Frequently Asked Questions
CAN I HAVE HAD A TUBAL LIGATION?
Yes. Tubal ligations (or having your “tubes tied”) only affects the fallopian tubes and does not interfere with how the uterus functions. All of our surrogates at VIVO Surrogacy are gestational surrogates. Their own egg(s) will not be used for the pregnancy and therefore the fallopian tubes are not needed. It is the fertilized embryo of the parents (or donors) that is implanted into the uterus.
CAN I HAVE AN IUD?
IUDs (Intrauterine devices) must be removed prior to starting the IVF protocol. Many Reproductive Endocrinologists require surrogates have to 1-2 menstrual cycles following IUD removal before beginning IVF.
DO I HAVE TO STOP BREASTFEEDING BEFORE STARTING THE SURROGACY PROCESS?
Yes. The medications a surrogate would take in preparation for uterine implantation can be passed to their baby via breast milk.
AM I REQUIRED TO HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE TO QUALIFY WITH YOUR AGENCY?
No. There is a period of six weeks every year (in most states) where surrogates are eligible for health insurance (November through mid-December). These plans are open to anyone and cover surrogate pregnancies. This period is known as Open Enrollment. If you need to apply for health insurance coverage outside of this time frame, we can help you explore additional insurance options.
HOW WILL I GET PAID?
Surrogates will receive a customized Benefit Package during the screening process that outlines all of the payments and benefits they can expect during this journey. All compensation payments will be disbursed through a third party escrow fund manager specializing in surrogacy. Payments are scheduled at specific milestones; such as medication start, embryo transfer, etc.
WHAT TYPES OF MEDICATIONS WILL I NEED TO TAKE IN PREPARATION FOR IVF?
Specific protocols may vary slightly but there are several medications that are commonly used during the IVF process. Some of these are simple over-the-counter medications, while others are prescriptions that are taken orally, transdermally, or injected. Surrogates must be prepared to self-administer injections.
CAN I USE MY OBGYN?
Yes. Surrogates may choose an in-network OB-GYN. Intended parents have the right to seek a second opinion if they feel it is necessary for the health of their child. But, in most situations, intended parents are happy with whomever the surrogate chooses.
WILL THE INTENDED PARENTS TELL ME WHAT I CAN/CAN’T EAT?
Yes and no. As with any pregnancy, it is important for surrogates to maintain a generally healthy lifestyle and diet. And surrogates should avoid potentially hazardous food/drinks, such as raw meat/seafood and alcoholic beverages. Intended parents can make requests or suggestions; however, this is done during the matching process, so you have the chance to decide how comfortable you are with those requests.
WHERE WILL I GIVE BIRTH?
Surrogates choose the hospital where they would like to give birth and, usually, surrogates choose one that is near their home.
CAN I GIVE BIRTH AT HOME OR AT A BIRTHING CENTER?
We understand that some women prefer to give birth outside of a hospital, however, for the safety and peace of mind of all involved, we require that our surrogates plan for hospital deliveries (preferably with a level 2 NICU on site). Midwives or doulas are welcome as long as they are working in tandem with an Obstetrician and there is an OB present to assist during the delivery.
WHO WILL BE IN THE DELIVERY ROOM – HOW WILL THE DELIVERY BE HANDLED?
We match our surrogates with intended parents who have a similar preference for the delivery. Who will be present during and immediately after the birth is agreed upon before a legal agreement is finalized.
WHOSE NAME IS ON THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE?
In California, intended parents file a pre-birth order instructing the hospital to put their names on the original birth certificate, but this varies from state to state. We can help you understand the procedures where your birth is to take place.
HOW MUCH DOES COST?
The cost of surrogacy can vary quite a bit based on a variety of factors. On average, surrogacy ranges from $110,000 - $190,000. VIVO Surrogacy is always upfront about what to expect based on your individual situation.
DOES INSURANCE COVER THE SURROGACY PROCESS? CAN WE USE THE SURROGATE’S HEALTH INSURANCE FOR THE SURROGACY?
Most insurance companies do not cover the surrogacy process, but your surrogate may have insurance coverage that covers the costs associated with her surrogate pregnancy.
If the surrogate does not have insurance, there is a period of six weeks every year (in most states) where surrogates are eligible for health insurance (November through mid-December). These plans are open to anyone and cover surrogate pregnancies. This period is known as Open Enrollment. If surrogates need to apply for health insurance coverage outside of this time frame, we can help surrogates explore additional insurance options.
WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR SURROGATES? DO THEY RESIDE IN SURROGACY-FRIENDLY STATES?
Our surrogates find us! VIVO Surrogacy has a proven track record of supporting and taking care of our surrogates. Word-of-mouth has been our #1 recruitment tool.
Surrogates must live in “surrogate-friendly” states. This means they live in a state where gestational surrogacy is permitted by statute and provides legal protection.
WHAT KIND OF RELATIONSHIP WILL THE SURROGATE EXPECT FROM US?
The type of communication and relationship you will have with your surrogate depends completely on your shared wishes. Before the journey begins, VIVO Surrogacy makes sure that these sorts of questions are addressed and mutually agreed upon. This is one of the reasons the matching process is so important.
WHAT LEVEL OF COMMUNICATION IS EXPECTED BETWEEN THE INTENDED PARENTS AND SURROGATES?
Some intended parents and surrogate develop very close relationships and choose to communicate regularly. Others are more comfortable primarily communicating through us. VIVO Surrogacy’s matching process ensures that you and your surrogate have similar preferences when it comes to communication.