What is a gestational carrier/surrogate?

A Gestational Carrier/Surrogate carries a baby or babies that was created from an embryo by the sperm and egg from the Intended Parents or a sperm and egg from a donor of the Intended Parent’s choice.  The Gestational Carrier does not use her own egg and she won’t have any genetic relation to the baby.  The embryo is produced by a process called In Vitro Fertilization or IVF.

How does the matching process work?

The GC and IPs will meet in person or by video chat and mutually decide to proceed together.  The matching process is the most important part of the surrogacy and the coordinators at Surrogacy With Love will be with you every step of the process to make sure the Surrogate and Intended Parents find a match that fits their preferred criteria based on the information on their profiles and their interview.

How long does it take to get matched?

The surrogacy process varies for each Intended Parent and Surrogate.  There are many variables that are involved in the matching process.  The profiles for the Intended Parents and the Surrogate and the interviews help us to get to know both the Intended Parent and Surrogate.  We use the information provided to find the right match for each journey.

Is Gestational Surrogacy legal in every state?

No, compensated surrogacy with the Intended Parents name on the birth certificate is not legal in every state.  Please check out www.allthingssurrogacy.org to see the laws for your state or call us and we will be happy to help you.

Will being a surrogate cost me money?

The IPs pay for all the expenses during the surrogacy.  From the travel expenses for the GC and a companion for the medical screening and transfer, medical insurance, delivery, and all pregnancy related costs. The expenses are paid through funds in a third party escrow account.  There will be select expenses during the screening process the GC may have to pay initially such as parking, mileage, childcare that will be reimbursed by our $500 medical screening fee after she is approved by the fertility doctor.

Do I get to pick my own doctor?

You will start the surrogacy process with the fertility doctor the Intended Parents are working with.  After you graduate from the IVF clinic, around 12 weeks, you can see the OB of your choosing as long as they are a surrogate friendly OB.

What are the requirements to be a Surrogate/Gestational Carrier?
  • at least 21 years old

  • given birth at least once to a child that is living with her or she has shared custody.

  • be a US citizen or permanent resident and live in one of the surrogate friendly states

  • no criminal records

  • be willing to undergo a background check and psychological evaluation

  • be a non-smoker and live in a non-smoking house. (including vaping, e-cigarettes and marijuana)

  • have a healthy weight with a BMI under 32, ideally under 30.

  • have no more than 2 c-sections

  • does not participate in government assistance programs (welfare, cash aide, public housing or section 8.)

  • be financially and emotionally stable

  • have healthy, complication free pregnancies and deliveries

  • good support system

  • have read and understand the surrogacy process

  • reliable transportation

  • willing to give up or lower caffeine intake for the duration of the pregnancy if requested by the IPs, RE or OB

  • be trustworthy

  • love being pregnant but done having babies of your own

  • giving and generous person

  • want to help a couple or individual fulfill their dream of having children

What are the requirements to be an Intended Parent?
  • be 21-60 years old

  • be financially and emotionally stable

  • no criminal records

  • be willing to undergo a background check and psychological evaluation

  • have read and understand the surrogacy process

What does the screening process include?

Online application
Phone interview
Video chat with agency
Background check
Medical records from previous pregnancies are reviewed by RE
Psychological screening is done on GC and spouse/partner
Medical screening that will be done by the IPs RE

What Intended Parents do you work with?

Surrogacy With Love is happy to work with any person that would like to be a parent.  We do not discriminate. We will work with anyone regardless of sexual orientation, religion, marital status, age, race, or fertility issue.

What extra support does Surrogacy With Love offer during the surrogacy?

We have extra support available if requested by the Intended Parents or Surrogate. We can offer access to nutritional support from an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach or a Nutritionist.  We also offer programs that include chiropractic care, acupuncture, a doula and support from a life coach if needed.  All extra support must be agreed upon between the Surrogate and Intended Parents before contracts.

IVF Surrogacy Agency in California

Parents that need Surrogates

The Surrogacy world is full of many terms that can be
very confusing. This guide will be helpful while you navigate
all things relating to surrogacy. These are terms frequently
used in the surrogacy process.

Gestational Carrier/Gestational Surrogate/Surrogate- A woman that has the fertilized egg from another woman implanted in her uterus and gives birth to the Intended Mother and/or Intended Father’s baby. There is no genetic relation connecting the Gestational Carrier to the baby she is carrying.  At Surrogacy With Love we like to think of our Gestational Carriers as a Prenatal Nanny that loves and takes care of the Intended Parent’s baby until he/she is ready to go home.

Traditional Surrogate- A woman that uses her own eggs and the sperm sample of the Intended Father or sperm donor and carries the baby for the Intended Parent.  The baby of a Traditional Surrogate does have a genetic link to the baby but the baby is not hers since it was conceived for the Intended Parents.  Traditional Surrogacy is not as common as Gestational Surrogacy.  Surrogacy With Love only works with Gestational Surrogates.

Journey- A term frequently used amongst the surrogacy community to represent a surrogacy from matching to birth.  A surrogate will usually say how many journeys or surrogacies she has done.

RE/Reproductive Endocrinologist- The fertility specialist the Intended Parents pick to address their reproductive needs and do IVF with their Gestational Carrier

IP- An Intended Parent is someone who has taken steps to have a Gestational Carrier carry their child for them.  Intended Parents can be a same-sex individual or couple,  a single parent or anyone that can not carry a baby safely..

IM- Intended Mother- The mother of the child/children the GC carries.

IF- Intended Father- The father of the child/children the GC carries.

Matched- An IF and/or IM meet with a potential Gestational Carrier to see if they mutually agree to proceed with a surrogacy and work together.  They have a matching call where they all meet over the phone or a matching meeting that is done in person or by group video chat.  All initial meetings are done with the guidance and support of a rep from Surrogacy With Love.  Once the parties are officially “matched” they can begin communicating on their own to continue their friendship during the journey.

Embryo- sperm from the Intended Father or a sperm donor and an egg from the Intended mother or an egg donor is used to create a fertilized egg that will be transferred into the Gestational Carrier’s uterus during the IVF process.

FET- Frozen embryo transfer- When the embryo was created and then frozen until it is time for the transfer.

SET- Single embryo transfer- One embryo will be transferred into the uterus of the Gestational Carrier.

DET- Double embryo transfer- Two embryos will be transferred into the uterus of the Gestational Carrier.  Usually REs transfer two embryos with the hopes that both will implant and result in twins.  There are times the RE wants to transfer two embryos because one or more of the embryos are not good quality and he is hoping that at least one of them implants and results in a healthy baby.

Splitter- When an embryo splits into identical twins.

Transfer- a RE uses a thin catheter that looks like a small tube to place a 5 or 6 day fertilized embryo into the Gestational Carrier’s uterus.  It is a painless procedure that takes only a few minutes.  It feels very similar to an annual pap.

Medical screening- The medical screening may include all or some of these in the exam; blood test for medications, STDs and smoking for both the GC and her partner, a physical, a vaginal ultrasound to look at the the GCs lining of her uterus, and a hysteroscopy to look at the whole uterus.

 IVF- In Vitro Fertilization- the process of fertilization in which an egg and sperm are fertilized outside of a woman’s body and then placed into her uterus.  Various fertility medications are usually used to help her body accept and grow the embryo that was created.

Fertility medications- The Gestational Carrier will be put on various medications during the IVF process.  Not all meds are used by every clinic for every surrogacy.  It depends on the RE which meds are used.  Medications that may be used are birth control, prenatal vitamins, lupron, progesterone, estrogen, baby aspirin, and antibiotics.  Some meds are in pill form, vaginal suppositories, or injections.

Independent/Indy- Going independent is doing a surrogacy journey without an agency.  Many Intended Parents can do surrogacy without an agency but it can become a part time job for both the Intended Parents and the Gestational Carrier.  One of the downsides to going independent is the relationship between the Intended Parents and the Gestational Carrier can become strained during difficult topics of conversation such as money.  One of the many benefits of using an agency is the expertise the agency has with all things surrogacy related, especially if a difficult situation comes up and having the agency as a middle man to help both Intended Parents and the Gestational Carrier have a smooth surrogacy.

PBO- A pre birth order is completed around 19 weeks of pregnancy and it states that the baby the surrogate is carrying is the child of the Intended Parents and the Intended Parents name will be on the birth certificate.

1099- tax form for independent contractors.  We do not send our Gestational Carriers a 1099 but please ask your tax preparer for tax advice.  During the interviewing process all Gestational Carriers should ask each agency they contact if they send 1099s to their surrogates.

Escrow company- a company that holds the funds used for the surrogacy deposited by the IPs at the start of the surrogacy process.  All payments and bills during the surrogacy are paid by the escrow company.  Surrogacy With Love does not hold any funds used for the surrogacy.

Surro Sister- we can match you up with a surrogate that has been through a surrogacy before and completed at least one journey.  Your surro sister will be excited to go through your surrogacy journey with you and be a mentor.