Family Matters Surrogacy, LLC, (“Family Matters”)is a comprehensive surrogacy agency dedicated to helping families achieve their dreams of having a child. We have decades of experience in the Surrogacy industry. Creating your family is our expertise and number one goal. We understand that every client has their own needs and we are here to customize our program to meet those needs. Family Matters is dedicated to making the process a memorable one for all parties. Our expert staff works diligently to allow you and your surrogate to focus on enjoying the pregnancy while we handle all of the medical, legal and personal support throughout the entire journey. At Family Matters, you are never alone.
Your journey begins with a personalized consultation with our Agency Director. Our Agency Director will speak with you to ensure that Family Matters is the right fit for your needs. A positive relationship and open communication are the keys to a successful fit. Our Agency Director will listen to your needs, have you complete an “Intended Parent Profile”, and then use all the information gathered to individualize our program; just for you.
Once your individualized program and profile are created, Family Matters will work on matching you with your surrogate mother. All of our surrogate mothers have undergone our extensive screening process; which will be explained in detail during your consultation. When you are ready, Family Matters will send you surrogate profiles to review. When you find a surrogate profile you like and would like to meet the surrogate, Family Matters will send the surrogate your profile for review. Once the surrogate agrees, we will schedule a phone call, video chat, or in person meeting between you and your surrogate; depending on location of each party. When you and your surrogate have agreed to work with each other, you will hire Family Matters as your agent. We will send you a retainer to sign and an invoice that includes our agency fees and your initial professional fees.
As your agent, and after you are matched with the right surrogate mother to help create your family, Family Matters will then send your surrogate mother for Psychological evaluation. This evaluation includes a consult and the surrogate taking the MMPI with a licensed professional. This process takes 1-2 weeks for scheduling and results. When your surrogate passes her Psychological Evaluation, we will then send over the necessary paperwork to your IVF doctor to schedule your surrogate’s Medical Evaluation. Once your surrogate’s medical evaluation has been completed, Family Matters will send the necessary documentation over to your attorney to prepare your Gestational Carrier Agreement (legal contract between you and your surrogate). You will review this agreement in detail with your attorney and your surrogate will review the agreement in detail with her attorney as well. Once all parties agree to the terms and conditions of the contract, and under the direction of their respective attorneys, each party will sign and have the contract notarized. Upon receipt of the executed and notarized contract, you will fund the trust account and Legal Clearance will be issued.
The IVF doctor will be given notification of Legal Clearance and begin preparing an IVF protocol in preparation for an embryo transfer. From matching to the embryo transfer is approximately 3 months.
The embryo transfer will take place and your surrogate mother will follow your IVF doctor’s order. Some doctors require bed rest, others do not. Approximately 10-14 days after the transfer, your surrogate will have her first pregnancy test by blood draw. This blood draw is testing the HCG level in her blood to determine if she is pregnant. Upon pregnancy confirmation, your surrogate will have 2-3 ultrasounds to check for a fetal heartbeat and fetal growth. The surrogate will then be released from the IVF clinic and her OB will take over care. The OB will work with your surrogate to determine the best plan of care for everyone involved.
At approximately 16 weeks of pregnancy, your attorney will prepare legal documents that will be filed with the court to determine parentage for your child. This is known as the Pre-Birth Order. This document will go with you to the hospital when your child is born letting the hospital know you are the parents and to direct the hospital to put your name on the birth certificate. This document will be given to the birth certificate clerk and sent to the Department of Vitals Records.
It is impossible for anyone to determine when your baby will arrive. It is very important that you arrive before or as soon as possible after the birth to be with your child. Family Matters suggest that you be here approximately 1-2 weeks prior to the due date of your baby. You will stay in the U.S. approximately 3-4 days after the birth of your baby to complete the appropriate paperwork before you can return home with your new bundle of joy.
Family Matters Surrogacy is committed to supporting you and your surrogate mother throughout the entire journey. Family Matters staff will be available and present during your journey to parenthood. This means we will be at some of your surrogate’s appointments, as well as the birth of your baby, or shortly thereafter, to make sure everyone is settled, comfortable and the paperwork portion is handled. Our ultimate goal at Family Matters is to allow your focus to be on bonding with your new bundle of joy; and nothing else.
Guide to Becoming a Surrogate Mother
Becoming a Surrogate Mother is one the most rewarding experiences you can have in life. But it is a big decision and there are many steps to becoming a surrogate mother. Family Matters Surrogacy, LLC (“Family Matters” or “The Agency”) is committed to walking with you each and every step of the way.
The Surrogate Evaluation Process
The first step is to complete the online surrogate inquiry form. The Agency representative will contact you to learn more about you and to go over the complete surrogacy process in greater detail. Once we determine that we are great fit for each other, you will be sent a surrogate application, profile and consent forms to complete and return. The agency will review this information, run a background check on you and request medical records from all of your pregnancies and deliveries. We will also conduct a personal visit or Skype call – dependent upon location. Once this review is completed, you will be contacted by our knowledgeable staff.
Congratulations, you are now an accepted Surrogate Mother with Family Matters Surrogacy, LLC. We will now look for the right couple for you to help create a family! Once we have a great couple for you, we will send you their profile for review. Surrogate in San Diego will then schedule a meeting in person, by Skype or by phone – dependent upon the location of all parties – with you, an Agency representative, and the Intended Parents. The discussion will include expectations and partnership plans during the surrogacy pregnancy, and just generally getting to know one another. You will then mutually agree to move forward.
You are Matched
You are now matched and ready to get your journey moving forward in preparation for your pregnancy! The first step is to complete a Psychological evaluation. The Agency appointed psychologist will contact you to arrange this meeting directly. The meeting will involve a session with a psychologist or equivalent and a written test/questionnaire (MMPI or PIA). The testing and session will take approximately 3 hours. This is completed to ensure that you are mentally-able and safe to carry a baby for your Intended Parents. The psychologist will send the results to the Agency within 72 hours. The Agency will update you with the results as soon as they are available.
The IVF clinic will contact you to schedule your medical screening appointment. If you will be traveling for this appointment, the Agency will work with you to prepare your travel arrangements. This appointment will consist of the following:
• A physical exam
• Lab work (blood and urine). Drug screening & STD screening will be performed.
• Vaginal Ultrasound (sonohysterogram) or Hysteroscope. (A probe is inserted into the uterus looking for polyps, scar tissue and the thickness of your uterine lining).
Once your blood work comes back, you are now considered medically cleared and the legal process will begin.
During the legal process, the Intended Parents’ attorney will draft a legal contract and send it to your attorney. This agreement is to clarify the intentions of all parties involved. Your attorney will review this contract prior to signing. It is important to review the agreed-upon expectations of each party and the compensation. Once everyone is in agreeance, you will be given instructions to have this document notarized and sent back to the attorneys. They will then issue “Legal Clearance” for your surrogacy journey.
Surrogate IVF Cycle
Now that you have complete all of the necessary screenings, it is time to for the IVF doctor to begin preparing your body to receive an embryo and to carry a surrogate pregnancy.
Medications will begin approximately 6 weeks prior to the embryo transfer and continue through the first trimester of pregnancy. The IVF nurse will review each medication with you; including restrictions and what to expect during the cycle. During this time, you will most likely be taking Estrogen and Progesterone hormones, these medications are taken as injectable, patch, pill or oral form. You will also have approximately 3-5 in-office visits to check your blood levels and your uterine lining. Once these levels are ideal and your body is ready, the embryo transfer will be scheduled.
The embryo transfer consists of an in office visit where a speculum is placed into the vagina followed by a small catheter which carries the embryo(s) from the incubator to the uterus. This process takes a matter of minutes to complete once you are properly prepared by the clinic staff. After the embryo transfer, some IVF doctors will require bedrest or for you to take it easy from 24-48 hours.
Nine to fourteen after your embryo transfer, you will have a blood test to confirm your pregnancy. This blood test will check for the hormone detected in pregnancy named Human Chorionic Gonadrotropin; or HCG. If you are confirmed pregnant, you will be approximately 4+ weeks pregnant at this time. You will repeat this blood test in 48 hours to ensure that your HCG is doubling as this number should double every 48-72 hours.
Your first ultrasound will be scheduled between 6-8 weeks of pregnancy. This ultrasound will be to look for a fetal heartbeat. If a heartbeat is detected, we consider you “officially” pregnant. The IVF clinic will also look for placement of the fetus in the uterus as well as the number of fetuses. You will have another 2-3 ultrasound within the following weeks to look for fetal growth and development. At Approximately 11-13 weeks of pregnancy, the IVF doctor will release your care to an Obstetrician or “OB”.
Now that you are released to the OB, your pregnancy will continue under the care of your doctor, just like any other pregnancy you have had. If you are carrying multiples, you may be asked to see a specialist.
Pregnancy & Delivery
This pregnancy may or may not be different than your own pregnancies. During this pregnancy, the Intended Parents will want to be involved and have constant communication regarding their child and your health. It is important for you and the Agency to update them each step of the way. The Agency will ask you to participate in support groups and online forums for continued success of your surrogacy journey. The Agency will attend some of your appointments with you for ongoing support. It is likely that the Intended Parents will want to be in the delivery room as this is a memorable and amazing time. Upon delivery of the baby, the baby(ies) will go straight to the parents for bonding. The Intended Parents have waited a long time for the bundle of joy you have just allowed them to ability to have.
Congratulations, you are now a successful surrogate mother!!