The SENSIBLE Surrogacy Guide

We believe that you should have a full understanding of the entire surrogacy process, down to every detail, before making a decision about your reproductive options… So we have put together the SENSIBLE Surrogacy Guide for prospective parents considering IVF and surrogacy.

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You can search on any topic using the search box below. Or you can browse the entire surrogacy process in the step-by-step glossary that follows.

If you don’t find your answers in The Guide, we invite you to contact us directly with your questions at .

Please note: Although we work with many excellent doctors and clinics, information in this Guide is based on personal experience and knowledge gained over many years of assisting infertile couples. It should not be mistaken for professional medical advice, and any medical questions should always be referred to a credentialed medical specialist.

Additional resources are available on Wikipedia and WebMD.

The Surrogacy Process

The Basics: Common Surrogacy terms defined

Surrogacy has become both a popular and controversial solution for childless couples to create complete families; but exactly what is surrogacy and what do the common terms mean? Read more…

How does Surrogacy work: Process Overiew

Surrogacy can best be understood as series of simple steps. Here is our primer on the basics of how surrogacy works, in an understandable format. Read more…

How long does the surrogacy process take?

The entire surrogacy process can take about 12 to 14 months, but that can quickly grow longer if finding a surrogate becomes a problem. Read more…

Also: Is Surrogacy right for your family?


Where to have your surrogacy process.

Surrogacy Is legal in only a limited number of countries worldwide: Heterosexual couples considering surrogacy may consider these destinations. Read more…

Also: Can I have surrogacy if it’s illegal in my home country?


What do you need to start your journey?

Most clinics and reputable agencies will have a basic set or requirements to accept you as a patient. These include some documentation that demonstrate you are healthy, fertile and will be a fit parent. Read more…

Find the best surrogacy agency

To find available agents, you should begin your search online. However do not judge an agent’s abilities or reliability based solely on their web presence. The Internet has become a popular marketing tool for many businesses… but often the agents that work online marketing the best, are often the ones whose primary goal is not aligned with your own. Read more…

Calculating Your Surrogacy Budget

How much will your surrogacy journey cost?

The cost of surrogacy in North America starts at $95,000 for a full agency program, with Indy programs costing around $75,000. Overseas programs range from $50,000 in Eastern Europe or South America, to $80,000 in Western countries like the UK, Greece or Canada. Read more…

Can I Finance the cost of my surrogacy process?

Basic surrogacy costs from $95,000 to $150,000 USD in the United States. Few couples have that amount of money to pay in cash for a program, but financing options do exist. Read more…

Will health insurance pay my surrogacy costs?

The health insurance industry in the United States is uniquely complex and confounding. Finding affordable insurance for your surrogate can be difficuklt, but here are some tips to navigate the process. Read more…

Also: Are Guarantee Baby Programs worth the cost?


Starting the Journey: Some Medical Questions

Decide when to start your surrogacy process

Much of the initial surrogacy process will depend on your availability to travel for sperm and egg donation. Be prepared to answer this basic question when you talk to your agent. Read more…

Consider your surrogacy options

Many couples have had difficulty carrying full-term pregnancies for a variety of reasons. These couples have a few options to pursue surrogacy overseas. Read more…

Qualify as a Sperm Donor

Before any sperm donation, a reputable IVF clinic will need both a standard blood test and semen analysis for the genetic father. Read more…

Also: How can potential donors boost their sperm quality?

Also: Can I still get pregnant with high sperm fragmentation?


Are you able to donate your own eggs?

The egg donation is the most critical procedures in a surrogacy journey. Unfortunately, women over the age of 35 often have difficulty donating eggs. Here is the process required to confirm that a Future Mother can be a viable egg donor. Read more…

Also: Fresh or Frozen Eggs: Which are Better?


How to Choose an Excellent Egg Donor

Many couples think the value of their egg donor is the genetic material she provides for your surrogacy procedure. In reality, your egg donor is a far more crucial component of the success of your procedure. Read more…

The Medical Journey

How to Find a Surrogate

Depending on the country where you live, you may need to work with your agency to find a suitable surrogate, meet and interview her, and convince her to carry your child. Other countries your clinic or agency will have a list of available surrogates ready to start. Read more…

Also: What is a Surrogate?

Also: How to find insurance for your U.S. surrogate?


Make your Sperm Donation

Most clinics recommend that you are abstinent for at least 3 days prior to your sperm donation. So if you are making two donations, assume you will need a total of four days to make both donations. Read more…

Also: How many times do I need to visit the clinic?


Using IVF to Conceive Your Embryos

In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is the first medical procedure of any surrogacy journey. The process combines the Intended Parents’ eggs and sperm to conceive their nascent family.
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Also: Should I perform PGS/PGD testing on my embryos?

Also: Understand the quality grade of your embryos


Your Fresh and Frozen Embryo Transfer

For many couples trying to have children, the embryo transfer is the special moment when the pregnancy will succeed or fail. Read more…

Also: How to improve your chances of pregnancy

Also: How do I know when my surrogate is ready?

Also: How many embryos should we transfer per attempt?

Also: Can my partner and I have “Twins” with a shared Egg Donor


How to Manage Your Surrogate Pregnancy

After your pregnancy has been confirmed, the surrogate is placed under immediate prenatal care. What is the parents’ role during the pregnancy and how involved should they be in these important pregnancy milestones?Read more…

Also: What if the pregnancy test is negative?


Birth of your Surrogacy Baby

In most cases the obstetrician and clinic doctor will determine that the baby is fully developed and ready to be delivered. Read more…

Legal Issues and Your Parental Rights

Passports and Citizenship for the Baby

At the end of your surrogacy process, you will need to legally return home with your baby. If your surrogacy process happened overseas, that means applying for for citizenship and a passport. The process is very different from country to country, but the general principle is the same. Read more…

Can the Surrogate Keep Your Baby?

At the end of your surrogacy process, you will need to legally return home with your baby. If your surrogacy process happened overseas, that means applying for for citizenship and a passport. The process is very different from country to country, but the general principle is the same. Read more…

About the authors

  • Bill-Houghton
  • Author: William Houghton

    Bill Houghton is the founder of Sensible Surrogacy, author of the Sensible Surrogacy Guide, 2x surrogacy dad, and a dedicated advocate for secure, legal and ethical Gestational Surrogacy. Read Bill's Biography

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