How to Find the Right Surrogate Mother in Your Area

Finding the right surrogate mother is a deeply personal and significant decision for individuals or couples seeking alternative paths to parenthood. Whether due to medical reasons, fertility challenges, or other circumstances, searching for a surrogate mother requires careful consideration and thorough research. 

By navigating the complexities of surrogacy, understanding legal requirements, and connecting with reputable agencies or support networks, finding the perfect surrogate mother in your area becomes possible. 

Finding a surrogate is a significant journey, and it’s of the highest importance that you make informed choices and ultimately find the ideal surrogate to fulfill your dreams of starting or expanding your family. 

Factors To Consider Before Choosing a Surrogate There are various factors to consider as you begin your search for an ideal surrogate mother. Having these requirements as an intended parent can ensure you can go into the screening process with a clear idea of what you want and need in a surrogate match. 

Location 

Location may be an essential factor to consider when choosing a surrogate parent. If you plan to visit her often during the pregnancy, you may want to select a surrogate in your state. 

Remember that surrogacy laws also vary by state and that no federal laws govern surrogacy. Where your child is born can make a difference in the type of legal agreements you will need to draw up as part of your surrogacy plan. 

Your surrogate mother’s location can also factor into the cost of surrogacy and travel expenses. For instance, if you choose a surrogacy agency in Los Angeles, the price of surrogacy may be impacted by the cost of living in that area. 

Age 

To ensure a viable and healthy pregnancy, you want to ensure your surrogate mother is in her prime childbearing years. Generally, a gestational mother’s ability to carry a pregnancy declines significantly after age forty. However, you must also consider the individual health of the surrogate mother.

Health 

All surrogate matches should undergo a thorough physical and mental health screening process. You will want to establish a plan for how and when you will get updates about the health of your surrogate match and your future child as part of your surrogacy plan. The health screening should also document if she has had children of her own and how healthy those pregnancies were, as these factors could influence whether or not she is a good match for your intended family. 

Family History 

Whether or not your surrogate mother has previously carried a child to term, you must also know their family history as part of the health screening. Even though your surrogate mother will not be your child’s biological mother, the reproductive history of her family could play a role in whether or not she is a good match for you as an intended parent. 

Willingness 

When it comes to choosing the right surrogate mother in your area, willingness refers to these types of qualities: 

  • Someone whose reasons for becoming a surrogate mother match or mesh with your desires as intended parents 
  • Someone is comfortable letting the intended parents make medical, health, and planning decisions regarding the pregnancy 
  • Someone comfortable communicating with you about the pregnancy 
  • Someone who is emotionally prepared to give the baby over to their intended parents after the delivery 

While not as clear-cut as other factors, willingness is a subjective component of the surrogate match process that should involve a thorough discussion, so you can ensure that your surrogate match is right for you. 

Lifestyle 

Certain lifestyle factors may also be a part of your ideal surrogate match. Consider how your surrogate mother lives now and the lifestyle she will have during her pregnancy. You will need to consider both her current exercise and eating habits; her financial status; her career, her ability to travel, family obligations, or anything else that could contribute to stress during the pregnancy or an inability to meet the needs outlined by the intended parents; and finally her past and current relationship with drugs and alcohol. 

Relationship Status 

Whether or not your surrogate mother is part of a committed relationship, either with a spouse, a long-term partner, or a single mother, should also be considered. Your surrogate match’s relationship status matters partly because she may need additional support as she carries your child to term. In addition, her relationship status and her partner’s attitude could impact her

willingness to work with you as intended parents or her reasons for becoming a surrogate in the first place. 

If the above screening factors seem like a lot to consider, remember that it is vital to be as thorough as possible during the surrogate match process to ensure the best relationship possible. However, if these processes seem too daunting to take on as intended parents, consider selecting a surrogacy agency to help you through the process. 

Should You Use a Surrogacy Agency? 

Surrogacy agencies are organizations that work to match surrogate mothers with intended parents. Surrogacy agencies can be the right choice for intended parents if you do plenty of research and find a surrogacy agency that meets your needs. 

Benefits of Utilizing Surrogacy Agencies 

Surrogacy agencies can take a lot of guesswork out of the surrogacy screening and matching process. Instead of looking for surrogate mothers independently, these agencies already have dedicated networks and relationships. These organizations also have strict surrogate mother screening requirements so that every potential match has met specific standards. Surrogacy agencies can also provide legal and medical advice and assistance during pregnancy. In addition, if your family needs alternative reproductive services, such as being matched with an egg donor, most surrogacy agencies can assist with this process. 

How to Find the Right Surrogacy Agency for You 

You want to ensure your surrogacy agency is right for you because they will assist you throughout the entire surrogacy process. When looking at surrogacy agencies, you want to ensure that the organization matches your values and that the surrogate screening process matches what you are looking for in a surrogate mother. Consider the following: ● Cost of the procedure; 

  • The agency’s success rate; 
  • The amount of legal and medical expertise the surrogacy agency has. If you’d like to work with a surrogacy agency in your area, looking into the agency’s location is essential. 

Researching Surrogacy Agencies In Your Area 

Remember that location matters when establishing parental rights because there are no federal laws governing surrogacy. 

Ideally, you want to find an agency that can match you with a gestational mother in a surrogate-friendly state. Typically, states are categorized in these three ways: ● Surrogate-friendly: states that have laws on the books that make it easy for surrogacy to happen. 

  • Non-friendly: states that have laws that either openly forbid surrogacy, forbid compensated surrogacy, or have other laws that make it challenging to establish parental rights.
  • Legally Grey: states that are vague about surrogacy laws or have no laws governing surrogacy. While some of these states are considered surrogate-friendly, it can also mean that establishing parental rights comes down to the county or even the judge on the bench that day. 

Finding a reputable surrogacy agency or even speaking with legal counsel before you begin your surrogacy match process can go a long way to ensuring the process goes smoothly. Consider agencies located in specific areas of the country that are more surrogate-friendly. 

Finding a Surrogate Mother on the West Coast

Finding a surrogate mother on the west coast may be significantly easier than finding one in other areas of the United States. Both Oregon and Washington are considered surrogacy-friendly states. 

Overall, California is one of the most surrogacy-friendly states because of the extensive system of laws allowing all types of intended parents to begin their surrogacy journey and have their rights and interests protected at every step. As a result, some of the best surrogacy agencies are in California. 

Finding a Surrogate Mother on the East Coast 

The laws governing surrogacy vary widely throughout the East Coast. Both Connecticut and Delaware are considered states that are surrogate-friendly to all types of parents. New York, previously considered one of the least surrogacy-friendly states in the U.S., recently legalized surrogacy

Other states, such as Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, do not have any surrogacy laws; therefore, establishing parental rights may vary by county. Massachusetts also falls into this category. For instance, if you are looking for assistance with the surrogacy process in Boston, having an agency on your side can go a long way. 

Finding a Surrogate Mother in the South 

Finding a suitable surrogate mother in the South may be difficult, depending on what type of intended parents you are. 

For instance, Louisiana’s surrogacy law will only be upheld if the intended parents are a heterosexual married couple. Florida also requires that the intended parents be married. Alabama requires unmarried couples to go through the adoption process after birth. Meanwhile, Texas is considered a surrogate-friendly state. 

Using a surrogacy network, connecting with family and friends who live in these areas, or seeking out the advice of an attorney can significantly assist when finding a surrogate mother in the South.

Finding a Surrogate Mother in the Midwest 

While surrogacy laws vary widely in the Midwest, Michigan is the least surrogacy-friendly state in the U.S. All surrogacy contracts are unenforceable, and paid surrogate contracts are expressly prohibited. Intended parents looking for a surrogate match in Michigan should seek the advice of a specialized attorney or agency. 

Conclusion 

Finding the right surrogate mother can be an extensive process, as there are many aspects and qualities to consider, from physical and mental health to compatibility with your wishes as intended parents. 

Since surrogacy laws depend on the state, searching for a reputable surrogate mother in your area can be tricky. Luckily, surrogate agencies can help you grow your family by providing the legal and medical counsel and assistance you need to make your surrogacy journey go as smoothly as possible. Being thorough and doing plenty of research – whether you choose to select a mother by yourself or go through an agency or clinic — can go a long way in making the exciting surrogacy journey go that much smoother.

Should You Choose a Sibling to Be a Surrogate for Your Pregnancy?

Whether you have been having trouble conceiving, are in a same-sex partnership, or don’t want to experience pregnancy on your own, utilizing a surrogate can be a great solution. While many individuals turn to surrogacy agencies to find a suitable carrier, having a sibling serve as a surrogate parent may also come to mind. 

Choosing a sibling as your surrogate may seem natural, but it can present unique challenges. This article delves into the intriguing question of whether a sibling can be a surrogate and explores the financial realities, familial complications, and important factors that siblings should consider before embarking on this unique surrogacy journey. 

Can Your Sibling Be a Surrogate? 

The decision to pursue surrogate parenting is a vulnerable one, and you may feel more comfortable if your sibling is the one going on the journey with you. While having a sibling carry a child for you may seem appealing, it is essential to carefully evaluate their physical and emotional readiness to undertake this significant responsibility.

Surrogacy agencies have thorough vetting processes to ensure the surrogate mother is mentally and physically able to take on pregnancy. Ask your surrogacy agency to screen your sibling like any other surrogate mother to minimize risk and potential heartbreak. You want to trust your sibling, of course, but doing your due diligence ahead of conception will ensure that the journey is smooth sailing for all involved. 

You and your spouse also must decide ahead of time whether your sibling will be donating their DNA or if they will be carrying pre-fertilized embryos. This decision is deeply personal and should be discussed with your spouse, doctor, and fertility team. 

Financial Realities of Having A Family Member as a Surrogate Parent 

Even when a sibling is your surrogate, surrogacy can be hugely expensive. As the intended parents, you are responsible for paying for all medical expenses incurred during the surrogacy: medical screenings, IVF, implantation, prenatal vitamins, OBGYN appointments, potential complications, the birth itself, and postpartum care. In addition, you may choose to compensate your sibling on top of covering medical costs – as long as you are in a state where it is legal to do so. 

It’s crucial that you, your partner, and your sibling must draw clear expectations about your respective financial responsibilities throughout the pregnancy. Consult with an attorney specializing in surrogacy law to ensure all parties are fairly represented throughout your journey. 

Familial Complications From Having a Sibling Being Your Surrogate Parent 

The dynamics between siblings can be complex, and introducing surrogacy into the mix can sometimes strain relationships. Before beginning your surrogacy journey, create an open and honest dialogue with your sibling about your expectations and desires. You need to be transparent with your sibling and feel comfortable having hard conversations with them before trusting them to carry your child. 

Make sure that expectations are clear and written down to avoid disagreements or hurt feelings down the road. Talk at length with your sibling about their expectations for prenatal care, postpartum care, and the outcome if the pregnancy is unsuccessful. 

Experts at your chosen surrogacy agency can help guide you through these difficult conversations. Don’t hesitate to ask for guidance and advice before having tough talks with your sibling. 

What Siblings Should Consider Before Becoming Surrogates

Your sibling should also reflect internally to determine if they are ready to be a surrogate. In addition to the physical toll a pregnancy can take on a person, birthing a child and not being there to raise it may be emotionally challenging. Of course, this is mitigated somewhat by the fact that the child they carry will stay in the family; but for some siblings, this may make it more complicated. 

Furthermore, siblings should consider the long-term effects on their family and personal goals. Becoming a surrogate parent may require significant time and energy, which can impact other aspects of life, including personal relationships, career, and other family responsibilities. 

Encourage your sibling to assess their ability to handle these changes and talk openly with you or other trusted loved ones before becoming a surrogate. Also, encourage your sibling to voice their needs and desires from this process, and allow them to consider how much involvement they would like to have in the child’s life after birth. 

Why Utilizing an Agency Can Help With The Complications of Surrogacy 

Being able to lean on a trustworthy surrogacy agency makes the journey much more straightforward. Agencies can provide invaluable support and guidance throughout the entire process, helping you navigate surrogacy’s legal, financial, and emotional aspects. Having experts in your corner can make a tumultuous journey to parenthood much smoother. 

An agency becomes especially vital when you want your sibling to be your surrogate. Working with an agency can help establish clear boundaries, ensure proper legal agreements are in place, and provide professional counseling services to address any familial complications that may arise. 

Conclusion 

Deciding to have a sibling as a surrogate parent is a deeply personal choice that requires careful consideration. While it may present financial advantages and a unique familial bond, evaluating the potential challenges and seeking professional guidance is essential. Consulting with doctors, agencies, and other fertility professionals is crucial to ensure that all parties involved are well-informed and prepared for the surrogacy journey. 

At Babies Made With Love, we pride ourselves on the ability to provide you with an exceptional network of medical experts, legal professionals, and experienced counselors who will ensure your physical, emotional, and psychological well-being throughout the process. Our team will be with you every step of the way, offering unwavering support and personalized care as you navigate the complexities of surrogacy. If you’re ready to begin your surrogacy journey, or have any questions about our services, contact us here.

How to Choose a Surrogate for Your Family: The Definitive Guide 

If you have decided to grow your family through surrogacy, you aren’t alone! Surrogacy is a viable and safe option for creating a happy, healthy family. The CDC estimates that 2% of assisted reproductive processes in the United States involved surrogacy between 1999 and 2013, and that number is only increasing. 

However, you may be nervous about choosing a surrogate for your family, concerned about surrogacy’s emotional impact, or daunted by the process. After all, surrogacy involves not just finding a suitable surrogate mother for your future child; several legal processes can vary by state. 

In this guide, we will address some of the common questions you may have about the surrogacy process so that you can make the best and most informed decision for a happy family. 

Finding a Surrogate for Your Family 

The first step of the surrogacy process for future parents should involve educating yourself about the different types of surrogacy, the legal implications, and what to expect. You should then list the ideal qualities you are looking for in a surrogate mother. 

Some of the things to consider when choosing a surrogate mother might include the following: ● Physical and mental health 

  • Academic and creative capabilities 
  • Family medical history 
  • Whether or not you also plan to use an egg donor as part of your surrogacy process 

However, the critical factor in finding your ideal surrogate match is to recognize that you should have a good relationship with your surrogate mother; as intended parents, you want to make sure that you are happy communicating with and supporting the future biological mother of your child. Surrogacy can be an emotional process for everyone, so finding the correct match for your future family and building a happy relationship is the key. 

How to Find Local Surrogates 

Once you know who you are looking for, you can begin looking for your surrogate mother. The most common methods for finding the right surrogate include contacting family and friends first and then connecting with potential surrogates and other intended parents on online surrogacy communities. Involving an attorney or a clinic can also be essential in the process.

Each potential surrogate mother you meet should be vetted thoroughly for the qualities outlined in your surrogacy wish list. Performing a full background check and medical screening is essential. You should also aim to meet your surrogate mother multiple times and be upfront about your expectations during the surrogacy process. Because surrogacy involves various processes and steps, many intended parents find that choosing a surrogacy agency can make planning your future family significantly easier. 

Should You Use an Agency? 

Surrogate agencies offer a variety of benefits for intended parents. In addition to being an expert resource for matching surrogate mothers and future families, surrogate agencies can also assist you with the medical and legal considerations of the surrogacy process. In addition, reputable surrogacy agencies have strict screening processes that all potential surrogate mothers must complete before they are matched with families. 

Agencies can make the surrogacy process considerably more straightforward, but choosing a reputable agency that matches your values and needs is essential. Qualities to look for in an agency should include the following: 

  • High success rate 
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the legal and medical processes that are part of a surrogacy ● A surrogate and intended parent matching process that aligns with your family’s values 

Be sure to be as thorough when researching what agency to choose as you would when meeting and screening a potential surrogate mother. 

Legal Considerations to Keep In Mind When Hiring a Surrogate 

Whether or not you choose to select a surrogacy agency to help you plan for your happy future family, you do need to keep some legal considerations in mind when hiring a surrogate mother. You will need to create and sign a gestational carrier agreement, have insurance coverage, and also, as intended parents, secure a court order to establish parentage. 

In addition to this, keep in mind that surrogacy laws vary by state, which may limit or change the type of arrangements you can enact when planning your future family. When drawing up legal documents and determining your ideal surrogate match, you need to be sure you are asking the right questions. 

Ask the Right Questions When Choosing Your Surrogate 

There are some common questions related to both emotional and legal boundaries that you may have as intended parents. In addition to seeking advice from medical and legal experts during the surrogate matching process, you should be upfront with any potential surrogate mother candidates about your wishes to ensure you have a correct match.

Do You Want to Have a Relationship After the Birth? 

Whether or not you choose to have a relationship with your surrogate mother after birth entirely depends on your wishes and what you are looking for in a match. For instance, if you and your partner have a close friend who will be your child’s surrogate mother, you will likely continue to have a relationship after your child’s birth. 

Suppose you choose a surrogate mother with whom you do not have an established relationship beforehand. In that case, you may prefer to continue a relationship with them after the birth. Alternatively, you may choose to end your relationship with your surrogate mother right after delivery. Discussing your wishes as intended parents beforehand and keeping this in mind when choosing a surrogate mother can ensure a happy surrogacy process. 

Do Surrogates Have Rights to See Children After the Birth? 

One of the most common questions intended parents have when going through surrogacy is whether surrogates have the right to see the children they have carried to term after the birth. In general, because a surrogate mother is not a biological parent of your future child, she will not have the right to see the child after the birth, nor will she be able to decide to keep the baby. However, grey areas can exist depending on the type of surrogacy agreement plan drawn up for your future family and state laws. These grey areas are why legal counsel and a surrogacy agency’s advisement are necessary to ensure a smooth process for all involved. 

If Possible, Meet With a Lawyer 

As intended parents, you must establish parentage of your biological child through legal means. Because of how complicated this process can be, it is highly recommended that you have legal counsel to ensure your surrogacy experience goes smoothly. Legitimate surrogate agencies can also assist with legal matters. 

How to Talk To Your Children Conceived Through Surrogacy About Their Birth 

Many intended parents may also be curious about the emotional impact of surrogacy on their children. Research has demonstrated children conceived through surrogacy are well-adjusted and have positive parental relationships. As parents, it is ultimately your choice to disclose how your children were conceived. Overall, revealing to your children how they were conceived is an emotionally positive decision. 

The same study indicates that telling your children at a younger age about the circumstances of their birth, usually before the age of seven, resulted in better perceptions of their mother’s feelings towards them. 

Young children are often highly accepting and open-minded, so having this conversation earlier has various benefits. Because of the subject’s sensitive nature, consider using a children’s book

that explains surrogacy to open the conversation. You can then discuss your child’s birth circumstances with them as they ask questions. 

Conclusion 

While surrogacy can seem daunting, remember why you are beginning this journey in the first place – because of the excitement and desire for you to become intended parents. Being thorough and clear about what you want and do not want in your surrogacy plan is an excellent way to ensure your best surrogate match and your happy future family becomes a reality.

The Most Important Surrogacy Questions for LGBTQ+ Couples Answered

The Most Important Surrogacy Questions for LGBTQ+ Couples Answered

The Most Important Surrogacy Questions for LGBTQ+ Couples Answered 

The path to parenthood for LGBTQ+ couples is more accessible than ever before. While there are multiple options for same-sex couples looking to expand their family, surrogacy stands out as a transformative and life-affirming journey that allows you to have a child who is biologically yours. However, navigating surrogacy can be tricky and emotionally fraught, so it’s vital that you begin your journey informed and empowered. 

What Is Surrogacy? 

Essentially, the act of surrogacy is outsourcing your pregnancy to a volunteer. In this arrangement, the surrogate mother agrees to carry and give birth to a child on behalf of the intended parents. Surrogacy is a unique and personalized solution for those unable to conceive or carry a child.

However, surrogacy is also a heavily regulated endeavor. Contracts are typically drawn up detailing the rights, responsibilities, and expectations of the intended parents and the surrogate. It is crucial to work closely with experienced professionals – such as fertility clinics, attorneys, and surrogacy agencies – who specialize in guiding individuals and couples through surrogacy. 

What is the Difference Between a Gestational Carrier and a Surrogate? 

There are two main types of surrogacy: traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. The critical distinction between the two is the genetic relationship between the surrogate and the child. 

In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate uses her own eggs, making her genetically related to the child she carries. This method typically involves artificial insemination, where the surrogate’s eggs are fertilized with the intended father’s sperm or donor sperm. As a result, the surrogate carries the pregnancy and contributes genetically to the child’s makeup. 

Traditional surrogacy is less common due to ethical, legal, and emotional complexities. Determining legal parentage can be challenging, as the surrogate may have legal rights as the biological mother. Additionally, the ethical implications of the power dynamics between parents and surrogates come into play; traditional surrogacy arrangements may leave the surrogate mother more susceptible to coercion or exploitation. 

Some states outright ban traditional surrogacy due to these factors; others have stringent rules and regulations around conventional surrogacy. If you decide to pursue traditional surrogacy, ensure you know your state’s laws, have comprehensive legal counsel and have a strong relationship with your potential surrogate mother. 

Many couples opt for a gestational surrogacy arrangement. In this method, the intended parents’ eggs and/or sperm create embryos through in vitro fertilization (IVF). These embryos are transferred to the surrogate’s uterus, where she carries the pregnancy to term. 

As the surrogate does not have a genetic connection to the child, gestational surrogacy is a more legally straightforward approach. It allows the intended parents to have a biological connection to the child and benefit from the gestational support of the surrogate without as much legal red tape. 

In general, gestational surrogacy tends to be more expensive than traditional surrogacy. IVF implantation can be hugely expensive, but in addition to the procedure, there are expenses for medications, egg retrieval, laboratory procedures, and embryo transfer. You will also have to use a gestational carrier agency to screen and find a suitable surrogate and donor DNA to combine with your own. 

Deciding which form of surrogacy is best for your family is a profoundly personal choice. Either way, research and contact legal experts to ensure you are within regulations while starting your family.

How Does a Person Become a Surrogate? 

The first step to becoming a surrogate involves extensive screening and evaluation. Surrogacy agencies have rigorous criteria to ensure the physical and emotional well-being of the surrogate mother. Common criteria include: 

  • Age: most surrogates are 21 to 37 years old 
  • Healthy weight and BMI 
  • Past successful pregnancies 
  • Pre-existing health conditions 
  • Medication history (must be one year free of anti-depressants and other drugs) ● Smoking history 

These criteria can vary between agencies. Once a potential surrogate meets these base qualifications, they enter a comprehensive screening process. This screening process may include interviews with the agency and psychological and medical evaluations. 

After the screening, potential surrogates are matched with intended parents based on various factors, including personal preferences, medical history, and shared values. Legal contracts are drawn up once a match is made to establish the rights, responsibilities, and expectations of all parties involved. 

These thorough screenings and stringent criteria ensure the potential surrogate can happily and healthily carry your child to term. When looking at surrogate agencies, make sure you become deeply familiar with their screening processes and criteria. 

How are Egg/Sperm Donors Screened in the Surrogacy Process? 

If you are a same-sex couple considering gestational surrogacy, you will need an egg or sperm donor to create the embryos. Just like for surrogate mothers, rigorous screening procedures are in place to ensure donors’ health, genetic suitability, and overall well-being. 

The screening process for egg and sperm donors typically begins with an extensive application that includes detailed personal and medical history. Donors must provide information about their family medical history, physical health, psychological well-being, lifestyle choices, and any previous pregnancies or donations. If donors pass the initial screening, they move on to a more thorough vetting process. 

Medical evaluations are the most integral part of the screening process. Donors undergo comprehensive physical examinations, including blood tests, genetic testing, and infectious disease screenings. These tests aim to detect any underlying medical conditions or congenital abnormalities that may affect the health of the resulting child.

When selecting the donor sperm or egg, you will be given a quick overview of their medical and personal history before choosing (or rejecting!) their genetic material. Donors can opt to either be kept anonymous or have an “open donation” arrangement in which they can contact the intended parents. 

Is Surrogacy Legal In My State? 

While surrogacy is legal in many states, the specific regulations and requirements can vary significantly. 

If you live in Michigan, Nebraska, or Louisiana, compensated surrogacy is illegal, which means you can only pay for your surrogate mother’s medical expenses. New York recently legalized compensated surrogacy but still has many stringent regulations. 

There are currently no federal legal restrictions on LGBTQ+ couples who want to hire a surrogate. Historically, preventing same-sex couples from hiring a surrogate has proven unconstitutional. 

To ensure you stay compliant with your state’s laws during your journey, enlist an experienced reproductive law attorney specializing in surrogacy. These professionals have a comprehensive understanding of the legal landscape. They can provide you with accurate information tailored to your state. 

What is the Cost of Surrogacy for LGBTQ Couples? 

Surrogacy is a significant financial commitment. While the expenses can vary depending on factors such as location, chosen agency, and individual circumstances, there’s no doubt that finances are a vital aspect to consider. 

How To Budget for Surrogacy 

It’s spreadsheet time! The first step to planning your surrogacy finances is by drafting a budget based on your research. Experts claim that the total costs of surrogacy can balloon into six-figure pricetags, so make sure you have a plan. 

There are four main categories of expenses you will be responsible for: 

  • Agency fees: These fees are what you will pay the surrogacy agency. They will cover surrogate screening, matching, and case management services. 
  • Legal fees: Plan to pay an attorney or two to ensure the proper establishment of parental rights and the drafting of surrogacy contracts. 
  • Medical bills: As the intended parents, it is your responsibility to pay for the surrogate mother’s medical bills, including fertility treatments, IVF procedures, prenatal care, and potential complications during the pregnancy.
  • Surrogate Compensation: Your surrogacy agreement may include compensation unless you live in Nebraska, Louisiana, or Michigan. Payments are often made in monthly installments. On average, surrogate mothers are compensated between $50,000 and $60,000. 

Does Health Insurance Cover Surrogacy? 

Health insurance coverage for surrogacy can vary depending on the insurance provider and policy. In many cases, health insurance policies do not cover the specific costs associated with surrogacy, such as the surrogate’s medical expenses or the IVF procedures. However, some plans may provide coverage for certain aspects of prenatal care or complications during the pregnancy. 

Consult with your insurance provider to understand the extent of coverage for surrogacy-related expenses. Exploring your insurance options and considering supplemental insurance or specific surrogacy insurance policies can help mitigate potential financial risks. 

The Costs of Parenting 

We all know that raising children is expensive. But surrogacy can be a financially unique situation. 

Any costs incurred during the birth of your child will be your responsibility. Depending on your surrogacy contract, you will likely be responsible for the surrogate mother’s postpartum medical care. These costs can include OBGYN check-ups, prescriptions, postpartum supplies, and psychiatric care if needed. 

In addition, you’ll have to take care of a new baby – and new babies are not cheap! You’ll need diapers, wipes, bottles (or a breast pump for the surrogate mother), toys, doctor’s visits, cute outfits, and more. If you decide to put your child in daycare or hire in-home childcare, that will also add to your expenses. 

Experts say the average child costs between $9,000 and $23,000 a year – so make sure you’re financially planning for the long haul! 

In an LGBTQ+ Surrogacy, Which Parent Will Be the Biological Parent? 

Deciding which parent in a same-sex couple will be the biological parent is a deeply personal and individual choice. Discuss with your partner the importance of your child being genetically related to you. Let that guide your decision-making process. Always talk to your doctor or fertility clinic about your decisions as well. 

Some couples “mix” their sperm donations so the child could conceivably be related to either of them. Others decide to use both an egg donor and a sperm donor, deciding that biological

connection isn’t a priority. Discuss all your options with your partner and doctor to determine what best suits your wants and needs. 

Another option some couples choose is to have one embryo of each partner’s DNA carried to term, allowing them to have a child they are genetically related to. This route may be your best option if you want twins on the first try. 

Should You Consider Having Multiples When Going Through The Surrogacy Process? 

Some couples may choose to have their surrogate mother carry twins or even triplets. The choice to have multiples is profoundly personal and should be discussed with your doctor, surrogate mother, and fertility clinic. 

While having multiple children at once may appeal to some intended parents, it is crucial to weigh the advantages and disadvantages before deciding. Multiple pregnancies are considered high-risk, and the surrogate and babies’ health and well-being will require close monitoring and specialized medical care. Twins are also more likely to be born premature and may require neonatal intensive care. 

Remember that fertility clinics will choose the healthiest embryos when beginning a pregnancy; there are not always enough viable embryos for twins or triplets. The healthiest and most successful pregnancies utilize the most viable embryo, but discuss all options with your doctor and spouse to see what is right for you. 

If you want multiple children, but not necessarily at the same time, some agencies allow you to re-hire the same surrogate or utilize the same donor DNA. Maintain a relationship with your chosen surrogacy agency to expand your family at a pace that’s right for you. 

What are Birth Certificates Like for New LGBTQ Parents? 

What your child’s birth certificate looks like will depend on your state and local jurisdiction. In most situations where surrogacy is legally recognized, the birth certificate will have the intended parents’ names. If you use a traditional surrogacy arrangement, your surrogate may be listed as the biological mother until the child is adopted. 

Some U.S. states require an adoption or parentage order to establish legal parentage for the intended parents. You and your spouse may also have to sign a pre-birth adoption agreement to have your names on the birth certificate when the child is born. Talk with your attorney to see what requirements are in place for your state.

What Factors Should I Consider When Choosing a Surrogate? 

So, you know that all the surrogates you’re leafing through have been vetted and approved by a surrogate agency, but how do you decide which one is right for you? 

Take your time when choosing a surrogate; you want to ensure that you can trust this woman with your child’s life. Take time to look over the documents provided by your surrogacy agency; carefully review each woman’s medical and psychological history. Talk with your spouse about what you each want from a surrogate and what your dealbreakers are. 

It’s vital that you take time to interview your potential surrogates and get to know them as people. You will be in close contact for the next nine months—possibly longer—and you must be sure that you can maintain a healthy and happy relationship for the sake of your child. Don’t avoid difficult conversations with potential surrogates; you and your spouse should feel comfortable discussing complex topics with the surrogate mother. 

When choosing a surrogate, remember that she will be crucial to your family’s story. Do your due diligence to ensure she is someone you are happy to share the journey to parenthood with. 

What if My Surrogate (or Their Family) Isn’t Supportive of the LGBTQ+ Community? 

In addition to ensuring your surrogate is healthy in mind and body, you must know that you and your surrogate share the same values. As a same-sex couple, you know better than anyone that not everybody is as accepting of gay marriage and adoption as they may seem. These complicated dynamics are why you have to have a challenging conversation early on about your surrogate’s opinions regarding LGBTQ+ partnerships. 

In many cases, your agency has already noted or screened for this and would not match an LGTBQ+ couple with an anti-gay surrogate mother. But in case this hasn’t happened, don’t hesitate to ask your potential surrogates how they feel about carrying a child for a same-sex couple. You may also want to ask about their parents, partners, and loved ones; anyone who would know they are participating in a surrogacy arrangement. 

These considerations are also why having a trusted attorney specializing in family law is vital. They will be able to draw up firm legal documents that protect the rights of both you and the surrogate mother. If a pattern of questionable or offensive behavior begins, you can ensure it is correctly documented and take action. 

Should I Use a Surrogacy Agency? 

Finding a vetted and trustworthy surrogate on your own can be difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. The time commitment and knowledge it takes to have a successful and smooth surrogacy often drive LGBTQ couples to use a surrogacy agency.

Agencies have expertise and experience in facilitating surrogacy journeys, streamlining the process, and providing valuable guidance at each stage. They handle screening and matching potential surrogates, coordinating medical and legal operations, and providing ongoing support and counseling. Surrogacy agencies also often have relationships with reputable fertility clinics and legal professionals, taking those logistics off your plate. 

Agencies charge fees for their services, but it’s worth it to have the support of experts at every step of your journey! 

What Should My Relationship With My Surrogate Be Like After Birth? 

Your relationship with your surrogate after the baby is born is entirely up to you, your partner, and your surrogate. You and your surrogate should discuss your expectations throughout the pregnancy so that no one is caught off-guard by the shift in the relationship after the baby arrives. 

Expressing gratitude and appreciation for the surrogate’s selfless act is crucial to the post-birth relationship. Demonstrating genuine appreciation for your birth mother’s role in helping you achieve your dream of parenthood fosters a positive and respectful connection. 

Keeping the lines of communication open is beneficial for all parties involved. Regular check-ins or occasional updates can maintain a sense of connection and provide updates on the child’s well-being. However, respect the surrogate’s boundaries when she sets them; some surrogates may want to be involved in the baby’s life, while others prefer distance. 

Recognize that transitioning from the surrogacy journey to the post-birth relationship can take time. Approach the relationship flexibly, allowing it to evolve independently innately. Some intended parents and surrogates may develop lifelong friendships. In contrast, others may maintain a more cordial and emotionally distant connection. 

Conclusion 

Surrogacy offers same-sex couples a remarkable opportunity to fulfill their dreams of parenthood. By understanding the various aspects of surrogacy, LGBTQ+ couples can make informed decisions and navigate the surrogacy process with confidence and knowledge. With the support of experienced professionals, you can embark on a surrogacy journey that brings you closer to your dreams of parenthood. 

Ready to take the next step toward fulfilling your dreams of parenthood? Look no further! Our surrogacy agency is here to provide you with the answers to the most important surrogacy questions for LGBTQ+ couples. We understand that the journey to parenthood can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially when navigating the complexities of surrogacy.

That’s why our team of experts is dedicated to guiding you through every step of the process, addressing your concerns, and ensuring that you have the knowledge and support you need to embark on this incredible adventure. Don’t let unanswered questions stand in the way of your happiness. Contact us today and let us help you turn your dreams of building a family into a beautiful reality.