How Long Does It Take to Be Matched

June 24, 2024 by Frank Golden

Beginning the surrogacy journey, the matching phase is a big deal—it’s brimming with anticipation and hope for both Intended Parents and Surrogates. It’s when dreams start becoming real, and the chance to form life-changing connections feels within reach. But amidst all the excitement, questions often pop up, such as: ‘How long does it take to be matched?’ and ‘How long is the matching phase?’

To all my Surrogate friends out there navigating the surrogacy world, this question often echoes through online forums. And for all those hopeful parents-to-be out there, they are also on the hunt for answers amidst the vast sea of information available. So, let’s dive into the depths of surrogacy matching together, unravelling the truth behind matching timelines.

So, buckle up and get ready to dive deep into the heart of surrogacy matching. Whether you’re a prospective Surrogate eager to understand the journey from an Intended Parent’s perspective or an Intended Parent seeking clarity on the matching timeline, this Surrogacy Talk serves as your compass in navigating the world of matching.

How long does it take to be matched with a Surrogate?

From the Perspective of a Surrogate…

For Gestational Surrogates, the journey of surrogacy matching unfolds through a series of meticulous steps guided by your agency. From the initial application to interviews and screenings, this process usually spans from 30 to 90 days, ultimately leading to the presentation of potential matches.

Here are the main milestones in the steps leading up to matching that you will experience at Golden:

  1. Submit an application to become a Surrogate at
  2. Have an initial consultation with our Surrogate in-take department to review requirements, timelines, and the overall surrogacy process. This will be followed up with a more detailed interview where you will share your matching preferences and tell us more about yourself.
  3. The intake department will collect medical records from your previous pregnancies and deliveries.
  4. You will also be asked to have your primary care doctor conduct a physical exam and sign our medical clearance form, as well as have an updated PAP, and basic infectious disease testing.
  5. The intake department will initiate a background check and help schedule an in-person psychological assessment, and home visit.

After these steps are complete, your agency will begin identifying potential Intended Parent matches for you to review. Both parties must agree to move forward together and finalize mutual match. As previously mentioned, this process typically spans 30 to 90 days with a match ready for presentation at the conclusion. While some may conclude the matching phase sooner than others, it’s essential to approach the timeline with a balanced perspective.

Close up of a pregnant woman’s baby bump. She is wearing a blue shirt and grey pants and stands in front of a grey wall.

From the Perspective of an Intended Parent…

For Intended Parents, the timeline might follow a different path. Once you’ve made the decision to embark on the surrogacy journey, you’ll undergo an initial consultation and orientation process with the agency, where you’ll establish your preferences and expectations. Then, the agency kicks off the process of recruiting and screening potential Surrogate candidates. Here are the key milestones that occur before the matching phase:

  1. Have an initial consultation with our Client Development Team. This is a time to ask questions and gain a better understanding of the timeline, costs, and the agency’s unique process.
  2. Your team will conduct a detailed orientation meeting where you will identify your matching preferences and set the stage for what you want your surrogacy journey to look like.

Once those initial steps are complete, you’ll transition to the matching phase of your journey, where your agency will start recruiting, interviewing, and screening potential Surrogate candidates. Here at Golden, we advise Intended Parents that the process of finding the perfect match typically takes an average of 6 to 8 months. Yes, you read that correctly. The matching stage for Intended Parents usually takes longer than it does for Surrogates. Let’s take a look at why this is.

Expert Surrogate matching for Intended Parents.

Navigating the Nuances

The difference in matching timelines can often cause confusion, especially for Intended Parents who end up waiting longer than expected. This discrepancy stems from factors like supply and demand and individual matching criteria. Without wasting anymore time, let’s take a look at the two main discrepancies I find Intended Parents face as a surrogacy agency director and explore how we can navigate the matching process in the most informed way.

Reason #1: Supply and Demand

The first reason for the discrepancy is the imbalance between available Surrogates and Intended Parents, aka “supply and demand.” In the world of surrogacy, this principle plays a pivotal role in shaping matching timelines. With a higher number of Intended Parents awaiting matches compared to the limited pool of available Surrogates, it’s common for Intended Parents to spend significantly more time in the matching phase than Surrogates do.

The only exception to this scenario is if you encounter an agency claiming to offer instant matches. Typically, this suggests that the agency is either new to the surrogacy field or has focused on recruiting and pre-screening Surrogates rather than building a strong client base. While newer agencies may promise immediate matches, established ones like Golden often have more Intended Parents on a waiting list than available Surrogates. This highlights the importance of patience and careful decision-making. Understanding how supply and demand work helps both Intended Parents and Surrogates make informed decisions throughout their journey. It allows them to grasp the balance between what’s available and what’s needed in the surrogacy process.

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Reason #2: Criteria and Matching Preferences

Another factor influencing matching timelines is the criteria and preferences set by Intended Parents. Intended Parents often have specific requirements when selecting a Surrogate, and agencies put considerable effort into matching individuals with similar values and preferences. This process requires thorough consideration and time. However, because there is typically a higher demand for Surrogates compared to available candidates, Intended Parents may experience longer wait times to find a suitable match.

As Intended Parents embark on their journey with an agency, they undergo an orientation process and are placed on a waitlist. Throughout this period, they communicate their matching criteria to the agency. Meanwhile, Surrogates participate in a pre-screening program, and upon completion, their profiles are shared with Intended Parents. The agency then works diligently to match individuals who align well for a successful journey together.

Yet, as mentioned, the inherent disparity between the number of Intended Parents looking for matches and the limited pool of available Surrogates often leads to a longer matching process for the former. Again, this discrepancy is primarily due to the principle of supply and demand. While there may be a perception that matches happen quickly for Surrogates, the reality for Intended Parents involves a lengthier wait as agencies strive to find the perfect match in a competitive landscape.

Everything you need to know about surrogacy.

The Matching Phase and Setting Expectations

Setting realistic expectations is crucial for Intended Parents embarking on the surrogacy journey. Understanding the ins and outs of matching timelines helps both Intended Parents and Surrogates to make informed decisions with clarity and confidence.

Whether you’re a prospective Surrogate, an experienced one, a former Intended Parent, or soon-to-be one, grasping the nuances of the matching process enables you to contribute meaningfully to the surrogacy community. By sharing accurate information and busting myths about the journey, we pave the way for informed decisions and meaningful experiences.

To learn more about managing expectation as an Intended Parent, check out this Surrogacy Talk. Whether it’s regarding costs, timelines, chances of success, or even levels of involvement, it is important to manage expectations to get the most from a surrogacy journey.

Become a parent with Golden Surrogacy.