Intended Parents Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why should I choose Giving Tree over other agencies or when I can go independent?
Giving Tree is a world leading surrogacy agency founded on the belief to providing the best support, resources, and information to educate, guide, and lead you through every step through your journey. Our dedicated and experience team is based in Orange County, California and provides compassionate and comprehensive support and care all the way to support you as you fulfill your dreams of parenthood.
Going the independent route is challenging and risky route. There is a wide range of element to take into consideration, including legalities. On average, there are over 500 tasks from beginning to end of the surrogacy process. Monitoring them is a daunting challenge. Giving Tree helps to simplify those process by helping you select the right surrogates, egg donors, and handle all the legalities so you can just enjoy the joy of raising your child/ children. We will help you navigate, pave the way, smooth any bumps, and celebrate your success along the way.
2. What is the difference between gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy?
Gestational Surrogacy is the process when a fertilized embryo is implanted into a surrogate, who will then carry the pregnancy term all the way until birth, when the child/ children is handed to the intended parents. There is no genetic relationship between the child / children and the surrogate.
Traditional surrogates are not only gestational mothers, but most importantly, genetic mothers as well. They undergo artificial insemination, which results in pregnancy.
3. How long will the surrogacy process take?
The length of the process varies, depending on several factors such as the success of IVF treatments, matching process, legal requirements, and more. Typically, intended parents should expect to wait around 1-2 years from the time they sign with Giving Tree to until child birth.
4. How and where do I start the process?
All prospective intended parents starts with filling out an application HERE and once evaluated, we will schedule a consultation where you will meet with our consultant coordinator where you can share your story, and to better understand the surrogacy process and review our programs and options, and also answer any questions regarding the process at this time.
5. Can I be pursue surrogacy if I am a single parent or same –sex couple?
Absolutely! At Giving Tree, we consider it an honor and a privilege to help Intended parents, whether single or LGBTQ, from a variety of backgrounds - regardless of sexual oriental, age, or nationalities - to achieve your dreams of starting a family.
6. What is the success rate for surrogacy?
A variety of factors such as the health and viability of your embryo, the fertility history of your surrogate, and the clinic can all influence surrogacy success rates. In some cases, the clinic will also perform multiple embryo transfers until a healthy pregnancy is achieved. At Giving Tree, our experienced team and clinic we work with will analysis, guide and help you along the way to provide you the best chances of achieving your dream.
7. How does the matching process work?
Our surrogate candidates have undergone our rigorous prescreening and selection so you have nothing to worry when choosing the right surrogate for your baby.
We will review the matching preferences from both intended parents and surrogates. Once completed, we will send the profile of the intended parents (no identifying information) to the surrogate. If the surrogate is interested, we will then send her profile to the intended parents (no identifying information). Once there is mutual interest, we will arrange a meeting either by telephone, WeChat, skype or email so they can familiarize with one another. After initial communication, an in person meeting between both parties is arranged if their schedule allows. Both parties will then go through medically screening. If the surrogate does not pass the screening, Giving Tree will present a new match.
8. Will I have contact with my surrogate?
Relationship building is the core belief at Giving Tree. We encourage maintaining meaningful communication thought the life of the child/ children. We encourage intended parents to visit their surrogates a few times to familiarize with one another if schedule allows.
9. Where will my child/ children be delivered?
Most surrogates will deliver at a hospital near their home for convenience since most of our surrogates already have an existing relationship with their obstetrician and gynecologist. In other cases, the decision comes down to decisions made by the insurance company and their network of approved providers and hospitals. Whether an intended parents can partake in the labor process will depend on the hospital policy and the comfort level of the surrogate.
10. How many visits will I have to make to the United States?
As an intended parent, you can expect to come to United States 2- 4 times throughout the progress. Usually one visit is to meet the surrogate and completing the medical screening. The second visit is usually for the IVF procedure and embryo transfer. Most parents also usually come for the 20 week ultrasound scan. The final visit, of course, is for the birth of your child. Intended parents are welcome to discuss their schedule and availability with Giving Tree and their surrogates.
11. How long should I remain in the United States after the labor and delivery?
We recommend at least 2- 4 weeks after the delivery to allow enough time for any medical and legal work to be completed. This will also allow time for issuance of birth certificates, visas, passports, and so on.
12. What are your requirements for surrogates?
We recruit only the healthiest, brightest, most dedicated surrogates who are already mothers to their own children, and who have the responsibility and compassion required to carry a healthy pregnancy for another. All potential surrogates are required to go through criminal background checks, psychological screening, medical examinations, and interviews to ensure you have nothing to worry when choosing the right surrogate for your baby.
Our gestational surrogates:
Have Body Mass Index (BMI) of between 18 -33
Financially secured and sound with responsible and stable lifestyles
Not currently on government financial support.
Does not use illegal drugs or abuse alcohol
Are non-smokers and between age of 21 to 38
Has previous delivery of own child and currently parenting at least one child.
Has medical documentation showing uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries
Is a citizen, legal resident or legal immigrant of the United States.
Residues in a US state where surrogacy is legal and permitted.
History clear of criminal activity
History clear of clinical mental illness
Are emotionally stable and motivated who loves to help others
13. What are the requirements to become an egg donor?
Between 21-31 years of age
Have regular monthly periods
No reproductive disorders or abnormalities
Have both ovaries
Physically and emotionally healthy
Have a BMI between 19-29
No history of substance abuse
Not using contraceptive implants or Depo-Provera injections as a form of birth control
Willing to undergo medical and psychological evaluation
Willing to take injectable medication
Willing to commit to the process for minimum of 6 months
Dependable, mature, and able to keep appointments
14. How do I select an egg donor?
By being selective in the application, pre-screening, and interview processes, we attract the brightest and best, high quality egg donors who are motivated to make a difference in the lives of individuals and couples who want to start a family. Our detailed questionnaire from the egg donors will allow intended parents to make their decision. Once you find a profile that connects with you, our team coordinator will guide and assist you in making the match.
15. Will I be able to contact the egg donors?
Giving tree encourages relationship between parties. Our egg donors are compassionate and understands the importance of helping fulfilling parenthood dreams. Many of them will be willing to meet the intended parents in person, or through WeChat or Skype.
16. Is there any contracts with either the surrogates or the egg donor?
Our legal team will draft an agreement and contract covering medical procedures, reimbursements, and relationship with the child/ children once you are matched with your surrogate or egg donor.
17. Are the egg donors anonymous or known?
Relationship building is the core belief at Giving Tree so we encouraged known egg donations so you and your egg donor will be able to familiarize with one another. The majority of donors from Giving Tree are comfortable with a known egg donation. In rare instances, where the intended parents or donors choose to remain anonymous, we will respect the decision and provide consultations relating to anonymity.
18. Do I need an attorney and what does the legal process involve?
Once you have joined Giving Tree family, our legal team will act as your counsel for all legal matters relating to your surrogacy in the United States. In all cases, you must have wills finalized before embryo transfer to ensure guardian care for your child in unfortunate event of your death. Legal works might also include, but not limited to: a judgment of paternity, a pre-birth order, a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity, a custody orders, or an adoption. Our legal team will represent you in any negotiations to finalize your parental rights.
19. Whose name goes on the birth certificate?
Many surrogacy friendly states such as California will allow intended parents to file a pre-birth order that will allow the hospital to enter the intended parent’s name on the birth certificate. In some other States or instances, there will be additional legal work which will require the intended parents name to be added on the birth certificate after the birth of the child/ children. Some States will also require same sex couples to submit a second parent adoption application so both parents name will be listed on the birth certificate.
20. What if the surrogate mother refuse to give the baby back to intended parents?
If you undergo gestational surrogacy, our legal team will constitute the pre-birth order, which establishes your parental rights and the surrogate’s relinquishment of the baby/ babies so your surrogate will not have any parental rights to the baby. In rare cases where a surrogate has strongly bonded with your child during pregnancy, an agency counseling and support services can be provided to help both parties overcome any anxiety during the journey.