Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between gestational and traditional surrogacy?
Traditional surrogacy occurs when a woman carries a child conceived from her own egg with the intention of granting parental rights over the child to another party following birth. Donor sperm may be used; however the surrogate mother in a traditional surrogacy arrangement is genetically related to the child.
In gestational surrogacy, a woman carries a child conceived from an egg that is not her own. A gestational surrogate, has no genetic relationship to the child she carries. The child is conceived via In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Donor eggs and/or donor sperm may be used.
How do I know if surrogacy is right for me?
There are important questions to ask yourself, personal circumstances to consider and key steps to take as you explore the possibility of gestational surrogacy.
- Are you ready to move on from your current infertility treatments?
- How do you feel about someone carrying your child on your behalf?
- Are both partners ready to do this? If you are single, do you have a strong support system to help you through this process?
- How will you explain the birth to family and friends, and eventually your child?
- Emotional demands on you and your loved ones
- Medical procedures that may be required
- Time commitment
- The legal process involved
- Travel considerations
- Delivery plan and post-delivery details
At TSE, we recommend seeking experienced advice during the decision making process, whether it be from a professional, a former intended parent or a surrogate mother. Numerous resources exist, including our agency, to help intended parents understand all facets of the process.
Often, intended parents do not know anyone who has personally experienced surrogacy. Please do not hesitate to contact us and we can put you in touch with other intended parents or a surrogate mother.
How much does gestational surrogacy cost?
On average, the total cost of surrogacy, including all fees, medical reimbursements and miscellaneous expenses, can range from $90,000 to $125,000.
The total cost of surrogacy will vary depending on insurance coverage, medical procedures required, legal representation needed, travel requirements and surrogate compensation/reimbursements.
What are the advantages of working with a surrogacy agency?
Working with a surrogacy agency is imperative to help guide you through the surrogacy journey. A do-it-yourself approach only adds legal risk and anxiety to an already complex process. A qualified agency will match intended parents with the right surrogate mother, arrange proper legal representation and handle all insurance and financial related matters.
Do you work with intended parents from other countries?
At The Surrogacy Experience, we welcome intended parents from around the world as they come to the United States to achieve their family dream.
TSE will guide international intended parents throughout the process from decision to delivery, allowing a return home without undue complications. We provide access to an exclusive carrier program, provide referrals to qualified legal and medical professionals, handle all administrative details and manage any additional complexities associated with your specific location so you can move ahead with confidence.
Do you work with same-sex couples or individuals who are not married?
TSE welcomes all individuals or couples considering the journey to parenthood through gestational surrogacy, regardless of marital status or sexual orientation.
Who are TSE Gestational Carriers?
The basic qualifications to become a TSE gestational carrier include:
- Permanent resident currently living in the United States
- Between the age of 21 and 42, although the age limit is flexible for experienced carriers
- Given birth to a child without any complications
- Physically and Emotionally healthy
- Preferably completed raising their own family
Meeting these basic qualifications is only the first step in our pre-screening program, which involves getting to know our potential surrogates personally and understanding their motivations. We have found that most surrogates are motivated to help intended parents beyond compensation. We ensure that our surrogates are emotionally, physically and psychologically ready before entering our program. Once accepted, we provide strong support for our surrogates throughout the process and beyond delivery.
Do you pre-screen surrogate candidates before matching them with intended parents?
Yes, all potential carriers go through a rigorous pre-screening process before being added into our program. We do not accept candidates that do not meet physical, emotional or psychological wellness qualifications. We review their motivations for becoming a surrogate and other aspects of their personal circumstances. A psychological evaluation, home study and background check are performed before each is qualified to begin the matching process.
What type of relationship am I expected to have with my gestational carrier?
Every surrogacy relationship is wholly unique. Developing a clear understanding of your expectations for the relationship and sharing those with your agency and potential surrogate is important.
The primary areas for discussion about your relationship expectations include regularity of communication, types of communication and the nature of your personal relationship. This relationship can be characterized in many different ways or you may choose not to have a relationship. Every parent’s feelings will be different, as will those of every surrogate mother.
Of course, relationships evolve and change over time, try to create a foundation with your surrogate mother on which a healthy relationship can develop.
What is a pre-birth order?
The pre-birth order, or pre-birth parentage order, has had a significant influence on the growing acceptance of gestational surrogacy in the United States. It allows intended parents of children born through gestational surrogacy to have their names listed on the child’s birth certificate, thus granting them full parental rights to the child.
The particular laws of each state and the particular circumstances of the intended parent(s) involved will dictate when a petition for a pre-birth parentage order is appropriate and how it should be handled. Qualified legal counsel should have a firm understanding of this process.