Anyone considering surrogacy as a possibility needs to do a substantial amount of prior research, including frank discussions with their spouses/members of their family, qualified medical professionals (Reproductive Endocrinologists) and alternative reproductive specialists. Many people utilize trusted legal counsel after matching, however, you may wish to engage an attorney prior to matching to ensure any potential surrogate meets all necessary requirements per applicable local laws. Laws governing surrogacy vary greatly by country and locality (e.g. each US state has their own set of surrogacy laws and requirements). You will need to be aware of local laws before you start your journey. Some countries and US states are known to be “surrogacy friendly”; others heavily restrict or outright prohibit surrogacy arrangements.
Here’s some basics to keep in mind as you begin your journey.
1. Identifying Potential Surrogates
Surrogacy Place is designed to make finding a surrogate easier and significantly less expensive than utilizing a surrogate agency (which can cost anywhere between $15,000-$45,000 for their matchmaking services). Surrogacy Place is also able to offer a wide variety of matching criteria so that you and any potential surrogate start out on the same page across a wide variety of different matching points e.g. when each side is able to start, number of embryos to transfer, willingness to travel for appointments/birth, interest/willingness to provide breastmilk, to the more controversial topics such as LGBT families, termination, and vaccination status.
It is your responsibility to do due diligence in what matching criteria is important to you. It is also your responsibility to conduct personal and background checks. It’s strongly recommended that you ask for references; if you’re considering an experienced surrogate, you may want to speak to their former Intended Parents (IPs). There are many websites such as Criminal Watchdog that offer quick and inexpensive criminal background checks.
Many people specifically look for surrogates in surrogacy-friendly places like California. Surrogacy Place allows you to filter by geography to find local surrogates or surrogates in places that have laws designed to protect both parties. Surrogates in surrogate-friendly states and/or experienced surrogates often charge more in terms of compensation because of higher demand. That, along with advice from your attorney, should be weighed against your general requirements. While some surrogates accept foreign intended parents, many will only work with domestic parents. Surrogacy Place allows you to search across these key parameters and others.
Surrogacy Place also eliminates the months/years long waiting list agencies often have allowing you to start your journey without waiting to be matched through a third party.
Any potential surrogate must be medically cleared by a Reproductive Endocrinologist. Your doctor will discuss the surrogate’s general medical and pregnancy-specific history. IVF and surrogacy can potentially lead to a higher-risk pregnancy, so your doctor will want to be certain any surrogates you are considering are in top medical shape. Successful surrogates are generally women who have an easy time carrying, with whom complications from pregnancy and birth have been mild or nonexistent. Surrogates must be done with having their own children and must have at least one child of their own. Medical clearance generally occurs after both parties agree to a good faith match and begin drafting the surrogacy arrangement legal contract. Separately, many states require and most assisted reproduction attorneys insist on (especially for first-time surrogates) a clinical psychologist to thoroughly evaluate potential surrogates for their emotional and mental readiness for the unique demands of a surrogacy arrangement. All of these medical professionals are here to make sure a surrogate is willing, able, and capable of starting and completing a successful surrogacy journey.
3. Legal Requirements
As mentioned above, you may wish to utilize the services of a qualified assisted reproduction attorney at the start of your journey. He/she will make sure you are following local laws, as well as, ensure both sides come to a complete understanding of each side’s respective responsibilities in the arrangement. Intended Parents are expected to cover the cost of the surrogate’s legal counsel, and she must be free to pick whomever she feels will best represent her interests.
4. Compensation Considerations
Surrogacy is not a place for cutting corners. It’s a deeply personal process and it’s also very expensive. Surrogacy done properly and ethnically can never be done cheaply. It’s not unreasonable to expect to pay $80,000-100,000 for an independent jourhttps://surrogacyplace.com/blog/category/ethics-of-surrogacy/ney, significantly more if you utilize an agency instead of an independent journey.
While some people prefer a concierge level of service in the match-making process, if you have a trusted doctor and lawyer and are fine doing your own thorough due diligence, you have the option of forging the high costs associated with agencies. Surrogacy Place eliminates high agency fees altogether while providing access to a greater pool of potential surrogates to help you undergo a fully independent journey. Other costs such as health insurance, IVF costs, legal and escrow fees, and surrogate medical and personal expenses, as well as, fair compensation for the woman carrying your child(ren) are the hard costs of surrogacy. Surrogacy Place removes agency costs potentially allowing surrogates more of the Surrogacy and Related fees share of budgeting, while reducing the overall costs for Intended Parents.
Nearly all surrogates see surrogacy as a calling, a beautiful gift to bestow on a hopeful family. Although the primary motivation for women being surrogates is usually altruistic, it does not mean these women do not deserve to be fairly compensated. Baring local restrictions on compensation, only a surrogate can tell you what that amount should be. One important thing to note: women using surrogacy as their primary means to support themselves or their families is generally prohibited. As with egg donation, however, many women use surrogacy to help achieve financial goals as well as to do provide an incredible, priceless gift to others.
5. Health Insurance
A potential surrogate may have health insurance that covers surrogacy and all or most pregnancy-related medical costs. A surrogate’s existing health insurance plan should be carefully vetted. You may wish to use a service like ART Risk in evaluating. If surrogacy is excluded from a potential surrogate’s policy, it is the responsibility of the intended parent to purchase health insurance on behalf of the surrogate. Many intended parents are able to purchase plans directly through agencies. Health care for any children born under surrogacy arrangements is the sole responsibility of the intended parent(s).