SPAR Surrogates | Become a Surrogate Mother | Circle Surrogacy

SPAR Information for Surrogates

There is no greater gift than surrogacy. And there are no more appreciative parents than those who never expected to be parents. Especially those living with HIV. Helping these intended parents realize their dreams of parenthood are the incredible women who become surrogates in the SPAR program.

What is SPAR?

SPAR, which stands for Special Program of Assisted Reproduction, is a program of the Bedford Research Foundation Clinical Laboratory. SPAR is a separate, collaborative effort with Circle that uses advanced procedures to help intended parents, one or both who have HIV, safely become parents. The program screens semen specimens to allow for safe fertility procedures.

The Process

Before the SPAR process begins, both intended parents (IPs) and surrogates are thoroughly evaluated.

  • The Surrogate: A gynecologist or infertility specialist evaluates the surrogate. Her hormone levels and antibodies against infectious diseases are also measured. This information helps anticipate the surrogate’s possible response to IVF medications,determines prior exposure to infectious agents, and measures protective immunity.
  • The Intended Parent: The physician and intended parent discuss the duration of the patient’s HIV, his current health status, and current treatments.

Once your IP’s semen is tested to make sure there is no HIV virus, the sperm is then “washed.” Washed sperm is free of semen. This step provides added protection. Next, the sperm is frozen for transportation and preservation. After the IVF, the embryos develop for 3-5 days, adding another step of protection, since HIV has never been transferred by IVF.

Becoming a SPAR Surrogate

During Circle’s screening process, surrogates receive a welcome packet that includes information on the Bedford Research Foundation’s SPAR program. Many of our surrogates (and egg donors) are open to learning more about or willing to work with intended parents in the program.

Those who are interested in learning more are put in touch with experienced surrogates who have participated in SPAR. Once a surrogate decides to work with IPs who are in the SPAR program, the matching process begins!

Any surrogate who is considering working with an HIV+ intended parent must have a consultation with Dr. Kiessling, founder of the Bedford Research Foundation, before making the final decision to participate in the SPAR program.