Intended Parents FAQ

Common Questions From Intended Parents

Intended Parents FAQ2020-04-09T07:41:08-07:00


Intended Parents FAQ

As you consider surrogacy, you may have questions along the way. With many experienced surrogates on staff, we’ve helped intended parents navigate their surrogacy journeys successfully, and have answered almost every question out there!

If you have specific questions that are not reflected, feel free to contact us.

Where is surrogacy legal?2020-04-01T09:21:14-07:00

In the United States, surrogacy is legal in many states, but it is an ever-changing legal landscape. Also, not every state is right for every intended parent. For instance, some states do not recognize non-biological parents, or same-sex couples. Before you receive the profile of a potential surrogate, we will have already done the work of verifying that the surrogate’s state matches your legal requirements.

Will there be contracts with my surrogate?2020-04-01T09:21:48-07:00

Yes. Once you are matched with a surrogate and/or egg donor, we will draft an agreement and negotiate it on your behalf with your carrier or egg donor’s independent attorney. These contracts cover everything from the medical procedure to your surrogate’s reimbursements to the relationship with the child.

How am I protected legally?2020-04-01T09:23:47-07:00

For one, both you and the surrogate will need legal representation from two separate attorneys. These firms have experience in working with both domestic and international parents and in many cases, offer translation services. There will be a surrogacy contract created by your legal representation that protects both you and the surrogate under United States and State law. Your contract can vary depending on your needs and those of the surrogate’s. Additionally, all fees intended for the surrogate are held by a neutral escrow company, and are paid in stages to the providers and the surrogate throughout the duration of the contract and pregnancy.

Can I enter the process regardless of my relationship status?2020-04-01T09:24:23-07:00

Of course! We work with intended parents of all backgrounds—single individuals, same-sex couples and heterosexual couples.

Can I be a parent if me or my partner is HIV+?2020-08-26T06:16:37-07:00

Yes. Thanks to the HIV Assisted Reproductive Technologies Program (HART), intended parents who are HIV+ are able to grow their families with surrogacy. Through a sperm washing technique and HIV testing, it is possible for HIV+ men to safely father a biological child of their own with no risk to the baby or surrogate.

How long does the whole surrogacy process take?2020-04-01T09:25:45-07:00

The length of the process depends on several factors. We typically tell intended parents that they should plan on a year and a half from the time they sign on with our agency until they have a child, although it can be quicker or longer depending on the legal requirements involved and the course of the IVF treatment.

How are surrogate applicants screened?2020-04-01T09:26:19-07:00

A woman applies to become a surrogate with us by filling out a detailed questionnaire. We review her answers and if we think she would be a good fit for our program, a consulting IVF physician examines her medical records, including a history of recent pregnancies. We also review any medical insurance plans. Next, she participates in a detailed assessment by phone with one of our licensed social workers. We evaluate the applicant’s support network and run a criminal background and bankruptcy/judgment history check on her and her husband/partner.

How does the matching process work?2020-04-01T09:27:24-07:00

You’ll begin by completing our intended parents registration.

Once we have received an intended parents application, our matching team will have a matching consultation meeting with the intended parents to confirm intended parents’ matching preferences and determine possible matching options.

We will send the redacted profile of the intended parents (with no identifying information) to the surrogate. If she expresses interest, we will send her profile to the intended parents, similarly leaving out all identifying information. Once the surrogate and the prospective parents express a mutual interest, we will put them in touch by telephone, Skype or email so they can begin to get to know each other. Once the surrogate and intended parents agree to help one another, we have an “official match”.

Will I have contact with my surrogate?2020-04-01T09:27:56-07:00

Openness, honesty and communication are our core values. We encourage building meaningful relationships that will continue to exist throughout the life of the child. Intended parents are encouraged to visit their surrogate in her hometown at least once – and when possible, more often – to get to knew her family and where she’s from.

Where will my surrogate deliver my child?2020-04-01T09:28:37-07:00

Most of our surrogates already have relationships with an obstetrician/gynecologist (OBGYN) and many will deliver at the same hospital where they gave birth to their own children. All surrogates will deliver at a hospital near their home. The decision about where to deliver is typically made in conjunction with the OBGYN and the insurance company, which may have a network of approved providers and hospitals.

Intended parents often wish to be a part of the labor and delivery process. Hospital policy and your surrogate’s comfort play a large role in determining who will be able to be present in the delivery room. Following the birth, the baby will either remain in the nursery or a room assigned to you. According to most hospital policies, the child cannot be released from the hospital until the surrogate has been released.

Does the hospital need to have a NICU?2020-04-01T09:29:11-07:00

Yes! It is mandatory that the hospital has a good maternity department and a neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU).

How many visits will I have to make to the United States?2020-04-01T09:29:51-07:00

If you live abroad, you will be required to come to the United States 2-3 times (for the creation of the embryos at the IVF Clinic and the eventual delivery of the child), but it is more common for international intended parents to visit about 4 times during the process.

The first preferred visit is to meet your surrogate, once you are matched, and complete the medical screening at the IVF clinic. The second is for the IVF procedure and embryo transfer. The third visit is for the 20-week ultrasound scan. And the final visit is for the birth of your child. Of course, if you and your surrogate choose, you can visit more frequently.

How long should I expect to be in the United States during and after the delivery?2020-04-01T09:31:06-07:00

This varies based the legal work required and the procedures in the state in which the child was delivered. As a general rule, we advise international intended parents to plan on returning home after 2-4 weeks, to allow ample time for any DNA testing, court proceedings, the issuance of any birth certificates and the application for any visas and/or passports. We will guide you through this process. Depending on legal work, you may be able to go home sooner.

If I don’t live in the United States, how will my child get a passport?2020-04-01T09:31:46-07:00

Children who are born in the United States are automatically entitled to for U.S. citizenship and U.S. passports, regardless of the citizenship of their intended parents. As a result, most intended parents who pursue surrogacy in the United States are able to return home with their children without first obtaining a passport from their native country. Nevertheless, some international intended parents may choose to or be required to obtain either passports or temporary visas for their children at a local consulate in the United States in order to return home after the birth. Intended parents should consult with immigration attorneys in their native countries for information about the best procedures for returning home with their children. We will assist you in getting the US passport.

What does the legal process involve before and after the birth?2020-04-01T09:32:17-07:00

We coordinate with local attorneys to ensure that you are properly matched with a surrogate in a state where you can accomplish the necessary legal work to finalize your parental rights. You will need to have wills finalized prior to the embryo transfer that ensure that a guardian is in place to care for your children in the event of your death. Once you are matched, we negotiate contracts on your behalf with independent attorneys who represent the egg donor and/or surrogate. We work with local attorneys in the states where the surrogates reside in order to accomplish the legal work necessary to secure your parental rights. Depending on a variety of factors, your surrogacy legal work may include a pre-birth order, a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity, a judgment of paternity, a custody orders, or an adoption.

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