Although parents are often surprised by our “surrogate chooses first” approach, their surprise quickly turns to appreciation as they come to understand that a surrogate who has chosen them specifically allows for a higher degree of trust and personal connection, not to mention a clear path forward once a match is made.
The health of your baby is paramount, which is why our surrogates must abide by such high standards. Prior to matching, you can rest easy knowing all surrogates undergo extensive physical and psychological testing, and that the pregnancy will be safe for both the surrogate and your baby.
When you get matched with a surrogate, their doctor will provide their records as soon as possible. We request these records during the application process to prevent delays.
This document is an important component of all surrogate medical screenings. It confirms that the surrogate’s doctor has cleared them to become pregnant again.
We will record the first day of their last period. The IVF nurses at the fertility clinic will need this information to determine when your surrogate will begin certain medications.
These results must be negative or within normal limits. If the surrogate’s most recent Pap smear was abnormal, we’ll demand documentation of follow-up care, which might consist of a colposcopy, LEEP, or a doctor’s note.
We require that both the surrogates as well as their partners provide lab results for social disease testing. This will include testing for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis, CMV, GC and chlamydia. They will also receive screening for drugs and nicotine. After we receive these records and test results, we will forward them to the fertility clinic for review. If there are no concerns, the clinic will schedule the next phase of your surrogate’s medical screening.
During their initial appointment at the fertility clinic, the physician may request additional blood tests. The doctor might also do an ultrasound or an exam to check for fibroids, polyps, or scar tissue. If all looks good, the surrogate will finally receive medical clearance to take the next steps.
Once you’ve selected a surrogate who has already selected you, the final matching step is to meet and make sure the match is indeed a good one. This process is supported by one of our mental health professionals, and once you’re satisfied with your match, we give the green light to begin IVF.
During the surrogate’s first appointment at the fertility center, the fertility specialist will likely administer an ultrasound or an exam to assess her uterus. The goal is to ensure that the structure of the uterus is normal and capable of carrying a pregnancy.
After the surrogate receives medical clearance and a frozen embryo is ready and waiting for transfer, she receives a calendar instructing her when to take medications to prepare her uterine lining for the embryo.
Once the surrogate’s uterine lining is ready, the fertility specialist will transfer one embryo to the surrogate’s uterus. This procedure, one of most exciting parts of IVF and surrogacy, usually takes less than 10 minutes.
About 10 days after the embryo transfer, the surrogate receives a pregnancy blood test. IVF success rates are typically very high, but if the pregnancy test should be negative, another embryo transfer may be scheduled.
Some parents wonder if needing an egg donor means they should be concerned about the surrogate’s blood type.
There are three blood types: A, B, and O. Some types are rarer than others. When choosing an egg donor, you replace the intended mother’s biology with the egg donor’s. Many parents often choose a donor based upon physical characteristics, such as hair and eye color, height, ethnicity, educational background and personality.
There is little potential risk of medical conditions if the surrogate and your child have different blood types. The antibodies to the ABO blood types are large and unable to cross the placenta between the surrogate and the baby.
If an Rh negative woman is carrying an Rh positive baby, the baby’s blood cells can enter her circulatory system. Her immune system may see this as a foreign substance and attack the baby. This could cause the baby to develop a type of anemia called rhesus disease.
If a surrogate is Rh negative, and the biological parents are positive, the surrogate will receive a shot of RhoGAM at 28 and 34 weeks, and again after the birth. The RhoGAM vaccination prevents sensitization to the Rh factor, which protects the baby.
CSP surrogates go through an intensive health screening and many tests before being approved for our program. A blood draw determines each surrogate’s Rh factor, which is either Rh positive or Rh negative. Rh positive means she has the Rh factor, an antigen carried by red blood cells. Rh negative means she does not.
Your baby can inherit the Rh factor from its biological father or mother. About 85% of the Caucasian population is Rh positive. The number for Asians, African-Americans, and Native Americans is even higher. That leaves between 10% to 15% of the population who are Rh negative.