LGBTQIA+ Family Building

The Surrogacy Process for Gay Parents

Surrogacy is a wonderful option for LGBTQIA+ couples and individuals who are looking to start or grow their family. Whether you’re a same-sex or queer couple hoping to share a biological connection with your child, or a single gay man who wants to build a family of your own, surrogacy provides a path to make your dream of parenthood a reality.

Regardless of sexual orientation, gender expression, or gender identity, we are here to make sure you begin your journey with all the information you need, understanding both the joy and the challenges that come with surrogacy. At Fairfax Surrogacy, we believe in making dreams of parenthood come true, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.

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Surrogacy Basics for Gay Parents

Surrogacy offers a remarkable pathway to parenthood for many, especially those within the LGBTQIA+ community, where traditional methods of family-building are not necessarily available.

In simple terms, surrogacy involves a gestational carrier, often referred to as a surrogate, who agrees to carry and give birth to a child for another person or couple. This process is made possible through in-vitro fertilization (IVF), where embryos created from the intended parents’ sperm or eggs—or those of donors—are transferred to the surrogate’s uterus.

For LGBTQIA+ individuals and couples, surrogacy opens the door to the joys of parenthood allowing them to personally connect with the process of bringing their child into the world. It’s important to start your journey with a clear understanding of the legal, financial, and emotional aspects of the journey.

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Why Surrogacy is a Popular Choice for LGBTQIA+ Family Building

Surrogacy is becoming more and more popular among gay and queer families for a number of reasons. Surrogacy offers the opportunity for gay couples to have a biological connection to their children and the satisfaction of having gone through the entire process together.

Surrogacy is also a way for transgender individuals and couples to have children biologically related to them, which might not have been possible otherwise. This aspect is particularly meaningful, as it affirms their identities and desires to build families in a society that is still learning to embrace diversity in family structures.

Another reason is the level of involvement surrogacy allows. From selecting a surrogate who shares your values to being a part of the pregnancy journey, surrogacy creates a special connection between the intended parents, the surrogate, and the child.

Surrogacy may also give a sense of control in what’s often an unpredictable journey to parenthood. It allows for planning around when to have the baby, choosing a surrogate who aligns with your ethical and moral beliefs, and knowing more or less what to expect on the path to becoming parents.

Starting a family through surrogacy is an exciting step full of hope and sometimes challenges. But with the right support and information, it can be an amazing way to make the dream of parenthood come true for LGBTQIA+ families.

The Surrogacy Process for Gay Parents

Navigating the surrogacy process as an LGBTQIA+ couple or gay parent requires careful planning, the right support, and a clear understanding of the legalities involved. By choosing the right agency, staying informed on legal matters, and leaning on your support network, you can begin this rewarding journey toward parenthood with confidence and peace of mind.

Choosing the Right Surrogacy Agency

Tips for LGBTQIA+ Families

Building a family is an exciting decision for gay couples looking to start or grow their families. Finding a surrogacy agency that understands and supports your needs is crucial.

Fairfax Surrogacy has experience working with LGBTQIA+ families and can provide the knowledgeable and inclusive service you deserve.

  • Research and Recommendations: Start with thorough research. Online forums, LGBTQIA+ community groups, and recommendations from friends who have gone through surrogacy can be invaluable resources.
  • Inclusive Policies: Ensure the agency’s policies explicitly support LGBTQIA+ families. Their inclusivity should be evident in their language, imagery, and staff training.
  • Transparent Costs and Processes: A reputable agency will be upfront about all costs and the surrogacy process. They should also offer clear information on how they match surrogates with intended parents.
  • Legal Expertise: Choose an agency with robust legal support, familiar with the specific legal challenges LGBTQIA+ couples might face in surrogacy.
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Legal Considerations for LGBTQIA+ Surrogacy

As a same-sex couple building your family through surrogacy, there are some important legal steps to consider. Surrogacy laws vary widely by state, which can impact securing parental rights, surrogacy agreements and more. It’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities before beginning your journey.

  • Consult a Specialist Lawyer: Early in your journey, seek advice from a lawyer specializing in family law for LGBTQIA+ families. They can guide you through the necessary legal processes and documentation to ensure your parental rights are protected.
  • Parental Orders and Birth Certificates: Understand the process for being legally recognized as your child’s parent(s), including any steps needed post-birth.
  • International Surrogacy Laws: If you are outside of the US, you should understand the legal implications of your home country’s laws and how they might affect your return home with your child.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this guide is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice. The content herein does not establish a lawyer-client relationship, and readers should not rely solely on this information for making legal decisions. We strongly advise consulting with a qualified attorney to confirm the accuracy of any details mentioned and to receive legal counsel tailored to your specific situation. Please be aware that laws and regulations regarding surrogacy vary by jurisdiction and are subject to change, meaning that details may not be current or applicable in all areas. It is essential to verify the most up-to-date legal standards and requirements with a professional who is knowledgeable about the latest legislative changes and how they might affect your surrogacy journey.

Surrogacy Steps & Timeline

At Fairfax Surrogacy, we’re committed to guiding LGBTQIA+ families through every milestone of the surrogacy process, from the initial planning stages to the joyous moment of welcoming your child into the world.

Throughout each step, we are ready to support you with expertise and compassion. We embrace diversity and approach every surrogacy journey with compassion, understanding the unique needs and wishes of each individual and couple.

Below are the key steps and timeline of a typical surrogacy journey.

The first step in the process is simply meeting with our team. Begin by scheduling a no-cost consultation with Fairfax Surrogacy to discuss your surrogacy plans, understand the services provided, and learn about our experience with LGBTQIA+ families.

We value this time together as we learn more about you and start the planning process for creating your embryos.

Request a consultation

Once you’ve signed your agency agreement, the next step is matching with a surrogate. This process involves reviewing potential matches who align with your preferences and scheduling a match meeting.

During the match meeting, you will have the chance to start forming a bond with your surrogate. We will be there to help with your introduction, so you can start to develop a relationship with them.

Before any medical procedures can begin, you’ll draft and sign legal agreements to protect the rights of all parties involved, including the surrogate, the intended parents, and the future child.

Your attorney will receive information about you and your surrogate to draft your “Gestational Surrogacy Agreement.”

You and your attorney will discuss your rights and responsibilities and make any changes necessary. After all of the parties have agreed to the terms, legal clearance will be issued.

This step includes the the IVF process and embryo transfer.
The clinic will issue you and your surrogate a cycle calendar filled with dates for medication information and monitoring appointments.
During this stage, the big day finally arrives — transfer day! This is when your embryo will be transferred to your surrogate at your clinic. If you are local, you have the opportunity to participate in this exciting experience.

Once a pregnancy is confirmed, your surrogate will be released to her medical provider. You will both work very closely with your Fairfax Surrogacy Case Manager to ensure all steps are being met. Your case manager will provide communication and support throughout the pregnancy.

Throughout the pregnancy, you’ll have scheduled updates and possibly attend key medical appointments. Plans for the birth, including the involvement of the intended parents, are also discussed and arranged.

Finally, it’s delivery day — the day that we’ve ALL been waiting for. The day your dream becomes a reality. This is the day that puts your baby in your arms!

As the due date approaches, we at Fairfax Surrogacy ensure that all logistical and medical arrangements are in place for a smooth and stress-free delivery. We work closely with the hospital or birthing center to confirm all details align with the birth plan, ensuring that the intended parents’ presence and participation in the birth are prioritized. Our goal is to make this experience as memorable and comfortable as possible for everyone involved.

After the birth, additional legal steps may be necessary to ensure both parents are legally recognized, depending on your state or country’s laws.

Financial Planning for Gay Couples Pursuing Surrogacy

Choosing to build your family through surrogacy comes with significant financial considerations. For gay parents, understanding and preparing for the costs involved in surrogacy is a crucial step in the journey.

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Understanding the Costs of Surrogacy for LGBTQIA+ Parents

The costs of surrogacy can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the agency you choose, the legal requirements in your area, and the medical expenses involved. Generally, the surrogacy journey can involve several key financial components:

  • Agency Fees: Working with an agency like Fairfax Surrogacy simplifies the process. We offer fixed-cost pricing, removing the uncertainty of variable expenses and making it easier to budget for your journey.
  • Medical Expenses: These range from in vitro fertilization (IVF) costs to prenatal care and the birth. Costs vary based on medical needs and the number of IVF cycles.
  • Surrogate Compensation: Compensation for the surrogate’s commitment is a significant part of the budget, acknowledging their time and emotional and physical investment.
  • Legal Fees: Legal assistance is necessary to ensure your parental rights are established, involving contracts and potentially post-birth legal proceedings.

Financial Assistance and Insurance Coverage for Surrogacy

At Fairfax Surrogacy, we understand that financial planning is a huge part of preparing for your surrogacy journey. That’s why we offer fixed-cost pricing options to take the guesswork out of financing your journey. We can also recommend reputable lenders who are experienced in surrogacy financing, providing you with reliable options to fund your path to parenthood.

There are many other avenues for securing funding for your journey including:

  • Surrogacy Grants and Scholarships: Some organizations offer grants and scholarships specifically designed to help cover surrogacy expenses for LGBTQIA+ families.
  • Insurance: While insurance coverage for surrogacy can be complex, some policies may cover certain medical procedures involved in the surrogacy process, such as IVF treatments. It’s essential to review your policy carefully and discuss your plans with your insurance provider. An increasing number of employers provide some sort of coverage or reimbursement for surrogacy expenses, so be sure to ask your employer if this option is available to you.
  • Fundraising and Crowdfunding: Many prospective parents turn to fundraising and crowdfunding platforms to help cover the costs of surrogacy. This can also be a way to involve your community in your journey to parenthood.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs): If you have an FSA or HSA, you may be able to use these funds for certain medical expenses associated with surrogacy.
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Selecting a Surrogate and Egg Donor for LGBTQIA+ Families

Selecting the right surrogate and egg donor is a pivotal moment in the surrogacy process for gay parents. It involves careful consideration of personal, medical, and emotional factors to make sure your match aligns with your goals and your vision for your journey.

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Selecting an Egg Donor

For many gay parents, selecting an egg donor is a pivotal step in the surrogacy journey. It’s a process filled with hope and possibilities but also requires thoughtful consideration and understanding.

Considerations for Choosing an Egg Donor

Selecting an egg donor is a significant step for LGBTQIA+ families on their path to parenthood. With thoughtful consideration of the donor’s traits, a clear understanding of the donation process, and careful navigation of legal and ethical issues, families can move forward confidently. Choosing the right egg donor involves several important considerations to ensure the best match for your family:
  • Physical and Genetic Traits: Many intended parents look for donors with specific physical traits or genetic backgrounds that align with their own or their partner’s.
  • Medical History: A thorough review of the donor’s medical history is crucial to assess any potential genetic risks.
  • Psychological Screening: Donors undergo psychological screening to ensure they are emotionally prepared for the egg donation process.
  • Legal Agreements: It’s important to have clear legal agreements outlining the roles and rights of all parties involved.
  • Known or anonymous donor: Deciding whether to use a known or anonymous egg donor is a significant consideration. Known donors can offer a sense of familiarity and continuity, allowing for potential future contact. Anonymous donors, on the other hand, provide privacy and separation, which some families may prefer. This choice depends on the intended parents’ comfort level with future disclosure and their desire for their child to possibly connect with the donor later in life.
Fairfax Surrogacy partners with Fairfax EggBank to provide discount pricing for our clients, making the selection process easier and more accessible for LGBTQIA+ families.

Matching with Your Surrogate

For LGBTQIA+ families, selecting a surrogate is a deeply personal and important step in the journey towards parenthood. This process not only involves finding someone who meets certain criteria but also building a relationship based on trust, respect, and mutual understanding.

Considerations for choosing a surrogate

Selecting an egg donor is a significant step for LGBTQIA+ families on their path to parenthood. With thoughtful consideration of the donor’s traits, a clear understanding of the donation process, and careful navigation of legal and ethical issues, families can move forward confidently.

Choosing the right surrogate involves several specific considerations for gay parents:

  • Physical requirements: The surrogate must be physically capable of carrying a pregnancy to term, with a history of healthy pregnancies and births.
  • Psychological screening: It’s crucial that the surrogate is mentally prepared for the journey ahead, including the emotional complexities of carrying a child for another family.
  • LGBTQIA+ allyship: It’s important to choose a surrogate who supports and respects the LGBTQIA+ community, recognizing and valuing the unique paths gay and queer parents take toward building their families.
  • Relationship goals that align: Many gay families envision their surrogate as an extended part of their family, hoping to maintain a lasting relationship beyond the birth. This desire for a continued connection reflects the deep gratitude and bond that often form during this shared journey.
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Legal Rights and Protection for LGBTQIA+ Parents and Gay Couples

The journey to parenthood through surrogacy involves navigating many legal processes, especially for LGBTQIA+ families. Understanding your legal rights is essential to ensuring a smooth path to bringing your child home. Working with legal professionals who specialize in reproductive law is crucial to safeguard your rights and ensure the well-being of your future family.

Navigating the Legal Processes of Surrogacy

The legal processes for LGBTQIA+ families pursuing surrogacy can vary significantly depending on local laws, which can differ by country, state, or region. Here are some key things same-sex couples should consider:

  • Seek Specialized Legal Advice: Work with attorneys who specialize in LGBTQIA+ family law and surrogacy. They can provide specific advice, helping you navigate the legal system effectively.
  • Understand Local and International Laws: If you are considering surrogacy in a different state or country, it’s crucial to understand both the laws where your child will be born and how they interact with the laws of your home country or state.
  • Surrogacy Agreement: Ensure a comprehensive surrogacy agreement is in place. Your gestational surrogacy agreement should cover all aspects of the surrogacy journey, including consent, parental rights, and financial arrangements, tailored to the needs and protections of LGBTQIA+ families.
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Ensuring Legal Parenthood

Securing legal parenthood is perhaps the most critical legal aspect of the surrogacy process for same-sex couples and LGBTQIA+ parents. In some states, this process can involve additional legal steps:

  • Pre-Birth Orders: If your surrogate lives in a surrogacy-friendly state, you may be able to obtain a pre-birth order which establishes your legal parenthood before the child’s birth.
  • Post-Birth Legal Processes: Depending on the location, additional steps may be necessary after the birth to ensure your legal rights as parents are recognized. In some states, this might include adoption by the non-biological parent, even if both parents are named on the birth certificate.
  • Recognition of Parental Rights: It’s essential to ensure that your parental rights are recognized in all jurisdictions where you may live or travel. This can involve securing additional legal documentation or pursuing additional legal processes, such as second-parent adoption, in more than one jurisdiction.

Getting Started on Your Surrogacy Journey with Fairfax Surrogacy

For LGBTQIA+ families, beginning the surrogacy process can feel overwhelming, but with the right guidance and resources, it becomes an exciting journey filled with anticipation.

How to Get Started

Starting your surrogacy journey involves several important steps that set the foundation for a successful experience:

  1. Research and Education: Begin by gathering information on surrogacy, focusing on areas specific to LGBTQIA+ families. Understanding the process, costs, legal considerations, and hearing the experiences of other gay and queer families who have gone through surrogacy can provide invaluable insights.
  2. Consultation: Schedule a consultation with Fairfax Surrogacy to discuss your options and get answers to your questions.
  3. Financial Planning: Begin planning for the financial aspects of surrogacy. Consider your budget, financing options, and any available assistance or discounts, such as those offered by Fairfax Surrogacy in partnership with Fairfax EggBank.
  4. Choosing a Fertility Clinic: Look for clinics with experience in LGBTQIA+ family building and a track record of success with surrogacy cases. Consider factors such as the clinic’s technology, success rates, and how comfortable you feel with their staff and doctors. Fairfax Surrogacy can offer recommendations based on our extensive network and experience.
  5. Legal Advice: Seek legal advice from professionals experienced in surrogacy laws for LGBTQIA+ families to ensure you understand your rights and are fully prepared for the legal aspects of the journey. Fairfax Surrogacy can provide you with recommendations for experienced counsel.

Starting your surrogacy journey is a big step, but you don’t have to do it alone. With Fairfax Surrogacy, you have a partner ready to support you every step of the way. Our experienced team is dedicated to helping LGBTQIA+ families achieve their dreams of parenthood, offering personalized guidance, support, and resources tailored to your unique journey.

Contact Fairfax Surrogacy today to take the first step towards building your family through surrogacy.

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FAQs For Gay Parents

  • How much does surrogacy cost for gay parents?

    The cost of a surrogacy journey includes agency fees, surrogate compensation, medical and legal expenses, among other factors. Fairfax Surrogacy offers fixed-cost pricing to help manage these expenses, providing a clear, upfront summary of the costs involved in your surrogacy journey. This approach helps eliminate financial surprises, allowing you to focus on the exciting journey ahead.

    For same-sex male couples, an additional consideration is the cost associated with an egg donor. This can vary whether you opt for a known donor or go through an agency like Fairfax EggBank, which partners with us to offer discounted rates for our clients. The cost of the egg donation cycle includes compensation for the donor, medical and psychological screening, the egg retrieval process, and any legal fees associated with the donation. It's important to factor these costs into your overall budget when planning for surrogacy.

  • Can we use our own egg donor?
    Yes, intended parents have the option to use their own egg donor, either someone they know or through an independent arrangement. You may also choose to work with an egg donation agency or an egg bank to purchase donor eggs. Fairfax Surrogacy partners with Fairfax EggBank, offering a wide selection of frozen eggs at a discounted rate for our clients.
  • Should I use a surrogacy agency or find a surrogate independently?
    While finding a surrogate independently can seem like a more direct route, using a surrogacy agency provides a level of expertise, support, and legal protection that can significantly benefit the surrogacy journey. Agencies provide an invaluable level of expertise, support, and legal protection. Surrogacy agencies manage much of the process, from matching you with a surrogate who aligns with your needs and values to navigating the complex legal requirements involved. In addition, Fairfax Surrogacy conducts extensive screening of all potential surrogates. This rigorous process not only ensures the health and well-being of the surrogate but also significantly improves the success rates of surrogacy journeys. By thoroughly evaluating medical history, psychological well-being, and overall readiness for the surrogacy process, we help minimize risks, potentially saving you time and money in the long run. Our comprehensive approach is designed to provide peace of mind and support every step of the way, making the journey to parenthood as smooth and successful as possible.
  • Can I use a friend or family member for surrogacy?
    Many intended parents find the thought of having a friend or family member as their surrogate appealing due to the existing trust and emotional connection with the family member. Using a friend or family member as a surrogate can also potentially reduce some of the costs associated with surrogacy, but it's essential to approach this option with thorough consideration and professional guidance. Even when working with a family member, it's crucial to have legal contracts in place that clearly outline everyone's rights, responsibilities, and expectations. Psychological counseling is also recommended for all parties to ensure everyone is fully prepared for the emotional complexities of a surrogacy journey. Consulting with a surrogacy agency or legal professional experienced in surrogacy arrangements can provide valuable insights and help navigate the specific considerations and legal requirements involved.
  • What legal steps do gay parents need to take to establish parental rights after birth?
    Legal steps can include obtaining a pre-birth order, completing a second-parent or step-parent adoption, or both, depending on state or country laws. It's crucial to consult with a legal expert specializing in LGBTQIA+ family law to ensure your parental rights are fully established.
  • Is surrogacy legal for LGBTQIA+ couples in my state/country?
    Surrogacy laws vary significantly around the world and even between states or regions within a country. Some places fully support surrogacy for LGBTQIA+ couples, while others may have restrictions or outright bans. It's important to research the laws specific to your location or consult with a legal expert.
  • What are the qualifications and screening processes for potential surrogates?
    Surrogates undergo a comprehensive screening process that includes medical evaluations to ensure they can safely carry a pregnancy, psychological screenings to confirm they are mentally prepared for the journey, and background checks. We also consider the candidate's previous pregnancy history and overall health. To become a surrogate, candidates typically need to have had at least one successful pregnancy, be in good physical and mental health, and meet certain age criteria. The basic requirements to become a surrogate with Fairfax Surrogacy are:
    • Must be a legal resident of the United States.
    • Should be between the ages of 21 and 42 years old.
    • Must have a body mass index (BMI) less than or equal to 32.
    • Should have had at least one full-term, uncomplicated pregnancy and birth.
    • Must have had 5 or fewer previous deliveries and 2 or fewer C-sections.
  • What is the typical timeline for a surrogacy journey?
    A surrogacy journey can take anywhere from 1 to 2 years or more, from the initial consultation to the birth of the child. This timeline includes finding and matching with a surrogate, the medical process of IVF and embryo transfer, and the pregnancy itself.
  • Does my health insurance cover any part of the surrogacy process?
    Coverage for surrogacy varies significantly depending on your health insurance plan and your location. Some insurance plans may cover certain medical procedures related to surrogacy, including in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments, while others may not offer any coverage related to surrogacy. It's crucial to thoroughly review your insurance policy and have a detailed discussion with your insurance provider about your surrogacy plans to clearly understand what aspects of the process are covered. A growing number of companies are beginning to offer benefits specifically designed for LGBTQIA+ families, which can include surrogacy-related expenses. These benefits are part of a broader trend toward more inclusive health coverage that recognizes the diverse needs of all families. If you are considering surrogacy, it may be beneficial to explore whether your employer offers any specific benefits or coverage for surrogacy as part of their commitment to supporting LGBTQIA+ families. This additional support can significantly alleviate the financial burden of the surrogacy process.
  • What if we both want to have a biological connection to our children?
    When both male partners wish to have a biological connection to their child, there are several paths they can consider. Each option comes with its own set of considerations, from medical to ethical, and it’s crucial to weigh these carefully.
    • Sequential surrogacy is an option where one partner provides sperm for the first child, and the other partner provides sperm for a subsequent child. This allows both partners to have a biological connection, albeit with different children.
    • Twin surrogacy involves implanting two embryos into the surrogate, one fertilized by each father’s sperm with eggs from the same or different donors.
    • Another option is to split embryos, where half the embryos are fertilized with one father’s sperm and the other half with the other father’s sperm.
    Before deciding on a surrogacy path, it’s important to consult with medical professionals. Fertility specialists can provide insights into the success rates of different IVF procedures, the health risks associated with twin pregnancies or multiple embryo transfers, and the overall health of the participants. Learn more

Contact Us

Ready to take the next step in your surrogacy journey? 

Fairfax Surrogacy is here to guide and support you every step of the way. Our team of compassionate and experienced professionals is eager to answer your questions and provide the personalized assistance you need.

Contact us today to explore your options, learn more about our services, and start your journey with confidence. Your dream of building a family is just a conversation away – let’s make it a reality together!