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What is Gestational Surrogacy?

Here at SurrogateFirst, we want you to understand gestational surrogacy and what it entails. Here, we break down what a gestational surrogate is and how they differ from traditional surrogates. This will be especially helpful to you if you are a same-sex couple or other parties to whom traditional surrogacy is not an option.  

gestational surrogate for gay parents

What is a gestational surrogate? 

A gestational surrogate is not biologically related to the child they will carry. The embryo is created via in vitro fertilization (IVF) with the egg and sperm of the intended parents or chosen donors, and is then transferred to the surrogate. This type of surrogacy is sometimes called ‘host surrogacy’ or ‘full surrogacy’. Usually, one intended parent is genetically related to the child, and the surrogate is not at all. This makes gestational surrogacy less legally complicated as stepparent osecond-parent adoption is not required.  

What is the difference between a gestational surrogate and a traditional surrogate? 

In contrast to the above, a traditional surrogate is the biological mother of the child. 

The embryo is created with the biological mother’s egg, either through intrauterine insemination with the intended father’s sperm, or through IVF. Traditional surrogacy is the better option for you if you are uncomfortable with anonymous donors, looking to reduce the cost of the surrogacy, or even if you can’t find an egg donor you like.  

What are the benefits of using a gestational surrogate? 

With gestational surrogacy, there is no genetic link between the child and the surrogate. This makes things easier legally, and often emotionally. Additionally, if you wish to be the genetic mother of your child, gestational surrogacy is the better option. In some states, traditional surrogacy is outlawed. If this is the case in your state, then gestational surrogacy will need to be your option. 

Is gestational surrogacy legal? 

Yes. While the laws regarding gestational surrogacy vary from state to state, it is recommended that both the surrogate and you as the intended parent(s) have independent representation by surrogacy lawyers who are experienced with gestational surrogacy in the state(s) where the parties live, will receive obstetric care, and eventually deliver. The contract between you and your surrogate should address issues regarding the number of embryos to be transferred, testing of the fetus regularly during the pregnancy, and contingency plans for abnormal test results. Your decisions, including all these, should always be made after appropriate counseling with your infertility specialist, obstetrician, and SurrogateFirst. 

If you have found that any of the above resonated with you, then gestational surrogacy is probably the best option for you. Rather than second-guess, contact us for information and the beginning of your surrogacy journey.  

Gestational Surrogacy 101 

When contemplating becoming a surrogate, the final decision will be life-changing. Not only your own life, and the lives of the family you help, if you choose to do so. Surrogacy is often the best choice for people who are trying to have a child but are unable to naturally. Being a surrogate for a family is the most amazing gift you could give them, but the emotional and physical process for you requires a great measure of strength, selflessness and dedication. Some surrogates may find themselves uneasy at the thought of traditional surrogacy, but still grapple with the desire to help a family have a child. We would like to offer you the option of becoming a gestational surrogate. 

Who can be a gestational surrogate? 

A gestational surrogate is not biologically related to the child they will carry. This is a great fit for you if you feel strongly about being biologically related to the child that you will give up to another family.  

Along with the awareness of the emotional, mental and physical toll that being a gestational surrogate will take on you, there are additional requirements.

Requirements to become a gestational surrogate:

  • Age between 21-40 years old 
  • BMI between 18-32 
  • Be a U.S. citizen, legal resident or legal immigrant 
  • Live in a surrogate-friendly state in the U.S. 
  • Not currently on governmental financial support 
  • Healthy reproductive history with no major complications during pregnancies and birth 
  • Must have given birth to and be raising at least one child 
  • Six months need to pass since last vaginal or cesarean birth 
  • Be willing to undergo subcutaneous and intramuscular injections 
  • A non-smoker living in a non-smoking home 
  • No history of criminal activity, no felony convictions 
  • Must not use illicit drugs 
  • No history of clinical mental illness 
  • Cannot be on anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication for past 12 months 
  • Must allow background checks both Surrogate and husband/partner 
  • Surrogate and Partner willing to undergo psychological consultation 
  • Ability to travel as needed for surrogacy appointments and potential overnight stays 
  • Must agree to a home visit with all persons and pets currently residing in the home  

How much is gestational surrogacy? 

The cost of gestational surrogacy depends on a large number of factors. Which state you live in, how many professionals are involved, the medical technology that will be used during your surrogacy, and commitment that you are making when you decide you are willing to carry a baby for another family. 

In general, the total cost of gestational surrogacy can range from $75,000–$150,000. This total cost accounts for all necessary medical expenses, attorney fees, counseling costs, agency fees, and surrogate living expenses and compensation. Many of these expenses are variable; for example, the surrogate mother’s monthly allowance may vary based on where she lives, and attorney fees may differ depending on state laws and legal processes. 

In addition, insurance may not cover the medical expenses for intended parents and their surrogates, and there are fewer financing options available to intended parents than to adoptive families. You should work closely with us to determine a more accurate figure of the cost of their surrogacy, and budget accordingly. 

How much does a gestational surrogate get compensated? 

This is entirely between you and the intended parents. We are happy to help you and the intended parents discuss this and all other facets of your agreement. As a rough estimate, you may be compensated something like 20-35 thousand U.S. Dollars. Again, this is a rough estimate and it’s better if you schedule a consultation with us. It’s free!  

If you have found that any of the above resonated with you, then gestational surrogacy may be for you. Rather than second-guess, contact us for information and the beginning of your surrogacy journey.  

SurrogateFirst helps individuals and couples, regardless of race or sexual orientation, build their families through the miracle of surrogacy. We are a boutique surrogate agency that specializes in quickly matching Intended Parents around the world with our fully-vetted, exceptional surrogates. Every team member at SurrogateFirst is either a former intended parent or experienced surrogate; we have first-hand knowledge of what it takes to have an amazing, successful surrogate journey. Let us help you on yours. 


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