The surrogacy process can be a lengthy, complicated, and emotional journey for the intended parents as well as the surrogate. It can also be quite costly – not only in terms of fertility treatments and medication but legal fees as well. For these reasons, it’s important for any prospective surrogate and their partners to understand what they are getting into before starting the journey.
In the United States, there are 2 different types of surrogacy: gestational and traditional. A traditional surrogate is a woman who artificially inseminates her own egg with the father’s sperm and then carries the pregnancy to term for the intending couple to raise. The woman may or may not be compensated, depending on her relationship with the family. Often, the surrogate and her partner keep in touch with the intended parents throughout the pregnancy.
Gestural surrogacy surrogacy in oregon is more common – it is used for women who don’t have their own fertilized eggs (either because they had a hysterectomy or were born with a hetrotopic uterus) or who have medical issues that would make them unable to carry a child to term, like a history of uterine surgeries such as fibroid surgery or multiple dilation and curettage procedures, explains Sheeva Talebian, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist at CCRM Fertility in New York City. Surrogacy is also an option for same-sex couples who cannot conceive, or for single men and women who want to be parents but have no biological children of their own.
When choosing a surrogate, it is important for both parties to get counseling before the process begins. This can help both the surrogate and her partner better understand the journey ahead of them and the impact it can have on their own relationships and their family. Additionally, it is important to ensure that both parties are protected with a legal contract. A lawyer who specializes in reproductive law is essential to draft this document, as it will include the terms of the arrangement, legal and financial obligations, and any possible contingencies.
Once a surrogate has been matched with the intended parent/s, she will begin taking medications to prepare her body for an embryo transfer. Depending on the clinic, this process can take anywhere from 18 to 24 months from start to finish.
During this time, the surrogate and her partner (if applicable) will meet with their own mental health counselors and get a background check done. They will also meet with the intended parent/s and discuss any medical concerns or questions they have about the pregnancy. Many agencies will provide psychological counseling to both parties as well as after certain milestones such as the embryo transfer.
The costs of surrogacy can vary depending on the clinic, the surrogate’s health insurance coverage, and other factors. Typically, intended parents will pay for the mental health screenings for themselves and their surrogate ($2,500), and there will be costs for criminal and medical screenings for both the surrogate and her partner ($1,000). In addition, there will likely be legal fees for drafting and reviewing a contract, establishing parental rights ($4,000 to $7,500) and managing the trust account for the gestational carrier ($1,250). These expenses can add up quickly, and it’s important for potential surrogates and their partners to have an accurate picture of what they can expect financially before making the decision to proceed.