Surrogacy Questions Asked by Gay Men
As a gay man, you’ve made the momentous decision to become a parent through surrogacy. Congratulations! Many of the issues you now face are the same as those issues faced by any intended parents choosing surrogacy. However, there are some specific questions that you should be asking before you embark upon this wondrous journey.
According to a study conducted by the Chicago Tribune in 2016, surrogacy is gradually becoming a more popular way for gay men to have babies. Up to 20 percent of all donor eggs are going to gay men who are making the decision to have a baby via surrogacy. These numbers represent a 50 percent increase from the number of gay men using surrogacy just five years ago.
The scientific world has realized that gay men and LGBTQ intended parents have the same rights to pursue surrogacy as heterosexual couples. Getting the law to recognize these rights, however, is a different matter. Unfortunately, laws on surrogacy and the rights of gay men vary from state to state. This is another reason that there are special questions gay men must ask when pursuing parenthood through surrogacy.
Below are just a few of the many issues that gay men considering surrogacy should consider.
Should I Pursue Gestational Surrogacy or Traditional Surrogacy?
One of the most important issues to keep in mind when contemplating surrogacy is the fact that there are two types of surrogacy: gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy.
In gestational surrogacy, a surrogate mother carries a baby that is created through in vitro fertilization, using a donated egg and the sperm from one of the intended parents. The gestational surrogate does not have a genetic connection to the child.
Under traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother carries a baby that is conceived through artificial insemination using her egg and the sperm from one of the intended parents. The traditional surrogate does have a genetic connection to the child.
Gestational surrogacy is often preferred by gay men, as it allows one partner to have a genetic connection to the child. In fact, some gay couples decide to both provide sperm samples. In that way, they will not know which one was used and which partner has the genetic connection to the child.
Like many surrogacy agencies, Simple Surrogacy works with gestational surrogates, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is quickly becoming the more common form of surrogacy in the United States. The number of gestational surrogates has increased from one percent of all surrogates in 1999 to two and a half percent by 2013.
What are the Laws Surrounding Surrogacy in My State?
Unfortunately, state surrogacy laws vary from one state to the next, are even trickier when it comes to gay men and surrogacy. Some states insist that a gay couple be legally married before pursuing surrogacy services. Other states have few legal restrictions on gestational surrogacy. Still other states have no, or few, laws regarding gestational surrogacy.
Simple Surrogacy is well-versed in the laws of every state and can help gay men navigate throughout the entire process, from egg donation to choosing a gestational surrogate. Simple Surrogacy provides legal representation for everyone involved in the surrogacy process. Separate representation is given to each of the gay men in the couple, as well as to the surrogate. We can help you to determine the laws in your state and work out all the legal details as the process moves along.
How Will I Finance Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is not an inexpensive proposition, but it doesn’t have to be cost-prohibitive. There are various ways to pay for surrogacy expenses. Check with your employer to see if insurance is offered that will cover surrogacy expenses. You may also be able to use flex spending dollars towards paying for surrogacy.
Some states do not allow surrogate mothers to be financially compensated, while others do, and this is a key factor to take into consideration when determining costs. Because of the differences from one state to the next, it is estimated that surrogacy costs between $90,000 and $150,000.
Simple Surrogacy will conduct a full background check of all intended parents before beginning the process and will help them to determine if it is an affordable option. Because of our network of professionals, you will find that our fees are lower than those of other major surrogacy agencies.
Simple Surrogacy works with intended parents to determine the best financing options for their individual cases as well as what payment plans are available. In fact, Simple Surrogacy works directly with lenders, medical professionals and legal professionals to make surrogacy more affordable for gay men and other intended parents.
What Are the Advantages of Using a Surrogate Agency?
Some gay men who are intended parents mistakenly believe that they can arrange surrogacy on their own. They quickly come to discover, however, that the surrogacy process is much more involved and complicated than they had expected. Working with a surrogate agency not only protects you as the intended parent, but also offers trained professionals to guide you every step of the way through the surrogacy process.
Simple Surrogacy has much experience in screening gestational surrogates and matching them to gay men/gay couples. A relationship may even be formed between the intended parents and the surrogate, if both sides agree. Simple Surrogacy will also help you navigate the legal morass that surrogacy can trigger depending upon the state in which you live.
What Is the Agency’s Egg Donor and Gestational Surrogate Screening Process?
Surrogacy agencies must follow guidelines established by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine and the Food and Drug Administration in screening egg donors and potential gestational surrogates. Simple Surrogacy has an involved background check and screening process for all donors and potential surrogates. Complete criminal, psychological, medical, financial and background investigations as well as interviews are conducted on all potential surrogates and donors.
Because of this rigorous screening, only two out of ten surrogate applicants are admitted to our database. By the end of the screening process, you can be assured that the person to whom you are matched in Simple Surrogacy’s database is the right choice for you.
What Type of Relationship Do I/We Want With our Surrogate After Birth?
Whether you choose gestational surrogacy or traditional surrogacy, and whether you decide to use a surrogacy agency such as Simple Surrogacy or go it alone, you and your partner need to decide what type of relationship, if any, you desire to have with your surrogate after the baby is born. This agreement should be written down and legalized so that none of the parties can change their minds later.
Simple Surrogacy works with trained legal professionals who are experienced in drafting such agreements. We can help you to craft a legally binding relationship with your surrogate so that each member of the agreement knows what is expected of him or her.
How Will I/We Establish Legal Parental Rights After Birth?
Once again, the laws of your state will help to determine how to establish your legal parental rights after the baby is born. Another determining factor is whether you or your partner has donated sperm to the embryo and therefore have genetic rights. In this case, the other partner will need to pursue parental rights after the child’s birth. There are typically three ways that this can be done – through a pre- or post-birth order, a second-parent adoption, or a stepparent adoption. Parental status and rights will also depend upon your marital status.
Simple Surrogacy is based in Dallas, Texas and benefits from the state’s minimally restrictive laws. Parents who are related to the child as well as those who are not are fully supported legally in Texas, and both parents are listed on the birth certificate. We have a network of experienced legal experts who are familiar with the laws of every state and can help you to figure out the best method for establishing legal parental rights in your case. We will help to make sure that your parental rights will be protected if you move from one state to another as well.
If you have further questions about becoming an intended parent as a gay man, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our specialists. Professionals at our Dallas, Texas agency will explain the ins and outs of surrogacy and the many advantages of working with us. Contact us at 1-866-41-SURRO for more information.