Our director and co-founder, Sandra Hodgson, will take the time to get to know you, learn about your needs, and explain the process. Whether you want to come to our office or speak to her by phone or Skype, Sandra will be happy to answer all of your questions. Find answers to common questions about gestational surrogacy here.
This is also a good time to set up an initial consultation with the fertility clinic you wish to work with.
Once you decide to move forward, you will sign our contract, pay our retainer fee, and fill out a questionnaire with your contact information and personal details.
“It's not the normal way people do it, but we've been incredibly pleased with the whole scenario. And the results are clear. Our surrogate did an incredible job and our son is awesome.”
After you sign up we will provide you with one or more profiles of potential surrogates. We believe a great match is the key to an extraordinary surrogacy experience. We match surrogates with intended parents based on a variety of factors, especially on shared goals and expectations for the surrogacy.If you like a profile, you and the surrogate will meet in our office for an introductory visit. International intended parents may conduct a first meeting by phone or Skype, but will travel to Portland to meet a potential surrogate before signing a contract with her.
If you and the potential surrogate feel comfortable with each other, we ask that you place an initial deposit of $4,000 in a trust account for your chosen surrogate to begin additional screening and medical procedures. A more detailed breakdown of surrogacy prices can be found here.
You and your surrogate will undergo additional psychological and medical screenings. What screenings are required will depend on what screenings you have already undergone in your path to having children.
For your surrogate, the screenings will include a “mock cycle" of IVF injections, which usually lasts about two weeks, that allows the clinic to determine the specific effect of the medications on her body. She and her partner will also receive blood work and STD screening, and she will meet with an obstetrician to receive clearance for pregnancy.
NWSC provides a draft surrogacy contract. You and your surrogate will review the document with separate attorneys, reach an agreement, and sign the contract.
Upon signing the contract, our second agency fee is due. At this time you will also fund the remainder of the trust account for your surrogate. We base the estimate for this fund on your final contract. (Your surrogate does not begin receiving her base fee until confirmation of pregnancy by ultrasound, but at this time she will begin receiving a $200 monthly allowance from the trust account.)
Once the contract is signed and the trust account is funded, we will send a letter to the IVF (in vitro fertilization) clinic giving them clearance to begin the medication cycles with your surrogate. She will then undergo a cycle of medications for about six weeks before the embryo transfer can occur.
If you are planning to use an egg donor, you will use this time to choose a donor and work with the clinic on synchronizing the donor’s cycle to your surrogate’s cycle.
The embryo will be transferred to your surrogate. Some intended parents choose to attend this procedure.
About ten days after the embryo transfer, your surrogate will receive a blood test as an initial pregnancy test. If the pregnancy test results are positive, she will receive another blood test a few days later. About three to four weeks after the transfer she will receive an ultrasound to confirm pregnancy.
Once pregnancy is confirmed by ultrasound, our last agency fee will be due, and your surrogate will begin receiving installments of her base fee from the trust account you established for her.
In the event that pregnancy does not occur, you may begin another IVF cycle with your surrogate.
You can be as involved as you and your surrogate wish during the pregnancy. Some intended parents use this time to bond with their surrogates and attend many of her appointments, while others prefer to wait and be present mainly during the birth. In the meantime, relax and enjoy preparing for your new family!
NWSC will be available to you at all times in case you have questions, want us to help mediate issues with your surrogate, or just want to share your excitement! We’ll also be checking in regularly with your surrogate to make sure she has everything she needs. In the case of unexpected expenses, including bed rest or unplanned medical procedures, you may need to make additional payments to her trust account.
Depending on how you choose to establish parentage and what your genetic relationships are, you may also use this time to have an attorney help you establish parental rights and the right to make medical decisions once the baby is born. Many of our clients use the same attorney for this who helped them review the surrogacy contract.
The wait is over, and you get to be present for the miracle of your child being born! If there are rooms available, most hospitals will allow intended parents to stay in the hospital to have time alone with their baby. The surrogate may also wish to spend some time with the baby or have her own children meet him or her.
As soon as the baby is medically ready to be discharged from the hospital, you can take your new baby home!