pinkpeony08, They will match us with someone who meets our requests and our clinic's specifications. Our clinic has requirements for number of births, medical history, age, BMI, number of c-sections, etc. The only things we care about are 1) someone willing to receive recommended vaccinations and 2) someone who would be willing to TFMR if, god forbid, we receive an incompatible with life diagnosis. But our embryos are all PGS tested, which helps. We don't mind what location someone is in, they just have to come to my clinic for their initial medical and psychological clearance and then for the transfer. Some people ask that they be within driving distance so they can attend appointments.
We can also find someone on our own and then save a bit of the agency fee. Right now, our agency has a 6-10 month wait list for being matched. Once we get a match we can decide to accept it or not, and if not, they'll match us again (thankfully it wouldn't take that long for a second match!). Once we match, the potential carrier needs to submit all her medical records and be evaluated by our clinic, and go through standard testing, like blood work and exam. Since we have embryos, things should move a little faster. We also draw up contracts - with lawyers for each side - during the vetting process, which include things like compensation (base comp, extra compensation for multiples, extra fees for c-section, invasive procedures, etc, lost wages, insurance if her's doesn't cover surrogacy, maternity clothes allowance, travel, all that stuff) plus things like what medical procedures will be needed, termination issues, etc.
So after we match, it's probably 3 months minimum, up to about 6 months, hopefully, until we transfer. So it's like a 2 year process!