If you are thinking about beginning your U.S. surrogacy journey by selecting a woman to carry your child, it is important to think about your timeline and your expectations before moving forward with this process. Ideally, 18 months is a great benchmark for the duration of your journey in the United States.
This timing begins with the day on which you sign up with the surrogacy agency and get in line to be matched with a potential surrogate (or, if you’re working with SMI, they have no waiting period so the selection process can begin immediately). You should also anticipate that approximately half of this 18-month time will be the time of the pregnancy. The other time period is comprised of your waiting time between getting matched up with a surrogate as well as the medical, psychological, and legal processes that have to occur before the transfer of the embryo.
The 18-month time frame also gives you peace of mind about being successful on the first embryo transfer. However, this timeline assumes that there are no delays or issues with the embryo transfer. You might be looking at adding an additional several months to the timetable and going as far as up to 24 months, depending on how regular your surrogate and/or egg donor is, how easy or difficult it is to coordinate cycles, etc. In order to move forward with your surrogacy journey, it’s a good idea to work backwards in time for when you ideally want to be a parent. This will tell you when you should have signed up with a surrogacy agency. If you intend to become a parent within the next two years, then the time to begin signing up with a surrogacy agency and making these important decisions is now.
If you plan on becoming a surrogate, it also is a good idea to apply to an agency whenever you are ready to proceed. Consulting with an attorney versed in surrogacy is usually a good idea as well so that you understand all of your rights and responsibilities now and can prepare appropriately. The support of a surrogacy lawyer can go a long way towards giving you peace of mind.