Things to know before starting a surrogacy journey

It may seem intimidating, but with so many resources, you just need to know where to start!

What is surrogacy?

In a surrogacy arrangement, the woman acting as the surrogate will carry a baby for another person or couple, referred to as Intended Parents. There are two types of surrogacy arrangements, the first and most common is Gestational Surrogacy, where the surrogate is not genetically related to the child she is carrying. The second type of surrogacy is Traditional Surrogacy, where the surrogate is also the egg donor and therefore is genetically related to the child she is carrying. Both agreements will need to go through all the proper steps to ensure everyone is safe and legally protected throughout the journey.
Women who become surrogates, aside from wanting to help another person become a parent, will have to meet a set of strict standards set forth by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the Intended Parents’ fertility clinic. These standards will ensure the surrogate has the best chance to safely carry and deliver a healthy baby.

How common is surrogacy?

Surrogacy, specifically gestational surrogacy, is becoming more common as it becomes a less taboo topic. It is a great option for those who cannot carry a pregnancy safely to term, and those who are in same-sex male relationships. According to the latest data from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), 7,243 embryo transfers took place in 2020 using a gestational carrier.

Where is surrogacy legal?

The United States has some of the most surrogacy friendly states, but even within the U.S., compensated gestational surrogacy is not legal in every state. Currently 2 states have laws that prohibit compensated surrogacy contracts or the obtainment of a birth certificate that includes the names of both intended parents: Louisiana, and Michigan. Even though other states allow surrogacy, you will still need to check with an attorney who specializes in surrogacy to see if there are any special circumstances or limitations in the state in which the contracts will be executed . In addition, many European countries, along with parts of Australia, and India have a ban on commercial surrogacy.

What should an Intended Parent know before starting a surrogacy journey?

Our advice is to do your research. Spend as much time as possible reading the ins and outs, ups and downs. Read the stories of those who have done this before you, both surrogate and intended parents alike. Take time to join groups and ask questions. If it is your first time, do not cut corners and consult with experts, using an agency can help you navigate the process while offering legal protections. We highly recommend working with an agency that is the best for your needs.