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Start The Steps To Become A Surrogate In Florida

You’ve been thinking about becoming a gestational surrogate for a while now. More than likely, you’ve had the idea in your mind for years. It’s something you’ve felt called to do, and you’re wondering if now is the time to move ahead.

Surrogacy is a noble and compassionate calling. It’s not an exaggeration to say that, as a gestational surrogate, you could be the answer to someone’s prayers.

It’s not easy: you’ll be dedicating your body, time, and emotions to helping someone fulfill their dreams of parenthood. Yes, there is compensation for your commitment, but there’s so much more to the journey than that, and there are more than a few hurdles you have to cross to qualify.

Is Surrogacy Legal In Florida?

In Florida, gestational surrogacy is permitted by Section 742.15, Fla. Stat. Gestational Surrogacy Agreements are only permitted if the Intended Parents are a married couple with one member of the couple being genetically related to the child.

Other intended parents (such as single people or unmarried couples) can participate in surrogacy in Florida, through the execution of a Preplanned Adoption Agreement. Preplanned Adoption Agreements are similar to Gestational Surrogacy Agreements, but there are certain nuances and differences.

Traditional (genetic) surrogacy in Florida is also permitted in the form of a Preplanned Adoption Agreement from a “volunteer mother.” Unlike gestational surrogacy, these sorts of agreements are permitted for intended parents of all marital statuses. However, a traditional surrogate’s consent is revocable for up to 48 hours after birth, due to her genetic connection to the child.

NOTE: The laws around surrogacy are constantly changing and may vary from state to state (sometimes varied by county). Based on our experience, written law and practiced law in a number of states can differ widely. Thus, it is very important that you not only get yourself familiar with the law of your state but also seek legal representation to assist and guide you in your unique circumstances.

How To Be A Surrogate In Florida

So how do you know if now is the right time to move ahead with your calling to be a gestational surrogate? Read on to learn the questions you should ask yourself as you consider becoming a surrogate:

  • Do you qualify? Only about 5% of women who apply to become surrogates will make it through the entire screening process. There are things you should consider, such as:
    • Age – 23-37 years old
    • Raising at least one of their own children
    • Past Pregnancy and Birth Records – You need to have had an uncomplicated pregnancy, and only two previous C-section deliveries.
    • Fiscal Stability
    • Physical and Mental Health
    • You cannot be on any form of federal aid (food stamps, etc.).
    • You will also be tested for nicotine and illegal drugs in your system

A quick and easy way to find out if you qualify is to take our Surrogate Score Quiz – a high score means you’re ready to take on this role of a lifetime.

  • What are you willing to consent to? Part of your research should include considering what type of experience you’re hoping to have. Gestational surrogacy means that the child that you will carry will have no genetic connection to you or to your husband, so you will not need to worry about being asked to donate your own eggs.

However, you will have a say on things like the number of embryos that you’re comfortable having transferred to your uterus, and the number of fetuses you’re willing to carry. You’ll also want to consider if you’d be willing to end a pregnancy, and if so, under what conditions.

  • What is a realistic compensation expectation? A quick search through Craigslist or Google can have you thinking that surrogacy means a six-figure income in under a year flat.

We want to be the first ones to tell you that this is a bald-faced lie.

The first thing that you need to know is that surrogacy can be a long process. You don’t earn compensation until you’re pregnant with a confirmed heartbeat, which means it could take months before you ever earn any compensation. In addition, many places inflate compensation numbers to attract applicants.

Before jumping at the highest compensation package that you find, consider your motives. If you’re in this simply for the compensation, you’re not likely to have an enjoyable experience at all.

Finally, compare compensation packages from many agencies. The ones paying the highest amount of compensation may lack in areas of perks and support. You’ll want to be educated on the total picture of compensation before signing with a particular agency.

  • What will be expected of you? You already know that you’ll be pregnant, but will you also be required to eat only organic whole foods? The answer to this is probably not, but it does highlight the importance of learning what is expected of your behavior during the course of your experience before moving forward.

It may place you in travel restrictions, which could impact family vacations. Additionally, you’ll be expected to make and keep medical appointments as well as communicate about how those visits go.

Once you’ve considered these things, you will be in a much better place to decide if you’d like to move forward or not as a surrogate in Florida. If you’re still interested and feel as though you’re ready to make this bold choice, you can find out more on our website: How Much Do Surrogates Make

Requirements For Becoming A Surrogate In Florida

To become a gestational surrogate in FL, we at Family Inceptions need to learn some information about your personal and medical history.

Our knowledge of your health and medical history allows us to determine if you are compatible with the surrogacy process for gestational surrogacy so that it will not involve any increased risks for you. This will also help us to match you to an appropriate recipient.

First, you should know what the requirements are for becoming a surrogate. You must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Must be between the ages of 23-37.
  • Has delivered at least one healthy child that you yourself have raised or are raising.
  • Has had no prior pregnancy complications–No deliveries before 35 weeks-unless delivered twins or more.
  • Has had no more than 2 c-sections
  • Has had no more than 4 deliveries
  • Can provide proof of support.
  • Has a willingness to be completely committed to the intended parents.
  • Can adhere to our strict screening and counseling protocols.
  • Has a stable financial base, therefore not receiving government assistance (Food Stamps, WIC, Cash Aid)
  • Can clear criminal background checks
  • Is a non-smoker and is not a drug user
  • Has a reliable form of transportation
  • Has U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status
  • Can meet height and weight guidelines for your body mass index (BMI) under 29
  • Is able to provide medical records to the clinic
  • Must be willing to undergo a psychological evaluation
  • Agrees to undergo the required medical testing for both you and your husband/partner
  • Absence of any active sexually transmitted diseases, cancer, substance abuse, significant medication use, and prior chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  • Is willing to do a home assessment

Read more about the requirements to become a surrogate in FL: Do I Qualify to be a Surrogate?

Do I Need Insurance As A Surrogate In FL?

Medical insurance in surrogacy is so important. Not only is surrogacy a major financial undertaking for the intended parents, but the idea of unchecked medical costs could also be downright terrifying. This is why, for the protection of both our surrogates and our intended parents, we require every match that we facilitate to carry insurance.

While most people in the US do have health insurance, surrogacy is a tricky thing. Many insurance plans will have exclusions for surrogacy pregnancy. This is particularly true for women serving in or covered by a spouse who serves in the armed forces.

If a surrogate does not have a personal insurance plan that covers surrogacy, an intended parent is required to purchase and carry a medical insurance plan that will cover your related medical expenses during the course of your pregnancy.

Perhaps one of the best ways to get affordable health care coverage is with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This plan is open to anyone and does cover surrogate pregnancies (in most states), but you can only be enrolled in the plan over one period of six weeks every year. This period is known as open enrollment.

Read more about surrogacy and insurance on our blog: Insurance Enrollment for Surrogates: Will Insurance Cover My Surrogacy?

How To Apply To Be A Surrogate In Florida

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, or ASRM, (the governing body professionals seek to help develop the standard they use in their practice), to be a surrogate or a gestational carrier, a woman…

In addition to that, clinics, as well as agencies, will have their own specific requirements that must be considered. Here are the specific requirements we at Family Inceptions require for our select group of surrogate mothers: Do I Qualify to be a Surrogate?

Ready to go ahead and apply? If you think surrogacy might be for you, visit this page to get started on your initial application.

How Long The Surrogacy Process Is In Florida

In general, the surrogacy process could take up to 15-18 months. Of course, this time frame can vary greatly depending on your circumstances. If you need to find an egg or sperm donor or create embryos, this may add an additional 3-4 months to the process.

The bottom line is that surrogacy is not a quick process. But, up until this point, has anything in your journey to parenthood been quick? So you know what it takes to be patient. The surrogacy process will be long, but well worth it in the end.

At Family Inceptions Surrogacy Agency, we ensure your surrogacy journey is smooth, as we walk beside you every step of the way.

How Compensation Works

Gestational surrogates in FL can make up to $80,000 with Family Inceptions. This includes a $50,000-$65,000 base compensation, plus additional monthly stipends and allowances throughout your surrogacy journey.

Family Inceptions offers a generous compensation package to our surrogate mothers, and what you choose to do with the money you earn as a surrogate is completely up to you.

Whether you choose to put a down payment on your home, save up to send your own children to college, or create a small business for yourself, there are many ways that this money can greatly benefit you and your family.

Of course, there is no way that the gift you bring to future parents—and the rest of the world—could ever be quantified. It is a gift for which no one can ever repay you in full precisely because the life you will nurture, and all the hopes and dreams you carry, are priceless.

Get an estimate of your specific compensation as a surrogate in Florida using our free calculator tool: How Much Can I Make as a Surrogate?

Do I Have To Pay Taxes On My Surrogacy Compensation In Florida?

When tax season rolls around, it’s normal for surrogates to wonder whether their surrogate compensation is taxable — and whether they have to report their pay as a surrogate to the Internal Revenue Service.

The best way to determine whether you must pay taxes is whether or not you received a 1099-MISC form from your intended parents, your surrogacy agency, or your escrow service. If you receive a 1099-MISC for your compensation, you must definitely claim income on your taxes.

What if your surrogacy agency or intended parents don’t issue 1099? Is surrogate compensation taxed in this situation?

Often, the question of whether a surrogate mother will pay taxes first arises during the drafting of the Gestational Surrogacy Agreement. Your lawyer may include a clause that holds intended parents accountable for any taxes that a gestational carrier may or may not be expected to pay on her compensation.

As soon as you have a surrogacy attorney, talk with them in-depth about this process to make sure you understand what taxes (if any) you might expect to pay after your surrogacy journey. You and your intended parents should always be on the same page about this topic before your surrogacy contract is finalized and signed.

In the debate about whether income from being a surrogate is taxable or not, the answer often comes down to the language used in the surrogacy contract and the tax laws of the state where a surrogate resides. In your research, you may find a few phrases thrown about:

  • Gift”: Some accountants can avoid certain taxes on surrogate compensation by claiming a percentage of the compensation as a “gift” from the intended parents. However, compensation usually is higher than the annual exemption for gift tax, so surrogates may need to pay taxes on a portion of their compensation payments.
  • Pain and suffering”: Some accountants and surrogacy professionals will avoid taxation by claiming that surrogate compensation is payment for pain and suffering. How well this holds up in court is debatable; after all, a gestational carrier is voluntarily entering into this process of “pain and suffering,” which may negate that tax-exemption status.
  • Pre-birth child support”: Child support is tax-exempt, so some attorneys word compensation as pre-birth child support in order to protect carriers from taxes. But, there is no legal standard for “pre-birth” child support, so enforcement and legal interpretation may vary.

As mentioned, because there are no court cases that set a precedent for this topic, the effectiveness of this language is up for debate. When it comes to taxes on surrogacy compensation, it’s a good idea not to assume anything without the assistance of a professional.

Surrogacy Agency Versus Independent Surrogacy

When it comes to matters of fertility and family building, the DIY route may result in undue amounts of stress and frustration. Going through a reputable agency will ensure that all parties involved are protected from scams (which, unfortunately, do happen) or from being matched with an unreliable donor or surrogate.

Here are some pros and cons to consider about going through a surrogacy agency or going the independent route:

When To Use A Surrogacy Agency

When it comes to surrogacy, working with a professional agency can make all the difference. Not only will an agency be able to help you find intended parents who are the right match for you, but they will also provide support and guidance throughout the entire process. Here are a few situations when working with a surrogacy agency may be the best:

  • You’re a first-time surrogate: You are unsure about how to start or find intended parents for your journey
  • Support and guidance: You would like help, guidance, counseling, and support to be readily available throughout the entire process-including the pregnancy and delivery
  • Matching: You are insecure about interviewing and negotiating compensation directly with the intended parents
  • Advocate: You like that there is someone else ensuring that your best interest is paramount.
  • Legal: You’re not sure about what should be included in your contract with your intended parents
  • Security and peace of mind: You want to make sure your intended parents can afford the journey and that they will be there to get the baby
  • Professional referrals: You want to make sure all the professionals who will assist you in your journey are experienced and understand the process

When To Go Independent

There are some cases where going through a surrogacy agency may not be the best option such as the following:

  • You’re an experienced surrogate: You’ve already done a successful journey and know the time and commitment it takes to complete a successful journey
  • No middleman: You like the idea of organizing every aspect of the surrogacy journey on your own including interviewing the intended parents, matching, medical, and compensation negotiation
  • Saving money: You want to help the intended parents save money
  • Complications/Disagreements: You are confident you can handle any issues that arise between you and your intended parents
  • Compensation: Just because you decide to go independently does not mean you are going to get a higher compensation

How To Find Surrogacy Agencies In Florida

Family Inceptions is a surrogacy and egg donation agency first established in 2008 and has been helping local families and surrogates looking to complete the journey of surrogacy in Orlando, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, Gainesville, Jacksonville, and Ocala, as well as the surrounding cities.

We help families from metro Miami to Panama City, Lakeland down to West Palm Beach. We are a full-service Surrogacy and Egg Donation Agency, providing both surrogates and egg donors for intended parents across the state.

While we have general guidelines, we make sure to individualize plans intended for specific timelines, preferences, and locations. This individualization is what makes Family Inceptions one of the top surrogacy agencies in the US and the most sought-after agency for surrogates.

And although we are headquartered just outside Atlanta, GA, we work with intended parents and surrogates across the United States.

In today’s age of travel restrictions and virtual meetings, there is no reason your surrogacy agency needs to be close by. For your health and safety, all meetings would be done virtually even if you did live around the corner from our office.

The Family Inceptions team is readily available 24/7 to support you and guide you step-by-step through the surrogacy journey. You’ll never lack the feeling of connection with us no matter how far away you live.

Do you know what’s more important than the location of the surrogacy agency you work with? How they treat you. Click here to read “6 Red Flags to Watch Out For When Selecting a Surrogacy Agency as a Potential Surrogate”

Is There A Podcast Discussing Surrogacy In FL?

Yes! You want to listen as real surrogates tell their stories. You want to be fully informed about surrogacy before taking the leap. You want a podcast that gives it to you straight.

Have you heard of the Fertility Cafe podcast? If not, you’re totally missing out.

Host Eloise Drane cuts through the crap and gives you the information you really need and want to know. The good and the not-so-good. Eloise covers a wide variety of topics related to fertility and modern family building, but we’ve gathered a binge-worthy collection of Fertility Cafe episodes related specifically to becoming a gestational surrogate.

Top Podcasts About Becoming a Surrogate:

Take The Next Step In Becoming A Surrogate

Women who consider giving the gift of parenthood to another family often think about it for years before they even reach out to an agency to start the process. They often say “it keeps coming back to my heart”. Taking a few more months to fully research and learn more about proven agencies often leads them to fulfill their dream of giving the gift of a child to a well-deserving family.

Interested in getting in-depth information for any woman considering surrogacy? Click here to download The Insider’s Guide to Becoming a Surrogate for free.

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Eloise Drane
Eloise Drane, Founder

"I believe that we are all placed on this earth for a purpose. Each one of us has a specific calling in this world and although it is different for everyone, we are here to serve one another. My purpose is to help women who wish to become surrogates and egg donors and the hopeful parents who wish to partner with them. I feel very lucky to be living my purpose."