Surrogacy

A gestational surrogate, aside from being an angel on earth, is a woman who acts as a “host carrier” for a couple or individual, due to medical or personal reasons is unable to carry their own child. Through the process of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), embryos NOT genetically or biologically related to her, are implanted into her uterus via an embryo transfer (ET). This process is either a fresh transfer of embryos or the transfer of those frozen from a previous IVF cycle. This process is called a frozen embryo transfer (FET).

A Gestational Surrogate:

  1. Achieves pregnancy via ET or FET (with the Intended Parents embryo(s).
  2. Carries the baby(ies) to term.
  3. Upon delivery, relinquish the little miracle baby(ies) to the care of their parents.

As the gestational surrogate, you are not genetically related to the child(ren), thereby negating many of the legal/ethical issues surrounding traditional surrogacy. You are, in essence, “renting your womb.”

Thank you for your interest our Gestational Surrogacy Program! It is only through the acts of wonderful women, such as yourself, people can realize their dreams of having a family. We appreciate your desire to help!

Were looking for women who are between the ages of 21 and 40 with a history of at least one full-term, uncomplicated pregnancy and live delivery. You should be a United States resident, a non-smoker and be willing to submit to random drug testing. Although government assistance is acceptable, this should not be your sole source of income.

Surrogates are required to complete the Gestational Surrogate application. You will also need to provide all your medical records relating to your previous pregnancies and births. It is important for you to understand that completing and returning your application does not guarantee you will be accepted into the program, as your profile will undergo a lengthy acceptance process and committee screening prior to final approval. This will include but not be limited to a background check. Should your application be approved, and you are accepted to the program, we will notify you so we can begin the matching process. Please do note, once you are matched, there will be additional medical and psychological screening.

young happy pregnant woman standing, smiling, and arms wrapped around her baby bump

Steps for Surrogate

  1. Register and apply as your first step on this wonderful journey.
  2. Once your information is received, it is reviewed. If your application is accepted, we will redact your identifying information and make it available for matching with potential Intended Parent who meets your criteria.
  3. When a good match is found, we will send you their profile to review and if both parties agree, we arrange a call by Skype, Zoom or FaceTime.
  4. Often, the match is confirmed after this call and we will facilitate the medical and psychological screening for cycle. If the clinic requires you to travel for this screening, we will make the accommodations for you.
  5. Once you have been medically cleared, the contracts will start. Should you need a referral for an attorney, we will help you find one. If you would like to use your own attorney, you may. The only requirement is the attorney needs to be a third-party parenting attorney, well versed in surrogacy law.
  6. After legal clearance, which means your contracts have been signed and notarized, the cycle begins.

The matching process

Matching is a two-way process and takes place after your application has been completed and accepted. We will have detailed conversation with you to discuss the type of relationship you are looking for with your intended parents. Our main goal is to ensure we can present only like-minded people to you. We pride ourselves on taking great care in evaluating your needs and those of the intended parents. Our goal is to find individuals who have common objectives and expectations of the upcoming process. Once a potential match has been identified and both parties have reviewed the profiles and are interested, a phone call or video conference call is initiated and facilitated by your Surrogate Coordinator.

Following the conference call, provided both parties remain interested and desirous of such, the match can be confirmed. Should the Intended Parents wish to have an in-person meeting, this will be coordinated and facilitated by Footsteps To Family at the expense of the intended parents.

Upon confirmation from both parties that there is interest in moving forward to the next step, Footsteps to Family will consider the match to be completed and all identifying information exchanged. You will then be put in touch with the clinic to being your medical and psychological screening. This needs to be completed before the legal contracts.

After medical clearance has been given, the legal process begins. Separate legal counsel is required to negotiate the terms of the contract between the parties. All contracts must be signed before the commencement of any cycle.

After you are medically screened, health insurance coverage is verified and contracts are signed, the IVF/ET/FET cycle is initiated. This process will be done in accordance with the intended parents’ clinic and the FDA requirements. Provided all testing results are acceptable, you will begin your stimulation process in accordance with the calendar prepared by the cycling clinic.

Once a pregnancy is confirmed by ultrasound confirmation of a fetal heartbeat, your obstetrical care will be taken over by your OB/GYN. Although contact with the medical staff of the cycling clinic will most likely dissipate, Footsteps to Family will be in constant communication with you and the intended parents throughout the pregnancy and for three months post partum.

Register

Congratulations, you ready to take that first step. Thank you for your desire to help our hopeful parents fulfill their dreams! Please complete the information below. Should you meet the program requirements, you will be redirected to the application. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are excited at the possibility of working with you!

What is a Gestational Surrogate?

A gestational surrogate is a woman who acts as a “host carrier” for a couple, or individual (referred to as the intended parents) who, due to medical or personal reasons, are unable to carry their own child. Through the process of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), embryos belonging to the intended parents, and which are not genetically related to the gestational surrogate, are transferred into the uterus of the surrogate.

Do you have current Intended Parents waiting for a match?

Footsteps to Family believes that the matching process between gestational surrogate and intended parents is a highly personalized process. We make every effort to match gestational surrogates whose needs and desires are in sync with those of the intended parents. While there may be a list of available surrogates, we do maintain a waiting list of parents so that we can ensure the union between the parties is a perfect fit.

What is Footsteps to Family’s role?

We can be thought of as your liaison throughout the entire process from matching, to IVF, to birth. Our responsibilities can include but are not limited to:

  • Matching our surrogates with suitable intended parents
  • Assisting both parties in obtaining independent legal counsel.
  • Collection and dispersing of all funds to the gestational surrogate, as indicated by the contract.
  • Provide travel arrangements when needed for the surrogate
  • Remain in contact with the clinic to ensure proper communication between the surrogate and the affiliated clinic
  • Locating suitable health insurance and life insurance for the surrogate
  • Provide assistance and support throughout the process
  • Communicate between the parties when issues arise to keep the relationship safe

It is our job to manage the business side of the relationship so the intended parents and the gestational surrogate can focus on the incredible journey to parenthood.

Are you an agency?

We are an agency that has been in business since 1992. The original founder of Footsteps to Family is still the owner and works hand in hand with knowledgeable, qualified, and caring staff to provide an unparalleled third party parenting experience.

How much are your Gestational Surrogates compensated?

We feel that compensation is an individual decision and as such we do not mandate what that surrogates payment should be. All surrogates are compensated at least $30,000 and experienced surrogates are able to request additional compensation.

Where do your Intended Parents live?

Our clientele come from all over the world. We have clients who live within the continental United States and international clients. Our long list of worldwide Intended Parents come from locations as diverse as London, Australia, Germany, Turkey, and Hong Kong, to name just a few. During the matching process, Footsteps to Family will disclose where your specific Intended Parents live. Through the application process it is critical for the gestational surrogate to really think about how they would feel working with intended parents who do not live in the United States or close to their residence. This becomes an important factor when matching.

I don’t have health insurance, is that a problem?

Typically, this should not be an issue, depending on what state the surrogate resides. We have contacts to assist you in obtaining health insurance. However, with the everchanging national insurance situation, this may turn out to be an issue for some. The Intended Parent is responsible for the premium payments and any associated co-pays or deductibles. If obtaining policy with maternity coverage becomes an issue, there is always the option of Surrogate Insurance.

Do I need to travel for the cycle?

Many of our Gestational Surrogates travel for the IVF cycle in order to be monitored by the cycling physician a few days prior to the embryo transfer. A timeframe for such travel will be discussed with you prior to your commitment to the cycle. Footsteps to Family will take care of all your travel arrangements and accommodations per your negotiated contract while you are away from home.

Do you work with surrogates from any state?

Not always. Surrogacy law is governed state by state. Some states have much better laws when it comes to prebirth orders and birth certificates. That said, surrogacy laws are changing month by month. As new laws come into effect surrogacy becomes more accepted throughout the United States.

I am interested in becoming a traditional surrogate. Can you help match me?

We only work with gestational surrogates who will have no genetic tie to the child that they are carrying.

smiling pregnant woman sipping water with her other arm touching her baby bump