So you’re thinking about working with a surrogate! Or you’re wondering what that might mean, or, practically speaking, where that process might start. Whether you’ve 100% decided an IVF and surrogacy journey is right for you, or you’re just curious to find out more, we’ve got you covered.
First: Typically, you hear the word “surrogate” used as a blanket term, but in medical jargon, it gets more specific. Here’s what you need to know:
A “surrogate” used to mean, medically speaking, someone who would not only carry your child, but will also contribute their own egg(s) – so they would be a part of your child’s genetic makeup. This “traditional surrogacy” is all but retired due to the legal complications that can arise from this methodology. More often, when we say “surrogate” now, we’re talking about –
A “gestational carrier” is now the more widely used practice. This woman is not genetically linked to the child that she carries – she has successfully built her own family, enjoys being pregnant, and wants to help bring another baby into the world. Egg from an egg donor are used to create embryos, which are then transferred to a gestational carrier’s uterus.
Important to note: A Gestational carrier is not genetically linked to your child, which makes the legal side of things less complicated. In many instances, the United States justice system can assign parentage to you, or you and your partner regardless of gender identity, and your name(s) can be on your child’s birth certificate. Your surrogacy agency and legal team will help you complete all of the necessary documents to make this happen.
You’ll bond with your carrier for about 12 months, and you might bond with their loved ones, too. This person will help bring your child into the world, so this trust-based relationship is a wonderful part of your family-building journey. And with the right person for you, surrogacy can be an amazing experience.
How are Gestational Carriers typically screened?
Gestational Carriers also undergo a comprehensive physical examination and share their previous pregnancy history. This screening process is the best way to minimize any obstacles for the carrier and your child.
Dads to be have a few options when it comes to choosing a gestational carrier. In some cases they choose to use a friend or relative as a gestational carrier. Some dads to be choose to go the agency route. Agencies are available to link prospective parents with women willing to serve as gestational carriers. Gay Parents To Be works with trusted agencies throughout the country and would be happy to connect you to the agency that’s right for you.
There are also attorneys that specialize in this service, or even websites that link intended parents with women who want to be carriers. In most surrogacy agreements, the gestational carrier is usually paid a negotiated fee and is also reimbursed for related out of pocket expenses.
Our Gay Parents To Be team is available to provide advice as you navigate your surrogacy relationship. We strongly recommend that all patients work with an experienced reproductive attorney to provide counsel and prepare the necessary legal agreements related to the use of a surrogate, even in cases where a friend or relative serves as a gestational carrier.
There are many important legal issues associated with the use of a gestational carrier, as the laws governing these relationships can differ from state to state. As a result, it is very important to work with a knowledgeable attorney when choosing this option. Your attorney will draft contracts, provide legal counsel and coordinate the termination of parental rights for the gestational carrier and egg donor. Egg and sperm donors should also make sure that they understand and address any legal issues associated with their services. Gay Parents To Be is able to refer patients to experienced attorneys and legal practices that specialize in third party reproduction.
Gay Parents To Be and Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut do not endorse nor take responsibility for any surrogacy agency and are not legally or financially responsible for your experiences with them. Please take due diligence in researching any program with whom you decide to become involved.
Are you thinking about pursuing surrogacy? Gay Parents to Be can answer your questions, big or small, and we offer consultations in-person or via video chat.