Does Egg Donor & Surrogate Location Matter?
How important is surrogate, donor & clinic location?
Location is definitely something to consider when you're looking at putting your surrogacy journey together. But, it might not be something that you have total choice in. Of course, you can always choose where your clinic is located and you can choose your surrogate based on location. But, due to the scarcity of surrogates and how few there are to go around, you may have to choose a surrogate in a location that wasn't necessarily your first choice. Same with an egg donor, you may find an egg donor that's perfect for you, that's exactly what you're looking for, in a location that's far away from your clinic. So while location is important and would help to keep costs down, it's not necessary that all of your people in the journey take place in the same location.
Is it common to have distance between all the people in the surrogacy journey?
As an agency, we have clients that we've never actually met in person. We have some clients in places as far away as Abu Dhabi for example whose surrogate is maybe located in Kansas. So they may fly to Kansas and see their surrogate but they may never come to Dallas to see us at their agency and that's totally okay. These days it's very easy to put together a journey without actually having to meet in person at any stage of the process. Usually, we say to start with your surrogate. In many cases you might not be able to and in that case you might want to start with your clinic and get your embryos created.
What is the traveling like for your donor & surrogate?
Your surrogate and your donor really aren't going to spend that much time actually at your IVF clinic. Typically, the donor and the surrogate would each make two trips. The first trip will be for the screening process. That'll be usually a day if they have to fly in or possibly two days if they need to fly in from a longer distance. So, let's say generally speaking if your surrogate was located in Dallas and your clinic was located in San Diego then they would fly out there, stay overnight have their screening the next day and fly home the same day. Same for an egg donor for their screening, they would fly out there get screened and then fly home the next day. With the transfer process and the retrieval process for a donor there is a little bit more time spent at your clinic. For the donor, she's going to need to have the last part of her cycle closer to your clinic so that she can be monitored in person. That amount of time varies by clinic. It is common for a donor to stay about five days before their retrievals in the city where the clinic was located. You do have to consider that the egg donor will have a little bit more lost wages and more time away from her family. She will also have to spend a little bit more in terms of hotels and meal costs if you're flying her to your clinic. A surrogate will also fly for her transfer. But, the transfer takes less time, then a retrieval does for a donor. This means the surrogate will generally spend two to three days after her transfer at the location of your clinic. In most cases that will be, fly in the day before the transfer, stay for the day of the transfer, and fly home the next day or two days after, depending on the requirements of your clinic. There may be bed rest required after a transfer.
How do I choose a surrogate based on location?
Generally speaking, your surrogate should be located in a surrogacy friendly state. Your agency will take care of that for you. That's not something that you really need to worry about if you choose a good agency. But, making sure the surrogate is in a surrogacy friendly state is the most important part of the process. You do not want to choose a surrogate from a state where there's not good surrogacy laws in place or that would make it more difficult for you to become a parent or get your names right on the birth certificate. That is the one key factor that is not negotiable. Your clinic, egg donor and agency can be pretty much located anywhere. But, your surrogate really needs to reside in a surrogacy friendly state that's going to make it an easy post-birth process for you legally speaking.