Have you decided to end fertility treatment? Sometimes, even with modern reproductive technology, an infertility diagnosis or medical issue can continue to prevent families from growing. Couples and individuals who have reached this point can have the option of choosing third-party reproduction in order to have children. Third-party reproduction refers to egg donation, sperm donation, and gestational surrogacy.
After intended parents are matched with a gestational surrogate and before any of the medical procedures involved in surrogacy take place, both parties will form and agree to a surrogacy contract. At this stage, the intended parents work with their legal representation and the gestational surrogate will do the same with hers in order to work out an agreement all parties favor.
In short, no. Gestational surrogacy agreements are not legal in all 50 states. In the U.S., it is up to individual states to determine the legality of surrogacy agreements, which is why you will find that laws vary widely from one state to the next.
Gestational surrogacy has become increasingly well-known in the past decade, particularly the past five years. Surrogacy arrangements now make common appearances across television shows and movies, and the legality of gay marriage in the U.S. in 2015 made legal issues that once created painful complications for LGBT couples and individuals null and void.
At Fertility SOURCE Companies, we understand that the process of third party reproduction with a gestational surrogate begs many questions. If you are about to embark on your journey to parenthood via gestational surrogacy, we’d like to clear up some common misconceptions.
To most, gestational surrogacy equates to pregnancy. And while this is true, there is an entirely separate process leading up to a surrogate pregnancy that often lends to a multitude of questions.
The first thing I want all potential surrogates to understand is that you are not going to be related to the baby your body is growing. Here at The Surrogacy SOURCE, we only facilitate gestational surrogacy. This is where your body is literally the oven for the Intended Parents bun (embryos created with their own egg/sperm, or with donor egg/sperm).
One of the more daunting tasks in the surrogacy process is selecting a surrogate. For many parents there is the worry that “the perfect match” is around the corner. It can be difﬁcult for some parents to make the decision to go forward with a particular surrogate not knowing what proﬁles might come available in the next day or week. This can be a nerve-wrecking game to play with oneself though. It is true that you may miss out on a surrogate that you “click with” even more than the surrogate you have selected, but you could also pass up on some amazing surrogates in the meantime.
Intended Parents have invested much time, funds, and emotions into their pathway to parenthood. They are placing their trust into individuals they have never, and may never, meet. Email, video calls, faxing, and other technology have allowed us to create a network of support to guide everyone involved through such an intimate process.
Most of the questions we respond to from gestational surrogates and their intended parents (IP) have to do with their relationship before and during the pregnancy. One step at a time is how most try to get through their surrogacy journey as many IP’s have gone through unsuccessful attempts at IVF or pregnancy themselves, with or without the help of an egg donor. We advise surrogates and their intended parents not to involve children and other family and friends in the beginning of their journeys as it’s best to make these introductions after a pregnancy is achieved and medically stable. There are considerations at The Surrogacy SOURCE that we remind our clients of as we see how their relationships evolve.
The question I am asked most often by intended parents (IP’s) is “why does this have to take so long?”. The process of becoming a parent with the assistance of an egg donor, gestational carrier, or both, involves many professionals all coordinating their services. The psychologists, attorneys, genetic counselors, insurance agents, doctors, nurses, embryologists, match makers, case managers, escrow companies and all of the additional professionals involved with this miraculous specialty, choreograph a dance for the benefit of the IP’s ultimate goal: to have a baby or two.