Surrogacy has been all over the news lately as an option for becoming a parent. Surrogacy is an incredible process. It has the ultimate power to create a family – one of the greatest enjoyments – as well as change someone’s life (your surrogate!) It’s a safe, successful, and enriching experience for all parties involved.
Surrogacy is a journey that requires trust from intended parents and their surrogate – with each other, with the process and with their agency. Working with a reputable agency helps make the process more easily manageable so that you can focus on what’s important: preparing for the arrival of your baby!
So how exactly do you go about becoming a parent through surrogacy?
What is surrogacy?
Let’s start by defining the two types of gestational surrogacy:
- Gestational Surrogacy (GS), is when couples or individuals work with a gestational surrogate and use their own embryos.
- Gestational Surrogacy with Egg Donation (GSED), is when couples or individuals work with a gestational surrogate and require an egg donor to create their embryos.
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. Gestational carriers have no genetic relationship to the children they deliver.
How should I start a surrogacy journey?
Doing your research into the surrogacy process, the types of surrogacy agencies out there and what you expect out of your journey to parenthood is a great way to start your surrogacy journey. Once you’ve identified that surrogacy is right for you, Circle Surrogacy recommends reaching out an agency or two and scheduling a time to speak with them. This usually is done by filling out a short form for more information.
“At Circle, we’ll ask an intended parent how soon they are thinking of building their family through surrogacy. If they are ready to start right away, or within a year, we suggest scheduling a consultation with us so that we can get to know them, their story, and explain the process at Circle, and what to expect from a surrogacy journey,” advises Nancy Weatherby, Intended Parent Outreach Manager.
Circle travels all year meeting with Intended Parents. Consultations are held in person across the country – and across the globe – as well as via Skype. Intended Parents will meet with a process consultant as well as a lawyer who is knowledgeable in Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) Law.
If intended parents are still gathering information – or believe they are more than a year away from starting their journey, Circle suggests scheduling a 15-minute Surrogacy Chat with the intake team. These chats are much shorter than a consultation, and allows intended parents to ask pertinent questions to help them make informed decisions on moving forward.
Am I ready to start a surrogacy journey?
How do you know if you should schedule a longer consultation or a shorter Surrogacy Chat? You should request a consultation if you are emotionally and financially ready to start a surrogacy journey within the next 12 months. This means that you have researched surrogacy and the process, have spoken to family and friends about your decision, and have prepared financially for your journey.
Preparing to start a surrogacy journey is a big decision! There are many factors to consider, including:
- Is surrogacy right for me (us)?
- Am I (are we) prepared to become parents emotionally?
- Have I thought about the financial aspect of surrogacy, and researched surrogacy costs?
- Have I (we) shared the news with family and friends?
- Have I (we) found an agency that shares our beliefs and expectations from a surrogacy journey?
- Am I (are we) ready to make a big leap and trust others on one of life’s most monumental experiences?
Should you have questions about becoming a parent through surrogacy, you can always reach out to Circle Surrogacy at: [email protected]