We understand that there are so many unanswered questions you have about surrogacy. Getting answers to questions helps us discover something new or discover new ideas and perspectives we may have never considered before. Answers to questions might also remind us of something that helped us in the past and is related to our current question.
These are the most common and frequently asked questions and topics about Surrogacy.
· Types of Surrogacy
· The Matching Process
· Surrogate Mothers
· Intended Parents Screening
· Embryo Donation;
· The IVF Process;
· Your profile;
· Success Rate
Are single men/women or same sex couples eligible?
The answer is yes you can use a surrogate; however, the Florida Statute states that if you are single, you would sign a pre-adoption agreement with the Surrogate and adopt the baby after its birth.
Who is eligible?
- Single men who want a child
- Single women who cannot carry a child to term themselves, due to infertility or health risks
- Same-sex male couples
- Same-sex female couples who cannot carry a child themselves
- Heterosexual couples struggling with infertility and the inability to carry a child
- Medically unable to have children
Types of Surrogacy:
There are two (2) types of Surrogacy; Gestational and Traditional.
What is Gestational Surrogacy?
In Gestational Surrogacy, the surrogate becomes pregnant through IVF and has no biological connection to the baby.
What is Traditional Surrogacy?
In Traditional Surrogacy, the surrogate’s own eggs are fertilized using artificial insemination, making her the biological mother of the baby. In TS, the Intended Parents will have to adopt the baby.
What if the surrogate wants to keep the baby?
This is not an option in gestational surrogacy but it is an option in traditional surrogacy because it is the surrogate’s egg.
The Matching Process:
What is done prior to being matched to a Surrogate?
The surrogate must be approved in order to be added to our database and eligible to be matched to Intended Parents. This process involves blood, drug, urine tests as well as HIV, Hep B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis, HTLV-1 (T-cell Leukemia virus). She will have a physical examination and psychological test, usually called the MMPI test.
Once the surrogate passes these tests, she prepares her profile that is shared with prospective Intended Parents. When the Surrogate and Intended Parents agree to a match, they each contact their attorney and meet with them to discuss, prepare and execute a contract that mutually satisfies the surrogate and intended parents.
Who are Surrogates?
Surrogates are selfless women of all different backgrounds who have a passion to help others. They go through a screening and eligibility process until it is determined that they can represent an intended family.
Do Surrogates have rights?
According to the law, a donor or a surrogate mother of Gestational Surrogacy in the State of Florida has no parental legal rights to the child born and the child born is legally the child of the prospective intended parents.
In other states, the intended parent may have to go through an adoption procedure. Still, as long as the surrogate is onboard, any state will eventually grant custody to the intended parents. Once legal parenthood is established, the surrogate has no legal relationship to the child—not even visitation rights if contractually agreed upon.
Who works with a surrogate mother?
The following people might consider working with a surrogate: people who have struggled with infertility, prospective single parents, same-sex couples, or anyone who is unable to safely carry a pregnancy to term.
How do I find a surrogate?
Intended parents can identify a surrogate on their own networking and advertising or with the help of an agency’s matching services.
Can I work with a surrogate I already know?
If you have a friend or family member who is willing to carry for you, you can pursue what is called identified surrogacy.
How much contact will I have with my surrogate?
You and the surrogate determine how much or how little contact you are comfortable with and this is specified in your Agreement/Contract.
Will the surrogate be related to the baby?
The surrogate is not related to the baby with Gestational Surrogacy. The relationship the surrogate has with your baby depends on the type of surrogacy you pursue.
Can a surrogate mother decide to keep the baby?
When the intended parents fulfill their contractual obligations, the surrogate mother has no legal claim to the baby. For this reason, gestational surrogacy agreements are highly recommended, and in some U.S. states, it's actually illegal to hire a traditional surrogate.
What happens if surrogate mother miscarries?
When something goes wrong, the pregnant surrogate is most often not at fault, and you are obligated to satisfy your contractual agreement. If the surrogate mother miscarries, she's entitled to compensation up to the point when she loses the child.
Do surrogate mothers share DNA?
The answer is no. The child already has its DNA from its mom and dad. Also, the baby's own blood passes through its body – not the blood of its surrogate mom. However, there is a possibility that some DNA could be transferred from the woman to the fetus that she is carrying and vice versa from the child to the mother.
Do you get maternity leave if you are a surrogate?
If the surrogate meets the normal eligibility criteria, a surrogate mother will be entitled to paid maternity leave.
Screening Intended Parents:
Why are Intended Parents screened?
This is a mutual screening process of the surrogate and the intended parents to ensure that all parties are physically, psychologically, legally and financially ready for the surrogacy process.
What’s involved in the screening process for Intended Parents?
· Intended Parents will complete an application.
· Talk with a surrogacy specialist about their surrogacy goals and needs
· Fulfill agency requirements
· Background checks/Child Abuse Registry Check
· Home visit
· Physical Examination
· Psychological Examination
What are Creating an Angel’s Requirements?
1. Understanding the Surrogacy Process;
2. Emotionally ready;
3. Medically ready;
4. Financially ready;
5. Excitement to be parents.
What professionals will I need to work with? You will need an agency, attorney, and an IVF clinic. We recommend you speak with other families that have gone through surrogacy and do research on your own so you are confident you are in the best hands with the best professionals that are honest, ethical, trustworthy and knowledgeable in their fields.
What tests does the surrogate undergo?
The surrogate must be approved in order to be added to our database and eligible to be matched to Intended Parents. This process involves blood, drug, urine tests as well as HIV, Hep B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis, HTLV-1 (T-cell Leukemia virus).
What examinations is the surrogate required to have done?
The Surrogate will have a physical examination and psychological test, usually called the MMPI test.
How does the medical surrogacy process work and who handles the medical procedures?
Nothing can be done unless the contract is agreed to and signed by both parties. Generally, medical procedures will be handled by an agreed-upon fertility clinic.
What is Embryo Donation?
Embryo donation is a form of third party reproduction. Embryos remaining after one family's in vitro fertilization are given either to another person or couple for implantation. They are frozen when extracted and thawed when needed for use when another person(s) needs them.
Where is Embryo Donation performed?
Embryo Donation is performed at an IVF clinic.
The IVF Process:
What takes place during the IVF Process?
As with any medical procedure, there are many variables involved. The same is true of the IVF process; however, this is a basic overview of the process.
Week 1: Consultations: Initial, Treatment Plan, and Financial
Week 2-4: Pretreatment (blood tests, ultrasounds, infectious disease screening, uterine evaluation, male fertility testing); Beginning of Birth Control Pills.
Week 5: Medications, Monitoring with Ultrasounds and blood tests.
Week 7: Triggering the final maturation of the eggs; Ultrasound egg retrieval; Egg and sperm are combined in the lab; 3-6 days after fertilization, embryos are evaluated for transfer; 3 days after fertilization, embryos are ready for transfer into the uterus.
After IVF, a progesterone supplement is taken to help support the uterine lining and encourage implantation.
About 12 days after the embryo transfer, a first pregnancy test is given. If the test is positive, a repeat test will be taken about a week later to confirm pregnancy. An ultrasound will be given 2 – 3 weeks later.
Will I be the biological parent of my child?
Surrogacy often allows one or both intended parents to maintain a genetic connection to their child. If your eggs are healthy and viable, or an intended father has healthy, viable sperm, your genetic material can be used to create the embryo. In many situations, this is a viable option.
Who prepares a profile?
The Surrogate and the Intended Parents prepare their profile.
What is the purpose of a profile?
Profiles are shared with Surrogates and Intended Parents so each can preview information and pictures that will determine if a surrogate and intended parent are compatible. If both mutually agree to meet, a meeting is set up. This meeting can be done in person, via telephone or Facebook, Skype or any way that is convenient for each.
What is a Profile? A profile is a book about you. It’s comprised of pictures, captions, notes to the surrogate, and anything you would like to share so she can get to know you before a meeting is set up.
What are the chances of success with surrogacy?
Success is influenced by the IVF clinic you work with, the health and viability of the embryo you use, and the health and fertility history of your surrogate. Speak with your fertility clinic. They will be able to determine your best chances of being successful. Many clinics will perform multiple embryo transfers until a healthy pregnancy is achieved making the success rate very high. If a woman is under 39, her chances are approximately 60%
Should I work with a surrogacy agency?
You should work with either an agency or an attorney. Surrogacy is complicated process with legal, medical, social and emotional aspects. It’s easier and safer if you have the guidance of a professional.
How much does surrogacy cost?
Costs can vary significantly depending on the type of surrogacy you pursue, the professionals you work with, the services you need throughout the process and the course the surrogate’s pregnancy takes.
What are the professional costs for the intended parents?
Intended parents are usually responsible for the following:
- Matching services
- Counseling, education and support
- Screening costs
- General case management and oversight
- Legal services
- Medical expenses
- Surrogate compensation and reimbursement It is difficult to estimate overall surrogacy costs but they can range from $90K to 110K and could be higher depending on each individual case.
How much does it cost to have someone carry a baby for you?
There are other expenses such as IVF screening and procedures may cost $10,000 to $17,000. The legal fees also range between $2,000 to $5,000. The surrogate may also get a $2,000 - $4,000 stipend for maternity needs such as clothing, food, and support group meetings. There are many variables and fees involved in the process. Please go to our Intended Parent Page and click on Professional Fees for an estimated fee structure.
How much do surrogates get compensated?
The average amount of compensation, including expenses, can range from $40,000 to $85,000 depending on experience of the surrogate and the individual arrangements.
Do surrogates pay taxes?
Many surrogate mothers throughout the years have contacted the IRS directly to ask if they should be paying surrogacy compensation income taxes. Surrogates do need to pay taxes on taxable income.
Is surrogacy covered by insurance?
Some private health insurance companies WILL cover the cost of artificial insemination. Certain insurance companies include a specific clause in their plans that exclude medical coverage for surrogate pregnancies as well. It’s important you check with your insurance company.