Surrogacy for Same Sex Couples

Surrogacy for Same Sex Couples: Things to Know and Expect

Becoming a parent is an exciting and overwhelming decision. For members of the LGBTQ community, navigating parenthood can be even more complex. One option many same-sex couples choose is surrogacy. To help you decide if this path is for you, we’ve outlined the same sex couples surrogacy process and some tips to make your journey to parenthood easier.

The Surrogacy Process for Same Sex Individuals

Surrogacy is a rewarding path for many LGBTQ parents-to-be. The process is similar for all interested couples, regardless of sexual orientation. Typically, it involves an egg and/or sperm donor, surrogate, you, and your partner.

The process begins when a donor’s egg sample is fertilized or when one of the moms-to-be’s egg is fertilized by a sperm donor. The fertilized egg is then transferred to a gestational carrier (also called a surrogate). While the surrogate carries the pregnancy to term, there isn’t a genetic connection between her and the baby.

Like raising a child, the surrogacy process requires more than just the parents. Your friends, family, and experienced professionals are here to support you throughout. Doctors, mental health professionals, and a surrogacy agency can – and should – play a role in your journey.

Timeline for the Surrogacy Process for LGBTQ Couples

One of the most commonly asked questions about surrogacy is how long the process takes. While timelines differ, the process often goes quicker and smoother when a couple works with an experienced surrogacy agency. Here’s what you can expect from each phase of the process.

Match with a Surrogate

After you’ve found an egg or sperm donor, it’s time to match with a surrogate. You probably want to find a surrogate and become a parent as fast as possible, but this process takes time.

Surrogate agencies can match you with the right gestational carrier faster. Most agencies take 9-18 months to match. At the Fertility Agency, we can match surrogates and parents in as little as five months. We advise all intended parents to get on the match list while they create embryos so they are at the top of the list to get matched with a surrogate as soon as their embryos are ready for implantation.

Embryo Transfer

After the embryos are fertilized and monitored in a lab for 3-5 days, they can be transferred immediately or cryopreserved for a later transfer date. Cryopreserved embryos last for years, giving you and your partner time to find the right surrogate.

Once you find her, the embryo is transferred as she (and hopefully you and your partner) watch on an ultrasound. While this process is easy, there is an 10-14 day waiting period, which can lead to some anxiety. Within 2 weeks, you, your partner, and the surrogate will know if the transfer was successful.

Surrogacy Pregnancy

The embryo is successfully transferred, and it’s time to design the baby’s nursery and prepare for the birth. While you do this, your surrogate will be released from the care of your fertility doctor and transition to her OB. When the big day is getting close, you will join your surrogate in her home state and await baby’s arrival. After, your parenting journey begins.

Potential Challenges for Same Sex Surrogacy

For the most part, surrogacy for a same-sex couple is indistinguishable from the process for a heterosexual couple. The only difference that may delay the process is if both partners want to be genetically intended fathers.

When this happens, you and your partner both fertilize one-half of the eggs. It can take longer to find an experienced donor for this process, which is where the delay originates.

There are also more general challenges anyone should consider:

  • Finances – surrogacy is a serious financial investment. Taking the time to understand the fees and create a budget can help.
  • Difficulty choosing a surrogate or egg donor – for many couples, choosing the egg donor or surrogate can be quite the challenge. Fortunately, working with an experienced agency often eliminates this barrier. Learn more about finding egg donors through The Fertility Agency.
  • Establishing parental rights – depending on the state, it can be tricky to establish the parental rights of both partners. To overcome this barrier, the Fertility Agency works in surro-friendly states and can connect you with knowledgeable surrogacy attorneys who will make sure your unique circumstances are accounted for.
  • Mental health – the surrogacy process can impact your mental health. Working with an agency that provides access to mental health providers and resources makes a huge difference.

Laws Regarding Same Sex Couples Surrogacy

Same sex couples living in the United States and around the world face unique legal and cultural considerations. Since 2004, we have worked with same-sex couples to find states that are gay- and surro-friendly.

In most states, the laws around surrogacy for gay and heterosexual couples are similar, though there are a few differences since one partner in an LGBTQ relationship is not a biological parent.

Usually, you can ensure a non-biological parent’s name is on the birth certificate through a pre-birth order, a post-birth order, or a custody order. In some states, a second-parent adoption is required for the non-biological parent, though we only recommend this if no other options are available.

To navigate these laws and any other concerns you may have, it’s best to work with a surrogacy agency with decades of experience, such as the Fertility Agency. Since 2004, The Fertility Agency has helped bring over 1100+ babies into the world, including for households with same sex parents. We work with parents, egg donors, and surrogates no matter their sexual orientation, relationship status, location, ethnicity, etc. Contact us to learn more about same sex couples surrogacy.

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