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  • Kristin Marsoli

Intended Parents' Surrogacy Requirements

Couple looking at computer screen

Becoming a parent through surrogacy requires sharing details about yourself with a surrogacy agency, clinic and other professionals. Part of the surrogacy process is ensuring that as an intended parent you meet the surrogacy requirements to determine if you are a good fit for our agency.

The three types of intended parent requirements that Circle will evaluate are:

  • Medical Need Requirements

  • Embryo Quality

  • Surrogacy Agency Guidelines

Below you will find further information about these requirements to help you determine if you qualify for surrogacy and would be a good fit for our program!

Must Intended Parents Have a Medical Need for Surrogacy?

In most cases, the answer is yes. At Circle Surrogacy, Intended Parents should have a medical need in order to use a gestational surrogate to grow their family. The medical need should be identified by a treating physician. When intended parents do not have a medical need for surrogacy, it is often referred to as social surrogacy. Circle surrogacy does not support social surrogacy in our program.

What qualifies as a medical need for surrogacy?

A medical need can be physical or psychological (in some cases). In all cases, we would ask that prior to coming to the agency the intended parents have the support and recommendation from a treating physician stating their diagnosis & medical advice to not carry the pregnancy themselves.

Examples of a medical need could include a history of cancer or infertility, as diagnosed by a doctor. Every intended parents’ situation is different, and Circle will approach each journey on a case-by-base basis. Because of this, the process for determining medical need and what is required may differ for intended parents. At times, Circle may ask that intended parents take advantage of an initial support call to help our team better understand them, their needs, and our ability to support their journey.

Why do I have to have a medical need for surrogacy?

A surrogacy journey is rewarding for both intended parents and gestational surrogates. For surrogates, they get to experience providing a gift so amazing to others, often fulfilling their long-time dreams of being a gestational carrier. Because of this – and our program requirements – all of our potential surrogates expect to be helping someone who cannot carry a baby on their own. Also, a growing number of jurisdictions require a medical or psychological need (and – at times – a supporting affidavit from a physician) to use a surrogate in order to comply with the statutory requirements for a valid gestational surrogacy arrangement and parentage proceeding.

Do I need a letter from my doctor about a medical need?

There will be times we require a letter from your physician. There are varying reasons why we ask for verification of the medical requirement that brought you to surrogacy. Depending on the type of diagnosis you have, we may ask for a letter from a treating physician stating their recommendation for our surrogacy services.

Couple signing a contract

How Important is Embryo Quality?

The quality of your embryos helps to determine the success of your pregnancy. Because all parties enter into a surrogacy agreement with the hope for a positive ending (a baby!), it’s important to ensure that we are giving the best chance of a successful surrogacy to the intended parents as well the surrogate.

Intended parents who are creating their own embryos – or who come to us with embryos already created – may be asked to share the quality of their embryos (also sometimes called the grade of the embryo). This will help Circle understand not only how many embryos you have, but what quality your embryos are. This information can help shape the conversations during your consultation, as well as aid us in finding a potential surrogate match.

If you haven’t yet spoken with your IVF doctor about your embryo quality and your possible chances of success, it is a good idea to schedule time to do so. It is important that as intended parents, you have a good understanding from your own doctor about their thoughts on your chances at achieving a pregnancy using your embryos and a gestational carrier.

Surrogacy Agency Guidelines

Surrogacy agency guidelines are put in place to ensure that our program is the right fit for our intended parents. While Circle has strict requirements and qualifications that surrogates and egg donors must meet, the requirements for intended parents have a bit more fluidity.

Circle Surrogacy’s intended parents’ guidelines can include: having a medical need (as stated above), meeting certain age requirements, being open to having a relationship with their surrogate, and having a support system in place.

Age requirements. As an agency, Circle has loose age guidelines they use when evaluating intended parents’ fit for our program. However, in most cases, age is used in conjunction with other factors to determine eligibility. Specific age requirements can be discussed with the Parent Intake Coordinator.

Relationship with Surrogate. Circle Surrogacy is a relationship-based agency. We firmly believe that developing a strong relationship between intended parents and their surrogate helps to create a more positive journey – both during pregnancy as well as after birth. When intended parents have a relationship with their surrogate, they are able to feel part of the pregnancy and process; and when they continue that relationship after the delivery, they leave the door open for conversations with their child(ren) about their birth story and meeting the woman who brought them into the world.

Support system. Surrogacy is an emotional journey, and having a strong network of family and friends that know about your plans for parenthood is important. Having a support system enables you to share not only the good news about your journey, but also any bumps in the road you might encounter. For our single intended parents, it is important that they identify a support person early in their journey, so that this person can attend the surrogacy consultation with the IP.

For over 25 years, Circle Surrogacy has supported intended parents from a variety of backgrounds, from the US and abroad. Our goal is to provide a successful and positive surrogacy journey for all parties involved. In order to best accommodate our relationship based approach to surrogacy we have established guidelines for who is likely to be successful in our program.

We are excited to support you on your surrogacy journey. If you meet the requirements above, please fill out our parent application and a member of our Parent Intake team will reach out to you.


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