Frequently Asked Questions for Parents Interested in Surrogacy
Why should I choose Circle Surrogacy?
Intended parents come to Circle Surrogacy for our history of success, our unparalleled variety of program options, our expertise with diverse communities, and our focus on relationship-building and long-term support. Since 1995, we’ve helped parents from over 73 countries bring their children home safely with their parental rights secure.
What is the difference between gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy?
There are two types of surrogacy—gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy. In a typical gestational surrogacy arrangement, intended parents create embryos through in vitro fertilization. One or more of these embryos is implanted in a surrogate (sometimes known as a gestational carrier), who carries the child or children to term, but has no genetic relationship to them.
Gestational surrogacies makeup the vast majority of modern surrogacy arrangements. By contrast, traditional surrogates typically become pregnant through artificial insemination, and have a genetic connection to the child or children they carry for their intended parents. We do not arrange traditional surrogacies.
How do I begin the process?
Starting your surrogacy begins with a free consultation. You'll hear from an experienced attorney as well as a social worker or licensed therapist. We'll tell you about our program offerings, ask you about your experience so far, and answer any questions you have.
How long does the whole surrogacy process take?
The length of the process depends on several factors. We typically tell intended parents that they should plan on a year and a half from the time they sign on with our agency until they have a child, although it can be quicker or longer depending on the legal requirements involved and the course of the IVF treatment.
Which IVF clinics do you work with?
We have built relationships with several IVF clinics across the country. These relationships allow you to take advantage of special pricing packages we have negotiated. However, the decision of which fertility clinic to use is entirely the decision of the intended parents. Circle Surrogacy will work with any fertility clinic that the intended parents choose, as long as they will be able to coordinate with our agency. We encourage intended parents to evaluate several fertility clinics and choose the one that they feel meets their needs. When you are choosing a clinic, you should consider some of these things: your personality fit with the doctor and other medical staff, your comfort with their process, and the clarity of their financial information.
Can I be a parent if I’m single?
Of course! We work with intended parents of all backgrounds—single individuals, same-sex couples, and heterosexual couples. We have helped many single intended parents build families through surrogacy.
Is Circle Surrogacy affiliated with any groups?
Yes. We are members of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). We work closely with the LGBT Community Center in New York, Family Equality Council, Resolve New England, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), and Parent via Egg Donation (PVED). Our attorneys are active in the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Family Law’s Subcommittee on Assisted Reproduction Technology and are admitted to the Massachusetts, New York, and California State Bars.
What happens to any remaining frozen embryos?
Frozen embryos are stored at your IVF clinic. If your family is complete, you will be advised on your options for the future of your embryos. If you choose to move your embryos, your IVF center will assist you in that process. Of course, you may use the cryopreserved embryos in a future surrogacy if you choose.
Can I be a parent if I am or my partner is HIV+?
Yes. Thanks to a sperm washing technique and HIV testing, it is possible for HIV+ men to father safely. We have helped a number of HIV+ individuals become fathers through surrogacy. We offer the Special Program of Assisted Reproduction (SPAR) program in conjunction with the Bedford Research Foundation Lab. You can learn more about surrogacy for HIV+ intended parents in this download.
The questions below apply to international intended parents only.
How many visits will I have to make to the United States?
You will be required to come to the United States 1-2 times (for the creation of the embryos at the IVF Clinic and the eventual delivery of the child), but it is more common for international intended parents to visit about 4 times during the process.
The first preferred visit is to meet your surrogate, once you are matched, and complete the medical screening at the IVF clinic. The second is for the IVF procedure and embryo transfer. The third visit is for the 20-week ultrasound scan. And the final visit is for the birth of your child. Of course, if you and your surrogate choose, you can visit more frequently.
How long should I expect to be in the United States during and after the delivery?
This varies based the legal work required and the procedures in the state in which the child was delivered. As a general rule, we advise international intended parents to plan on returning home after 4-6 weeks, to allow ample time for any DNA testing, court proceedings, the issuance of any birth certificates and the application for any visas and/or passports. We will guide you through this process. Depending on legal work, you may be able to go home sooner.
If I don’t live in the United States, how will my child get a passport?
Because of a legal principle known as jus soli, children who are born in the United States are automatically entitled to for U.S. citizenship and U.S. passports, regardless of the citizenship of their intended parents. As a result, most intended parents who pursue surrogacy in the United States are able to return home with their children without first obtaining a passport from their native country. Nevertheless, some international intended parents may choose to or be required to obtain either passports or temporary visas for their children at a local consulate in the United States in order to return home after the birth. Intended parents should consult with immigration attorneys in their native countries for information about the best procedures for returning home with their children. We partner with immigration attorneys in many countries, and can direct you to professional immigration assistance.