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The Ultimate Guide to Surrogacy in Maryland

If you're beginning to research surrogacy in Maryland—either as intended parents hoping to grow your family or as a woman interested in becoming a surrogate mother—it's normal to feel a bit overwhelmed by the information available. We've developed this "ultimate guide" for Maryland residents considering surrogacy. It includes information on the surrogacy process, how to become a surrogate, how to find a surrogate, and much, much more.

 Table of Contents

Table of Contents

An Overview of Surrogacy in Maryland

Maryland is considered a surrogacy-friendly state for both gestational carriers and intended parents. Even though the state doesn't have any current laws governing surrogacy in Maryland, legal precedent recognizes the intended parents as the legal parents. From Baltimore to Bethesda and Frederick to Hagerstown, Circle Surrogacy is ready to support your surrogacy journey, and has staff in the area. You'll find virtually everything you need to know about gestational surrogacy on this page.

Surrogacy enables couples and individuals from various backgrounds, ages, and sexual orientations to build their families. The types of intended parents who may use surrogacy include:

  • Heterosexual couples who have struggled with infertility
  • Intended mothers who are unable to carry a child
  • Intended parents who want to avoid passing on a genetic defect or health condition to their child
  • LGBTQ+ intended parents who wish to have a genetic connection to their baby

Each surrogacy journey is as unique as the intended parents and their reasons for taking the first steps.

The Surrogacy Process in Maryland

By its very nature, surrogacy is an emotional process. It can also feel complicated and overwhelming. Working with an agency, you don't have to navigate the process alone. Even though the details are different for intended parents and surrogates, the common goal of having a healthy baby is shared by all.

Circle Surrogacy has been helping straight and LGBTQ+ singles and couples grow their families through surrogacy and egg donation since opening their Boston office in 1995, making us one of the first full-service surrogacy agencies in the U.S.


Choosing an Agency

You have multiple choices when looking for a surrogacy agency. Having options is good, and you shouldn't necessarily choose the first agency you contact. It's important the agency shares your views about surrogacy and that you establish good chemistry with the staff. When embarking on your surrogacy, do your research to ensure you'll be supported and have a successful journey.

Selecting an agency with lawyers knowledgeable in assisted reproductive technology (ART) and surrogacy law is essential because laws vary by state. Our lawyers will help you understand the surrogacy laws in Maryland.


Finding a Surrogate and Egg Donor

Before being matched with a surrogate, you may need to match with an egg donor. Our egg donor database contains information about the smart, ambitious young women who are excited for the opportunity to help you grow your family.

Your Program Coordination (PC) Team helps you find the perfect surrogate match and encourages you to establish a strong bond with the woman who will carry your baby or babies. If you'd like to find a surrogate with specific criteria, you can share your preference with your PC team.


Pregnancy and Parenthood

During the pregnancy, relationships between intended parents and surrogates continue to develop. That may even include intended parents visiting with the surrogate mother during her appointments if they live in Maryland or close to the state. Your agency supports you through each milestone, helping you prepare for traveling for the birth and ensuring you have everything you need to return home safely and securely.

Starting the Surrogacy Process

When you're ready to begin the surrogacy process as a way to grow your family, the first step is to schedule a consultation. It may take consults with a number of agencies before you're ready to select an agency.

What happens during a surrogacy consultation? It typically includes an in-depth meeting (about 2 to 2 1/2 hours long) with a parent intake consultant and a lawyer. We get to know you and your story, talk about surrogacy, and explain 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 Maryland

Making an informed decision to grow your family through surrogacy involves understanding Maryland's surrogacy laws, the surrogacy process, and surrogacy costs.

Maryland residents who are ready to start a surrogacy journey as intended parents have multiple benefits, including:

  • Local IVF clinics. Circle works closely with the most successful IVF clinics, some of which are located in Maryland or on the East Coast. Reduced travel costs are one benefit of working with a local clinic. We're happy to work with your choice of IVF clinic if you’ve already established a relationship with one.
  • Local surrogates. Circle works with surrogates from throughout the East Coast, including Maryland, which helps intended parents who want to work with a surrogate mother who lives nearby.
  • We've got people on across the country. With offices on both the East and West coasts, Circle has team members on both coasts—as well as in the Mid-Atlantic region—who are parents through surrogacy and always happy to share their experiences.
  • Local events and future office. Circle plans to open a Mid Atlantic office when the world is a little more stabilized; until then, Circle offers local events and webinars for parents.
  • Flexible consultation schedule. We are available for consults via Skype during the day and evenings. We can also schedule in-person consultations in Maryland.

How Much Does Surrogacy Cost?

The cost of surrogacy in Maryland varies, depending on several factors. These include whether you require an egg donor and the type of program you choose.

We can divide surrogacy costs into 4 categories:

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

Circle Surrogacy offers fixed costs for professional fees, gestational carrier and egg donor fees, and medical & insurance expenses, which sets us apart from most agencies. Without fixed costs, surprise fees and financial uncertainty can be a part of the surrogacy journey.

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

Circle is the only agency that offers intended parents in Maryland 2 truly fixed price options tailored to your specific circumstances.

We designed our Fixed Cost Program and Journey Protection Guarantee Program to help as many intended parents as possible 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 Your Surrogacy Journey

Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation is proud to be the only surrogacy agency to offer an exclusive financing plan for intended parents living in Maryland, through our partnership with Origin Finance, LLC. Our new financing plan helps make surrogacy an option for even more intended parents to grow their families.

Learn more about our financing plan here, or by calling 415.906.7278.

Finding a Surrogate Mother in Maryland

Being matched with a surrogate mother is an exciting part of the surrogacy journey. Circle’s surrogates live all over the country, including a large number of women near Maryland and on the East Coast. Our headquarters are in Boston, and we have an office in New York City; we are also well-represented in Maryland, making it even easier for surrogates and intended parents to connect.

Our Intended Parent Profile

We use the intended parent profile to get to know you and help our Matching Team find your surrogate match. This profile is filled with information about you and your:

  • Relationship (if you are coupled)
  • Family
  • Hobbies
  • Plans for parenthood
  • Reasons for seeking surrogacy

Sharing photos of yourself, your loved ones, and anything else that gives a good sense of who you are as people is an important part of finding the ideal match.

Intended Parent Matching Criteria

In addition to your profile, there are certain criteria on which you will be matched with your gestational carrier. Intended parent matching criteria includes your 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

Even if you are looking for a surrogate on your own, it can help to consider these criteria when searching for a good match.

3 Criteria for Finding Surrogate Mothers

We recommend intended parents consider the following criteria when searching for a surrogate mother in Maryland:

  1. Is she an appropriate legal fit? Each state has its own laws regarding surrogacy. Additionally, each country we assist in has different requirements and laws regarding surrogacy. 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.
  2. Do her personality and surrogacy expectations match yours? We schedule phone calls or in-person meetings with surrogates and intended parents early in the process. This helps evaluate 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? It's important to create a match of IPs and surrogates who share similar views on the termination of a pregnancy. We want to ensure that the surrogate’s views and the intended parents’ views align in the event a reduction or termination issue arises. In our experience, many intended parents prefer the option to make the choice of termination.

Circle Surrogacy conducts a full screening of their surrogates to determine the surrogate mothers who are the strongest, healthiest, and most likely to be successful before matching with intended parents. This helps to ensure intended parents are matched with a best-in-class gestational carrier.

Finding an Egg Donor in Maryland

Intended parents who want to grow their family sometimes need an egg donor. Choosing the eggs of a young woman who will provide half of your child's biology is a significant part of the journey to becoming parents.


Qualities to Consider

Carefully thinking about the type of woman you're looking for is the first step to finding your perfect egg donor match. Are you looking for someone who has similar qualities that you or your partner possess? Or do you wish for a woman whose traits complement your personality or appearance? These are a few things to think about when beginning your egg donor search.

As you begin searching, have some thoughts as to what's important to you in an egg donor match, such as:

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

And remember, nature vs. nurture – not every characteristic or trait is hereditary!


Search Through Our Egg Donor Database

Starting your egg donor search in an egg donor database is an excellent idea. Most databases allow you to search for egg donors based on specific criteria. Circle Surrogacy's egg donor database is easy to use and easy to navigate.

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

It's okay if you're not sure about what you're looking for in a donor. The "I'll know her when I see her" approach works well for some intended parents.

Surrogacy Laws in Maryland

Maryland is a very surrogacy-friendly state!

The state of Maryland allows for gestational surrogacy under case-law and practice, including for singles, unmarried couples, those using their own gametes or donor egg, sperm, or embryo. Maryland is an LGBTQ friendly state. Intended Parents are able to obtain a Pre-Birth Order.

Becoming a Surrogate Mother in Maryland

Maryland residents who want to apply to become a surrogate can work with Circle Surrogacy. We can help you become a surrogate in Richmond, Norfolk, or anywhere else in Maryland. Since 1995, we've helped numerous intended parents and surrogates achieve successful surrogacies in the East and all over the United States.


Requirements for Becoming a Surrogate in Maryland

To become a surrogate in Maryland, the applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Has delivered a child of her 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 32. 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 Maryland

Working with an East Coast surrogacy agency as a surrogate in Maryland offers many benefits, including the fact that we work with many intended parents from the East Coast. Surrogates from Maryland will have the opportunity to work with intended parents who live relatively close to them.

As a Maryland surrogate, you may also enjoy other benefits, including:

  • Gaining an incredible sense of self-fulfillment from giving the greatest gift humanly possible to another family
  • Working with local intended parents and clinics
  • Receiving exceptional compensation!
  • Building a life-long relationship with forever-grateful intended parents
  • Working with a personal journey coordination team and licensed social worker
  • Consulting with your legal representation to guide you through the legal process

The Circle Surrogate Promise

The Circle Surrogate Promise was created for surrogates because we truly care about our carriers, and we want each of them to have the most successful and rewarding journey possible.

In the past, our carriers shared thoughts and improvements with their social workers, or during their exit interviews, and we took all of those conversations and suggestions to heart and improved on our offerings to our gestational carriers.


Guaranteed Pay, Security and Support

The Circle Surrogate Promise is a program exclusive to Circle Surrogates; no other agency can offer the same level of security and support.

Circle Surrogacy promises:

  1. Guaranteed Compensation. Circle Surrogacy financially backs their Intended Parents, so a surrogate’s escrow account is always funded to ensure she is always paid in full and on time.
  2. No medical bill liability. Circle Surrogacy takes on the liability of medical bills. We listened to our past surrogates and their frustrations with medical bills and we’ve made big changes. While we can never stop having you receive medical bills (since you are the “patient”), our new Fixed Cost programs for Intended Parents allow us to protect both the surrogates and the intended parents, and ensure all medical bills will be paid in a timely manner.
  3. $5,000 compensation, even if you leave the program. If you are accepted into our surrogate program and you are medically cleared and matched with intended parents – but you don’t achieve a pregnancy – we will compensate you for your time, energy and dedication thus far in your journey (up to $5,000 total).
  4. Empowerment in birth choices. Not every gestational carrier has the same desires when it comes to the birth of their surro baby. At Circle, our surrogates have choices for her preferred birth options, such as doula care, a hospital birth, or using a birth center with a midwife.
  5. Personalized, small agency feel, with the resources of a large agency. The first person you speak with at Circle will likely be an experienced carrier who guides you through the process until you are matched with intended parents, personally introducing you to your dedicated social worker and journey support team, all of whom are in house at Circle. You’ll always be supported by a Circle employee, who knows all the details about you and your journey (you’ll never have to worry about working with a third party who doesn’t even know your name!) Plus, with our expanded team, we are able to offer support groups, virtual events, one-on-one surrogate mentorship and more.

Compensation for Surrogates in Maryland

Women apply to become surrogate mothers in Maryland because they want to help others experience the joy of parenthood. Even though compensation is a part of becoming a surrogate, the monetary incentive isn't the primary reason women choose to become surrogates. Surrogates enjoy an indescribable sense of fulfillment from helping intended families bring a child into the world, and that's a feeling that cannot be found doing anything else.

As a Maryland surrogate, you have the opportunity to earn between $50,000 and $60,000 in total payments and benefits. Surrogate mothers are paid a base fee of $30,000 to $35,000, plus additional compensation and benefits for milestones along their journey.

Calculate your surrogate pay with our surrogate compensation calculator.

Surrogate mothers start earning compensation and benefits even before they are pregnant, as well as monthly stipends once they are pregnant.

How Circle Surrogacy Supports Surrogates

There is no substitute for experience, which is why Circle Surrogacy provides such excellent support to our surrogates—many members of our staff have been surrogates themselves and understand what's needed on this unique journey.

Here are some of the ways we support surrogates:

  • Top-notch prescreening, social work, and legal 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).
  • Private social groups for surrogates. We connect surrogate mothers through private social groups and schedule exclusive events with the Circle team.
  • Experts you can trust. Having access to skilled, trustworthy experts is crucial. We work with attorneys who understand the details of ART (assisted reproduction technology) law and recommend them to surrogates when it's time to review legal contracts.

Read our blog post about the 10 steps to becoming a surrogate.

Finding a Perfect Intended Parent Match

We devote a lot of time to ensuring we find the ideal intended parents to match with our gestational surrogate mothers in Maryland. Aside from the decision to become a surrogate, this match is the most important choice made during the surrogacy journey. You want to be sure that you connect with and fully trust the intended parents. That’s why Circle Surrogacy built an extensive and thorough matching process.

Our Surrogate Support Team begins by searching for the perfect intended parent(s) based on personality fit and legal circumstances. You’ll get to review each other’s profiles, ask questions, and generally get to know each other. 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.