Intended Parents Frequently Asked Questions

Giving Tree Surrogacy FAQ

Intended Parents

Why should I choose Giving Tree over other agencies or going 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.




What's the difference between gestational 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.




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.




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.




Can I 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.




What's 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.




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.




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.




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 parent can partake in the labor process will depend on the hospital policy and the comfort level of the surrogate.




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.




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.

  • 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




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
  • Non-smoker
  • 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




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.




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.




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.




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.




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.




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.




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.




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.





Egg Donor

How long is the egg donation process?


The timeline varies depending on different circumstances such as the egg donation arrangements and whether if the intended parents require a gestational surrogate. Although the donation lasts only 3-4 weeks, the whole process can typically be 3-4 months or longer.




Can donating affect my own fertility?


Women typical has a pool of about 400,000 follicles by time of puberty and only about 400 of them will reach maturity and be ovulated. The hormones administered in the donation process actually helps stimulate unused eggs that would otherwise be destroyed so egg donation does not deplete your follicle reserves and you will be able to have children after donation.




Can I donate more than once?


Giving Tree Surrogacy will only allow a woman to donate up to six times. If you decide to participate again after the first donation, the process will be much efficient and less time consuming since you will have already completed the screening.




How much money can egg donors receive?


With each egg donation cycle, you can expect to earn between $7000 and $15000, which varies based on a number of considerations, which will be discussed during consultation. The generous compensation allows a door of possibilities where you can continue educational goals, assist with auto and home payments, travel abroad, or just put toward your own goals and dreams for both the near and distant future.




Who is responsible for paying the bills?


An egg donor will not have to worry about any expenses as your intended parent is responsible for all egg donor costs and expenses incurred as a result of an egg donation cycle, including medical expenses, insurance, attorney fees, and travel expenses.




Is egg donation compensation taxable income?


Yes. Amounts payable to a donor does represents taxable compensation income under U.S tax law. Giving Tree Surrogacy will issue 1099s to all egg donors.




Is medical insurance required for the process?


It is recommended to have medical insurance, but you can still be an egg donor without one because the prospective parents you are matched with will purchased complications insurance for you.




How I will be emotionally affected from egg donation process?


Emotional experiences will vary from person to person. The psychologic and medical screenings we employed will help determine if you are ready for donation. During the fertility medication cycle, you can expect moodiness. However, most of egg donors express extreme pride, satisfaction, and joy after the giving process. Feel free to ask your coordinate if you have any concerns or questions during the process.




How do I sign up for egg donation with Giving Tree Surrogacy?


For potential donors, the basic egg donation requirements are:​

  • 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

  • Non-smoker

  • 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

If interested, you can fill out an application HERE




Why there are age limits on being an egg donor?


At Giving Tree Surrogacy, we want to ensure the mental, physical health of our donors and the quality of the eggs. We require donors to be at least 21 to better protect their own reproductive health and to ensure they are mature enough to understand the emotional issues they can encounter during the process. The maximum age is set at 31 years to ensure the quality of the eggs are of the best quality so they can give the intended parents the highest conception chance.




I am on birth control, can I still be an Egg Donor?


Definitely. If you are currently using birth control pills, the patch, and the ring, you will be eligible to become an egg donor. If you have an IUD, you will become eligible to apply once you have it removed upon matching with intended parents.

However, if you are using a hormonal-based implant, injection, or IUDs that stops your period for several months at a time, you will be required to switch to one of the acceptable forms mentioned above and have been using that method at least 3 menstrual cycles before being eligible. We highly recommended you consult with your doctor if switching.




Can I donate eggs if my tubes are tied?


Absolutely. It is irrelevant to egg donation process since the aspiration of eggs occurs before the eggs are released by the body.




Should I have my family’s support to be an egg donor?


Deciding to be an egg donor is a major decision that should require you to have your love ones’ emotional and physical support. Giving Tree Surrogacy strongly recommends you consult with your love ones to acquire their consent and support before applying.




How many types of egg donation are there and what are the differences?


There are 3 primary types of donation. Known, Semi-Known, and Anonymous Donation.

Known Donation is when all parties wish to communicate or/ and meet to familiarize with one another. Semi- Known is when you decide how much information you wish to share and exchange. Anonymous Donation is when there is no contact/ communication with the intended parents. The matching for each process is the same and you are able to review a profile for the intended parents, as they are able to view yours. The amount of information displayed in the profile is linked to which type of donation is chosen.

Most donor matches are anonymous. Regardless of which type you choose, we will work to maintain everyone’s privacy to the extent they wish while also working with those who are interested in a more open arrangement.




What type of medications are administered?


Medications will be given to help coordinate cycles, suppress ovulation, and stimulate follicles and so on. A physician will determine what medications will be given.The most common include birth control pills and several forms of gonadotropins and follicle stimulating hormones. These medications taken for fertility treatment and egg donation are used throughout the world and has undergo rigorous testing for effectiveness and safety by the FDA in U.S.




How will I be matched?


At Giving Tree Surrogacy, we believe egg donors should be able to decide whom to help. When a prospective parent express interest in working with you, we will send you a profile for you to review. In cases of known donation, a communication or meeting can also be arranged.




What about the retrieval process? Is surgery required?


No surgery is required since eggs are retrieved vaginally. The retrieval is done vaginally under a mild intravenous sedation. You should be in the clinic for about three hours and the procedure takes about 20 – 30 minutes, with 30 minutes to an hour rest afterwards. You might experience some fatigue, and/or some mild to moderate abdominal cramping afterwards.




Will I experience pain while donating?


The retrieval process is performed under sedation so you feel no pain. You can expect some fatigue, and mild to moderate cramping and bloating following the procedure. The medical personnel can answer all questions regarding discomfort and often rest and Tylenol intake are sufficient for the process.




Will traveling be required?


If you wish to be matched in another city or state outside of Los Angeles, you should plan to travel at least a few times such as during physician consult at the beginning of the process and during the medication cycle for blood test and ultrasound. The final traveling will be the egg retrieval process. All traveling expenses such as airfare, hotel, are covered by the intended parents.





Surrogate

How do I apply with Giving Tree to become a surrogate?


Thank you for your interest. You can begin by filling out our application HERE. The application takes only a few minutes and once evaluated and interests are shown by any intended parents, you will be contacted by our experienced team to discuss further process.




Why should I choose Giving Tree over other agencies?


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 surrogacy 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 help make parents’ dreams come true.

We also offer one of the most generous and competitive compensations in the industry. We will help you navigate, pave the way, smooth any bumps, and celebrate your success along the way.




How much are surrogates compensated?


Giving Tree offers one of the most generous and competitive compensations in the field with compensation packages ranging from $50,000 to $80,000. You can also enjoy up to $1500 sign up bonus and $500 bonus for each referral.

Compensation amount depends on the type of pregnancy, individual circumstances, and surrogate mother experiences, so repeated surrogates are highly encouraged to apply. Whether you are a first time surrogate or an experienced surrogate, you will be certain to find the compensation bonus rewarding.




How and when will I get payments/ reimbursements for my surrogacy?


Once the clinic has confirmation of fetus heartbeat (usually 6-8 week), you will start receiving monthly installments for your compensation. If carrying multiple children, a multiples fee will be paid from the 20th week of pregnancy. More details will be discussed during your screening.




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.




Why should I join Giving Tree as a surrogate when I can go independent?


Surrogacy journeys, while rewarding, can also be frustrating and complicated if not handled correctly. When you join Giving Tree family as a surrogate, we will provide you with the full support and guidance throughout your journey. You will not need to worry about legal concerns, finding the correct match, how to go about setting up screening and all the medical concerns and complications. Most importantly, our team will handle any issues that may arise, leaving you at peace and comfort to focus on your pregnancy.




What if my insurance does not cover surrogacy?


Your insurance coverage does not need to cover for you to apply. We will review your insurance coverage and provide consultation. If it does not cover, we will work with the intended parents to discuss any extra costs and find you a plan that will cover, so you can still help a family fulfill their parenthood dreams.




Why is there a BMI limit?


IVF clinics set up Body Mass Index (BMI) limits primarily for health reasons, such as the safety for the baby and yourself. It is also of the upmost importance that you will respond appropriately to the necessary medications needed for the process.




I recently had a delivery. How long must I wait before becoming a surrogate?


According to most guidelines set by fertility clinics, there should be a wait period of 6 months after a vaginal delivery and 12 months if by C-section.




Why is there an age limit for being a surrogate?


The age limits are set up by fertility clinics mainly due to the concern of fluctuating hormones and the increased health risks to both you and the baby. If you have recently been a surrogate mother and successfully delivered, but is over the age limit, feel free to contact us for more information.




Can I be a surrogate mother if I currently have my tubes tied?


Of course. Having your tubes tied will not affect the ability to become a surrogate mother.




Does a surrogate mother have to go on bed rest after the transfer?


Usually some type of bed rest is recommended for 24- 36 hours after transfer.




Will I be able to meet the intended parents to the child I am carrying?


Usually you will be able to meet the intended parents to get to know each other via WeChat or Skype during and after the matching session. Occasionally, intended parents will also meet in person if this is what you prefer and if their time and schedules allow, which is usually at or after the transfer stage.




Will there be any kinds of contact during my surrogacy journey?


During the process, you can expect phone calls, emails, or WeChat communication regarding clinic appointments and ultrasounds. We also encourage intended parents to keep in touch frequently until delivery. However, that is not required. After the delivery, we encourage surrogate mothers to remain in contact with intended families to strengthen the bond. However, that is not a requirement and usually the relationship develops naturally over the journey and is up to one’s comfort level.




My husband/partner doesn't support my decision to be a surrogate, can I still move forward?


We highly recommend all surrogates in our program have the full support of their significant other. If you are not married, we recommend having a support person in place with whom you will share the journey with.




Which party will be responsible for the medical bills?


The intended parents will pay for your health insurance, which will cover most of the bills related to your pregnancy and delivery. For any other unexpected, additional costs, the intended parents will cover them. The intended family will also cover all IVF medical procedures, expenses, copayments and deductibles related to your pregnancy.




Will I need to travel during the journey?


There will be traveling required, especially when traveling to IVF clinics for health screening and transfer.




Can I request the amount of embryos to be transferred?


Of course. During the time of your pre-screening, your case coordinator will discuss with you regarding your comfort level in carrying one or multiple children.




Will I need to take any medications during the process?


Yes. Every clinic is different in medications assigned, but usually you can expect prenatal vitamins, birth control pills, and fetility enhancing hormones. You may experience some symptoms such as mood swings while taking those medication since your hormones will be changing, but they are similar to those happening during any regular pregnancy.




Since I am not related to the baby/ babies, will my pregnancy be physically any different?


Surrogacy pregnancies are no different than traditional pregnancies, which means you may still experience the usual symptoms such as morning sickness, headaches, swollen feet or hands. The only difference comes if you are pregnant with multiple children and have not had prior experience in multiple births in the past. Multiple pregnancy will require more visits to the clinic and doctors and you may also feel more physically tiring. Regardless, our dedicated team will be there to support you all along the way to make it as smooth and comfortable as possible.




What happens if the intended family gets divorced during my surrogate pregnancy?


Just as we carefully and precisely screen our surrogate parents, we also do the same to our intended parents to assess the stability of their relationship. In the unfortunate event a divorce does occur, custody would be worked out between the intended parents. You would not have to assume any care of the child/ children.




What happens if miscarriage occurs or the baby/ babies die before full term?


In the unfortunate event this does occur, the intended parents will get custody and handle all the details in between. You can rest assure that we will provide all the assistance needed along the way if such event occurs.




I have submitted my application. What’s next?


If you pass the evaluation and there are interests shown by any intended parents, our surrogacy coordinator will contact you to gather more information and possible medical records before moving onto the matching process.





 
 
 

Still have more questions before starting your journey?

We understand choosing surrogacy is a very important decision filled with questions and research. Click below to contact us with your questions, or schedule a free, no-obligation exploratory consultation to make sure this is the right path for you. 

Giving Tree Surrogacy

& Egg Donation

2100 Main Street Suite 103, Irvine, CA, 92614

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Giving Tree Surrogacy

& Egg Donation

©2019 Giving Tree Surrogacy