For some people, starting a family is simple. Straightforward. For others, they need a bit of help. Family dynamics are changing, and along with it, so are societal norms. For years, surrogacy programs and reproductive medicine had a deep stigma attached to a process that was already difficult and overwhelmingly expensive.
As times change, mindsets shift, and science progresses, reproductive medicine has finally enjoyed an understanding. Celebrities surrogacies make top-billed news, and the world seems to have become a bit more comfortable with the ideal of couples finding a way to have the child they’ve always wanted, but are unable to have on their own.
However, despite the advances in medicine and deterioration of stigma, some people are still finding it difficult to secure a safe surrogacy. These people are most often gay men. Of the handful of countries that offer safe and legally protected surrogacy arrangements, few extend their services to same-sex partners. Thankfully, companies like ilaya are constantly trying to engineer better choices and programs for all families.
Gay Surrogacy: Your Surrogacy Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive
Most surrogacy programs come with a hefty price tag. But, gay couples are generally stuck with one much bigger than heterosexuals. This is largely due to the fact that many countries that allow surrogacy, don’t extend their services to gay couples. Requiring these parents to pay more for travel or services.
The United States offers a few options for gay parents, most notably programs in California. Cross-border programs, like those of the US and Mexico, or Ukraine and the Czech Republic can offer intended parents a better option when it comes to prices, without having to sacrifice on quality.
Ensure that when it comes to choosing your surrogacy program, that you elect one with upfront pricing and transparent fees. Generally, the more options a clinic can realistically extend you, the more money you are poised to save.
Make sure that any clinic you choose discusses the possibilities of failed IVF cycles. And what that might mean for your family, your surrogate, and your bank account. While it may feel less than important to worry about cost, getting the best pricing possible is one way to deal with the stresses that all surrogate programs are sure to present.
Gay Surrogacy: How Does the Relationship with Your Surrogate Work?
Generally, the relationship you will have with your surrogate is decided shortly after being matched with them. While it is perfectly reasonable to want a surrogate to stay in contact with your family for years to come, it’s also just as reasonable to want to keep a professional and business-like relationship with them.
Surrogate-intended parent relationships vary just as widely as the family dynamics themselves. Take time to consider the type of relationship you will want for your family and your future child, and make sure to discuss this with all parties involved before you make your final selection.
Most often, regardless of what future relationship you will have with your surrogate, you will be in regular contact with them throughout the pregnancy. Some surrogates are happy to have you and your partner at birth, should you choose to be. Occasionally, it will be possible for you and your husband to go and meet the surrogate from time to time throughout the pregnancy.
Again, these are all things that should be considered and discussed prior to finalizing your surrogacy agreement. Occasionally, surrogates will go as far as to provide, pump and ship breast milk to intended parents. It is often necessary to pay for this extended service and for any necessary equipment, but don’t be afraid to ask.
Gay Surrogacy: How Does Parentage Work?
Some couples prefer that their sperm be mixed so that the biological father of the child is unknown. Some parents prefer that one partner or the other be the one to donate sperm.
For certain programs, only the parent who is biologically related to the child can be listed on the child’s birth certificate, requiring the other partner to petition for legal custody of the child. This is not necessarily always the case. But make sure to ask your agency about the parentage laws that will apply to your family, and what it could cost after birth.
It’s rare that surrogate mothers are genetically related to the child they carry, which means that a donor egg will be required. In most countries, while it’s illegal to pay for genetic material like sperm and egg, there are still laboratory and procedural fees that go along with using donated materials. So while they are technically donated, the use of donor eggs is not free.
Discuss any possible fees with any agencies you’re in contact with. Always talk to as many people as you can before you settle on a specific program. While it’s completely understandable that you’re excited to be underway with your new family, make sure to take the time to ask any questions you may have, of your agency or your surrogate.
Should You Worry About Postpartum Issues Your Surrogate May Experience?
Any woman who has elected to become a surrogate is doing so because they love to help people. Bringing joy to you and your partner’s life is their ultimate goal. During the birth, everyone is absolutely buzzing with joy, as they should be! It is definitely a time for celebration and unrelenting happiness. The end of your journey has finally arrived. And with it, so too are all of the dreams you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
But where does this leave your surrogate? While postpartum issues absolutely exist, transition back to “normal” life is usually much easier for surrogates. Not only are they well aware of the choice they are making when they decide to become a surrogate, but they also have lives of their own.
Many surrogates have partners and children. In most countries, this is a prerequisite for becoming a surrogate for precisely this reason. Having a family of their own, as well as connecting with you and your family throughout the pregnancy, allows them a peace of mind. They have a strong familial support system and see the loving parents that you will be.
All agencies will provide their surrogates, and their clients, with counselling and mental health support systems. So should your surrogate begin struggling, they will be provided with all the professional support they will require?
Staying close with your surrogate following the pregnancy is a choice that will be made between you and your surrogate. But in choosing the right surrogacy agency, you will find that both you, your family, and your surrogate will receive the absolute best care, best prices, and best future.