Become a Gay Dad

7 Tips to Consider When Choosing Your Surrogate or Gestational Carrier

Here are 7 Important Criteria to Review Before You Meet with a Prospective Gestational Carrier


You've either found your  gestational carrier (often called a “surrogate”) on your own or through a surrogacy agency. While the relationship between prospective dad and carrier is dependent on the personalities involved, here's a checklist of 7 items that should accurately describe all gestational carriers interested in helping gay men become dads.

1. She’s gay friendly. 

Generally, gestational carriers are allowed to choose which types of families they are comfortable working with and which they are not. A good agency will take the time to ensure your gestational carrier is not only comfortable helping gay men become dads, but she is in fact truly excited by the idea!

2. She’s already successfully carried a child to term. 

Roughly 10 percent of couples are affected by infertility. As a result, surrogacy agencies only work with women who have already successfully conceived and carried a child to term. This also ensures that the carrier will know what it's like to be pregnant and to deliver a baby.

3. She’s completed her own family.

A gestational carrier’s willingness to carry your child to term shouldn't make it impossible for her to complete her own family; therefore, make sure that your gestational carrier has completed her own family before she embarks on your family-creation journey.

4. She’s younger than 40.

While there are some exceptions, most surrogacy agencies and fertility clinics will only work with adult women between 21-40 years old, which represents their peak childbearing years.

5. She has a healthy BMI. 

A body mass index (BMI) over 35 can complicate a woman’s ability to conceive. As a result, agencies work with gestational carriers whose BMI is typically no more than 33. (For an egg donor, the standards are typically stricter, since being overweight can affect the quality of a woman’s eggs.)

6. She has no recent history of mood disorders. 

Surrogacy agencies will screen potential gestational carriers based on whether they are currently taking (or have recently ceased taking) anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications. Most agencies and fertility doctors require carriers to be free of such meds for a full year before entering a surrogacy contract.

7. She has emotional support from loved ones.

A gestational carrier must provide proof that her spouse is supportive of her decision  to embark on a surrogacy journey. If she is not married, she must have other people in her life who are supportive of her decision to act as a carrier, and who plan to provide love and support throughout for your carrier throughout the journey and in case of an emergency.

***

One bonus consideration that is very important!

Make sure you genuinely like your carrier and enjoy spending time with her. You are going to share many moments with each other, and you'll become intimately involved in each other's lives throughout the journey.  Carriers deserve our utmost respect and support, and should be treated like a family member. So it's very important that you get along well.

Read Surrogacy for Gay Couples and Singles.

 

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Surrogacy for Gay Men

Gay Surrogacy in the U.S. for International Dads

Kristin Marsoli of Circle Surrogacy breaks down the process of surrogacy for gay men outside of the United States

Written by Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation, who has been helping international gay men become dads for over two decades.

Becoming a gay dad through a surrogacy agency in the U.S. – when you live outside of the United States – can feel overwhelming. You may have questions such as: Why should I come all the way to the US for surrogacy? What do I need to know as an international intended parent? How do I get my baby home?

We spoke with Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation who has been working with international gay parents for over two decades. Circle Surrogacy was founded by a gay dad and lawyer, and is the most successful surrogacy agency with a full legal team on staff who are experts working with international parents.

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Jewish Agency to Help Cover the Costs of Surrogacy for Gay Couples

Isaac Herzog, of the Jewish Agency's Chairman of the Executive, has made it a priority to support employees family-planning journeys, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

According to an article in the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Agency for Israel is about to become first state organization to provide financial assistance to gay employees seeking child surrogacy services overseas. The move is intended to help offset the high costs associated with conducting surrogacy abroad.

The move to do so was led by Isaac Herzog, the Jewish Agency's Chairman of the Executive, who has made it a priority to support employees family-planning journeys, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The decision will apply to the agency's roughly 1,250 employees. The loans can be used to help cover the costs of necessary medical procedures before surrogacy, and for the process of surrogacy itself, the article notes.

Last year, in a controversial move, the Israeli government expanded the ability of single women to access surrogacy services in the country, but excluded single men and gay couples from the policy.

Herzog said the following in announcing the new initiative:

"We are also making a symbolic statement, because it reflects the egalitarian stance of a large organization that is recognizing the right of every man or woman to actualize their wish to be parents and to raise a family, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. The Jewish Agency is one big family, and all its members are equal."

Politics

Gestational Surrogacy Legalized in New York State

The Child-Parent Security Act, which legalizes commercial surrogacy in New York State, was included in the 2020 New York State Budget signed by Governor Cuomo

Yesterday, a years-long battle about the state of compensated gestational surrogacy came to an end in New York when the Governor signed into a law the Child-Parent Security Act in the 2020 as part of the state budget.

The effort stalled last year after opponents, including several Democrats, successfully argued that the bill didn't go far enough to protect women who serve as surrogates — even though it included a surrogate "bill of rights," the first of its kind in the country, aimed at ensuring protections.

"Millions of New Yorkers need assistance building their families — people struggling with infertility, cancer survivors impacted by treatment, and members of the LGBTQ+ community," the Family Equality Council said in a statement about the victory. "For many, surrogacy is a critically important option. For others, it is the only option. Passage of the Child-Parent Security Act is a massive step forward in providing paths to parenthood for New Yorkers who use reproductive technology, and creates a 'surrogate's bill of rights' that will set a new standard for protecting surrogates nationwide."

Opponents, led by Senator Liz Krueger, had once again attempted to torpedo legalization efforts this year by introducing a second bill that would legalize surrogacy in New York, but also make it the most restrictive state in the country to do so. "A bill that complicates the legal proceedings for the parents and potentially allows them to lose their genetic child is truly unfortunate," said Sam Hyde, President of Circle Surrogacy, referencing to the bill's 8-day waiting period. He also took issue with the bills underlying assumptions about why women decide to serve as a surrogate. The added restrictions imply that "they're entering into these arrangements without full forethought and consideration of the intended parents that they're partnering with," he said.

The bill was sponsored by State Senator Brad Hoylman, an out gay man who became a father via surrogacy, and Assemblymember Amy Paulin, who has been public with her experiences with infertility.

"My husband and I had our two daughters through surrogacy," Holyman told Gay City News. "But we had to travel 3,000 miles away to California in order to do it. As a gay dad, I'm thrilled parents like us and people struggling with infertility will finally have the chance to create their own families through surrogacy here in New York."

"This law will [give intended parents] the opportunity to have a family in New York and not travel around the country, incurring exorbitant costs simply because they want to be parents," Paulin said for her part. It will "bring New York law in line with the needs of modern families."


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