Surrogacy for Gay Men

Gay Dads Ask: Can We Make Surrogacy Cheaper?

The guys behind Daddy Squared are back with the second season of their podcast! And they're starting by tackling a common question: why is surrogacy so expensive?

Through our podcast we have met so many dads in various stages of the parenthood journey. But whether it's in gay dad Facebook groups or in face-to-face interaction, there's no doubt that the biggest issue gay dads tackle is the cost of surrogacy.

Bringing a biological baby into the world can cost $180,000. For twins it can be around a quarter million. The biggest question is: Can we make it cheaper?



In our season premiere of Daddy Squared we decided to dive into the costs of surrogacy and try to figure out how flexible (downward, we mean) these costs are. The first step for us was to find a surrogacy agency that we can trust and that agrees to be transparent with us on the money issue. Our motto was: no hidden costs.


Yan conducted research by asking gay dads in Facebook groups and dads in the community on our Instagram account. In the research, Circle Surrogacy was the #1 agency that dads were happy with in terms of client service and support. We turned to Circle Surrogacy asked to talk about money, and surprisingly (to us) we were answered quickly and warmly.

According to Sam Hyde, President of Circle Surrogacy, costs can be flexed up or flexed down based on small choices you can make along the journey. Examples include travel costs, surrogate location, egg donor history, etc.

"When you're going through a journey like this there are, unfortunately, quite a few 'fingers in the pie' with regard to costs," Hyde explains, "and I think that what drives confusion sometimes, or anxiety around the costs, is the different parties that are involved."

"To break it down at a high level, there are a couple of big buckets you'll be looking at when it comes to cost," Sam says. "The first one that I list, just because of my position, is the agency fee. This is the cost associated with the surrogacy or egg donation agency that will help you and holds your hand along the journey."

During our research we realized that some agencies (Circle, for example) include in their fees all the legal costs as well. Other agencies use an outside fertility lawyer that bills separately, so when comparing agency fees make sure you're comparing "apples to apples."

"The second bucket," continued Sam Hyde, "is compensation for the actual women helping you along on this journey. So that's compensation for the egg donor to go through a cycle to produce the eggs that create the embryos, and compensation for the gestational surrogate who carries the child.

"The third big bucket you'll run into is costs around the actual medical care that needs to be done. You'll work with a clinic that you'll pay for the medical work of the journey.

"The last big bucket that you'll run into is about maternity insurance. This is usually a point of confusion for some of our international clients who come from countries with a universal coverage. In the U.S. we need to put insurance vehicles in place for both the egg donor and the surrogate."

There are ways that we think can make the journey easier financially. Most of these ways also affect the amount of time it will take you to have a baby—they will stretch out the "journey." Here are things that you can look at in order to save up to $30,000 or even more in your surrogacy costs:

1. PAUSE between the first stage and the second stage. This pause will help you rest a little bit from the madness and regroup financially. The first stage is easier financial, and very crucial and stressful.

2. Choose an egg donor who is closer to the fertility clinic that you work with (can reduce travel costs for her)

3. Choose a surrogate who is relatively close to you and the clinic, but does not reside in a high-demand state

4. When selecting an egg donor, consult with the fertility clinic before the final choice. Analysis of your semen and the egg donor's medical past can save the costs of PGD testing

5. Negotiate with fertility clinics about waving extra prices (like second sperm analysis)

6. Choose an agency that has an in-house fertility lawyer and includes the attorney prices in its overall fee.


About Circle Surrogacy
Circle was founded in 1995 on the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to be a parent. To this day, that belief is at the core of everything we do. For over 20 years we've helped straight and LGBTQ+ couples and singles around the world fulfill their dreams of parenthood. We've helped bring more than 1,900 babies into this world… and counting.
We're an agency comprised of social workers and lawyers, accountants and outreach associates, and program managers and coordinators; but, more importantly, we're an agency made up of parents, surrogates and egg donors, who are passionate about helping people build their families, and invested in each and every journey.


Sam Hyde, President, Circle Surrogacy

Sam joined Circle in 2017, after spending 10 years advising and building a variety of businesses.

Having experienced fertility challenges when starting his own family, Sam understands firsthand the importance of support and help to fulfill dreams of parenthood. Sam and his wife are now blessed with two beautiful girls with the help of IVF.


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Politics

Daughter of Married Gay Couple Who Used Surrogacy Abroad Isn't Citizen, Says U.S. State Department

A decades-old law can be used to discriminate against gay couples who use surrogacy abroad.

James Derek Mize and his husband Jonathan Gregg are both American citizens, but their daughter, born via a surrogate, may not be, at least according to the U.S. State Department.

The New York Times took an in-depth look at this case in a piece that ran in the paper yesterday. While James was born and raised in the U.S, his husband Jonathan was originally born in Britain. That may be enough, according to the State Department, to deny their daughter citizenship.

"We're both Americans; we're married," James told the New York Times. "We just found it really hard to believe that we could have a child that wouldn't be able to be in our country."

According to decades-old immigration law, a child born abroad must have a biological connection to a parent that is a U.S. citizen in order to be eligible to receive citizenship upon birth. Children born via surrogacy are determined to be "out of wedlock," according to the Times report," which then requires a more onerous process to qualify for citizenship, such as demonstrating that a biological parent is not only an American citizen, but has spent at least five years in the country.

The intent of the law, which dates back to the 1950s, was to prevent people from claiming, falsely, that they are the children of U.S. parents. But LGBTQ advocates argue this archaic policy is being used intentionally to discriminates against same-sex couples, who often have to rely on donors, IVF and surrogacy in order to have biologically children, and are thus held to a higher standard.

"This is where our life is. This is where our jobs are," James told the Times. "Our daughter can't be here, but she has no one else to care for her."

Read the whole story here.


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Netflix Documentary Explores a Gay Chinese-American's Path to Parenthood Via Surrogacy

"All In My Family," a new short documentary by filmmaker Hao Wu, explores his family's struggle to accept his sexuality and decision to pursue surrogacy in the United States

Filmmaker Hao Wu's latest documentary, released on Netflix this past week, explores his coming out story and his path to becoming a gay dad via surrogacy in the United States. Viewers watch as Wu comes out to his Chinese parents, who are not accepting of his sexual orientation.

As the film's synopsis notes, Wu, the only male descendant in his Chinese family, was "raised with a certain set of expectations - excel at school, get a good job, marry, and have kids." He achieves each of these goals, but as a gay man, he hasn't done so in the way his family had hoped. The film follows Wu brings his husband and children to China to meet his family, many of who are still unaware of his sexual orientation.

"I wanted to show the challenges for gay people of Chinese descent, what kind of cultural and generational barriers and differences they have to negotiate in order to build a family of their own," Wu said in an interview with InkStone.

Watch the moving documentary in full here.


Gay Dad Family Stories

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Shelly Marsh says her daughters are her "life," and wanted to share that love as a surrogate for two different gay couples.

We've shared hundreds, possibly thousands, of stories about GBT men who've become dads through the many different paths to fatherhood. We've thanked the women who've made our dreams come true; we wouldn't be dads without their, in many cases, selfless acts of love. Amongst the courageous birth moms, and our co-parenting counterparts, are the surrogates who carry our children. It's a very personal decision to become a surrogate, but Shelly's choice was simple: if she could help others experience the joys of parenthood, she would.

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The best kind of inclusion is when you're not singled out but instead included right along with everyone else. This kind inclusion inspires others to pursue their own dreams and desires, just like any one else. As part of our popular culture, we know that brands are uniquely suited to inspire us in this way.

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When you're a young couple it's easy to order in or dine out on a daily basis, but when the kids come along, spending time in the kitchen to prepare nutritious and healthy meals for them can become a problem for some dads. We turned to gay dad and celebrity chef David Burtka who just published his debut recipe book Life is a Party, to get some advice, inspiration, and support as we take our baby steps in the kitchen.

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Popular

Couple That Met at the Gym Now Spotting Each Other Through Fatherhood

How two real New-Yorkers became two soft-hearted dads

This article is part of our family feature series with Circle Surrogacy, a surrogacy agency that has been helping LGBTQ+ singles and couples realize their dream of parenthood for the past 20 years.

Byron and Matthew Slosar, both 41, met ten years ago at one of New York City's Equinox gyms. "I asked him for a spot on the bench press," smiled Byron. The couple were married September 22, 2012.

Surrogacy was always the way Byron and Matthew wanted to become parents. They chose to wait and become dads later in life, until they had established careers and the financial means to pursue their chosen path.

They signed with Circle Surrogacy after interviewing a few agencies. "We immediately connected with their entire staff, particularly Anne Watson who lovingly dealt with my healthy neuroses on the daily for 1.5 years," said Byron. "They definitely personalized the service and helped us understand all 2,000 moving parts." The dads-to-be were also very impressed with how much emotional support they received from Circle.

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Jeremy was 16 years old when he found out his new dads wanted to adopt him.

In late August 2017, husbands Mark and Andrew Mihopulos, 34 and 36 respectively, remember driving out to the east end of Long Island. They knew at the very same moment they were driving, social workers were letting Jeremy know they wanted to adopt him. "We expected Jeremy to be hesitant or feel mixed emotions," shared Mark. "We didn't know how he would feel about having two dads and about having white parents and family, as he is a black young man."

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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