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Are you thinking about starting your family or growing it via surrogacy? There are often numerous questions regarding the surrogacy process. Fortunately, surrogacy agencies such as Joy of Life® are here to provide you with the right answers. We’ve taken the time to address common issues and questions we receive from hopeful intended parents. We hope that with this information you can create a  better surrogacy plans.

1. Why Should Future Parents Use a Surrogacy Agency?

Why do you need a surrogacy agency? In a nutshell, the surrogacy process can be complex. There are a lot of legal and medical terms to understand. While intended parents can certainly pursue an independent surrogacy agency, it is not generally advised.  An experienced surrogacy agency such as Joy of Life® can help you navigate the process, develop a surrogacy plan, match you with suitable surrogates, and oversee the medical and legal processes on your behalf.

2. What Are the Different Types of Surrogacy?

There are two types of surrogacy: traditional and gestational surrogacy. Traditional surrogacy involves using the surrogate mother’s own eggs to create the embryo. This genetic link means the surrogate is the child’s biological mother which can be a source of worry for some people. Today, unless the surrogate approves and the intended parents have no issue with her being the biological mother, traditional surrogacy is avoided in lieu of gestational surrogacy.

With gestational surrogacy, future parents in CA can have a baby that is genetically related to them. The intended mother’s egg (or that of a donor) and the intended father’s sperm (or that of a donor) are used to create the embryo to be transferred to the surrogate’s womb. Gestational surrogacy eliminates any biological link the surrogate may have had and thus reduces the chance of problems developing over parental rights.

3. How Can Intended Parents Find a Surrogate?

There are three main ways for intended parents to find a surrogate. First, they can assess their own immediate network including friends and family; secondly, they can consider advertising, and lastly, they can approach a surrogacy agency for help. Finding the right surrogate can take some time however, working with a qualified surrogacy agency can significantly speed things up as they already have a database of women ready to be surrogates.

4. Do Intended Parents Share Custody With the Surrogate?

The custody situation between future parents in CA and surrogates is addressed head-on prior to any medical procedures. In essence, the surrogate relinquishes all rights to the child regardless of which type of surrogacy has been entered. By arranging a pre-order, intended parents can secure full-custody of the child ahead of the birth. All this is put down in writing via contracts that are signed by both the intended parents and the surrogate to avoid future confrontation.

5. Why Might Future Parents Need a Surrogacy Attorney?

Each state has its own surrogacy laws. Some states are friendlier to the process than others. Before you begin your surrogacy journey, you must understand the legal processes governing surrogacy in your state and this is where an attorney can help. Secondly, an attorney will help you navigate the paperwork that surrounds the process. Everything from parental rights, surrogate compensation, and surrogacy agency involvement will need to be put down in writing and contracts signed. This all needs an attorney. You don’t want to go through an independent surrogacy and realize later on that you messed up some of the paperwork because you skipped out on working with a lawyer.

6. Should You Interact With the Surrogate?

There is no pre-determined amount of contact you need to have with the surrogate. It is up to you and her to decide how much interaction you all wish to have during the pregnancy and post-pregnancy. Important to discuss is how often you’ll be in touch per week, per month, and whether or not intended parents should go to the doctor’s appointments with the surrogate. During the matching process and talks, it is important to mention the boundaries you expect once the baby is born. Some future parents in CA don’t wish to have continuous interaction with the surrogate while others would like an ongoing relationship. Again, there are no hard and fast rules where this is concerned.

7. Who Is Eligible To Be a Future Parent via Surrogacy?

Single individuals, heterosexual couples, and homosexual couples are all eligible to be future parents via surrogacy. And what if the intended parent(s) wish to be biologically related to the child, will it be possible? Yes, any of the three parties can use their eggs or sperm to have a genetic link to the child to be born so long as their eggs or sperm are viable. Future parents in CA need to be mentally, emotionally, and financially ready for such a commitment.

8. Can Both Intended Parents Be Biological Parents?

Yes, in the case of heterosexual couples with viable sperm and eggs, it is possible to have a child that is genetically related to both intended parents. The intended mother’s egg and the intended father’s sperm will be fused in a laboratory via in vitro fertilization and a healthy embryo transferred to the surrogate’s womb. This is gestational surrogacy and the surrogate will have no biological relationship with the child she is carrying.

9. How Does Surrogacy Affect Future Parents Emotionally?

Surrogacy is emotionally taxing for everyone involved – surrogate and intended parents. For future parents, however, emotions may run high because of not being able to share in the wonder of the growing baby in the first 9 months of life. There may be anxieties regarding the giving up of the child by the surrogate especially if surrogacy is a traditional one. For this reason, we encourage you to work with a surrogacy agency because they can assist you with counseling, legal necessities regarding custodianship, and offer a listening ear.

10. Is Asking a Family Member To Be a Surrogate a Good Idea?

When you have a family member or close relation to be a surrogate this is known as identified surrogacy. Identified surrogacy has its own set of challenges and advantages. Because you are already familiar with each other, this can make it difficult to tackle some of the more sensitive surrogacy issues.

Despite being family, it is still imperative to talk about financial compensation, parental rights, and the relationship the surrogate will have with the baby post-birth. If you’re not confident that you can handle these discussions by yourselves as intended parents, surrogacy agencies like Joy of Life® are there to help. In fact, it is highly recommended that you work with a surrogacy specialist so they can facilitate mediation as and when needed.

Work With Our Trusted California Surrogacy Specialists at Joy of Life

Do you have more questions about the surrogacy process or the future of parenting? We’re one of California’s most reputable surrogacy specialists. As former surrogates and intended parents, we offer insider information and advice that’s practical. Contact us for more information.

Joy of Life

Author Joy of Life

Joy of Life is a compassionate surrogacy agency committed to creating life, fostering joy and nurturing dreams. We are experts in our field, with team members boasting extensive experience in the clinical, psychological and legal aspects of surrogacy. But more than that, we are a family — a community bound by the shared purpose of helping others realize the joy of parenthood.

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