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The Ultimate Guide to Surrogacy in Tennessee

All intended parents have unique stories about what led them to consider surrogacy, but they all have dreams of growing their families with the help of selfless, generous women. Working with Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation—whose experience and expertise guide their journeys—intended parents, surrogates, and egg donors in Tennessee discover that surrogacy can be a rewarding, life-changing experience. This comprehensive guide explains all aspects of the surrogacy process in Tennessee and how partnering with the team at Circle Surrogacy provides the support you need throughout your journey.

 New dad with his daughter through surrogacy

Table of Contents

 An Overview of Surrogacy in Tennessee

An Overview of Surrogacy in Tennessee

Pursuing surrogacy in Tennessee can be truly gratifying, especially with the help of Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation. The surrogacy journey involves:

  • Intended parents (IPs): People—either couples or individuals—who are unable to have a baby on their own can choose surrogacy to grow their families.
  • Gestational surrogates: A gestational surrogate has no genetic relationship to the baby she carries because she does not use her own eggs to create embryos. Surrogates already have children of their own and want to help others enjoy parenthood's gifts.
  • Egg donors: Strong, emotionally secure, and selfless, egg donors have a sincere desire to help others fulfill their dreams of becoming parents by generously donating their eggs.

Many of Circle Surrogacy's team members have firsthand experiences in these roles, either as intended parents, surrogates, or egg donors. They draw on those experiences as they guide couples and individuals through the complex emotions of starting their own surrogacy journeys. We support people from a range of backgrounds, ages, and sexual orientations who seek to grow their families through surrogacy.

Intended parents from Tennessee often include:

  • Heterosexual couples who have struggled with infertility
  • Women who are unable to carry a child
  • People who don’t want to risk passing on a genetic concern or health condition to their baby
  • Same-sex couples who want a genetic connection with their baby

Every surrogacy journey is unique because the wonderful gestational surrogates and egg donors have diverse backgrounds themselves.

Becoming a Parent in Tennessee

Intended parents need to make several decisions when considering surrogacy, and it's important to gather as much information as possible before making those choices. Our goal is to help everyone involved understand the costs, processes, and laws associated with surrogacy in Tennessee before they embark on their journeys.

The Surrogacy Process in Tennessee

Intended parents in Tennessee sometimes decide to pursue surrogacy without the assistance of an agency. They hire attorneys and other experts themselves, who then help them find surrogates and work out legal details. This works for some individuals. Partnering with an agency such as Circle Surrogacy, however, gives intended parents access to expertise in the legal, emotional, and medical aspects of surrogacy and a built-in support system that has more than 25 years of experience helping intended parents.

Circle manages the the entire surrogacy journey from start to finish, providing legal expertise to review contracts and establish parental rights, coordinating with the IVF clinic, overseeing all medical billing, helping prepare parents for delivery, and keeping track of important milestones and events along your journey.

Choosing an Agency

How do you find the right surrogacy agency in Tennessee once you've made that choice? Start by thinking about the qualifications that are important to you. Is experience a critical factor in your choice, or is the agency's location or size more important? Developing a personal connection with the agency's staff is crucial, regardless of the agency you select, because this will be one of the most emotional journeys of your life.

Meeting with members of an agency, either personally or during a video call, is part of the decision-making process. You should feel comfortable having honest and open discussions because they'll be part of a very personal journey. The agency's location doesn't matter as much because most intended parents travel only to their IVF clinic and their surrogate’s location. Still, some intended parents are comfortable knowing their agency is relatively close.

Finding a Surrogate and Egg Donor

If you're planning to use an egg donor, we recommend first matching with a donor and creating embryos. Get started by using Circle Surrogacy's egg donor database. Our database includes intelligent, young women who've been screened to ensure they're both physically and emotionally healthy.

Our Matching Team helps match intended parents with the perfect surrogate and encourages you to get to know each other and develop a strong bond.

Pregnancy and Parenthood

Among the services provided to intended parents by Circle are:

  • Supporting them through each milestone
  • Helping them prepare for the birth
  • Ensuring they are ready to return home safely and securely with their baby

It's quite common for intended parents to develop close relationships with surrogates during this exciting and emotional time, as they join them for prenatal appointments in person or via video streaming. They often stay in touch on a regular basis, checking in on the surrogate's progress.

 Starting the Surrogacy Process

Starting the Surrogacy Process

Once intended parents are financially and emotionally prepared to begin the surrogacy process within the next 12 months, they can schedule a consultation with the agency they selected. Our team at Circle is available for free video consultations and can accommodate your schedule whenever possible.

You may instead want to schedule a complimentary, in-depth surrogacy consultation with a parent intake consultant and a lawyer. You're able to learn about each other during these private meetings, share your story, review the surrogacy process, and talk about any concerns or questions you might have. You'll have plenty of time during the meeting, which we usually schedule for 2 to 2 ½ hours. We'll also review our surrogacy programs and costs.

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.

 How Much Does Surrogacy Cost in Tennessee?

How Much Does Surrogacy Cost in Tennessee?

The Journey Protection Guarantee Program is Circle Surrogacy's unique, all-inclusive surrogacy cost program.

This program provides 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: $148,750

Surrogacy plus egg donation: $172,750

(both prices exclude IVF)

Our Journey Protection Guarantee offers intended parents:

  • An all-inclusive cost that covers unlimited retrievals and transfers and any complications that may arise during your journey
  • 100% refund of our agency fee if you have no embryos remaining and do not bring home a baby
  • No surprise costs or invoices

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

  • Professional fees
  • Gestational carrier and egg donor fees
  • Pregnancy, labor, and delivery insurance

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

Financing Surrogacy Costs

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.

 Surrogacy announcement on letterboard

Finding a Surrogate Mother in Tennessee

Matching intended parents with an ideal surrogate is something in which our team members take great pride. And, for intended parents, the moment you meet the woman who will help grow your family is one of the most exciting parts of your journey.

How to Start

Prepare a mental checklist before beginning your search for a surrogate mother. Knowing the qualities you're looking for can make the search for a surrogate much easier. That is true whether you're pursuing surrogacy independently or if you're using an agency's list of candidates. This is an exciting part of the journey, and many intended parents develop a relationship with their surrogate that extends well after the delivery date.

How Circle Can Help

After getting to know intended parents through their profiles, our Matching Team recommends surrogate candidates they believe are ideal matches. Profiles ask about you, your relationship (if you have a partner), your family, hobbies, and plans for parenthood. It also asks about what led you to consider surrogacy. It's also helpful for us to have photos of yourself and others who you believe will help us get to know you better.

You also have the opportunity in your profile to specify:

  • The amount of communication you want with your surrogate during the journey
  • Where you'd like your surrogate to live
  • How many embryos you want to transfer
  • Your viewpoint on selective reduction and termination

You can use these guidelines to help match with a compatible surrogate if you are embarking on the surrogacy journey on your own.

 3 Criteria for Finding Surrogate Mothers

3 Criteria for Finding Surrogate Mothers

When looking for a surrogate mother in Tennessee, ask yourself these 3 important questions:

1. Does she meet the legal requirements? Circle works with lawyers who ensure the surrogates we suggest as potential matches meet all of Tennessee's surrogacy requirements.

2. How do her personality and surrogacy expectations match yours? Intended parents should feel comfortable with their surrogate. Your Matching Team works with you to ensure a potential surrogate's personality and expectations fit well with yours.

3. Do you have similar views on termination and selective reduction? This is a difficult topic that no one likes to discuss, but it is important that surrogates and intended parents have similar views regarding selective reduction and pregnancy termination. In our experience, intended parents prefer to have the option to terminate or selectively reduce in cases where those issues arise.

 Finding an Egg Donor in Tennessee

Finding an Egg Donor in Tennessee

Finding the right egg donor—if you're using an egg donor—is important because the donor contributes half of the child's genetic makeup.

Start your search by answering questions such as:

  • Are there any qualities that your egg donor absolutely must have?
  • Do you want an egg donor whose personality or appearance reflects your own or is complementary?
  • What are your preferences regarding the egg donor's education, appearance, ethnicity, and personality?

Intended parents can use Circle's egg donor database to start their egg donor search. Narrow your choices by searching for specific criteria, including:

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

If you're not entirely sure about certain qualities you want in an egg donor, our experienced team can help you make a great match.

 Surrogacy Laws in Tennessee

Surrogacy Laws in Tennessee

Circle has worked successfully with surrogates and intended parents in Tennessee, whose surrogacy law involves establishing parentage based on gender, marital status, and genetic links to the expected child. Based on the statute, which focuses on what's in the best interests of the child, Tennessee courts have concluded that it is in the child’s best interest to have a legal mother. Therefore, unless the petitioning intended parents are a heterosexual couple (married or unmarried) who are both genetically related to the child, the courts permit only for the paternity of the biological father to be established pre-birth, resulting in the birth certificate showing the biological father with the gestational carrier.

What does this mean for surrogate mothers? Although the gestational carrier's name appears on the birth certificate, a second parent adoption by a second intended parent must be completed in Tennessee or the intended parents’ home state or country. This permanently amends the birth certificate, removing the carrier’s name and replacing it with the second intended parent’s name. A single, male intended parent will have a birth certificate listing the carrier as the "mother." Some counties require in-person hearings, though some judges have been flexible in allowing parties to appear by phone.

As stated above, Circle has successfully worked with women from Tennessee as surrogate mothers. Once legal work is complete, parents' names are successfully on the birth certificate and the gestational carrier's name is removed.

 The Process for Surrogates in Tennessee

The Process for Surrogates in Tennessee

Surrogate mothers in Tennessee truly appreciate having the support and guidance of Circle's experienced social workers and program coordinators throughout the surrogacy process. Because many of our team members have been surrogates themselves, they understand the physical and emotional experience of being a surrogate. Even if you're not ready to apply at this time, you can talk with Surrogate Advisors or other experienced surrogates about becoming a gestational carrier.

The surrogate process involves:

  • 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 and how we support our surrogates every step of the way.

Getting Started as a Surrogate

Have you ever wondered what type of person becomes a surrogate? They are kind, generous, and have a sense of adventure. They come from all walks of life but are primarily teachers, nurses, and stay-at-home moms. They are spirited, caring, selfless, and passionate about their own families. Our gestational carriers come from different cities and towns and diverse backgrounds. If you've been thinking about becoming a surrogate, take 10 minutes to complete our simple online surrogacy application. You aren't obligated to proceed, but filling it out may help you decide about becoming a surrogate.
 Surrogate Requirements in Tennessee

Surrogate Requirements in Tennessee

Gestational surrogates are extraordinary women who are passionate about motherhood and family.

You must meet the following requirements to qualify as a surrogate mother in Tennessee:

  • 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.
  • Are from 21 to 41 years of age.
  • Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) no higher than 32. Calculate my BMI.
  • Are a United States citizen, legal resident, or legal immigrant. If you are a legal resident or legal immigrant of the United States, you must provide valid documentation for at least 2 years.
  • Do 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 Tennessee

Benefits of Being a Surrogate in Tennessee

How do you measure the sense of self-fulfillment that comes from giving the greatest gift humanly possible to another family? Finding the right words is hard. But our surrogate mothers who live in Tennessee also enjoy other monetary and emotional benefits, which include:

  • Competitive payments and benefits
  • Building a lifelong relationship with forever-grateful intended parents
  • Being supported by a personal journey coordination team and licensed social worker every step of the way
  • Connecting with an active community of other surrogates across the country

You can review Circle's full list of benefits and compensation for surrogates in Tennessee. We begin monthly payments and provide compensation and benefits to our surrogates even before they become pregnant.

It's not necessary to live close to your surrogacy agency. The only travel required for gestational carriers in Tennessee are trips to their intended parents' IVF clinic. For local monitoring, surrogates can access care at Tennessee's clinics and monitoring centers, so you may not need to travel far for your appointments.

 How Much Are Surrogates Paid in Tennessee?

How Much Are Surrogates Paid in Tennessee?

Circle’s team members intimately understand the physical, emotional, and mental commitment required to be a surrogate—not to mention the dedication of their families. Previous surrogates helped Circle Surrogacy create a compensation and benefits program for surrogates. It provides security, benefits, and protection that is virtually unsurpassed.

Our new Surrogate Pay & Family Protection Program provides the following benefits:

  • Earning up to $55,000 (your base fee plus additional benefits)
  • Protection for the surrogate and her family throughout the journey
  • All expenses paid, from travel to meals to gas and more
  • Full transparency on what's included
  • Benefits you won't find at any other agency

Are you still considering other surrogacy agencies because of their compensation? Before you make a decision, we'd appreciate having the opportunity to talk with you about those offers—we can match them. We promise you'll have the best surrogacy experience with us.

How Does Surrogate Pay Work?

You'll receive the first payment as a surrogate before you're pregnant. Payments continue throughout your pregnancy. Surrogate pay is broken down into the following categories:

Base Compensation

You can calculate your base compensation with our payment calculator to see how much you could earn as a surrogate in Tennessee.

Payments Before You Are Pregnant

Signing payments and payments for your medical screening are examples of compensation provided by Circle early in the surrogacy process. These payments are in addition to your base compensation.

Payments During and After Surrogacy

Circle compensates surrogates for their necessities during and after pregnancy, including maternity clothing, housekeeping, pumping and shipping breast milk, and more. These payments are in addition to your base compensation.

Additional Benefits

Surrogates receive other non-monetary benefits—in addition to financial compensation—that are priceless in ensuring they’re protected and have a smooth journey. These benefits include legal counsel, life insurance, and more.

 Circle Surrogate Promise program offers the best agency support

How Circle Supports Surrogates

It can't be emphasized enough how beneficial it is to have exceptional support from Circle staff members who have completed the surrogacy journey themselves and who understand what surrogate mothers need. That support begins the minute surrogates fill out their applications, and it continues through the delivery day and beyond. During that time, our pre-screened surrogates have access to:

  • Social work, legal, and journey support
  • Private social groups with other surrogate mothers
  • Exclusive events with the Circle team

If you have any questions, you can always talk with one of our experienced team members to get answers.

In addition, we connect surrogates with skilled, trustworthy experts, such as referrals to attorneys who practice near surrogates’ homes. Circle has often worked in the past with these lawyers and knows they have a solid working knowledge of assisted reproductive technology (ART) law. They review and help surrogates understand any legal contracts. It's just one more way we help make the entire surrogacy process smooth and straightforward. To learn more, read our blog post about the 10 steps to becoming a surrogate.

 The Circle Surrogate Promise

The Circle Surrogate Promise

We developed the Circle Surrogate Promise after listening to feedback from gestational carriers we've partnered with in the past. This unique program provides a level of security and support unmatched by other agencies. Our genuine care for our surrogates and desire to make surrogacy as successful and rewarding as possible is exemplified by the Circle Surrogate Promise.

Through this program, Circle Surrogacy promises:

1. Guaranteed compensation. We ensure that each surrogate is paid in full and on time. This is a fundamental tenet of the Circle Surrogate Promise.

2. Zero medical bill liability. In the past, surrogates expressed frustration with having to deal with medical bills. We listened and made big changes, including taking on the liability of those bills. Surrogates still receive medical bills because they are the patients, but our new fixed-cost Journey Protection Guarantee Program for intended parents allows us to protect both the surrogates and intended parents and ensure all medical bills will be paid in a timely manner.

3. Up to $5,000 compensation, even if you leave the program. In some cases, surrogates don't become pregnant. If you are accepted into our surrogate program and you are medically cleared and matched with intended parents, we will compensate you for your time, energy, and dedication thus far in your journey, even if you don't get pregnant (up to $5,000 total).

4. Empowerment in birth choices. Many surrogates want to make choices about the birth, such as doula care, a hospital birth, or using a birth center with a midwife. Circle gives our surrogates choices for their preferred birth options. Not every gestational carrier has the same desires when it comes to the birth of their surrogate baby, and our surrogates appreciate having these options.

5. Personalized, small agency feel; large agency resources. Most potential surrogates who contact Circle speak first with someone who's been a gestational carrier. Drawing on their own experiences, they guide surrogates through the process until they are matched with intended parents. They also personally introduce surrogates to their dedicated social workers and journey support team, all of whom are in-house at Circle. Surrogates at Circle enjoy the support of team members who know all the details of their journeys. (Surrogates never have to worry about working with a third party who doesn't even know their names!) Plus, with our expanded team, we can offer support groups, virtual events, one-on-one surrogate mentorship, and more.

 Finding a Perfect Intended Parent Match

Finding a Perfect Intended Parent Match

How do we recommend ideal matches between surrogates and intended parents in Tennessee? Our extensive and thorough matching process considers multiple factors before we find the perfect match. This can be an exciting process as surrogates and intended parents share an incredible journey, and it's important to establish a strong connection and trusting relationship.

Your Surrogate Advisor begins the process by discussing with intended parents your personality fit and legal circumstances. You'll then get to review each other's profiles, ask questions, and see if you feel comfortable with each other. An initial meeting is scheduled with the intended parents, either in person or through a video call. It's important to make sure everyone—you and the intended parents—feel comfortable with the match. Only then will we move forward with the surrogacy agreement.

Circle works with all kinds of intended parents, including LGBTQ+ and heterosexual couples, couples in the U.S. and other countries, 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 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.