Surrogacy Cycle Timeline: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Surrogacy
  2. The Surrogacy Process
  3. Surrogacy Cycle Timeline

The journey to becoming a parent through surrogacy can be long and complex, so it's important to understand the timeline of events. This step-by-step guide will provide you with all the information you need to know when embarking on the surrogacy cycle. From finding a surrogate and the legal considerations to making sure both parties understand their rights and responsibilities, this guide will provide an outline of what to expect throughout the entire process. Read on for a comprehensive guide to the surrogacy cycle timeline. The surrogacy cycle timeline consists of five distinct stages: selection, legal agreement, medical procedures, birth and post-birth. At each stage of the process, there are a variety of steps that need to be taken in order to ensure the successful completion of the surrogacy cycle.


During this stage, potential surrogates and intended parents must be matched and approved.

This includes a thorough screening process for both parties, ensuring that everyone involved is legally and medically qualified for surrogacy.

Legal Agreement:

Once a match has been made, both parties must enter into a legal agreement that outlines their rights and responsibilities throughout the surrogacy process. This agreement will also include any financial arrangements that have been made between the intended parents and surrogate.

Medical Procedures:

During this stage, medical procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or embryo transfer are performed in order to achieve a successful pregnancy. This is also when any genetic testing or other screenings are completed.


When the surrogate is confirmed pregnant, she will be monitored throughout her pregnancy by her medical team. The birth itself may take place in a hospital or at home, depending on the preferences of the surrogate and intended parents.


After the baby is born, there may be additional legal steps that need to be taken in order for the intended parents to gain full parental rights over the child.

This may include filing for adoption or establishing paternity, depending on the laws in your state.


Once the surrogate mother has given birth, there are a few additional legal steps that must be taken in order for the intended parents to gain full parental rights over the child. The first step is for the intended parents to obtain an adoption order from the court. This process can vary from state to state, and it is important to ensure that all of the legal requirements have been met before proceeding. The surrogate mother may also need to sign documents that legally transfer parental rights from her to the intended parents. This is often done during a pre-birth hearing in which the court will issue an order terminating the surrogate mother’s parental rights.

The intended parents will then be legally recognized as the child’s parents. Finally, the intended parents may need to apply for a new birth certificate for their child. This process requires the submission of a variety of documents, such as an adoption order or a court order terminating the surrogate mother’s parental rights. Once the paperwork has been processed, a new birth certificate will be issued with the intended parents listed as the child’s parents.


The birth of the baby marks the end of the surrogacy cycle. During this stage, the surrogate and intended parents will need to agree on where the delivery will take place: in a hospital or at home.

This decision should be based on the preferences of both the surrogate and intended parents. If the surrogate is giving birth in a hospital, she will need to provide medical records and other documents to the hospital before the delivery. Similarly, if the intended parents are present at the delivery, they should also provide their documents to the hospital. In either case, it is important to ensure that all legal documents are in order before and after the birth. This includes the birth certificate, which should list both the intended parents as the legal parents of the child.

The hospital or birthing center should also provide assistance with obtaining the necessary documents. After the birth, it is important for all parties involved to celebrate this joyous event!

Legal Agreement

A legal agreement is an important part of the surrogacy process. This agreement outlines the rights and responsibilities of both parties throughout the surrogacy journey, which helps to ensure that all parties are protected. It is important to understand the specifics of the agreement before signing it to ensure that all parties are in agreement with the terms. The legal agreement should include information such as the names of the intended parents and surrogate, the compensation to be provided to the surrogate, any medical and legal costs associated with the surrogacy process, and any other relevant information.

The legal agreement should also include a clause that protects the intended parents from any financial responsibility in case of a medical emergency during the pregnancy. Furthermore, it should provide a plan for the care of the baby after birth. The legal agreement should also specify who will have legal custody of the child after birth. If both parties agree, the intended parents can have full legal custody from the start. However, if they decide to wait until after the birth to determine custody, then a court order may be necessary. It is important to note that each state has its own laws regarding surrogacy agreements, so it is important to consult with a lawyer who is familiar with these laws before signing any agreement.

Medical Procedures

Medical procedures are a key element of the surrogacy cycle timeline.

These procedures, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer, are performed in order to achieve a successful pregnancy. In IVF, a woman’s eggs are extracted and fertilized in a laboratory setting with sperm from the intended father or donor. The fertilized egg, or embryo, is then transferred to the surrogate’s uterus. Embryo transfer typically takes place two to five days after the egg retrieval procedure. The surrogate may be given fertility medications prior to the embryo transfer to prepare her uterus for the embryo.

This is known as “embryo transfer preparation” or “pre-transfer preparation.” It is important that the surrogate’s hormones and uterine lining are well-prepared for implantation prior to the transfer. In some cases, frozen embryos may be used instead of fresh embryos. The process of thawing and transferring frozen embryos is slightly different than that of fresh embryos. It is also important for both the intended parents and the surrogate to understand the risks associated with medical procedures like IVF and embryo transfer. These risks include infection, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), and multiple births.

Your doctor can provide more information about these risks and discuss them with you before any procedures are performed.


The selection stage is a crucial part of the surrogacy cycle timeline. It's when potential surrogates and intended parents are matched and approved. During this stage, both parties need to ensure that they are compatible with each other and that they share similar expectations and desires for the surrogacy journey ahead. The selection process begins with the intended parents finding a surrogate.

This can be done through a surrogacy agency, clinic or online database. Once a potential surrogate is identified, both parties must complete medical, legal and psychological evaluations to make sure they are prepared for the process ahead. The intended parents must also provide proof of financial stability to the potential surrogate. This is to ensure that the surrogate will be adequately compensated for her services. After all evaluations and financial requirements have been met, the intended parents and surrogate will sign an agreement outlining their rights and responsibilities. The selection process may take some time as both parties must be confident in their decision before proceeding.

It's important to remember that finding the right surrogate takes time and patience. Navigating the surrogacy cycle timeline can be overwhelming at times, but understanding each step of the process is essential for a successful journey. With careful planning and preparation, you can ensure that your surrogacy experience is as smooth as possible. From selecting a surrogate and making a legal agreement to going through medical procedures and the eventual birth, each step in the surrogacy cycle timeline should be carefully considered and understood. At every stage of the surrogacy journey, it is important to have the support of experienced professionals to ensure that everything goes as planned. With the right guidance, you can make sure that you and your surrogate have a positive experience and that your family grows in the way that you desire.

Christopher Surette
Christopher Surette

Dr. Christopher Surette, a leading physician in In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Reproductive Endocrinology, has over 20 years of experience in the field, garnering an impeccable reputation for his deep expertise, patient-focused approach, and innovative techniques.

Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Dr. Surette always harbored a profound interest in medicine. After completing his undergraduate degree in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he gained admission into Harvard Medical School, where he further nurtured his love for medicine and made the decision to specialize in reproductive medicine.

Graduating with honors from Harvard, Dr. Surette pursued his residency at the prestigious Johns Hopkins Hospital, specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology. It was here that his interest in the complexities of human reproduction was further ignited, leading him to complete a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Stanford University.

In the year 2003, Dr. Surette took a monumental leap in his career, joining the Boston IVF Center, one of the leading fertility clinics globally. His passion, dedication, and expertise soon propelled him to the position of the clinic's Director, making him one of the youngest physicians to hold the title.

Throughout his professional journey, Dr. Surette has consistently contributed to the scientific community. His research on various aspects of IVF, including genetic screening, fertility preservation, and improving implantation rates, has been published in many acclaimed medical journals.

Dr. Surette's prolific medical career extends beyond the realms of practicing medicine. He is also a well-known author, having penned several books on IVF. His books, including the highly regarded "Navigating IVF: A Patient's Guide" and "Breakthroughs in IVF: Advancements and Innovations," have helped demystify the IVF process for countless patients and aspiring medical practitioners worldwide.

A recognized voice in the field of reproductive medicine, Dr. Surette has received numerous accolades and awards, including the "Top Doctor" award from Boston Magazine multiple times. He is also an active member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

Dr. Surette’s commitment to his patients is unmatched. He is known for his empathetic approach, taking time to understand each patient's unique journey and tailoring treatment plans to suit their specific needs.

In his spare time, Dr. Surette enjoys spending time with his family and indulging his love for writing. His career is a testament to his steadfast dedication to helping individuals and couples realize their dream of parenthood. His expertise, innovative techniques, and patient-centric approach make him one of the most sought-after physicians in his field.

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