A full service agency. Bringing new life into your lives.
SMI coordinates all medical, travel, and administrative matters. Our Founder and Director Steve Litz is always available to personally assist you with any aspect of surrogacy.
A. In SMI’s program, a surrogate must:
- be between 18-35
- have previously had a child
- live in the U.S., be a U.S. citizen, and cannot be from NY or MI (the two remaining states where paid surrogacy is still illegal)
- be a non-smoker
- less than 200 lbs.
- financially and emotionally stable
The typical surrogate is 28, married, employed, and solidly middle class.
The single characteristic describing all of our surrogates is altruism.
The women in our program are generous, caring, healthy women. They become surrogates to help people have families.
Unlike other programs which look for poor women (based on the mistaken belief that a poor woman is less likely to keep the child), our surrogates are never motivated by financial need. Their fee, which generally is around $15,000-20,000, is a factor, but never the main reason for their participation.
A. Couples base their decision on many factors. Some couples select a woman because of her location or physical similarity. Others want a surrogate who is intelligent.
All couples look for a woman who is:
- has no significant medical/psychological difficulties
- emotionally and mentally stable
- able to conceive easily
- responsible and mature enough to realize that the couple is placing an enormous amount of trust in her to carry their child
A. Absolutely. The surrogates go through a variety of different screening processes:
- References are checked
- medical records from prior pregnancies are obtained
- a criminal history check is done
- the surrogate (and her husband, if married) are given a complete psychological exam. The couple gets a copy of the psychology report, and they make a final decision if the surrogate is acceptable.
Approximately 1% – 2% of all women who initially contact SMI actually end up being accepted into the program.
A. Of the 5,000 or so births to surrogates in the country, a woman has refused to relinquish the child less than 1% of the time.
SMI has never had a case of failed surrogacy.
In every case where a surrogate has refused to give up a child, either she was not screened at all, or the couple was not made aware of the psychological findings. When surrogacy is done right, it works.
A. “Success” should only mean one thing: the percentage of couples/individuals who actually end up with a child.
In the AI program, your success rate depends on the male’s sperm count and the surrogate’s ability to conceive.
85% of all of SMI’s clients in the AI program end up with a child.
On average, it takes our surrogates three cycles to conceive. Some take longer. Many get pregnant on the first try.
In the IVF/ET program, the success rates depend primarily on the age of the egg donor. Generally, success rates where the donor is less than 30 are quite good, although success rates vary depending on which clinic you use.
A. SMI encourages “open surrogacy,” so in our program the answer is “Absolutely!”
The reason for this is simple: because our surrogates are not doing this for the money, they want (and have every right) to know the types of people for whom they are carrying a child.
Meeting the surrogate allows both sides to make sure that the arrangement will work. Most of our couples stay in contact with their surrogate frequently during the pregnancy.
Even after the birth, many couples still stay in touch with their surrogates (Christmas cards, birthday cards, etc.), although for most couples and surrogates the relationship ends after the baby is born.