The journey to parenthood can be complex for everyone. For millions, surrogacy is the path needed for couples and individuals to become parents. Each day at Open Arms, we hear from Intended Parents who have questions about the process, the expectations, the matching, and more. This guide will walk you through the surrogacy process — unpacking different types of surrogacy, legal considerations, and what you can expect on your surrogacy journey as an Intended Parent.
About the Surrogacy Process
Initial Considerations about Surrogacy
Before starting your surrogacy journey, remember your why. Each intended parent we come across has a unique reason for pursuing surrogacy. Hold that reason close to your heart as you go throughout the process. Also, ensure you and your partner are emotionally prepared and consider your eligibility for surrogacy. The support of friends, family, and professionals can be invaluable.
Finding the Right Surrogate
The journey begins with finding the perfect surrogate. The matching process can be extensive, and often involves compatibility evaluations and mutual understanding between the surrogate and the Intended Parents. At Open Arms, we pride ourselves in a matching process that seeks to understand both the Intended Parents and the surrogates alike.
Medical and Legal Procedures
The medical aspect of surrogacy includes extensive evaluations, fertility treatments, and embryo transfer. Legal procedures are crucial to ensure parental rights are established, and both parties are protected by a comprehensive surrogacy agreement. Our coordinators are experienced in guiding both surrogates and Intended Parents through the legal and medical processes involved.
Unpacking the Types of Surrogacy
Traditional surrogacy involves the surrogate being genetically related to the child she carries. Sperm from the intended father or a donor is used. Legal implications vary, so it’s essential to clarify parental rights through legal agreements.
In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate has no genetic connection to the child. This method often involves in-vitro fertilization (IVF), using the intended parents’ or donors’ eggs and sperm. The legal aspects of gestational surrogacy are more straightforward, with parental rights typically well-defined. (If you want to know more about the differences between the two, we unpacked them in a blog dedicated to the nuances of both!)
Altruistic vs. Commercial Surrogacy
Altruistic surrogacy involves no financial compensation to the surrogate beyond covering expenses. Commercial surrogacy includes monetary compensation. Understanding the motivations behind each option, legal considerations, and ethical concerns can be important to all parties involved in surrogacy!
What are the Legal Considerations to Surrogacy?
There are no bigger fears for Intended Parents than not getting the child through some legal issue. That’s why establishing parental rights before birth is critical. The legal framework for surrogacy varies by location, and it’s essential to navigate these nuances. For traditional surrogacy, legal processes akin to adoption may be required. At Open Arms, our surrogacy coordinators understand how the laws apply to each birth.
If you’re considering international surrogacy, understand the unique legal issues and regulations in different countries. It can be a more complex journey, so thorough research and legal support are vital. Thanks to our exceptional coordinators, we’ve had success with multiple international surrogacies! Our Open Arms coordinators can walk parents through what to expect for international surrogacy. We have a dedicated French and Spanish Department.
What Intended Parents Can Expect
We won’t sugarcoat it; this process can be an emotional rollercoaster. You’ll feel everything from excitement to anxiety to elation when you finally hold your new baby. Our team is here for you through all of it. We also recommend creating a support network of your family, friends, and therapists.
Budgeting for surrogacy is a crucial aspect to consider. Costs can vary widely, including medical, legal, and surrogate compensation. Ensure you have a clear financial plan in place. We’ve given estimates for what an Open Arms surrogacy might look like on our website.
The Birth and Beyond
The birth of your child is a profound moment. It’s what you’ve longed for throughout this process! Be prepared for the delivery process, and remember that your relationship with your surrogate doesn’t have to end there! Many intended parents maintain meaningful connections with their surrogates long after the birth.
At Open Arms Surrogacy, we’re here to support you every step of the way. We want to provide the guidance and care you need to embark on your surrogacy journey with confidence.
For more information and support, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team! We have a team of dedicated professionals ready to answer your questions and guide you through the surrogacy process. Call (941) 741-4994 to learn more about becoming a parent or a surrogate with Open Arms!