Q: What are the qualifications to be a Surrogate Mother?
A: In order to be considered as a Surrogate Mother in Baby Miracles’ program, you must: currently reside in California and reside here during the entire pregnancy and delivery (no exceptions)be between the ages of 23 and 38 (31 for Traditional Surrogates); exceptions made for repeat Surrogates have borne at least one child that you are currently raisinghave easy, uncomplicated pregnancies and enjoy being pregnantbe healthy and free of sexually-transmitted diseasesnot have smoked for at least 2 years and have never taken illegal drugsnot be alcohol-dependent and be willing to abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages while pregnantmeet fertility clinic recommended guidelines for height/weight for gestational carriersnot be receiving public assistancehave a good support system, the full support of your husband (if any), and have a stable, healthy living environmentexhibit a pleasant, cooperative attitudebe willing to self-administer hormone injections (or have someone assist you) on a daily basishave a sincere desire to be a Surrogate for reasons other than financial compensation
Q: What is the difference between a Gestational Surrogate and a Traditional Surrogate?
A: In gestational surrogacy, pregnancy is achieved by transferring embryos created with the Prospective Mother’s eggs or eggs from an Egg Donor and the Prospective Father’s sperm or donor sperm through the process of In Vitro Fertilization into the uterus of the gestational carrier. This is a quick and painless procedure. With this type of surrogacy, the Surrogate is not biologically related to the baby she will carry. In traditional surrogacy, pregnancy is achieved through Artificial Insemination (“AI”) whereby semen of the Prospective Father or a sperm donor is introduced into the uterus of the Surrogate (intrauterine insemination) in a doctor's office. In this instance, the Surrogate is the biological mother of the baby and, for this reason, most women choose not to be traditional surrogates. The advantage of traditional surrogacy is that, unlike gestational surrogacy, there are no injections.
Q: I'm single and live alone with my children, can I still be a Surrogate in your program?
A: We do not require our Surrogates be married as long as they have a stable and healthy home environment and a good, independent support system. We require that our Surrogates be of good moral character and have a healthy lifestyle.
Q: I'm married but my husband doesn't want me to be a Surrogate. Do I need his consent?
A: You absolutely DO need his approval and support to be a Surrogate in Baby Miracles' program. We require that the Surrogate's husband/partner accompany her to and participate in the interview with Baby Miracles' Director. He will be required to undergo STD screening, sign the Surrogacy Contract with the couple, and provide ongoing support and encouragement to you.
Q: Can I be a Surrogate if I haven't completed my own family?
A: Yes, although you need to be very sure that you and your husband/partner are in complete agreement to postponing adding to your family.
Q: The state I live in is not surrogate-friendly, but am willing to relocate during pregnancy. Can I be considered for your program?
A: Unfortunately, no. Our Surrogates must reside in a surrogacy-friendly state where a pre-birth order can be obtained.
Q: I've had a tubal ligation, can I still be a Surrogate?
A: Yes, you would still be able to be a gestational surrogate as your ovaries would not be involved. You could not, however, be considered for traditional surrogacy.
Q: Can I choose the couple that I will be a Surrogate for?
A: Yes, it is a mutual selection process. We will provide your profile to couples who most closely match your preferences and, when we have a couple who are interested in you, we will provide you with their profile and give you an opportunity to decide whether they might be a good couple for you if you do not wish to travel.
Q: How much contact will I have with the couple?
A: As much as you and your couple desire. In your interview with Baby Miracles' we explore how much involvement you wish to have before, during, and after the pregnancy to ensure the couple to whom we provide your profile have the same desires and expectations. This will also be thoroughly discussed during your meeting with the couple.
Q: Will I have to travel?
A: Not if you don't want to. We try to match couples to a Surrogate fairly local to them (within driving distance) or the couple will work with a clinic local to their Surrogate. In some cases, the fertility clinic the Prospective Parents are working with is not geographically close to the Surrogate, in which case the Surrogate must travel to the primary clinic for 3-4 appointments and be seen at a monitoring clinic local to her for others. In that event, the couple would not be a good match for you.
Q: Do I have to take medications and, if so, for how long?
A: Yes, if you are a Gestational Surrogate. The most effective way to maintain your hormonal levels is through shots, however, there are other methods such as patches, pills and suppositories. The means of administration is determined by the clinic, not the agency. The duration depends upon the clinic's protocol, but typically you will take Lupron injections (subcutaneous shots) for approximately 10 days prior to pregnancy, estrogen injections (an intramuscular shot) twice a week for approximately 9-10 weeks, and progesterone injections (an intramuscular shot) daily for approximately 8-9 weeks. Many clinics have a protocol that call for non-injectable estrogen.
Q: What will I have to pay for?
A: Nothing whatsoever. The Prospective Parents are responsible for all expenses such as medical fees, doctor fees, medications, attorney fees, etc.
Q: What if I don't have insurance?
A: The couple you are a Surrogate for will pay for a policy for you and will pay all premiums, co-pays and deductibles relating to maternity care and delivery through their escrow account.
Q: Will I be able to use my own obstetrician?
A: Possibly. This is dependent upon a number of factors. If you have insurance but it excludes surrogacy and a policy is purchased for you, your obstetrician may not be a provider under that policy. Additionally, some couples wish to participate in the selection of an obstetrician. These issues will be addressed up front when you meet a prospective couple.
Q: Is it likely that I would carry more than one baby?
A: Likely, no, but it is certainly possible. Our goal is to have one healthy baby, however, in gestational surrogacy, generally more than one embryo is transferred (typically two), thereby increasing the possibility of a multiple pregnancy. This issue is explored thoroughly during your meeting with the Director as well as your meeting with the Prospective Parents. Whether a Surrogate is willing to carry more than one baby is a significant factor we look at when making a potential match. Your desires in this regard are extremely important as this could potentially impact you and your family more than a singleton pregancy.
Q: How will I be compensated?
A: The Prospective Parents will fund an escrow account prior to the embryo transfer in an amount sufficient to pay all compensation and expenses contemplated during your surrogacy arrangement (for a singleton, uncomplicated pregnancy). See our
Surrogate Compensation page for specifics regarding compensation amounts and when they are payable.
Q: How much contact will I have with Baby Miracles?
A: You will have a lot of contact with the agency, your Case Coordinator and the Support Coordinators. You will be guided each step of the process and we are available on a 24/7 basis to our Surrogates and clients.
Q: Will I be able to meet other Surrogates?
A: Absolutely! Baby Miracles has a comprehensive Surrogate Support Program, including monthly support group meetings, a monthly newsletter, an on-line support forum just for Baby Miracles' Surrogates, as well as periodic special events. It is our goal for you to have the very best surrogacy experience and sharing your experience with other Surrogates is a wonderful way to give and receive support.