There are five phases to outline in the Gestational Surrogacy Process: Application, Matching, Screening, Contracts and IVF Cycle. Vermont Surrogacy Network staff will explain in great detail the requirements of each step and guide you throughout the duration of your surrogacy experience.
Upon submitting the Getting Started inquiry through our website or emailing us directly, we will send you an introductory email and invitation to schedule a call with us at your convenience. During this call, you will have the opportunity to ask us any questions you may have about our organization and gestational surrogacy program. We will discuss your previous pregnancies and deliveries, as well as ensure you meet the preliminary requirements listed on our website. If you have met the qualifications and are interested in moving forward, we will send you an email with login instructions for our VSN Portal, where you will have access to our full online application. At any time, if you have any questions or need assistance with completing the application, please reach out to us and we will gladly assist you.
Once you have completed the full application, we will begin processing your forms and contact you if we need additional information.
The application includes:
- Gestational Surrogate Application
- Medical Records Release-we order and review all previous pregnancy & delivery records, current primary care, etc.
- Criminal Background Check (which you will receive a separate email to complete)
- Health Insurance Information Request
- Insurance Policy Review
- Previous Pregnancy History
- OBGYN Medical Release
- Copy of Medical Insurance Card
- Copy of Legal Identification (license, passport, etc.)
- Photos of you and your family (for matching process)
Once your application has been processed by Vermont Surrogacy Network staff, you will be contacted to schedule a face-to-face interview which can be at our office or through a video conference. During the interview, we will review the Gestational Surrogate application with you, conduct your matching interview, and answer any questions you have at that time about the next steps. Once the interview is completed, your matching profile will be created and Vermont Surrogacy Network staff will begin the matching process.
There are three steps to the Matching Process: Profile Exchange; First Contact-Telephone Call and Face-to-Face Meeting.
Vermont Surrogacy Network matches Gestational Surrogates and Intended Parents based on the criteria individually identified in the applications from both parties. Once we have identified a suitable match, the Intended parents are sent the Gestational Surrogate’s profile. The profile does not contain identifying information, aside from a first name and photo. The Intended Parents have the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the Gestational Surrogate, through Vermont Surrogacy Network.
If the Intended Parents are interested in pursuing the match, the Gestational Surrogate will be sent the profile of the Intended Parent. Gestational Surrogates then have the same opportunity to further inquire about the Intended Parents through Vermont Surrogacy Network.
If the Gestational Surrogate agrees to the match, Vermont Surrogacy Network matching staff will schedule a First Contact Phone Call between the Intended Parent and Gestational Surrogate. Both parties will be advised about discussion topics they should cover, as well as those to avoid during the first conversation. Upon completion of the First Contact Phone Call, we ask both parties to contact us within the next business day to determine if it is truly a fitting match on both sides.
If both parties agree, Vermont Surrogacy Network matching staff will notify the Intended Parents and Gestational Surrogate and recommend they schedule a time to meet Face-to-Face within the next 1 to 2 weeks. The Face-to-Face meeting can be performed via Skype or FaceTime depending on the travel distance and time constraints of both parties, however, we encourage all parties to meet in person whenever possible. The meeting will assist both parties in determining if they feel they will be able to work together and meet each other’s needs/expectations throughout the surrogacy process. Once again, at the conclusion of the Face-to-Face meeting, we ask that both parties contact Vermont Surrogacy Network within the next 1-2 business days, in order to confirm or reject the match. If both parties agree it is a good match, you are considered officially "matched" and ready to move on to the screening phase.
At the screening phase, the IVF clinic selected by the Intended Parents is sent the Gestational Surrogate's information by the Vermont Surrogacy Network, in order to pre-screen her medical and pregnancy history prior to scheduling the screening at the clinic. The IVF clinic will send you their questionnaire and request past test results such as an annual physical and Pap smear.
Once the paperwork is reviewed and approved, the clinic will contact the Gestational Surrogate directly to schedule the medical and psychological screening at the clinic. Gestational Surrogates will be tested for STD’s, undergo a uterine evaluation, and other tests as required by the selected IVF clinic's policy. The Gestational Surrogate and their partner will be asked to meet with a social worker or psychologist in order to discuss potential issues that could occur throughout the surrogacy process.
All clinics require standardized psychological testing for the carrier, in order to ensure the carrier is emotionally prepared for the journey and experience of being a gestational carrier.
As a Gestational Carrier, you will select an independent attorney of your choice to represent you throughout contract negotiations, we do have attorney's we can recommend to you, as you are required to work with an attorney who specializes in Fertility Law. All legal expenses for the contract negotiations are paid by the Intended Parents.
You will be provided a Gestational Carrier Agreement prepared by the Intended Parents attorney, to discuss and review with your attorney. Your attorney will guide you through the entire Agreement, in order to make any changes you require and answer any questions you might have. Your attorney will then resubmit your amended Agreement to the IP’s attorney.
Once a mutual agreement has been met, contracts can be signed. Contract signing must occur before the IVF cycle can begin. For this reason, the contract phase usually begins simultaneously with the screening phase.
Time to celebrate, you're almost there! At this point, you have completed all necessary requirements to be a gestational carrier and are now ready to begin carrying!
The IVF Clinic will establish a protocol for you to prepare your body to be a carrier, along with synchronizing cycles with the Intended Parents. Vermont Surrogacy Network will continue to play an active role during the IVF cycle, scheduling travel accommodations and continuing to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
At this time, your contact with the Intended Parents tends to increase with all of the excitement as your fertilization day grows near! We encourage you to communicate with the Intended Parents on a regular basis, as you will be going through the next 9 months together. Vermont Surrogacy Network will continue to support you throughout the pregnancy and beyond, with continued communication and support.
At 2-3 months prior to the Big Day, we will contact you to begin putting together a pre-birth delivery plan. At this point in the pregnancy, everyone is beginning to anticipate what the delivery and post-delivery may look like. We want to help you be prepared by walking through the steps of how you would like to see the events unfold, including who is in the delivery room, when they are in the delivery room, etc. We feel this is a very important step, as it helps all parties to be prepared for the delivery and each other's hopes and expectations.