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The Ultimate Guide to Surrogacy in Illinois

Whether you are intended parents hoping to grow your family through surrogacy or a woman who is interested in becoming a surrogate mother, it’s natural to feel a bit intimidated when you first begin looking into surrogacy. Circle Surrogacy is the most successful surrogacy agency, proudly supporting parents and gestational carriers in Illinois.

 Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Overview of Surrogacy in Illinois

The state of Illinois is surrogacy-friendly for both surrogate mothers (gestational carriers) and intended parents. Whether you live in Chicago, Aurora, Rockford, or anywhere in between – here’s everything you need to know about gestational surrogacy.

Why Illinois Is a Great State for Surrogacy

Illinois is home to some of the world’s best IVF clinics; in fact, many of Circle’s intended parents who live in the Midwest, travel to Illinois to work with top reproductive endocrinologists.

Plus, the central location allows easy access for intended parents from both coasts who are matched with Illinois surrogates.

Benefits of Surrogacy in Illinois

If you are an Illinois resident who is ready to start a surrogacy journey, there are many benefits for you as intended parents, including:

  • Local IVF clinics. Circle works closely with the most successful IVF clinics, some of which are located in Illinois. Working with a local clinic helps to reduce travel costs associated with your journey.
  • Local surrogates. If you want to work with a surrogate mother who lives close to you, Circle works with surrogates from Illinois and all over the Midwest.
  • Flexible consultation schedule. We are available for consults via Skype during the day and evenings. We also hold consults in Illinois in person regularly.

The Surrogacy Process in Illinois

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.

Starting the Surrogacy Process

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.

Becoming a Parent in Illinois

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.

How Much Does Surrogacy Cost?

Surrogacy costs can be compartmentalized into four categories:

  • Professional Fees
  • Gestational Carrier (i.e., surrogate) and Egg Donor Fees
  • Medical and Insurance Expenses
  • IVF Expenses

Most agencies do not offer fixed costs for any of these cost categories, which can result in surprise fees and financial uncertainty throughout the surrogacy journey. However, Circle Surrogacy fixes the costs for professional fees, gestational carrier and egg donor fees, and medical and insurance expenses.

Circle Surrogacy’s programs and pricing are structured to achieve two primary goals: success and cost security.

Circle is the only agency that offers you two truly fixed price options for intended parents in Illinois, tailored to your specific circumstances.

Our Fixed Cost Program and Journey Protection Guarantee are designed to help intended parents bring home a baby while reducing variable costs.

Fixed Cost Program

Surrogacy only: $128,750

Surrogacy plus egg donation: $149,750

(both prices exclude IVF)

Our Fixed Cost Program provides intended parents the security of paying one fixed price for a single transfer journey, reducing unexpected expenses and the uncertainty of variable costs.

Learn More

Journey Protection Guarantee Program

Surrogacy only: $137,250

Surrogacy plus egg donation: $158,250

(both prices exclude IVF)

Our Journey Protection Guarantee offers intended parents unlimited transfers for a fixed price, plus the Circle Promise: We’ll refund 100% of our agency fee plus unused third-party funds if you do not bring home a baby.

Learn More

Financing Plan

Our Financing Plan, available in select states including Illinois, allows qualified intended parents to spread a large portion of the cost of their journey into affordable monthly payments.

Learn More

Finding a Surrogate Mother in Illinois

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.

Get Started

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:

  • Level of communication with their surrogate during the journey
  • Location of the surrogate mother
  • Number of embryos to transfer
  • Views on selective reduction and termination

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.

3 Criteria for Finding Surrogate Mothers

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.

Finding an Egg Donor in Illinois

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:

  • Physical attributes (hair/eye color)
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Education
  • Previous fertility
  • Geography

Within each donor profile, you’ll find a tremendous amount of additional information, including:

  • Personal information
  • Favorite hobbies, activities, foods
  • Family medical history
  • Motivation for becoming a donor

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.

Surrogacy Laws in Illinois

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.

 Surrogate Carrier Being Supported by Fellow Surrogate Carrier

Becoming a Surrogate Mother in Illinois

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:

  • Has delivered a child of their own and is currently parenting at least one child.
  • Has had uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries, as documented by medical records.
  • Is between 21 and 41 years of age.
  • Typically has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of no higher than 33. Calculate my BMI.
  • Is a citizen, legal resident, or legal immigrant of the United States. If a surrogate is a legal resident or legal immigrant of the United States, the surrogate must be able to provide documentation that is valid for at least 2 years.
  • Does not participate in the following government aid programs: cash assistance, welfare, public housing, and section 8. All other forms of government assistance will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Review all surrogate requirements

Benefits of Being a Surrogate in Illinois

  • Gain an incredible sense of self-fulfillment from giving the greatest gift humanly possible to another family
  • Work with intended parents and clinics local to your area, which helps reduce your travel.
  • Earn up to $55K+ with a customized benefits package
  • Build a life-long relationship with forever-grateful intended parents
  • Work with a personal journey coordination team and licensed social worker
  • Consult with your legal representation to guide you through the legal process

Compensation for Surrogates in Illinois

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.

How Circle Surrogacy Supports Surrogates

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.

Finding a Perfect Intended Parent Match

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.

Getting Started

Whether you are intended parents or interested in becoming a surrogate or egg donor, the surrogacy process can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Learning more about surrogacy is the first step of your journey.