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Men Having Babies 101: Surrogacy Grants, Resources & More

Surrogacy is a path to parenthood that requires lots of support - from legal to emotional to medical. Here's where to find it.

January 9th, 2024 | 15 min. read

By Sierra Dehmler

men having babies surrogacy dads to be

Feeling overwhelmed or confused about where to look for resources to support your surrogacy journey? Our comprehensive guide explores where to turn for financial assistance, helpful organizations, books on surrogacy, LGBTQ+ peer support groups, family stories, and more.

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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!

Financial Assistance for Surrogacy

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! 

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. Let's explore some of the best places to seek financial assistance for surrogacy. 

Note: 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.

BabyQuest Foundation 

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.

Nest Egg Foundation 

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 the Center for Advanced Reproductive Services (CARS) or our partner clinic, Illume Fertility.


LGBTQ-friendly. New York and Connecticut residents only. No infertility diagnosis required for same-sex couples or individuals.

Men Having Babies

Men Having Babies created The Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP) as part of their mission to make building a family more affordable for gay prospective parents that need financial assistance for their surrogacy journey. GPAP annually facilitates over a million dollars worth of financial support for gay prospective parents in two forms:

  • Discounted and free services donated by more than one hundred leading IVF, surrogacy, egg donation and legal service providers to prospective parents.
  • Discounted and donated complementary services including fertility medication, escrow services, and insurance resource services.


In order to apply for the Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP), applicants must be supporting members of MHB in good standing. There is no charge for members to apply for GPAP. Read all eligibility criteria here.

Footsteps for Fertility Foundation 

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.

Journey to Parenthood 

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. 

Find more financial assistance for surrogacy here

You deserve the best.

Learn everything you need to know about surrogacy agencies and how to match with the right type of agency for your personal journey.

Learn More

Organizations Supporting Dads-to-Be

We've compiled a list of trusted organizations who help educate, connect and resource you for your surrogacy journey. 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. In partnership with Connecticut and New York-based clinic Illume Fertility, the team at Gay Parents To Be is passionate about helping LGBTQ+ folks build the family of their dreams through support, education, community and more. 

Learn more about our partner clinic Illume Fertility!

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.

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: 

  1. Attend conferences like Men Having Babies to connect with professionals, clinics and other dads-to-be
  2. Find a peer support group like those offered by RESOLVE, Illume Fertility, or Family Equality
  3. Watch webinars, read books and listen to podcasts to discover new resources
  4. Contact your community's local LGBTQ+ center to see if they have any groups or resources for parents

Gestational Surrogacy FAQs

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 may 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 that are genetically-related to each partner if desired. 

Meet a Surrogate

Hear what it's like to be a gestational surrogate from an experienced GC named Julie, who covers everything from communication to pregnancy and more.

Read Now

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

International Surrogacy

Twin Surrogacy Journeys

Unique Surrogacy Perspectives

More Surrogacy Experiences

Learn More About Surrogacy

Sierra Dehmler

Sierra Dehmler is the Content Marketing Manager for Gay Parents To Be and its partner clinic, Illume Fertility. She is also a fertility patient herself. Combining empathy gained on her personal journey with her professional experience in marketing and content creation, she aims to empower and support other hopeful parents by providing family-building resources that educate, inspire and encourage.