Intended Parents FAQ
Questions & Answers for Intended Parents and LGBTQ Parents
CCS, LLC is proud to say that we work with Intended Parent(s) from around the world. We do not discriminate based on your nuclear family preference. We work with single, married, cohabitating, heterosexual, homosexual, and questioning families just to list a few. Each Intended Parent(s) will complete a profile that their potential match will see. This will allow you to explain and describe yourself, your partner if any, and your family structure. Your surrogate must feel comfortable with you and your situation before moving forward. It is very important to be open and honest. There is a match for everyone.
Donors and surrogates must be of reproductive age and at least 20 years old at the time of application, in good health, and have no known negative genetic history. We accept women who appear to be mature, emotionally stable, intelligent, and able to commit to the requirements of the program.
Applicants fill out a lengthy questionnaire. In addition to covering their educational background, physical and personality characteristics, etc., this questionnaire covers their physical and mental health in extensive detail, plus the health and characteristics of their immediate and extended family.
When you select a donor and/or surrogate, she will be evaluated by a licensed psychologist and by the medical personnel at your IVF clinic.
Most clinics include some combination of the following tests in their screening. Please check with your clinic for specific screening protocol.
The psychological, and particularly the medical screening tests, are only valid if completed shortly prior to beginning the actual donation process. If these tests were done too far in advance, medical or emotional problems could arise in the time between the completion of the screening and when the donor is actually selected.
Psychological testing can be completed promptly, and your clinic will have specific medical screening protocols that they will want the donor to complete.
Because there are so many tests involved with the donor’s and/or surrogate’s screening there is a possibility that she may not pass a test, or receive a result that would cause a delay in proceeding. If she is unable to participate then you may select a new donor or surrogate under your original CCS, LLC agency fee. Depending on how much screening your first donor completed, clinic and/or psychological screening fees may need to be remitted for the new donor or surrogate. Any funds in your escrow account will remain in place and move to your new match. There is no refund on screenings that have been completed.
It’s faster for the clinic. In terms of your donor’s screening, yes, it is possible that they may not pass. The recipients who work with me feel this risk is far outweighed by the positives mentioned in the question above. They may have to be a bit more patient, but they want to work with an exceptional donor and not rush what is probably the most important decision in their life.
Yes, Central Coast Surrogacy, LLC routinely runs customized advertising for registered clients to help target in on the donor characteristics they are seeking.
Depending on the ethnicity of the donor, appropriate candidates are usually found in a reasonably short time.
Women donate for a variety of reasons. The financial compensation is often the initial draw, and is generally designated for educational funding. However, evidence of other motivation and a general interest is present in the donors I represent. There really are many women who are drawn to the program by empathy or altruism. Some have a friend, co-worker or neighbor who has experienced infertility; some want an infertile couple to be able to experience the joy that they have experienced through raising their own children.
As for the actual process of egg donation, it is easiest to think of it as an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle split between two women.
You and your donor will begin the cycle by taking birth control pills. The pill assists in cycle synchronization and the ovulation suppression process.
After a pack of birth control pills, your donor will begin taking Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). This hormone stimulates her ovaries to mature multiple eggs – sometimes up to fifteen or more in one cycle. She will take this hormone for approximately twelve days. While she is taking FSH, she will be very closely monitored through blood samples and ultrasound to see how the follicles (eggs) are developing.
Simultaneously, you will begin using estradiol (estrogen) to prepare your endometrium for a possible pregnancy.
When the doctor determines that your donor’s follicles (eggs) are nearing maturity, she will stop taking FSH and will receive one final injection of a different hormone called hCG. hCG allows the eggs to become completely matured and ready for release.
At about the same time, you will begin using progesterone in addition to continuing the estrogen. Progesterone is the other hormone you need to maintain a pregnancy in the early stages.
Next, your physician will remove your donor’s eggs (before they are released) during the egg retrieval procedure. This procedure lasts about 20 minutes and is done under sedation. A needle is guided via ultrasound into the ovaries to aspirate the eggs. This is done through the back of the vagina.
Once the eggs are retrieved, they are “washed”, inspected and placed in a petri dish where they will be fertilized with your partner or donor’s sperm. There, they will grow and develop into embryos. Generally, three or five days later, one or two of the embryos will be placed into your uterus. You will continue to use estrogen and progesterone to prepare your uterus for a possible pregnancy. You receive your first pregnancy test approximately 2 weeks after the embryos have been transferred to your uterus. Any “healthy” embryos that were not placed in your uterus will be frozen for future attempts at getting pregnant.
The actual procedure set-up feels similar to a pelvic exam. Your physician will pass a very small catheter through your cervix and deposit a tiny drop of culture media in which the microscopic embryos are suspended. Additionally, the physician is guided externally by sonogram allowing them to verify the exact placement of the embryos. After the transfer, you will be asked to lie still for a short while and then you are released. Your physician will give you information regarding what level of activity you may have after the procedure.
Yes, you receive all the eggs that are retrieved from your donor. You and your doctor will determine how many embryos should be transferred during your cycle. Generally, one or two. Any remaining embryos will be frozen. You may use these embryos in the future, at your discretion. They are legally your embryos. Most couples end up with 2-6 frozen embryos.
Most women that consider surrogacy have completed their family and wish to help another women experience the joy of motherhood. Many women look at surrogacy not only as a chance to help another women, but also a chance to add extra funds into their budget to help support their own family’s dreams. A women becoming a surrogate must have her own children. There is never an intention to keep the baby of the intended parents. The surrogate is thoroughly explained the roll of being a surrogate from CCS, LLC, as well as from her attorney, psychologist, and your IVF physician.
Most insurance companies do not cover fertility and/or voluntary procedures, and will often reject claims filed with the donor’s insurance company. To help ensure that you are not exposed to any additional costs, Central Coast Surrogacy, LLC offers a “one-time” Assisted Reproduction insurance policy through a Lloyd’s of London. This policy help to cover expenses prior to pregnancy that a regular health plan will not cover. Once a Surrogate is pregnant, she is able to use her plan having pregnancy and surrogacy coverage to cover all medical care and the Intended Parent(s) is responsible for any uncovered expenses and copay/coinsurance amounts due.
Yes. A young woman goes through many, many eggs each month to select the single one that is ovulated. The follicles that don’t complete the development process normally dissolve and are absorbed by the body. Fertility drugs (hormones) preserve a portion of these excess eggs that the body would ordinarily discard. No extra eggs are used up in the process.
Donors and surrogates are compensated based on their fee schedule listed with their profile for participating in the program. This sum is intended to provide reimbursement for the time, effort, and inconvenience involved with screening appointments and tests, taking fertility medications, appointments at the fertility clinic and for undergoing the egg retrieval.
Your donor’s reimbursement check will be mailed to her soon after her egg retrieval. The surrogate’s payments begin with travel reimbursement for medical clearance and will follow a set timeline listed in your legal contract, which is derived from the fee schedule. If the cycle is canceled before the egg retrieval occurs (i.e., inadequate ovarian response), she will receive partial compensation per her fee schedule for her time and inconvenience. Should you or your surrogate end your contract before a resulting pregnancy, the payments to your surrogate will cease.
Yes! You may specify if you are interested in meeting your donor and/or surrogate. Most donors and surrogates are comfortable with whatever choice the couple has made. A very small percentage of donors want to remain fully anonymous.
You may not be sure right now about this choice. We can discuss this concept further at our first meeting, and you will have plenty of time to make this decision.
Some couples will have a strong desire to meet their donor and/or surrogate and learn more about her in person. If you choose this option, we will be there to introduce you and facilitate the meeting with your donor and/or surrogate.
Many recipient parents will feel that they already have a strong sense of the special person their donor is from reviewing her profile and through what we will relate to you about her. This may be enough for you. If you choose an anonymous relationship, we maintain strict confidentiality.
The growing trend among recipient parents is to give their child information about the egg donor/surrogate at the appropriate time. As in the case of adoptive children, there is evidence that it is important for a child to understand their genetic origin before they reach adolescence. Additionally, not revealing this information to a child creates a family “secret”, which may somehow be discovered by the child in the wrong setting. Children can become confused and unsure of whether they can trust their parents when this occurs. I will provide you with a number of articles and resources at our in-person meeting that will help you make the right decision for your family.
When you select your donor and/or surrogate, you will be given quite a bit of non-identifying information about her that you will be able to share with your child if you choose to do so. Many donors and surrogates are receptive to revealing additional information about themselves either at the time of their selection or at a later point via CCS, LLC or through the attorney who creates the egg donation and surrogacy agreement.
Yes. We will help facilitate a contractual agreement between you and your ovum donor/surrogate prior to the egg retrieval and transfer. This agreement serves several purposes. First, it allows the parties the opportunity to clarify their expectations and understanding of their rights and responsibilities. This significantly reduces the risk of confusion or unforeseen complications during or after the cycle. This also provides individuals with the chance to address legally related questions, concerns and clearly communicate their intentions in the reproductive relationship. With the legal process complete, the parties are often able to proceed with a greater level of confidence.
Presently, most states have little to no legislation or case law regulating assisted reproduction. Consequently, in the very few cases that have been brought to litigation, the courts have declared that they will look to the intent of the parties when making their ruling. This means that the courts will likely look to the legal agreement in order to determine the original state of mind and intentions of the parties.
I will provide you with a list of attorneys specializing in assisted reproduction law.
Yes. She will be referred to a separate attorney to help her review and understand the egg donation / surrogacy agreement that your attorney has established.