What You Need to Know About Surrogacy
At Magic Journeys, we believe that surrogacy is a life-changing decision. Understandably, those considering becoming a surrogate have many questions about the process. Below are a few frequently asked questions.
During the surrogacy process, surrogates and parents need a guide to take them through every detail and decision they make. Every journey we take with surrogates and parents is one that shapes and defines Magic Journeys — that’s why we’re committed to creating an experience that will surpass the highest of expectations. We accept nothing less than excellence, and neither do our surrogates or parents.
The base compensation for Magic Journeys surrogates is $40,000 minimum. Depending on parents’ requirements and expectations, surrogates may receive up to $40,000 in additional benefits. We are one of the highest paying surrogacy agencies in the U.S. and offer even more pay to experienced surrogates. Contact our admissions team to learn more about Magic Journeys benefit packages.
There is no “required” or “preferred” time to tell friends and family about your decision to become a surrogate. It’s important to consider how this decision will impact those around you and think about when and how to best share the news. There are many articles and resources online that offer advice on how to announce your surrogacy.
Magic Journeys only facilitates gestational surrogacy — the surrogate will not be providing her egg for the embryo. The parents will either find an egg donor or use the intended mother’s egg.
For various reasons, many couples who would like a child are not able to have one on their own. Surrogacy is a safe and legal option that appeals to many parents.
Because Magic Journeys only facilitates gestational surrogacy, a tubal ligation does not affect a surrogate’s chances of conception. The fertilized embryo will be implanted into the uterus.
The length of the surrogacy process can vary greatly depending on how long it takes to find a match between surrogates and parents, and how many embryo transfers are required to start the pregnancy. Typically, the surrogacy process is 18 months — from initial application to delivery.
We carefully review every application before scheduling a consultation. During the consultation, an Intake Coordinator will talk about the Magic Journeys surrogacy process and answer any questions you may have.
Yes. For surrogates not living in Southern California, Magic Journeys will cover the costs of travel to complete a medical and psychological screening. Travel may also be required for each embryo transfer. Speak to your case manager to learn more about travel requirements for surrogates.
Magic Journeys surrogates give birth in a local hospital.
Surrogates are free to choose their own OB-GYN, however, parents are allowed to seek a second opinion about pregnancy decisions. Usually, though, parents are content with the surrogate’s choice.
Magic Journeys is legally responsible for making sure the surrogate and her family are financially stable before beginning the program. We also do this to make sure surrogates are not choosing surrogacy primarily for financial gain. Surrogates should keep in mind that receiving compensation for surrogacy may disqualify them from government benefits.
Magic Journeys’ surrogates are not employees or contractors. Neither the parents nor Magic Journeys will issue a W-2 or 1099. It’s important to speak to your tax preparer about reporting this income on your tax return.
Magic Journeys expects surrogates to wean their baby before starting the surrogacy process. This is to ensure the surrogate’s own child is not affected by the hormone medications that will be administered during the surrogacy process.
Surrogates are not required to have their own insurance plan before beginning surrogacy. Speak to your case manager to learn more about health insurance options for surrogates.
Surrogates typically have an online video conference with the IPs after the match is accepted. On some occasions, the first meeting can be held in-person.
The Magic Journeys team reviews the preferences and expectations of surrogates and parents before recommending a match. Of course surrogates and parents can decline a match and request a different one.
We encourage surrogates to start looking at IP profiles during the surrogacy admissions process. It’s important for surrogates to start thinking about their preferences early on.
During the application process, our admissions team discusses preferences with IPs and surrogates to clarify expectations. Based on the insights gained during the interviews, we keep an eye out for potential matches.
We hold a consultation with each Intended Parent to not only make sure we can meet their expectations but to also get a deeper understanding of what they are looking for. We keep the needs of IPs and surrogates in mind when deciding who to admit into the program. Each IP is required to undergo a medical screening and a criminal background check.
Magic Journeys surrogates are not required to carry multiples but it does simplify the matching process. If recommended by the Embryologist, IPs may agree to the transfer of multiple embryos to increase the odds of conception. However, most IPs don’t specifically try for twins.
Prior to embryo transfer, the surrogate will receive hormone therapy to help prepare the uterus for pregnancy. Once it’s time for the embryo transfer, a catheter will be inserted through the cervix and the embryos will be placed in the uterus. The surrogate may take bed rest for 24 to 72 hours and after two weeks will take a pregnancy test. If pregnancy is confirmed, hormone therapy will continue for the next 10 to 12 weeks. Near the end of the first trimester, the surrogate will be released to her obstetrician for normal pregnancy care.
The doctor will work with the surrogate and the IPs to make adjustments that will lead to pregnancy during the next cycle. There is usually nothing that a surrogate could’ve done to increase her chances of pregnancy — it may take a few tries before a pregnancy is confirmed. In rare cases, the IVF team will recommend using a donor egg, changing the egg donor, introducing or changing the sperm donor, or attempting the transfer with a different surrogate.
IPs are usually there during the transfer. Surrogates may also have a friend or family member present for support.
To ensure the safety of the child and surrogate, Magic Journeys surrogates are required to plan on giving birth in a hospital. An obstetrician must be present if a midwife is handling the delivery — midwives must work alongside OBs.
Regular moderate exercise is recommended for a healthy surrogacy pregnancy. But we don’t recommend heavy lifting or other strenuous exercise. We ask surrogates speak with their OB about what kinds of exercise they should be doing and what to avoid. Magic Journeys surrogates should be willing to modify their workouts as directed by their doctor.
The admissions team will communicate the payment plan during the application process and provide surrogates with a handbook detailing Magic Journeys’ payment structure and optional benefits. Surrogates receive payments after reaching milestones, such as beginning hormone therapy or successfully completing the screening process. Additional payments are made on a monthly basis during the pregnancy. Payments are made via mailed check.
During pregnancy, surrogates are expected to eat a healthy diet and avoid things like alcohol, caffeine and raw meat. If IPs have specific dietary preferences or restrictions that they would like the surrogate to comply with, then this agreed upon during the matching stage.
This decision can only be made by the surrogate. However, this also can be discussed during the matching stage. If IPs or surrogates feel strongly about a medicated delivery, we will make sure that this is agreed upon before the embryo transfer.
Surrogates are not required to have a C-section but the decision to have one will be based on two factors: if there is a medical reason requiring a C-section or if the previous delivery was done via C-section. VBAC deliveries are not guaranteed and will require doctor approval. If IPs or surrogates prefer a C-section, this will need to be discussed during the matching stage.
Most IPs treasure the moment their baby is born and would like to be there. Surrogates may also have their partner or a support person present. However, in cases requiring a C-section, most hospitals only allow one individual to be present. IPs and surrogates should discuss beforehand — during the matching stage — who will be in the room in case a C-section is required.
Prior to delivery, we encourage IPs and their surrogate to attend a hospital tour and become familiar with the facility. IPs will coordinate with surrogates when creating the birth plan so that they can do their best to be present during delivery. IPs and surrogates can speak to their case manager to learn more about how deliveries are typically handled.
This is a common concern of many surrogates but completely unfounded. Many IPs actually ask what will happen if the surrogate wants to keep the baby. If in case the IPs decide against keeping the baby, the Magic Journeys legal team will work with an attorney to locate an adoptive family.
During the matching process, the Magic Journeys team communicates with surrogates and IPs to make sure preferences regarding breastfeeding are aligned. The decision to pump or breastfeed is jointly made by the IPs and the surrogate.
Magic Journeys is here to support every surrogate postpartum. We are happy to answer any questions and be a resource to you.
This is decided up during the match meeting and is declared in the contract. The decision to keep in touch after the baby goes home is jointly made by the IPs and the surrogate.