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Surrogacy Overview: Thinking About Surrogacy?

mother holding baby in nursery

If you’re ready to grow your family and you’re considering surrogacy, it’s important to understand what is surrogacy and how it can help you have a baby. This overview provides insight into what you should consider and what to expect when thinking about surrogacy.

Gestational surrogacy is the process by which a gestational carrier (or surrogate) is implanted with 1 to 2 embryos (called an embryo transfer). She then cares for and carries the baby until she delivers the baby to her intended parents.

Who uses a surrogate?

Heterosexual and same-sex single and coupled intended parents have all turned to surrogacy to grow their families in the United States and around the world. Heterosexual intended parents are those who have faced infertility, are cancer survivors, or who physically cannot carry a baby. Our same-sex intended parents are those who found surrogacy to best match how they envision growing their families.

No matter what brought you to consider surrogacy, doing your research about what surrogacy is and the different types of surrogacy agencies is a must.

How Much Is Surrogacy?

If you're just beginning to explore surrogacy, this is likely what you want to know at the outset. The answer depends on numerous factors and it's not as simple as comparing costs from various agencies because different agencies estimate costs differently.

First, review an agency’s website or speak with them directly to understand how they are calculating costs. Some surrogacy agencies will provide ranges for the services that are covered in their cost plan. Many agencies will estimate and collect costs based on the “best case scenario” for your surrogacy journey making certain assumptions.

How do I prepare for surrogacy?

Here are 5 things you should consider if you are thinking about having a baby through surrogacy:

You’ll need to put your trust in others.

A successful surrogacy journey means partnering with your surrogacy agency and your surrogate mother. Working with a reputable agency such as Circle means you can be confident placing your trust in your agency’s recommendations because they have experience with the surrogacy process. Establishing a strong relationship with your surrogate will enable you to trust her while she’s caring for your baby.

Very few surrogacy journeys are perfect...and that’s OK.

It’s easy to think, “We’re following the process, we have tested embryos, our surrogate has had wonderful pregnancies, what could go wrong?” And while there are those “unicorn” journeys where everything is picture-perfect, the reality is – just like traditional pregnancies – things do not always go exactly how you imagined they would. That’s why you work with an experienced agency to help you navigate the bumps in the road and get you to the finish line.

There’s a LOT of paperwork.

Surrogacy is a process with many legal documents, including your paperwork when you sign on with your agency as well as your surrogate contract. You’ll work closely with a lawyer for all of your paperwork to ensure you understand what’s expected of you and your surrogate throughout the process, as well as to protect all parties.

You will experience feeling ‘out of control.’

Surrogacy and egg donation are human experiences. There are elements that are often out of your control, out of your egg donor’s control, out of your surrogate’s control, and out of your agency’s control. You should go into a surrogacy arrangement understanding that while you can control some of what lies ahead, there are many elements that will be beyond your control.

No two surrogacy journeys are the same.

While the surrogacy process may be consistent across journeys, those involved make each journey unique. Intended parents choose surrogacy for different reasons, and their path to parenthood before surrogacy influences their journey. Relationships between parents and surrogates are different based on personalities and preferences. Surrogates and egg donors react differently to medications, so protocols may be a little different. Your journey will be unique to you, and that’s what will make it special.

As you do your research, you’ll need to decide if you’d like to pursue an independent journey or work with an agency. Many parents choose to work with an agency that manages and coordinates all aspects of the journey. This surrogacy overview focuses primarily on those working with an agency. There are many resources to help you choose the right surrogacy agency for you.

Circle has been making parenthood possible for intended parents for almost 25 years. We’d be happy to speak with you about surrogacy.


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