Frequently Asked Questions

INTENDED PARENTS

How much does surrogacy cost?

Some say that the baseline cost for surrogacy is $60,000, but you are more likely to spend between $70,000 and $150,000. Part of that money goes to the surrogate to reimburse her for her vital part in the process. Other expenses include payments to your surrogacy lawyer, fees for social workers and counselors, the costs of various medical procedures, travel expenses, and other incidentals. The total price tag differs in every situation, since no pregnancy is predictable and no two surrogacy situations are exactly alike.

Will my insurance help with surrogacy costs?

Every insurance provider handles surrogacy situations differently, so it's best to direct your insurance-related questions directly to your provider. If you're working with an agency, the agency may require the surrogate to have her own insurance. Through your agreement with the agency and the surrogate, you will likely be covering some of the medical costs as well. Check with your agency if you have questions about what the surrogate's insurance actually pays.

Is surrogacy legal in my state?

Many states have a positive stance towards surrogacy. States that currently allow commercial surrogacy are Connecticut, Delaware, California, Maine, New Hampshire, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C. In Alaska, Arizona, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Tennessee, Virginia, or Wyoming, you're may encounter more roadblocks when you try to pursue surrogacy; and states like Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Washington are downright prohibitive regarding compensated surrogacy. Other states such as Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia may permit surrogacy but additional factors should be considered.  Learn about your state here.

Should I use a surrogacy agency?

An agency offers a series of safeguards that may not always be available with an independent surrogate. However, there are many surrogates who work independently and provide the same guarantees that an agency would. If you want to go the independent route, simply do the research and ensure that your surrogacy candidate lives a clean, healthy lifestyle, parents her own kids, and lives in a financially stable, emotionally supportive environment. Whether you go independent or choose an agency, hire a qualified assisted reproduction lawyer help you through the legal issues and agreements.

Why do I need legal protection?

A small percentage of surrogacy scenarios involve legal action on some level. In some cases, the IPs have to take legal action against the surrogate if she is going against the terms of the contract. Then there is the unlikely possibility that the surrogate may lay claim to the baby. Such cases are few and far between; but having a good ART lawyer on your side is crucial, just in case some sort of challenge occurs.

How do I make sure that my name is on the baby's birth certificate?

Ask your lawyer to file for a pre-birth order. This order tells the hospital that you and your partner are the intended parents and directs that they put your names on the birth certificate immediately once the baby is born. In some states, pre-birth orders aren't allowed, in which case your lawyer will help you file for a post-birth order that ensures your status as the parents and gives you all the legal rights you need.

GESTATIONAL SURROGATES

What requirements must I meet in order to be a surrogate?

The requirements for being a surrogate differ depending on the agency with which you are working. Typically a surrogate should be between 21-38 years old, with at least one child of her own and a body mass index (BMI) of 33 or lower. She should be financially secure, psychologically healthy, and emotionally stable, with a supportive partner, family, and friends.

How much compensation can I receive as a surrogate?

Surrogates may make between $20,000 and $53,000, depending on the circumstances of the pregnancy, the agency they use, and the area of the country in which they live.

Should I use an agency?

For your own convenience and protection, it's a good idea to sign up with a surrogacy agency that can be the go-between for you and the intended parents, matching you with the right couple and ensuring that the process goes smoothly.

Do I need legal advice and protection?

In rare cases, problems can arise between the surrogate and the intended parents. The couple may run out of money, decide they don't want the baby, or ask you to do something that you're uncomfortable with which is not included in your contract. You need a good surrogacy lawyer on your side to defend your rights and your interests in case any sort of disagreement or legal problem arises. While these cases are very rare, it's best to be proactive and protected. Ask your lawyer to look over any contracts, agreements, and other documents before you sign them.

Does my state allow surrogacy?

Many states have a positive stance towards surrogacy. States that currently allow commercial surrogacy are Connecticut, Delaware, California, Maine, New Hampshire, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C. In Alaska, Arizona, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Tennessee, Virginia, or Wyoming, you're may encounter more roadblocks when you try to pursue surrogacy; and states like Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Washington are downright prohibitive regarding compensated surrogacy. Other states such as Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia may permit surrogacy but additional factors should be considered.  Learn about your state here.

DONORS

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What is anonymous vs. semi-anonymous donation?

With anonymous donation, only certain basic facts about you are available to the intended parents who are "shopping" for a donor match. All personal information, such as your name, address, and other key pieces of contact info, will be concealed from the intended parents. Semi-anonymous donation allows some partial knowledge or contact information in case of an emergency or a medical issue.

Do I need legal advice?

As a donor, you are waiving all the responsibilities and privileges of parenthood when it comes to the children who will be born from your eggs, sperm or embryos. It's best to have a lawyer who practices assisted reproductive technology (ART) law on your side, so that you can be sure your contract is a solid one, without loopholes or possible legal repercussions for you in the future.