Gestational surrogacy involves an agreement by which a Surrogate carries and delivers a child (or children) for Intended Parents who compensate her for her time and commitment. Gestational Surrogates become pregnant through an embryo transfer and are not biologically connected to the child they carry. The Intended Parents create embryos before the transfer, and the surrogate carries the pregnancy until birth when the Parents assume full parental rights and responsibilities.
A Gestational Carrier (or Gestational Surrogate) is a surrogate with no genetic link to the child being carried and delivered. A Traditional Surrogate does share a genetic link.
At Elevate, we use the term interchangeably since we only facilitate matches with Gestational Carriers. When you read the word “surrogate” anywhere on Elevate’s website, we are specifically referencing Gestational Carriers (or GCs).
Women are drawn to surrogacy for a myriad of reasons. In addition to being generously compensated, many women find surrogacy a profoundly rewarding experience. As your agency, Elevate will care for you from the moment of application through pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum.
On average, first-time surrogates earn around $38,000 total in compensation. However, at Elevate, we allow our surrogates to name their own compensation. We believe the generous, selfless women helping bring the joy of parenthood to others deserve to be well compensated for their commitment. We are happy to discuss specific compensation requests during your one-on-one consultation with us.
Good surrogate candidates should ideally be:
– Age 21 to 40
– Healthy BMI of 32 or below
– No smoking/drug use
– Have given birth to at least one of their own children
– Generally healthy pregnancy and delivery
– Financially independent
– Have reliable transportation
– Have support system of family and friends
Absolutely not! If you already have a health insurance policy, it will be professionally reviewed to ensure it covers surrogacy maternity. Otherwise, Elevate will secure a policy, paid for by your Intended Parents, to cover you through the duration of your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period.
Typically, yes. If not local to your Intended Parents’ IVF clinic, travel will be required for the embryo transfer, usually a short 2 to 3-day trip. Before that, many doctors will also want to see you in person for your medical screening appointment, which is generally a 24 to 48-hour trip. All expenses (flights, Ubers, hotels, & per diem) are paid for by your Intended Parents. Our Elevate Travel Coordinator will book and arrange your trips to ensure your time away is as easy and relaxing as possible.
No! Many surrogates chose only to transfer one embryo at a time. We will discuss your options in detail during your one-on-one consultation. You’ll let us know your final thoughts on the matter in your Matching Questionnaire, which you will fill out after applying. We ensure your preferences are respected and that you are matched with Intended Parents who feel the same way. Surrogates who are open to carrying a twin pregnancy receive $7,500 in additional compensation for their commitment.
After you sign your Gestational Surrogacy Agreement and are medically cleared to become pregnant, you will begin taking hormone medications to prepare your body for the embryo transfer. The medication protocol varies from clinic to clinic, but it typically includes a mix of self-injections and pills or patches. You will attend monitoring appointments to track the thickening of your uterine lining in response to the medication.
When your body is ready, you will travel back to the intended parents’ clinic for the embryo transfer. The embryo transfer itself is a rapid and painless procedure similar to routine well-woman OBGYN care. The embryo or embryos will be placed in your uterus with the goal of successful implantation. Depending on the clinic and doctor, you may be asked to rest for the next 24 to 48 hours.
Usually, a week or so after the embryo transfer, you will have your blood drawn at a local clinic to confirm pregnancy. However, many surrogates begin taking pregnancy tests at home before this. After another week, you will be seen again to confirm the pregnancy via ultrasound. Medications are usually continued until week 10 or 11 of the pregnancy once you are released to the care of your regular OBGYN or midwife.
Although significant advances have been made, IVF is not foolproof. Occasionally things do not go according to plan. Most of the time, physicians and Intended Parents are ready to try again shortly after a failed attempt. In these cases, you will restart the medication protocol for another embryo transfer attempt within the next two months.
Relationship expectations and communication preferences with your Intended Parents are essential points to consider when undergoing the matching process. Most of our intended parents would like to have a close relationship with their surrogate and communicate consistently throughout the pregnancy. When possible, intended parents may attend milestone appointments alongside you, and they will make every effort to be present for the birth. After the delivery, many surrogates and intended parents have a warm relationship for years to come.
Surrogates give birth at a local hospital in the state and county where they currently live. You will be able to choose your provider. Elevate will work with the hospital to ensure all birth-plan measures are put in place to keep you and the Intended Parents comfortable throughout the birth and postpartum period.
As your agency, we are here to care for you and guide you along your journey from start to finish.
First, we work to understand your preferences and ensure a perfect match with your Intended Parents. We will look out for your best interests and serve as your point person as we handle all the clinics, hospitals, doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, attorneys, and insurance companies you encounter throughout your journey. We will coordinate your appointments and help answer any questions you have along the way. We help facilitate communication and ongoing understanding between you and the Intended Parents throughout your journey.
At Elevate, our team is comprised of previous surrogates, intended parents, and birth experts. We use our experience and personal connection to ensure your experience as a surrogate is a rewarding and unforgettable one.