5 things I did not expect as a first time surrogate

So you want to become a surrogate? First and foremost, thank you. What a wonderful gift you are about to give another family. 

While surrogacy is a very positive and uplifting process, we wanted to share with you some insight on five things that maybe you weren’t expecting. These answers were provided by current, and past first-time southern surrogacy surrogates. 

  1. Time commitment
    1. The entire process from filling out an application to delivering that sweet little baby can take up 12-18 months (and sometimes longer depending on your personal situation). Our surrogates explained that they did not realize how long the screening process took, as well as contracts, and even leading up to the embryo transfer. Each journey is different, so there is no “one time-frame fits all”, but keep in mind that there are a lot of steps that need to be taken before a pregnancy occurs to ensure you and your IPs are protected and taken care of. 
  2. Pregnancy is not guaranteed
    1. For many of our surrogates, getting pregnant was easy and simple. While we hope this is the case for your surrogacy journey the unfortunate truth is that it is not guaranteed. Sometimes the embryo doesn’t stick during the first transfer and you will have to do a 2nd (or sometimes 3rd) transfer. There are also instances where a surrogate will not pass medical screening and will not be able to proceed to the embryo transfer. We have also,unfortunately, had surrogates who miscarried and were unable to proceed (per personal or medical reasons). While these scenarios are not necessarily common, it does happen and it’s important to understand all outcomes of the process. 
  3. Medications
    1. Yes, you must take medications to prepare for your embryo transfer. These medications include oral and injections that must be administered at home. Ultimately you are convincing your body that it is already pregnant for your embryo transfer so the embryo will stick. In order to accomplish this goal you must take hormonal medications (like progesterone). These medications will be delivered to your door quickly and on ice. It’s important to follow the medication protocol given to you by the fertility clinic to help ensure a smooth embryo transfer.
  4. Doctor Appointments
    1. For some of our first-time surrogates, they have never been in a fertility clinic and are new to how it works. Once you have passed screening, and signed your contracts you are released to your IPs fertility clinic. You will eventually graduate to your normal obgyn, but until then you are at the mercy of the clinics to attend all appointments they require of you. Just a heads up that if you do become pregnant (yay!) you will need to go to the clinic every 1-2 days for a week while they monitor your HCG levels. After HCG monitoring you will attend an appointments (with vaginal ultrasounds) until they release you to your regular obgyn (typically around 10 weeks). Also, during this time you will continue to take your medications and yes continue with injections. 
  5. Legal Matters
    1. Because surrogacy involves a lot of moving pieces and a lot of people you will speak to lawyers (sometimes more than one). According to our surrogates it seems a bit intimidating, but remember it’s all about protecting you, the baby, and the intended parents. The lawyer’s job is to scope out any and all possible scenarios, and ensure there is a legal and fair outcome for all parties. Utilize your lawyer’s for questions and to gain an understanding on each step in the process. They are there to assist you and make sure you know what your rights are during (and after) your journey. 

This list is just to provide some insight on some of the items that you may not know to think about as a first-time surrogate. If you have questions or need someone to talk you through the process, please reach out to us. We are happy to help you in any way possible. And again, thank you for helping us make dreams come true!