Whether you’re completing a traditional surrogacy or a gestational surrogacy, you will need to work closely with a surrogacy clinic to effectively complete the medical process. Because there are so many moving parts involved in safely creating a surrogate pregnancy, all intended parents and prospective surrogates should be comfortable with the medical professional they work with during this part of the surrogacy process.
Fortunately, in most cases, intended parents will already have a relationship with a fertility clinic before pursuing the surrogacy process — and that clinic can usually continue as their surrogacy clinic when they move from other infertility treatments to surrogacy.
However, for surrogates and intended parents who haven’t yet worked with a fertility clinic, or for those who aren’t familiar with the medical process of surrogacy, the concept of a surrogacy clinic may be overwhelming. What exactly does this clinic do? Why is the process so involved? How do you find the right surrogacy clinic for you?
Let’s start with the first couple of questions: what surrogacy clinics are and what they do.
What Services Do Surrogacy Clinics Offer?
Many fertility clinics also serve as surrogacy clinics. These medical professionals help intended parents diagnose their fertility problems and offer fertility treatments, like in vitro fertilization. When intended parents choose to move on from those failed treatments, fertility clinics can usually help them complete a surrogacy process as well.
Your surrogacy clinic will be the medical professional guiding you through all of the steps of the surrogacy medical process, including:
- Early medical screening: In every surrogacy process, a surrogate must undergo a thorough medical screening to make sure that she is physically prepared for the process of surrogacy. This can include blood tests, saline sonograms and more. It’s likely that intended parents have already undergone medical testing to create embryos if they’ve worked with this surrogacy clinic for infertility treatments but, if they haven’t yet, they will also need to undergo certain tests to make sure they can create a healthy embryo with their eggs and sperm. Some surrogacy clinics will even offer psychological testing during this time, as well.
- Gamete retrieval and IVF process: After intended parents and surrogates are medically cleared for the surrogacy process, a surrogacy clinic will guide them through the in vitro fertilization process. This will include everything from preparing the intended mother for egg harvesting, syncing up her cycle with the surrogate’s for a successful IVF transfer and more.
- Pregnancy testing: After an embryo has been transferred to the surrogate’s uterus, the surrogacy clinic will test her blood and hormone levels to confirm a pregnancy with a more in-depth process than at-home pregnancy tests can provide.
While most gestational surrogacies follow this medical process with a surrogacy clinic, your own medical process may be slightly different depending on a need for an egg, sperm or embryo donation or the surrogate’s and intended parent’s previous medical treatments. It’s encouraged that you speak with your surrogacy clinic when you first start considering surrogacy to learn more about what your personal journey may look like.
How Do I Find a Surrogacy Clinic?
In many surrogacy journeys, the process of finding a surrogacy clinic is completed before a match is even made. Many intended parents already have an existing relationship with a fertility clinic who will serve as their surrogacy clinic on this new path to parenthood.
However, if you haven’t yet found a surrogacy clinic to work with, you have a great number of experienced professionals to choose from. If you decide to work with a surrogacy agency, they may refer you to certain surrogacy clinics that they commonly work with and have a special relationship with. On the same note, many surrogacy clinics have existing relationships with certain gamete banks, if you’ll need to use a sperm, egg or embryo donation in your surrogacy process. Before you commit to a surrogacy clinic, therefore, make sure that you are comfortable with the amount of choice allowed you in this process.
To help you find the best surrogacy clinic for your situation, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine maintains a database of fertility and surrogacy clinics across the United States that meets its medical standards. You can use that list to find a surrogacy clinic local to you, or consider some of these large surrogacy clinics across the country:
- San Diego Fertility Center
- Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine
- Shady Grove Fertility Center
- California Fertility Partners
- The Infertility Center of St. Louis
- Nevada Center for Reproductive Medicine
- Florida Institute for Reproductive Medicine
If you are a prospective surrogate, make sure you talk to your intended parents before you start speaking with a surrogacy clinic. Because they likely have a professional they’re already working with, your surrogacy medical process will likely be completed with that fertility clinic (with any travel costs covered by the intended parents).
Working with the perfect surrogacy clinic is an important part of feeling secure in your surrogacy journey, and the medical process will be the part of the process where you finally feel like that journey is actually beginning. If you ever have questions about choosing a surrogacy clinic that’s best for you, make sure you do diligent research and don’t be afraid to ask your surrogacy agency or surrogacy attorney for recommendations to get started.
Are you interested in learning more about surrogacy or starting the process? Complete our form to request free surrogacy information now.