You found “the one” and you are ready to grow your family! You have multiple options to consider, one being using a surrogate mother to have a baby. If you are considering surrogacy as a family building option, there are many steps in the surrogacy process, and it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to start. You can start here by considering these 5 steps to get you started on what may be the biggest journey of your life!
The surrogacy process for gay couples and straight couples is the same in most ways. There are additional considerations for gay intended parents who are at the early stages of considering surrogacy to build their family.
- Understanding the Differences of Gestational vs. Traditional Surrogacy: In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate mother (also often called the gestational carrier) is not biologically related to the baby she is carrying. Instead, the embryo is created in the laboratory using in vitro fertilization (IVF). The embryo may be created using a donor egg and the intended father’s sperm. It is then transferred to the surrogate’s uterus at the fertility clinic. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate doubles as the egg donor and is the biological mother of the baby she is carrying; the embryos are created using sperm from the intended father in a process called intrauterine insemination (IUI). Because the traditional surrogacy process can be more legally and emotionally complicated, this form of surrogacy is now far less common than gestational surrogacy.
- Surrogate mother options: One of the biggest questions is: who will be my surrogate? Some people choose to find a surrogate they did not previously know, either through an agency or through an independent search. Others feel very strongly that they would like their surrogate to be a trusted friend or family member.
- Independent Surrogacy vs. Agency Surrogacy: Generally, there are two types of surrogacy when it comes to working with a professional: an agency surrogacy and an independent surrogacy. In an agency surrogacy, intended parents (that’s you) and surrogates work with a surrogacy agency throughout the entire process: the initial screening, the drafting of the surrogacy plan, finding a match, and coordination of the different legal and medical processes. In an independent surrogacy, intended parents and surrogates usually only work with a surrogacy lawyer specializing in third-party reproduction and a fertility clinic to complete their surrogacy process.
- Financial Investment: Most parents would agree that children are priceless—but no one would argue that having children is expensive. If you’re considering surrogacy, you may be wondering about the average cost of surrogacy, which includes surrogate compensation, surrogate health insurance, surrogacy medical expenses, legal expenses and more. The cost of surrogacy gives many intended parents pause, but when you consider surrogacy as an investment, it is worth the cost. The reality is that most people don’t have the money laying around at the ready to cover the cost of surrogacy. But there are some strategies hopeful parents can use to find funds. Such as, employee benefits and health insurance. It isn’t terribly common, but your employer may have a surrogacy benefit. Personal savings is another option, if you have cash accessible in a savings account or dedicated investment account, that’s a great place to take funds. Consider asking parents, family and friends for assistance in funding your surrogacy. Many will go the route of a bank loan, a second mortgage, a home equity line of credit or pull from their retirement accounts. Ultimately you need to make the decision in choosing how to finance your family that is best for you and your partner.
- Understanding the legal process: Each state has its own surrogacy laws. Some states are friendlier to the process than others. Before you begin your surrogacy journey, you must understand the legal processes governing surrogacy in your state and this is where an experienced attorney specializing in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) can help.
Lastly, it is important to understand that unlike straight surrogacy, in which both parents’ genetics are often used to create an embryo, gay intended parents must decide whose sperm will be used. This is an important step in the process to discuss with your partner whose sperm will be used to fertilize the egg. Some, intended fathers choose to fertilize multiple eggs for implantation using both partners’ sperm, allowing either or both of them to be the biological father of a child. Because surrogacy for gay men require a surrogate and an egg donor, it’s important to consider if you will use a anonymous egg donor or choose to work with an identified donor like a family member or close friend.
At Pathways To Parenthood Surrogacy Agency we know every family has different needs, and we will take the time to understand your unique situation and individual desires to help you start your family. If you’re a gay couple and you’re considering building your family, the team at Pathways To Parenthood can guide you through the process.