The surrogacy experience: ‘How long does surrogacy take?’
There is no denying that Surrogates at NewGen Families will encounter various exhilarating and rewarding moments, many even preceding conception itself.
While it’s impossible to predict the entirety of the surrogacy experience, we empathize with the desire to gain insights into the surrogacy timeline. It’s only natural to seek a glimpse into what lies ahead.
The reality is, however, that many of the exciting milestones may take you pleasantly by surprise. For this reason, our team has dedicated this article to guiding you through five thrilling events that await you as a NewGen Surrogate.
Let’s explore the NewGen Families surrogacy timeline together!
How long does surrogacy take?
When it comes to inquiries about the surrogacy experience, the question “How long does surrogacy take?” lacks a definitive answer.
The duration of the surrogacy process can vary significantly depending on the type of arrangement. International surrogacy arrangements may require 25 months or even longer, whereas local surrogacy arrangements typically span 18 months.
It’s crucial to understand that, despite pregnancy being a 9-month journey, the surrogacy timeline commences several months before reaching the pregnancy milestone. This is because any successful surrogacy experience requires the coordination of initial screenings, cycles, and medical evaluations with Intended Parents and third parties.
Having said that, we encourage both our Intended Parents and Surrogates not to be disheartened by the extended waiting period needed to meet their newborn. Some of the most crucial surrogacy experiences occur during the phase preceding pregnancy.
With that in mind, let’s delve into the first milestone within the NewGen surrogacy timeline: meeting your dream team!
Milestone 1: Meeting your dream team
Surrogacy Timeline: Month 0 – 1
As a Gestational Carrier at NewGen Families (See: 5 reasons why surrogacy agencies are the best option for your surrogacy journey), the first month of the surrogacy timeline is when you will be first introduced to your surrogacy dream team, but who does this include exactly?
The Third-Party Coordinator
The surrogacy process technically starts when you have been approved to be matched with Intended Parents. However, the surrogacy timeline officially begins after you have been successfully matched and assigned a Third-Party Coordinator.
Your Third-Party Coordinator plays a critical role, serving as both your initial gateway to an esteemed IVF clinic and an invaluable guide throughout the entire surrogacy process. At NewGen Families, your dedicated Third-Party Coordinator will always be readily available to provide guidance and support at every stage of the surrogacy timeline.
Your Legal Representation
At first glance, meeting your legal representation may not appear to be an ‘exciting milestone’ within the surrogacy timeline. However, your surrogacy lawyer is another crucial member of your surrogacy dream team, acting as an invaluable resource throughout the process.
And if meeting your lawyer does not excite you, the signing of the Gestational Carrier Agreement (GCA) sure will. The signing of the GCA, in which your terms and conditions as a Surrogate are made legally binding, marks your official commitment as a Surrogate to helping a specific family in need.
Even though your lawyer and Third-Party Coordinator will offer different forms of counseling, these two figures will play an equally important role throughout your surrogacy experience.
At NewGen Families, our commitment is to establish a robust support network for our Surrogates right from the very beginning. Every member of our dedicated Surrogate Support Team is an experienced Surrogate themselves, ensuring they are accessible and ready to assist you 24/7.
The first few months of the surrogacy timeline are meticulously designed to help you prepare, organize, and lay the foundation for a successful journey ahead.
Milestone 2: Embryo transfer
Surrogacy Timeline: Month 9
You have made it to the IVF clinic. The conception process has officially begun and pregnancy is well underway. Up until this point, you may not have felt like a ‘real’ Surrogate but the reality of it all can finally sink in.
The embryo transfer phase is undoubtedly one of the most pivotal and emotionally charged moments of the surrogacy timeline. For Surrogates, it signifies the selfless act of carrying the Intended Parents’ dreams and aspirations. For Intended Parents, it marks the beginning of their journey towards parenthood.
You can expect an undeniable anticipation and perhaps a touch of anxiety during the embryo transfer phase of the surrogacy timeline. However, at NewGen Families, your network of support – i.e., your Third-Party Coordinator, your chosen ‘support person’, and your team of dedicated medical professionals at the IVF clinic will be by your side.
Curious about the embryo transfer procedure? Check out our article on ‘What to expect before, during, and after embryo transfer as a Surrogate!’
Milestone 3: Pregnancy milestone
Surrogacy Timeline: Month 9.5
Pregnancy – the moment you and your Intended Parents have been waiting for. The truth is, there is no way to summarize pregnancy in a short paragraph. No less, in a way that will match everyone’s surrogacy experience.
However, one certainty is that as the surrogacy timeline progresses, the connection between the Surrogate and the Intended Parents strengthens. And this remarkable bond truly takes root when that unmistakable blue strip turns a joyful shade of pink.
Celebrating the pregnancy milestone as a Surrogate is a wonderful way to acknowledge the journey’s significance. Here are some ideas on how to celebrate this special moment:
- Pamper Yourself: Treat yourself to a spa day, a relaxing massage, or a weekend getaway. Pregnancy will be physically demanding, and taking time for self-care is essential.
- Create a Pregnancy Journal: Document your pregnancy journey in a journal. Write about your feelings, experiences, and milestones. It can be a cherished keepsake for both you and the Intended Parents.
- Engage in Prenatal Activities: Join prenatal yoga or fitness classes to stay healthy and connect with other expectant mothers. It’s a great way to stay active during pregnancy.
- Share Pregnancy Milestones with the Intended Parents: Keep the Intended Parents involved in the celebration. Share ultrasound photos, videos of baby kicks, and updates on the pregnancy progress.
- Reflect and Meditate: Take time to meditate or reflect on the significance of your role as a Surrogate and the impact it will have.
- Write Letters: Write heartfelt letters to the baby and the Intended Parents. Express your hopes and wishes for the child’s future and the joy of being part of their story.
A study by Ciccarelli and Beckman found the relationship between Surrogates and Intended Parents was paramount in influencing how both parties perceived their surrogacy experience. Notably, the research demonstrated that less frequent contact was linked to lower levels of Surrogate satisfaction. (2005).
At NewGen Families, we have observed a similar connection, witnessing the beautiful bonds that have blossomed among many of our clients. As a result, we strongly advocate for and actively support the cultivation of open, loving, and communicative relationships between Surrogates and Intended Parents, a key aspect that we believe contributes to the success and fulfillment of the surrogacy journey.
Milestone 4: Ultrasounds!
Surrogacy Timeline: Month 11 – 18
Ultrasounds are among the most exciting milestones to anticipate as a Surrogate. These scans are evidence of a healthy developing baby and a growing Surrogate, symbolizing significant progress in the surrogacy timeline. They are also a fun way to share the surrogacy experience with Intended Parents, especially if they do not live locally.
First Trimester: Heartbeat Confirmation Ultrasound
The heartbeat confirmation ultrasound is a pivotal moment typically occurring between 6 to 9 weeks into the gestational period. This milestone on the surrogacy timeline involves an ultrasound that confirms the presence of the baby’s growth and heartbeat rate. The rhythmic sound of the baby’s heartbeat is an emotional and reassuring experience for both Surrogates and Intended Parents.
The heartbeat confirmation ultrasound also marks the transition into the first trimester of pregnancy for the Surrogate. At this stage, Gestational Carriers move from the IVF clinic to their obstetrician’s care, signifying a significant shift as the pregnancy progresses under specialized attention.
Second Trimester: 20-Week Anatomy Scan
The 20-week anatomy scan is another momentous event in the surrogacy journey, typically occurring at the midpoint of the pregnancy.
During this milestone on the surrogacy timeline, a thorough ultrasound examination is performed to assess the baby’s development meticulously. This scan ensures that all vital organs and structures are forming correctly, offering valuable insights into the baby’s health and well-being.
Milestone 5: Birth and Beyond!
Surrogacy Timeline: Months 18 – 21
The most profoundly rewarding milestone in the surrogacy timeline is, undoubtedly, the birth. It’s a moment we celebrate together. It’s a testament to the Surrogate’s incredible generosity and selflessness, as Surrogates play a pivotal role in creating families and fostering enduring connections that last a lifetime.
However, our commitment to your well-being doesn’t stop at birth. We’re here for you during the Fourth Trimester, which covers the three months after delivery. During this time, you’ll still have access to our Holistic Wellness Program, ensuring we continue to care for you.
As our team has demonstrated, the surrogacy timeline is filled with remarkable and sometimes unpredictable milestones, each filled with unique moments of joy and connection.
From the moment you meet your Third-Party Coordinator to the birth of the baby, the surrogacy experience is guided by love, friendship, and hope. If you feel inspired by these exciting milestones, don’t wait any longer.
Join NewGen Families on an extraordinary path toward parenthood today!