The Surrogacy Process for Gestational Carriers

The surrogacy process can be complicated, and length! We want you to feel confident and knowledgable on “what’s next”.

Below is a general checklist on what to expect during your Surrogacy journey, but remember, not all journey’s are the same. This checklist is just to give you a general idea!

We hope you find this checklist helpful as you navigate the next steps in your journey!

And don’t forget to celebrate along the way! We couldn’t be more excited for you and your intended parents!


A letter to my surrogate

The journey to motherhood is not what I imagined when I was playing house with my dolls as a kid. 

I didn’t know what IVF was, or infertility, and I certainly did not know that surrogacy existed.

But here we are. 

While I am ecstatic to be a mom, and comfortable with our choice of using a gestational carrier to help me accomplish that dream, there are some things I want my surrogate to know. 

So here it goes….

To my surrogate,

     First and foremost, thank you! 

Thank you for being brave and for answering the call to help me become a mom. 

Thank you for researching surrogacy and applying. 

Thank you for meeting with me and my husband, and choosing us as your intended parents.

Thank you for your patience as we jump through hoops with screening, contracts, and medications.

Thank you for your willingness to drive to our clinic, and for answering my texts when I reach out.

I want you to know that I am beyond excited to be a mom and to try again.

But I also want you to know how terrified I am. I have gone through so much pain and hardship to get to this point. While I am confident in this process, it’s hard not to relive moments of struggle at each milestone. 

Yes, seeing a positive pregnancy test is a relief, but it’s not the first time I have experienced this moment. Unfortunately for me, this moment has historically been followed by loss. So while I want to announce our success, in my mind, we aren’t out of the woods yet. 

I am so grateful that you are filled with a positive outlook, and I need you to keep that positivity as we progress. As nervous as I am, this positivity is encouraging me to relax bit by bit.

I need you to know that I want to be involved as much as possible, but I am scared to get too attached. I want to know how you are feeling every minute of every day, so I am prepared for any “uh-oh” that might arise. But I am trying to respect boundaries and find that balance. 

Going into this, I thought I would be a lot more laid back and relaxed. I find myself co-existing between a constant state of panic, and serenity. But your support and unwavering care have been so comforting to me.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this journey together. I could not imagine a better team by my side as we make this dream come true!

You will forever be part of my life and our family. 

-Your Intended Mother


Why a local agency is better

 Deciding to pursue surrogacy is a big decision! There are a lot of policies and procedures to maneuver throughout the process. Some choose to complete their journey independently (without an agency). While this path may cost less, it comes with its own set of hurdles. 

Using an agency is typically more expensive, but provides an all-inclusive experience. Their job is to ensure you know all the ins and outs of the process. Read below on why using a local agency is ultimately better in the long run!

Legal Rights 

Using reproductive assistance in today’s climate can seem scary and uncertain. Using 

a local agency you will know the legal rights of the state(s) they practice in. They can tell you exactly what is (or is not) legal in your state and can guide you through new laws and regulations.

Recommended Partners

During your journey, you will need to use medical, escrow and insurance professionals, and legal services. A local agency can connect you with recommended partners to make finding these services a breeze. 


Finding the perfect match can be a huge task. Here at Southern Surrogacy, we put our surrogates through an extensive screening process. In addition to passing the screening process from your fertility clinic, our surrogates must also pass a pre-screening including a background check and interview process. We want to ensure our surrogates are doing it for the right reasons. 

Support Services

A local agency wants to make sure everyone in the process feels supported and comfortable. During your entire journey, you will be assigned a case worker and psychologist. If you have questions or need support in any way, we have a team to answer your questions and meet your needs. After birth, we will guide you on “what’s next”. 

Using a local agency is the best way to go because they provide services you may not even know you needed. Whether you are an intended parent or a surrogate, everyone wants a smooth positive experience. A local agency will provide all the support you need and will take away the nervousness of the unknown. 

Ultimately it’s up to you to do your research and choose what is best for you and your family. We are to happy to help and answer any questions you have! 


Insurance for a Surrogacy Pregnancy

We all know how insurance works in our own lives, but what happens during a surrogacy pregnancy? Let us walk you through the types of insurance you will need during your surrogacy pregnancy.

During a surrogacy pregnancy, the surrogate will need to have both health insurance and life insurance.

Health Insurance

  • You will need to determine if your surrogate’s insurance covers prenatal care and delivery as a surrogate (some policies do not).
  • It is important to have your surrogate’s insurance reviewed by an expert in fertility insurance, such as ARTrisk.
  • You will need to have the insurance reviewed at every open enrollment even if it is the same policy because exclusions always get added.
  • If your surrogate’s insurance does not cover surrogacy, you will need to purchase a policy. We recommend ARTrisk to do this because they can assist you with determining policies that cover a surrogate pregnancy.

Life Insurance

  • It is important to have life insurance for your surrogate, ARTrisk can assist you with this as well.
  • Also, you may want to purchase a rider onto the life insurance that covers if your surrogate loses her reproductive capacity (either partially- such as a loss of fallopian tube or a full loss of capacity- ie hysterectomy).

Insurance is not a “one size fits all” topic. Every surrogate and scenario is different. Your lawyer will go through all of this with you and will direct you to the right people for further questions (if needed). 

Ultimately we all want the same thing, a smooth positive pregnancy, but things happen, and we want to make sure your surrogate is protected and covered for those “never know” scenarios. It’s like the saying “better safe than sorry”.


What to look for in an Intended Parent 


There are a lot of moving parts in a surrogacy journey and surrogates want to feel like they can communicate with you during this process. Touch base with your surrogate often during your journey, and not just about your baby. Taking an interest in their family and personal life is always a plus too! 

Connection and Deeper Relationship 

Southern Surrogacy differs from other agencies because our surrogates want to create a relationship with their IPs. To create a deeper and more meaningful bond with your surrogate, get to know her family. Talk about (or do) things together outside of your baby. Send pictures of the baby or make plans to get together after the baby is born. 

Respectful and Considerate 

Yes, your surrogate is providing a service for you, but remember she also has responsibilities. She has her own children, family, and work to keep up with. Be respectful of her time, and considerate when creating expectations during your journey.  

Don’t Hover 

We understand how difficult it can feel putting your trust in something so precious. Try to refrain from hovering or being overbearing with your surrogate. Having a good line of communication and creating meaningful relationships can help with this. If you feel you need something more from your surrogate, communicate with her. If it’s something deeper, talk to your psychologist or Social. They are provided to you for extra support, so utilize their services if you need them.  

Similar values & principles 

Having similar values and principles is beneficial to creating a positive experience. We at Southern Surrogacy require both our IPs and GCs to complete a questionnaire before being placed on the list to ensure a match is made on similar values. We also require a joint session with a psychologist to talk through certain topics to ensure all parties involved are on the same page. It is not required that your beliefs match up on every topic, but it is important you talk through hot topics, like early termination before you begin the next steps in the process. 

We hope this list provides some insight into what our surrogates are looking for in an Intended Parent. At the end of the day, we are all a team working towards the same goal. Hopefully, this list can assist you and your surrogate to create a meaningful and positive relationship together.  


What to Look for in a Gestational Carrier from the Eyes of a Current Intended Mother

I am currently an Intended Mother, waiting for my chance at motherhood. As I sit on a list, and wait for my chance, I can’t help but ponder what I will look for in my gestational carrier. It goes without saying that I want her to be responsible and loving. There is a lot of ‘expectation vs reality’ thoughts on what I want out of my journey to motherhood. For me, I have been in the infertility world for years, so I know all about expectations vs reality.  This is just a short list of my non-negotiables. 

  1. In it for the right reasons

As an Intended Mother, I want to make sure the carrier of my baby is doing it for the right reasons. It is understood that she will be compensated for her time and sacrifices, but I want her to do it because she genuinely wants to help me become a mother. I want her to rub her belly telling my baby all about me. When the baby gets here, I want us to cry tears of joy together that a dream has become a reality. I personally would love to help her family accomplish a dream too.  Maybe they need the money to buy their first home or help make a life change. If multiple dreams can come true during our journey then it’s a win for me!

  1. Open Communication

7 years of infertility has made me anxious, and impatient. While I do not expect constant communication, 

I do want her to communicate. I want it to feel easy and comfortable. It might seem weird at first, but I want to be able to build a relationship where I can ask questions and not feel awkward. I hope they understand (to the best of their ability), that this will be hard for me at times, and I just want to be “in the know”. If she has an appointment, I hope she tells me how it goes before I have to reach out and ask. If I have a question or concern, I want to feel comfortable bringing it up and working it out. This is a relationship, and I hope we can build one that is solid, and beautiful. 

  1. Open-Minded 

We are going to embark on the most intimate and complicated relationship anyone has ever gone through. And we may not see everything the same way. I want to know that she is open-minded to whatever challenges come our way. I also want her to know that we are open-minded to her beliefs and opinions. We don’t have to agree on our approaches to parenthood, but I hope that regardless of our differences, we will accept each other and our differences. 

  1. This surrogate pregnancy is different than her own pregnancy

Being a surrogate is way different than getting pregnant the “old fashioned way” I want her to know that there are a lot more appointments and it can take more time to get pregnant. I also want her to know that there will be shots and medications that have to be taken exactly as prescribed to give the best chance of a successful embryo transfer. Also with a surrogate journey, there can be a lot of “ups and downs” and can often feel a little like a roller coaster. I want to be there for my surrogate through these times since I have spent many years on this very same roller coaster and it isn’t easy. 

I am sure there are 100 things I could add to this list, but there is no perfect person or perfect scenario. All relationships require work, and I can’t wait to work on mine with whoever we get matched with! 

As a Gestational Carrier we want to hear from you- What do you want our IPs to know?


How to better support your surrogate

The gift of surrogacy can never be returned. There is no amount of money or the perfect gift to truly express the gratitude we (intended parents) feel towards our surrogates. 

So how do you best support this person who is carrying your precious baby?

We asked current and previous Southern Surrogacy surrogates, how they felt best supported by their intended parents. 

Here’s what they had to say:


  1. Have open communication throughout the entire journey. 
  2. Stay connected throughout the pregnancy. Whether that is weekly calls, zoom/Facetime, or even just a text and just check-in with one another.
  3. Check-In once in a while. A simple “How you are feeling today?” can go a long way.
  4. Include the surrogate’s own family and children in the process. Include them in any visits, and ask about them when checking in.
  5. Communicate and respect boundaries.
  6. Attend important OB visits.

Not necessary, but are greatly appreciated…

  1. Remembering the surrogate’s children for holidays or birthdays. Making their children feel loved encourages bonding for everyone!
  2. Make videos or voice messages for the surrogate to play to the baby in utero.
  3. Provide freedom for communication in regard to the surrogate’s nutrition and exercise regimen during pregnancy.
  4. Respect the surrogate’s opinion on ‘if or how’ they receive gifts. Some surrogates like gifts, and some feel uncomfortable receiving gifts. Have that conversation with your surrogate in the beginning so you know where each of you stands. 
  5. If you decide to continue a relationship after the baby, send updates!

Each surrogate is different, and each journey is different. The most important thing is to communicate openly and honestly with each other.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are unsure, reach out to your Psychologist, or Social Worker. They can best guide you on how to handle your situation.

At the end of the day, we all want a positive experience with a happy healthy baby. 


Ways to cope with  the “Hurry Up and Wait” game

In the beginning of your Surrogacy journey you probably did the following…

You probably researched online what the process was all about. You probably found surrogacy influencers and followed their content. You probably spoke to friends, family, and maybe even joined some Facebook groups. You hopefully felt more comfortable the more you learned, and you felt as ready as you could to begin your journey. 

But no matter how prepared you are, no one could prepare you for the inevitable waiting game. 

The constant battle of hurrying up to do something, but once you did it now you have to just wait. 

Hurry up and get on the list, but wait months (or even years) to get matched.

Get matched, and hurry up to to start medical screening. But wait for the results. Wait to see if she is even going to pass medical screening. 

Hurry up to sign the contract, but wait to make sure every I is dotted and T is crossed. Wait for it to be finalized and for everyone to sign.

Hurry up to schedule the transfer, and wait to see if it worked. 

Hurry up to get to the pregnancy, but wait nine months for that baby to get here.

The waiting is the worse part.

How do we overcome this inevitable piece of this puzzle? 

The easiest answer is to stay open and communicate with each other. 

Come up with a schedule on how you will receive updates. Maybe it’s once a week, or after every appointment. If your struggling with the waiting talk to your social worker, or your psychologist. That’s what they are there for. They understand the waiting is hard, and they want to help you through this process. Remember the saying “Good things come to those who wait”? Well it’s true (for the most part). But staying in contact, and being open will go a long way for your mental health and for everyone involved.

Sometimes the waiting will feel never-ending, but remember most of the waiting is out of anyones control, so you must find ways to be patient. Maybe try some of these to get you started:

Distract yourself with other tasks that need to be done, or even things you know should be done, but you have been putting off.

Get physical.  Go for a walk outside, or turn on some music and dance around like no-one’s watching!

Write in a journal, or send a letter to a loved on.

Clean the house (again). 

We know the path to parenthood thru surrogacy has it’s complexities. Which is why we at Southern Surrogacy want you to feel like you have a family to rely on. We want to support you through it all. You are never alone in this process! 


5 Myths about Surrogacy

There is so much information (and misinformation) about surrogacy out there. It’s important to do your research, and ask questions so you have a thorough and complete understanding of the process.  Below are 5 common myths we see when talking about surrogacy. Don’t worry, these are just myths, and we are here to explain the truths within them. 

Depending on the type of surrogacy being used will determine if the surrogate is related to the baby. 

If your going the Gestational Surrogacy route, then the surrogate is simply a host of the embryo. In this case the embryo that is transferred to the surrogate is already genetically created either by the intended parents or embryo donation (or both). 

If your going the Traditional Surrogacy route, then the surrogate doubles as the host and the egg donor.  In this case the surrogate donated her own egg to create the embryo that will be transferred back into her. Because she is donating her own egg, then yes, she would directly be related to the baby.

The reality of surrogacy is not for the faint of heart or vain. Most intended parents fall under these four categories:

1. Same-Sex Male Couples who need a host for their donated embryo’s.

2.Fertility Warriors who have battled infertility and have exhausted all options to carry themselves.

3.Cancer Survivors who can not carry a pregnancy from a previous (or current) cancer diagnosis.

4. Medical complications from a previous pregnancy. Whether the complication is physical or emotional, it is recommended (or sometimes required) that a future pregnancy be carried by a gestational carrier.

The bond with a baby and intended parent starts during pregnancy, but carries on well after the birth of the baby. You and your surrogate will determine what kind of relationship you want during the pregnancy. Our surrogates want to share this experience with you and your partner. Attending Dr. appointments, spending time with your surrogate, talking to your baby in belly, and ultimately being their for the birth are just some ways you can create a bond with your baby. But remember, it’s the relationship you create with your baby after they are born that matters the most. 

If your doing the Gestational Surrogacy route, then the surrogate is not genetically attached to the baby and does not have any parental rights of the baby. More importantly, when pursuing surrogacy your lawyer’s will have you complete a pre/post birth order where parental rights are established. In many cases, this birth order will make it possible for the intended parents to have their names on the birth certificate. 

Remember, surrogates don’t become surrogates to have more children for their own families. They want to help you build your family, not theirs. 

While our surrogates do get compensated for their time, and the work they put in to help you have your baby, they do not simply do it “for the money”.  Here at Southern Surrogacy, we thoroughly screen potential surrogates to ensure they are doing it for the right reasons. Many of our surrogates felt the call to surrogacy when they were young, while some decided to help others build families after seeing loved ones struggle to conceive on their own.

It’s understandable why these myths are so common, but now you know why they are myths and not truth. We know there’s a lot of information out there, if you need help navigating or still have questions/concerns, reach out. We are here to help you every step of the way!


Who are our Intended Parents?  

Surrogacy serves so many different types of couples. Some people use surrogacy as their last option, while others use it as their only option to starting (or expanding) their family.

We see all types of Intended Parents, but most of our IP’s fall under these main categories:

Same-Sex Couples

Surrogacy allows same-sex male couples to have children that are biologically related to their parents. This is one of a few options for same-sex male couples to have children, but the only option for same-sex couples to have children that are genetically connected to their parents. 

Fertility Warriors

Surrogacy allows couples who have battled Infertility, and have exhausted all other options to still have children. Some of our couples have spent years trying every-type of fertility treatment out there, but have unfortunately been unable to have a child.

Cancer Survivors

Couples that have battled through cancer, and are no longer able to carry their own pregnancy seek surrogacy to build their families. Battling cancer does not come without its effects, whether it’s on the body or the mind. Surrogacy allows these warriors to still build their family, while not interrupting their own battles with cancer. 

Medical Reasons

Some of our couples cannot carry a pregnancy due to medical reasons or complications from a previous birth. These couples seek surrogacy because they cannot continue using their own bodies, but still wish to build their own families.  They need a surrogate to take the physical burden off their plates.

These are four of the many different types of intended parents looking for Surrogates. Despite their path to Surrogacy, they all seek one thing, a loving-giving-selfless women who will help make their family-building dreams comes true! 

Want to meet some of our Intended Parents?

Apply to be a surrogate for Southern Surrogacy today!

Surrogates: Apply Now!