The Surrogate Journey

Dear Surrogate Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in our program. By visiting our website you have already shown that you are a caring person interested in helping a loving Couple achieve their dream of parenthood.

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

Potential Gestational Carriers must meet the following criteria to be considered for the Building Families Surrogacy Program:

  • Delivered at Least One Child with No Complications
  • Between the Ages of 21 and 41
  • Height and Weight Ratio Appropriate
  • Excellent Health
  • All Ethnic Backgrounds Accepted

The following steps will lead you through the Surrogate Journey with our Program.

Step 1: Online Contact Form

Please review the criteria above. If you qualify, please complete our “Online Contact Form” and a Building Families Recruiter will contact you to discuss our program.
Click here to complete our “Online Contact Form“.

Step 2: Online Questionnaire

The Recruiter will provide an orientation of the surrogacy process and specific details about our program.

The details will include the medical, psychological, legal and financial aspects of a Surrogacy Arrangement. This telephone interview assists the Recruiter in determining if our Program may be right for you. Once it is determined that you are a good candidate for our Program, you will be given access to our online application.

Step 3: Home Interview

Once the online questionnaire is completed, reviewed and approved we will make an appointment to meet with you and your spouse/partner in your home.

The objective of this meeting is to discuss the commitment involved and to review the medical process in person to ensure you and your spouse/partner have the knowledge needed to make an informed decision.

Step 4: Psychological Screening

You and your spouse/partner will meet with our Psychologist.

Meeting with the psychologist ensures both you and your spouse/partner are psychologically appropriate for our Program and have the skills to adequately cope with the demands of a Surrogacy arrangement.

Step 5: Matching Process

  • Local (within the U.S.) – Building Families will provide you with an Intended Parents’ profile based on the information you have provided and data we have collected since the beginning. The Intended Parents 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 – Building Families will provide you with an Intended Parents’ profile based on the information you have provided and data we have collected since the beginning. The Intended Parents 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 Intended Parents meet their Surrogate and family upon arrival to California for the IVF treatment.

Step 6: Medical Screening

Once you have chosen your Couple, you will meet with a Reproductive Endocrinologists. Several tests will be performed on both you and your spouse/partner including blood work and a urine drug screen.

A general exam is performed as well as a trans-vaginal ultrasound and hystero-sonogram to ensure you are a medically appropriate candidate for Surrogacy. All tests performed are paid for through Building Families.

Step 7: Legal Agreement

Once all parties have been cleared, you and the Intended Parents enter into a legal agreement. Each party will have separate legal counsel to ensure fair representation. At that time the responsibilities and commitments of each party involved in the arrangement will be explained by their Attorney.

Click here to read about the legal process.

Step 8: Medical Process

The medical process begins after the legal agreements are fully executed and the Couple has fund the Trust Account. The infertility specialist determines the medical process.

Click here to read about the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) process.

Step 9: Pregnancy Journey

  • You will attend monthly Group counseling sessions with the Program’s Psychologist.
  • 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 the Reproductive Endocrinologist. Then you are released to your own OB.
  • The OB selection is determined by a list provided by the insurance carrier and your comfort.
  • The first OB appointment will be scheduled within 2 to 3 weeks of the last appointment with the Reproductive Endocrinologist.
  • 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 your ongoing good health and the health of the Intended Parent’s baby.
  • Amniocentesis – If the Intended Parents desire an amniocentesis, it is their absolute right to request one. They can choose this option with or without the support of prenatal diagnosis tools such as PGD or Triple AFP Screening. Exception: Contract states all parties agree not to proceed with amniocentesis.
  • Legal Documents to secure Court Order – At approximately 4 months of pregnancy, the Intended Parent’s attorney will prepare legal documents for all parties to sign outlining the events preceding the on-going pregnancy. It is imperative that each party review these documents carefully, sign and return these documents promptly.
  • Delivery – It is impossible to know with exact certainty when the baby will arrive. The Intended Parents realize they must be prepared to arrive to California in a moment’s notice. The Court Order instructs the hospital that the IP are the legal and true parents of the newborn child.

Unsuccessful IVF Treatment

  • Upon confirmation of a negative pregnancy test result, you will discontinue the medications and wait for your cycle to begin.
  • If there are frozen embryos stored from the IVF Treatment, then you will undergo a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) within two months.
  • If there are no frozen embryos stored from the IVF attempt, then the Intended Parent’s will need to undergo another IVF Treatment and this process will begin again at the “Medical Process” step.

Step 10: Completing the Journey

Our support continues until the new family finally arrives home safely and you are completely recovered.

We are so much more than just a Surrogacy Program. We are a family and each new Surrogate becomes a cherished member. Becoming a Gestational Carrier is the most selfless act one woman can give to another.

You are an incredibly giving person and you will take many amazing experiences away with you.