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How To Find a Surrogate: A Short Guide


Woman placing ear on pregnant surrogate belly (models)

How do you go about finding a surrogate? Many intended parents will work with a surrogacy agency to find a surrogate who will help them on their journey to parenthood. Finding a surrogate is a big milestone in the surrogacy process. This guide for intended parents will explain how to find the right surrogate match to build your family.


Finding a Surrogate

Intended parents come to surrogacy for many different reasons, and they have varying expectations for their surrogate and surrogacy journey.


As an intended parent, you can take one of two paths when looking for a surrogate:

  • Sign on with a surrogacy agency

  • Find a surrogate through a referral, the community, or social media


Using a Surrogacy Agency

Intended parents who sign on to work with an experienced surrogacy agency, such as Circle Surrogacy, will be matched with surrogates who are working with the agency. Women who apply with an agency to be surrogates will go through a thorough screening process to ensure they meet surrogate requirements; plus, the team will prepare them for what a surrogacy journey entails. Agencies will then match parents and surrogates who are a good legal and personality fit.


Find a Surrogate on Your Own

You can also find a surrogate on your own. You may ask a family member or friend to carry your baby for you, look for a surrogate in a social media surrogacy group, or even do your own “advertising” to find a surrogate.


Even if you find a surrogate match on your own, you can still be supported by an agency. Circle has a BYOS program—bring your own surrogate—specifically designed for intended parents doing surrogacy with a friend or someone they’ve connected with.


We recommend finding a surrogate through a reputable and experienced agency that understands what criteria to look for beyond basic requirements.


Your Surrogate Must Meet Certain Requirements

First, women must fill out a surrogacy application to see if they qualify to become a surrogate mother. Once they apply and their initial application is accepted, many surrogacy agencies have prospective surrogates undergo a mental health screening. A typical screening process involves an extensive medical and psychological assessment as well as thorough criminal and financial background checks.


Who Makes a Great Surrogate?

Women who become surrogates do so because they want to help others experience the joy of parenthood. They endure a thorough screening process and commit to giving themselves physically, emotionally, and mentally for the duration of the journey.


A great surrogate is a woman who:

  • Meets all surrogate requirements from agency/clinic/ASRM

  • Has the support of her partner/spouse and family

  • Has completed her own family

  • Understands the emotional and physical commitment of being a surrogate

  • Is ready to have a relationship with her intended parents


What Are You Looking For in a Surrogate?

Before you can be matched with a surrogate, you'll work closely with your agency team to talk about what you are looking for in your surrogacy journey and in your surrogate.

  • Do you want a surrogate who lives near you?

  • Are there qualities in a surrogate you're looking for?

  • What type of relationship do you hope to have with your surrogate during the surrogacy and after the birth of your baby?


Answering these questions honestly will help you and your agency find the most appropriate gestational carrier match.


A couple sits together on a sofa, holding a tablet device and smiling at the screen.

3 Steps To Finding and Matching With a Surrogate

You should follow the below steps to successfully find and match with your surrogate:


  1. Determine what's important to you in your surrogacy journey and your surrogate (see above).

  2. Complete a Parent Profile for your agency, which helps the agency and potential surrogates learn who you are as people and future parents.

  3. Be open-minded. If you’re new to surrogacy, you may not know what to expect in a surrogacy journey.


Reviewing surrogate profiles and learning about the women who want to carry a baby for you is a chance to meet new people you might not normally have met. You may find that you instantly click with a surrogate and her family who live on the other side of the country with a completely different lifestyle!


Questions To Ask Your Surrogate

The first meeting with your surrogate—or the person you’re considering to be your surrogate—could be via phone call, video call, or even in person. 


Here are some questions/statements you can reference when speaking with your potential surrogate match:


  1. What brought you to surrogacy?

  2. What does your support system look like?

  3. What type of relationship are you hoping for after a surrogacy journey?

  4. Tell me about your family and your child(ren).

  5. What do you do in your spare time?


Read our related blog post, 9 Do's & Don'ts for a First Meeting, to discover more tips to help you prepare for your meeting with your prospective surrogate.


What Should You Expect for Your First Meeting?


You should expect to be a little nervous, anxious, excited—and everything in between! Surrogates and intended parents have said that when they first met each other, it felt like going on a blind date. But once the ice was broken, the conversation started to flow!


Surrogacy is a very human experience; while you want to learn about your potential match as a surrogate, it’s important to learn about her as a person as well.


Officially Matching With Your Surrogate

If you are working with a surrogacy agency, there are steps in the surrogacy process taken to bring you to an “official match” with your surrogate. Once both parties agree to move forward with each other, you will begin the medical and legal steps, which involve your surrogate undergoing a medical screening with your IVF clinic. At the same time, your legal team will begin drafting the Carrier Agreement to be shared with your surrogate and her legal counsel. 


Once your contract is in place and your surrogate has passed her medical screening, you will TRULY be officially matched (with the paperwork to prove it!) and she will begin medications for her embryo transfer.


Find the Surrogate Match That’s Right for You

A surrogacy journey is an emotional experience, and you want to be sure you have the right woman by your side. At Circle, we carefully match intended parents and surrogates based on a variety of criteria, including legal fit, personality fit, personal preferences, views on termination, expectations of the journey, and more.


If you’re ready to find a surrogate to help you grow your family, you can connect with our experience team by filling out this quick Intended Parent form.


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