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LGBTQ+ Intended Parents

Become an LGBTQIA+ Parent

We were founded by a gay man who aspired to have his own family. From his personal experience, and the decades following of supporting gay, queer and trans parents, we have developed strategic programs and partnerships focused on environmental and cultural needs of the LGBTQIA+ community.

"Having gone through the surrogacy journey twice, with two different surrogacy agencies, Circle Surrogacy surpassed our wildest expectations. Their staff was attentive,  responsive, and so sincere...One of the best things we enjoyed about Circle was their Fixed Cost Program, which allowed us to make one financial transfer. That alone alleviated so much stress and confusion. I can't recommend this agency enough for all LGBTQ  folks!"

Happy New Dads

Overview of Gay Surrogacy

Circle Surrogacy has been helping the LGBTQIA+ community become parents since 1995. Circle was founded by John Weltman, a lawyer and gay man who had two sons through surrogacy. We bring an immense amount of experience to surrogacy, which by nature is a very complicated process.

How Circle Can Help

A tremendous amount of coordination and planning goes into a surrogacy journey, as well as legal contracts. Circle works with intended parents each and every day. We are surrogacy experts so you don't have to be.

Why It Matters

Surrogacy is the only family-building option that allows LGBTQIA+ individuals and couples to have biological children. It’s a process that requires medical and legal expertise, as well as strong emotional support throughout the journey.

How Does It Work?

Through IVF, embryos are created in a lab at a fertility clinic, using the gay intended parents' biology and that of a donor. At the fertility clinic, 1-2 embryos are implanted into a gestational carrier, who carries the baby(ies) to term. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate has no genetic relationship to the child or children they carry.

Trans Intended Parents

Circle is proud to be an ally to those in the transgender and non-binary communities. We have lawyers who are experts in surrogacy law for the LGBTQIA+ community and understand the nuances of this process for prospective parents. We understand that while members of the trans and non-binary community may be biologically able to have a child, it may not be the safest or most suitable option, and we want to lend our support and expertise in surrogacy to help make having a child a reality. We will work to provide a comfortable and safe environment throughout your surrogacy journey.

If you have questions about parenthood as a trans individual, please fill out our parent form to be connected to an experienced parent intake associate.

trans man and wife embracing

What to Look For in a Surrogacy Agency

Finding the right agency match is an important first step in your surrogacy journey. In our experience, intended parents prefer an agency that has not only professional experience about the surrogacy process, but also expertise in supporting the LGBTQIA+ community.

male couple with baby

Circle understands some of the fears all of our intended parents may have, as well as the additional concerns and questions that accompany a surrogacy journey for LGBTQIA+ parents. Some common questions we receive from intended parents as they start to explore surrogacy are:

How will my children fare with two dads or two moms?

Will my children be missing out on something because the family dynamic is different?

How and when do I tell my children about their origin story?

How do you support the LGBTQIA+ community during the surrogacy?

These are important questions for you to ask upfront to help determine the right agency match. You can feel confident knowing that the Circle team has over two decades of experience supporting the LGBTQIA+ community, and at any time can connect you to gay parents through surrogacy who can share their personal stories.

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1. Ability to Protect Your Rights

Finding the right agency match is an important first step in your surrogacy journey. In our experience, intended parents prefer an agency that has not only professional experience about the surrogacy process, but also expertise in supporting the LGBTQIA+ community.

2. Experience Working With LGBTQIA+ Individuals

Circle was founded by a lawyer and gay dad through surrogacy. We’re not only able to provide thoughtful answers to the questions outlined above, but our lawyers are experienced in the legal rights of the LGBTQIA+ community and stay educated as the laws change. Each state and country has specific laws and regulations for LGBTQIA+ intended parents. Working with an agency that has this level of expertise in both social work and law helps to ensure a positive and successful journey for you that you’ll only find with Circle.

3. Partnership and Support Throughout the Entirety of Your Journey

Circle provides the resources of a larger agency, including full-service support throughout your journey. Circle employs accountants, program managers, lawyers and social workers all under one (virtual) roof, which allows you to have their journeys managed by one team at one agency, eliminating the need for third parties.Circle provides the resources of a larger agency, including full-service support throughout your journey. Circle employs accountants, program managers, lawyers and social workers all under one (virtual) roof, which allows you to have their journeys managed by one team at one agency, eliminating the need for third parties.

The following criteria can be used to determine if an agency is the right fit for you:

Surrogacy Requirements for LGBTQIA+ Parents

Intended parent requirements are put in place to ensure as successful a journey as possible for all parties involved. With each journey, Circle is not only guiding and supporting you and your surrogate, we are also focusing on what is best for your future baby.

We consider the following criteria when evaluating intended parents for our program and clinic partners:

Intended parents should have a strong support system in place. In addition to your partner (if you have one), having others in your friends, family and community who know about your journey and support you.

Parents should meet agency guidelines for parents, which include age requirements and an openness to a relationship with your surrogate.

If you have questions about specific requirements, we encourage you to fill out our parent form to connect with a Parent Intake Associate.

father with baby

Finding an Egg Donor

If you require an egg donor for your surrogacy journey, Circle will guide you in beginning that process. 

We recommend starting your search with Everie Egg Donation Program. Everie is a partner with Circle Surrogacy, and is the most comprehensive fresh and frozen egg donor program. Everie supports thoughtful decision-making for egg donation, including disclosed (known) donations and mutual matching between parents and donors. You can search their extensive database and learn about their programs.

Should you select an egg donor with Everie and you have selected Circle as your surrogacy agency, your Circle coordination team will be your support system on both your egg donation and surrogacy journeys. Circle offers cost programs that include both surrogacy and egg donation with Everie.

couple posing with egg donor and children

LGBTQIA+ Surrogacy Laws

Although surrogacy for heterosexual intended parents and same-sex intended parents is largely similar, there are a few factors that make it different. It's important to understand your rights as parents and what the surrogacy laws are in your state or country and in the state in which your surrogate resides.

 

As part of your surrogacy journey with Circle, you will be supported by a lawyer from our experienced legal team. Our lawyers are passionate about family building and have professional experience in the legalities for surrogacy for LGBTQIA+ couples and singles.

Legally Match With a Surrogate Who's Right for You

Our Matching Specialists have successfully matched hundreds of intended parents and surrogates. The relationship between a surrogate and intended parents is one that should be nurtured, deepening through the duration of the journey. Circle matches parents and surrogates based on three criteria, the first of which is legal fit. Ensuring that your surrogate lives in a state in which you'll be able to safely and securely establish your parental rights is crucial for a successful journey.

Common Legal Procedures for Gay Parenting

When it is time to establish your parental rights,  you'll require the services of a lawyer who is experienced in surrogacy and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). Circle’s full legal staff have the experience necessary to support LGBTQIA+ intended parents during this critical process.

  • A court proceeding that establishes parental rights prior to the birth of the child. PBOs are only available in certain states. In other states, it may be possible to obtain a post-birth order.

  • Allows a birth mother to designate a father, sometimes without the need for a court proceeding.

  • Grants custody of a child to the intended parent(s).

  • Permanently establishes the non-biological parent’s rights to the child. It’s advisable to obtain a second-parent adoption. Even when it is possible to obtain a pre-birth order or a post-birth order, parents should know that not all states recognize parentage conferred in this way. By contrast, adoptions are recognized nationwide.

  • Ensures that guardianship of the child is provided for in the event of the death of one or both parents. When a gay couple lives in a state or country where same-sex marriage isn’t legal, it becomes even more important to establish these documents.

Circle Surrogacy is committed to providing best-in-class support and understanding of the cultural and environmental needs of our LGBTQIA+ community.

 

Since 1995, we've been partnering with various LGBTQ+ organizations, including:

Community Support for LGBTQIA+ Parents

Financial Assistance for Surrogacy

Circle is committed to providing surrogacy support to as many intended parents as possible. To help offset the costs of surrogacy, Circle provides exclusive financial assistance opportunities to our LGBTQIA+ intended parents.

 

Through a long-standing partnership with Men Having Babies, Circle offers the following discounts for parents:

 

GPAP Stage II - 1 pro bono Agency Service(s) per year
GPAP Stage I - 30%. Annual quota: 4 cases per year

 

Membership Benefits Program (MBP):
$1,000 off Gestational Surrogacy program


You can learn more about these financial aids and additional financing options, by filling out a form and connecting with a Parent Intake Associate.

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Take The First Step

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