Helpful Answers for Intended Parents & Gestational Surrogates
If you are considering surrogacy as a potential Surrogate or Intended Parent, you are most likely facing a process of which you have limited knowledge. You may have a lot of questions that need answering, and we are here to help you understand what to expect, how to proceed, and so much more. As an experienced Surrogacy Attorney, Virginia Frank can tailor to your unique needs, or you can review the frequently asked questions (FAQs) included below to get some basic information.
Surrogacy is a social arrangement, usually bound by a contract, in which a woman, also known as a Gestational Carrier, Surrogate Mother, or Surrogate, agrees to carry and birth a child(ren) for another person or family with the help of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART).
Yes. There are several different types of surrogacy:
- Traditional Surrogacy: Gestational mother’s eggs are fertilized with sperm from an intended father. Note: many states prohibit traditional surrogacy.
- Gestational Surrogacy: Accomplished through the Vitro Fertilization/ Embryo Transfer (IVF/ET), a process where eggs are retrieved from the intended mother (or donor) and fertilized with the sperm of the intended father (or donor). The resulting embryos are transferred into the womb of the Surrogate. After the embryo transfer, the pregnancy is just like any other. When the baby is born, the Intended Parents will obtain parental rights.
- Domestic Surrogacy: Both the Gestational Carrier and Intended Parent(s) live in the same country.
- International Surrogacy: The Gestational Carrier and Intended Parent(s) live in different countries.
- Altruistic Surrogacy: The Gestational Carrier doesn’t receive payment beyond pregnancy-related expenses.
- Commercial Surrogacy: The Gestational Carrier receives payment.
Someone considering becoming a Surrogate should meet the following minimum requirements: good physical and medical health, parenting a child or children who were born to you, no more than two previous C-sections and no more than five previous births, willing to take medication and attend doctors appointments, living in a safe and financially stable environment. Please find a more complete list of Surrogate requirements here.
- Are between the ages of 21 and 39
- Have had at least one healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy
- Must be actively parenting at least one child
- Have never experienced post-partum depression
- Are healthy and free of sexually-transmitted diseases
- Do not smoke or take illegal drugs
- Are not alcohol dependent
- Are not currently on public assistance, medicaid, nor food stamps
- Can pass a background check
- MUST LIVE IN THE UNITED STATES
- Be able to travel as needed for appointments
- Have a stable lifestyle and support system
- And more…
Depending on the agency you work with, the type of surrogacy you agree to, and the contract terms, the legal, medical, and financial services are maintained, and the surrogate typically receives financial support, medical attention, and legal advice. Note: Surrogate must have independent attorney.
The entire process generally takes about one to two years, but the exact timeline may vary.
You must be at least 21 years old to use a Surrogate.
No. Surrogacy laws vary by state. We will be happy to discuss whether it is legal in your area when you call or contact us online.
There are different people who may seek a surrogate:
- People who have struggled with infertility.
- Single parents.
- Same-sex and LGBTQ couples.
- Anyone who is unable to safely carry a pregnancy.
Either through your own networking/advertising efforts or through the help of an agency.
Yes. If you do not have health insurance, a Surrogate-specific medical plan may be purchased for you by the Intended Parents for the duration of your pregnancy.
Yes. We believe single mothers are just as capable of being Surrogates as women who are married. If you are single, it is very important that you have some type of support system in place prior to committing to any Surrogate program.
Surrogate mothers need to live a healthy lifestyle and take care of the life that is growing inside of them. During this process, we ask you to stay in regular communication with us and inform us of any appointments or pregnancy-related questions.
As a Gestational Surrogate, she will not be biologically related to the baby that she is carrying for the Intended Parents. As a Gestational Surrogate, her eggs will not be used. The eggs of the Intended Mother or the Egg Donor will be used.
Yes, the Intended Parents will be the ones who will have full parental rights to the baby, and it will be their names that appear on the birth certificate.
Contact is determined by the Surrogate Mother and the Intended Parent(s)’ preferences identified during the match. The amount of contact between the Surrogate and the Intended Parents varies case by case.
Some cultures are a little more closed off than others; however, the relationship and communication may develop as the journey progresses.
Various insurances need to be in place before starting the Surrogacy process. Please contact our office for your specific case requirements and for a list of insurance brokers.
Gestational Carriers shall have in place an insurance policy which will cover the entire pregnancy. It is recommended that the policy be in effect 6-12 months post-pregnancy in the event that the Gestational Carrier would need it after she gives birth.
In addition to having a primary insurance policy, a backup insurance policy is highly recommended. A backup insurance policy is a policy which covers the Gestational Carrier during her pregnancy, just in case the primary insurance she is carrying does not cover her pregnancy related medical expenses. If there is ever an issue with the primary policy not covering the pregnancy related medical bills, Intended Parents would be limiting their liability to the cost of purchasing the backup policy.
For more information and to talk about your goals and needs, contact Virginia Frank, Surrogacy and Adoption Attorney. She is ready to help you through your Surrogacy journey.