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Step by Step Guide to Surrogacy

Step 1: Outline a clear surrogacy agreement

If you have had to deal with being infertile for years, or it would be impossible for you to carry a pregnancy all the way through, you might have already thought about surrogacy. There are a couple different kinds of surrogacy: traditional and gestational carrier. Here is a quick rundown of how they differ:


  • Traditional surrogacy is when a woman gets pregnant through artificial insemination or IVF. The surrogate’s own egg will be fertilized with outside sperm, either from the father or donor sperm. The child will be genetically related to the surrogate mother.
  • Gestational carrier is different, and they are much more common. The mother-to-be, her egg, is used, or fertilization from the father happens in conjunction with an egg donor.

Whether you choose the first option or the second option, expect the whole process to take about a year and a half.

Step 2: Pick a reliable surrogate agency

If you decide to go for surrogacy, you will have to decide whether you want to go with an agency or do the lion’s share of the work yourself. Working on your own might save you some money, but working with an agency can null out a lot of the stress. Here is a rundown to help you choose an agency now:

  • Big  agencies will take you the whole process, and they will offer the legal, medical, and monetary guidance. They will also help you vet out the surrogates. A large agency will guide you through the whole process, and they will even give you assistance once the baby is given birth to. You could pay upwards of $120,000 to a large agency.
  • Tinier agencies can also take you through the whole process, but they will charge a lot less. Small agencies will help you find the surrogate, send you to a clinic, and give you answers to your legal and monetary questions. You might have to do a lot of the work on your own though. Small agencies are starting to boom because surrogacy is getting really popular.
  • You could decide to get rid of the agencies altogether, and go about it independently. If you have found a friend or relative to be your surrogate, this could be the best option for you. You will have to deal with all the  financial, medical, and insurance questions on your own though. You will save a lot of money, but it could take a toll on your sanity. It would cost upwards of $50,000.

Step 3: Pick your counsel wisely

What happens if you get into an argument with your surrogate? Legal guidance is going to be essential for dealing with any unforeseen consequences of having a surrogate. A legal expert that has a lot of experience in reproductive law is your best bet. They will draw up the contracts for you and your surrogate.

From a psychological perspective, you should have a meeting with your partner, the surrogate, and a psychologist. These counseling meetings will help you keep all the boundaries and emotional health intact during the process.

Step 4: Choose your medical providers prudently

Surrogates should get tested with thorough medical and psychological screenings during the screening process because you have to ensure that they’re good candidates. If you and your spouse are going to be providing the egg and sperm, then you two will have to be screened as well. The screenings should include STDs, medical exams, and more blood work. The costs of the medical checkups, legal costs, and fertility treatments can be very costly. Some health insurance options might make it considerably less expensive. Look into a fertility clinic that you can trust too.



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