Surrogacy: For Surrogates

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Gestational Surrogacy

A Perfect Match believes the woman who acts as a gestational surrogate, and who is willing and able to help a family in such a personal way, is a selfless and unique woman who offers a gift that will truly make a difference in the lives of others - the gift of life. A gestational surrogate does not use her own genetics to create the child; rather, the gestational surrogate is the nurturing helper who cares for and carries a child to term for another person.

A Perfect Match has been matching gestational surrogates with intended parents since 1999 and most of our staff have a deeply personal connection to surrogacy. We are parents through surrogacy. We are surrogates. And we even have a staff member who was born through surrogacy. We know firsthand the difference a surrogate makes in the lives of others and we are committed to making this a positive journey for you!

A Perfect Match, Inc. treats our gestational surrogates with great respect because we sincerely believe they deserve it. We recognize and appreciate the self-sacrificing and caring attitude that every gestational surrogate must possess in order to help intended parents in the creation of families through gestational surrogacy. We want to thank you in advance for considering the giving of yourself in such a personal way through surrogacy.

Please read more about the gestational surrogacy process below and then click here if you want to learn how to become a gestational surrogate mother. You can also call us at: 1-800-264-8828 or 619-464-1424

The Rewards

  • Give the Gift of Life
    Help create or expand a family that could not exist without the help of a gestational surrogate.
  • Help Your Family
    Earn compensation that can help relieve debt, provide a down payment, start a college fund or increase your savings.
  • Join a Community Of Support & Friendship
    Be surrounded by women who are like-minded and going through the same process and want to help support you.
  1. Compensation
  2. Qualifications/Prescreening
  3. Medical Screening
  4. The Matching Process
  5. Legal
  6. Medications/Procedures
  7. Embryo Transfer
  8. APM

Surrogate Compensation

Our surrogate compensation is competitive with the market prices offered by other agencies. It is important to understand exactly how any agency determines the compensation amount they advertise as some list a high compensation, but they include all benefits (medical, legal, insurance) in the one compensation amount; whereas, A Perfect Match offers a standard base compensation and all other benefits are paid in addition to the base compensation.

Surrogates receive a base fee of $50,000+ depending on whether or not they completed a previous surrogacy and if they have surrogate-friendly insurance already in place. In addition to the base fee surrogates receive medical care, legal representation, housekeeping allowance, maternity clothing allowance, monthly support group fee, psychological support, appointment fees, mileage and other benefits that are valued at an additional $10-30,000. Should the surrogate become pregnant with multiple fetuses she will receive an additional $7500-$10,000 per additional fetus. We also pay our surrogates additional bonuses for certain milestones including, but not limited to: medication start, embryo transfer, positive beta, and heartbeat confirmation.

Repeat surrogates increase their fees based on the amount of successful surrogacies completed and whether or not they have surrogate friendly insurance in place with an average of $5-10,000 increase per completed surrogacy. Compensation is paid on the first of the month following heart beat confirmation and will be paid monthly throughout the pregnancy until birth with the balance of compensation paid within 14 days of birth.

For more compensation details and to learn how our fees are structured please contact us.

Qualifications of Candidate

Potential surrogates are carefully prescreened per our in-house agency requirements, which include a profile, previous birth records, OB clearance, psychological evaluation and background check. Surrogates must pass a number of tests as required by and orderded by the IVF center and mandated by FDA, which include a uterine evaluation, hormone testing, drug and alcohol testing and STD testing. Most lab tests can be performed at a location that is convenient to your home and will be arranged by the IVF physician in charge of the cycle. If you are local to the IVF center you will do all your testing at the clinic. The following is the criteria used by A Perfect Match for the recruitment of a surrogate, based on guidelines published by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and our experience working with IVF centers:

Surrogate Candidates:

  • Must be between the ages of 21-40
  • Must have given birth to at least one child and must have custody of her children
  • Must have had at least one healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy
  • Must have a clear and recent pap smear result and OB clearance to undergo a pregnancy.
  • Must live in a stable home environment and have a good support system in place
  • Must not smoke (including legalized marijuana or vaping)
  • Must not drink to excess and never while pregnant
  • Must not take any illegal drugs or medications not prescribed for her
  • Must not have a criminal background (including spouse, partner or significant other)
  • Must not be receiving government financial assistance (contact us if you aren’t sure if your specific assistance will disqualify you.)
  • Must have a car or reliable method of transportation for appointments
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or have the status of a “legal resident”
  • Must live in a “surrogate friendly” state
  • Must have a BMI < 30 preferred (Contact us if you are close as some doctors will make exceptions.)
  • Can be married, partnered or single

If you meet our basic in-house qualifications, you will be asked to fill out a profile and to send photos. At no time will any identifying information be given to an intended parent without your permission unless you enter into an agreement. If you have any questions about our qualifications, contact us.

Prescreening by Agency:

  • Home Visit - If the surrogate candidate lives in CA, a staff member of A Perfect Match will set up a home visit after the surrogate's initial profile and medical records have been approved. The home visit is conducted in order to give us the opportunity to meet your entire family, plus make sure our surrogates live in a clean and safe environment. (We promise - no white gloves used!) The visit takes approximately 1/2 hour or longer if the surrogate and her family have additional questions about A Perfect Match or the surrogacy process. For surrogates outside of our area, we will perform a Skype or Facetime home visit if it is not feasible for a staff member to travel to your home.
  • Background Screening - We conduct a criminal and civil background check and a DMV check on all of our surrogates as well as their partner or spouse. In the State of CA it is also mandatory to conduct criminal background screening on our Intended Parents as well.
  • Psychological Screening - We want to make sure every surrogate fully understands the emotional ramifications of gestational surrogacy and it is also a requirement of IVF centers each surrogate receives a psychological evaluation and letter of clearance for the cycle. An MMPI or PAI personality assessment will be administered to the surrogate, and a personal interview with the psychologist will be required for the surrogate and her spouse/partner. The psychologist will discuss how surrogacy impacts life and family, positive ways to communicate with the intended parents and discussion about such things as number of fetuses you want to carry, your thoughts about reduction and termination. The goal of this screening is to have surrogates give consideration to the entire surrogacy from beginning through birth. It is rare for a surrogate not to pass this screening, but this is a very complicated process and we want to make sure a candidate is prepared for the journey. Once cleared by the psychologist a letter of clearance will be given to the IVF center.

Once you complete your profile, submit your previous birth records, have your home visit and pass your psychological and background check, then you are ready for the matching process!

Medical Screening of Surrogate

The medical screening of the surrogate is always completed by the IVF center chosen by the intended parents. Some of the testing may take place in the surrogate’s local area, but in most cases the full screening will take place at the IVF center where the embryo transfer will take place. All surrogates must attend a medical screening appointment to determine that they are physically capable of undergoing the surrogacy process As a part of the medical screening surrogates can expect to give their pregnancy and health history, do blood and urine testing and have an ultrasound.

  • History: The IVF physician will take the surrogate candidate’s medical and pregnancy history and will review the surrogate’s profile and previous birth records.
  • Process: The IVF physician will discuss the IVF process with the surrogate, all testing the surrogate will complete, all medications anticipated will be used during the cycle, the embryo transfer procedure and care that will be provided by the IVF center for the first 8-10 weeks following embryo transfer. Injection teaching may be a part of the initial visit.
  • Blood and Urine Testing: Surrogates will be tested for sexually transmitted or other transmissible diseases which will include: HIV, HTLV-1 & 2, Hepatitis B & C, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis and any other tests as required by FDA guidelines. *The sexual partner of the surrogate MUST be screened for sexually transmitted diseases.* Drug and alcohol testing is completed during the initial screening and may be done again at various intervals throughout the pregnancy.
  • Ultrasound and Hysteroscopy: An ultrasound and vaginal cultures will also be required at the first IVF visit. A hysteroscopy may be done during the first visit as well, which is used to view the uterine environment to make sure there are no scars or adhesions that could interfere with the implantation process.
  • Birth Control: If the surrogate is not already taking oral contraceptives she may receive a prescription for birth control at this time. This is used to help regulate the surrogate's cycle and will allow the physician to coordinate her cycle with that of the egg donor or intended mother. The surrogate may be asked to start birth control prior to having the legal contract signed with the intended parents, but she will not be allowed to start any injectable medications until legal clearance has been issued. The starting of birth control pills is not considered a medication start event, so no compensation is paid at this point.

The Matching Process

Surrogates and intended parents are matched based on the mutual interests and agreement of the parties. A Perfect Match gathers information from the surrogate and intended parents in order to closely match expectations of all parties. For example: we won’t match an intended parent who may want to terminate for Downs with a surrogate who would not want to terminate for this reason. We won’t match a surrogate who wants to only carry one child with someone who wants twins unless there is an agreement to reduce should more than one embryo be transferred. There are many different facets to a successful matching of surrogate and intended parents:

Intended parents generally select a surrogate candidate based on:

  • Whether or not a surrogate will allow the parents to make all decisions for their own child: reduction, termination (for medical reason only? What about Downs?) amnio, CVS, trimester testing, etc.
  • Communication: How often, in what form will communication take place, and will there be contact after birth.
  • Location of the surrogate: Must be residing in surrogate friendly state, but nearby proximity to IVF center may be important, or close proximity to your home area may be more important, or none of this may matter with the right surrogate candidate.
  • First-time surrogate or previous surrogate: some intended parents are more comfortable with experienced candidates and others are comfortable with a first-time surrogate
  • Number of previous pregnancies and births: The IVF center maximum is usually five, but some intended parents are only comfortable with two or three.
  • Number of c-sections: The IVF center maximum is two or three, but some intended parents are not comfortable with any c-sections.
  • Single or married: This is usually based on the laws of the intended parent’s country (Germany and Italy require single surrogates).

Surrogates generally select intended parents to help based on:

  • Parent’s views on reduction, termination, amnio, CVS, etc.
  • Communication: How often and in what form (email, phone, text, Skype) and will there be ongoing communication after the birth.
  • How involved will intended parents be during the pregnancy and delivery.
  • Location of intended parents and when or how they will meet and visit. Will they be able to attend appointments.
  • Do intended parents speak the same language or need a translator.
  • IVF center location near surrogate or will surrogate have to travel.
  • How many embryos will be transferred (recommendation is now 1-2) and how many fetuses the surrogate is willing to carry.
  • Age of parents and whose genetics are being used (older women usually use egg donors).

Surrogates receive information about the Intended Parents to decide if she would like to consider working with them. A Perfect Match will arrange for a phone conversation, Skype or Facetime meeting, and then if all want to work together we will arrange for a personal meeting between the parties. Once all parties agree they do want to work together, then the cycle process begins by having all parties agree to the basic terms of the contract in the form of a previously approved agency document (Surrogate Benefits Package.) This document will be sent to the legal professionals and the terms will be drafted into a legal agreement between the parties. Surrogates will begin the medical screening by the IVF center chosen by the intended parents.

The Legal Process

Once the surrogate has been medically evaluated by the IVF center, all the screening requirements are met and the IVF center approves the surrogate for a surrogacy cycle, the surrogate will enter into a contract with the intended parents. A Perfect Match will send attorney referrals to the law offices representing the intended parents and also to the surrogate’s attorney. The documents will include the signed Surrogate Benefits Package so the law office can insert those exact monetary terms into the agreement. This legally binding contract should not be entered into lightly and surrogates are expected to follow all the agreed upon terms; therefore, the surrogate will receive her own separate legal counsel paid for by the intended parents.

  • Separate Representation: Separate representation means the surrogate and the intended parents are represented by two different law firms that specialize in reproductive law. With separate representation, the intended parent’s’ attorney is called the drafting attorney; and the surrogate's attorney is called the reviewing attorney. The drafting attorney will first consult with intended parents and once they approve the initial contract the drafting attorney will send a contract to the reviewing attorney. The reviewing attorney is responsible for getting a copy of the contract to the surrogate and scheduling a time to go over all the terms of the agreement with the surrogate. Any changes to the contract will be relayed to the drafting attorney for final approval by intended parents.
  • Contract: The surrogacy contract will cover many agreed upon terms between the surrogate and intended parents and the terms of the Surrogate Benefit package will be included. Terms such as compensation and how it is paid; the legal obligations of the surrogate and intended parents in relation to the child the surrogate will carry; language about surrogate conduct during the cycle, pregnancy and delivery; the parent’s legal relationship to the child, amount of embryos that will be transferred, the number of fetuses the surrogate will carry; and specific language regarding reduction, termination and prenatal testing.

    Once the terms of the final contract are agreed upon all parties will be required to sign the contract in front of a notary. The cost of the surrogate's legal representation shall be paid for by the intended parents. Medications cannot begin until all parties have signed the contract. A letter will be sent by the drafting attorney to the IVF physician to notify them that legal clearance has been issued and that you can begin medications.
  • Parental Establishment: Parental establishment is the legal process by which the intended parents gain the legal right to the child carried by the surrogate. This process generally occurs around 18-20 weeks of pregnancy because this is the point at which prenatal testing is usually completed and it is known that the child/children is healthy and the pregnancy will continue. Intended parents and surrogate will once again have separate legal representation. Once the parental establishment documents are finalized, the drafting attorney will present everything to the court from the county in which the birth will take place and the court will approve a judgment declaring the intended parents as the legal parents and from the moment the child is born. Intended parents are always responsible for the care of the child immediately upon birth and they are always responsible for making any and all medical decisions for the child. Prior to the birth of the child the documentation for parental rights will be submitted to the hospital in which the surrogate will give birth.

Medications and Procedures

A Perfect Match is not a medical facility nor can we give medical advice. There are potential risks inherent with all aspects of the surrogacy medical process and procedures, including taking medication, use of needles and medical procedures. It is the sole responsibility of the surrogate to investigate all such risks and to discuss all such risks and procedures with the IVF Physician.

In every surrogacy cycle the surrogate will be required to take medications, some of which are an injectable form. All IVF centers offer injection teaching. Surrogates should discuss each of the potential medications with the IVF Physician to understand all potential side effects and risks of taking the medications. All medications MUST be taken as instructed by the physician; otherwise, you risk compromising the IVF cycle, having a miscarriage and/or being in breach of contract.

The following information is general information and not intended as medical advice and should not be relied upon as the protocol that will be used in the cycle. Always ask the IVF physician about the protocol for that center. The four most common medications used are: Birth control, Lupron, a form of Estrogen and Progesterone.

  • Birth Control - This is used by the IVF center to begin the synchronization of the surrogate’s cycle to that of the egg provider.
  • Lupron On approximately day 21 of her cycle a surrogate may begin a medication called Lupron, which is a daily subcutaneous injection. (It sounds worse than it is!) This needle is a tiny, 1/2 inch insulin type needle. It can be given in the upper outer thigh, but most women inject in the lower stomach. A healthcare professional will teach the surrogate how to administer this to herself. Of course, she can also have her spouse/partner or other person help her with the shots if she is not comfortable self-injecting. Lupron is not a fertility medication; rather, it down regulates the surrogate’s cycle so she does not ovulate. Lupron is administered as instructed by the IVF physician. Side effects may include, but are not limited to, hot flashes, fatigue, headaches, mood swings, and irritation at the injection site. A vaginal ultrasound will be performed to make sure the ovaries are quiet and blood may be drawn for testing hormone levels before the next medication is started.
  • Estradiol/Delestrogen/Estrogen is started with the surrogate’s next period. It is used to thicken the endometrial lining and to prepare the uterine lining for the embryo transfer and implantation process. This medication is administered twice weekly beginning approximately two weeks prior to embryo transfer and is continued for approximately 10 weeks after embryo transfer depending on the IVF physician's protocol. This hormone is administered in one of three forms: oral tablets, injection, or adhesive patch. The IVF center will determine which form they feel is best suited for the surrogate. Side effects may include, but are not limited to, weight gain, headaches, and irritation at the application site. During the endometrial stimulation phase the surrogate will be required to have a blood test and ultrasound as directed by the IVF Physician to determine the thickness of the uterine lining. Some centers will require the surrogate to have her ultrasounds at their center only, but other centers allow the surrogate to remain in her home area until the day of embryo transfer. Until a center is chosen by the family we will not know the protocol, but the surrogate will be informed as quickly as possible as to which protocol is typical with that particular IVF center.

    The blood tests and ultrasounds will help the physician determine the surrogate’s hormone levels as well as the thickness of the endometrial lining. These tests are generally done between 7-9 am so they can get same day results and make adjustments to mediation protocol if needed. Once the endometrial lining is at the appropriate thickness (varies by IVF center) and the intended parent or egg donor is ready to have the egg retrieval the surrogate will be required to start some form of Progesterone to assist with and sustain implantation and pregnancy.
  • Progesterone is a hormone naturally produced during a pregnancy; however, in a surrogacy situation the addition of supplemental Progesterone is essential to convince the body it is pregnant until the body produces this hormone on its own. The form of Progesterone may be in an oil-based (let the IVF doctor know if you have any nut allergy) intramuscular injection form or it may be in the form of vaginal suppository. The exact form is determined by the IVF Physician. Progesterone generally begins approximately one to two weeks prior to the embryo transfer and is continued for approximately 10-12 weeks after embryo transfer. Side effects may include, but are not limited to, fatigue, breast tenderness, mild uterine cramping, and irritation at the injection site or application site.

All surrogates are urged to discuss the medication protocol, risks and side effects with the IVF Physician.

Time to make a baby!

The embryo transfer procedure will be performed 3-6 days after the donor or intended parent’s eggs have been harvested and fertilized unless the intended parents have frozen embryos they will use. Embryo transfers usually take approximately 30 minutes, but the surrogate will be asked to arrive 1-2 hours prior to the anticipated time of transfer. Prior to the transfer the surrogate will usually receive a medication to help her (and her uterus) relax during the transfer of the embryo to the uterus. The embryo transfer is performed by the IVF doctor who will use a very fine catheter that is inserted vaginally into the uterus through the cervix. Surrogates are generally required to stay in a slight head-down position for 15 mins to 1 hour following the transfer procedure.

Surrogates will not be able to drive immediately after the transfer, so a companion is required to transport the surrogate home or to a hotel that offers room service if she traveled from her home area. All hotel and meal expenses are paid by the intended parents. Some bedrest and travel timing restrictions may apply according to the protocol of the IVF center.

  • Bed Rest: You will most likely be instructed by the physician to go on bed rest for a specified period of time which is usually between 24-72 hours. Each IVF center has its own bed rest protocol with some being very restrictive (only get up for a shower or toilet) and others may be more lenient and don’t require any amount of bedrest. Surrogates must follow the exact protocol set forth by her IVF physician.
  • Sexual Activity: Following the embryo transfer and bed rest period other activity may also be restricted, especially sexual activity. Ask your IVF center about their protocol. Some IVF centers restrict surrogates from sexual activity from the time they start medication for the cycle up until the first pregnancy test (approx. 2 weeks post transfer) and others may require a longer period of time. Restrictions are usually given to make sure the surrogate is only pregnant with the fetus belonging to the intended parents and to make sure the uterine environment is not disturbed. Any restrictions will be determined by your IVF physician and should be in writing and received from the IVF center.
  • Other Restrictions: At times there may be other agreed upon restrictions imposed by the IVF center or agreed upon with the intended parents in the legal contract: use of hair dye, type and level of exercise, organic diet, lifting and carrying a specific weight, travel outside of home area, etc. It is always the surrogate’s responsibility to follow doctor’s orders and legal terms set forth in their contract.

Providing support and help throughout your journey

The goal of A Perfect Match is to support our surrogates throughout the entire process: initial inquiry, application, match, embryo transfer, pregnancy and delivery. We have been blessed with a personal connection to surrogacy: the owner had a child through surrogacy, the surrogate program director has been a surrogate 5 times (!) and those who assist her and are involved in supporting our surrogates have been surrogates themselves. We also have one of the very first children ever born through gestational surrogacy as a staff member. All of us know firsthand how life-changing surrogacy is for all those who are a part of the surrogacy journey. It is our desire that every gestational surrogate in our program feel like she is a part of our family.

  • Experienced Staff: A Perfect Match is able to support our surrogates in a variety of ways because all of the staff involved in our surrogacy department have been previous surrogates (some numerous times) and they have experienced everything our surrogates may experience during the surrogacy. Our staff members are able to provide personal insight into the process and provide caring support to our surrogates. We understand that emergencies don’t happen during business hours. Our surrogates are given our staff’s cell phone numbers in case you have important questions or something goes wrong outside of work hours or on weekends and holidays.
  • Support Group: We host monthly support group meetings in which you will share a meal with other women who are going through your same experience. We host quarterly larger events such as Mother’s Day brunch, spa day, Halloween family day and our catered Christmas Party. Whether this is your first experience as a gestational surrogate or you’ve done it before, we want you to be supported not only by our staff, but also by our entire APM surrogacy family to help and encourage you as you go through this remarkable journey. We also have a closed group Facebook page through which you are able to communicate with others in our community.
  • Big Sister Program: If desired we will match our first-time surrogates with an experienced surrogate to provide another aspect of support during a surrogacy journey. This provides our surrogates with a go-to person who has been in their position and understands the process.
  • Psychological Support: We provide monthly opportunities to meet with a mental health professional by phone. It is a chance to speak with someone who can help you with your relationship with intended parents, or can offer suggestions to help explain surrogacy to your children, friends, and family.
  • Wellness Counseling: Many intended parents are more than willing to provide you with nutritional counseling and pay additional money to eat organic foods. Some provide acupuncture before and after embryo transfer (all who have done this love it) and they may also provide pregnancy massage.

Today there are many gestational surrogacy agencies to choose from and while many surrogacy agencies have been in business for a long time and deserve respect for the excellent, quality services they provide, there are also some surrogacy agencies that are very new, may only be working part-time, have no experience to run a business and may have no experience in dealing with some of the more serious issues that can arise during a surrogacy. Regardless of which agency you choose, we suggest you should thoroughly investigate any agency carefully before committing to their surrogacy program. Whenever possible meet them in person and in their place of business. Understand how you will be taken care of during this year-long process. Every surrogate deserves to be with a professional and caring agency that can help her enjoy the pregnancy, and which will provide the support necessary to have a successful surrogacy journey!

Thank you for considering A Perfect Match. For more information, please contact us: 1-800-264-8828 or 619-464-1424 or contact us.

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

  Mon-Fri 9am-5pm PST

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