The Beginner’s Guide to Surrogacy for Gestational Carriers/Surrogates — Colorado Surrogacy

Embarking on a surrogacy journey is a remarkable and compassionate way to help individuals or couples achieve their dreams of growing their families. As a potential successor, you consider a selfless and life-changing experience. To help you understand the process and make informed decisions, we’ve gathered some key information for you to use as a guide.

Understand Surrogacy and Educate Yourself

If you’re here, you probably know what surrogacy is, but we’re going to explain it anyway. Surrogacy is an arrangement where one person agrees to carry a pregnancy and give birth on behalf of another couple or person, who is the child’s parent(s). Parents are commonly known as “intended parents” or “IPs”. The person carrying the pregnancy is called a “surrogate”, “gestational carrier” or “GC”. While everyone’s reasons for turning to surrogacy to build their families are different, reasons often include medical necessity, being a single parent, or being same-sex couples.

There are two main types of surrogacy: traditional and gestational. In traditional surrogacythe surrogate’s own egg is fertilized with the intended father’s sperm either through intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF). Gestational surrogacy using IVF, so the embryo is created outside the body using the intended parents or donor gametes (egg and sperm), then transferred to the surrogate’s uterus. In gestational surrogacy, there is no genetic relationship between the surrogate and the baby. Bright Futures Families only does gestational surrogacy journeys.

Start by gathering information about surrogacy. Research online (we’re glad you’re here), read books, join surrogacy forums, and consult with professionals. Understand the different types of surrogacy arrangements, legal aspects, emotional considerations, time requirements, and medical procedures involved. Being well informed will empower you to make the right decisions and alleviate any anxiety you may have.

Thinking of Becoming a Substitute? Consider the following:

Personal Motivation

Think about your reasons for wanting to be a surrogate. Common motivations include the desire to help others, personal connections to disadvantage, fulfilling a sense of purpose, and being a positive change in the world. Understand that surrogacy journeys, while fulfilling, can be physically and emotionally taxing and take a long time.

Support System

Surrogacy can be emotionally and physically demanding. Make sure you have a strong support system, including family, friends, mental health professionals, and support groups to help you navigate the journey. You will need someone to help care for your child(ren) during appointments, meetings, procedures, labor and delivery, and if the unexpected happens or you are put on bedrest. Your partner (if applicable) will need to accompany you as a surrogate, as they will need to participate in some of the medical and psychological assessments and will be able to assist you during the process. Help your child(ren) understand the situation. Many books can help with this. Bright Futures Families will assign a case manager to guide and support you through the steps, and invite you to our surrogate meetups and social media groups.


Due to the nature of surrogacy, surrogates must meet certain criteria. You will need to be within a specified age range, have a healthy BMI, have given birth to and raise at least one child without pregnancy or delivery complications, be financially stable, not receiving any government assistance, and have overall healthy lifestyle. (We have more information about surrogate eligibility on our website.) Medical record reviews, medical tests, psychological tests, and interviews will be conducted to determine your eligibility . Many of these items require further discussion, so if you have any questions, please contact us.


Legal processes vary depending on your location. Consult with a legal expert experienced in surrogacy to understand your rights, responsibilities, and the legal framework of the surrogacy arrangement. Part of the surrogacy process through Bright Futures Families is a surrogacy contract drawn up by the intended parent(s), the surrogate, and their attorneys, which will outline expectations and rights for all parties involved. For those who choose not to use an agency for their journey, it is a good idea for surrogates and intended parents to have separate legal representation to create a legal contract for their surrogacy arrangement.

The process:

Apply to be a Substitute

Surrogacy agencies like Bright Futures Families can help match you with intended parents, provide support, and guide you through the process. We want to walk with you on your journey! When you’re ready to fill out our gestational carrier use form, visit One of our intake coordinators will contact you within two business days. If you qualify, we’ll send you a longer, more thorough application by email.

Review of Medical Records

Once you have signed the medical records releases, we will send them to your previous obstetrician(s) so that we can obtain your pregnancy and birth medical records. Our physician will examine them, and hopefully you will be medically cleared.

Additional Forms, Interviews, and Tests

You will also complete background check releases, a benefits package form, and an OB release form. We will need copies of ID and pay stubs for you and your spouse (if applicable), and insurance documents. (Additional documents may be required.) We will also schedule an interview with you and a member of our staff, and we offer day, evening, and weekend appointments. You will then complete a psychological evaluation, and once cleared, will be officially cleared to become an alternate at Bright Futures Families!


We prepare your surrogate profile and present it to potential intended parents. Throughout the process, we record your preferences, expectations, personality, etc. and take them into account when presenting a match. Intended parents are presented with surrogate profiles one at a time, and intended parents let us know if they are interested in meeting with you before they are presented with another surrogate profile for consideration. If they are interested in having a match meeting, you as a surrogate are given their profile to see if you are interested in meeting them. If you are not interested in meeting them, you will be assigned another potential IP profile that has expressed an interest in meeting you. If you are interested, a member of our team will facilitate a match meeting, which can be done in person or virtually, depending on the situation. If it’s not a good match, then we go back and reconsider potential matches and repeat. If everyone wants to move forward, then congratulations – it’s a match – and the real fun will begin!

Remember that matching can take months, and it’s important to be honest and ask questions at any time.

Medical Workup

You will complete a full medical workup at the intended parents’ IVF clinic.


You and the intended parents will decide on separate legal representation to create and negotiate a legal contract for your surrogacy arrangement. Your intended parents will pay for your legal fees. The contract will ensure that the intended parents are the legal parents of the child and will include your compensation plan and any other specifics that anyone feels comfortable with. For example, if the surrogate will pump breast milk for the baby after delivery.

Medicine and Embryo Transfer

A licensed reproductive endocrinologist (fertility doctor) will prescribe the medication needed to prepare your body for embryo transfer. This will be a strict schedule for self-administered drugs, which can be given by injection, patch, suppository, etc. depending on that individual’s specific needs and the instructions given by the doctor. You will also need to attend regular medical appointments and the embryo transfer. We will support you all the way with any questions you may have or support you may need.


After the embryo is transferred (and hopefully successfully implanted), you will continue to go to the parents’ clinic for follow-up, until you are discharged from your obstetrician around 10-12 weeks gestation. With few exceptions, your pregnancy should progress like any other from that point on. You will receive medical care, and your health and well-being will be closely monitored. Open and clear communication with the intended parents is important throughout the pregnancy. These are the discussions everyone will have during the matchmaking and legal stages of your journey, including whether they’re there for appointments, video chats, or whether they want you to share photos and updates. Be sure to check with the clinic and OB to see what they allow. The intended parents and their attorney will take the lead (you will sign) to prepare the Pre-Birth Parentage Order (PBO) to ensure their names end up on the birth certificate. The agency will also contact the hospital where you deliver to make sure they are aware of the situation.

Delivery and Postpartum

When the time comes, you will give birth to the baby. The legal and emotional aspects of delivering and returning the baby to its parents must be discussed and agreed upon in advance. Depending on these agreements, the intended parents may be present for the birth, and the relationship may continue through updates and ongoing contact if desired. Some surrogates will pump breast milk for the intended parents and may meet with them to drop milk or send it. After birth, you may experience mixed emotions. Usually, it’s fulfillment and pride in helping raise another family. It’s important to have a support network to help you process different emotions. Many surrogates enjoy maintaining a connection with the intended parents and the child they helped bring into the world, but that is not required. Within months of birth, Bright Futures Families will look at surrogate and intended parents.

Remember, surrogacy is a deep journey that requires careful consideration. Take your time, ask questions, and put your well-being and the well-being of everyone involved first. Your compassion and selflessness can bring immeasurable joy to a family.

Are you ready to be a surrogate?

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