Surrogacy is a big step to take in anyone’s life, and if you’re interested in becoming an intended parent and having a child via surrogacy, then we know you’re going to have a lot of questions. So, with that in mind, we’ve taken some of the most common questions our gay intended parents have about surrogacy to help get you started.
Gay Surrogacy FAQ
Q: Do you work with same-sex couples?
A: Yes! The Illinois Surrogate Agency welcomes all qualifying individuals that are interested in building a family through gestational surrogacy, regardless of sexual orientation or marital status.
Q: Why should I choose gestational surrogacy?
A: There are many different reasons people choose gestational surrogacy as their method of choice for building their families. In times past, infertile couples were faced with very limited choices – often, it was either adoption or nothing. Today, though, you have another option in the form of gestational surrogacy. The surrogacy process offers a great alternative to adoption and other infertility solutions, especially for gay and lesbian couples, and many parents choose to go this route because gestational surrogacy provides you with a way of having a child that is actually genetically related to one of the intended parents.
Q: What is the difference between traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy?
A: In traditional surrogacy, a woman carries and gives birth to a child conceived from her own egg, and then grants parental rights of the child to another party (the intended parents) after the baby is born. Depending on the wishes of the parties involved and the circumstances of the intended parents, the sperm used may be either the intended father’s or donor sperm, but the child in a traditional surrogacy arrangement will always have a genetic link to the surrogate mother herself.
Gestational surrogacy works differently. With gestational surrogacy, the surrogate mother will carry a child that is conceived via IVF using eggs and/or sperm from one or both of the intended parents, or via donor eggs and sperm, and she will have no genetic relationship to the child. In this way, you, as the intended parents, can have a child that is genetically related to one of you.
Q: Do you screen surrogate mothers before matching them with intended parents?
A: Yes, we absolutely do! The Illinois Surrogate Agency is a premium surrogacy service committed to assisting people build the families of their dreams, and in order for everyone to have a successful and rewarding experience, we employ a careful screening process before a woman is approved and made available to be matched with our intended parents. Through this careful and thorough screening, we are able to ensure only the best possible candidates participate in our programs. The screening process also allows us to match surrogates to the right intended parents, so no ideological, religious, or other personal conflicts will cause any problems during the surrogacy experience.
As part of our pre-screening process, a potential surrogate candidate with the Illinois Surrogate Agency must answer the following questions affirmatively:
- Are you between the ages of 21 and 39?
- Have you delivered one or more children that you are currently raising?
- Have you had no more than 4 deliveries and no more than 1 C-section?
- Have you had past pregnancies without complications (for example: gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia)?
- Are you a non-smoker, living in a non-smoking home?
- Do you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or less?
- Do you own a vehicle, for transportation to and from appointments?
- Are you not currently receiving federal/state financial assistance?
- Do you have no history of arrests or substance abuse?
- Will you undergo a background check (husband/partner needs to as well)?
- Will you undergo medical examination (STD’s/drug test/Hepatitis test/pelvic exam, etc.)?
We also screen candidates to ensure that they not only have the drive to help others in this unique and special way, but actually love being pregnant, too. You’ll review the profiles of the surrogates we think would make a good match, and you’ll also get the chance to meet your surrogate in person before any contracts are signed, in order to make sure everyone is comfortable with moving forward together.
Q: How will our surrogate mother be paid?
A: Once the surrogacy agreement is signed, you will then need to place the necessary funds into an escrow account, after which the surrogate mother will be paid according to the terms set down in your agreement. Your surrogate will be paid portions of her stipend throughout the process of getting pregnant and during the time she is pregnant, according to your agreement, and then the bulk of her payment will be released following the delivery of the baby.
Q: How do I get started?
A: To find the surrogate mother that’s right for you and your family, simply fill out our free and easy online application and a Illinois Surrogate Agency case manager will contact you to discuss your application, answer any questions you might have, and outline the next steps.