Becoming a Surrogate—How Long Will I Wait?
For those who want to experience the wonder of becoming a surrogate, it’s an important question for you to know as to how long the process can take.
After all, being a surrogate is best performed when younger in life. Your body is more capable of maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
If you have searched “surrogacy near me” and found quite a few different surrogacy agencies in your area, or surrogate agencies in Sacramento—you may think that one agency can provide a faster process than others. This isn’t the case.
The amount of waiting is typically the same, no matter if it’s a larger surrogate agency processing 100s of surrogate mothers per year, or a more boutique surrogacy agency such as Made in the USA Surrogacy.
How long does it take to become a surrogate?
If you’ve been looking to become a surrogate and spoken with many or just one surrogacy agency, you may or may not have heard of the statement regarding the waiting of becoming a surrogate: “Hurry up and wait.” This is very true of the process to become a surrogate.
Ultimately, you may wait anywhere from three to six months to be matched with a family, or up to 8-12 months.
The duration depends on quite a few factors. This article will discuss surrogacy and the factors that can determine how long you have to wait to become a surrogate.
#1 – Making The Decision For Surrogacy In California
The first phase of waiting rests on your shoulders.
The decision to become a surrogate is a huge one. It shouldn’t be made lightly. You’re going to be giving up a good portion of your time carrying another family’s child.
You’ll have to be mindful of what you eat, do, and ensure that you are giving the intended parents plenty of opportunity to bond with the baby growing within your womb.
There are a remarkable amount of benefits to becoming a surrogate.
Some of those are financial but many of them are steeped in generosity and selflessness. You’re giving intended parents their very own child. This is something that they may never have thought possible. It’s an extremely loving and emotional thing to do for someone.
However, it’s still a difficult decision.
You need to be sure that you are prepared to commit to the decision once it has been made and the immense time commitment that will come during the surrogacy process. This reflection and conversation that you have for yourself can be as short as a day to as long as week or month or even a year.
The goal is to make that decision and then be sure of it.
#2 – Medical Records
The next biggest drain on your wait time is medical records.
Per surrogacy qualifications at all surrogate agencies, you’re going to need medical records from your pregnancies and hospital stays. These records prove that you had a healthy pregnancy in the past. They also display that you are healthy enough to be a surrogate.
As soon as you find our surrogate agency in Sacramento after searching for surrogate agencies you’ll want to get your records in order.
Doctor offices often take their time in having that information released. Most of it is due to security.
Sometimes it’s because they have to receive those records from multiple medical offices that you have visited in the past. This delay can last anywhere from one to two months.
There are other records per surrogacy qualifications that you’ll need, too.
Those are often performed by fertility clinics. If you’re an experienced surrogate, there’s an abundant number of examinations and tests that you have had from your previous fertility clinic. Again, this is to ensure that you are capable of having a healthy pregnancy for the intended parents. This information is passed onto the agency.
#3 – Background Checks
Besides needing medical records, you’ll also need a background check.
Intended parents searching for “surrogacy agency near me” want an agency that has surrogate mothers who are without criminal activity. They want to be assured that their baby is going to be grown in a healthy and safe environment. Background checks can sometimes take a week to finish.
In particularly busy periods, it may take even longer.
When you’ve finished thinking about becoming a surrogate and are determined to be one, then you should be prepared to get all of the background check papers requested by your surrogacy agency signed and returned as soon as you can.
#4 – Drug Screening
Made in the USA Surrogacy also expects their surrogate mothers to be drug-free.
Drugs can have a profound effect on the development of the baby.
Besides birth defects, pregnancies can end prematurely. Surrogate mothers need to do everything in their power to ensure that their pregnancy is a healthy one.
To show that they are focusing on the health of the baby, they need to perform a drug screening. This just further shows the intended parents and the agency that you are serious about being a surrogate and that you are prepared to carry the baby in a healthy environment.
Drug screenings can sometimes take a few days for results to be displayed or a week.
#5 – OBGYN Clearance
One aspect that many surrogates don’t consider is the last time they’ve had a PAP smear performed.
Agencies typically like women who are considering surrogacy to have a PAP smear performed within the year. If you haven’t had a PAP smear performed in a couple of years, then you need to make an appointment. This is just another record that shows you are healthy enough to carry a successful pregnancy.
You’ll also need from your OBGYN a clearance letter.
This is a formal letter from your OBGYN that states that they support you as a candidate for surrogacy. You’ll need their support for the days to come. This letter can also be supplied by your medical provider.
Depending on how busy your OBGYN may be, it could take them some time to write the letter. This letter is specifically requested by Made in the USA Surrogacy for our screening process.
In the event that the OBGYN doesn’t support surrogacy, you may have to find another doctor- though we have not had this situation present itself yet. PAP smears, while fast to be performed, may cause some delay if the OBGYN’s schedule is full.
Many surrogates wait up to a month to have this appointment performed. Clearly, this process might take some time.
#6 – Home Visit
Once you’ve gone through all of the qualifications and have all of your records in hand, you’ll need to undergo a home visit.
This is performed by the surrogacy agency and is basically used to ensure that you’re living in a safe environment. Agencies want their surrogates to be supported and cared for in their residences.
While this part of the process doesn’t typically take that much time, you might end up joining other surrogates during a, particularly busy period. The appointment may be delayed a few weeks until the time is available or will depend on your individual schedule.
This is unlikely to happen but, in the event that it does, it could add to your overall wait time.
#7 – Being Matched with Intended Parents
Another big part of the process is being matched to intended parents.
Understandably, you might wonder how long it will be until you’re matched and the pregnancy can begin. This duration of time is largely dependent upon how long it takes you to get the rest of your records and other screenings finished.
You can’t start being matched with intended parents until all of those records and screenings have been finished and are on display for intended parents to examine.
Once they are, you may wait anywhere from three to six months to be matched with a couple.
Sometimes it may only be a matter of a few days or even a month. It’s one-part luck and one part how fast you can get those files into the system.
Being matched with the right intended parents will take more time depending on the individual needs and wants of you, the surrogate, and the parents respectively.
#8 – Waiting For the Medical Screening and Embryo Transfers
There are clearly quite a few different factors that can determine how long you have to wait until you’re matched with intended parents and preparing for your IVF procedure.
Ultimately, what it comes down to is the duration of time it takes for your medical records to be delivered. Some part of this rests on your shoulders. The longer you take to request those records, the more you delay their retrieval.
One way to help encourage their fast delivery is to go to the medical office yourself. When dealing with you in person rather than over the phone or through email, they’re forced to make you a priority. Those records can be placed on a slightly more fast-track than they might be otherwise.
Once your records have been received, the rest of the process can move a lot faster.
However, the fertility clinic of the intended parents will all have their own process for medical screening.
Typically, this will take the most amount of time as you wait for your body to be medically examined and booked on their schedule. Depending on the fertility clinic, there are many parts to their medical clearance that will take time- be prepared for this.
After you are fully medically cleared for your intended parents, you will be drafting a contract with your legal representation, provided by your intended parents (but separate representation).
This process usually takes anywhere from 2 weeks to a month depending on how many intricacies are discussed and the scheduling conflicts of the surrogacy lawyers.
Finally, it should be noted that there is a period of time in which you will be given medications.
After you have been chosen by intended parents and the contract has been signed, you are given fertility medications to help prepare your body and womb for embryo transfer.
Assuming everything goes according to plan, you will be scheduled a transfer about a month after legal clearance. If your body does not respond to medications (this is common) or if the first transfer or second transfer fails, there will be months in-between waiting for another transfer and successful pregnancy after that.
If you’re interested in becoming a surrogate with Made in the USA Surrogacy, please fill out our form and we will get in touch with you!