What intended parents need to consider before joining the program
If you go to the program
independently
Clinic
First of all, selection of a clinic. To do this, we recommend talking to biological parents, who have completed the program, on websites and forums and reading reviews. You should not pay much attention to the reviews on the websites of clinics.
Examination
After selecting a clinic, you will proceed to the examination phase to confirm that you need a surrogacy program.
If there are no alternative solutions, you will need genetic material.
The clinic may offer to use the services of a donor.
If you need a donor, it is better to do a donor search yourself. This will ensure that they meet your parameters.
Stimulation
If medically you can undergo stimulation and retrieve genetic material, the clinic will offer you a stimulation program.
Biological material (sperm) is taken from the biological father.
The stimulation procedure takes from 9 to 14 days and begins on the second day of the cycle. However, in some cases it requires additional preparation.
The procedure involves injections of hormonal drugs carried out under a doctor's supervision.
This means that for the entire time of stimulation you will need to be in close proximity to the clinic.

Puncture-harvesting
The next step is the puncture-harvesting of the eggs and their fertilization with the biological father's biomaterial.
In the case of obtaining a sufficient number of embryos, they undergo genetic diagnostics for chromosomal abnormalities. Diagnostics takes up to two weeks.
Only after embryos are ready for replanting, you can finally start selecting a surrogate mother.

Selection of a surrogate mother
Candidacy from the clinic
Often the clinic itself offers you a candidate. This is an already examined, procedure-fit woman.
You have the right to personally meet and communicate with a surrogate mother both before signing the contract and during the entire program. This way you will be able to learn about the passage of pregnancy directly from the source.
Independent search
You have the right to choose a surrogate mother yourself. For this purpose, you can use specialized websites, groups, and chats.
If you have found a suitable candidate yourself, first, you need to discuss the contract. Pay particular attention to the risks associated with the program.
Please note that if a surrogate mother has papers of an initial examination, it means she has a responsible approach to the matter.
First examination
The next step is the initial examination in the clinic. Often this is done on the 7-12th day of the surrogate mother's cycle. Ultrasound is the main test to confirm suitability of the surrogate mother.
You should pay all transportation and medical expenses associated with the surrogate mother.
Procedure and first payment
If the test results show that there is no need for additional treatment, the doctor will prescribe the start of hormone therapy and write down details of the procedure. During this time, you are required to sign the primary contract and approve all risks and payments.
If the test result comes before the 19th day of the SM's cycle, the stimulation starts between the 19th and 24th day of her cycle.
The first payment is made on the day when hormonal stimulation begins.
Transfer and second payment
On average, preparing a surrogate mother for transfer takes about a month and a half.
Prior to the transfer, you must have a signed notarial agreement with the surrogate mother.
The second payment is made on the day of embryo transfer and not a day later.
Pregnancy confirmation and monthly payments
On the 14th day after the transfer, HCG test is done and a day later it is done again to monitor growth.
If pregnancy is confirmed, monthly payments start on this day.
After confirming the pregnancy with HCG test, the doctor will prescribe an ultrasound scan done on the 25th day after the transfer. At this time, fetal heartbeat can already be detected.
Supervision
After confirming pregnancy by ultrasound, you need to register SM for pregnancy supervision at a hospital if the clinic in which you conducted the program does not officially supervise pregnancies.
If you decide to enter the program through an agency
Agency
The first and most essential stage is selection of the agency. Take this matter very seriously since choosing a good agency will make it easier for you to go through the entire program.
The agency will give you the opportunity to select a clinic from a list of those with which they collaborate and which had good peformance at previously implemented programs.
You will also be offered good Sms and a donor if you need one.
Remember, you have the right to choose and the agency has to take all your wishes and requests into account.

Information search
Make sure to research and collect information about agencies on independent Internet platforms (websites, chats, groups), where you can communicate with biological parents like you and get their feedback.
Sometimes reviews on the websites of agencies are divorced from reality, while bad and negative reviews are simply deleted!
Communication with a surrogate mother
The agency has no right to forbid your communication with a surrogate mother.
If they start telling you that you should not talk to a surrogate mother, we advise you to reconsider your choice of the agency. Very often, both the biological parents and the SM want to communicate, but the agency forbids it referring to ridiculous 'horror' stories.
Select a "package"
The agency will offer you a choice of several program "packages" specially selected to meet your needs. After learning about them, you will sign a cooperation agreement with the agency.
You will choose a clinic, where you would prefer to conduct medical procedures, and also sign documents and an agreement regarding the medical procedures in the clinic.
Notarized power of attorney
Often, the agency will offer you (biological parents) to issue a notarized Power of Attorney to the clinic's management (who later will act as your authorized representative in the surrogacy program).
This is a normal practice and thanks to this document biological parents will not need to travel to the clinic due to every tiny issue arising in the course of the program. A trusted representative will resolve all issues for you and the agency is obliged to send you reports, call you and report about the current stage of the program.
Feel free to contact me
Olesya Solomina
Email: olesyasolomina@gmail.com
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