In a gestational surrogacy, embryos—consisting of eggs and sperm from the intended parents and/or from donors—are transferred to a surrogate via IVF (in vitro fertilization). The intended parents usually establish parental rights before the baby is born. NWSC works exclusively with gestational surrogacy.
In a traditional surrogacy, the surrogate’s own eggs are fertilized via artificial insemination with the sperm of a donor or an intended parent. The baby shares genetic material with the surrogate mother as well as with an intended parent or donor.
Many surrogates report that their surrogacy is a wonderful, enriching experience for their whole family. It can create an opportunity to demonstrate generosity and thoughtfulness to their children, and to teach them that families are made in all sorts of ways. We always encourage women to speak openly with their children and partners before deciding to become a surrogate so that everyone is involved and knows what to expect.
If you are married or in a relationship, your partner must support your surrogacy. He or she will be required to undergo a background check and medical screenings, and to sign a surrogacy contract with you and the intended parents.
Yes. Tubal ligation does not impact pregnancy and delivery through IVF.
First-time surrogates receive a base fee of $23,000, and experienced surrogates receive $28,000; additional payments increase the base fee by $4,000. Variable compensation includes payments for carrying multiples; undergoing a cesarean section or other invasive procedures; and lost wages, childcare, and housekeeping if you are placed on bed rest. If you do not have health or life insurance, the intended parents will provide it for you.
The intended parents will also pay for your medical and psychological screening, medical expenses at the fertility clinic, uninsured medical expenses during pregnancy, counseling, and attorney fees. If you have to travel more than 50 miles one way for medical appointments, the intended parents will also pay for your transportation and lodging. For more information see Surrogate Compensation.
Payment structures vary, but you will receive regular payments throughout the pregnancy, with a balance paid after the baby is born and placed with the intended parents. You will also receive a $200 monthly allowance for miscellaneous expenses beginning when you sign a contract with the intended parents.
If you do not have health insurance, the intended parents will pay for it for the duration of the surrogacy.
All your medical bills and other expenses will be paid for by the intended parents. NWSC will deliver your payments via a trust account set up by the intended parents.
Surrogacy is legal in Oregon and Idaho, and state law in these two states provides that a surrogate can be compensated for her services.
Yes, NWSC works with intended parents throughout the United States and abroad. Intended parents who live out of state or abroad may still choose to travel to attend some of your medical appointments, and will be present for the birth. You may wish to connect with the intended parents by phone or Skype when they are not able to be present.
No, currently we only work with women who live in Oregon or Idaho.
NWSC begins by identifying intended parents we believe will be a good match for you based on a number of factors, especially shared expectations and goals for the surrogacy process. We provide them with your profile, and then give you the opportunity to meet and get to know them in our office. If you aren’t comfortable with the intended parents we have matched you with, you may continue to meet additional ones until you find the right match.
The nature of the relationship between you and the intended parents is up to you and them. However, NWSC encourages you to spend time with the intended parents beyond the introductory meetings in our office. We believe that a relationship between a surrogate and intended parents creates trust and serves as an important foundation for the surrogacy process.Some intended parents prefer to be involved only for major medical events, such as the embryo transfer and the delivery, and not to have much contact after the birth. Many others want to experience as much of the pregnancy as you are comfortable with, and would love to be invited to your obstetrical appointments, ultrasounds, and the birth. They may also want to spend time with you socially and get to know you better. Surrogates and intended parents sometimes develop an intense and lifelong bond.
We encourage you to think about how involved you would like the intended parents to be during and after your pregnancy. Whatever kind of relationship you are looking for, NWSC is careful to match intended parents and surrogates who have similar goals and expectations.
Depending on your particular needs and expectations, finding the right intended parents for you might happen immediately or might take a few months. We have new intended parents entering our program all the time and there is rarely a long wait.
It typically takes at least three months from the initial meeting to the first IVF attempt. We first have to conduct additional screenings and draw up contracts, and you will undergo six weeks of medications. If the intended parents are using an egg donor it may take longer, as your cycle will have to be synchronized with the donor’s. Many of our surrogates give birth a year or so after they meet the intended parents for the first time.
The IVF process involves taking a variety of medications, both orally and by daily injection, beginning about two months before the first embryo transfer and continuing into the pregnancy. The physicians at the IVF clinic will assist you with any concerns or questions you have about these medications.
Intended parents are screened for any diseases that could be transmitted to you via the transfer or pregnancy.
Portland is home to two superior IVF clinics with renowned and highly qualified reproductive endocrinologists. They are experienced with surrogacy and egg donation, and have assisted NWSC in achieving many healthy and successful pregnancies. These clinics will perform your medical screenings and your IVF procedures, and will coordinate as needed with your medical clinic.
During the screenings and IVF procedures you will be able to see your own doctor for minor appointments such as blood draws and other monitoring. The IVF clinic will maintain your medical care for the first eight to ten weeks of your pregnancy, but then you will be released back to your OB for the rest of your pregnancy care and delivery.
During your initial screenings and the IVF cycles, you will have to travel to Portland for most of your appointments and procedures, except for blood draws and other monitoring. You will also be expected to travel to Portland for your prenatal care during the first eight to ten weeks of your pregnancy. If you live more than 50 miles from Portland, the intended parents will pay for your travel expenses, including lodging and meals.
Eight to ten weeks into your pregnancy, the IVF clinic will release you back to your own OB, who will oversee the rest of your prenatal care and your delivery.
The clinics we use have extremely high success rates, and many surrogates become pregnant during the first IVF cycle. While you are never required to undergo an IVF procedure if you do not want to, most intended parents ask surrogates to commit to undergoing up to three rounds of IVF.
Throughout the attempts, the intended parents will pay your medical bills and you will receive a $200 monthly allowance. However, you will not begin receiving your base fee until confirmation of pregnancy by ultrasound.
If you have to go on bed rest during your pregnancy, the intended parents will compensate you for lost wages, housekeeping expenses, and childcare above your usual amount, up to an agreed upon limit.
In our nearly 20 years of experience, we have never had either of these situations occur. In the extremely unlikely scenario that they do, you will not be responsible for the baby after the birth. If the intended parents divorce, they will go through the usual custody proceedings to determine who will receive custody of the child. They also establish wills and choose a legal guardian for the baby in the event that something happens to them during the pregnancy.
If you do not have life insurance, the intended parents will provide you with a policy for the duration of the pregnancy to protect your family in the unlikely event that something happens to you.
Most surrogates do not experience the same level of bonding with the baby as they did with their own children. They are aware throughout the pregnancy that the baby is not theirs, genetically or practically, and are excited to give such a tremendous gift to another family.
If you do want to talk to someone about your experience, most surrogacy contracts allow you to receive counseling, paid for by the intended parents, during your pregnancy and for up to a year after the birth.
Most surrogates and intended parents prefer that the surrogate not breastfeed the baby. You might choose to pump for a few weeks and give your milk to the intended parents. Some surrogates even donate their excess breast milk to a family in need.