We recognize that the surrogacy relationship is very unique and one that requires special attention and
care. As mothers ourselves, we cannot imagine life without children. We understand that although adoption is a great option for
some, there is something sweet and special about having a genetic link to your child. We are here to help you have a rewarding
experience. Our help does not end at finding your surrogate. We will guide you through this journey from beginning to end. We
are here for you to help with questions or concerns. We will be there to help mediate conversations if any problem or concern
should arise between you and your surrogate. Our goal is to make this as smooth as possible.
In the beginning, we will conduct a free of charge phone consultation, which will take approximately one hour with the intended
parents as well as with our qualified professionals. During this time, we will discuss the surrogacy process in detail and we
will touch on topics such as the emotional and psychological aspects of this process while attempting to answer the majority if
not all of your questions and/or concerns. Should you desire to proceed with this process and “Joie de Vie” Surrogacy, we will
then obtain authorization for and initiate a civil and criminal background investigation, and in many instances a credit check.
Once the background investigation returns, we will enter into an agreement and begin the process of locating a gestational match
based on your desires and needs. A questionnaire is filled out to assist us in this process and we will put you in touch with
the rest of our staff to assist with other areas such as legal matters, and counseling.
Intended Parent Questionnaire.pdf
The screening process will consist of psychological and medical testing. Many of the psychologists we
use, like to have one session with the IP's, GS and her partner. The meeting is to help reduce the stress by helping both
parties to understand the expectations and addressing any fears that may arise. The psychologist will meet with the surrogate to
gather information of her emotional and mental state, support system and make sure she understands her role throughout this
journey. The reports will be provided to you, your reproductive endocrinologist and the agency.
The second part of the process is the medical screening of the surrogate and her partner, which more than likely will be done by
the clinic you have chosen. The tests will include screening for STD's, drug use and HIV. The clinic will be very involved to
ensure all tests and examinations are completed when she is left in the care of her OB/GYN. The clinic will determine any
additional tests that may need to be performed.
Contractual agreements are set in place to ensure that both parties' rights and best interests are
protected. Since the laws are different pertaining to surrogacy from state to state, we only work with surrogates in "Surrogate
Friendly" states that will uphold these contractual agreements. The contract outlines the terms for both parties so that
everyone understands their position. It will address issues such as compensation, the surrogates obligations, health insurance,
etc. We will go over the main points with you and have things in place so that it is easier to discuss specific issues with your
You may change or add things to your contract with the advice of your attorney. The contract will be sent to your surrogate and
her attorney at which time they may add or change things as necessary.
The contract phase is relatively short since we will have discussed contractual issues with you and your surrogate in detail in
advance. Most of this phase takes place via email, faxes and telephone conversations. You may use your own attorney or choose
from several we work with who have a great deal of experience with surrogacy contracts and laws. We will also help your
surrogate obtain legal council if she does not have anyone in mind.
We will begin searching for a surrogate mother based on your recommendations and preferences found in
your questionnaire and from our conversations. As stated earlier, the questionnaire will help us in the process of finding a
surrogate. Every journey is different. We may find a match quickly or it may take a little extra time depending on some of the
answers in your questionnaire. We try our best to match you with surrogates that have the same interest and desires of this
beautiful journey as you do. We try to consider how much of a relationship you both would like to have in this journey as well
as other factors you may have expressed when we are looking for your special surrogate.
Surrogates can be found locally or in different cities. When we are interviewing a surrogate who is local, every attempt will be
made to have a face-to-face meeting with her but if not, we will have a phone interview. Once we find someone matching your
qualifications, we will provide you the questionnaire she filled out that will also include photographs of the potential
surrogate. Not only will this provide you a little peek into her personal likes and dislikes. It will also tell about her
reproductive history, the status of her relationship and what she would like out of this journey.
If you both decide that, you like what you have seen so far, we will set up a conference call/phone interview (one of the
directors, the prospective GS and you). If all parties are local we can set up a local meeting assuming it does not make anyone
uncomfortable. The interview lasts about an hour and that can move quickly. After the agency introduces everyone and starts the
conversation, we will stay in the background to let you and the GS speak more freely. After the meeting, we will contact both
the IP's and GS to see how determine everyone's impression of the meeting and answer any concerns. If all parties are in
agreement, then we will continue the process.
Many potential surrogates will have their own health insurance policies. Some insurance policies cover
surrogacy, while others exclude these pregnancies. First, we will try to determine if her policy will cover her pregnancy and if
not we will help locate coverage for her.
As far as your own personal insurance covering some of the expenses, they may, if pre-approved by your insurance company, cover certain fees related to the establishment of your embryos. Due to the scarcity of such plans that will cover these things,
patients are advised not to expect major insurance assistance with these expenses.
Once the contracts are in place, the majority of the funds for your surrogate are placed into an escrow
account. The funds will be dispersed to your surrogate either by your attorney or by an escrow company in accordance with what
is written in the contract. This will ensure the surrogate is paid in a timely manner. Depending on the base amount, you have
agreed with the surrogate, an approximate amount of $25,000 will need to be placed in the escrow account within 10 days of
signing the contract with the surrogate. We will always be in contact with the attorney or escrow company to keep track of the
funds. If for some reason additional funds are needed (multiple pregnancies, bed rest, etc.) the funds will need to be placed in
the account within 5 business days of written notification from the agency.
After all the legal issues and medical screening are in place, you are ready to begin the next part of
your journey. We will keep a calendar and keep up with appointments. If your transfer is in the Dallas area, we would like to be
there with you (or for you if you absolutely cannot be there) and your surrogate. You both may have last minute concerns and if
possible, we would like to be there to help ease your mind. After the transfer, your surrogate will be on bed rest for a couple
of days, which will be determined by the clinic.
The Ultimate Joy of Pregnancy
We are pregnant! This is the icing on the cake! To hear those words makes it all worth it. Our
involvement does not stop here though. The agency will act as a buffer to help with the changing needs and help you to nurture
the relationship with the woman carrying your baby and maybe babies. We want to make sure both sides are happy with the way
things are going. It is our wish to foster and maintain a good relationship through this journey between all parties involved.
Should you wish to extend a relationship beyond the pregnancy, then we welcome that too, but there is never any pressure from
"Joie de Vie" Surrogacy. Children are the "Joy of Life" and this is our motto and sincerest hope to bring that joy to you now
and hopefully into the future.
Our goal is to involve our couples as much as possible in the pregnancy. We encourage the couples to go to at least 2-3 doctors'
visits, if possible. You may of course speak with your surrogate's doctor as well. When it comes to delivering your sweet baby
or babies, you may wonder if you will be able to be in the delivery room. These concerns will be addressed early on in the
three-way phone conversation and again with the psychologist. We want to make sure everyone is on the same page and that the
surrogate is comfortable and her privacy respected.
We will also be making sure that the terms of the contract on both sides are being upheld. We will keep up with your surrogate's
appointments, and that she is following orders per her OB. All bills are to be paid in a timely manner; we will send reminders
and make sure your surrogate is being taken care of, etc... The process of establishing parental rights begins in the second
trimester. We will oversee any legal matters pertaining to such issues as the pre-birth order and any other issues that may
arise or need tending to.
This journey, as exciting and beautiful as it will be, can also be a little overwhelming. Let us take away some of that stress
so you can enjoy more of the fun and beauty of your pregnancy.