The Surrogacy Process: Step-By-Step Sep 19, 2016 | by Donor Nexus

We often have intended parents who are also interested in finding out more information on gestational carrier surrogacy. We have asked Angela Hartshorn, founder of It's Time Surrogacy, to provide some basic information on the logistics and costs involved.

It’s Time Surrogacy is a San Diego-based surrogacy agency that is owned and operated by two women who have dedicated their lives to the infertility world. Angela Hartshorn, the founder/ Co-Owner of It’s Time Surrogacy has been in the field since 1994 and has a plethora of knowledge. Her enriched clinical experience makes her able to help their clients navigate the fertility process smoothly.

Christina Thursby, Co-Owner, has served as a gestational surrogate five times over the last decade. Each journey was unique, brought her immeasurable joy, and equipped her with the skills to support everyone along the journey. Their services are geared towards a family approach and they pride themselves on offering impeccable services and support throughout the entire process. They also offer services to those just gathering information on the surrogacy process and those who want an independent or minimal agency involvement. With these two on your side, your journey will be in capable and caring hands.

The Surrogacy Process

Surrogacy is the most amazing thing someone can do for another person. The gift of becoming a family is something that changes not only the newly formed family but also all the people involved. As an agency, we get to witness the best of humanity. Meeting, matching, and taking part in a surrogacy journey is an emotional experience that leaves everyone changed. Each family we have helped has imprinted on our hearts, and in our minds forever. The process of surrogacy is one that takes place over at least a year, sometimes longer. To help simplify the surrogacy process we have broken it down into 7 phases.

1. Matching

During the matching phase, you will provide us with what you are looking for in a surrogate and what type of relationship you would like to maintain throughout and after the surrogacy process. Once we know your needs and desires we will present you with the profiles of available surrogates, and then the surrogates you are interested in working with will be presented with information about you as well. If each of you feel you may be interested in working with one another a match meeting is set up. The match meetings can take place in person, over the phone, or via video chat.

After the meeting has taken place each party is given time to consider the match and if both sides agree to work together the screening phase can begin.

Typical time completion: Varies greatly. We have seen matches made within days, and other matches can take several months, especially if there are special circumstances involved.

2. Screening

The screening phase is essential to a successful surrogacy journey. The intended parents undergo background checks and begin contact with the law office and trust account personnel. The surrogate and her partner will undergo background checks, psychological screening, and medical screening. The contract phase cannot begin until the surrogate has completed and passed all the necessary screenings.

Typical time completion: The screening process can usually be completed in a 4-6 week timeframe.

3. Contracts

The contract phase is where all the important topics and issues will be formally placed into a contract between the intended parents, and surrogate, as well as her partner if applicable.

When working with an agency the most important issues such as reduction, compensation, and reimbursements are usually discussed during the matching phase in order to help the contract phase move smoothly and quickly. The contract phase must be complete before any IVF cycle medications can begin.

Typical time completion: Though, every journey is different and at times there are special circumstances, contracts can usually be completed in 2-6 weeks.

4. Cycling

The cycling phase is the actual IVF cycle itself. The IVF center will have full management of this phase. They will provide the instructions, and information to the intended parents, surrogate, and the agency. As the agency we will help ensure the surrogate has a complete understanding of what she is required to do.

Typical time completion: The usual IVF cycle is completed in 3-6 weeks time.

5. Pregnancy

The pregnancy phase is one of the most special times. The agency will be in monthly contact with each party, but we are always available if we are ever needed to help with issues that may arise.

Typical time completion: 40 weeks

6. Delivery

Baby(ies) is here! Delivery time is the most exciting part of the entire journey. This is what everyone is hoping and dreaming for, and as an agency, we do strive to help make this time as special as possible.

Typical time completion: Having a baby can take anywhere from just a few hours to a couple of days.

7. Bringing baby home

Now that the baby(ies) has arrived it is time to bring your bundle(s) of joy home.

Typical time completion: When the baby(ies) is ready to leave the hospital the new proud parents will be leaving the hospital just like every other new parent.

For international clients, there will be a few weeks you will need to stay in the United States so birth certificate, and passport paperwork and documents can be processed.

Surrogacy Costs

The cost of surrogacy is something that can vary drastically due to several circumstances, however, the average cost of a surrogacy journey is usually $100,000 to $150,000. Some of the things that have a great impact on the cost are medical insurance, newborn costs, and complications. As an agency, we will help keep costs down, whenever possible, and you will receive a monthly trust account statement so you are always aware of what expenses have been covered.

It’s Time Surrogacy takes a family approach to surrogacy. We strive for good, solid matches between people who are looking to have the same experience during their surrogacy journey. Each phase of the process is handled with great care and impeccable service. We pride ourselves on providing support, in a highly personalized manner.

For questions or inquiries feel free to reach out to Angela at or visit

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We are always here to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to start your journey!