Intended Parents FAQ
Q: HOW DOES Patriot Conceptions FIND QUALIFIED SURROGATES AND/OR EGG DONORS?
A: Many potential surrogate mothers and egg donors are referred to us by current or former surrogates or donors who have had positive experiences in working with our agency. We also receive contacts via our website, online forums, social media, and other outreach efforts. We are vigilant about monitoring and responding to all contacts we receive to determine their eligibility to become surrogates or egg donors to ensure a robust pool of prescreened, qualified candidates.
Q: WHAT QUALITIES DOES Patriot Conceptions LOOK FOR IN SURROGATE AND/OR EGG DONOR CANDIDATES?
A: To begin with, qualified surrogates or egg donors must be mentally and physically healthy. A surrogates must have already have given birth to at least one child of her own with no major complications during pregnancy and delivery. In order to qualify, surrogates and egg donors may not use illegal drugs or tobacco and must meet a number of health and emotional wellness standards. Qualified candidates also are asked to confirm their commitment to the surrogacy or egg donation process, expressing responsibility for their decision to participate and confirming they have met our requirements. A comfortable, trusting relationship between intended parent(s) and the surrogate is essential, so we do our best to get that relationship started off on the right foot with properly vetted and qualified candidates.
Q: I DO NOT LIVE IN THE UNITED STATES. HOW MANY TIMES WILL I BE REQUIRED TO TRAVEL TO CALIFORNIA DURING MY JOURNEY TO PARENTHOOD VIA SURROGACY?
A: If you are using your own sperm and/or eggs, all medical testing must be conducted in the U.S. to meet U.S. Food & Drug Administration guidelines and clinic requirements. In addition, you will be required to come to California for the egg retrieval process and/or to leave your sperm sample. You may expect to remain in California for a period of at least five to seven days while the pregnancy is attempted. It is recommended, but not required, that you return to California at least once during the pregnancy and, of course, for the delivery of your child. Because you will not know the exact day and time when your surrogate will go into labor, you should prepare to come to California on short notice during the final month of pregnancy, or at least two weeks prior to your surrogate’s due date, if she is carrying one child. If your surrogate is pregnant with twins, you should plan for a sudden trip to California at least three to four weeks before the due date; for triplets, make plans to travel at short notice during the final two to three months. Be sure to maintain close contact with your surrogate and with SLS staff during the last trimester of pregnancy.
Q: I AM A CITIZEN OF A COUNTRY OTHER THAN THE UNITED STATES. HOW DO I OBTAIN A CALIFORNIA CERTIFIED BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND A PASSPORT FOR MY CHILD SO I CAN RETURN HOME?
A: The paternity establishment or pre-birth judgment will be filed with the court in the State of California when your surrogate is about 28 weeks pregnant, so you will be listed as the legal parent on your child’s birth certificate. You will receive your child’s birth certificate approximately seven to 10 days after the birth. Once you receive the birth certificate, and your baby has been released from the hospital, you can apply for a passport for your child. The passport process takes approximately two to seven days. We recommend that all new parents prepare to remain in the United States for a minimum of three weeks after the birth of their child or children to allow time for completion of these important documents. In order to provide new parents with added assistance, SLS offers a concierge service to help you during the post-birth process. In some cases, we can refer you to a qualified fertility law attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced with the laws and policies of your home country. Additionally, we highly recommend that you contact a family law attorney in your home country in order to ensure you are properly informed of the requirements in your own country once you return home. You may need to establish your child’s citizenship in your own country in order for your child to receive your country’s benefits.
Q: IS THERE SOMETHING THAT AN INTENDED PARENT CAN DO TO ENSURE THE HEALTH OF THE CHILD THEY CREATE THROUGH SURROGACY?
A: We highly recommend that all clients consider cord blood banking. Stored immediately after birth, the plasma from your baby’s umbilical cord can be used later in your child’s life to cure disease and potentially save his or her life. We have information and resources for cord blood banking available on request. However, arrangements for the procedure must be made in advance. If you decide to pursue cord blood banking, please let us know as soon as your surrogate becomes pregnant.
Q: WHY DO THE INTENDED PARENTS HAVE TO OBTAIN A NOTARIZED LEGAL CONTRACT WITH THE SURROGATE?
A: In January 2013, the State of California’s Family Code regarding surrogate arrangements was re-written to include the requirement of a notarized legal contract between the parties. Therefore, the intended parent or parents, surrogate and surrogate’s husband all must sign the surrogacy agreement and have their signatures legally notarized. The notarization is performed by a notary public, a person legally empowered to witness and certify the validity of documents and personal identity. In this case, the notary public will certify that you are in fact the individuals signing the signature page of the surrogacy agreement. A valid, current photo identification card or passport will be required of all parties signing the agreement. The State of California implemented this change in order to ensure legal and parental rights to the child were provided to the proper individuals.