Surrogacy: For Surrogates

What are the qualifications of an APM Gestational Surrogate?
  • A gestational surrogate must be between the ages of 21-40.
  • She must have given birth to at least one child but not more than five births, and no more than two c-sections.
  • She must be a non-smoker and not taking or using any illegal substances (we definitely do drug testing) or taking any prescription medications not prescribed for her.
  • She can’t receive government assistance (call if you aren’t sure if your assistance disqualifies you.)
  • She must live in a safe and stable home environment.
  • She must live in a surrogate friendly’ state.
  • She must have reliable transportation for doctor appointments.
  • She must have a great emotional support system through family or friends.
  • She and her spouse/partner must not have any criminal background.
  • She must meet the body mass index as required by the IVF physician.
  • She must be willing to undergo physical screening, drug and alcohol testing, sexually transmitted disease testing and psychological screening
  • We want our surrogates to have caring hearts and have the desire to help create a family.
Why won’t the agency accept a gestational surrogate candidate who receives government assistance?

Government assistance means welfare benefits or medical benefits paid by the government. We may be willing to accept applications from candidates who receive some government assistance such as food stamps or health care for their children. In all likelihood, if you become a gestational surrogate you would lose all benefits because your income level will change, and we find most women can’t afford to lose medical care or financial benefits provided to them or their family members. We don’t want any woman to take a risk of losing everything when there are no guarantees you will actually become pregnant or remain pregnant. If there is no pregnancy you will not receive your monthly compensation - then you will have to reapply for all your benefits. This could cause great hardship for you and your family.

Why won’t the agency work with a gestational surrogate who is outside of the BMI requirements?

This is not a judgment about personal looks. This decision is based on the criteria received from the IVF centers we work with - it is their restriction not ours. It is important to note that women under the recommended BMI will also not be accepted. IVF centers tell us that they have a hard time regulating the hormones because the medications are absorbed differently in those who don’t fall within the healthy guideline. Also, the risks of pregnancy complications (gestational diabetes, etc.) increase with women who exceed the recommended BMI. The IVF center’s goal is to help their patients become parents of full-term and healthy babies, so they want “optimal” situations and optimal surrogates. Intended Parents will follow the recommendation of the physician, so it would not make any sense for us to have you go through all the effort of the application process knowing we wouldn’t be able to match you. With that said, each IVF center has its own protocol and some are more lenient (up to 32-33 bmi) or they will give the surrogate time to lose some weight before the embryo transfer. To see a BMI chart and to see if you fall within the acceptable range Click Here.

What is required before I am accepted into APM’s program?

Upon our receipt of your initial inquiry and understanding your basic qualifications, we will send an information packet about gestational surrogacy and our program. If you are still interested in continuing after you read the information, then you will be asked to fill out our profile questionnaire and you will be asked to provide your medical records from previous births. (APM will order your records once you sign an authorization.) The physicians we work with require an updated pap test and written clearance from your OB/GYN for an IVF pregnancy. Please contact your OB/GYN as soon as possible as many will require that you have an appointment with them before they will give clearance for a pregnancy. The amount of time it takes to get pre-approved for our program is dependent on how quickly you can provide us with your completed application. Once we approve your application and medical records, you will have a personal, in-home meeting with a member of our surrogate department. This gives us a chance to meet your family, and for you and your family members to ask questions about our program and the surrogacy process.

Once we conduct the home visit, we will request a background screening of you and your spouse/partner and send you for a psychological assessment. The assessment includes taking an MMPI test and meeting with a psychologist. He or she will go over the gestational surrogacy processes to make sure you are really ready to undertake such a serious commitment - it is very rare that a surrogate will not pass this evaluation, so don’t worry! Once we receive the psychological clearance, we may arrange for you to go to a local IVF center for a uterine evaluation. We want to make sure the uterus is healthy and capable of carrying a pregnancy to term. Once you successfully go through these steps you are ready to be matched!

How long will it take before I am matched?

The matching process is a time when your needs and the intended parents’ needs are assessed. Our goal is to match you with a family that meets your same expectations and really is a perfect match for you. Gestational surrogates with insurance are matched very quickly; whereas, gestational surrogates without insurance may have to wait for a family that can afford to pay cash for pregnancy care or by purchasing an insurance policy that will cover the maternity and delivery costs. With the recent changes to health insurance policies, surrogates without surrogacy-friendly insurance will have to wait until Open Enrollment to be put on an acceptable insurance policy. Open enrollment is November - January and coverage can begin as early as January 1st.

We also match according to your answers regarding the type of family you are willing to help. We work with heterosexual couples, gay couples, single males and single females. We do not discriminate in regards to race, marital status or age (within reason) so it is very important that we understand completely the needs of all parties involved. Once we find a great match, we present your completed profile to the family and we will provide their profile for you to review. If both parties would like to pursue a relationship, we arrange for a telephone conference and personal meeting. You are never obligated to work with a family just because we present you to them. We want everyone to be happy throughout the pregnancy and you will never be penalized in our program if you choose not to work with a family we present to you.

Are the intended parents also screened?

APM receives our intended parents through referrals from IVF centers. Each IVF center has its own requirements for the screening of the intended parents and the majority require their patients to undergo a meeting with a mental health professional; however, not all require this. All intended parents are required by federal law to undergo specific genetic and sexually transmitted disease testing. All intended parents undergo a criminal background check just like our surrogates.

Will I be required to travel?

APM primarily works with southern California IVF centers; however, we also work with centers in northern California and on occasion the east coast. You will never be matched with a family that would require you to travel unless you agree ahead of time that you are willing to travel. Should you be required to travel, all the expenses will be paid by the intended parents. You would not be expected to pay for any expenses out of pocket.

How many embryos are transferred and how many fetuses will I carry?

With the success rates most IVF centers now report, the ideal number of embryos transferred is ONE but we are still seeing many IVF centers transfer two and sometimes more will be transferred if using the eggs of an older intended mother. The final decision about number of embryos to transfer is usually made on day of embryo transfer when the IVF center can assess the quality of the embryos; however, the number of fetuses you are willing to carry is predetermined during the matching process. The number of fetuses you will carry is also written into the contract you will sign with your intended parents. There are occasions when all embryos transferred may implant and could exceed the number of fetuses you agree to carry, so there will also be language in the contract regarding reductions. Reductions are difficult for all concerned, so you should never agree to transfer more embryos than the amount of fetuses you are willing to carry.

Is the procedure painful?

Our gestational surrogates report that it is less painful than having a pap. The same instruments are used, but they aren’t removing any tissue, so there should be no pinching feeling. The surrogates do report, however, they get some cramping after the procedure, and they also feel a pinching or cramping a day or so later when the embryo actually attaches itself. You will be required to take medications for up to 10 weeks post embryo transfer. The medications may be in pill form, vaginal suppositories, or you may be required to take medication injections. Injections sound scary, but for most surrogates the most common complaint is right at the site of the injection itself.

What compensation will I receive and how is it paid?

You will receive a Surrogate Benefit Package which outlines all the financial terms of the surrogacy. The base compensation ($30-50,000) is based on whether you are a first-time surrogate or a repeat surrogate. Base compensation is paid for every month you are pregnant and according to the terms of your contract with intended parents. You begin receiving a monthly allowance (to cover cost of travel and for childcare during IVF appointments) once you are under contract with a family. This is approximately $300 per month and is paid in addition to your base fee. You will receive compensation for undergoing screening and for having the embryo transfer. The actual negotiated base compensation amount is paid in equal monthly installments once you are confirmed pregnant and will continue to be paid as long as you are pregnant. Once you give birth any remaining balance of compensation is paid to you within 14 days. There are additional benefits paid throughout the pregnancy: monthly support group fee, maternity clothing allowance, fee for each doctor visit, fee for mileage for those driving a long distance and housekeeping allowance are amongst the extra financial benefits. APM requires all intended parents to fully fund a trust account before you have an embryo transfer, so you never have to worry about how you will be paid or how the costs related to surrogacy are paid. The funds are held in a state bar trust account through Reproductive Law Center. We give them a copy of your signed benefits package as well as a copy of the signed contract between you and the intended parents. They schedule payments based on those agreements and they send the payments directly to you. To view a sample “Benefits Package” contact us.

Will I receive additional compensation if I am pregnant with multiples?

Absolutely! Your monthly base compensation is increased to reflect this additional fee for as long as you are pregnant with the additional fetus. You will receive the maternity clothing allowance sooner and you receive additional housekeeping/childcare allowances that start earlier in the pregnancy. If you give birth within the specific timeframes described in your legal contract you will receive the full balance within 14 days of delivery.

What kind of support will APM provide throughout my pregnancy?

We have a lovely office in La Mesa, CA and we welcome visits from our gestational surrogates throughout their application process, matching process, and pregnancy. We hold normal business hours, so you can be assured you will be able to speak with a “live” person when you call or stop by. Our surrogate coordinator and case managers are available by cell phone 24/7 and they really do become a friend to all our surrogates. A member of our staff will be with you on day of embryo transfer whenever possible and we will visit you as soon as possible after you give birth. We are always available to help should problems arise.

We have our own online chat system and closed facebook group that is monitored by our surrogate department and is for our surrogates only. It is a place to find positive support amongst other surrogates and our surrogates are wonderful about offering tips on such things as what kind of pregnancy pillow works best, natural products to use should you have morning sickness, how to speak with your children about surrogacy, etc. We are so proud of our surrogates because they really do care for one another. We hold local monthly surrogate meetings during which our surrogates enjoy a great meal and conversation with other surrogates. We hold larger quarterly meetings such as spa day, Mother’s Day brunch, Halloween Family Day and our amazing Christmas party. And, we bring in special help to guide our surrogates through some of the ups and downs that are inevitable with surrogacy and we provide a monthly consult with a mental health professional to help with any communication issues or if you simply want to know positive ways to explain surrogacy to your friends and family.

Even though the intended parents pay our fee, we never lose sight of your value and importance throughout this process. There is a right agency for every person and we hope you will consider us. To learn more about becoming a gestational surrogate with A Perfect Match ‘click here’ or contact us at: 800-264-8828 or 619-464-1424 or [email protected].

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  8340 Allison Avenue, La Mesa, CA 91942

  Mon-Fri 9am-5pm PST

  (800) 264-8828 | (619) 464-1424
  [email protected]