Intended Parent FAQ
Please check out our FAQ below, which answers some of the most common questions we hear from intended parents. If you don’t see your question, please contact us and we will assist you.
Giving Tree is a leading world-class surrogacy and egg donation agency founded on the belief of providing the best support, resources, and information to educate, guide, and lead you through every step of your journey. Our corporate offices are located in Irvine (Orange County), California, with offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Denver and Dallas. Our dedicated and experienced team provides you with compassionate and comprehensive support and care, every step of the way as you fulfill your dreams of parenthood.
Going the independent route can be a 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 your journey, and subsequent raising of your child/ children. We will help you navigate, pave the way, smooth any bumps, and celebrate your success along the way.
Gestational Surrogacy is the process whereby an embryo is fertilized via invitro fertilization (IVF), using the egg of the intended mother or an egg donor, and the sperm of the intended father (or fathers – in the case of LGBTQ+ parents). The fertilized embryo is then implanted into a surrogate (often referred to as a gestational carrier, who will then carry the pregnancy full term until birth, when the child/ children is handed to the intended parents. There is no genetic relationship between the child / children and the gestational surrogate.
Traditional surrogates are not only gestational mothers, but most importantly, genetic mothers as well. They undergo artificial insemination, which results in pregnancy.
The length of the process varies, depending on several factors such as the success of invitro fertilization (IVF) treatments, matching process, legal requirements, and more. Typically, intended parents should expect to wait around 1-2 years from the time they sign a contract with Giving Tree until child-birth.
All prospective intended parents start with filling out an application and once your preferences are reviewed, 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 your journey to parenthood.
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.
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.
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, WhatsApp, Zoom, Skype or email so they can familiarize with one another. After the 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Learn more about surrogate requirements here.
While there is really no difference in success rates between using a first-time egg donor and a proven egg donor, a proven donor is someone who has gone through the entire egg donation process and the cycle has resulted in a viable pregnancy. Proven egg donors will generally receive higher compensation for their “proven” status. Using a proven donor over a first-time donor will not necessarily guarantee success, but it does offer some additional reassurance.
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
It is very easy to over-think choosing your donor. There may not be that “perfect” match. The important factors when choosing your egg donor include: age, availability, medical history, personality, location, and most important physical characteristics (such as eye, hair and skin color as well as blood type) that match yours and your family’s.
Giving Tree Surrogacy & Egg Donation is committed to providing the most optimal conditions for intended parents looking to grow your family through egg donation. All of our egg donors must meet criteria that include age, weight, family history, lifestyle, education and schedule flexibility requirements.
In screening our egg donors, we follow very strict guidelines set forth by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. All of our donors are personally interviewed and counseled prior to including them in our pool of egg donors, and we do everything in our power to ensure each donor fully understands the commitment required.
Read more about our requirements for our egg donors here
One of the first and most important decisions you will have to consider when entering into an egg donation cycle is whether you would like an open or anonymous egg donation. While egg donor cycles are no longer restricted to be “open” or “closed”, some egg donors are not willing to have contact with the intended parents or their future offspring. In instances, where the intended parents or donors choose to remain anonymous, we will respect the decision and provide consultations relating to anonymity.
As long as both the egg donor and the intended parent are comfortable with the arrangement, you can elect to have as little or as much contact as you like.
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 gestational surrogate or egg donor.
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.
Many surrogacy friendly states such as California will allow intended parents to 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.
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.
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.