The Five Step Path to Parenthood

While the path to surrogacy may seem complicated, the journey breaks down into five steps.  Like every journey, it is better to keep your attention focused on one step at a time.  Taking your journey in digestible pieces can keep it all from feeling overwhelming.  At Les Petits Surrogacy our purpose is to provide you with detailed insights into the complete scope of each step so there are no surprises.  You will understand exactly how, together as a team, we will complete each step and what will be accomplished when we finish.  We will also keep you updated on timing, any delays or challenges.  No two surrogacy journeys are exactly the same and some parts of the process can go slower or faster. 

Step 1 - Getting to Know Each Other

Once you decide to move forward with Les Petits Surrogacy, Rebecca will meet you to become familiar with your goals and desires for your surrogacy journey.  We are happy to explore a multitude of options and will work with you to find the right Surrogate fit.

If you are already working with an IVF clinic, we will connect with your clinic and coordinate with your IVF physician.  If you have not chosen a clinic yet, we can help with recommendations and introductions. We have many direct relationships with some of the best clinics.

If you have embryos created, you may need to do testing or other activities until your surrogate match is secured. If you need to create embryos, we can discuss the best timing for that process.

Should you need an egg or sperm donor for your surrogacy journey, Les Petits Surrogacy will guide you throughout the donor process. Again, we are experienced in working with several egg and sperm donor agencies and are happy to make recommendations.

Duration:  1-3 months

Step 2 - Matching With Your Surrogate

The magic moment when you find your surrogate is simply amazing and filled with joy at the thought of being able to help you in this unique way.  Our careful Surrogate screening gives you the confidence that your Surrogate is right for you.  You can be secure in knowing we:

  • take in-depth lifestyle, health and pregnancy histories
    and review medical records.
  • obtain physician clearance through medical record review and consultation.
  • perform personality testing and a mental health evaluation through a licensed professional.
  • arrange a home visit by a licensed social worker.
  • complete background checks.
  • evaluate the health insurance plan for surrogacy benefits.

Using criteria collected about both parties, we carefully consider many facets to provide a good fit between our Intended Parents and Surrogates.  We’ve successfully matched many parents and Surrogates based on our understanding of what makes for a healthy Parent-Surrogate relationship during the surrogacy journey. Learn more about how we secure a good fit with our matching process.

Once Intended Parents are matched with a Surrogate, Les Petits Surrogacy will review the Surrogacy process and milestones so you know exactly what to expect.  We coordinate the entire process from start to finish working with physicians specialized in reproductive endocrinology, maternal fetal medicine, obstetrics, licensed mental health professionals and social workers, attorneys, registered dieticians, doulas, lactation consultants, acupuncturists and others in place to support you through this amazing journey.   

Duration:
  Anywhere from 1 to 3 months, timing often varies.

Step 3 - Medical Screening and Legal

During the medical clearance and legal phase of the process you and your surrogate will meet many milestones.  Here’s what to expect as you participate in these activities:

Surrogate Medical Screening: Your Surrogate will visit your  IVF physician for a thorough medical screening. This involves various blood and urine tests and a physical examination, to include a vaginal ultrasound and uterine evaluation.  Your IVF physician may want to proceed with a mock cycle with or without ERA biopsy which can be thought of as a practice embryo transfer cycle where the endometrial lining of the uterus is monitored for thickness and its ability to grow an embryo.  Your Surrogate may be prescribed birth control pills at this visit. Before or after this appointment may be a good time to arrange an in person visit with your surrogate.

Legal Contract: You will collaborate with your lawyer to draft the Carrier Agreement, while your Surrogate works with her own legal counsel. Both parties negotiate terms over several weeks to ensure clarity and fairness.

Surrogate Medications and Monitoring: Following medical clearance, your Surrogate will commence her medications and monitoring at your IVF clinic or an outside monitoring facility that is local to her. Should your Surrogate require local monitoring during the transfer cycle Les Petits Surrogacy will collaborate with your IVF clinic to schedule this monitoring locally at the direction of your IVF physician. 

Embryo Transfer: Once your Surrogate is deemed ready, she’ll travel to your IVF clinic for the embryo transfer.  Each individual IVF physician has their own protocol but in many cases the surrogate is advised to rest for 1-3 days after the transfer.  We encourage you to be present for this significant milestone, offering support to your surrogate and her companion. After the transfer, she will continue her medications and have blood drawn for a pregnancy test, usually around 9 to 12 days post-transfer.  Upon a positive pregnancy test your Surrogate will have an ultrasound for heartbeat confirmation, usually around 6 weeks.

Duration:  2-4 months

Step 4 - Pregnancy

Les Petits Surrogacy tracks the pregnancy, and your Surrogate’s health very closely. We are always in contact with both Intended Parent(s) and the Surrogate throughout the pregnancy.

Rebecca, your Les Petits Surrogacy Director, prides herself on being available to you every step of the way via phone, text, or email.

Your Surrogate’s care transitions from IVF clinic to OBGYN, around the 10th week of pregnancy.  Intended Parents are encouraged to attend as many appointments as they can, either virtually or in person. You will be asked to evaluate options for prenatal testing and will work closely with the OBGYN, your surrogate and Les Petits. You can expect your surrogate to have an anatomy scan at 18-20 weeks of pregnancy.  This ultrasound confirms the gender of the baby and that your child is growing and thriving.   

Your attorney and Les Petits Surrogacy will be in communication often and Intended Parents will work with their attorney to outline their parental rights. The Pre-Birth Order (PBO), or Judgment, is a certified court document identifying you as the legal parent(s) of your baby.  The Judgment will be needed to complete the baby’s birth certificate at the hospital.  In the third trimester your attorney will send you the certified Judgment as soon as it is ready. 

Preparing for the birth is the focus in the third trimester.  A birth plan is created and organized with both the Surrogate and Intended Parents to take into account all parties preferences and detailing what delivery day will look like. Les Petits Surrogacy will share this plan with the hospital ensuring everyone’s hopes for delivery day are captured.

In the last trimester, you will feel the excitement of your baby’s impending arrival. Pack your bags and keep your phone nearby, it will soon be time to leave!

Duration: Approximately 9 months

Step 5 - Beyond birth, Parenthood

A moment so magical, your heart is full and your dream fulfilled.  Nothing can compare to meeting your baby for the first time. There will be many tears of joy on this special day.

Les Petits Surrogacy is here to help support you after you arrive home with your baby.  These early days are both exciting and overwhelming and we’ll stick right by your side, as we have done, during your entire journey.  We are with you as you make the amazing transition beyond birth to parenthood!