Is CA the best state for surrogacy or should I be open to other states?
While California does provide superior reproductive medical care, fertility treatment options, and laws that uphold the surrogacy contract – it is not the only good state to work in. There are other states where you can be assured that your parental rights will be protected no matter if you are a same sex couple or single parent, and/or using an egg donor and/or a sperm donor. You will find that we are quite knowledgeable in regards to what states and clinics offer the most compassionate and supportive care for same sex and single IPs. So is CA the best state for surrogacy? For some people it may be, but for others you have many options. Talk to us about your specific situation and we can advise you based on your particular needs. Our motto has always been “let us find the best surrogate for you, not just the best location.”
Will both of our names go on the birth certificate?
This is determined by the state in which your surrogate gives birth. If you want to work in a state where both of your names are placed on the birth certificate we will make certain that we select a surrogate that will give birth in a state where that is possible. The laws are constantly changing so we work with legal professionals that can help guide you and us in the most current laws and in making the right decisions for you. Some same sex IPs choose to work with a surrogate who lives in a state where one IP goes directly on the birth certificate and the other does a step parent adoption. In either case, we work to fulfill your desires, and most of our same sex IPs do prefer work with surrogates in states where both of their names go directly on the birth certificate.
Will the surrogate’s name go on the birth certificate?
Again, this will be dependent upon what state your surrogate gives birth in but we strongly recommend that you work with a surrogate who lives in a state where both of your names do go on the birth certificate so that you will have fewer legal complexities post birth.
How will I know that my GS is okay working with a gay IP?
Our agency specifically asks each potential candidate if she is open to working with a same sex couple, and/or a single IP. Some are but do not have the support of their spouse or partner. If that is the case, we do not match them with a same sex couple or single. We make absolutely sure that both the surrogate and her partner are open and excited about working with same sex IPs. That being said, we have had no shortage of women who have a strong support system and are open to working with gay and or single IPs.
Have you worked with other gay Intended Parents?
While we do not market ourselves as specialists in the gay community, at any given time 30 – 40% of our Intended Parents are gay. Our agency does not discriminate on age, religion, sexual orientation or marital status. We feel that everyone who wants to be a parent deserves the opportunity and we welcome the chance to be a part of their journey to parenthood.
I am HIV+, will you be able to find a match for me?
In the past few years we’ve had quite a few HIV+ IPs. While not every GS is open to working with them, we have been able to find wonderful GS matches for them who are open to it. If needed, we can also put the IPs directly in touch with top reproductive clinics that are familiar with working with HIV+ patients. In addition, we always have the surrogate speak in great detail to the RE as well as an HIV specialist in regards to the risks involved for her.
I am HIV+, is there a risk passing it to my GS through my sperm?
In these situations, the IP’s sperm is put through a special process currently offered through Bedford Laboratories and the HAART Program — where the seminal fluid is removed from the sperm, thereby removing the risk of infecting the GS. The GS is required to have an interview with an HIV specialist as well as the RE regarding this process before she signs the IP/GS contract.
I have Hepatitis, will you be able to match me with a surrogate?
This falls under the same category as HIV – a disease that is potentially communicable but can be prevented taken the right measures. There are some surrogates who are willing to work with IPs who have Hepatitis and others who will not. We feel that it is their personal decision to make. That being said, we’ve never had any problems finding a surrogate willing to work with IPs who are infected with Hepatitis.
Will the surrogate breastfeed my baby if I want her to?
Sometimes a stronger bond forms between same sex IPs and their surrogate…it is more of an ‘auntie’ role that can continue on throughout the life of the child. It is not a requirement, nor is it something anyone can predict, but it is very nice for everyone when it happens. While a heterosexual couple with an IM in the picture may not be comfortable with the GS breastfeeding the newborn, in some cases, a surrogate will be willing to breastfeed the baby while in the hospital for same sex IPs. This is something we can discuss beforehand. Some surrogates feel that this is too much of a ‘bonding’ experience with the baby for them, while others think it is a wonderful thing to do. In many cases however, the surrogate is more than happy to pump breast milk for the baby.