Surrogacy Questions and Answers
If you are considering becoming a surrogate or starting your family as an intended parent, you likely have many important questions about surrogacy. We’re here to give you answers to common questions about surrogacy so you can decide if this is the right path for you.
The surrogacy process is about people coming together to create families. A surrogate makes the heroic decision to help an intended parent see their dream of raising a child come true — whether they’re single, a married couple struggling with infertility or an LGBTQ couple ready to start a family.
With something this important, intended parents and surrogates deserve to have all of the information and support you need to move forward confidently.
Because you have important surrogacy questions, working with the right surrogacy agency means getting connected with trusted, experienced and specialized surrogacy professionals ready to give the information needed to make a more informed decision.
You can get connected with a surrogacy specialist by completing this online contact form.
Until then, let’s cover some of the common questions about surrogacy to give you some background on what surrogacy is and how it can be a life-changing opportunity for intended parents and surrogates to build a family together.
1. What is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is the life-changing journey of intended parents and a surrogate coming together to create a family when the intended parent is or has been unable to do so themselves.
During the process, a surrogate becomes pregnant with the intended parents’ baby with the help of a fertility clinic.
When the baby is born, the intended parents have all legal parental rights, and in return, the surrogate receives base compensation and the satisfaction of knowing she forever changed the lives of that family.
Are you ready to get your surrogacy questions answered and start your surrogacy journey today? Complete this form to get connected to a surrogacy specialist prepared to give you the answers you’re seeking.
Continue reading for more common surrogacy questions.
2. Who are Intended Parents?
One of the first common surrogacy questions is about intended parents. Who are they?
Intended parents come from various backgrounds and choose surrogacy for different reasons. For example, intended parents can be married couples struggling with infertility, a same-sex couple ready to start a family or a single parent hoping for the chance to raise a child.
Intended parents can also choose surrogacy because of previous high-risk pregnancies, making surrogacy a potentially safer opportunity.
Are you an intended parent with surrogacy questions to ask? Complete this online form and get connected to a surrogacy specialist to answer all of your surrogacy questions and get you started on your surrogacy journey.
3. Who are Surrogates?
In terms of frequently asked questions about surrogacy, “Who are surrogates?” and “Why would someone become a surrogate?” are both very common surrogacy questions professionals get.
A surrogate is an individual making the heroic decision to carry and deliver a baby for an intended parent. Surrogates come from all different backgrounds, but they tend to be professional, well-organized, generous women who have had smooth pregnancy experiences and want to give the gift of parenthood to someone else.
Why would a woman become a surrogate?
If you’re a prospective surrogate, you may choose surrogacy with an intended family because:
- You want the personal satisfaction of helping an intended parent.
- You enjoy pregnancy.
- You already have a complete family but want to be pregnant again.
- You want to help change the stigma of surrogacy.
In addition to the many emotional benefits of surrogacy, these incredible women also receive base compensation in exchange for their sacrifices. As a surrogate, you can use this compensation however you’d like.
There are many reasons why you might choose to be a surrogate. Do you have more surrogacy questions to ask? Fill out this form to get your surrogacy questions answered and determine how you can match with an intended parent and become a surrogate.
4. Are Surrogates Related to the Baby?
Wondering whether a surrogate is related to the baby is also a common surrogacy question we get.
The answer, in the vast majority of cases today, is no.
It’s true that, in traditional surrogacy, the surrogate has a genetic link to the child. In this type of surrogacy, where a woman is artificially inseminated, the surrogate would be the biological mother. However, the inherent risks in traditional surrogacy, where the surrogate can always decide to keep the baby, led to a shift in surrogacy arrangements and advancements in medical technology.
Because of high-profile cases like “Baby M,” traditional surrogacy is now outlawed in many states. Experienced and professional surrogacy agencies only work with intended parents and surrogates pursuing gestational surrogacy, where the surrogate has no genetic link to the child. Instead, embryos are created using the intended parents’ and/or donors’ genetic material, and the surrogate becomes pregnant through an IVF embryo transfer.
Experienced and professional surrogacy agencies typically only match qualified surrogates and intended parents for gestational surrogacy, where there is no genetic link between the surrogate and the baby.
This surrogacy FAQ article will address your gestational surrogacy questions, but you can always fill out our online form to get more information.
5. What is the Difference Between Traditional and Gestational Surrogacy?
As we briefly touched on in the previous surrogacy question, traditional surrogacy involved a surrogate with a genetic relationship with the baby. Therefore, this type of surrogacy carries the risk of the surrogate (biological mother) deciding to keep the baby.
Cases such as “Baby M” in the 1980s led legislators and lawyers to begin creating contract agreements to help protect the parental rights of intended parents.
Now, the best and most professional surrogacy agencies only work with intended parents and surrogates pursuing gestational surrogacy — the difference being that in gestational surrogacy, the surrogate will have no genetic link to the baby.
Gestational surrogates are screened to ensure they are qualified, professional and organized women choosing to become a surrogate for the right reasons.
Among the many benefits of gestational surrogacy is the opportunity for the intended parents and surrogate to form a lifelong bond and continue a relationship long after the baby’s birth. While the surrogate may have emotional struggles with the pregnancy, removing the genetic relationship with the baby creates a safer process.
Did you know you can fill out this online form to get all of your important surrogacy questions answered today?
An experienced and professional surrogacy agency and specialist is eager to answer all of your common surrogacy questions.
6. What are the Benefits of Surrogacy?
When answering surrogacy questions, it’s important to address the benefits and risks of surrogacy.
First, the benefits of surrogacy include:
- A surrogate experiences the rewards of helping another person create a family
- An intended parent unable to physically or biologically have a baby can become a parent
- Financial compensation for surrogates
- Building a lifelong relationship and bond between the intended parents and surrogate
- The knowledge and satisfaction that you made a difference in the world
- And more
Want to learn more about the many benefits of surrogacy? Remember, you can fill out our online form to quickly connect with a surrogacy specialist for surrogacy questions and answers today!
7. What are the Risks of Surrogacy?
When you have surrogacy questions to ask, one of the most important questions is, “What are the risks of surrogacy?”
Like any pregnancy, there are medical, physical and emotional risks for surrogates. The typical side effects of pregnancy and the emotional side effects of pregnancy are all a part of the process.
During the screening process, surrogates are made aware of the additional risks in transferring an embryo, as well as the unique emotions of carrying a baby that isn’t yours.
Intended parents share these risks with their surrogates, which is why working with an experienced surrogacy agency reduces the possibility of medical and emotional risks taking place.
The risks of surrogacy get outlined in your legal surrogacy contract, and both your surrogacy specialist and an attorney will ensure that you are protected through the surrogacy process.
Intended parents and surrogates receive support and guidance to help with any challenges along the way.
8. Are There Requirements to be a Surrogate?
Yes. There are requirements all prospective surrogates must meet to carry a child for an intended parent. Experienced and professional surrogacy agencies will take prospective surrogates through an extensive screening process.
During the screening, these are among the general qualifications to be a surrogate:
- At least 21 years of age
- A healthy BMI
- A minimum of one previous successful pregnancy
- Be raising a child in your home
- No drug or alcohol use
- Spousal support
- Clean criminal record
- Financial independence
- No prior complications during pregnancy
- And more
We strongly suggest filling out this form to speak with a surrogacy specialist to get more information on the required qualifications for becoming a surrogate.
9. How Does Surrogacy Work?
Each surrogacy journey is unique, but in terms of the general surrogacy process, you can expect these steps:
- The initial screening and background checks
- A surrogacy specialist will help intended parents and surrogates match
- Begin building a lifelong relationship
- Finalize a legal surrogacy contract
- Complete the medical process of surrogacy
- Birth of the baby and complete all parentage orders
Want more information on the surrogacy process? Contact a surrogacy specialist today to get all of your surrogacy questions answered. You can also check out these important links on the surrogacy process:
- The surrogacy process for intended parents
- The surrogacy process for surrogates
When you speak to an experienced surrogacy specialist, you can get more information on what your surrogacy journey will look like based on your situation.
10. How Many Embryos Are Transferred?
Intended parents and surrogates sign a contract stating how many embryos will be transferred during the medical process of surrogacy and outline what additional compensation will be given for embryos beyond the first.
In most cases, doctors will recommend a single embryo transfer, and intended parents and surrogates will agree to a set number of embryo transfer attempts if the first transfer does not result in a successful pregnancy.
Questions about surrogacy pertaining to the medical aspect of surrogacy, such as transferring embryos, requires the expertise of an experienced surrogacy specialist. You can get connected with a professional today by providing your contact information here.
11. Is There Financial Compensation for Surrogacy?
The financial aspect of this process is a frequently asked question about surrogacy.
Yes, financial compensation is available to surrogates, and the intended parents will be expected to cover all medical costs throughout the pregnancy.
How much base pay is offered for a surrogate depends on several factors, including her location and experience with surrogacy. A surrogacy specialist can answer all of your surrogacy questions regarding compensation.
12. Does Surrogacy Cost Anything?
For surrogates, the answer is no. The intended parents cover all costs for their surrogate. Therefore, surrogacy is always free to you.
For intended parents, on the other hand, surrogacy can be expensive. That’s because there are a number of professionals, fees and services required to complete the process — from medical procedures to agency services to legal fees to surrogate compensation. It’s important for hopeful parents to fully understand the potential costs of surrogacy before beginning this journey.
13. What if a Surrogate Doesn’t Get Pregnant the First Time?
There is no guarantee that the first embryo transfer will result in a pregnancy. The surrogacy contract signed by intended parents and surrogates will determine the steps to take if an unsuccessful pregnancy occurs.
The fertility clinic will also provide any medical guidance and steps to take for an unsuccessful first transfer.
As with any of your important questions related to surrogacy, speaking to a surrogacy professional means you’ll get the answers you need to get educated and make a more informed decision about your surrogacy journey.
14. How Long Does Surrogacy Take?
This isn’t easy to answer because surrogacy is a unique process. However, intended parents and surrogates can expect anywhere between 1-2 years for a single surrogacy journey when including the screening process, the medical process and pregnancy,
Do you have more surrogacy questions to ask regarding the length of a surrogacy journey? Complete our online contact form to connect to a surrogacy specialist who can answer all of your important surrogacy questions.
15. How Much Contact Takes Place Between Intended Parents and a Surrogate?
One of the most significant benefits of surrogacy is the shared journey between the intended parents and a surrogate.
Because you are taking this surrogacy journey together, having openness and building a lifelong relationship by getting to know each other is essential.
Each surrogacy journey is unique, so you will create your relationship and determine what level of contact is appropriate and what type of contact you prefer.
You can get answers to your surrogacy questions regarding openness and the relationship between intended parents and surrogates when you speak to a surrogacy specialist. Contact one today!
16. What Happens After the Baby is Born?
Your surrogacy specialist will help create a hospital plan that dictates what to expect for the baby’s arrival. Intended parents and surrogates have the opportunity to share the life-changing delivery experience.
After the baby’s birth, intended parents will typically stay in a hospital room with their baby while the surrogate recovers.
Your surrogacy specialist will help prepare everyone for the emotions of the end of your surrogacy journey and the start of a unique, lifelong bond you will share.
17. Can a Surrogate Be a Friend or Family Member?
Yes. When a woman becomes a surrogate for a friend or family member, this is called an “identified surrogacy.”
This type of surrogacy option can present unique emotional challenges, so we strongly encourage you to speak to a surrogacy specialist to get more information.
A professional can always answer your surrogacy questions related to who an intended parent chooses to be a surrogate, as they are well-versed in the various types of surrogacy.
18. Does Surrogacy Present any Physical or Mental Risk for the Baby?
Because surrogacy is still relatively new, long-term studies are still taking place. However, at this stage, surrogacy- and IVF-conceived and born children and adults show no physical differences from anyone else.
These children are just as healthy and well-adjusted as the general population.
On the emotional impact on a child born through surrogacy, it’s really up to the parents to talk to their children about their unique birth story and normalize surrogacy as a family-building method.
Taking the opportunity to have open conversations about how and why surrogacy was used for the birth of a child is an important step intended parents can take to avoid emotional difficulties.
Do you have additional surrogacy questions to ask regarding potential risks for the child in surrogacy? Contact us today to get connected to a surrogacy professional.
19. What About a Potential Custody Battle?
Frequently asked questions about surrogacy often include the subject of custody battles. Because of a handful of high-profile surrogacy cases, it’s a common question: “Can the surrogate keep the baby?” “What if the intended parents don’t take responsibility for the baby when he or she is born?”
In today’s gestational surrogacies, you don’t have to worry. Legal contracts are in place before the medical process can even begin, so it is clear from the beginning that the intended parents will have sole parental rights and responsibilities for the baby.
Additionally, when intended parents work with an experienced surrogacy agency that conducts a detailed screening of surrogates, they match with women who have completed their own families.
These surrogates are also currently raising at least one child and genuinely want to help intended parents live out their dreams of starting a family.
In fact, that’s the whole reason they are pursuing surrogacy — to experience pregnancy again and give the intended parents an incredible gift. They aren’t interested in keeping the baby after birth.
Remember, in gestational surrogacy, the surrogate has no biological connection to the child. In most cases, surrogates don’t feel a strong emotional connection to the child they are carrying.
However, they are thrilled and honored to be the gestational carrier for someone who cannot have a child either physically or biologically.
20. How Do You Get the Surrogacy Process Started?
By contacting a surrogacy specialist!
She can begin taking you through the initial steps and explain every detail of the surrogacy process.
It’s important to work with the right agency to get all of your surrogacy questions answered and ensure that your surrogacy journey is safe, smooth and handled with the care you deserve. Complete our online form to get connected today!