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The Ultimate Guide to Surrogacy in Pennsylvania

When you start to explore surrogacy—either as a woman interested in becoming a surrogate or as an intended parent hoping to grow their family—you'll see there is a lot to learn! If you live in Pennsylvania, Circle Surrogacy is here to help you navigate surrogacy, from the surrogacy process and how to become a surrogate to how to find a surrogate and much more.

 Intended Parents Research Surrogacy on Computer

Table of Contents

An Overview of Surrogacy in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is a surrogacy-friendly state for intended parents, surrogates, and egg donors. Couples and individuals from a variety of backgrounds, ages, and sexual orientations turn to surrogacy to build their families. The types of intended parents that grow their families through surrogacy and egg donation include:

  • Heterosexual couples who have struggled with infertility
  • Intended mothers who are unable to carry a child
  • Intended parents who have a genetic defect or health condition they don’t want to pass on to their child
  • Same-sex couples who want to have a genetic link to their baby

Each surrogacy journey is as unique as the people involved in it!

 Why Pennsylvania Is a Great State for Surrogacy

Why Pennsylvania Is a Great State for Surrogacy

Pennsylvania is a surrogacy-friendly state for both surrogates (gestational carriers) and intended parents. Whether from Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Allentown, Harrisburg, or another city, Pennsylvania residents who are ready to start a surrogacy journey as intended parents or surrogates will have access to many benefits, including:

Local IVF clinics. Circle works closely with the most successful IVF clinics, many of which are located in the state. Working with a local clinic reduces travel costs associated with surrogacy. We’re happy to work with your IVF clinic of choice, if you have one you are currently working with.

Local surrogates. If you're interested in being a surrogate mother or you’re intended parents who want your surrogate to live close to you, Circle works with surrogates from up and down the east coast, including Pennsylvania.

Local representation. Circle has an office in New York City and experienced staff members, Jen and Anthony, both parents through surrogacy, who work closely with intended parents and surrogates from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and surrounding areas.

Flexible consultation schedule. We are available for consults via video calls during the day, evenings, and some weekends.

Surrogacy in Pennsylvania for Intended Parents

Surrogacy and egg donation helps straight and LGBTQ+ singles and couples in Pennsylvania grow their families. Pennsylvania is a surrogacy friendly state, and intended parents will find many top-rated IVF clinics in the area and on the east coast.

Below you'll find information about surrogacy in Pennsylvania, including what the surrogacy process looks like, how much surrogacy costs in Pennsylvania, what surrogacy program can help you, and so much more. The process can feel overwhelming at first, but the more you read and research, the more familiar it will become to you. Many professionals are involved in a surrogacy journey, and it is a life-changing experience.

We're ready to help intended parents from all over Pennsylvania, from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, Erie to Harrisburg, and everywhere in between.

Circle Surrogacy has an office close by in New York City, and we are always to happy to meet with you in person.

The Surrogacy Process in Pennsylvania

Becoming a parent through surrogacy is a journey that you can travel on your own or with the support of an agency. Circle Surrogacy is a full-service agency with over 25 years of experience in all of the milestones and events of the journey. We are ready to give you all the support you need so you can focus on getting ready for the arrival of your baby!
Choosing an Agency

Not every surrogacy agency is created equally! Finding a Pennsylvania surrogacy agency that supports you at every step, has experience and strong success rates, and shares your views about the surrogacy process is key to a successful journey.

Surrogacy laws vary by state, so working with an agency that has attorneys experienced in assisted reproductive technology (ART) and surrogacy law is important. They will help you understand the surrogacy laws in Pennsylvania, as well as the state in which your gestational carrier lives.

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, in which you'll find bright, healthy, ambitious young women who are excited for the opportunity to help you grow your family.

When you have your embryos created, you'll work with your Matching Team to find your surrogate match. You'll be encouraged to form a strong bond with the woman who will carry your baby(ies). If you'd like to find a surrogate in Pennsylvania–or another specific state–just let our team know.

Pregnancy and Parenthood
During pregnancy, you'll be further developing your relationship with your surrogate–and if she lives close to Pennsylvania, perhaps even visiting her for prenatal appointments. 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 bring your baby home safely and securely.
 Starting the Surrogacy Process

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, it’s time to schedule a consultation. At Circle, the consultation is an in-depth meeting (about 2 to 2 1/2 hours long) with a parent intake consultant and a lawyer. While it may seem like a long meeting, it's designed to 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 costs, as well.

If you're not ready for a full consultation but would like more information, you can schedule a pre-consultation with our intake team by contacting [email protected] and someone will reach out to coordinate a time.

 Becoming a Parent in Pennsylvania

Becoming a Parent in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is a surrogacy-friendly state! Understanding Pennsylvania surrogacy laws, the surrogacy process, and surrogacy costs will help you make an informed decision.

How Much Does Surrogacy Cost in Pennsylvania?

For intended parents in Pennsylvania, Circle Surrogacy offers one all-inclusive surrogacy cost program: the Journey Protection Guarantee Program.

This program was designed to provide the utmost protection and financial security for intended parents, with no surprise costs or fees popping up during the journey. No other surrogacy agency can promise that!

Journey Protection Guarantee Program

Surrogacy only: $157,750
Surrogacy plus egg donation: $184,750
(both prices exclude IVF)

Our Journey Protection Guarantee offers Intended Parents:

  • An all-inclusive program that covers all Surrogate fees and expenses for unlimited transfers and any complications that may arise during your journey
  • No surprise costs or invoices, even in scenarios that require a rematch with a new Surrogate

Our Journey Protection Guarantee Program includes fixed costs on the following:

• Professional Fees
• Gestational Carrier (i.e., surrogate) and Egg Donor Fees
• Pregnancy, Labor & Delivery Insurance

Circle Surrogacy is proud to offer this all-inclusive program to help as many Intended Parents in Pennsylvania as possible bring home a baby while reducing variable costs.

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.

Some intended parents may have the opportunity to qualify for financing for their journey. Please speak with our Parent Intake Team or Consultation Team or by filling out this form.

 Finding a Surrogate Mother in Pennsylvania

Finding a Surrogate Mother in Pennsylvania

Finding your surrogate match is an exciting step in your journey to parenthood. Circle works with many surrogate mothers from Pennsylvania, as well as most of the surrounding states.

How to Start

Begin by giving some thought to what's important to you in a gestational carrier and your surrogacy journey. Reflecting at the beginning makes it easier to find a surrogate on your own (if you're doing an independent journey) or to choose a good match from the candidates your surrogacy agency presents. We are pleased to share that the majority of the surrogates and intended parents we have matched remain connected well beyond delivery.

How Circle Can Help

Our surrogate matching process begins with a detailed intended parent profile that helps our Matching Team get to know you better and present you with an ideal surrogate match. The profile contains questions about you, your relationship (if you have a partner), 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 us a good sense of who you are as people.

Your profile is also where you share your preferences on:

  • Communication with your surrogate
  • Home city of your surrogate
  • Minimum and maximum number of embryos transferred
  • Use of selective reduction
  • Termination of a pregnancy

If you are pursuing surrogacy independently, feel free to use the above criteria when looking for a surrogate match.

 3 Criteria for Finding Surrogate Mothers

3 Criteria for Finding Surrogate Mothers

When searching for a surrogate mother in Pennsylvania, be sure to consider the following important criteria:

1. Does she meet the legal requirements? Our legal department ensures potential matches meet the requirements of Pennsylvania’s surrogacy laws before we present a surrogate’s profile to intended parents.

2. Do her personality and surrogacy expectations match yours? At Circle, your Matching Team (which includes a lawyer) at Circle will work together to ensure a good fit between your personality and the surrogate’s to help you have a comfortable relationship throughout the journey.

3. Do you agree on expectations surrounding termination and selective reduction? Surrogates and intended parents should share the same views on selective reduction and pregnancy termination in case either needs to be considered. Many of our previous intended parents have preferred to make the decision if either of these difficult decisions comes up.

 Search egg donor database

Finding an Egg Donor in Pennsylvania

Some intended parents require an egg donor in order to grow their family. Choosing an egg donor is a big decision: You are selecting the young woman who will contribute half of your child's genetics. Here's how to go about finding your egg donor match.

The first steps in finding an egg donor

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?

Education? Appearance? Ethnicity? Personality? As you start your search, it's a good idea to have some thoughts as to what's important to you in an egg donor match.

Think about the type of woman you're looking for—who do you imagine seeing in your child? Some intended parents look for a young woman who has similar qualities to their own. Other intended parents look for an egg donor who complements their personality or appearance.

Searching for an egg donor is a very personal experience, based on the individual needs and desires of intended parents. Your egg donor does not need to live in your state or in the state where your IVF clinic is. Your egg donor match will travel to your clinic for her medical screening and egg retrieval.

Searching for an egg donor in a donor database

The first place most intended parents start their egg donor search is in an egg donor database. Most databases are set up so that you can search for an egg donor by specific criteria. Circle's egg donor database is easy to use and easy to navigate.

Some IPs make a list of characteristics before they start their search, such as:

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

Within each donor profile in our database, you'll find a tremendous amount of additional information, including:

  • Personal information
  • Favorite hobbies, activities, and 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.

 Pennsylvania Surrogacy Laws

Pennsylvania Surrogacy Laws

The Keystone State has agreeable surrogacy laws for both intended parents and surrogates. If you're looking to become a surrogate mother in Pennsylvania—or you're matched with a gestational carrier from PA—you’re in luck. We've been working with gestational carriers from Pennsylvania for many years who have helped make dreams of parenthood come true for others.

Since 1995, we've helped numerous intended parents and surrogates achieve successful surrogacies on the East Coast and all over the United States.

Pennsylvania statutes do not directly address surrogacy agreements, but a number of cases from the state's higher courts have treated surrogacy favorably.

Determining Parentage in Pennsylvania

Establishing parentage for a surrogacy in Pennsylvania is typically done by way of a pre-birth order, which allows the surrogate and intended parents to complete all necessary paperwork and obtain the parentage order before the baby is born. In general, the parties do not need to appear in court.

Surrogacy in Pennsylvania for Surrogates

There is so much to learn about becoming a surrogate. We're here to help you navigate surrogacy in Pennsylvania, from understanding what a surrogate is, what to expect, how being a surrogate can affect your life, to how to apply become a surrogate mother.

Pennsylvania is a surrogacy-friendly state, and its eastern location makes it easily accessible to top-rated IVF clinics. We work women from all over Pennsylvania, from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, Erie to Harrisburg, and everywhere in between.

Circle has a large network of experienced surrogates across PA, and you can always connect with a surrogate prior to applying to ask questions. Also, Circle has an office in New York should you ever want to visit.

Read on to see how rewarding being a surrogate can be when you help those who aren't able to have a baby on their own experience the joys of parenthood.

What Is A Surrogate

A surrogate is a woman who carriers a baby for people (the Intended Parents) who are unable to have a baby on their own. You may also hear or see the term surrogate mother, gestational carrier or gestational surrogate. Most surrogate mothers are gestational surrogates, meaning the surrogate mother does not use her own eggs and doesn't share any genetics with the baby.

Circle Surrogacy only works with gestational carriers – women who do not share biology with the baby they are carrying.

Surrogate mothers are compensated for carrying someone's baby, and they are protected by a legal contract signed by both the surrogate and the Intended Parents.

Surrogates are women who have children of their own, have had relatively easy pregnancies and births (they like being pregnant!), and many have completed their own families. Surrogate mothers want to help others have their own families.

What is surrogacy? It's an amazing way to help make intended parents' dreams come true and give others the ultimate gift: a baby!

 Surrogate mother sharing her surrogacy journey

5 Things To Know About Being A Surrogate

There is a lot of information out there about becoming a surrogate, but here are 5 quick things for you to know before you begin!

  1. Surrogates do NOT use their own DNA (eggs) for the babies they carry
  2. Surrogates are paid throughout the entirety of their journey (not at the end) and start before pregnancy
  3. Surrogates have a say in with whom they match; all matches are mutual
  4. Surrogates DO need to give themselves injections as part of the IVF process; most surrogates say these needles are no big deal
  5. Surrogates will have to say goodbye to the baby; they look forward to "giving the baby back" to their intended parents; because they are not genetically related to the baby, surrogates do not feel an "attachment" to the babies they carry

Ready to learn more? Read on!

The Process for Surrogates in Pennsylvania

At Circle, our Pennsylvania 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:

  • Pre-screening
  • Consultation
  • Matching with intended parents
  • Medical screening and legal contracts
  • Monitoring appointments and embryo transfer
  • Pregnancy
  • Delivery

Learn more about the surrogacy process at Circle.

Getting Started as a Surrogate

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.

 Surrogate Carrier Being Supported by Fellow Surrogate Carrier

Surrogate Requirements in Pennsylvania

It takes a very special woman to become a gestational surrogate. They are teachers, medical professionals, and stay-at-home moms. They are passionate about their families. They are spirited, caring, and selfless.

To qualify as a surrogate mother in Pennsylvania, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have delivered a child of your own and are currently parenting at least one child.
  • Have had uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries, as documented by medical records.
  • Be age 21 to 44.
  • Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of no higher than 33. Calculate my BMI.
  • Be a citizen, legal resident, or legal immigrant of the United States. If you are a legal resident or legal immigrant of the United States, you must provide documentation that is valid for at least 2 years.
  • 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

How Much Do Surrogate Mothers Get Paid in Pennsylvania?

Circle Surrogacy works with many surrogate mothers who live in Pennsylvania and enjoy the following benefits:

  • Experiencing an incredible sense of self-fulfillment from giving the greatest gift humanly possible to another family.
  • Earning up to $55,000 in payments and benefits.
  • Cultivating a relationship with intended parents that is long-lasting.
  • Being supported by a personal journey coordination team and licensed social worker.
  • Belonging to a strong community of other surrogates across the country.

Calculate your surrogate pay in Pennsylvania with our surrogate compensation calculator.

Surrogate mothers receive monthly payments and start earning compensation and benefits even before they are pregnant.

How Circle Supports Surrogates

Many of Circle’s staff members have been surrogates themselves; therefore, we personally understand what it takes to provide exceptional support for surrogates. From the moment they fill out their application to delivery day and beyond, our thoroughly prescreened surrogates receive social work, legal, and journey support. Our highly experienced team is ready to answer all of your questions about being a surrogate.

Circle will connect you with other surrogate mothers through private social groups, and you will have the opportunity to attend exclusive events with the Circle team.

We can also connect you with a proven trustworthy legal expert in your area. Our attorneys have a solid background in assisted reproductive technology (ART) law and will help you review and understand any legal contracts. It’s just one more way we help make the entire surrogacy process smooth and simple.

To learn more, read our blog post about the 10 steps to becoming a surrogate.

The Circle Surrogate Promise

The Circle Surrogate Promise provides our gestational carriers with guaranteed pay, security, and support. We created this program because we truly care about our carriers and want surrogacy to be as successful and rewarding as possible for each of them. We have incorporated the feedback of our previous carriers over the years into improving our offerings.

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 its 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 up to that point in your journey (up to $5,000 total).

4. Empowerment in birth choices. Not every gestational carrier feels the same when it comes to delivering their surrogate baby. At Circle, our surrogates have choices for their preferred birth options, such as doula care, a hospital birth, or using a birth center with a midwife.

5. Personalized, small agency feel; large agency resources. When you first contact Circle about becoming a surrogate, the first person you speak with will likely be an experienced carrier herself. She will guide you through the process until you are matched with your intended parents. She’ll also personally introduce 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 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.

 Intended Parents with their hands on their surrogate's belly

Finding a Perfect Intended Parent Match

After you decide to become a gestational carrier in Pennsylvania, Circle uses an extensive and thorough matching process to make sure to match you with intended parents who are a good fit for you. You will take this monumental journey together, so it’s important you connect with and trust them fully.

Your Surrogate Support team will begin by searching for the perfect intended parents that match with your personality and legal circumstances. You’ll get to review each other’s profiles, ask questions, and see if you feel a connection. You will also meet the intended parents in an initial Skype or Zoom call and possibly even in person. It’s important to make sure both you and the intended parents are completely happy with the match. Only then will the surrogacy agreement move forward.

Circle works with a wide variety of intended parents, including LGBTQ+ and heterosexual couples, domestic and international couples, singles, and more. We’re confident there’s the right match for you.

Getting Started

Whether you are intended parents or interested in becoming a surrogate or an 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.