What is Surrogacy?
A Surrogate is a woman who agrees to carry a child(ren) for another person or couple. There are two types of surrogacy: Traditional and Gestational.
What is the difference between a Traditional Surrogate and Gestational Surrogate?
A Gestational Surrogate, which is the most common, is a Surrogate who is not genetically connected to the child she is carrying for the Intended Parent(s). The eggs are retrieved from the Intended Mother or an Egg Donor, are fertilized with the prospective father’s sperm or sperm donor, and then transferred to the Surrogate’s womb.
A Traditional Surrogate is a Surrogate who also donates her egg and has a biological link to the child she is carrying for the Intended Parent(s). This is where the Surrogate is artificially inseminated with the Intended Father’s or donor sperm.
Why should I go through an agency vs. going independently?
Discussions over cost, escrow accounts, doctors, lawyers and scheduling appointments can overwhelm and stress the relationship between the Intended Parents and the Surrogate. Having an agency to manage the process and to make sure all of the details are taken care of for you allows the Intended Parents and the Surrogate to relax and enjoy the pregnancy.
What services do you provide?
We match Intended Parents with the right Surrogate for them. Using the details you submit in your profile and from discussions we have with you, we help you identify and choose a Surrogate who has the same preferences and views as you do. Our services also include coordinating the testing of the Surrogate and her spouse/partner; coordinating the background and psychological evaluations; coordinating the contract process between you and your Surrogate; coordinating with the fertility centers, attorneys, psychologists, obstetricians and hospitals. We hold countless meetings and activities that help us in providing personal support to you and your Surrogate and/or your Egg Donor. We are available at all hours and are in touch with you on a regular basis throughout the entire process.
Do you work with gay couples?
Yes! Our policy has always been that those who are ready and willing to take on the responsibility of parenthood regardless of marital status or sexual orientation deserve that opportunity.
How will I be matched with a Surrogate?
All of our Intended Parents and Surrogates complete detailed profiles. In these profiles you will share your personal views on various aspects of Surrogacy. With the login and password we provide to you, you are able to view all of our available profiles and identify a Surrogate you are interested in working with. With your profile in mind and knowing our Surrogates we can help you in choosing your Surrogate. Once you have chosen a Surrogate you are interested in we will share your profile with her and set up a meeting either via phone or in person. Once both of you agree to work together we consider you to be matched!
How long does it take to be matched?
We are one of a few agencies who don’t have a waiting list. Once you have your initial consultation a login/password will be given to you and you can start viewing Surrogate profiles immediately. A match can be made between 1-2 weeks. A match happens once you have spoken to your desired Surrogate, and you have both agreed to work together. Then you will need to officially retain our agency.
What kind of support do you provide before, during and after the surrogacy process?
We understand the process of Surrogacy can be emotionally challenging for everyone involved. We have been Surrogates ourselves and because we know the feelings of Intended Parents we are able to provide support in a professional and compassionate way. We provide you with the tools needed to have a clear path to follow and have the confidence that your needs are being met each and every step of the way. We provide you with frequent updates so that you know exactly where you are in the process. We will also provide you with our personal cell phone numbers so that you can reach us at any hour should you need our assistance. We truly love what we do and care about our Intended Parents, we believe you will feel that while going through this process with us.
Where will the Surrogate give birth?
The Surrogate will give birth to your child(ren) at a hospital that is local to where she resides. This is typically the hospital where she has given birth to her own children.
How many times do I have to come to California?
You are required to come to California for the medical screening and the egg retrieval/fertilization process if you are using your own eggs and/or sperm. You should expect to be here for at least 7 days. It is recommended, but not required that you try to be here at least once during the pregnancy. If possible, we recommend if you are expecting twins that you arrive 6 weeks before the due date and for a single child that you arrive 3 weeks before the due date.
What is the purpose of a Surrogacy Agreement?
The purpose of this legal document is to allow each party to state their intentions and their responsibilities to one another. The agreement will clearly state that the Surrogate does not intend on parenting any resulting child(ren) and does not wish to have physical or legal custody of any resulting child(ren). The surrogacy agreement will also define the rights and responsibilities of the Intended Parents.
Approximately how long will it take to finalize the agreement with my Surrogate?
The finalization and execution of your surrogacy agreement takes approximately 4-6 weeks depending on how quickly you return the necessary information as requested of you. You must account for the time needed for you to review the agreement, as well as the time needed for the surrogate to review the agreement with her attorney. On average, agreements are generally signed within four weeks of the drafts being reviewed and approved by both parties.
Explain the parental rights confirmation process (Parental Establishment)
The parental rights confirmation process aims to establish your rights as parents and terminate the rights of your surrogate (and her husband, if she is married). The process generally begins once you are safely into the second trimester.
Once you have consulted with your attorney and all documents have been reviewed and signed, they will draft and file pleadings for your case in the appropriate state court, and schedule a court hearing. The judges who review these types of cases are familiar with the subject matter and generally work on a regular basis with our attorneys. Generally only one attorney is required to appear at the hearing for both parties involved. Barring any extraordinary circumstances, a judgment is generally issued the same day as the hearing and certified copies are generally available to you directly from your attorney shortly thereafter.
Must we appear in court?
In most cases, the Intended Parents and the Surrogate are not required to make an appearance in court. An attorney will appear on your behalf and answer any questions from the court. Typically, the intended parent’s attorney will represent both parties at this hearing.
Will our names go directly on the birth certificate?
California is one of the few states that both of your names can and will be reflected on the birth certificate.