Although creating your family through surrogacy is exciting, it can also be overwhelming. That’s why we help our intended parents every step of the way. From finding the perfect surrogate for your needs, to scheduling travel appointments and more. Family is personal, and you deserve the best process we can offer.
Our Services For Intended Parents
What does comprehensive service at a great value look like? It is more than matching you with a healthy gestational carrier. We provide all the following agency services for you, at no added cost:
Locating an appropriate surrogate
Surrogates in our program have undergone comprehensive medical, psychological and background screening. Our agency fees cover all of the following:
Introducing you to the surrogate and acting as an intermediary
We know good communication is key to a healthy relationship. We will never match you with a gestational carrier who has different values than your family or preferences on important issues like selective reduction. We attend appointments and keep you updated throughout your pregnancy.
Referring you to well-respected legal counsel, fertility clinics and escrow agencies
Your Gestational Carrier Agreement will be drafted by attorneys well versed in the legal complexities of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART). (And this legal work is included in your agency fee already.). We have strong, personal relationships with every clinic in the state of Hawaii and often work with mainland clinics as well. We believe that a third-party, licensed, bonded and insured professional escrow firm should keep your funds secure. We never co-mingle funds and only work with the very best escrow agencies that specialize in surrogacy.
Making appointments and arranging travel plans
There are a lot of appointments during the surrogacy process. We will work with your gestational carrier and the clinic to make sure appointments are never missed. If your gestational carrier needs to travel inter island or to the mainland, we will make all travel arrangements on your behalf. We are also very happy to pick up our international Intended Parents from the airport whenever they come visit our beautiful islands.
Confirming surrogate health insurance coverage
We know what medical insurance policies are surrogacy-friendly, and which ones have costly exclusions. If your gestational carrier has health insurance that excludes surrogacy, we will find her additional coverage, keeping in mind your budget, as well as your desire to have the very best medical care for her and your child.
Specialized Services: Known Surrogates
We are happy to facilitate a surrogacy journey in the case of a known surrogate. This means that you have a friend or a family member who has offered to be your gestational carrier, but you still need to go through all the necessary steps to ensure the process goes smoothly. In the case of a known surrogate, we provide the same comprehensive service for a discounted rate of 25%.
Specialized Services: Finalization Facilitation
We also offer services for Intended Parents who have chosen to build their family with an independent surrogate. What will transfer of custody look like at the hospital? How do you untangle hospital bills from baby and your gestational carrier? How long should you expect finalization to take? We are happy to support these families and facilitate the final steps of a surrogacy journey for a significantly reduced fee.
A Surrogacy Journey with Us in 10 Steps
By phone, Skype or in-person, we want to meet with you and listen carefully to your needs. We want to answer all your questions about the surrogacy process, refer you to any local service providers that you need and help you put together a budget. Ready to be one of our clients? We will have you complete our Intended Parent application to lock in your spot on our wait list.
Surrogate Search & Matching
Based on your application, we will send you the best matches as gestational carrier profiles. You decide which one fits your needs best. We will facilitate a meet-up so you can get to know your prospective surrogate better. If everyone is comfortable, we consider you an official match.
If you’re not already working with a fertility clinic, we’ll help you find a reputable clinic based on your location and needs. The clinic will walk you through routine medical testing.
All gestational carriers in our program have already undergone federal and state criminal background checks, lifestyle screening, credit checks and psychological evaluation. However, the clinic will schedule additional medical screening, including (but not limited to): blood work, ultrasounds, and a mock cycle.
At this point, you’ll enter into a contract with your gestational carrier. This contract clearly outlines expectations of each party in this process, as well as financial obligations. We will arrange for independent attorneys to work with you and your gestational carrier to review the terms of the contract.
Once the contract is signed, you will deposit a percentage of your carrier’s compensation into a secure escrow account. We work closely with a bonded escrow agency to ensure your money is well protected and your gestational carrier receives her compensation on time.
The clinic will work closely with your gestational carrier, giving her a medical protocol to follow. The cycle will be monitored via blood work and ultrasounds. Embryo transfers usually occur between 4-6 weeks after starting medications.
Our goal is for the first embryo transfer to result in a successful pregnancy. The clinic will perform at least two blood tests to confirm pregnancy. At four to six weeks gestation, a fetal heart rate is confirmed via ultrasound.
In the seventh month of pregnancy, you will begin working with an attorney to complete the paperwork to obtain parental rights. Immediately after the baby is born, the attorney will file the paperwork with the Hawaii State courts to start the process of having your names placed on your child’s birth certificate.
We’ll help you create a birth plan that clearly outlines expectations for all parties involved in the delivery. We’ll also work with your delivery hospital and provide any legal documentation, insurance and financial information that they require. An agency representative will be present during and after the birth to ensure that everything goes smoothly and your child goes home with you. We will also conduct follow up visits with your gestational carrier and you in the weeks following birth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Over the years, clients have shared their hopes and concerns with our staff here at Hawaii Surrogacy. We have compiled this brief summary of common questions and challenges that parents often face with the hope that you will find reassurance as you embark on your surrogacy journey.
We have never had this happen before, but this is always a concern on behalf of Intended Parents. All gestational carriers undergo extensive evaluation from a physical and emotional standpoint. They are educated about the process and given several questions to think about before they make the commitment to become a surrogate (see below).
We also emphasize to all our surrogates that this is a family-based decision. The entire surrogacy process can have an impact on a marriage and family duties. Problems arise when a gestational carrier is unsupported during the process (ex. spouse is lukewarm to the idea) or has other than altruistic primary motivations (ex. financial). Our screening process ensures that the surrogates in our program fully understand the commitment they are making on behalf of themselves and their families.
It is so important that parents are very open and honest during the matching process. Sometimes parents withhold information because they do not want to "scare away" a gestational carrier. You want to be open about your feelings and concerns early on, especially when it comes to issues like abortion or selective reduction. A gestational carrier may get nervous if she does not know your position on sensitive issues. As you go through the matching and contract process, we will address these issues in great detail. It is imperative that you think about your preferences ahead of time. For couples, you should discuss these matters with each other openly and come to an agreement that we can place into your contract with your gestational carrier.
Often, the gestational carrier becomes pregnant on the first attempt. However, in some cases it takes more than one try. When an embryo transfer fails, both the surrogate and the parents feel disappointment – this can be intense. Both parties will wonder what they did wrong.
These feelings are all normal. It is important though that we stay action oriented and come up with a plan for another attempt. The clinic can implant more embryos or re-evaluate issues of embryo quality. The gestational carrier can also try some lifestyle changes to increase the chance of successful implantation. You can even change gestational carriers. This is within your right, and IPs should not feel guilty about making that kind of choice. Our agency will help you make an informed decision about next steps after an unsuccessful embryo transfer.
Your gestational carrier will be carrying your child, but it is her body. How does one express concerns? Is there anything that is "off limits?" Being an Intended Parent is not an easy journey, as it requires that you relinquish control. We do our best as an agency to match you with a gestational carrier whose lifestyle and values are similar to yours. We find that this goes a long way to minimize conflicts. There are times (particularly in the week before the embryo transfer and the two or three weeks following) where you will feel quite stressed and concerned about whether your gestational carrier is following her medical protocol carefully and resting adequately. It helps if you attend critical appointments so you can see the progress she is making. If you ever have concerns, please tell us as an agency. We are there to communicate to your gestational carrier in a caring, but professional manner. We only want the best outcome for your surrogacy journey and it is important to remember that your gestational carrier feels the same way.
We find that this question is asked by many Intended Mothers, especially those who have experienced a pregnancy in the past. Bonding is a long process. There are many steps you can take to remain connected to your baby. Certainly keeping abreast of all the developmental changes and attending critical appointments will help you keep strong ties during the pregnancy (never hesitate to ask for ultrasound pictures). It is helpful to keep a journal with your feelings about your baby's growth and impending motherhood. Many parents say that they have conversations with their baby in utero. You can still have those conversations. Write them down and read them to your baby (plus this is a precious keepsake). Some intended mothers will also try induced lactation so they can bond with their baby through breastfeeding. This can be challenging, but has worked for some moms. We are happy to connect you with lactation consultants here on Oahu who will be supportive of your wishes.