After Your Surrogate Application: What You Can Do Next

surrogate welcome packet Congratulations – once you’ve completed your online surrogate application, you’re on the way to becoming a gestational surrogate!

Here’s what happens next: We’ll review your application within 1-2 business days and let you know if we think you could be a good fit to move forward in the process. Then we’ll send you a few supplemental forms that ask for more detailed information.

What should you be doing in the meantime? Here are a few things you can jump on to keep things going smoothly through the next stage of the process:

1.      Learn more about surrogacy.

The more you know about surrogacy, and Circle’s program in particular, the faster you can move through the application and screening process! We find that applicants who have researched the most about surrogacy tend to be more likely to be approved. With that in mind, start with our blog (since you’re here already!), then take a look at our frequently asked questions page and our Introduction to Surrogacy Guide.

2.      Build a support system.

In order to have a successful journey, we require that a support system be in place at the start of and throughout the program. This can include support from a partner, immediate family members, relatives, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. At this stage of the process, start thinking about a primary support person who can participate in your surrogacy journey. You can start sharing your plans to be a surrogate with your partner and/or family members to make sure they are supportive and understand the process.

3.      Put together a list of your past OB/GYN providers.

Part of our screening of potential surrogates includes a review of medical records from previous pregnancies. We’ll ask for your authorization to contact your previous providers directly to obtain these records. In the meantime, it’s a good idea to start gathering contact information from each of your previous pregnancies, including doctors’ names, addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers, etc.

4.      Find out health insurance information.

If you have insurance that can cover some of the medical costs of your surrogacy, you are entitled to a higher base fee. To determine whether your insurance will provide coverage, we’ll need some information about your plan. At this stage, you can begin looking into obtaining a copy of your benefits book. Your benefits book may be obtained through the Human Resources department at work, or by directly contacting the insurance company. You might also be able to download a copy from your insurance website or an employee portal if you work for a large company.

5.      Gather Photos

When we send your profile to intended parents during the matching stage, we’ll need a few photos of you and your family. Take a look through your photos and try to find photos with good lighting.

The most important thing to do after filling out the surrogate application is to stay engaged. Talk to former surrogates, ask questions, and self-educate. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to the next part of the process: matching with intended parents to help them start a family.

For more information on the post-application phase, email mkubishyn@circlesurrogacy.com.





The Start of Your Surrogacy: Down the path to parenthood

Photo2 It’s official! You’re starting a surrogacy journey with Circle. You’ve signed your agreement for services and have been officially been welcomed. But what’s next?

Following your welcome email, you’re assigned to your program coordination team, which consists of a program manager and a program coordinator. This team is in place to help guide you through each stage of your surrogacy. There are six stages of surrogacy:

  1. Matching
  2. Contracts & Screening
  3. Waiting to Cycle (if necessary)
  4. Transferring
  5. Pregnancy
  6. Delivery

[Read more…]

State Spotlight: Surrogacy in California

surrogacy in californiaCircle is dedicated to informing intended parents and surrogates as much as possible about surrogacy, including the different state laws addressing the practice.

Here is a brief overview laws pertaining to surrogacy in California.

Favorable Law

California’s laws on surrogacy are some of the nation’s best when it comes to protecting the rights of intended parents, surrogates, and egg donors. California has always kept its laws on surrogacy up to date with scientific advances in assisted reproduction, providing all parties involved in surrogacy arrangements with legal, medical, and financial support. The state recognizes contracts between surrogates, intended parents, and gamete donors.

Surrogacy laws in California allow intended parents to establish parentage before a child is even born through surrogacy with the use of pre-birth orders. All paperwork and legal contracts are taken care of well before the surrogacy birth and surrogates won’t ever need to appear in court. Even in cases that might require post-birth legal action (e.g., second-parent or stepparent adoptions), a surrogate won’t need to be present in court.

Those pursuing surrogacy in California also have access to some of the best hospitals in the world, according to U.S. News & World Report’s Top-Ranked Hospitals for Gynecology.

To learn more about surrogacy in the state of California, click here

photo credit: Loïc Lagarde via photopin cc

Super Lawyers Magazine Honors Circle Attorneys

Super Lawyers Family Law The experts in Circle’s legal department have done it again, making it into the 2014 New England edition of Super Lawyers Magazine. Congrats to Scott Buckley, Bruce Hale, and Dean Hutchison on being honored as Rising Stars for their achievements in family law. Because of their hard work, numerous intended parents’ have fulfilled their dreams of starting a family. View the digital edition of the magazine here.

The legal department at Circle Surrogacy and Circle Egg Donation comprises all aspects of surrogacy law, including birth orders, second-parent adoptions, and surrogacy adoptions for our parents and surrogates for both U.S. and international clients.

If you are interested in starting a family through surrogacy and/or egg donation, but have questions about the legal aspects, download our free e-guide “Surrogacy and the Law.”

Stupid Cancer and Circle Surrogacy Host “Family Building after Cancer” Group Meet-Up

Circle Surrogacy and Stupid Cancer team up to educate cancer survivors about family-building through surrogacy and egg donation. The informal information session and group discussion will be led by Circle’s outreach coordinator, Jen Rachman, who is a cancer survivor and parent through the process. Attendees will receive an overview of the surrogacy process and have a chance to ask questions and share stories.

Big Stupid Cancer

Please note that spaced is limited. Light refreshments and fare will be served.

What’s New at Circle? Our Team Approach

Agency Update If you’re an intended parent, surrogate, or egg donor, you may have likely heard about our recent shift from having program coordinators guide your journey to being assigned a program coordination team. So what’s this new team approach all about? Just that: A team of experts who can provide more support throughout your surrogacy.

With this new model, every intended parent will have not only a program coordinator, but also a more experienced program manager on their case. This system is designed to strengthen our program in many ways. First, we have hired additional staff to better manage the number of surrogacies at our  agency. Second, there will now be two people familiar with each journey. Therefore, if either the program coordinator or program manager is away, there will be a back-up person available. Third, should Circle hire additional staff, the tiered approach allows new team members to train and help on cases with more direct supervision.

Have questions? Reach out to your PC team at any time for clarification. They’d be happy to schedule a Skype or phone call to go over any questions you may have. At this time, we are truly excited about the new team approach as well as the ability to offer intended parents back-up and support at all times.

For a full explanation of what the PC team does, read The Program Coordination Team.

 

Your Sibling Surrogacy: 5 Things to Consider

sibling surrogacy To help ensure that a sibling surrogacy is as rewarding as your prior one(s), it’s important to manage expectations of the surrogacy process. Remember that no two surrogacies are the same. If you take anything away from this blog post, let it be that!

Want more insight? If so, here are five pointers we give intended parents who plan on returning for a sibling surrogacy.

1. Don’t become overconfident. The possibility of complications increases if parties become inattentive or refrain from reviewing key factors, such as insurance and legal issues. With that said, we encourage all of our intended parents to keep an open mind.

2. Accept that the outcome is out of your control (like it was the first time). Certain elements are out of our (and your) control. A surrogate may not respond to the medications, or a flight may be delayed. Remember, surrogacy is a human experience for everyone involved. 

[Read more…]

State Spotlight: Surrogacy in Massachusetts

Surrogacy in Massachusetts Circle is dedicated to informing intended parents and surrogates as much as possible about surrogacy, including the state laws addressing the practice.

Here we break down the legal framework on assisted reproduction in Massachusetts—our home state!

Favorable Law
Massachusetts statutes don’t directly address surrogacy agreements. But a number of cases from the state’s highest court have treated surrogacy favorably. Finalizing Massachusetts surrogacy arrangements is typically done by pre-birth order, which allows the surrogate and intended parent complete all necessary paperwork before the birth even occurs. Some intended parents will require a post-birth second-parent or stepparent adoption. In either case, surrogates sign all necessary documents and generally won’t ever need to appear in court.

Massachusetts was the first state in the country to allow same-sex marriage and its track record on family building options for gay couples is equally positive. Gay couples can have both their names on a Massachusetts birth certificate—whether through a pre-birth order or an adoption.

Medical Coverage and Care
Massachusetts has some of the best hospitals in the world, including two of U.S. News & World Report’s Top-Ranked Hospitals for Gynecology. Massachusetts also mandates maternity coverage for insurance plans.

To learn even more about surrogacy in Massachusetts, click here.

 

Supreme Court Denies Review of Several Cases, Marriage Equality Moves Forward

The U.S. Supreme Court denied seven petitions for review of pro-marriage equality decisions from five states this morning. As a result, same-sex couples in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin should be able to marry soon. The addition of those five states brings the total of states that allow same-sex marriage to 24 and the District of Columbia.

The decision by the Supreme Court not to grant review of the petitions means decisions from the 4th, 7th, and 10th Circuit Courts of Appeals will go into effect. There is some analysis that suggests that other states in those districts will now be subject to the same rulings. That could bring marriage equality to the following states: Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, and Oklahoma in the Tenth Circuit; Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia in the Fourth Circuit; and Wisconsin and Indiana, in the Seventh Circuit.

The story is still developing. We will continue to monitor it and update this page.