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People just starting to explore surrogacy may initially feel overwhelmed, whether they are intended parents dreaming of growing their families through surrogacy or women interested in becoming surrogate mothers. As one of the leading surrogacy agencies in the U.S. with more than 25 years of experience, Circle Surrogacy is uniquely positioned to support parents and gestational carriers in Chicago, Naperville, Aurora, and throughout Illinois during the surrogacy process.
Illinois is a terrific place to live if you're considering parenthood through surrogacy and/or egg donation.
Here are a few reasons Illinois is a great state for surrogacy with Circle:
Circle Surrogacy has been helping straight and LGBTQ+ singles and couples from Illinois grow their families through surrogacy and egg donation for 25 years.
The surrogacy process can feel complex and overwhelming, as there are many moving parts. Working with an agency can help you navigate the milestones and events throughout your journey so that you can focus on the most important thing: preparing for the arrival of your baby!
You may choose to undergo your surrogacy journey independently or with the help of a surrogacy agency. With over two decades of experience, Circle Surrogacy recommends working with an agency to give you the proper support to help you have as smooth and safe of a journey as possible.
Choosing an Agency
Beginning your journey toward surrogacy is a big step, so it’s essential you do your research! Not every surrogacy agency is a good fit. Finding a surrogacy agency with which you have good chemistry and who shares your views about the surrogacy process is key to a successful journey.
Also, surrogacy laws vary by state, so working with an agency that has lawyers knowledgeable in ART (assisted reproductive technology) and surrogacy law is essential. They will help you understand the surrogacy laws in Illinois.
Finding a Surrogate and an Egg Donor
Prior to matching with your surrogate, you’ll need to match with your egg donor (if needed). You can search our egg donor database where you’ll find bright and ambitious young women who are excited for the opportunity to help you grow your family.
Your Program Coordination Team will help you find the perfect surrogate match and encourage you to form a strong bond with the woman who will carry your baby(ies). If you’d like to find a surrogate in Illinois, you can share your preference with your PC team.
Pregnancy and Parenthood
During pregnancy, your agency will support you through each milestone, helping you prepare to travel for the birth and ensure you have everything you need to return home safely and securely. This is a wonderful time to further develop your relationship with your surrogate, and if she lives close to Illinois, perhaps even visiting her for appointments.
If you have decided surrogacy is the way you’d like to grow your family and you’ve selected an agency with which you’d like to meet, the next step is to schedule a consultation.
A surrogacy consultation is an in-depth meeting (about 2 to 2 1/2 hours long) with a parent intake consultant and a lawyer. At Circle, this private meeting will allow us to get to know you and your story, as well as talk about surrogacy and the process as it relates to your personal situation. We’ll help you understand surrogacy programs and surrogacy costs, as well.
Bringing a baby into your family is one of the greatest joys you can experience. Intended parents from Illinois have been using surrogacy as a means to grow their families for decades. Surrogacy is a safe way to have the family you’ve always dreamed of.
Having an understanding of surrogacy laws, the surrogacy process, and surrogacy costs will help you make an informed decision to grow your family.
Journey Protection Guarantee Program
Surrogacy only: $148,750
Surrogacy plus egg donation: $172,750
(both prices exclude IVF)
Our Journey Protection Guarantee offers Intended Parents:
Circle Surrogacy offers fixed costs for all professional fees, gestational carrier and egg donor fees, medical and insurance expenses. We are dedicated to helping as many intended parents as possible achieve their dreams of parenthood. Our all-inclusive program provides security and peace of mind.
The costs outlined above are for our Surrogacy Only and Surrogacy Plus Egg Donation Programs. For more information about the costs of our other programs, please email us or call us at 617.439.9900.
Finding your surrogate match is an exciting time in your journey to parenthood. Circle works with many surrogate mothers from Illinois, as well as most of the surrounding states. Additionally, we have a strong representation in the Midwest, making it even easier for surrogates and intended parents to connect.
The first steps in finding a surrogate mother match are determining what you’re looking for in a surrogate, your relationship with your surrogate, and what your expectations for your journey are.
At Circle Surrogacy, you’ll work closely with your Program Coordination Team to find your surrogate. It’s important to be honest when thinking about your answers, as our team uses these answers – as well as your geographic location and views on termination –to find you the best match.
We’ll help find your surrogate mother match.
You’ll be asked to fill out an intended parent profile that not only allows us to get to know you better but also helps your Program Coordination Team find your surrogate match.
This profile is filled with information about you, your relationship (if you are coupled), your family, your hobbies, your plans for parenthood, and what brought you to surrogacy. We’ll ask that you also share photos of yourself, your loved ones, and anything else that gives a good sense of who you are as people.
In addition to your profile, there are certain criteria on which you will be matched with your gestational carrier. Intended parent matching criteria includes their preferences on:
If you are embarking on an independent surrogacy journey, you can use the above as guidelines to help define what you should be looking for in a suitable match.
We recommend intended parents consider their answers to the following 3 criteria when deciding on a surrogate mother in Illinois:
1. Is she an appropriate legal fit? In the United States, each state has its own laws regarding surrogacy. In addition, each country we assist in has different surrogacy requirements and laws. Therefore, our legal team ensures that the laws of the surrogate’s home state (where the delivery will take place) complement the laws of the intended parents’ home state/country (including laws around same-sex parenting). The legal department will always approve a match from a legal standpoint before a surrogate profile is presented to the intended parents. We will never knowingly present matches that are not a safe legal fit.
2. Do her personality and surrogacy expectations match yours? Your Program Coordination team (including your lawyer) will work together to find you the best surrogate match. Surrogates and intended parents undergo phone calls or in-person meetings with the Circle team early in the process; these meetings help determine your personality as it relates to surrogacy. We also look at IPs’ and surrogates’ expectations and hopes for the journey, including the number of embryos to transfer and communication styles.
3. Do you agree on expectations surrounding termination and selective reduction? We ask IPs and surrogates their views on termination of a pregnancy as we want to create a match of IPs and surrogates who share similar views. We want to ensure that the views of the surrogate and the views of the intended parents align in the event a situation arises where a reduction or termination is considered. In our experience, many intended parents prefer the option to make the choice of termination.
Circle Surrogacy matches intended parents with surrogates who have passed a rigorous 3-step screening process to optimize the journey for both the intended parents and the surrogate.
Circle Egg Donation helps intended parents who require an egg donor to find the right match. We’ll help you determine what you’re looking for in an egg donor who will provide half of your child’s biology. Here’s how to go about finding your egg donor match, whether or not she lives in the Prairie State!
What Is Important to You?
The first step to finding your perfect egg donor match is to think about the type of woman you’re looking for. Some intended parents look for a young woman who has similar qualities that they possess. Other intended parents look for an egg donor who complements their personality or appearance.
Education? Appearance? Ethnicity? Personality? As you start your search, it’s a good idea to have some thoughts about what’s important to you in an egg donor match.
And remember, nature vs. nurture – not every characteristic or trait is hereditary!
Search Our Egg Donor Database
The first place most intended parents start their egg donor search is in an egg donor database. Most egg donor databases are set up so that you can search for an egg donor by certain criteria. Circle’s egg donor database is easy to use and easy to navigate.
It can be helpful to make a list of search criteria before you begin. Things to consider are:
Within each donor profile, you’ll find a tremendous amount of additional information, including:
You may not know what you’re looking for in a donor, and that’s okay! Some intended parents take the “I'll know her when I see her" approach.
Illinois is a great location to pursue surrogacy (for both surrogates and intended parents). Illinois surrogacy law expressly permits gestational surrogacy and has allowed Circle Surrogacy to successfully match surrogates with intended parents for a number of years.
Determining Parentage in Illinois
Establishing parentage for surrogacy in Illinois is a seamless process for everyone involved as Illinois’ statute permits bypassing the involvement of a court and filing documents in accordance with the statutory requirements in anticipation of the delivery.
As long as all statutory requirements have been met and all statutory forms have been properly submitted before the delivery to both the delivering hospital and the Illinois Department of Public Health, parentage for the intended parents will be established as of the moment of birth.
At Circle, our Illinois surrogates receive the support and guidance of our experienced social workers and program coordinators, many who have been surrogates themselves. We support women wherever they are in the process whether they are ready to apply now or are interested but want to talk with experienced surrogates or Surrogate Advisors. Here is an overview of the process:
Learn more about the surrogacy process at Circle.
Wherever you are in your journey, we suggest completing our online surrogacy application. It takes only about 10 minutes to complete and there is no obligation to proceed if you aren’t ready.
Women who become surrogates are generous, adventurous, and kind. They are teachers, nurses, and stay-at-home moms. They are passionate about their families. They are spirited, caring, and selfless.
They are just like you.
Requirements for Becoming a Surrogate in Illinois
Women in Chicago and other areas of Illinois who wish to apply to become a gestational carrier must meet the following surrogate mother requirements:
Women who live in Illinois and apply to become surrogate mothers do so because they have the desire to help others experience the joy of parenthood. While there is a monetary incentive to be a surrogate, the indescribable sense of fulfillment our surrogates get from helping intended families bring a child into the world cannot be found doing anything else.
As a surrogate mother in Illinois, you have the opportunity to earn between $50,000 and $60,000 in payments and benefits. Surrogate mothers are paid a base fee of between $30,000 to $40,000, plus additional compensation and benefits for milestones along their journey.
How much you will make as a surrogate will depend on a few criteria: the state you live in, if you have insurance, and if you're an experienced gestational carrier.
Calculate your surrogate pay in Illinois with our surrogate compensation calculator.
Surrogate payments are made monthly, and surrogate mothers start earning compensation and benefits even before they are pregnant.
Circle provides best-in-class surrogate support because so many of our staff are experienced surrogates – and they have shared with us the type of support surrogates need on their journey. Our surrogates receive top-notch prescreening, social work, and legal and journey support from the moment they fill out their application until months after they deliver. Our team is ready to answer any question you can dream of (and then some).
You'll also be connected with other surrogate mothers through private social groups, and you'll experience exclusive events with the Circle team.
We can also connect you with skilled, trustworthy experts. For example, when it’s time for you to review legal contracts, we’ll recommend an attorney local to you with whom we’ve worked previously and who has a strong working knowledge of Assisted Reproduction Technology law. It’s just one more way we can clear the path for you and make the entire surrogacy program as seamless as possible. Read our blog post about the 10 steps to becoming to a surrogate.
We created the Circle Surrogate Promise because we truly care about our carriers, and we want each of them to have the most successful and rewarding journey possible.
The program is based on the suggestions of carriers who shared their thoughts and improvements with their social workers or during their exit interviews. We took all of those conversations and suggestions to heart and enhanced our offerings to our gestational carriers.
The Circle Surrogate Promise is a program exclusive to Circle Surrogates; no other agency offers the same level of security and support.
Circle Surrogacy promises:
As an Illinois gestational surrogate, the question of who you help is almost as important as your decision to help. After all, you and the prospective parents will embark on a monumental journey together. You want to be sure that you connect with and trust them fully. That’s why Circle Surrogacy built an extensive and thorough matching process.
As a first step, your Surrogate Support Team will try to find the perfect intended parent(s) for you based on personality fit and legal circumstances. You’ll get to review each other’s profiles, ask questions, and generally feel each other out. There will also be an initial Skype call, and possibly an in-person meeting. It’s all about making sure both you and the intended parent(s) feel completely comfortable with the match. And of course, the surrogacy agreement only moves forward if you do.
Circle works with single parents, LGBTQ+ and heterosexual couples, domestic and international couples, and more. We’re confident you’ll be able to find a great match.