5 Basic Steps: How Does Surrogacy Work

It is easy to wonder, “How does surrogacy work?” Don’t miss out on this 5-step guide to how surrogacy works.1

Whether you are interested in surrogacy to grow your own family, or you want to receive the gift of parenthood. We are here to help you learn everything you need to know about the surrogacy process.2

What is Surrogacy?

Before understanding how surrogacy works, let’s first understand what surrogacy is.

Surrogacy is an assisted reproductive method. A surrogate mother carries a baby (or children) for the intended parents and cares for them until delivery. Whenever intended parents cannot start or grow their families by themselves, they use the surrogacy process.

Surrogating a woman for a child still sparks controversy. It is also tricky to comprehend the legal process because they differ from state to state. There may be legal issues to deal with.

By Deon Black, Pexels. Copyright 2021.

Gestational Surrogacy Vs. Traditional Surrogacy

How does surrogacy work is the question which comes after knowing the types of surrogacy? The two types of surrogacy 3are described below.

The gestational surrogacy process does not involve any biological relationship between the gestational surrogate (gestational carrier) or a surrogate mother and any child she may carry.

In vitro fertilizatio4n (IVF) is used only for generating embryos, after which they are transferred to the surrogate from the intended parents/donors.

You should look into gestational surrogacy if you are:

  • Couples experiencing infertility issues
  • Couples who identify as gay or lesbian, i.e., same-sex couples
  • A woman who is incapable of sustaining a pregnancy safely and has pregnancy complications

As a method of family building, traditional surrogacy involves a woman agreeing to carry a pregnancy for an intended family member or member. The surrogate is genetically related to her intended baby.

This is artificial insemination in which the surrogate is injected with sperm from the intended father or a sperm donor.

Therefore, her(surrogate mother) egg is fertilized, and she develops a genetic connection with the child, i.e., biologically related to the child. A surrogate woman (traditional surrogate) carries and delivers the child.

In this case of surrogacy, the intended parents face greater legal risks.

How Does Surrogacy Work
By Deon Black, Pexels. Copyright 2021.

The Surrogacy Process

Here are the steps which will help you understand how surrogacy work.

1 – Choosing the Right Person

Taking part in surrogacy can be an emotional adventure for both the intended parents and surrogates, and it may be a substantial commitment for both parties. And this is the very first step in knowing how does surrogacy work.

In the same manner, like any life-altering decision, couples and individuals deciding to engage in surrogacy should carefully consider surrogacy laws, analyze their pros and cons, and even consult with surrogacy professionals for real insight into whether or not the process is right for them.

The surrogacy process begins with this step. As suggested by medical experts, you should keep the following points in mind when choosing a surrogate.

To determine any issues with giving up the baby after birth, a qualified mental health care provider must get medical screenings, psychological evaluations, and more trustworthy health information.

Surrogates signed a legal contract/surrogacy contract that spells out their obligations.

Through a surrogacy agency, you can find the perfect surrogate.

2 – How to Prepare for Your Surrogacy Journey

When you decide on surrogacy, the next step is to consult a surrogacy specialist who will provide medical advice and help you determine what type of surrogacy is right for you. Only then will the medical procedures begin.

As discussed in the blog post, two surrogacy options are available, namely, traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy.5

Source: Shutterstock

There are two main differences between surrogacy types:

Traditional surrogacy allows the surrogate to be the biological mother of the child she carries. Using intrauterine insemination, the surrogate’s egg is fertilized with sperm from the intended father or fertilized with the donor’s sperm.

The child is not biologically related to the surrogate mother in gestational surrogacy. By comparison, in vitro fertilization is used to create embryos from eggs donated by the intended mother or egg donor and sperm donated by the intended father or donor’s sperm.

Once the egg has been fertilized in the laboratory, the embryo is transplanted into the surrogate’s uterus or the gestational carrier’s uterus.

After preparing for your surrogacy journey, the next step in surrogacy work is checking the legal requirements or tackling legal issues.

Surrogate mothers and intended parents need to prepare a legal contract as soon as they move forward. Each party will keep attorneys to ensure that their interests are protected and represented.

All parties must agree to the terms of the contract, and each lawyer must review and approve it before contracts are signed and the embryo transfer process can begin.

Your attorney will discuss all the legal aspects of surrogacy concerning surrogate mothers, including the risks and compensation.

To ensure that the contract matches your wishes, you will have your attorney review the agreement that the parent’s attorney drafted. After contracts are signed, you will begin receiving a monthly allowance to assist you in covering the costs.

The intended parents and the surrogate will meet one-on-one to review your legal rights, potential risks, and the compensation agreement. As soon as the contracts are signed, it will be time to start fertility treatments and pregnancy.

If you want to be the legal parents of your child, your attorney will work with you after the first trimester to establish your legal parental rights. This enables you to decide about the baby’s health and includes your name on the baby’s birth certificate. You’ll have legal custody of your child.

4 – The Process of Embryo Transfer and Fertilization

By Nadezhda Moryak, Pexels. Copyright 2021.

Following the signing of the contracts, the preparations for transferring the embryo can finally begin. The process is likely to be handled by a fertility clinic that is mutually agreed upon.

It is the intended mother or the egg donor’s responsibility to receive medications to stimulate the eggs’ development or undergo an egg retrieval procedure. An embryo will be created in the laboratory and transferred as part of her prenatal care.

In addition to prenatal treatment, she will start receiving post-fertilization treatments. Preparation for transferring the embryo and the pregnancy are both carried out by the surrogate.

Once the surrogate receives confirmation of a healthy pregnancy by a pregnancy test and the baby’s heartbeat has been heard, she will receive payments for base compensation and a monthly allowance.

It depends on your situation, and whether you use an egg donor or the intended mother, you need medical procedures for surrogacy. If your eggs or those of your partner are used in surrogacy, you will be given medications to stimulate egg production.

An egg retrieval procedure will be performed at the right time.

An egg will be fertilized by using either the intended father’s sperm or the donor’s sperm. Surrogate mothers incubate the embryos and monitor their development before transferring them.

5- Congratulations on the Child’s Birth

Child Birth
By Vidal Balielo Jr.,Pexels. Copyright 2021.

Both intended parents and surrogates experience life-changing events when their baby is born after a lengthy surrogacy journey. Surrogates are generally joined at the hospital by their intended parents for this momentous occasion.

Surrogates are often glad to share their love of parenting with someone nonparental so they can give them the gift of parenthood, but they also get the satisfaction of doing so for someone who wouldn’t be able to do it for themselves.

The surrogate and new family will likely remain in touch for the rest of the child’s life. Often, surrogacy agencies can facilitate this relationship and provide support even after the surrogacy is needed.


Building a family is among the most exciting and fulfilling experiences of a lifetime. A surrogate relationship can be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling experience, whether you’re planning your own or helping someone else plan theirs.

Hope this article on “How does surrogacy work” helped you.

  1. Jacobson, Heather. Labor of love: Gestational surrogacy and the work of making babies. Rutgers University Press, 2016. ↩︎
  2. Morrissey, Joseph F. “Surrogacy: the process, the law, and the contracts.” Willamette L. Rev. 51 (2014): 459. ↩︎
  3. Gunnarsson Payne, Jenny, Elzbieta Korolczuk, and Signe Mezinska. “Surrogacy relationships: a critical interpretative review.” Upsala journal of medical sciences 125.2 (2020): 183-191. ↩︎
  4. Van Voorhis, Bradley J. “In vitro fertilization.” New England Journal of Medicine 356.4 (2007): 379-386. ↩︎
  5. Field, Martha A. “Surrogacy Contracts-Gestational and Traditional: The Argument for Nonenforcement.” Washburn LJ 31 (1991): 1. ↩︎

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