The Match Call is a big milestone event in a surrogacy journey. It is the moment when the intended parents meet their surrogate face-to-face (on a Zoom call usually). It can be a nerve-racking moment for both parties, filled with anxiety and emotions.
Being a surrogate myself, I remember exactly how I felt the day of my own Match Call. I had butterflies, I did my hair and makeup, and I even made my husband take photos of me after the call was over. Luckily, it went very smoothly and the conversation felt natural after a few minutes.
In this guide I will help both the surrogate and the intended parents prepare for their own Match Call. Below you’ll find process and procedures, what to expect and the dos and don’ts etiquette of this special call.
Everything That Comes Before the Match Call
Although the Match Call may seem like it’s the beginning of a journey, it’s actually the result of several months of hard work done by the agency, surrogate and intended parents. This appointment did not just casually appear on the calendar, see all the steps that came before.
Making Embryos at the Clinic
The intended parents start their surrogacy journey at the fertility clinic to make their embryos. They may be using their own egg and sperm, or using eggs and sperm from a donor. Either way, the egg retrieval process and creating embryos usually takes a minimum of 3 – 6 months. Due to the industry shortage of egg donors, the wait for an egg donor can be up to a year.
It is my personal opinion that a surrogate shouldn’t match with intended parents until after embryos are created and graded. She has the right to know how many viable embryos are available for transfer. It can often take multiple transfers to get to a viable pregnancy, and the more embryos means the more chances. The surrogate should have full transparency and be informed on the number and grading of the embryos.
The Surrogate’s Application and Medical Screening
From the moment a surrogate applies to a surrogacy agency, to the day she’s ready for the Match Call, it’s usually at least a 3 month process (and often longer than that). The surrogacy agency has to do several rounds of background checks, lifestyle checks, reviewing medical records and then the surrogate has to be pre-approved at the clinic. Once a surrogate has reached the point of being preliminarily approved at a clinic, the surrogacy agency will match her with intended parents who have embryos at that clinic. The surrogacy agency may have her go to phycological screening before or after being matched, it just depends on their process.
Tips to Prepare for Your Match Call
Find a Quiet Place for Your Call
It is important that you set up camp for your Zoom in a very quiet and calm place for your call. You want to give the intended parents your undivided attention with distracting background noises and commotion. It indicates a sign of respect and show you are serious about this process.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time
Not only should you give yourself plenty of time to arrive to your call, you should also allow for an hour of time for the duration of the call. If everything is going well and the conversation is flowing along naturally, you don’t want to be rushed to get off the call right away.
Make Sure Your Zoom is Working
Technical difficulties with Zoom can put a wrench in your plans and delay your Match Call. Do a test run with your Zoom before your call, to make sure you don’t have to install updates or use another computer.
Have Childcare for Your Kids
All of us surrogates are mothers, and we all know how difficult it can be to have an adult conversation with our kids next to us. Especially when it comes to Zoom, our kiddos love to come interrupt and ask questions while we are occupied. If possible, plan to have childcare for your kids during your Match Call. If another adult watching your kids is just not happening, have a plan in place to keep them entertained. My trick is always to save their favorite movie until the time when my Zoom starts.
Dress Your Best
In order to feel your best, you have to look your best! Take some time to do your makeup, brush your hair and put on something nice (but it can still be casual). You want to present the best version of yourself, and avoid looking sloppy or ragged.
Practice Introducing Yourself
It can be hard to talk about ourselves, especially when we are put on the spot. Your intended parents want to learn all about you, to see if you’d be a good match. So think about what you want to share about your life, your family, your hobbies, etc.
Review the Profile in Advance
At the beginning stages of your journey, your agency should have asked you about what kind of intended parents you want to match with. Surrogates can pick from traditional male and female couples, same sex gay couples, or single parents.
Once you’ve established the type of intended parents you want, you’ll be provided you with a profile to review before the Match Call. Take the time beforehand to read through this document and learn about who they are. This will help you understand what kinds of questions you want to ask, and you’ll be able to chat about common interests.
Refrain from Interrogating and Making Demands
During your Match Call, focus on getting to know each other and making a connection. Ask friendly questions, and avoid making it sound like an interrogation. The point of the Match Call is to use your intuition to get a feel for their personality. If there’s something that concerns you about their profile or a comment that was made, bring it up with the agency afterwards.
Be Prepared for the Tough Questions
The agency will use the time during the Match Call to discuss some important issues between both parties, to make sure everyone is on the same page. Be prepared to speak about split embryos (twins and triplets), termination of the pregnancy (for health reasons) and the Covid vaccine. There’s no right or wrong answers to these questions, but everyone needs to know how the other feels about them.
Talk About How You Envision the Journey Going
Use this call to set expectations on how to see this journey progressing. Think about the type of relationship you want to have with your intended parents. Do you want to have a close relationship, or is it more of a friendly business transaction? Do you want to have open communication and regular calls, or mostly touch base at milestones?
Be Honest with Your Surrogacy Agency
After the call is over, the agency will reach out to you privately and ask your thoughts and opinions about how you feel it went. Make sure to be open and honest, and voice any concerns about the match. If you feel that they are not the best intended parents for you, then ask to move forward with a new match. It is best to be upfront from the beginning, and not have to break the match later.
What Happens After the Match Call
After both parties have agreed to match, the surrogate will then travel to the fertility clinic for an in-person medical screening. Once all the lab results have come back, the surrogate can be officially medically cleared at the clinic.
The next step after medical clearance is legal contracts, which solidifies the relationship between the surrogate and the intended parents. Your journey is well on it’s way at this point!Learn More