Surrogacy: For Intended Parents

The following is a list of the most common questions asked by our intended parents. Please also read our Intended Parent Information which provides a more comprehensive explanation of the donation process itself and should answer the majority of your questions you may have.

How will my funds be handled throughout the cycle?

APM never holds a client’s funds and California requires client’s funds to be kept in an attorney trust account or a licensed escrow company. APM refers all our clients to Reproductive Law Center (RLC) for the handling of trust funds needed for surrogacy and/or egg donation cycles. We have worked with them for 18 years and they have processes in place that make it easy for surrogates to receive payments in a timely manner and for intended parents to be able to track all expenditures. Read the following for more information about the reasons we use RLC.

Is a contract required between intended parents and gestational surrogate?

Yes. A Perfect Match is not a legal firm and legal services and contracts must be provided by attorneys who have experience in reproductive law. Separate representation is required for intended parents and surrogate. We do not hire the attorneys on your behalf; however, we are able to give you recommendations of attorneys we work with for contracts. Some terms in the contract are: financial terms, parental rights, conduct of surrogate, her responsibilities for communication to you and yours to her, ownership of embryos, timing of cycle, prenatal testing, reduction, termination, and birth.

As part of our matching services we provide intended parents and surrogate with a ‘Surrogate Benefits Package’ that outlines the financial benefits and costs for a surrogacy cycle with that specific surrogate. This is done so you and the surrogate already understand the financial terms before you begin negotiations on all the other terms. Each party is required to sign this Benefits Package when they agree to work together for a surrogacy cycle and they agree to keep the financial terms the same in the legal contract. This document is provided by APM to the intended parent’s attorney and to the surrogate’s attorney and the terms will be incorporated in the contract between intended parent and surrogate. This process takes approximately two weeks and can overlap the medical screening by the IVF center.

Is a contract required between intended parents and agency?

Yes. We require a $10,000 deposit fee to be on our wait list for a surrogacy candidate.  We have a wait list agreement that must be signed to activate the wait time.  The wait fee is applied towards the agency fee once you are matched with a surrogate.  Once matched, you will receive the full agency retainer. This agreement outlines the responsibilities of A Perfect Match to you and you to A Perfect Match. We offer a very fair and thorough breakdown of all costs and responsibilities. This agreement must be signed and the next installment of the agency fee must be paid or the match is not finalized and no commitment can be assumed by either party.

What is the cost of the entire surrogacy?

It depends on several variables—the location of the surrogate relative to your IVF center, if she is a first-time or repeat surrogate, if she carries a singleton or multiples, if she is required to have a C-section and if an egg donor is needed. The range is $100,000-150,000 for expenses and compensation of the surrogate, legal services and insurance premiums. You may contact us for a sample estimate and sample surrogate benefit package which will provide a more detailed explanation of expected costs. 

Is there an additional fee charged to International families?

No. APM never charges an additional fee for international families. We find international families are easy to work with and our international families are great at communicating through email, calls and Skype. If APM must incur additional expenses we first seek authorization from intended parents and then we charge only for the actual cost of that service, with no overhead costs added. Any cost for translation services required, however, is the responsibility of intended parents.

What is APM’s agency fee for a surrogacy cycle?

The prevailing agency fee for one gestational surrogate is $50,000 payable in 4 installments: deposit, match, medical clearance and legal clearance.  Our agency fee includes the matching process, liaison services with your chosen attorney, IVF center and other professionals, surrogate appreciation and support services for a year that include monthly meeting with a mental health professional once legal contract is signed, milestone gifts, unique gifts for most holidays, monthly massage in last trimester, and 3 months of nutritional counseling for surrogate, and prescreening services.    Prescreening services include psychological clearance of surrogate and spouse/partner,  DMV and background check of surrogate and spouse/partner, and surrogate's pregnancy and delivery records review by a maternal fetal medical professional before a match is finalized.  Costs associated with prescreening are included in the agency fee.    Once you are matched, your surrogate will be ready for medical screening right away!

We require a $10,000 deposit to be on our wait list.  The fee sets the agency fee for one year and is 100% refundable if we do not match you with an ASRM guideline qualified first-time surrogate within the year.  (Our current wait time is 6-8 months)    The full deposit is applied towards the agency fee once you are matched.   You do not pay any additional fees until you are matched with a candidate, meet that surrogate by phone, video chat, or in-person, and everyone decides to work together.   

How long has APM been in business?

We provided our first gestational surrogate and donor match in 1998 (operating under a law office. ) In 2000, A Perfect Match, Inc. incorporated and we acquired our own separate offices and business identity. We provided both egg donors and gestational surrogates to intended parents since 2000 and to date we have well over 2000 babies born through our programs.  We recently added open sperm donation to our services for those who want more information about their donor and prefer to limit the number of children born through donation. Today, we have 10 full-time employees and we occupy a 5000 s.f. Building in La Mesa, a city located within minutes of downtown San Diego.

Are APM surrogates willing to travel to the intended parent’s chosen IVF physician?

Yes, APM surrogates are willing to travel to your chosen IVF center within the U.S. Our surrogates do not travel internationally at this time. The costs associated with travel will be paid by the intended parents.

What kind of contact will I have with the surrogate?

After an initial phone conversation with your potential surrogate, we will arrange for a Skype and/or in-person meeting. When you and a surrogate agree to work together, you will share phone numbers, mailing address, and email address and you will be able to have a mutually respectful and personal relationship that meets your needs and hers throughout the pregnancy and delivery. And of course APM is always available to help with any communication needs of either party.

How long will it take to match me with a surrogate?

Our current wait time is approximately 6-8 months, but the time it takes for a surrogate match depends on the expectations and criteria of the surrogate, the intended parents and the IVF center.  Our intended parents typically consider these factors when selecting a surrogate:

  • Marital status of the surrogate
  • Location of surrogate
  • Surrogate timing of availability
  • Number of children in the surrogate’s home and their ages
  • Employment status of the surrogate and her spouse/partner
  • Insurance for pregnancy and delivery
  • Surrogate’s willingness to let intended parents make decisions regarding prenatal testing of fetus, termination or selective reduction, etc.


Each surrogate also has her own preferences for specific kinds of families with which to be matched:

  • Family type: heterosexual couple, gay couple, single male or single female
  • Location of family: local, national or international
  • Level of communication: email, calls, Skype or text. How often?
  • Number of embryos they will transfer. Number of children they want surrogate to carry
  • Intended parent desires regarding selective reduction, termination, prenatal testing
  • Contact after birth

APM’s goal is to match your expectations with those of the surrogate in order for all parties to have a positive journey and experience. We carefully assess each party’s needs when we present surrogates for your consideration.

What is the screening process for APM gestational surrogates?

APM carefully reviews all gestational surrogate applicants and accepts approximately 10% of all applicants who apply. We use the following criteria when screening potential surrogates for our program:

  • Surrogate must be between the ages of 21 and 38 (but may go to 40 at some clinics).
  • She must have given birth previously and maintained custody of her child.
  • She must have healthy and uncomplicated pregnancies.
  • She and her spouse/partner must have no criminal record.
  • She cannot currently receive welfare or use government health insurance.
  • She must live in a stable and clean environment as determined by APM staff members during our visit to the potential surrogate’s home.
  • She must be physically healthy and within the BMI (30-32 bmi) parameters accepted by most IVF physicians.
  • She must be psychologically healthy with no history of mental health issues.
  • She must have a good support system in place.
  • She must provide APM with all the medical records from each of her previous births and she must have OB clearance saying she is healthy and able to become pregnant.
  • She must not smoke, drink excessive alcohol and must not take any drugs or medications not prescribed to her by a physician.

If these initial in-house screening criteria are met, APM will arrange for a background check and credit check of the surrogate and her spouse/partner. Once we receive a favorable background and credit report, we arrange for the surrogate and her spouse/partner to be psychologically screened and evaluated by a licensed psychologist.

Only after the candidate satisfies these requirements is she accepted into APM’s program and matched with a family. When a match is made, we send all medical records to your chosen IVF center, which makes the final determination if they will accept the surrogate as a suitable candidate for you. Your IVF center will do a complete medical screening of the surrogate: uterine evaluation, FDA screening and any other testing they deem necessary. .

Become An Intended Parent

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  2275 Rio Bonito Way, Suite 230 | San Diego, CA 92108

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  (800) 264-8828 | (619) 464-1424
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