The Intended Parent’s Journey

Dear Intended Parents,

The following is an outline to assist you in preparing for the incredible journey ahead with our Program. There are no words to adequately describe the emotional side of Surrogacy, so please know that the Building Families staff will be available to guide you and to offer you support throughout your journey with us.

Carol Weathers, Program Director


The Journey

Abbreviations:

  • BFI = Building Families, Inc.
  • IP = Intended Parents
  • SM = Surrogate Mother
  • RE = Reproductive Endocrinologist
  • OB = Obstetrician

For over 25 years, Building Families and their professional team have collectively assisted in the building of more than a thousand families in the USA, Spain and the rest of the world.

Building Families has established long standing relationships with reproductive endocrinologists, psychologists and attorneys whom are leaders in the field of third party reproduction and surrogacy in the USA. In addition, Building Families receives up-to-date information on any changes and developments in the industry to effectively include them in the program and offer the best service to our Intended Parents and Surrogate Mothers.

Intended Parent Journey Infographic

Intended Parent Journey Infographic (click to view)

The care and attention given to every Intended Parent and Surrogate Mother is provided throughout the wonderful surrogacy journey. It ends when the Couple have traveled safely home with their new baby and the Surrogate Mom is completely recovered. Of course, the journey is just beginning for this new family!




Step 1 - The Beginning (Domestic and International)

  • A personal consultation is conducted by Carol Weathers with you to provide orientation of the surrogacy process and specific details about the program. After the consultation, Carol Weathers will refer you to the Program Psychologist and Reproductive Endocrinologist for evaluation. Payment to each professional is due upon services rendered. Please request the “Anticipated Cost Sheet” for details. (Please note that Carol Weathers and the Program’s Psychologist will travel to Europe once a year to conduct personal consultations and psychological evaluations for International Couples.) Click here to complete our On-line Contact Form.
  • Upon receipt of medical and psychological clearance, you can retain BFI’s services. Once you sign BFI’s Retainer Agreement and made payments according to Agreement, you become available for matching.
  • The matching process averages approximately 4 to 6 months but may take longer depending on the qualities and requirements in your SM that you set forth. You must arrange for health insurance to be in place for your child prior to pregnancy confirmation.

Step 2 - Matching Process

  • Local (within the U.S.) – BFI will provide you with a SM profile based on the information you have provided and data we have collected since the beginning. The prospective SM will also receive a copy of your profile. If each party is comfortable with the profiles, then a meeting is scheduled. The meeting is arranged in a social setting. The goal of the meeting is to become acquainted and to share some life’s experiences so a level of comfort can be reached by all in order to proceed.
  • International – BFI will provide you with a SM profile based on the information you have provided and data we have collected since the beginning. The prospective SM will also receive a copy of your profile. If each party is comfortable, then a telephone meeting is scheduled to reach a level of comfort in order to proceed. International IP’s meet their SM and family upon arrival to California for the IVF treatment.

Step 3 - Medical Clearance

  • Once you have chosen your SM, she will be scheduled for her medical clearance with your RE at your expense. Please request the “Anticipated Cost Sheet” for details.
  • You will receive medical instructions from the RE for your medical clearance.
  • Please note that the SM Medical Clearance can take approximately 2 months to complete.

Step 4 - Legal Process

  • Once your chosen SM passes the medical screening, the legal documents are prepared. A list of attorneys will be provided upon request. Unless specified otherwise by you, BFI will refer you to an attorney for representation and for preparation of a Surrogate Agreement.
  • You will fund the trust account with the attorney upon signing of the Surrogate Agreement and will pay BFI remainder of Retainer Fee. Billing will be sent.

Step 5 - Medical Protocol

  • RE will determine protocol for you & the SM.
  • IVF Treatment (IVF) through to embryo transfer takes an average of 2 ½ to 3 weeks. You should arrange your schedule and/or travel arrangements to be flexible throughout this process.
  • International & Traveling IPs – Additional costs will be incurred for travel, hotel and car rental for you traveling to California. Please note that BFI is not responsible for making any travel arrangements including airline, hotel, or car rental and the trust fund may not be used to pay for any of these related expenses.

Step 6 -Pregnancy Journey

  • Approximately 12 to 14 days after the embryo transfer, a pregnancy test is performed. Upon confirmation of pregnancy, a series of ultrasounds will be scheduled through to the 2nd or 3rd month of pregnancy depending on the protocol of your RE. Then the SM is released to her own OB.
  • The OB selection is determined by a list provided by the insurance carrier and the SM’s comfort.
  • The first OB appointment will be scheduled within 2 to 3 weeks of the last appointment with the RE.
  • OB determines level of care necessary including but not limited to number of prenatal visits, recommendation of additional testing or anything else he deems necessary for the ongoing good health of the SM and your baby.
  • Amniocentesis – If you desire an amniocentesis, it is your absolute right to request one. You can choose this option with or without the support of prenatal diagnosis tools such as PGD or Triple AFP Screening. (Please note that the SM’s insurance may not cover this elective procedure and the associated costs including hospital fees, SM fee, Hotel costs for rest after procedure will be your responsibility. Please request the “Anticipated Cost Sheet” for details.)
  • Legal Documents to Secure Court Order – At approximately 4 months of pregnancy, your attorney will prepare legal documents for you, the SM and the RE to sign outlining the events preceding the on-going pregnancy. It is imperative that each party review these documents carefully, sign these documents promptly and return by urgent mail if you live outside of North America.
  • BFI highly recommends that you take a birthing class and newborn parenting classes to prepare you for witnessing the birth of your child and to learn how to properly take care of your newborn baby.
  • Delivery – It is impossible to know with exact certainty when the baby will arrive. You must be prepared to travel to California in a moment’s notice. The Court Order instructs the hospital that you are the legal and true parents of the newborn child. It is imperative that you arrive before the birth or as soon as possible after the birth to claim your child. Although the OB can give an approximation of when the baby may be born, there is no exact measure that can be relied upon with 100% certainty. You should use your best judgment to arrive prior to your child’s birth.
  • For details regarding the hospital stay of your baby and processing of paperwork, please request BFI information sheets titled “Intended Parent’s Process at Hospital”, “Expedited Birth Certificate Acquisition for International Travel” and “Passport Acquisition for Your New Baby”.

What Happens if the IVF Attempt is not Successful?

In the unfortunate event that an IVF attempt is not successful, the following steps occur:

  • Upon confirmation of a negative pregnancy test result, the SM will discontinue her medications and wait for her cycle to begin.
  • If there are frozen embryos stored from the IVF Treatment, the SM will undergo a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) within two months. Please request the “Anticipated Cost Sheet” for details.
  • If there are no frozen embryos stored from the IVF attempt, then you will need to undergo another IVF Treatment and this process will begin again at “Medical Protocol” (Step 5). The costs associated with this procedure will be repeated as well. Please request the “Anticipated Cost Sheet” for details.