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The Ultimate Guide to Surrogacy in Ohio

When you first begin looking into surrogacy – whether you are a woman who is interested in becoming a surrogate mother or intended parents hoping to grow your family through surrogacy – it can feel a little overwhelming. We’re here to help you navigate surrogacy in Ohio, from the surrogacy process and how to become a surrogate to how to find a surrogate and much more.

Intended parents and surrogates from all around Ohio – Columbus, Cleveland, Akron and Cincinnati, plus all the towns in between – have chosen Circle Surrogacy as their surrogacy agency. Circle provides best-in-class support for parents and surrogates, a variety of programs and a staff with personal experience.

 Table of Contents

Table of Contents

An Overview of Surrogacy in Ohio

Surrogacy allows couples and individuals from a variety of backgrounds, ages, and sexual orientations to build their families. These intended parents from Ohio who use surrogacy and egg donation don’t all look the same. They often include:

  • Heterosexual couples who have struggled with infertility
  • Intended mothers who are unable to carry a child
  • Intended parents who are concerned about passing a genetic defect or health condition on to their child
  • Same-sex intended parents who want to have a genetic link to their baby

No two surrogacy journeys are the same!

Why Ohio Is a Great State for Surrogacy

If you live in Ohio and are ready to start a surrogacy journey, you have access to many benefits as intended parents, including:

  • Local IVF clinics. Circle works closely with many successful IVF clinics, some of which are located in Ohio. Working with a local clinic helps to reduce travel costs associated with your journey. If you’re already established with an IVF clinic, we’re happy to work with your clinic of choice.
  • Local surrogates. If you’re interested in working with a surrogate mother who lives close to you, Circle works with surrogates from Ohio and surrounding states.
  • Flexible consultation schedule. We are available for consults via Skype during the day and evenings. We also regularly hold consults in Ohio in person.

The Surrogacy Process in Ohio

Circle Surrogacy has helped straight and LGBTQ+ singles and couples from Ohio grow their families through surrogacy and egg donation for almost 25 years.

The surrogacy process can feel complicated and overwhelming, as there are many moving parts. Working with an agency helps you navigate the milestones and events throughout your journey so that you can focus on the most essential 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 ensure you have the proper support to ensure 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 important to 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 and surrogacy law is important. They will help you understand the surrogacy laws in Ohio.

Finding a Surrogate and 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 Ohio, you can share your preference with your PC team.

Pregnancy and Parenthood

During pregnancy, your agency will be supporting 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. This is an excellent time to further develop your relationship with your surrogate, and if she lives close to Ohio, perhaps even visiting her for appointments.

Starting the Surrogacy Process

Once you’ve identified surrogacy as the way you’d like to grow your family, and you’ve selected an agency with which you’d like to meet, the first 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. 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 Ohio

Bringing a baby into your family is one of the greatest joys you can experience. Intended parents from Ohio 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 in Ohio can vary for each individual journey and depend on a few factors:

  • Whether or not you require an egg donor
  • How close you live to your clinic and surrogate (and/or egg donor)
  • The type of program you choose

Surrogacy costs can be categorized into four areas:

  • 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 two truly fixed price options for intended parents in Ohio tailored to your specific circumstances. Our Fixed Cost Program and Journey Protection Guarantee are designed 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 Ohio, 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 Ohio

When starting your journey to parenthood, it's exciting to find your surrogate match. Circle works with many surrogate mothers from Ohio, as well as most of the surrounding states. Additionally, we have a strong representation in the South and Midwest, making it even easier for surrogates and intended parents to connect.

Get Started

It's hard to imagine what it will be like finding the right woman to carry your baby(ies). In many cases, intended parents aren't sure what they should look for in a gestational carrier.

The first steps in finding a surrogate mother match are to determine what you're looking for in a surrogate, your relationship with your surrogate, and what your expectations for your journey are.

Thinking about what's important to you in your gestational carrier and journey will make it easier to find a surrogate on your own (if you're on an independent journey) or to determine if your surrogacy agency has presented you with a good 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 the:

  • 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 making an independent surrogacy journey, you can use the above as guidelines for what you should be looking for in a suitable match.

3 Criteria for Finding Surrogate Mothers

We recommend intended parents keep the following 3 criteria in mind when searching for a surrogate mother in Ohio:

1. Is it legal for her to be your surrogate? In the United States, each state has its own laws regarding surrogacy. In addition, each country we assist in has different requirements and laws regarding surrogacy. 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 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 (IPs) 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 surrogate’s and intended parents’ views 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.

Because we are dedicated to the security of our intended parents and the safety of their future baby(ies), Circle Surrogacy conducts a full screening of our surrogates prior to matching with intended parents.

Finding an Egg Donor in Ohio

Some intended parents require an egg donor in order to grow their family. Your egg donor will provide half of your child's biology. Here's how to go about finding your egg donor match from Ohio or another state.

Finding the perfect egg donor can feel like an overwhelming task. How do you begin to find an egg donor who will help you grow your family?

Here are some steps to help you find your perfect egg donor match:

  • 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.
  • Are there any qualities that are a MUST HAVE for you? That's a good place to start.
  • What are you looking for in education? Appearance? Ethnicity? Personality?

Our Egg Donor Database

The first place most intended parents look for their egg donor is in an egg donor database. Most of these databases allow you to search on specific criteria. Circle's egg donor database is easy to use and 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

You don't need to know exactly what you're looking for in a donor. Some intended parents don't know until they find her.

Surrogacy Laws in Ohio

Although there are no legal frameworks in place for surrogacy arrangements, the state’s recognition of past cases suggests favorable outcomes for surrogacy in Ohio. Also, the 2001 Decker v. Decker case laid the groundwork for same-sex couples to receive legal recognition in surrogacy agreements as long as the agreements are written.

Determining parentage in Ohio

When it comes to parentage, intended parent(s) can file with an Ohio court requesting that he/she/they be named the legal parent(s) of the child(ren). Because judges have broad discretion on that process (e.g. pre-birth or post-birth, hearing or no hearing, etc.), it is important to work with an Ohio attorney familiar with Ohio judges and experienced in the practice of fertility law.  

 Becoming a Surrogate Mother in Ohio

Becoming a Surrogate Mother in Ohio

Women who apply to become surrogates do so because they want to help someone experience the joy of parenthood who can't do so on their own.

What type of women become surrogates in Ohio?

Surrogate mothers have had uncomplicated pregnancies and are usually finished growing their own families. Surrogate moms are generous and kind, courageous and caring.

They are just like you!

Requirements for Becoming a Surrogate in Ohio

Women who are interested in becoming a surrogate in Ohio must meet the following 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 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 Ohio

  • Gain an incredible sense of self-fulfillment from giving the greatest gift humanly possible to another family
  • Earn up to $55K+ with a customized benefits package
  • Build a life-long relationship with forever-grateful intended parents
  • Work with a personal program coordination team and licensed social worker
  • Opportunity to work with local and international intended parents

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 Ohio

Women who live in Ohio 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 is like nothing else.

As a surrogate mother in Ohio, 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.

The actual amount 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 Ohio 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 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 Ohio 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.