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Gestational Surrogates

Benefits of Surrogacy The Process Reimbursements FAQs Resources Get Started

Benefits of Gestational Surrogacy

At Vermont Surrogacy Network, we understand becoming a surrogate is a life-changing decision for you and your family.  Co-founder, Jes Stumpf, was once a surrogate herself, which is why VSN's priority is to ensure you have all the information and support you need while making the decision to become a gestational surrogate. We always start the surrogacy process with a personal phone call from Jes to give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about surrogacy and our organization, prior to receiving our application.

For heterosexual couples struggling with infertility, the road to parenthood has been long and challenging, filled with years of fertility treatments, miscarriages and heartbreak.  Other's may be single individuals, who have not found a life partner to create a family with or members of the LGBTQ community, who are looking to surrogacy as their option for a biological child of their own. 

Without women like you, their dreams of family and parenthood will go unfulfilled. Intended Parents are thankful for woman like you who consider becoming a gestational surrogate.  Vermont Surrogacy Network creates the bridge between the Gestational Surrogate and the Intended Parent. We walk with you through the entire process of surrogacy, from initial contact to post-delivery.  

 

The Process

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.

 

Step
1
Application Phase

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, were you will have access to our full online application.  At anytime, 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. 

Step
2
Matching Phase

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 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. 

Step
3
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.  

Step
4
Contract Phase

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.  

Step
5
IVF Cycle 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. 

Step
6
Planning for delivery and beyond

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.  

Estimated Surrogacy Reimbursements

Gestational Surrogate Reimbursements / Expenses

Base fee for first time carrier $35,000
Experienced carriers* $5,000-$8,000
Twins* $3,000-$8,000
Multiples* $8,000-$10,000
Paid over 8 months after confirmation of pregnancy
IVF Transfer (From original $35,000)* $1,000-$2,000
Confirmation of heartbeat (From original $35,000)* $1,000-$2,000
Maternity Clothes*  $500-$1,500
Allowance for random monthly needs
12 monthly installments of $200
$2,400
Carrier life insurance policy for $500,000 $500-$1,000

Potential Expenses / Compensations

C-Section* $2,500-$3,500
Amniocentesis*
(Per incident or needle)
$500-$1,500
Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)* $500-$1,500
Miscarriage (D & C)* $500-$1,500
Cerclage* $500-$1,500
Reduction* $1,000-$2,000
Termination* $2,000-$3,000
Mock cycle* $750-$1,000
Canceled cycle* $750-$1,000
Ectopic Pregnancy-Chemical $500
Ectopic Pregnancy-Surgery $1,000
Loss of reproductive organ
Ovary or Fallopian Tube* $2,000-$5,000
Uterus* $5,000-$10,000
Lost wages for screening/transfer/bed rest/maternity leave
Carrier+ Based on Salary
Carrier's spouse/partner+ Based on Salary
Child care for appts/screening, etc+ Provider Rate
Housekeeping for bed rest/maternity leave $50/week
Reimbursements for required travel  
Travel for appointments/IVF $1,500-$4,000 total
Milage is based on federal rate+ $.575per mile
Hotel & airfare+ Fluctuates
Food allowance for day trips+ $100/day
Parking fees+ vary
Health Insurance for Surrogate (if needed) $3,000-$10,000
Co-pays (vary by policy) $2,000-$8,000

All prices listed above are only estimates, based on the most commonly used rates in the industry. GS selects from the range provided to be added into the Gestational Carrier Agreement with the Intended Parents for all line items with an (*).  All other items are negotiated during the contract stage, however (+) items are reimbursements/payments are the responsibility of the IP's prior to the contract stage. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between a Gestational Surrogate and a Traditional Surrogate?

A: A gestational surrogate has no genetic connection to the child. A gestational surrogate is implanted with a fertilized embryo using the intended mother’s egg, or a donated egg, whereas a traditional surrogate is inseminated with the intended father’s sperm, and uses her own egg for the development of the embryo. Due to the genetic connection of the traditional surrogate, the surrogate then relinquishes rights to custody of the child through an adoption, with a gestational surrogate the Intended Parents would have there names placed on the birth certificate, with either a pre-birth order or post-birth agreement. 

Q: Does VSN offer traditional surrogacy?

A: VSN does not offer traditional surrogacy. It is the view VSN that traditional surrogacy is legally risky, and can be emotionally devastating to both the carrier and the intended parents. By only offering gestational surrogates, the surrogate has no genetic connection with the child, and does not have the same legal rights to the child. Further, traditional surrogates are more likely to establish strong emotional bonds with the child, and to experience great loss upon the transfer of the child to the intended parents. These emotional and legal complications are greatly reduced using gestational carriers who are not genetically related to the child.

Q: Why do some people need Gestational Carriers?

A: Many Intended Parents use Gestational Surrogates because the Intended mother is not able to carry the child herself due to health risks, age or other medical reasons. In the case of gay couples the support of an egg donor is needed along side a Gestational Surrogate in order to produce a baby.

Q: How do you become pregnant as a surrogate?

A: The process of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) is used in Gestational Surrogacy. Through this process a fertilized embryo is implanted in the uterus. For more specific information follow this link: www.reproductivefacts.org

Q: How long does the surrogacy process take?

A: The answer to this question is unique to each case. Typically the surrogacy process takes about a year from the time you are matched. The duration of time before a match depends upon what requirements the Intended Parents are looking for in a gestational carrier and carrier availability.

Q: What groups of Intended Parents do you work with?

A: Vermont Surrogacy Network is pleased to serve all populations of individuals and couples looking to grow their family: same-sex couples, heterosexual couples and single individuals. 

Q: Will I have legal representation for my surrogacy?

A: Yes! Vermont Surrogacy Network requires the Gestational Surrogate to have separate legal representation for the Carrier Agreement and for any questions or legal needs she might have throughout the process of surrogacy. All legal fees and expenses for the Carrier Agreement and legal consultation are paid for by the Intended Parents.

Resources

RESOLVE New England

Since 1974, RESOLVE New England has been the leading voice and progressive driving force connecting the New England community on the many paths to parenthood.

Welcome to RESOLVE New England, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Waltham, Massachusetts serving the infertility community in the greater New England region, including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

At RESOLVE New England, we understand very personally the complexities of the infertility journey. Our personal connections to infertility drive our organization’s commitment to providing infertility patients with support, education and advocacy. As a trusted, unbiased leader in the New England infertility community, we support the professional development and comprehensive networking of infertility and adoption professionals within the region.

Whether you have questions about how IVF or adoption works to whether or not your insurance covers your infertility treatment, RESOLVE New England can provide you with answers. We offer a variety of educational programs and support groups throughout the year, from our full-day Adoption and Donor Egg Connect & Learn Seminars to our Annual Fertility Treatment and Adoption Choices Conference in November – the largest consumer fertility conference of its kind in the United States – RESOLVE New England connects you with the resources you need.

Website: www.resolvenewengland.org

American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)

ASRM is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of reproductive medicine. The Society accomplishes its mission through the pursuit of excellence in education and research and through advocacy on behalf of patients, physicians, and affiliated health care providers. The Society is committed to facilitating and sponsoring educational activities for the lay public and continuing medical education activities for professionals who are engaged in the practice of and research in reproductive medicine.

Website: www.asrm.org

Fertility Authority

Provides a wealth of information for across the nation for both medical and legal resources.

Website: www.fertilityauthority.com

Northeastern Reproductive Medicine

Dr. Peter Casson
B.A., M.D., FACOG, FRCS(C)

Dr. Casson is a nationally recognized researcher, with over 60 peer-reviewed publications, multiple chapters, and long stints of NIH funding. His areas of expertise are Infertility, Assisted Reproductive Technologies, laparoscopy and hysteroscopy, and androgens in women. In conjunction with Dr. Murray, Dr. Casson founded Northeastern Reproductive Medicine to focus on providing excellent, personal, compassionate, and affordable care to patients in Vermont and upstate New York. Dr. Casson is Board-Certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He worked at Fletcher Allen Health Care for 15 years and was the REI Division Director for 5 years. As part of a national, multi-center Reproductive Medicine Network, Dr. Casson was instrumental in ground-breaking research including PCOS and primary infertility. To learn more about his recent work in the PPCOS II trial, click here. Dr Casson was recently elected to represent Vermont on the Executive Committee of the New England Fertility Society.

Dr. Christine Murray
B.A., M.D., FACOG, FRCS(C)

Dr. Murray is a Board-Certified Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility (REI) Specialist has spent 15 years in Vermont as an Academic Physician involved with the training of medical students, residents and fellows. Dr. Murray has published in multiple peer-reviewed journals including Human Reproduction, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Fertility and Sterility. She underwent OB/GYN residency training at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, followed by a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. From 1999-2014, Dr. Murray worked at Fletcher Allen Health Care and was an Associate Professor in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology. In addition to a busy clinical practice, Dr. Murray became Residency Program Director in 2004 and held that position for 8 years. Along with Dr. Casson, Dr. Murray decided to open NRM to bring affordable, comfortable care to patients in a warm environment. She specializes in IVF, robotic surgery, PCOS, and provides care to French-speaking patients. Dr. Murray was elected by her peers to serve on the HealthFirst Board Of Directors from 2014-2017, leading the effort to provide Vermonters community-based, accessible, effective, and personalized medical care.

Dr. Jennifer Keller Brown
M.D., M.B.A., FACOG

Dr. Brown is a Board-Certified REI physician who joined the NRM family in January of 2015. Dr. Brown attended medical school at the University of Colorado and OB/GYN residency at St Joseph’s Hospital in Denver, CO. During her residency, Dr. Brown co-authored research performed at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM) in the areas of egg and embryo vitrification. While performing this research, Dr. Brown realized she could invest in her own future fertility, and have some sense of reproductive security by freezing her own eggs for potential future use. Today she works to educate the community about the option of Fertility Preservation for reproductive-age patients diagnosed with cancer and preparing for chemotherapy, or for women delaying conception for personal or social reasons. Dr. Brown completed her fellowship training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Fletcher Allen Health Care, where she performed research in PCOS, which was published and presented at national meetings. She then moved with her family to Denver, Colorado, where she worked at CCRM from 2012-2014, expanding her infertility practice and learning a tremendous amount by treating complex patients from all over the world. Dr. Brown specializes in reproductive surgery, Fertility Preservation, PCOS, and IVF with pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. Dr. Brown was elected by reproductive endocrinologists across New England to be the President of the New England Fertility Society in 2019; she currently sits as the president-elect.  Dr Brown was also elected by her peers in 2018 to represent independent practitioners in Vermont as an executive board member of Health First. Health First leads the medical community to provide Vermonters community-based, accessible, effective, and personalized medical care.

Address: 105 West View Road, Colchester, VT 05446

Phone:  +1 (802) 655-8888

E-Mail: info@nrmvt.com

Website: www.nrmvt.com

 

Northwest Cryobank

At NW Cryobank our business is creating happy, healthy families. For more than 25 years, our experienced medical professionals have been providing convenient, confidential and complete services and supplies. As a leader in the industry, NW Cryobank offers a full spectrum of fertility-related supplies and services including donor sperm and donor eggs, sperm and egg banking and storage and supplies.

Website: www.nwcryobank.com

Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA)

The Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA) provides a credentialed presence in the law of family formation and is the largest professional organization of its type. AAAA and its attorneys are dedicated to the competent and ethical practice of adoption and ART law, advocating for laws and policies to protect the best interests of children, the legal status of families formed through adoption and ART, and the rights of all interested parties including birth parents, adoptive parents, surrogates, donors, and intended parents.

Website: adoptionart.org

Murdoch, Hughes, Twarog and Tarnelli P.C.

For over 20 years, Kurt M. Hughes has been assisting families with the legal aspects of adoption and assisted fertility, including gestational surrogacy and gamete and embryo donation, and he recently launched Vermont’s first local surrogacy matching organization. In 2015, Kurt was recognized by Vermont Senator Patrick J. Leahy as an Angel in Adoption™  at the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI). He is also selected by his peers for inclusion in New England Super Lawyers in the area of family law.

Kurt was one of the first Vermont lawyers to become a Fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA) and the first Vermont lawyer to become a Fellow of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys (AAARTA), invitation-only national associations of attorneys who practice or have otherwise distinguished themselves in the fields of adoption and ART law, now known as the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA).

Kurt is passionate about helping clients to build their families, and he gives personal, individualized attention to each and every case.  Kurt has helped hundreds of families provide legally secure homes for their children, and is happy to answer any questions you may have to start the process. Kurt is excited to have associate, Michelle A. Tarnelli, join the firm’s adoption and assisted fertility team. 

131 Main St.

P.O. Box 363

Burlington, VT 05402

(802)864-9811

Contact: khughes@mhtpc.com

Website: www.mhtpc.com

 

 

 

Get Started

We are very excited you have decided to take a closer look into becoming a Gestational Surrogate.  Before filling out the Getting Started form, please read the pre-qualifications below.  If you do not meet these requirements, but still have questions about the process or Vermont Surrogacy Network, please send us an email at info@vtsurrogacy.com. 

Initial qualification requirements:

 

  • Have at least one child you have given birth to that you are currently raising
  • Must enjoy being pregnant!!!
  • Live in a healthy stable and supportive environment
  • Be between the ages of 23-42
  • BMI under 35
  • If you have a spouse or partner, they must support your decision to be a surrogate
  • Have a reliable mode of transportation for appointments
  • Not be on public assistance
  • Have health insurance that covers pregnancy
  • Must NOT have had more than 3 c-sections, or complicated c-sections,
  • Have a minimum of a high school education
  • Must NOT smoke or use illegal drugs
  • Must be willing to tailor caffeine consumption during the pregnancy
  • Must be willing to NOT consume alcohol during the IVF cycle and pregnancy
  • Must be willing to undergo a psychological evaluation, a full-physical and be tested for STDs
  • Must NOT have been convicted of a crime
  • Must be a citizen of the United States
  • NO history of diabetes, epilepsy, pre-eclampsia, hypertension, polysistic ovarian syndrome, history of post-pardom depression