When you prepare for the medical process of surrogacy — either as a surrogate or an intended parent — there are a lot of new, confusing terms to learn. In addition to all of the medical phrases and procedures, there may be one other phrase you’ve never heard of before: “outside monitoring.”
Any kind of “monitoring” can be scary, especially when it involves the health of a surrogate and an unborn baby. But outside monitoring is nothing to be worried about. In fact, it’s a common part of the surrogacy medical process and one that our specialists coordinate on behalf of clients all the time.
Remember: If you ever have any questions about your upcoming medical journey, you can always talk to your reproductive endocrinologist or call your American Surrogacy specialist anytime. In the meantime, we’ve answered some frequently asked questions about outside monitoring below to help you learn more.
What is Outside Monitoring?
“Outside monitoring” refers to medical screening and appointments that are not performed at an intended parent’s fertility clinic. Most pre-surrogacy medical services — including screening and embryo transfer — are completed by the intended parent’s reproductive endocrinologist for ease of recordkeeping and information-sharing, but this is not always possible, often in long-distance surrogacy partnerships. In these cases, outside monitoring is used.
Typically, outside monitoring occurs at a fertility clinic or laboratory close to the gestational carrier. Outside monitoring most often involves preparing a carrier for embryo transfer. A medical professional at this clinic will measure a surrogate’s uterine lining and confirm that her body is ready for embryo transfer with certain blood tests and ultrasounds. After these tests are completed, that medical professional will pass along the information to the intended parent’s reproductive endocrinologist, who will review the records and decide whether the embryo transfer should be scheduled.
Why is Outside Monitoring Necessary?
Outside monitoring is not necessary in every journey, but it is required in most. Because the United States is so geographically large, and because we often match surrogates and intended parents across state lines, it’s simply not feasible to have a surrogate travel to their intended parent’s clinic for every medical screening. And remember — even surrogates who match with an intended parent in their same state may have to go out-of-state to visit the intended parent’s clinic!
Outside monitoring makes the process easier for all involved. It allows a surrogate to take less time away from work and her family for appointments than if she were forced to travel to the fertility clinic for every little medical screening. It saves the intended parents money on travel and lodging costs for those visits. In short, it makes everyone involved much happier.
Don’t worry — if you’re a surrogate, you’ll still be compensated appropriately for any medical screenings completed after your contract is signed. This could include lost wages, childcare and more. Make sure you discuss this with your attorney and specialist during the legal contract stage to ensure you receive the reimbursement you deserve.
How Do You Find an Outside Monitoring Professional?
If the intended parent’s fertility clinic is not conveniently located for a surrogate, she will need to locate an outside monitoring clinic or laboratory to complete her pre-transfer screenings and tests. But, finding the right professional can be complicated, especially if this is her first experience with the surrogacy process.
Fortunately, American Surrogacy is always here to help. When you work with our agency, our specialists will help you locate the right outside monitoring clinic for your needs. If you’re a surrogate, we will help you find a clinic that is conveniently located. And, if you’re an intended parent, we will help coordinate the sharing of records and other information during these pre-transfer screenings.
If a surrogate lives in an urban area, an outside monitoring clinic will be easy to find. While some fertility clinics will not work with surrogates who are not their patients, there are many laboratories and physicians who will be happy to complete the necessary pre-surrogacy procedures.
If a surrogate lives in a more rural area, outside monitoring may be a bit more difficult to locate. If there are no nearby monitoring clinics, intended parents should be prepared to pay for additional travel and compensation costs for these procedures — especially if an outside monitoring clinic requires a long drive and an overnight stay.
Whatever your situation, know that your specialist at American Surrogacy will always be on your side. They will help coordinate the details of outside monitoring and ensure all parties are safe and provided for during this step in the medical process. While these initial steps can be inconvenient and frustrating at times, remember that they are important in the long-term process to ensure a surrogate’s pregnancy is as healthy as possible — and that a healthy baby is born at the end!
For more information about the medical process of surrogacy, or how American Surrogacy will guide you through your journey, please call 1-800-875-BABY(2229) or contact us online.