I Want to Be a Surrogate: What Can I Expect?

Apr 03, 2023
I Want to Be a Surrogate: What Can I Expect?
Becoming a surrogate is a life-changing experience. From the screening process to meeting the intended parents to the baby's delivery, learn what you can expect as a surrogate.

Deciding you want to be a surrogate is huge — you’re giving another person or couple the gift of a lifetime. But being a surrogate affects you, too, and isn’t something you should jump into lightly.

At Great Beginnings Surrogacy Services (GBSS) in San Diego, California, we encourage our surrogates — and intended parents — to learn as much as possible before embarking on their surrogacy journey. 

In this month’s blog, Dr. Samuel Wood and our team want to explain what you can expect as a surrogate for our agency.

Pre-screening for surrogates

Before you say yes to surrogacy, you must go through a pre-screening process to see if you qualify. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has guidelines for surrogates that we use as part of our pre-screening process.

At our agency, you must meet the following pre-screening qualifications for us to consider you a candidate:

  • Be between age 21 and 37 (ASRM says up to age 45)
  • History of at least one uncomplicated pregnancy
  • No more than two Cesarean section (C-section) deliveries
  • Delivered no more than five babies
  • A stable and supportive home environment
  • A body mass index (BMI) of 32 or less
  • No medical or mental health issues
  • No issues with drugs or alcohol
  • No criminal history

We also prefer surrogates who live in a surrogacy-friendly state like California and be a citizen of the United States. If you meet our qualifications, we review your medical records and request a clearance letter from your OB/GYN before we move to the next step in the process.

Finding a match

After the pre-screening, we create your personalized surrogate profile. We share your profile with the intended parents to find a match. When the intended parents feel you might make a good match for them, we schedule a meeting. 

This meeting is a very important part of the surrogacy process because it gives you a chance to get to know the intended parents (and for them to get to know you) to see if it’s a good match. 

Medical and psychological screening

Before moving forward with the pregnancy, everyone undergoes medical and psychological screening. When we say everyone, we mean you and the intended parents.

The ASRM also recommends the gestational surrogate (you) undergo a thorough medical exam and have blood done to check for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV.

Reviewing and signing the contracts

Next comes the legal part of being a surrogate, where you review and sign the legal contracts between you and the parents-to-be. We can provide guidance for this, but we recommend you work with an attorney who specializes in surrogacy. 

This contract lays out your role and responsibilities for the pregnancy and that you will give the baby to the intended parents after birth. The contract also includes any financial arrangements between you and the intended parents.

Getting pregnant

We only work with gestational surrogates. Gestational surrogates don’t use their own eggs for the pregnancy, so there are no genetic links between you and the baby. 

Instead, we use eggs and sperm from the intended parents or an anonymous donor and fertilize the egg in a lab before transferring the embryo (or embryos) into your uterus. This process is known as in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Pregnancy and delivery

Once you’re pregnant, you move on to regular OB/GYN appointments as outlined in your gestational surrogacy contract, sharing updates with the intended parents along the way.

Surrogacy is a life-changing experience and not something you can just sign up for. If you’re thinking of becoming a surrogate, start by filling out our pre-screening application. After receiving your application, our coordinator gives you a call and answers all of your questions.

Do you want to be a surrogate? Let us help you get started. Call our office or book an appointment online today.