Many of the people involved in your surrogacy process are standard for any pregnancy. However, as you go through the journey, you’ll also meet people who specialize in the area. Here’s a quick look at your future team and the role each person plays.
1) Your Agency Case Manager/ Agency Team
Each surrogacy agency works a little differently, but you’ll either have a team of people available to walk you through the process or will have a dedicated case manager who will be your main point of contact.
2) A Fertility Specialist
Although many OBGYNs can oversee the surrogacy process, it’s typically a specialist who handles all medical concerns. This may be a fertility specialist, as the baby will be conceived via In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), or it could be a doctor who specializes in high-risk pregnancies.
3) Your Surrogate (Or Intended Parents if You’re a Surrogate)
To clarify the surro-lingo, “intended parents” are the parents who hire the surrogate and bring the baby home. The surrogate is a gestational carrier; she shares no genetic relationship with the child. Here in California, surrogates and intended parents typically meet in person before beginning the surrogacy process. Your agency will help find people who are good matches for you, but the ultimate decision is yours (and theirs) after you’ve had a chance to connect.
If a donor is involved in the surrogacy, chances are, you won’t get to know the egg or sperm donors on a personal basis, not quite in the manner you would connect with a surrogate. However, you will get to “meet” them as you learn about their lifestyle, genetics, and so on.
5) An Attorney
California is a surrogacy-friendly state in many ways. First, it recognizes surrogacy contracts, meaning whatever the intended parents and surrogate agree to can be upheld by the courts. Secondly, the state allows intended parents to establish their rights as parents before the baby arrives. On top of this, California also maintains jurisdiction over virtually any case that has involvement with the state; whether the intended parents live there, the surrogate lives there, or the surrogacy process was started there. However, each of these things relies on having documents drawn up and filed with the courts, so an attorney will be brought on board at some point; typically after you’ve chosen your surro team, but before any procedures are performed.
6) A Mental Health Specialist (If You’re a Surrogate)
Surrogacy is an emotional process, so surrogates meet with a mental health specialist prior to getting started. To be clear, this is a no-pressure meet and greet and is standard for anyone becoming a surrogate.
7) Your Pediatrician (If You’re an Intended Parent)
About mid-way through the pregnancy, you’ll want to start looking for a pediatrician. Your pediatrician will visit your baby in the hospital and most are glad to meet with you in their office before the baby arrives too.
Begin the Surrogacy Process with EDSI
The seven people mentioned above will play key roles in your journey, but there will actually be a whole lot more doing behind-the-scenes work to make sure everything is seamless. Your surrogacy agency not only works as a coordinator, making sure everyone is doing what they need to when they need to do it, but is also by your side throughout, connecting you with resources, bringing team members on board as needed, and making sure you meet all the right people.
If you’d like to become a surrogate and be supported through your journey, review our detailed section for surrogates.
If you’re an intended parent who is ready to grow your family or has questions about the surrogacy process, call us at (213) 423-7997 and we’ll walk you through the details.