Frequently Asked Questions
With so much to learn about surrogacy, we wanted to help answer a few of the most common questions about our program and our process.
The best way to find out about our unique agency is to give us a call! We offer a FREE phone consultation where we are available to answer all your questions and/or concerns and help you get started on your very own surrogacy journey.
What is a gestational carrier?
A gestational carrier is the term for a woman who carries and delivers a baby that she is not genetically or biologically related to for a couple or a single intended parent. Sometimes you will hear gestational surrogate, surrogate mother, or just 'surrogate' interchanged with gestational carrier and they all can allude to the same thing.
How does the matching process work once my application/profile is submitted?
If you are an Intended Parent, we will review your profile and look to see if we have any internal candidates that meet your requirements. If we do then we will send their profile to you and you can let us know if you like her. If you do, then we will send your profile to her. From there we schedule a "match meeting" either in person or via Zoom, depending on geography.
If you are a surrogate, we will review your application and begin the process of collecting your medical records, reviewing your insurance (if you are insured) and reviewing your medical records. This can take several weeks. Once we have everything we look to see if we have any internal candidates that meet your requirements. If we do then we will send their profile to you and you can let us know if you like them. If you do, then we will send your profile to them. From there we schedule a "match meeting" either in person or via Zoom, depending on geography.
Once everyone decides they are ready to move forward, it's time for the medical screening for the surrogate. We will assist in setting up these appointments. Screening consists of two appointments; a medical screening with an IVF Physician and a psychological screening. We should know within two weeks if you have clearance to proceed. At any time you can contact us with your questions or concerns.
Does a surrogate have to use her own health insurance or find a policy for this process?
If the surrogate has her own insurance we will review it to see if it covers surrogate pregnancies. Sowing Seeds feels very strongly about only using insurance policies that are safe for our surrogates and intended parents. So, if the policy has an exclusion for surrogacy or she does not have coverage at all, that's not a problem. We use a company called International Fertility Insurance (IFI) for surrogate friendly insurance policies (refer to the IFI section on our Resources page). The surrogate will apply for a maternity policy to cover her OB care and delivery. This policy will be paid for by the Intended Parent.
Do you screen the Intended Parents and surrogates?
Prior to being accepted into our program, Intended Parents and surrogates both go through an extensive application process and either an in-person or Zoom/Face-time interview with us. Sowing Seeds does not accept every client who applies to our program. To be accepted into our program each Intended Parent and surrogate undergoes criminal background checks as well as psychological and medical screenings.
What types of medications may be required for the surrogate?
When the surrogate's medical testing requirements are completed and reviewed by the physician, that's when she will receive specific instructions about medications. Medications are needed to help synchronize her cycle with the ovum donor's or intended mother's menstrual cycle when a fresh transfer is the plan. Or in a frozen transfer it is to help the uterine lining thicken in order to accept the transferred embryo. Medication types may be both orally and through small injections under the skin that most women give themselves. Depending on the protocol given by the IVF Physician, she may also have to administer intramuscular injections, which need to go through the muscle. Instructions are given on all medications required and being former surrogates ourselves we are here to help with any questions as well.
*Prior to the start of any medications the escrow account is fully funded. Sowing Seeds uses Surrogacy Escrow Account Management (SEAM -refer to the SEAM section on our Resources page).
What can I expect to pay for a surrogacy journey?
The Intended Parents will pay any and all reasonable and necessary expenses that the surrogate incurs in connection with the surrogacy (refer to the Expected Costs section under the Intended Parents tab). The surrogate is required to have an up-to-date pap smear and physician's exam which may require a co-pay or out of pocket expense. Otherwise along the journey she may have to pay a co-pay up front or some other small expense, however, she will be reimbursed in a timely manner as stated in the legal contract between the Intended Parents and Surrogate.
Why work with an agency instead of "going independent"?
Unforeseen costs can backlog and delay the process. Dispute over cost, escrow accounts, doctors, lawyers and scheduling appointments can overwhelm and cripple the relationship between the Intended Parents and the Surrogate. Sowing Seeds will mediate, educate and handle the details, so you can realize the full joy that you are bringing into the lives of others.
How long does the whole process take?
Realistically, Intended Parents should expect a several-month wait before being matched with their ideal candidate. Medical screening, psychological consult and legal process usually takes 1-3 months. The embryo transfer cycle is usually 3-4 weeks and, of course, the 9 months that you are pregnant. For those who qualify to become gestational carriers, matching can happen quite quickly after your have been approved. The fact is that there are many Intended Parents waiting to be matched and only a few qualified, healthy women available. Plan for a full year to 18 month committment for all parties involved.