It is important to be realistic about the time that each stage of surrogacy will take. Surrogacy can be a long process. It can take 18-24 months on average to complete a journey into parenthood as a gestational surrogate, but it may take more than twice that amount of time.
So, once again: how long does the surrogacy process take? Let's start by clarifying that the process of surrogacy is complex and complex. Each stage should interact perfectly with others, working towards a common goal—the birth of a new life. So let's take a closer look at all those stages now:
- How long does surrogacy take: creating embryos for gestational surrogacy
Creating your embryos is usually the first step when conceiving through gestational surrogacy. You can do this while you are also looking for a surrogate to carry your baby. It is important for you to determine which path of surrogacy will be best—creating your embryos in the country where your surrogate lives, or having her use eggs from someone else.
- Finding a match: how long does it take to find a surrogate?
One reason parents choose to go overseas is that the process for finding a counterpart who will carry their child through pregnancy and childbirth is more certain. In the USA, there's a clear legal framework surrounding professional surrogacy agencies—it makes matching clients with potential counterparts much less of an ordeal than it would be otherwise. A good agency will be able to give you a clear expectation as to their match times, but the general window for matching is 2-8 months.
Because there are fewer Canadian surrogacy consultancies and a different legal framework in Canada than in the US, it often takes longer to find a surrogate mother. Due to Canadian law restrictions, most of the screening takes place after match in Canada so intended parents are more likely to re-match if their first surrogate is not clear—which can lengthen the process.
Although other countries, such as Georgia and Ukraine, may seem like good places to go for surrogacy, they have their own set of restrictions and limitations.
So, as you can see, each stage can take a different time, depending on which way you choose.
- Establishing your relationship and putting an agreement in place
When you have found the right person, it is essential that you spend enough time getting to know each other and building a relationship, so that both of you are confident about moving forward together.
Before moving forward with surrogacy, you should take important steps like screening and background checks on the intended parents, putting in place a written agreement that outlines all parties' rights and responsibilities (including but not limited to: financial support during pregnancy) , getting counseling from a mental health professional if needed—and legal advice is always advisable.
- Getting pregnant
Once you and your partner have agreed on terms, it is time to start trying. If you are conceiving through gestational surrogacy, this means transferring an embryo into the womb of a surrogate mother. Fertility treatments are not always successful, so a couple should plan to undergo at least two cycles before becoming pregnant (each cycle takes six weeks).
We will not tell anything new here: usually the full-term pregnancy is 40 weeks, or 280 days.
- Birth and legal process
You will care for your baby immediately after the birth. However, you will need to apply for a parental order to secure your status as your child's legal parents (even if your baby is born overseas and named on the birth certificate in the country where his/her mother gave birth) - it can take anywhere from 4-12 months before that process comes through. That's why it's important to understand: how long does it take to find a surrogate.
How Long Does The Surrogacy Process Take: Conclusions
The question often arises: how long does surrogacy take? Each individual story is unique. We have described every step of this surrogacy journey that you need to know. You can learn more about the whole process at a consultation with our experts.