If the IPs or “Intended Parents” are using an agency to match them with the qualified surrogate, then they retain an agency or clinic and fill out an in-depth questionnaire and application before the initial process can begin.
Depending on the type of surrogacy that is planned, both IPs will likely be asked to have a STD panel and screening. HIV, HTLV-1 & 2, Hepatitis B & C, and vaginal cultures are also standard in this process especially considering biological matter is being exchanged under a lab setting. The agency and or clinic may also request blood work screening such as RH factor, Blood type, analysis.
All parties involved in the process such as the surrogate, her spouse and both IPs will have to undergo a psychological evaluation. The counselor will make sure that all parties have worked through all possible scenarios and that everyone is on the same page mentally and emotionally.
Typically the agency or clinic will arrange this process between both parties. This is the general setting where the IPs are introduced to the matched surrogate. It also helps determine whether if the party’s interests and personalities match. They will be working closely together for the next year so it best make sure everyone is able to get along nicely.
An attorney is retained to help make sure all state and federal laws are under compliance and that the contract is completed to appease both the IPs and the hired surrogate. In some cases, surrogacy lawyers maybe appointed through the agency/clinics where others are hired directly by the IPs to handle the specifics of the contract. At this point of the process is where every detail of both parties is painstakingly encoded in the legal and confusing language of “legalease.” From basics such as the surrogate’s fee and payment schedule to detailed requests such as the birth plan and diet, this is the point where everything is mapped out and put into writing.
If it is a traditional surrogacy, then REs (Reproductive Endocrinologist) will use the surrogates eggs during an IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) retrieval and fertilize with the male IPs sperm and transfer it back. In few cases or otherwise known as a “partial” surrogacy, the sperm is injected by way of IUI (Intrauterine insemination) Gestational surrogacy is when both the IPs contributes their egg and sperm by way of IVF and then transfer the fertilized embryo directly to the surrogate. In this case the surrogate has no biological tie and is the carrier.
The surrogate will keep in contact with the IPs throughout the gestational process, and vice versa, attend all requested prenatal care and recommendations of the selected OBGYN until birth.