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What Gestational Surrogates Need to Know

What is gestational surrogacy?

Gestational surrogacy is when a woman carries someone else’s embryo in her uterus. The surrogate does not have a genetic tie to the child. Surrogacy may be needed when a woman can produce viable eggs but cannot maintain the pregnancy. In other situations, when the intended parent has neither healthy eggs nor is able to carry the embryo, an egg donor and a surrogate are used.

What are the requirements?

Gestational surrogates must be between 21 and 38 and have given birth to at least one healthy child. There are also medical, psychological, and health insurance requirements.

Do you have a waiting list for gestational surrogates?

It varies. However, there is a steady demand for women who qualify by age, medical and emotional readiness, and family support network.

Are gestational surrogates pre-screened?

All surrogates are screened by an OB/GYN to determine medical clearance and ability to proceed with a pregnancy. Additionally, a board certified licensed clinical psychologist performs a comprehensive psychological screening on the surrogate and her husband or significant other.

How long does it take to be matched as a surrogate?

Once the medical and psychological screenings are accomplished, the matching process follows immediately. Arrangements are then made to meet with the intended parents. If all parties are in agreement, the process continues and ARR will facilitate the relationship.

Do surrogates need to have insurance with maternity benefits?

Surrogates must have private major medical coverage. Maternity coverage may be purchased at the intended parents’ expense.

What is the compensation for a gestational surrogate?

Our range of compensation is anywhere from $30,000 to $38,000. Compensation may vary due to circumstances such as a multiple pregnancy, cesarean sections or other situations.

Interested in becoming a surrogate?

There’s a huge demand for gestational surrogates. Is it right for you? Complete our online questionnaire and find out!


Video FAQs

Mary Ellen McLaughlin, a registered nurse and partner at ARR, explains and dispels the common myths surrounding gestational surrogacy.

Myth #1: Any woman can be a surrogate. Myth #2: There are few, if any, guidelines to becoming a surrogate. Myth #3: Surrogacy is exploitative, as most surrogates are poor and uneducated.

Nidhi Desai, a well-known attorney specializing in assisted reproductive technology, answers your surrogacy questions below.

What states in the U.S. are surrogacy friendly? What can you do if surrogacy is illegal in one's home state? When a surrogate gives birth, can an intended parent's name be put directly on a child's birth certificate or must the parent legally adopt the child? How are issues such as abortion and selective reduction addressed in the legal contract between intended parents and a surrogate? Can a surrogate refuse to selectively reduce under any circumstances? Can a surrogate sue for custody of the child once she's given birth? How is a surrogate's compensation addressed? How comprehensive are the legal contracts between surrogates and intended parents? Are specific behaviors, such as travel, usually included in an intended parent's contract with a surrogate? If an egg donor, sperm donor and surrogate are all used to create a child for intended parents, who has legal rights over the child at birth? What legal advice would you offer to intended parents who wanted to work with an independent surrogate (as opposed to working with a surrogate through an agency)? If an intended parent resides outside of the U.S., what are the chief legal issues they face when re-entering their country of origin with a child born through surrogacy? What are the primary issues surrogates should be aware of if they are considering proceeding without an agency? What legal protections are in place if intended parents change their mind during a surrogate pregnancy? How are the issues of multiple births and selective reduction addressed from the surrogate's perspective? Can a surrogate change her mind about selective reduction even if it's written in the legal contract? Have you ever personally witnessed a compensation disagreement between a surrogate and the intended parents? Who do you most often represent, intended parents or surrogates? What options are available if a surrogate's insurance policy doesn't cover a surrogate pregnancy? What laws should egg donors be aware of that might impact their specific role? Should all parties have their own legal representation?

  american society of reproductive medicine