One of the biggest questions people have is how long the surrogacy process will take. It generally lasts somewhere between 15 and 18 months from the moment an application is submitted until the intended parents are holding their newborn. However, there are no firm answers, as everyone’s situation is a little different and there are many variables. The following is a brief breakdown or timeline of the surrogacy process, so you can get a general idea of what to expect.
Preliminary Assessments: 1-2 months
The initial intake process can take anywhere from one to two months. It begins with an application, which is then reviewed to verify the potential surrogate is a good candidate. Cristie Montgomery also visits the candidate at home and generates a profile of her, which includes health, lifestyle, and personality information. After this, the potential surrogate meets with a psychologist, who performs an evaluation to ensure she’s able to handle the duties associated with the surrogacy process.
Matching: 1-4 Months
SPS serves as a matchmaker, and analyzes which surrogates and intended parents might make a good team. The individuals are given profiles of their ideal matches, and can then choose to schedule a meeting with whomever they agree is a good fit. At the meeting, everyone has the chance to get to know one another, and SPS helps guide the discussion, to ensure all the important topics are brought up. Sometimes, matching can occur almost instantly, though other times it can take a few months before the right people have the opportunity to meet.
Doctor and Attorney Visits: 2 months
Once the potential surrogate and the intended parents have all agreed to move forward, the surrogate visits the intended parent’s doctor, to ensure she’s medically capable of carrying the child. She also visits an attorney to verify all the documents are in order, and that her rights are adequately protected. Between drawing up the documents and the appointments, another two months typically passes.
Medical/IVF Visits: 2-3 Months
After all the preliminary steps are taken, the team finally begins to start the actual baby-making portion of the surrogacy process. One cycle of IVF typically takes four to six weeks. During this phase, the gestational surrogate receives hormones to control her cycle and to prepare her body to accept the embryo. The biological mother’s cycle may also be synced at this time if no embryos have been prepared in advance. It takes two weeks to find out if the embryos have implanted. The average success rate on the first try varies based on many factors, and your doctor will have to discuss the specifics of your case with you. If a viable pregnancy does not occur right away, subsequent IVF treatments may be completed.
Pregnancy: 9 Months
As most people know, a normal pregnancy lasts 40 weeks from the start of the cycle. However, a healthy baby may arrive anywhere from seven to eight months after finding out that IVF was successful.
There are other milestones in the surrogacy process, and these are simply some of the larger steps along the way to give you an idea of what it’s like. Because every pregnancy is different, there’s no way to predict exactly how much time will pass from start to finish. Generally speaking, 15 to 18 months is a fairly good guideline to keep in mind as you begin the surrogacy process.