Like many other things in life, building a family is not a straight path. For many, the path to a child is through surrogacy. Technological advances, a more open surrogacy culture, and more have played a role in the rise of surrogacy. Even though statistics are poor and lacking, there’s evidence that in the UK alone, surrogate births have tripled since 2011.
Surrogacy involves many moving parts, making the matter utterly complicated. Read on to find some answers to everything you ever wanted to know about surrogacy.
What Do You Mean There Are Different Types of Surrogacy?
Most people find it shocking to know surrogacy has categories. Traditional surrogacy involves using the surrogate’s eggs, fertilized using artificial insemination, which makes her the biological mother of the baby. In gestational surrogacy, in vitro fertilization is used to induce the pregnancy, which means she’s not the biological mother.
Can I Pursue Surrogacy as a Single Parent? What about Same-sex Couples?
Yes. While most people believe surrogacy is only for couples struggling with fertility, the process is open to everyone who qualifies. Surrogacy is a GR8 way for single-parents and same-sex couples to have a child. Check with your state’s laws and different surrogacy agencies that are LGBTQ friendly.
How Involved Will We Be During the Pregnancy?
Your level of involvement will depend on your surrogacy agreement. Before the process starts, both parties discuss the level of participation each party would like to have. Many surrogacy agencies offer contact meditation services, availability to join doctors’ appointments, and so on, to make sure everyone feels involved and included in the pregnancy process.
Am I the Biological Child of My Child?
It all depends on the type of surrogacy you choose. Traditional surrogates are the carriers of the egg and the carriers of the baby, meaning they’re the biological mother of the baby. In this case, you’ll need legal support to make sure all parental rights are legally transferred once the baby is born.
On the other hand, in gestational surrogacy, the embryo is created through in vitro fertilization, which means the surrogate, in this case, also known as the gestational carrier, doesn’t have any parental or biological connection to the baby.
Can the Surrogate Keep the Baby?
It also depends on the type of surrogacy. In the case of traditional surrogacy, you must make sure you establish your parental rights before the baby is born. If this is a concern to you, working with a surrogacy agency can help facilitate counseling and support services for the surrogate to prevent them from developing a strong bond with your child. This is also helpful for expecting surrogate parents, as the process can be extremely stressful.
How Can I Talk to My Friends about This?
It’s important for you as a parent to build a strong support system. Building a family is an emotional process, just like the traditional path, there will be many bumps on the road. Communication is vital for this journey. Once you’re committed to the process, talk to your friends and family about your plans.
Make sure to have fact-based literature to answer their concerns and remind them that their support is paramount for the success of this process. Also, keep in mind many agencies offer support groups with people that have gone through this process before. It’s always good to rely on first-hand advice on how to approach conversations around surrogacy.
What’s the Cost Involved? Does Insurance cover it?
It varies – a lot. When it comes to surrogacy, the cost can change based on several factors. Agency fees, such as matching services and counseling sessions, are one part of it. Then you have medical expenses, legal services, and surrogate compensation. Most surrogacy arrangements range anywhere between $60,000 and $125,000.
Wait A Minute. Surrogacy Can Be Illegal?
Yes, it can. Most people are unaware that surrogacy laws change by state and by country. Although the surrogacy process is widely unregulated, some states have made efforts to set a structure to it. For example, states like California and Nevada are “green light” states when it comes to surrogacy, meaning the process is permitted for all parents.
On the other hand, states like Arizona, Indiana, Tennessee, and Virginia have more restrictions when it comes to surrogacy. New York and Louisiana are ultimately “red light” states, meaning they don’t allow compensated surrogacy contacts.
A Word from GR8NESS
Surrogacy is a complicated journey with many ups and downs. There’s so much information out there. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Discuss with your friends and family members and seek help from a professional to make sure your surrogacy journey goes as smooth as possible. Having a child is a marvelous experience; surrogacy can be the path you’ve been looking for.