Frequently Asked Questions

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Questions Before You Begin

The surrogacy process has several important steps. The first is the application and screening process.

This process entails a comprehensive online profile creation that covers personal and medical history, virtual and phone consultations with agency staff, a review of medical records and insurance coverage, a background check, mental health evaluation, and virtual home study for surrogates and all adults living within your home.

The second step is matching, wherein the agency will exchange profiles and coordinate a virtual meeting as the first face-to-face connection.

The third step will involve legalities. Securing attorneys, signing contracts, and reviewing terms to ensure all parties feel protected and supported is a crucial step. Following the execution of contracts and securing legal clearance, the fourth step is all about getting pregnant. This process involves medical screening at an IVF clinic, embryo transfer, and finally, after the embryo transfer, and ultrasound at your local monitoring clinic for around six to seven weeks to confirm heartbeat(s). This is a very exciting event because it means you are officially pregnant!

Once the surrogate is pregnant, it will be a countdown to the delivery day! However, the journey doesn’t stop just because the surrogate has delivered the baby; they don’t call it the “4th trimester” for nothing!

As surrogates navigate postpartum, Alcea will assist in ensuring any lingering medical bills are paid, surrogates have access to mental health resources, and that surrogates can reflect on their surrogacy journey positively.

You will first be pre-screened to determine if you are qualified to become a surrogate. There are several factors to consider, so it could take up to a month for an agency you can trust to ensure a compatible surrogate-intended parent match.

We have a multi-stage screening process at Alcea.

1. It begins by filling out the brief “Do I qualify” questionnaire. If all checks out and you are approved for screening, you will be given access to our surrogate portal. Once you have created your account and logged in, you will see a list of things to gather.

We request that you complete the surrogate application, which may seem lengthy, but answering the questions is easy since they are all about you. As you fill out the form, be honest, open, and write down any questions that come to mind.

Upon submitting your application, you will be able to schedule a virtual appointment with your surrogate coordinator within your portal, or they will contact you via text to schedule a screening consultation. After your meeting, you will sign your disclosures and contract, and if all background information has been returned as requested, you will move on to the next exciting step.

2. As part of Alcea’s in-depth screening process, you’ll have a video interview with our social worker, which can last about two to two and a half hours. If applicable, they will also conduct a virtual ‘zoom’ home study and interview all adult members in the household, including your spouse. As part of this interview, the social worker will ask you about your motivation for becoming a surrogate, your support system, pregnancy history, family, interpersonal relationships, interests, and life experiences. We will build your ‘match’ sheet, confirm compensation expectations, and provide as much time as you and your family need to ask questions.

3. In cases where profiles match, we coordinate a video call and advocate on behalf of both parties until a match is mutually accepted. Once you have been matched formally, we will coordinate the next ‘phase’ of screening, and you and your Intended Parents can get to know each other in whatever way you both see fit.

Short answer: yes. Although there are no federal surrogacy laws in the United States, agencies across the country follow similar protocols to ensure the health and safety of both the surrogates and the intended parents. Surrogacy is regulated on a state level, and processes and laws can vary wildly from state to state. Intended parents often have to travel to a different state to pursue a gestational surrogacy agreement that fits their unique needs.
The actual cost of working with a gestational surrogate can vary greatly depending on compensation, type of fertility treatments, medical expenses, and travel. However, in general, the total expected cost is approximately $125,000. Our team of experts can assist in securing financing, and we offer sliding scale agency assistance to do our part in making surrogacy more accessible.

This is usually up to the intended parents. However, many children are well aware that they were born via surrogate. Specifics about the surrogate herself depend entirely on the level of communication intended parents and their surrogate choose to keep up or on the amount of detail intended parents feel comfortable sharing.

Ultimately, having the conversation about surrogacy with children does not have to be as scary as it sounds. Suppose intended parents find themselves concerned or a little intimidated by the notion of having to try and explain surrogacy to a young mind. In that case, there are some incredible children’s books that help to explain surrogacy, IVF, and other building blocks of a family building to kids!

Every surrogacy journey is unique, and the relationship a carrier has with their intended parents is personal. Some surrogates feel content with occasional contact and updates, while some remain in touch with the intended parents and child for years to come, sharing photos and milestones of life. These connections can be fostered and grown organically throughout your surrogacy journey and beyond.

We work with multiple reputable agencies across the country. Like all aspects of the Alcea process, we hand-select to ensure quality.
We ensure that every aspect of the Alcea payment process is transparent and spelled out.
All parties involved should have independent legal counsel, independent from the agency and the intended parents or gestational carriers. Both parties should have attorneys representing their interests who can explain the details of the agreement.
Questions About Becoming A Surrogate
Once your contract is signed, we upload your compensation schedule into our SeedTrust escrow system, and every reimbursement is calendered and automatically disbursed. Surrogates and intended parents can log in and see what’s coming up, without taking any action.
While Alcea completely understands how “BMI” and things along those lines are a sensitive subject for many. Unfortunately, any BMI over 34 could cause the chosen surrogates’ pregnancy to be “high risk,” and the health of our surrogates is a top priority.
It is crucial that surrogate mothers have experience with pregnancy so that they are ready for the physical challenges that come with carrying a child for someone else.
Unfortunately not, breastfeeding takes an enormous toll on the body and can also impact your fertility. This is your body essentially reminding you that you’ve just had a child you’re providing for; you don’t need another one just yet.
Yes! You could very possibly qualify to be a surrogate if you are still within the 21-42-year-old age range as long as you pass all of the additional requirements.
Each clinic will have its medical protocol unique to the carrier and their cycle. Medications may be prescribed as oral pills, injections, patches, or suppositories. Some medications commonly used in an IVF protocol are birth control, lupron, estrogen, progesterone, aspirin, prenatals, steroids, antibiotics, etc.
Currently, there are no defined rules surrounding having sex as a surrogate. But it is generally not recommended to have sex with a surrogate mother before and after two weeks of embryo transfer.
Unfortunately, if you do not have insurance because of a low or unstable income or are on Medicaid, you will be disqualified from surrogacy. This is solely because women who take this path need to be financially stable in that aspect to protect everyone involved.
Yes, you should expect to be released to your personal OBGYN around week 10-12 of your pregnancy for routine appointments.
You should expect to travel depending on where your Intended Parents reside. You will need to travel to your intended parents’ IVF clinic for the embryo transfer. The trip typically lasts three to seven days. Many intended parents attend the embryo transfer if they can, so it is an excellent opportunity to spend time with them.

If you are currently taking anti-depressants or are suffering /have suffered from severe depression/suicidal urges in the past, specifically in relation to postpartum depression, you will be disqualified.

You are eligible if you have successfully weaned off antidepressants at least one year prior.

Surrogacy is a long and rewarding journey; however, as it is still the very complex bodily experience of pregnancy, it can also come with its own set of complications. Alcea encourages all surrogates to do their research, schedule a consultation, and feel free to reach out should they want to discuss any concerns or fears regarding surrogacy.

Supporting surrogates during any physical, mental, or emotionally difficult times is a top priority for Alcea, and we do not simply stop our support once the delivery day has come. We will work to make sure the surrogacy journey is as safe and enjoyable as we possibly can. As surrogates navigate postpartum, we assist in ensuring you have access to any needed mental health resources. We hope you will reflect on the Alcea surrogacy experience that leaves all surrogates feeling supported, empowered, and satisfied with their decision.

At Alcea, we value your opinion and have multiple periods of meeting with potential Intended Parents and make sure both parties align on a list of over 75+ personality traits before a confirmed match. We also consider the type of intended parents you’d like to be matched with, as well as your preferences on the number of embryos to transfer, proximity to reputable clinics, and how geographically close you would prefer your Intended Parents be.
Questions for Intended Parents

There are many factors to ensure a compatible surrogate-intended parent match.

The agency considers specific preferences such as the number of embryos to transfer, views on termination, communication, and geographical location. When a potential match is found, the agency will exchange profiles and coordinate a virtual meeting. During this meeting, both surrogates and Intended Parents will have the opportunity to ask any outstanding questions, get to know the other more, and discuss mutual expectations for the journey together.

Following this match meeting, both parties will decide whether this is the right fit for them!

Our goal at Alcea is to help all types of parents, including domestic and international, LGBTQIA+, heterosexual, single parents, and couples, find the perfect surrogate to help them build their families.
Can intended parents choose based on race, religion, or sexual preference?

Yes, you will. It’s crucial that surrogates and Intended Parents have an open line of communication – to ensure that everyone is always on the same page.

At Alcea, we even consider the amount of contact you want during and after the surrogacy process.

With today’s medical advances, you or your HIV+ partner can become parents.

There is no sexual interaction with a surrogate in the process of creating a child through surrogacy; instead, an embryo is created, transferred to the surrogate’s uterus, and she carries the baby to term. As a result, the risk of HIV transmission is eliminated.

An HIV-positive parent should, however, consider a few things. Among other things, you need to understand how HIV is transmitted (and how it is not) and what steps you and your kids need to take to stay healthy.

Proper education is essential (both for you and your child) if you choose to become an HIV-positive parent. To avoid contact with blood and transmitting opportunistic infections, you may need to establish specific hygiene rules that other families don’t need.

You should research being an HIV-positive parent before you decide to pursue surrogacy as an HIV-positive intended parent.

Your surrogate will deliver in their state of residence. You should plan to arrive in the surrogate’s home state at least a few days before the due date. Our surrogates are instructed to inform you and our office when they go into labor, so travel plans can be changed if necessary.
You can leave for home as a new family as soon as the baby is released from the hospital.
The names entered on the baby’s original birth certificate largely depend on the individual state’s surrogacy laws. However, many surrogacy-friendly states allow intended parents to file a pre-birth order, which instructs the hospital to enter the intended parents’ names on the original birth certificate.
In all negotiations and contract signings, your surrogacy agency should be your partner and advocate.
No! During the screening process, Alcea surrogates are evaluated to ensure they are mentally and emotionally ready to proceed with the surrogacy journey. There is no doubt in our surrogates’ minds that the baby they carry is on behalf of the intended parents—not for their family building.
Questions about Alcea Surrogacy
Surrogates apply with us and are screened through this process.

Typically, surrogates must be between 21-42 years old with a BMI of less than 34. Surrogates should have carried at least one child to term without complications and had no more than four deliveries via cesarean section. Alcea surrogates should not smoke cigarettes, abuse alcohol, or use illicit drugs. Surrogates should also have a stable home life with emotional support and child care.

Finally, Alcea surrogates should not have mental health conditions that require medication use within the last six months.

Alcea does not accept all intended parents. In the same way, Alcea must ensure intended parents and surrogates are the right fit when looking for a potential match. Alcea also ensures the intended parents and the agency are a perfect fit as well. Several factors might contribute to the overall decision that the agency and intended parents aren’t right for each other.

Regardless, Alcea reserves the right to decline to provide services to intended parents should we so decide. Whatever the reason, we wish you good luck on your journey!

When pregnant, what would help you get through the challenging spaces? What goodies do you crave? What self-care items would you never buy yourself — but would love to splurge on? Our carriers gave us the details, and we’ve taken note! Things like candles and lotions, flowers, jammies, a pineapple necklace for good luck, numbing cream, “rear” heating pad, lavender relaxing shower steamers, and of course PREGNANCY TESTS! These small touches make Alcea decidedly different.