This is part 5 of our ongoing series: The Surrogacy Process: Medical Screening and Legal Contracts.
Congratulations! You’ve been matched and are entering the second phase of surrogacy, known as Screening and Contracts. This part of your journey is extremely important as you’ll sign your Agreements (contracts) and attend the medical screenings at the IVF clinic of your intended parents. It typically takes about two to three months to complete this stage.
While Circle’s legal team is drafting up the Carrier Agreement, you should be in touch with your intended parents. This is really the best time to get to know each other and develop a relationship. But remember to do this at a pace with which you’re comfortable. Relationships aren’t built in a day! Using Skype and/or Facetime can really help you to connect with each other even if you don’t live nearby (which is almost always the case).
As a surrogate, you will have your own legal representation throughout the process, independent of the attorney working with your Intended Parents. You’ll work closely with your attorney to finalize the contract until both parties – you and your intended parents – are in agreement.
It’s important to be in full agreement on all aspects of the contract at this stage, to ensure a smooth and successful journey.
Once negotiations are complete, you’ll sign and return your Agreement(s) within five days of receiving the final draft.
Medical Screenings happen after matching and during contract negotiations. This is the first of two times you’ll travel as a surrogate. You’ll travel to the IPs’ IVF clinic for your screening. Each clinic is different, so exactly what is done during your screening varies. Typically, you’ll fly in one day, have your appointment the following morning, and then fly home that night. Don’t worry, travel costs are all covered!
This is also the time when insurance coverage is determined. Surrogate maternity-related coverage comes from either your current health insurance plan or a plan purchased for you that is specific to surrogacy. Circle will coordinate all insurance coverage on your behalf.
These appointments are necessary to see how you’re progressing on your medications and monitor you during the time leading up to your embryo transfer. These appointments are done at a clinic near your home, called a monitoring clinic. Your chosen clinic will monitor you and share your results with the RE’s office (who will share results with Circle. Because these appointments are close to your home, it limits the need for travel – making life a little easier for you!
Once you’ve been medically screened and the contract is signed by both you and your IP’s, you’ll receive an IVF treatment schedule to help prepare your body for embryo transfer. The timeline includes the start date of your medications to the actual retrieval and transfer date. We’ll cover the transfer and pregnancy stage in the next installment of our Surrogacy Process blog series!
For more information on becoming a surrogate, visit https://www.circlesurrogacy.com//surrogates