate can pump breastmilk for intended parents, a local hospital, or Preemies Milk Bank! Per The American Society of Reproductive Medicine guidelines, it is advised that a surrogate not breastfeed the baby due to attachment considerations, however, you can definitely pump breastmilk post-delivery for a surrogacy journey! This is all discussed in detail in your surrogacy contract, but it is also a flexible arrangement. Sometimes intended parents are so appreciative of receiving breastmilk to bottle feed their baby/babies, while others prefer to stick to baby formula. Sometimes surrogates and intended parents arrange to ship breastmilk for several weeks or several months (at no cost to you). International intended parents typically switch to formula once they are back home, but it is possible to ship abroad! If intended parents are interested in receiving breastmilk, there is a $250 per week stipend as a thank you to all the time and dedication it takes to pump regularly. Read about one of our surrogate pumping stories here.
Is Surrogate Compensation Taxable?
We do not send surrogates a W2 or 1099 tax form. While we are experts in all things surrogacy, we are not tax experts, so we advise you to speak with a tax professional or CPA. A surrogate’s base compensation is deposited into monthly pregnancy payments upon heartbeat confirmation via an ultrasound. (At that point, you also receive $250 per month to assist with mileage to doctors’ appointments, prenatal vitamins, etc.)