Explain the difference between gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy
With gestational surrogacy a fertilized embryo is implanted in the surrogate and she has no genetic relationship to the embryo. With traditional surrogacy the surrogate is utilizing her own eggs, so she is genetically related to the embryo.
What type of surrogacy does Journeys’ coordinate?
Journeys only works with gestational surrogacy.
Why should a surrogate work with an agency rather than independently?
We offer full service and support during the whole process. The Journeys’ staff is comprised of a social worker, attorney, and family specialist and we will be there to help guide you along the way. Working independently you are on your on your own without the professional support and guidance that Journeys’ staff can offer you.
Why is BMI important?
The BMI guidelines are set by the IVF clinics for health reasons and to ensure that the surrogate will respond appropriately to the medications necessary for the process. Acceptable BMI for most clinics is 33.
Are anti-depressants allowed during the pregnancy?
You need to have stopped using any anti-depressants 6-12 months before applying. Journeys’ will need to review doctor records regarding the surrogate’s treatment and cessation of the anti-depressants.
What if my partner/husband is not supportive of the surrogacy process or experience?
Your partner or husband must be supportive and enthusiastic about the surrogacy experience. He will need to be involved with medical and psychological screenings as well as signing legal documents.
Will a tubal ligation prevent surrogacy?
No, that should not be a problem in becoming a surrogate.
Is it acceptable to have sexually transmitted diseases?
HIV and Hepatitis do disqualify you or any other diseases that could be infect the baby. However, genital warts and genital herpes would not disqualify you but you would be asked to have a caesarean section at the birth if you were having an outbreak.
What is discussed in the initial phone calls and home visit?
This is your time to ask all your questions about the pregnancy, finances, and insurance. We will ask you many questions at this time too; your goals, lifestyle, and what you want from the surrogacy experience.
What are the medical screenings that my husband/partner will go through?
He will be asked to do some blood tests and the psychological test.
How does the matching process work?
It’s a mutual selection process where you and the intended parent’s agree on the match. We pride ourselves on doing a good job of helping each party come to a satisfying and mutual match.
What will my relationship be like with the intended parents?
The relationship will be what you and the intended parents want it to be, which is part of the matching criteria. Some intended parents are going to want to go to you with every doctor appointment and develop a very close relationship with you, and others will not. Geography may also play a role if the intended parents do not live close by. You should expect weekly contact from the intended parents, either by phone, e-mails, Skype, pictures and letters and occasionally a visit. This contact will probably increase right before you deliver.
Can I choose to work with international intended parents?
You can state your preference and we will do our best to explore your compatibility.
Do I have to pay anything to be a surrogate?
All your agreed upon expenses will be paid for by the intended parents.
How is the surrogacy compensation paid?
The intended parents deposit the funds in an escrow account and the payments are sent out to you on a monthly basis after the confirmation of the heartbeat. After the match and contracts signed, you receive $200 a month and payments for the embryo transfers as explained on the compensation sheet.
Who will be my medical provider?
This depends upon a variety of factors, including where you live. You will travel to the IVF clinic for screening and the transfers and some monitoring. We want you to have the best possible medical care with staff who are experienced with surrogacy.
Are there medications involved?
Yes, there are medications that you will be asked to take. The clinics decide what medications and most involve injections.
Will the medications cause any emotional affects?
You may have symptoms such as mood swings.
Do I have to abstain from sex during the surrogacy process?
The IVF clinic will give you the guidelines but generally you have to abstain from sex before and after the transfer.
Will I have my own attorney?
Yes, we have a list of attorneys that are knowledgeable and experienced with surrogacy issues. The intended parents pay for you to see your own attorney, different from theirs, so there is no conflict of interest.
What happens in case the intended parents gets a divorce?
Custody of the child is worked out with the intended parents, just as in any divorce case. However, we do explore the stability of the couple’s relationship prior to their entering the program.