Gestational Carrier Series - Chapter #2
To continue our gestational carrier (GC) series, we had asked our intended parents (IP) to give us a little more insight as to what their experience has been like. We also asked a couple of agencies that we recommend contacting for matching with a GC to give additional feedback that you might find helpful.
How to find a GC? There are a variety of ways to get connected to a GC. For some they are acquaintances or friends, for others it’s through a matching process. Here is what our IP had to say about how she found her GC:
I was lucky enough to have a friend who had interest in the process before so I felt comfortable asking her. If she wouldn’t have accepted, we probably would have gone through an agency. We ended up spending about the same amount as if we went through an agency, but I like that it went directly to her and not the middle man. However, if you do not know someone then an agency is great because they do a lot of background checks for you.
A couple of agencies to look for a GC would be Compassionate Beginnings and Reproductive Assistance Inc (RAI). When going through an agency they are looking for a couple of key specifics in a potential GC – has she carried at least one pregnancy to term with no complications? Has she had no more than one c-section? Is she non-smoking and in a non-smoking environment? There is additional psychological and legal steps that also take place. When going through an agency, the IP would first have an interview with the agency. At that time they would review potential carrier profiles and after choosing a possible GC they would have the opportunity to speak directly to her.
What was the emotional process like when going through the process? This is something that varies by couple and situation. This is what our IP had to say about the emotional process for her:
I thought that I would feel more jealous of the process, because of course I would love to be the one carrying these babies, but instead I feel more gratitude to have these babies growing and found someone so wonderful to do it! While we are still in the middle of this process, I think the hardest part was the beginning. It is a lot of money upfront and you don’t know if it is going to work or not. You have to juggle a lot of different things, from legal to medical and of course personal! I have heard similar feelings from other women who are in a similar situation. It does get easier!
What can the financial impact be when using a GC? The financial impact can vary greatly depending on your specific situation. An IP typically would find the agency fee around $15,000, in addition to the fees associated with creating the embryos for transfer. Here is what our IP had to say about the financial side:
It can really vary by situation. Some people use a friend or family member who does not want compensation but I think that would be more of a rare occurrence. There are going to be fixed costs like the retrieval and transfer and medical care throughout the pregnancy. In addition, there are legal fees.
What is your involvement with the GC? Every IP and GC develop a different type of relationship. For some that includes the IP attending the OB scans and being there during the transfer. Some families are unable to attend the appointments physically but with technology they can Facetime or Skype during an OB apt. This allows for the IP to ask questions and hear the heartbeat.
For more from this IP, please see the prior blog about her experience.