The matching process is one of the most exciting points of any surrogacy journey. You’ve spent months working with your agency and getting to know each other, and when you receive your first surrogate profile, it’s an incredibly meaningful moment.
You, your surrogate, and your surrogate matching agency have put in plenty of hard work and preparation up to that point, but your journey is just beginning.
Here’s what happens after you match with a surrogate.
Getting to Know Your Surrogate
You’ve gotten to know a lot about your surrogate from her profile, but once you’re officially matched, you’ll want to connect with her on a more personal level. Your agency will likely arrange either an in-person meeting or a Skype call so you can sit down and start really getting to know each other.
It’s important to get some face-to-face communication at the beginning of your relationship, but if you’re more comfortable, you can also stick to text messages or phone calls to keep in touch and check in with each other.
Your surrogacy agency will likely encourage you to talk to each other regularly. The closer your relationship is with your surrogate, the better your surrogacy journey will be.
Finalizing the Gestational Carrier Contract
As important as it is to form a personal connection with your surrogate, it’s equally important to make sure that you go through what’s commonly called the “contract phase” of your journey.
The Gestational Carrier Contract is a formal agreement between your gestational surrogate and her spouse (if applicable) and you, the Intended Parents. The contract is a roadmap for your journey, guiding you through the steps of the process. It also outlines what rights and obligations both parties agree on with the help of their attorneys.
The terms of the contract will vary depending on each surrogacy journey, but they cover the same essential foundations: compensation, insurance details, medical proceedings, the gestational surrogate’s responsibilities, and your responsibilities as Intended Parents.
Once you and your surrogate have completed the contract phase of the process, you can proceed with your journey with confidence knowing you and your surrogate have full legal protection throughout the process.
Funding a Surrogacy Escrow
Once you’ve matched with your surrogate and signed the Gestational Carrier Contract, the next step is to fund an escrow account. This usually includes your surrogate’s base compensation and any additional fees as required by the agency.
All of the funds you have allocated for the surrogacy journey will be held in an escrow account. They ensure payments are made on time based on the agreed to schedule and timeline included in your surrogacy contract.
Using an escrow account for your surrogacy journey is the most efficient, reliable method to manage monetary transactions and financial tracking between you and your surrogate.
Some surrogacy agencies use an in-house escrow management company to manage funds and payments as needed, while others will work with a reliable outside company.
Getting Final Legal & Medical Clearance for Surrogacy
Once you’ve taken care of the legal paperwork and have started getting to know your surrogate better on a personal level, both of you will need to ensure you get final legal and medical clearance before you can start preparing for the embryo transfer phase.
Once the Gestational Carrier Contract has been signed and the escrow account has been funded, your surrogacy agency will send legal clearance to the fertility clinic you’ve chosen to work with.
The clinic will then set up a testing appointment with your surrogate. The testing appointment for your surrogate involves a medical examination and blood work for herself and her spouse, live-in partner, or significant other (if applicable).
When the clinic clears her as healthy and ready to proceed with a surrogate pregnancy, the clinic will provide both you and your surrogate with a full medical calendar. This is a helpful way to track the progress of the journey leading up to the embryo transfer, outlining your surrogate's medication schedule, ultrasound dates, and other important appointments and benchmarks.
Starting the Pregnancy Phase of Surrogacy
By now, you and your surrogate will likely be much closer than you were after initially matching. All of the post-match phases of the process require a lot of communication, collaboration, and coordination, and you’ve likely developed a much closer relationship with your surrogate.
Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: you can officially start the pregnancy phase. From the embryo transfer to the delivery day, the rest of your surrogacy journey will focus primarily on the ultimate goal: your growing baby.
Wondering where to start your personal surrogacy journey? Connect with us today to build your plan.
A big thanks to Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists for their expert insight