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Commercial Surrogacy–Everything You Need to Know

At SurrogateFirst, our agency strives to provide intended parents with the full range of commercial surrogacy services. Truly, our passion is helping couples or single individuals fulfill their dream of starting a family, but it’s only natural to have plenty of questions at the beginning.

Which different forms of surrogacy are available? Is commercial surrogacy allowed in all 50 states? And what can surrogates expect after birthing a child?

If you’re considering surrogacy, you probably have even more questions; the difficulty is finding answers online you can rely upon to make the right decision because choosing surrogacy is never easy. 

So, we feel it’s helpful to discuss the top four questions about commercial surrogacy that we hear from both potential surrogates and intended parents.

If you have further questions, don’t be shy about contacting our office to learn more specifics, but until then, these are the most common inquiries we answer.

What is commercial surrogacy?

At the end of the day, the definition of commercial surrogacy is pretty straightforward: it’s when you compensate a surrogate for carrying a child to term on your behalf. She’ll receive hefty base compensation in addition to other perks like prenatal health care and, sometimes, reimbursement for lost wages during the pregnancy.

In our experience, the provisions of commercial surrogacy contracts come in so many shapes and sizes that it’s challenging to include all types in one article.

commercial surrogacy

For instance, other compensation may include mental health care or reimbursement for any of the surrogate’s travel expenses. Although the terms of the commercial surrogacy agreement aren’t as extensive at different times, the general idea is to make sure that all parties understand what surrogacy entails.

Where is commercial surrogacy legal?

In the U.S., state governments make and enforce commercial surrogacy laws, which creates a patchwork of regulations and licensing that varies widely across the country.

Besides, the main takeaway is that the federal government doesn’t expressly forbid and outlaw surrogacy contracts. You can’t say that about other parts of the world, especially in Europe, that have outright banned any form of surrogacy.

The good news for U.S. citizens is that commercial surrogacy contracts are legal in most states. Only Michigan, Nebraska, and Louisiana have made commercial surrogacy effectively null and void.

Although a U.S. state may permit an incredibly narrow type of surrogacy, the outcome is that intended parents inevitably go elsewhere rather than endure a year-long qualification and screening process similar to adoption.

Consider surrogacy law in Louisiana as a prime example of how restrictive laws can be in some states. Only heterosexual married couples can arrange surrogacy in Louisiana, and the agreement can involve no monetary compensation whatsoever. Thus, commercial surrogacy in its modern form is effectively outlawed in Louisiana.

On the other hand, commercial surrogacy is perfectly legal in states like California, New York, and Texas with reasonable restrictions. Just remember to ask us about your particular state, and our legal experts can give you an idea of what the laws are like in your home state.

Is international commercial surrogacy worth the risk?

The bottom line about international commercial surrogacy is this: is it worth the risk of failing in the end due to an unanticipated legal setback? It’s a mistake to assume that other parts of the world have parentage laws comparable to the United States.

In our country, you can get pre-birth orders that specify parentage when the child comes into the world, but that’s not the case in nations like Mexico.

What could go wrong is that the international surrogate could change her mind or refuse to comply with the contract’s basic requirements. Then, if parentage and commercial surrogacy laws aren’t clear, the U.S. intended parents have little recourse under the law – and end up paying for nothing in return.

Since we don’t want you to become a victim of unscrupulous commercial surrogacy agencies overseas, give us a call if you have any doubt whatsoever.

In our experience, choosing an agency in the United States provides the most protection – both legal and moral.

What are the benefits of commercial surrogacy in the United States?

That said, what’s the benefit of agreeing to surrogacy? First, base compensation for surrogates in the United States is much higher than in other parts of the world.

The idea is that it’s only fair to compensate a surrogate for the rigors of pregnancy and the recovery time after the child is born. Another benefit is that intended parents don’t have to find someone who will endure pregnancy with no financial compensation.

The main downside to commercial surrogacy is the final price. It’s far less expensive if you find a surrogate willing to carry your child to term for free. Others say that it exploits women, but we couldn’t disagree more at SurrogateFirst. Here, we help couples make their dream of raising a child come true.

In the end, if you’re thinking about pursuing commercial surrogacy as a surrogate, couple, or a single individual, it’s only natural to have even more questions. 

When you need reliable answers about surrogacy, we’re here to guide you through the process from start to finish.

About SurrogateFirst

At SurrogateFirst, we’re a boutique surrogate agency specializing in quickly matching intended parents around the world with our fully-vetted, exceptional surrogates.

We help individuals and couples, regardless of race or sexual orientation, build their families through the miracle of surrogacy.

Every team member at SurrogateFirst is either a former intended parent or an experienced surrogate herself. We also have first-hand knowledge of what it takes to have an incredible, successful surrogate journey.

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