Intended Parent FAQs

Common Questions About Surrogacy from IPs

Whether you're still just considering surrogacy as a family-building option, or you're taking the first steps, you probably have plenty of questions about surrogacy. This FAQ can help.

If you’re thinking about expanding your family with the help of a gestational carrier, you probably have some questions about surrogacy. Maybe you’re not sure what surrogacy questions to ask or where to start. A lot of people considering this path find the intended parent surrogacy FAQ below to be helpful.

If you find that you still have surrogacy questions that aren’t answered here, you can always ask one of our specialists at 1-800-875-BABY(2229).

1. Who might choose surrogacy to grow their family?

Anyone who wants to have a baby might choose this family-building path! However, surrogacy is not right for everyone. You should always learn about all your family-building options, as well as the benefits and challenges of surrogacy before deciding to fully commit yourself to this journey.

American Surrogacy has worked with many different types of hopeful parents, but some types of intended parents who choose surrogacy include:

  • Opposite-sex couples who struggled with infertility
  • Same-sex couples who wish to have a genetically related child
  • Single intended fathers who want to have a genetically related child
  • Single intended mothers who cannot carry a child safely to term

2. What is the difference between traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy?

The difference between traditional and gestational surrogacy comes down to whose egg is used. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate’s egg is used, so she is the biological mother of the baby she carries, making it more legally similar to adoption. In gestational surrogacy, the egg of an intended mother or an egg donor is used, and the surrogate is not biologically related to the baby she carries.

Please note: American Surrogacy only completes gestational surrogacies.

3. Does American Surrogacy work with single parents or LGBTQ couples?

Yes and yes. If you meet our intended parent requirements, then we’re able to help you grow your family. We love working with all types of families!

Generally, the surrogacy process is no different for single-parent and same-sex families. However, single parents and LGBTQ parents can sometimes need additional legal measures in their surrogacy process to protect their rights and status as parents, depending on where they live. American Surrogacy is experienced at navigating these issues for our families.

4. Why should I work with a surrogacy agency? Can I do this myself?

You don’t have to work with an agency like American Surrogacy, but you always have to work with an experienced surrogacy attorney and a fertility clinic, at a minimum. However, there are a number of benefits of going through an agency, including protections and services like help finding a surrogate, general case management and oversight and more — see more on that in the question below!

5. What services does American Surrogacy provide for hopeful parents?

We’ll be there for you at every step of your surrogacy journey and beyond. A few of our core services include:

  • Marketing and advertising services to help you find your ideal surrogate
  • Professional support for you and your surrogate before, during and after your baby is born
  • Screening services to ensure your gestational surrogate is safe to work with
  • Referrals to licensed and trusted legal counsel
  • Unlimited matching services so you can find the perfect surrogate for you
  • Coordination services with your fertility clinic, attorneys and hospital so you only need to have one primary point of contact
  • And more!

6. Who are surrogates?

Gestational surrogates are women who:

  • Have already had children of their own
  • Genuinely enjoy being pregnant
  • Are financially stable and don’t need the compensation to get by
  • Have been carefully screened, medically, socially, legally and emotionally, to ensure they’re ready for this and that surrogacy is safe for them
  • Want to help others in a profound and life-changing way

Surrogates are not:

  • Doing this to get rich
  • Hoping to keep your baby
  • “A means to an end” — your relationship with this woman will be important

These are some of the women who are waiting for their ideal intended parent match through American Surrogacy — get to know them through their profiles!

7. How are gestational surrogates screened?

Only a small percentage of women have what it takes to become surrogates. There are physical, emotional, legal and financial requirements that a woman must meet. Gestational surrogates are entrusted with their intended parents’ children: a task that no one takes lightly, least of all her.

Learn more about our requirements for gestational surrogates here.

8. What are the requirements for hopeful intended parents? How are we screened?

Like surrogates, hopeful intended parents need to meet a number of requirements. This is to ensure that you’re ready for the surrogacy journey ahead: emotionally, legally, financially and more. The safety of gestational surrogates and the (future) children at the heart of surrogacy is vital, so it’s important to us that our intended parents are carefully screened.

Learn more about our requirements for intended parents here.

9. How long does surrogacy take?

Anticipate a one- to two-year process. Learn more about the variables that can affect your wait time here.

10. How much does surrogacy cost?

Surrogacy costs can be high. But how much it will cost for you will vary. There are fixed costs, like our agency fees, which we can break down in detail for you, so you know exactly where your money is going. Then there are a number of financial unknowns, like insurance and medical expenses.

You can review our cost structure here, but you’ll need to contact an American Surrogacy specialist to get a more exact estimate based on the variables involved in your situation.

11. Will I need an attorney?

Yes. Intended parents and surrogates should have separate representation from experienced surrogacy attorneys, even if your surrogate partner is someone you know and trust. Here’s why.

If you need help choosing a surrogacy attorney, we’re happy to refer you to reputable attorneys we trust, or offer advice about what to look for in a local A.R.T. legal professional.

12. How do I find a surrogate?

American Surrogacy advertises nationally and partners with attorneys, fertility clinics and social workers throughout the U.S. to help connect intended parents with the right gestational surrogate. Your surrogacy specialist will send your profiles of these surrogates so you can get to know more about them, and she will also share information about you with potential surrogates who may be a good fit for your surrogacy goals and needs. The matching process in surrogacy is a mutual one, so when you and a surrogate express interest in each other’s profiles, you can get to know one another better and move forward with a match!

Intended parents who complete our screening requirements can also review our available surrogacy situations online.

13. What if I already know someone who wants to be my surrogate?

Not a problem! American Surrogacy can help you and your surrogacy partner complete the process so that everyone involved is protected. Learn more about working with a surrogate you know here (and why you should still go through a professional like American Surrogacy in these identified situations).

14. How much contact will I have with the surrogate? What kind of relationship can I expect?

Every surrogate-intended parent relationship is unique and is based on what everyone involved is comfortable with, so the amount of contact you’ll share before, during and after the pregnancy will vary.

However, you’ll discuss the frequency and type of communication you’d like to have when you create your surrogacy contract together, so you all know what to expect. We’ll be here to help mediate your relationship as needed so you can form a bond that hopefully turns into a lasting friendship.

15. Are surrogates related to the baby? Do they have parental rights?

American Surrogacy only completes gestational surrogacies, so the answer is no.

Children will share the intended parents’ genetics, and/or genetics from any egg or sperm donor used for the IVF process. Gestational surrogates are not related to the babies they carry.

Gestational surrogates do not have any legal parental rights to your baby — in your surrogacy contract, you’ll agree to assume parental rights of your child no matter what, and she confirms she claims no parental rights to the baby she’s carrying.

16. Whose name will be on the birth certificate?

That depends on state laws.

Most states permit pre-birth orders, in which case your names would be on your baby’s birth certificate. In states that don’t allow for pre-birth orders, post-birth orders or adoptions are completed, in which case an amended birth certificate is created that will have your names on it.

Your surrogacy specialist and attorney will walk you through this process and what steps are required in your state.

17. Where is surrogacy legal? What legal requirements must be met?

Surrogacy laws in the U.S. vary by state. One of the first steps you’ll need to take is to consult with an American Surrogacy specialist and an experienced surrogacy/ART attorney. Your situation will be unique, so the legal processes required will be tailored to you. In the meantime, you can learn more about the legal steps that may be involved in your surrogacy process here.

18. Will the surrogate want to keep the baby? Can the surrogate keep the baby?

No and no.

The surrogate does bond with your baby — after all; she’ll carry him or her for about nine months. But surrogates describe this feeling more like “extreme babysitting” or like the affection they feel for a niece or nephew. Our surrogates are required to be raising their own children. They aren’t interested in raising yours!

Additionally, when you sign your surrogacy contract with your surrogate and complete whatever legal measures are needed in your state (pre- or post-birth orders), this confirms that your surrogate is legally unable to keep the baby.

19. Can American Surrogacy help me find an egg or sperm donor for the IVF process?

A fertility clinic will be part of your surrogacy journey — they’ll complete the medical aspects of the process. They’ll often have an in-house donor program or a connection to an outside gamete bank if you need to work with a donor to create your embryos.

You may already have a fertility clinic in mind, as some intended parents approach surrogacy after they attempted fertility treatments. But, if you need a referral to a fertility clinic, we can absolutely put you in touch with reputable professionals who will be able to help you find a donor as well as complete your surrogacy processes’ medical steps.

20. Does insurance cover surrogacy?

We know surrogacy insurance is tricky, but we’re adept at making sure you’re as covered as possible. Early on, we’ll review your insurance policy with you. We can help you select a supplemental insurance policy to help cover the costs of your surrogate’s pregnancy if your insurance won’t cover surrogate pregnancies (as many won’t), and we’ll see if IVF costs may be covered for you. We’ll also be coordinating with your surrogate’s insurance policy to get as much coverage as you can.

21. How do I start, and where can I go if I have other questions about surrogacy or need surrogacy help?

Call us at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) to talk to an American Surrogacy specialist now, or begin online here.