Surrogacy in the US is administered at state level, which means that there are no fixed federal laws on the subject and the states have their own say in regulating commercial surrogacy arrangements. If you’re looking for a surrogate in the US, you must clearly understand your legal rights, surrogacy costs, the treatment process and what it entails, and other details before starting the process.
In states where it is allowed, surrogacy is well-regulated. Intended parents of all nationalities commission for gestational surrogacy in the US with any of our reliable clinics and surrogate agencies. Irrespective of your citizenship, children born from surrogate pregnancies in the US are all eligible for US passports.
US Surrogacy laws by state
States that are most surrogacy-friendly: surrogacy is allowed and both parents can have their names on the baby’s birth certificate
California, Nevada, New Jersey, Vermont, Delaware, District of Columbia, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island
States where surrogacy is legal but you some post-birth procedure may be involved:
Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, West Virginia
States where surrogacy is practiced but there may be legal hurdles:
Idaho, Tennessee, Virginia, Wyoming, Arizona, Indiana
States where commercial surrogacy is banned by law:
Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska
How much does surrogacy in the US cost?
The cost of surrogacy in the US is between $59,000 – $1,49,000. While some fees like legal agreement drafting, non-medical back ground check of the surrogate, housekeeping and childcare allowance, etc. are standard, others such as surrogate base compensation and health insurance are variable and depend upon your personal preferences and budget.
You can meet with the agent and the surrogates and decide on what price package works best for you. All the payments are managed via a transparent escrow system and are totally secure.
How to select your surrogate?
Selecting the right woman to be your surrogate carrier could be daunting for the first-time parents and the process can feel overwhelming.
However, if you know exactly what you’re looking for and with the help of an established surrogacy agency, you may be able to find just the right surrogate.
Some factors to consider are:
- Overall nature and sense of responsibility: You need someone that you can trust, who has a sense of responsibility and is committed to taking care of herself and the baby through the pregnancy.
- Health history: This is typically a part of the surrogate’s medical screening. You want to hire someone who has normal Body Mass Index (BMI), no serious allergies, infections, or lifestyle diseases.
- Age: Women between the ages of 21 and 37 can easily carry your baby, provided all other health criteria is met. You don’t want to just choose someone that is the youngest as women in their 20s might be relatively busier than someone in their mid or late 30s. As such, you need you consider who you feel the most comfortable with.
- Location: Mostly, people choose to hire a surrogate that is closer to their home location or in a major city, where they can easily travel to.
- Relationship status: Surrogate mothers are normal women, who will likely have a partner and perhaps, children of their own. You need to ensure that her partner or family is supportive of her decision to be a surrogate as by creating the right environment around her, they become a part of the process too.
- Home environment: A pleasant home environment and healthy network of friends and family will be helpful for your surrogate.
- Lifestyle: You must find out her smoking and drinking habits, as well as exercise and diet routine. Some parents also request the surrogates to have a special diet with some organic meals or restrict some food items.
- Pregnancy and delivery history: Having safely delivered babies prior to becoming a surrogate is sometimes a criterion for hiring as it establishes the woman’s ability to carry a healthy pregnancy to term. Discussing past pregnancies and delivery history should be an important part of your surrogate screening process.
- Mental and emotional health: This is usually part of the psychological screening process. A content, mentally-stable person, who does not have any major history of depression or serious anxiety, would be suitable to handle the pressures of a pregnancy.
What does the surrogacy process entail?
If you are unable to carry a pregnancy to term because of any medical or congenital problems, a surrogacy arrangement will allow you to have a baby as another woman carries it for you in her womb.
The process starts with screening and selecting a surrogate that matches your requirements and then completing the paperwork.
Once satisfied, we can proceed with the medical part of the process: Invitro fertilization (IVF) with your own, or a donor’s gametes. The standard IVF process takes 12-15 days and it involves:
- Injections for ovarian stimulation
- Egg collection
- Sperm collection and processing
- Fertilization of the two gametes and formation of embryos
- Embryo culture to day 5 (or as suitable in the situation)
The ready embryos are then sent to a genetic laboratory for pre-implantation genetic testing, if required, or are implanted into the surrogate’s uterus. For the next nine months, the surrogate and her caretakers will take care of her health and that of your growing baby.
All good agents encourage you to be in touch with your surrogate and do regular meetings to keep track of the surrogacy process.
Do I need a surrogacy lawyer?
Normally, the surrogacy agency will introduce you to the lawyers they regularly work with, and the law firm will help you with:
- Guiding you through the process
- Preparing your surrogacy contract
- Helping obtain the essential parentage orders and other documents
Connect with our surrogacy agents in:
USA: Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Illinois, Colorado, California
Surrogacy in the US is secure, safe option as it is nicely-regulated in places, where it is allowed. It is certainly an expensive arrangement to get into, but with the right agent and by making some smart choices, you can save thousands of dollars.
For more information on the medical part, doctors, and surrogacy in the US, get in touch via the form on this page.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; ART and Gestational Carriers: https://www.cdc.gov/art/key-findings/gestational-carriers.html