There are five phases to outline in the Surrogacy Process for Intended Parents: 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 with you our process, ethical and emotional components of surrogacy, as well as financial expectations and fee structure. If you are interested in moving forward with our organization, we will send you our fee agreement and that of VSN Escrow Company, LLC for your review and signature. Once we have received these signed agreements and your initial fees, you will receive 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:
- Intended Parent Application
- Medical Records Release
- Criminal Background Check (which you will receive a separate email to complete)
- 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 final review meeting, which can be at our office or through a video conference. During the final review meeting, we will review the Intended Parent application with you, 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 Vermont Surrogacy Network sends the Gestational Surrogate's information released to the IVF clinic you have chosen, in order to pre-screen her medical and pregnancy history prior to scheduling the screening at the clinic. The IVF clinic requires the Gestational Carrier to complete their questionnaire and may request past test results or further testing, such as an annual physical and Pap smear.
All clinics require standardized psychological testing for the carrier, in order to ensure the carrier is emotionally prepared for the journey and the experience of being a gestational carrier.
Gestational Surrogates will be tested for STDs, undergo a uterine evaluation, and other testes dependent on the IVF clinic policy. The Gestational Surrogate and their partner and you, the Intended Parents, will be asked by the clinic or the Vermont Surrogacy Network to meet separately with a social worker or psychologist in order to discuss the surrogacy process and to be sure that all parties are suitable candidates for a gestational surrogacy arrangement. Once everyone has met with the social worker or psychologist separately, you will have a combined meeting.
Every match must have a legal contract drafted by a qualified professional before proceeding to the IVF phase. All clinics require the contract to be executed by all parties prior to the initiation of the medical procedures. As the Intended Parent, you may elect to use Kurt M. Hughes of Tarnelli & Hughes Family Law, PLLC as your attorney or select an independent attorney of your choice to represent you throughout contract negotiations. It is critical that the attorney you select be experienced in the drafting of gestational surrogacy contracts.
You will be provided a Gestational Carrier Agreement prepared by your attorney with your input. 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 submit your amended Agreement to the Gestational Surrogate’s attorney so that a final draft can be negotiated.
Once a mutual agreement has been met, the contract can be signed. All clinics require that the contracts be executed before the IVF cycle can begin. For this reason, the contract phase is initiated as soon as possible after a match has been made, and this can usually be accomplished simultaneously with the final screening phase.
Time to celebrate, you’re almost there! At this point, the gestational carrier has completed all necessary requirements and has been cleared to proceed to the IVF transfer!
The IVF Clinic will establish a protocol for the gestational carrier to prepare her body to be a carrier, along with synchronizing cycles with you (depending on the type of transfer to occur). The IVF clinic will establish a transfer date at this time. The IVF cycle typically lasts between 3-6 weeks. Vermont Surrogacy Network will continue to play an active role during the IVF cycle, in order to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
At this time, your contact with the Gestational Carrier tends to increase with all of the excitement as your transfer day grows near! We encourage you to communicate with the Gestational Carrier 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, logistical and emotional support.
At 2-3 months prior to the Big Day, we will contact your surrogate 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 she would like to see the events unfold, including who is in the delivery room, when they are in the delivery room, etc.
Once we have this information from her, we then share it with you to ensure everyone is comfortable with the plan and add any additional changes or requests you may have. 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.
You will also be contacted by your attorney around this time to begin the legal process for the pre-birth order, to ensure it is in place at the time of the delivery.