Surrogacy comes with a lot of questions. The first thing that we want you to know is that this is OK. In fact, it’s better than OK.
Having a lot of questions means that you’re invested in this process, and you understand how much thought and planning it deserves. We’re glad that you’re taking it seriously, and we’re here to help. So let’s get right to it. You have (a lot of) questions, we have answers.
What is surrogacy?
Surrogacy is when a remarkable woman chooses to carry a baby for someone other than herself. Within surrogacy, you’ll find two forms of surrogacy, traditional or gestational surrogacy.
What is the difference between traditional surrogacy vs gestational surrogacy?
There are two types of surrogacy:
(TS) Traditional Surrogacy: The surrogate uses her own eggs and a third party’s sperm and carries a child that is genetically related to her. In some cases, the surrogate may remain close to the child and play a role in their raising.
(GS) Gestational Surrogacy: The surrogate is not genetically related to the child. The embryo is created with third-party eggs and sperm using IVF. The embryo is created outside of the body and transferred into the uterus of a surrogate later.
Surrogacy through Family Inceptions is always gestational surrogacy. This means that the surrogate is impregnated through In-vitro fertilization (IVF), the embryo (egg and sperm) are donated by outside parties so she has no genetic connection to the baby.
What is the difference between a gestational surrogate and a gestational carrier?
Trick question! There is no difference—a gestational surrogate and a gestational carrier means the same thing. Many use the terms interchangeably along with surrogate mother or simply surrogate.
How do I find a surrogate?
Without hesitation, we believe that the best way to find a surrogate is with the assistance of a professional, ethical agency. There are other ways, of course, but they carry risks. Remember that people can be anyone that they think you want them to be online. Product your emotional and financial investment by working with professional agencies who keep your interests at heart.
What happens once I find a gestational surrogate?
This is an exciting time in your journey. Once you find the perfect surrogate, things will start moving very quickly. If you’re working with an agency, the professionals will guide you through each of these steps. They’re all important, and each one deserves careful attention to detail.
- Determine the cost. This includes medical costs, insurance, legal costs, and surrogate compensation.
- Decide if you will be using your eggs and sperm or looking for suitable donors.
- Find out if the laws in your state allow surrogacy. From there, you can decide if you need to go to another state.
- Begin the medical/psychological screening through a reputable reproductive endocrinologist
- Create the contracts to cover all of the medical and financial details. You will need an attorney qualified to help you with these specialized agreements.
- Arrange for the surrogate to be impregnated.
When it comes to surrogacy, it is a lot of work to try to go it alone. Because the laws vary from state to state, it can be downright frustrating to work out the contracts. This is why many people opt to work with a third party reproduction agency such as Family Inceptions.
Can I use the gestational surrogate's medical insurance for the IVF care and medical procedure?
It is common for insurance providers to restrict fertility coverage. It is important you are aware of the insurance status before beginning your surrogacy journey with your surrogate.
Can I use the surrogate's medical insurance for the pregnancy?
If your surrogate has her own personal medical insurance coverage, without surrogacy exclusions, it is possible to use her insurance for the pregnancy care only. It would be the intended parent’s responsibility to cover any copays, deductibles or out of pocket medical expenses.
Included in our full-service program, is providing insurance policy review to verify your surrogate’s insurance status.
What happens if the surrogate does not have medical insurance?
If your surrogate has insurance and there are surrogacy exclusions on her policy (or if she does not have any insurance at all), you do have alternatives. You may opt to purchase a policy through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance exchange during open enrollment, self-pay and pay directly out of pocket or purchase a surrogacy medical plan.
What types of legal issues are involved in gestational surrogacy? Can I just handle the contracts myself?
The big ones include things like establishing parental rights upon birth, who pays for what, liability issues, agreements about contact, and birth methods, etc. Of course, you’ll also need to agree on how many embryos will be transferred at a time, and who has the final call on that. Things like selective reduction, compensation, travel and activity boundaries, and other behaviors (example: no smoking or consumption alcohol during pregnancy) may also be covered in a contract. Nothing is off limits, and each contract will be unique.
We do not advise people handle the legal aspects of gestational surrogacy themselves. There are too many risks involved for you and the surrogate. It is best to hire a reputable attorney who specializes in reproductive law and understands the ins and outs of the state your child will be born in.
What rights do I have once she is pregnant?
Your rights are determined by what is drawn up in your contract. An attorney specialized in reproductive law, in the state the child will be born in, will make sure that the contract is fair to you and the surrogate.
How involved will I be with the growing pregnancy?
Family Inceptions encourages you to be involved every step of the way, but your involvement is decided between you and your gestational surrogate. We will work with you and the surrogate, before she becomes pregnant, to determine what is desired for everyone involved.
Can I be at the birth?
You may, and we encourage you to be present to witness the birth of your child. That is another detail determined prior to contracts being signed and agreed upon by all parties. Most surrogates will want you to be in the room. While it may be a bit awkward for you, your surrogate has given birth before and understands what she is agreeing to. Just remember, you don’t get a “do-over” if you change your mind later about skipping the birth.
What if the surrogate will not give up the child?
This is incredibly rare, especially when you work through a third party reproduction agency. Since she is not biologically related to the child, your surrogate’s rights will be limited, especially if you have a solid contract in place. Most women who agree to be a surrogate do not want another child, but they enjoy the experience of pregnancy and love to help others. Trust us when we say that the surrogate is just as worried that you’ll refuse to accept the child as you are worried that she won’t give your child back to you.
Will the surrogate have any rights to the child once the baby is born?
Family Inceptions only works with a gestational surrogate because it simplifies the transfer once the baby is born. This factor goes back to the state in which the child is born and the laws governing that state. Family Inceptions only works with surrogates who live in surrogate friendly states.
How do I tell my child about the surrogate mother?
What you choose to tell your child is entirely up to you. However, we never suggest that you hide the truth from your child. It is best to be honest, loving and positive once your child is old enough to understand pregnancy. It is usually a conversation that continues for years because it takes time for the child to understand the hows and whys of his or her conception. There is a book called Mommy, Did I Grow in Your Tummy? Where Some Babies Come From (Em Greenberg Press, November 1992) that has been helpful to many parents.
How do I choose the best surrogacy agency program?
Selecting an agency can be a difficult task. Unfortunately, surrogacy agencies are not regulated. It is very important you do your due diligence to ensure you are working with a reputable agency. Here are some questions you should ask a prospective surrogacy agency before you make a decision.
Can you provide a list of references from former or current clients?
We believe in transparency and will automatically provide you with a list of references you may contact directly and speak to regarding their experience in working with us.
How long has your agency been in operation?
Our agency was established in 2008 under the name of Family Acuity. Due to ownership changes, the business name has changed to Family Inceptions.
Are you registered with any entities that provide standards of practice for the reproduction industries?
Family Inceptions receives oversight by the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) FEI: 3011042023, is registered with the (BBB) Better Business Bureau, Incorporated with the Georgia Secretary of State, New York State Department of Health - Tissue Bank ID No. LP344 follows all standards/regulations/procedures set forth by (ASRM) Assisted Society of Reproductive Medicine, and SEEDS (Society for Ethics in Egg Donation & Surrogacy).
How are surrogate funds handled? How are the funds disbursed?
We ensure that any and all surrogate funds are held in an escrow account that is managed through an escrow agent that is licensed, bonded and insured. We do not receive any kickbacks, referral fees or own any part of other professional companies we refer clients to.
Have you ever been sued by parents, surrogates or egg donors?
Integrity is a cornerstone value of ours. We pride ourselves on our reputation and can unequivocally say we have never been sued by any parents, surrogates, egg donors or other professionals for that matter. We take each aspect of our business seriously and consider it the highest calling to be chosen by you to serve you and assist you in this most important journey of your life.
Does Family Inceptions carry an Errors and Omissions and a professional liability policy?
Family Inceptions is fully insured and will provide proof upon request to our clients.
What is the average cost?
In the United States, unfortunately, surrogacy can be very expensive. To get a general idea of cost, please visit our Surrogacy Cost page.
Do you screen all your potential surrogates and her partner/spouse? If so how?
Yes. Each surrogate must go through various screening prior to acceptance into our program. The process is lengthy in order to evaluate the level of commitment of the surrogate and also to develop a personal relationship with Family Inception that establishes trust between the surrogate and the case manager. Each surrogate must complete a one-on-one assessment, detailed background check on her as well as her spouse/partner, psychological evaluation along with her spouse/partner and a psychosocial home assessment.
What types of services do you provide?
We are a full-service surrogacy and egg donation agency providing services such as: locating which clinic and or professional to work with, matching you with a surrogate and or egg donor, assisting you with paperwork to return home with your child in hand, and more.
Can I decide which surrogate I would like to work with or do you choose for me?
Absolutely. It is incredibly important for you to have trust and a comfort level with your gestational surrogate. She will also have a say. We won’t assign a surrogate to you, and we won’t blindly assign intended parents to her. This is a relationship built on trust, and that starts with having the freedom to choose to work with one another.
What states do the surrogates you work with, live in?
A large number of Family Inceptions surrogates are from the Southeast; Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, North Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee—however, we will work with surrogates that live in any surrogate-friendly state.
Will you assist me in selecting other professionals I need in order to make my surrogacy journey a success?
We keep an updated list of other reputable professionals within the industry that are highly knowledgeable and would gladly assist you in making your journey a success.
Is there someone available to answer emergency questions 24/7?
Our clients have access to us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.