It's easy for hopeful gay dads-to-be to feel overwhelmed or confused about where to look for resources to support their unique journey to parenthood. This comprehensive guide serves as a great starting place for men having babies via surrogacy! Keep on reading to explore financial assistance, organizations, books, peer support groups and more.
Skip to a specific section:
- How Does Surrogacy Work?
- Financial Assistance for Men Having Babies
- Grants for LGBTQ+ Parents-to-Be
- Organizations That Support Gay Dads-to-Be
- The Importance of Community
- 4 Ways to Connect with Other Dads-to-Be
- Surrogacy FAQs
- More Resources for Men Having Babies
- Read Surrogacy Stories
- Learn More About Surrogacy
How Does Surrogacy Work?
Whether you've done hours and hours of research or are just starting to explore the possibility of a surrogacy journey, you'll soon find out that there is a lot of information out there about surrogacy - and not all of it is helpful or accurate.
Here at Gay Parents To Be, we work hard to provide helpful, digestible surrogacy resources for all hopeful dads-to-be. Wondering where to begin? Explore these guides to get oriented for the adventure ahead!
- Surrogacy Process Overview for Gay Men
- Your Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Surrogacy
- Choosing Your Egg Donor Match
- How Does IVF Work for Dads-to-Be?
- Choosing a Gestational Carrier (Surrogate)
- HIV+ Family Building
- Family Building for Trans Parents-to-Be
- Cost Considerations for Surrogacy
- IVF & Surrogacy FAQs
Financial Assistance for Men Having Babies
One of the biggest hurdles for dads-to-be pursuing surrogacy is the cost associated with this path to family-building. Between agency fees, fertility clinic costs for IVF, egg donor and surrogacy compensation, legal fees and other important services, it can add up - quickly. But before you throw up your hands and write off surrogacy forever, we have some encouraging news: there are organizations, grants and assistance available for LGBTQ+ parents-to-be!
Let's explore some of the best places for men having babies to seek financial assistance.
Grants, Charities & Nonprofits
Visit the following LGBTQ-friendly organizations to explore what they have to offer gay men pursuing surrogacy as their pathway to parenthood. While our team has thoroughly researched each organization, we encourage you to read the fine print to understand eligibility requirements for each and reach out to their listed contact with any follow-up questions.
AGC Scholarship Foundation is a nonprofit group committed to providing both advocacy and financial support for those struggling with infertility in the U.S. The AGC Hope Scholarship will give couples or individuals who do not have the financial resources to pay for infertility treatments the opportunity to fulfill their dream of becoming parents.
LGBTQ-friendly. Applicants must have a diagnosis of infertility, be over 18 years of age and be U.S. citizens.
BabyQuest Foundation is a non-profit organization whose goal is to grant financial assistance to those who cannot afford fertility treatments such as IUI, IVF, egg donation, and surrogacy. Applications are accepted from heterosexual, same-sex couples, and singles.
LGBTQ-friendly. Applicants may reside anywhere in the United States. They must demonstrate financial need and submit required medical documentation. Applicants must demonstrate overall good physical and mental health, be under the age of 40, and meet the definition of infertility as determined by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). In addition, applicants need to show financial stability including basic health insurance for mother/prenatal care, adequate living arrangements and means for child support.
Here's what a real surrogacy timeline looks like:
Grants can only be used to pay for In Vitro Fertilization only. This can include the IVF treatment cycle, embryo, egg or sperm cryopreservation, embryo testing and cycle medications. Please keep in mind the grant will cover up to $10,000 of treatment. Applicants will be responsible for costs exceeding $10,000. Grant funding can be used at one of the two Connecticut Centers of Excellence, the Center for Advanced Reproductive Services (CARS) and Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT).
LGBTQ-friendly. New York and Connecticut residents only. No infertility diagnosis required for same-sex couples or individuals.
The American Academy of Adoption Attorneys’ Family Formation Charitable Trust provides financial assistance to individuals and nonprofit organizations seeking to build families through adoption and assisted reproductive technology. Grants range from $500 to $2,000.
LGBTQ-friendly. No diagnosis of infertility is required. Grant application is open to individuals or couples. At least one prospective parent in a relationship must be a U.S. citizen.
Footsteps for Fertility Foundation offers grants of either $5,000 each or less, depending on the cost of required treatment or in-kind donated services from clinical partners. Grants are awarded by random selection following a 5K-race event. They also offer a national, awarded by random selection via social media. This is more of a raffle than a grant. Participants pay a race fee of around $35 and an application fee of around $30.
LGBTQ-friendly. Race event applicants and national applicants must meet the definition of infertility as defined by SART. Race event applicants must register for the race and create a race team.
With this program, fertility doctors donate their services and facilities to couples in need of assistance. The program is designed to cover most of the basic IVF expenses. Donated treatments are provided. No cash is given to recipients.
LGBTQ-friendly. To be eligible, couples need to register with INCIID and be active members on their message boards or Facebook page. They are also required to actively fundraise for INCIID and must raise $3,800 before being matched with a clinic, and donate $55 or more annually with the INCIID community. Applicants need to provide proof of financial need and meet the medical criteria for infertility, have cancer, or have a genetic condition that causes infertility. Couples without children are preferred. Recipients must be willing to “go public” with their story via a video. Application process Every application is kept on file for two years. Selected applicants partner with INCIID and have a small fundraising requirement. The scholarships are reviewed every month with deadlines being the last working day of every month.
Journey to Parenthood helps couples and individuals dealing with infertility achieve their dreams of becoming parents by providing financial and emotional support along their journey, as well as to provide education and resources. Grants awarded are up to $10,000. Grants cover IVF, IUI, egg donation, surrogacy, and adoption. Must provide proof of a stable home.
LGBTQ-friendly. Applicants must be U.S. citizens residing in the U.S. and must be treated by a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist (REI) in the United States. Applicants must demonstrate that they can provide a stable home environment and significant financial obstacles with building their family.
Want even more grants and financial assistance? Explore our LGBTQ+ family-building financial support page.
Want all this info in one place? Download:
Organizations That Support Gay Dads-to-Be
We've compiled a list of our favorite, trusted organizations for dads-to-be who help educate, connect and resource you for your surrogacy journey ahead. Explore our top picks here:
- Gays With Kids - As the leading resource for gay, bi, and trans dads-to-be, Gays With Kids offers a wealth of information and support to hopeful fathers across the globe. A great place to start? Exploring their in-depth guide to Gay Surrogacy or attending a free webinar to learn more.
- Men Having Babies - Hosting regular conferences for gay men pursuing surrogacy across the globe, Men Having Babies serves as an incredible resource for dads-to-be wanting to learn more about surrogacy, connect with agencies and healthcare providers and much more. Their Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP) also provides substantial financial assistance to eligible fathers-to-be! Learn more about GPAP here.
- Family Equality - Offering a robust variety of tools and support, Family Equality's mission is to advance equality for ALL families. They host educational and recreational events, connect LGBTQ+ people through their network of national family groups, create family-building resources and are on the forefront of advocacy efforts impacting the community.
- Gay Parents To Be - That's us! We are proud to serve as an educational resource and starting point for men having babies around the world. Partnered with fertility clinic RMA of Connecticut, the team at Gay Parents To Be is passionate about helping LGBTQ+ parents-to-be achieve the family of their dreams through support, education, a virtual community and more.
- RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association - With peer and professionally-led support groups, online communities, educational resources and more, RESOLVE advocates for access to fertility care for all, and supports all paths to parenthood.
- Circle Surrogacy - This surrogacy and egg donation agency has been one of our trusted partners for many years, and offers some great FAQ answers regarding surrogacy, as well as detailed information about IVF, the surrogacy process and gay parenting. They also frequently host informational webinars featuring real dads' surrogacy stories, which is a great opportunity to learn about the process!
- Worldwide Surrogacy - Another wonderful surrogacy agency that we frequently partner with and recommend, has resources for intended parents like a Surrogacy Dictionary, Surrogacy Stories, a blog and more.
Note: Men Having Babies also has a great list of LGBTQ-focused books (for both dads and kids) that focus on surrogacy and same-sex parents. Worth checking out!
The Importance of Community
On this unique path to parenthood, you may feel isolated or unsure about how to connect with others on similar journeys. As tempting as it may be to want to keep your head down and not put in the effort to establish new relationships, creating a sense of community can make a huge difference as you navigate this often challenging (and lengthy) family-building process.
We encourage you to explore peer support groups (either virtual or in-person), conferences like Men Having Babies, speak with a counselor or simply share what you're going through with trusted family or friends. The road to baby can be a long trek for some dads-to-be, with disappointments, frustrations and roadblocks along the way. Having a solid support network to remind you of why you're doing this and help you get through the tough parts can make all the difference.
Discover our LGBTQ+ community:
4 Ways to Connect with Other Dads-to-Be
As mentioned above, there are lots of ways to find peer support on your journey! Here are a few of our favorites:
- Attend conferences like Men Having Babies to connect with professionals, clinics and other dads-to-be
- Find a peer support group like RMA of Connecticut's LGBTQ+ Parents to Be group, which meets monthly (it's virtual and free)
- Watch webinars, read books and listen to podcasts to discover new resources
- Contact your community's local LGBTQ+ center to see if they have any groups or resources for parents
If you've chosen surrogacy as your pathway to parenthood, it's only natural to have lots of questions. There are a lot of legal, logistical, financial and other considerations dads-to-be must take into account when planning a surrogacy journey - and not all of the answers are easy to find. Here we've compiled a list of some of the most commonly asked questions about surrogacy. Have a question not answered here? Reach out to us!
Which should I find first? An egg donor or a surrogate?
You can search for an egg donor and a surrogate (also called a gestational carrier, or GC) at the same time. Usually, it takes less time to find an egg donor and create your embryos. If you find the surrogate first, you may need to pay to keep her on hold while you select a donor and embryos are created.
How long does the surrogacy process take?
While each step of the surrogacy process can take a varying amount of time, depending on your availability, the time it takes to choose your egg donor and gestational carrier, financial resources, and other factors that may be personal to you, the average total length of a surrogacy journey is anywhere from 15 to 24 months.
What type of testing is necessary before we start IVF treatment?
Due to FDA regulations, bloodwork may be necessary at the time of semen collection for the IVF procedure. In addition, two specific physical exams will be required to be filled out by your primary care provider. If one or both partners have an infectious disease, such as HIV, you will be referred to a special lab for semen processing.
You will also typically meet with a licensed clinical social worker and a genetic counselor prior to starting IVF.
Should I use a surrogacy agency or find a surrogate myself?
To cut costs, many patients think about looking for a surrogate/gestational carrier on their own. Using an agency is always recommended because they specialize in finding suitable gestational carriers and help to streamline the rigorous screening process. Agencies are also experienced in finding a personality match with the intended parents!
What is the difference between a surrogate and a gestational carrier?
While both terms can be used interchangeably, traditional surrogacy involved a woman who both carried the pregnancy and also supplied the egg.
In more modern surrogacy arrangements, the gestational carrier carries the pregnancy but does not supply the egg. Through IVF, the intended parents’ own sperm and donor egg (or donor sperm and donor egg) are combined and transferred into the gestational carrier’s uterus.
How are gestational carriers (surrogates) screened?
Gestational carriers (GCs) have their physical and mental health reviewed. Women are tested for gynecologic health associated with the uterus, as well as infectious diseases. Psychological counseling with our mental health professionals is completed to make sure the gestational carrier understands the process. Once you are near signing with your gestational carrier, a background check and home study may be required.
Can I choose an egg donor I know personally or do I need to work through an agency?
You can choose a donor you know! Some intended parents already have an egg donor in mind, such as a sister, cousin or a good friend. This donor’s medical profile will be presented to our medical and support team to determine her suitability as a donor. Screenings will be performed in the same way as with unknown donors.
Can we choose a surrogate we know personally? If not, how do we go about finding a surrogate?
Yes, you can choose to use a friend or relative as a surrogate/gestational carrier. If you use an unknown surrogate there are multiple agencies available to assist you through the process.
Women who qualify to be surrogates/gestational carriers are those who have had a previous uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery. They must also be medically and emotionally healthy and demonstrate financial stability. It is required that all parties meet with an attorney, as well as one of our mental health professionals, to ensure awareness of this responsibility.
Can we use both my partner’s and my sperm?
Yes, sperm can be split between eggs to create embryos from each partner if desired.
More Resources for Men Having Babies
In addition to the amazing organizations and resources listed above, we encourage you to explore the following articles to learn more about surrogacy and read surrogacy stories from real LGBTQ+ dads who have been there. With so much information being thrown at you as you navigate surrogacy, sometimes the best thing to do is simply remember WHY you're doing it - and reading through other families' stories can help provide some great perspective.
Read Surrogacy Stories
- Robbie & Mackenzy | A Surrogacy Story
- Tyler & Eric | Becoming Dads During a Pandemic
- Dan & Adam | An LGBTQ+ Family Building Story
- Doug & Sanjay | A Surrogacy Story
- Julien's Journey to Fatherhood: A Surrogacy Story
- Alo & Javi | An International Surrogacy Story
Learn More About Surrogacy
- Will I Have to Travel During My Surrogacy Journey?
- Where Should Dads Look to Find the Right Egg Donor?
- For Gay Dads Starting Surrogacy, How Do You Choose Whose Sperm to Use?
- The Surrogacy Process: A Step By Step Guide for Gay Men
- What Should I Expect at My Embryo Transfer? | For Gay Couples
- Can I Ask My Surrogate To Follow a Special Diet?
- Why is Surrogacy for Same-Sex Couples So Expensive?
- How Do I Find a Surrogate?
- LGBTQ Parenthood & Legal Protection