What is surrogacy?
Surrogacy is when a woman carries a baby for another person or couple. There are two different types of surrogacy, Traditional and Gestational.
Traditional surrogacy is where the surrogate uses her own eggs and carries the baby. Gestational surrogacy is where the intended parents will use their egg and sperm, or donor egg and sperm. In this case the surrogate is not biologically related to the surrogate in any way.
How To: find a surrogate
There are a couple different options when it comes to finding a surrogate. The most popular way would be to do some research and find a trusted agency. Another way would be to join a surrogate group, or choose a trusted friend or family member to be your surrogate and proceed with an independent journey.
Surrogacy with an agency will be a guided journey where you will either be closely assisted with each step or where possible, steps will be taken care of for you. With an agency you will have a pool of surrogates who have been medically and psychologically screened and background checked, to choose from.
An independent journey will be partially led by a lawyer of your choice, and the lawyer you choose for your surrogate. They will provide assistance with anything that requires legal guidance, the rest will be up to the intended parents unless extra assistance is otherwise requested.
What goes on the first birth certificate
The names on the first birth certificate will depend on the state your surrogate lives in. Some surrogacy friendly states will allow for a PBO (pre-birth order). This means the surrogate will never be listed as a legal parent of the intended parents child.
Less surrogate friendly states may require the surrogate and her husband, if married, to be listed on the birth certificate until the intended parents legally adopt their child.
What is a parental order?
A parental order is an order from Family Court which extinguishes the status of the surrogate and her spouse, and reassigns their parentage to the intended parent/s. A new birth certificate will be issued recording the correct position.
Each state will have different requirements intended parent/s must meet in order to apply for parentage.
What is paid to the surrogate?
In an independent surrogacy journey, typically when the surrogate is a close family member or friend, they may agree to carry the intended parent/s baby with no compensation. Others may request their basic living expenses to be covered via compensation, or a typical compensation for pain and suffering due to the pregnancy and preparing for embryo transfer may be requested as well.
When working with an agency, they will have done the research for you and have already listed fair base compensations for their surrogates. Both intended parent/s and the surrogate will know what is financially expected upfront. This can eliminate potentially tough conversations and disagreements regarding compensation.
Typically the cost of a separate lawyer and medical bills due to the pregnancy are always covered by the intended parent/s.