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What is surrogacy?

Surrogacy is a method of assisted reproduction where intended parents work with a gestational surrogate who will carry and care for their baby(ies) until birth. Intended parents use surrogacy to start or grow their families when they can't do so on their own.

How Surrogacy Works
 Beginning the Surrogacy Process Milestone Card

Surrogacy definition and how does surrogacy work?

By definition, surrogacy is the process or arrangement of someone giving birth for someone else. Gestational surrogacy helps those who are unable to have children become parents. It’s a process that requires medical and legal expertise, as well as a strong support process throughout the journey. Those who explore surrogacy to have a child are often referred to as Intended Parents (IPs for short).

Through IVF, embryos are created in a lab at a fertility clinic. Sometimes the intended parents use their own genetic material. Sometimes, an egg donor is required. At the fertility clinic, 1-2 embryos are implanted into a gestational carrier, who carries the baby(ies) to term.

Do surrogates use their own eggs for surrogacy? No! Gestational carriers have no genetic relationship to the child(ren) they carry.

Surrogacy has been a family-building option for quite some time, though it has evolved over the years.

What's the Difference between a Surrogate vs a Gestational Carrier

At Circle Surrogacy we only practice gestational surrogacy, however it's important to know what the difference is. This video shares the differences between a surrogate mother and a gestational carrier, or gestational surrogate.

 Why choose surrogacy to grow your family?

Why choose surrogacy to grow your family?

Surrogacy allows couples and individuals from a variety of backgrounds, ages and sexual orientations to build their families.

Intended parents who use surrogacy include:

• Heterosexual couples who have struggled with infertility
• Intended mothers who are unable to carry a child
• Intended parents who have a genetic defect or health condition they don't want to pass onto the child
Gay and trans intended parents who want to have a genetic link to their baby

Each surrogacy journey is unique, and we proud to have helped grow so many amazing families in the United States and around the world.

The right match makes all the difference

One of the most exciting parts of a surrogacy journey is when a surrogate and intended parents match. Our Matching Specialists partner with intended parents and surrogates to ensure the best match is made.

When that happens, a beautiful relationship and bond is formed.

This video captures the beauty of a surrogate and intended mother's relationship from their journey together.

How much does a surrogate cost?

The cost of a surrogate mother is just one fee that makes up total surrogacy costs.

If you live in the U.S. you can estimate surrogacy costs around $110K-$200K for a journey, exclusive of IVF costs. The actual journey costs depend on the services intended parents need (whether you require a surrogate only, or a surrogate plus an egg donor), your insurance and the details of your specific journey. Each journey is unique - there is no "one cost fits all".

Of those total costs, approximately 40% will pay for a surrogate: her base compensation, additional benefits and payments, her legal counsel, social work and screening.

For those intended parents who use a surrogacy agency (highly recommended) their surrogacy costs will also include an agency fee.

How much do surrogates make?

The monetary benefits of becoming a surrogate mother are significant, but the indescribable sense of fulfillment our surrogates get from helping intended families bring a child into the world cannot be found doing anything else.

Surrogate mother pay depends on a few factors: where she lives, if she has insurance and whether or not she's a first time carrier. On average, surrogate mothers are paid between $50,000 and $60,000 total, which is made of a base fee of $30k-$40k, plus additional compensation and benefits.

Circle Surrogacy offers the most comprehensive and protective pay and benefits package for gestational carriers and their families. See full details about how a surrogate is paid and how much she can expect to earn.

What is the surrogacy process?

While it's relatively simple to understand the meaning of surrogacy, understanding the process is a bit more involved. The surrogacy process can be complex, and working with an experienced agency like Circle Surrogacy helps navigate the milestones and provides support when you need it most.

A general overview of the surrogacy process looks like this:

• Apply as a surrogate or a parent
• Meet all requirements (surrogates) and complete initial consultation (parents)
Surrogate and Parent Matching
• Medical screenings, surrogate medications and embryo transfer
• Confirmation of pregnancy
• Pregnancy, building a relationship between Intended parents and surrogate
• Delivery day and beyond

Circle is a relationship-based agency, meaning we encourage strong relationships between intended parents and surrogates.

 What is the meaning of surrogacy for surrogate mothers?

What is the meaning of surrogacy for surrogate mothers?

Becoming a surrogate is life-changing. Surrogate mothers or surrogates – sometimes referred to a gestational surrogates or gestational carriers – are generous and selfless, passionate about family, and willing to help others. Many surrogates form life-long bonds with their intended parents, and remain part of each others' lives well after the baby is born.

To be able to give someone the gift of parenthood is empowering. Women who apply to become surrogates are ready to be 100% dedicated emotionally, mentally and physically for their intended parents.

The Pros and Cons of Being a Surrogate

If you're considering surrogacy, you can review the pros and cons of becoming a surrogate mother. See the benefits and challenges associated with surrogacy.

What does surrogacy mean for intended parents?

Becoming a parent through surrogacy is an emotional and rewarding path to parenthood. Intended parents put their trust into not only their gestational carrier, but their surrogacy agency as well. It can be a journey filled with ups and downs, however the day your baby is born is hard to put into words.

Intended parents have the choice to pursue independent surrogacy or to work with an agency such as Circle Surrogacy. Working with an agency provides a level or partnership and expertise that parents would not have on their own. Having an agency manage the journey and the details allows parents to focus on preparing for the arrival of their baby(ies). Read more about why you should work with an agency.

The Pros and Cons of Surrogacy for Intended Parents

There are many benefits to surrogacy for intended parents, however there are also challenges. This video outlines some of the pros and cons of surrogacy for intended parents.

Common questions about surrogacy.

Whether you're considering surrogacy, becoming a parent through surrogacy, or still understanding what is surrogacy, you may have questions along the way. With many experienced surrogates and parents via surrogacy on staff, we've helped families navigate their journeys successfully, and have answered almost every question out there!

What is the difference between traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy?

Gestational surrogacy is when a woman carries a baby for intended parents that she shares no DNA with – her eggs are not used – an embryo is transferred into her uterus. 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.

Do I need to work with a surrogacy agency?

Intended parents and surrogates are not required to work with an agency for a surrogacy journey; this type of journey is called an independent or "indy" journey. Understanding how complex the surrogacy process can be, Circle Surrogacy recommends working with a surrogacy agency for both surrogates and intended parents to ensure they receive the support they need, as well as allowing someone to manage the details (and any bumps in the road) as well as having the emotional support available throughout the journey.

Why should I choose Circle Surrogacy?
There are many reasons intended parents should choose Circle Surrogacy! Circle was founded over 25 years ago, and has brought thousands of babies into the world! Here are 5 of the most important reasons to choose Circle:
1. 99.3% success rate
2. We are a full-service surrogacy and egg donation agency: we take care of everything for you
3. The most comprehensive surrogate screening process
4. 44% of our staff has personal experience with surrogacy and third party reproduction – we've been in your shoes
5. And all-inclusive cost program that promises no surprise costs and offers a 100% refund on our agency fee. See our cost page for details.

How does a surrogate woman (gestational carrier) get pregnant?

A surrogate or gestational carrier gets pregnant when an IVF doctor implants an embryo into her uterus. The surrogate has used IVF medications to prepare her body for the pregnancy. The embryo transfer is rather painless and is a quick procedure; the doctor may ask the surrogate to rest and have limited activity a few days after the transfer.

Can I speak with intended parents or surrogates from your program?
Yes! We are happy to connect you with experienced surrogates and parents.
 Learning all about becoming a surrogate

Surrogacy Acronyms and Abbreviations

The world of surrogacy has a language of its own, and if you aren't familiar with the surrogacy acronyms or abbreviations you might feel like you're reading something in a different language.

Here is a list of common surrogacy acronyms and abbreviations

GC or GS: Gestational Carrier or Gestational Surrogate

IP (IPs): Intended Parents. Also seen as: IF (Intended Father) and IM (Intended Mother)

ED: Egg Donor

IVF: In Vitro Fertilization

RE: Reproductive Endocrinologist

ART: Assisted Reproductive Technology

FET: Frozen Embryo Transfer

SET: Single Embryo Transfer

MET: Multiple Embryo Transfer

2WW: 2 Week Wait

DPT: Days Post Transfer (often seen with a number, such as DP5DT or Days Post 5 Day Transfer)

BETA: Blood Test for Pregnancy

POAS: Pee on a Stick (referring to a home pregnancy test)

Learn more about these terms and their definitions in this surrogacy acronym blog post.

More questions about surrogacy?

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