The following describes in step-by-step detail the process of applying to join the
NEEDS community and - if selected as a surrogate - preparing for and becoming a
surrogate gestational carrier for aspiring parents who select you.
- Qualifications Self-Review
- Application and Personal Photographs
- Consent Documents
- Initial Selection as Surrogate Carrier
- Introduction to Aspiring Parents
- Psychological Evaluation
- Fee Negotiation and Legal Contract
1. Qualifications Self-Review (top ^)
Your first step, prior to applying for the NEEDS surrogate gestational carrier program,
is to confirm with yourself that you meet the NEEDS qualification criteria for surrogacy.
To become a surrogate gestational carrier, you must:
- Be between 21 and 40 years old
- Have a weight appropriate for your height
- Be ovulating normally
- Be a non-smoker who maintains a healthy lifestyle
- Have successfully carried at least one child of your own to term
Additionally, think carefully about your willingness to be pregnant and to commit a year
to a year and a half of your life to helping aspiring parents have a baby (or babies).
Though immensely rewarding for many who do it, being a surrogate gestational carrier is
an intense, challenging, and emotional process. (Note, though, that as a gestational carrier,
the baby is biologically the offspring of the parents - he or she has no genetic connection
2. Application and Personal Photographs (top ^)
To join the NEEDS surrogate gestational carrier program - and to help aspiring parents make
an informed selection of their ideal surrogate - you must complete a comprehensive online
application/questionnaire, which includes detailed questions about you and your health. This
questionnaire should take roughly 45 minutes to an hour complete online.
We also ask that you provide photographs of yourself, which helps aspiring parents in the
selection process. The photograph should be in a digital (electronic) format allowing you to
easily upload the photo to the NEEDS website. (If you do not have digital photographs, your
local photofinisher can create them from prints or - if necessary - you can mail the prints to
NEEDS for scanning and loading to the site.) If you decide to apply for NEEDS' program, please
review our photo requirements document
for detailed instructions before submitting photographs.
Except for your name and other confidential identifying information, your completed application and photos
will be seen by aspiring parents searching for someone of your characteristics to
be their surrogate gestational carrier. Your name will not be revealed to the aspiring parents
until you and the parents have met and agreed to proceed with the surrogacy process.
3. Consent Documents (top ^)
To join the NEEDS community, you also must print out, sign, and mail consent documents to
NEEDS indicating your willingness to become a surrogate gestational carrier and agreement to
allow aspiring parents to review online your photograph and your application (again, you
remain anonymous - your last name and identifying information will not be revealed to aspiring
parents until you meet and agree to the surrogacy process).
4. Pre-Qualification (top ^)
NEEDS will review your application to pre-qualify you as a surrogate gestational carrier,
and may also conduct an interview with you. We also must receive your signed Consent Documents.
Once pre-qualified, you will be notified via e-mail of your acceptance into the NEEDS community
as a prospective surrogate carrier. Your application and photograph will then be available online,
in a secure location on the NEEDS website, for review by aspiring parents whose online search for
a surrogate indicates that you offer the characteristics they seek.
5. Initial Selection as Surrogate Carrier (top ^)
Selection of a surrogate carrier is an extremely subjective process. Aspiring parents typically
look for a donor who is healthy and stable as well as someone they believe that can comfortably
work with through the close, emotional process of surrogate pregnancy. There's no guarantee of
when you will be selected as a surrogate carrier. It is possible you could be chosen in one week,
one month, or one year from the time you complete your application and have been accepted into the
NEEDS surrogate gestational carrier program.
Once you are selected by the aspiring parents, you will be immediately contacted by NEEDS to
notify you of their interest and to confirm your willingness to be a surrogate. Biographies and
photo of the aspiring parents will be sent to you for your review. You will be free to ask additional
questions of the aspiring parents after reading their profile.
6. Introduction to Aspiring Parents (top ^)
A telephone conference call will then be scheduled with NEEDS, the aspiring parents and you. If the telephone meeting is successful - if you, your partner, and the aspiring parents remain interested in proceeding with the process - then NEEDS will ask the aspiring parents to complete their paperwork with NEEDS. Once the paperwork is completed, the identifying information on all parties will be released. The aspiring parents will be encouraged to schedule a face-to-face meeting with you and your partner to further get to know each other.
7. Psychological Evaluation (top ^)
Once you are chosen by aspiring parents as their surrogate carrier, you will be asked to meet
with a licensed psychologist for an assessment of your mental and emotional readiness for the
surrogacy process. This evaluation will be paid for by the aspiring parents.
8. Fee Negotiation and Legal Contract (top ^)
The fee for the service of carrying and delivering the aspiring parent's biological baby is determined
by you. Although being a surrogate is a priceless gift, most surrogates request - and most aspiring
parents expect to compensate - $18,000 for a single birth and $23,000 for twins, in addition to expenses.
Once you agree upon a fee with the aspiring parents, they will present a contract to you. (Note that
the contract involves you and the aspiring parents - not NEEDS.) You will then meet with an attorney
of your choice, paid for by the couple, who will review the contract with you and negotiate any changes
before you sign.
9. Pregnancy (top ^)
The medical procedure for the surrogate gestational carrier is similar to having a pap smear and in
most cases is pain-free. Your menstrual cycle and the menstrual cycle of the biological mother will
be synchronized using daily injections of Lupron. You will also be taking Estrogen prior to ovulation,
and the mother will be taking daily injections of fertility drugs. The development of her eggs will be
monitored by daily blood work and ultrasounds.
The thickness of the lining of your uterus will be evaluated using blood tests and ultrasounds.
Three days after the eggs have been retrieved from the biological mother and fertilized with the sperm of
the biological father, the physician will transfer the embryos to you. The procedure feels similar to a
pap smear and is completed under sterile conditions. Depending on the physician, you may then begin
A pregnancy test will be taken in approximately 10 days after the transfer of embryos to you. Once
pregnant, you will carry the aspiring parents' baby (or babies) to term, maintaining a close, personal
relationship with the parents throughout the process until delivery.
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