An Evolving Industry
The surrogacy world has become more inclusive for LGBT singles and couples over the past five years. It's estimated that anywhere from 20%-50% of donor eggs will go to LGBT singles and couples for surrogacy.
With gay marriage and surrogacy being legal in the United States, more often than not surrogacy agencies are prepared to help the LGBT+ community. Patriot Conceptions is an LGBT friendly agency. We are open to helping anyone who is yearning to grow their family. We are here to help you through the screening, matching, medical, and legal process. We are here to help you every single step of the way.
It Takes a Village
The gay surrogacy process is really no different than the heterosexual surrogacy process. There is a popular saying in the surrogacy community that when becoming a parent, "it takes a village". Intended parents will have so many people surrounding them along their journey. Intended parents will work with:
Surrogacy agency staff
An egg donor,
A surrogate mother
IVF clinic staff and professionals
The surrogate's OBGYN
Hospital staff (when the grand moment of birth arrives)
Step by Step
Surrogacy can seem overwhelming and daunting for anyone. Breaking the process down into steps is the best action we can take to limit stress. As mentioned above, LGBT+ surrogacy does not differ much from heterosexual surrogacy. There are two additional steps to LGBT+ surrogacy; deciding who will have the biological connection to the child and finding an egg donor, either anonymous or known, in addition to finding a surrogate. Unique to LGBT+ surrogacy are the laws surrounding it. Not all states favor gay surrogacy, so it is important to research the laws in your state or lack thereof. When you arrive at the legal paperwork step your agency and lawyers will help prepare you.
Steps to Surrogacy
Decide who will have a biological connection to the child - In heterosexual surrogacy, both parents have a genetic connection to their child. In LGBT+ surrogacy, same-sex couples must decide whose egg or sperm will be used. This can be a very difficult decision to make. It is best to discuss with your partner prior to embarking on the surrogacy journey, so all of your ducks are in a row when you approach an agency.
Find an egg donor. If you do not have one an agency can help you coordinate an egg donor - This is also something to consider prior to approaching a surrogacy agency. You can either choose a known egg donor that is gracious enough to help you or you can have the agency find an egg donor for you.
Find an agency- If you are here, you are researching surrogacy or looking for an agency. Perhaps you have already found one :). When searching for an agency you will notice that all agencies vary when it comes to customer service, services provided, and fees for services. The best thing to do is list questions you may have prior to calling agencies, so you can gather intel to decide which surrogacy agency works best for you and your partner.
Match with a surrogate- Patriot Conceptions receives surrogate applications every day. We thoroughly screen gestational candidates via background checks, a psychological evaluation, and medical screenings. If the candidate is qualified by having a clean record and social history, plus meets all ASRM requirements, the candidate is then moved to a database. We match intended parents with surrogates by considering their personality, the laws in the state they reside, and their views on selective reduction. Matching can happen very quickly or can take several weeks.
Medical screening- After the gestational candidate is pre-screened by the agency their medical records are sent to an IVF clinic for further approval. The IVF clinic will either approve or deny the candidate. If approved, the IVF clinic will then set up an official medical screening which includes questionnaires, blood draws, and further testing to make sure they are a viable candidate. The full medical screening process can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 weeks. After the gestational candidate has been passed by the IVF Clinic her embryo transfer date will then be set.
Legal paperwork- The size of the legal paperwork mountain is dependent on where the intended parents and surrogate reside. Since there are no federal laws that regulate surrogacy, it is up to the states to govern the world of surrogacy. Because of this, all states have different laws, rules, and requirements for surrogacy. Your surrogacy agency and their team of legal professionals will hold your hand through this process.
Pregnancy- This is where bonding with your child and surrogate takes place! Read our Bonding With Baby article to learn how to establish bonding to build a secure attachment with your child, how to prepare for parenthood yourself, and how to establish open communication with your surrogate mother.
Parenthood- The moment you have been anxiously waiting for!
It's paramount that you sign up with a surrogacy agency that not only supports you but advocates for you. At Patriot Conceptions, we treat all of our surrogates and clients as if they were our family. We walk with them throughout their journey and will fight to make sure their dreams come true. We have lots of resources for intended parents throughout our website. Take a read to help you during your research extravaganza!
If you are ready to take the leap, sign up with us today!