Finding a US surrogate can take anywhere from 1 month to 12 months (or longer). Surrogates can come from the state in which you are based, the state in which your agency is located, or another state, depending on their law.
Women who choose to be surrogates are screened from a health and psychology perspective. The emphasis here is on giving the intending parent(s) and surrogates the opportunity to get to know each other, and agree to work together. This may mean that your match will take longer.
It is important to consider a few things before deciding on a US surrogate:
Have you agreed with your surrogate on whether she prefers a natural birth or an induced birth?
If you and your surrogate decide on an induced labor there are many things to consider.
- Most hospitals will not induce a pregnancy prior to 38 or 39 weeks without medical cause.
- If an elective induction, an amniocentesis will be required.
- If the induction is past the hospitals set gestation date and/or your infant’s lungs are mature, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your surrogate is ready for labor.
- Possible complications from the induction may include a caesarian birth.
It is vital that all parties have open communication and are in agreement in advance. Even with the best laid plans complications can occur.
If using a surrogacy agency, you will generally be guided by a case worker prior to your match meeting and they will help you develop a series of questions to ask during the meeting. The meetings may be mediated by your case worker, however usually if things go well, the intended parents and the surrogate will continue talking after the meeting in a cafe or the like. This is a good idea as it gives both parties a further opportunity to get to know each other.
Some intended parents conduct their match meeting over the phone instead of face to face.
Communication During Pregnancy
You are encouraged to communicate regularly with your surrogate by email or phone. It is recommended that you discuss the sort of level of communication you will have early on to make sure your relationship with your surrogate thrives.
For the intended parents, managing the pregnancy can be difficult, given you are not present for the day to day life of your surrogate. Come to an understanding early on about how regularly your surrogate will visit her doctor.