Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Surrogate

January 10, 2022

Today, surrogacy gives thousands of individuals who can't carry or conceive children on their own the opportunity to become a parent every year. Despite the beauty of surrogacy, there is often a lot of misunderstanding and even fear around the concept of gestational carriers.

In this article, we plan to take on ten of the most common questions about becoming a surrogate to help quell those feelings of those considering embarking on the surrogacy journey.

1. How does a surrogate become pregnant?

This is one of the most common questions from potential surrogates. In most cases, gestational carriers undergo IVF treatment to achieve pregnancy. When a surrogate is matched with intended parents, the embryo(s) that will be used are created at the intended parent’s IVF clinic using the intended parents' specimens or those from a donor. The embryo(s) will be transferred to the surrogate’s uterus by a fertility doctor. When ready, a fertility doctor will use a fine catheter to place the embryo past the cervix into the surrogate’s uterus directly. 

Although embryo transfers are a simple, quick procedure, there is often some fear around the thought of going through it. However, this procedure is so low-impact that it doesn’t require pain relief or anesthesia, and the surrogate will be released from the medical facility shortly after it is completed. A pregnancy blood test of HCG level will be required around 10 days after the embryo transfer procedure to confirm pregnancy.

2. Is surrogacy legal?

Surrogacy law is complex and can differ from state to state in the US; it depends on which state you reside in. Click here to learn of surrogacy-friendly states. 

For example, California is regarded as a highly surrogacy-friendly state, and Nebraska is currently not a surrogacy-friendly state. Because surrogacy is a newer medical field in comparison to more traditional fields, the law is always evolving and may change significantly in the years to come. 

If you have questions, feel free to contact our team of specialists. At Hatch, we work with the best attorneys in reproductive and family law to make sure that your journey runs smoothly.

3. How long will it take for me to be matched with the intended parent?

The matching process can vary greatly depending on the criteria for both parties, but it typically takes an average of three months. While some matches are almost immediate, others take time to curate and find exactly what everyone is looking for. 

With Hatch, your social fit is our top priority. Your surrogacy coordinator will work closely with you to understand your wants and needs so we can recommend the most compatible matches. For your safety and peace of mind, everyone involved—from surrogates to intended parents—is pre-screened extensively prior to matching.

4. What are the compensations?

At Hatch, our compensation packages are designed to be all-encompassing to your needs. You will get monthly compensation and other benefits such as: 

  • Maternity allowances
  • Lost wages coverage
  • Household allowances
  • Childcare allowances
  • Personalized gifts
  • And pregnancy bonuses 

Click here to uncover all the details of our compensation packages for both California surrogates and out-of-state surrogates.  

5. Do I need to purchase health insurance in order to be a surrogate?

You do not have to have your own insurance for the surrogacy process. If you do not have personal health insurance, it does not disqualify you from becoming a surrogate. An insurance broker will help your matched intended parents purchase suitable insurance coverage for your surrogacy journey. In most cases, you will get surrogate-specific medical insurance for the entire duration of the pregnancy.  

After you deliver the baby, the baby is added to the parent’s health insurance policy at birth. You will receive some medical bills because your OB and delivery hospital will treat you as a patient, but you are not financially responsible for the bills. You can simply send the bills to your agency coordinator for payment. 

6. What are the surrogate requirements? 

Each fertility doctor’s requirements for a surrogate can vary. However, some of the most common requirements include: 

  • At an age no older than 43 
  • At least one previous successful delivery and a biological child
  • A normal BMI 
  • Is a non-smoker
  • Has no history of pregnancy complications such as hypertension, gestational diabetes, etc. 
  • Has not had a premature delivery before 37 weeks.

When providing this information to us, we will also send your previous OB/delivery records to the fertility doctor to review and get pre-approval. This is to assure that your health and the best interests of all parties are taken into consideration for a successful journey.

7. Do I need to pay anything during the surrogacy process?

No, all the costs will be covered by the intended parents unless otherwise agreed upon by both parties. These expenses include those (but are not limited to): 

  • Travel
  • Lost wages
  • Bed rest
  • Childcare
  • Housekeeping
  • And all the surrogacy-related medical bills

8. How much contact do surrogates and intended parents share with each other?

This depends on each individual case and the preference of you and the intended parents. A lot of relationships between intended parents and surrogates are incredibly positive and end up creating life-long friendships. 

When you work with Hatch, our specialists will support you throughout the whole journey and act as a mediator between you and the intended parents. Communication frequency is important to agree upon. While some people prefer to check in regularly and be more engaged during the process, others may only want to have limited or as-needed contact for reasons such as privacy. When starting the surrogacy journey, it is crucial to set expectations for communication between you and the intended parents. 

9. Why should I choose Hatch over the other surrogacy agencies?

Hatch was established in 1991, and we’ve helped set the standard for best and ethical practices within the medical industry for surrogacy over many years. Our staff is made up of experienced intended parents and surrogates themselves and are very familiar with the surrogacy process. Our goal is to help you through the entire journey and provide exceptional support and guidance. We are a passionate and supportive group, and our motivation comes from helping intended parents bring newborns into the world, giving surrogates the opportunity to contribute to a loving family, and making all participants’ dreams come true. 

Click here to read some of the beautiful stories of our surrogates.

10. Do surrogates suffer any negative effects from surrogacy?

With any pregnancy, there is a certain amount of physical, emotional, or mental risk. Fortunately, additional risks for negative effects are very rare for surrogates. Most women talk about how much they enjoyed the experience and want to do it again after completing a surrogacy journey. 

If you have any concerns before, during, or after the surrogacy journey, you can always reach out to us and we will always be there for you. 

Your questions about becoming a surrogate answered

Surrogacy is a beautiful journey for both you as a surrogate and the intended parents. You are giving the ultimate gift to someone who otherwise might not be able to experience the beauty of becoming a parent. It is a truly rewarding and intimate experience. If you are considering becoming a surrogate, click here to help build a family today.

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