Surrogacy for Gay Men

Most Common Question From Gay Men About Surrogacy

We asked our Instagram community some of their top questions about surrogacy — Kristin Marsoli from Circle Surrogacy answers some of the most common!

We turned to our Instagram community to see what burning question gay men had about surrogacy — how much does it cost? how does the process work? How long does it take? We turned to Kristin Marsoli of Circle Surrogacy for the answers! Have some other questions you'd like our experts to answer? Email us at dads@gayswithkids.com!

How will working with an agency make my surrogacy journey easier?

Surrogacy can be a complex process with many moving parts. Working with an agency makes your journey easier because you're working with a team of professionals who are experts in surrogacy. An agency will partner with you to coordinate your journey, guide you through the process, and ensure you are ready for each milestone. This includes helping you find a surrogate, writing contracts, legal expertise and preparation for delivery day.

Read more.

Will both dads' names be on the birth certificate?

Short answer is: yes!

Intended Parents can be matched with gestational carriers who reside in states where they can obtain both names on the birth certificate with:

  • Pre-Birth or Post-birth declarations of parentage for both dads
  • Post-birth second or step-parent adoption process for non-biological dad

Intended parents can also return to their home state to complete second or step parent adoption for the non-biological dad. Intended Parents' marital status, state of residence, country of residence, citizenship needs will all impact this.

How can I be sure that I'm working with an LGBTQ friendly agency?

There are a few things to look for when considering a surrogacy agency:

  1. Do they have experience helping LGBTQ+ intended parents?
  2. Do they have the legal expertise regarding same sex parents and parentage?
  3. Are they affiliated with any LGBTQ+ organizations?

Circle Surrogacy was founded by a gay dad through surrogacy, who was also a lawyer. From its inception almost 25 years ago, Circle has been making parenthood possible – safely and securely – for LGBTQ+ families around the world.

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How much does it cost?

Surrogacy costs vary by journey. Average surrogacy costs (not including IVF clinic costs):

  • Surrogacy only: $119,000
  • Surrogacy + egg donation $145,000

At Circle Surrogacy, our costs are all inclusive (except for IVF clinic costs). Our costs include: agency fees, legal fees, surrogate & egg donor compensation and coordination, unlimited surrogate and donor rematching, travel costs and insurance. When comparing agency costs, be sure to find out exactly what their costs cover so there are no surprises along the way!

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Is surrogacy difficult for Dutch citizens?

No! There is a formula in terms of legal work, birth certificate, legal process in the Netherlands that has worked for some time. Wilma Eusman is an excellent attorney in Amsterdam that can assist with the process and is a great starting point for intended parents gathering information. Circle has worked with many intended parents successfully in the Netherlands!

How long does the surrogacy process take?

Very busy day of young business person

Great question! The average length of the surrogacy process at Circle ranges from 16-21 months, from sign on to holding your baby for the first time. Of course, there are journeys that take less time, and some that take longer. Where you live and your matching criteria can affect the length of your journey.

What are your thoughts on traditional surrogacy? Do you have much experience with it?

At Circle, we only do gestational surrogacy - where the gestational carrier is implanted with an embryo created with the intended parents biology (or with an egg donor). In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate is not genetically related to the baby. We do not do traditional surrogacy.

Is the process harder when someone wants to be a single parent?

The surrogacy process is the same process for all intended parents. Single intended parents should be prepared to have a strong support system to assist them during their journey, as well as after the baby arrives. Being a single intended parents may slightly impact your match time, but other than that, the process is the same. Some of Circle's first intended parents from over 20 years ago were single gay dads!

Where can I find an AFFORDABLE surrogacy option?

Surrogacy costs vary for each individual journey. However, here are considerations on how you can reduce the costs of your surrogacy journey:

  • Research organizations that offer grants and discounts, such as the Men Having Babies GPAP program.
  • See if your own company benefits packages reveals IVF, surrogacy and other benefits you may not know you had.
  • Find surrogacy programs that help control costs. At Circle, we offer an unlimited package of rematching with surrogates and donors, as well as a fixed fee program that, while looking more expensive, will completely control your costs.

What percentage are actually successful the first time?

The IVF process has improved greatly over the last 5 years; today, a single embryo transfer success rate is usually over 70%. NOTE: it's common for intended parents to experience more than one transfer. Industry guidelines advise IPs to measure success with up to 3 transfers.

-->At Circle, 95.5% of IPs who signed on since 2015 and completed a journey with us with at least 1 transfer had a baby! And 99.4% of IPs who did at least 3 transfers had a baby!

(Fertility clinics are usually able to answer questions about their success rates with donor eggs and surrogacy.)

What do most couples look for when choosing an agency?

Friendly company executive interviewing candidate for vacancy

Choosing the right agency for you is an important first step! Consider this when choosing a surrogacy agency:

  • Agency experience
  • Legal expertise
  • Personality fit
  • Views on surrogate relationship
  • Costs of services
  • Full service vs non full service

Your agency will play a critical role in the success of your surrogacy journey. Finding a reputable agency that you feel comfortable working with is key!

Read more.

Is there financing available for surrogacy costs for gay men?

Yes! Circle currently works with Prosper lending that offers different loans for all U.S. intended parents. The Men Having Babies Organization (MHB) also has programs that we take part in that offer discounted services (and sometimes free services) through their GPAP program.

Read more.

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Gay Dad Family Stories

David and Ben Met on the Dance Floor — and Are Now Grooving Their Way Through Fatherhood

David and Ben, who became fathers with the help of Northwest Surrogacy Center, live in Melbourne with their daughter, Maia.

In 2003, while both studying at Reading University in the UK, Ben Suter and David Cocks met after locking eyes on the dance floor and then being introduced by a mutual friend. Ben, a meteorologist and Operations Manager, and David, an Assistant Principal, have been together ever since. They moved to Australia together in 2010, seeking a different life, and an overall better work-life balance. The chose Cairns in Queensland as their new home, between the Great Barrier Reef and the tropical rainforest, "taking life a bit easier," said David. The couple were also married in June 2016, back home in England.

While David always wanted kids, Ben took a little convincing. So they started their parenting journey with a dog, Titan, who quickly became like their first born. From there, Ben came around rather quickly.

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A Gay Fertility Doctor Opens Up About His Own Path to Parenthood

Parenthood is the "one and only job" held by the majority of the population, wrote gay fertility doctor Mark Leondires in a recent op-ed for The Advocate

Dr. Mark Leondires, founder of the fertility clinic RMA of Connecticut, has helped thousands of LGBTQ people become parents over the years. But in a recent op-ed for The Advocate, he discussed his own path to parenthood as a gay man, and some of the lessons he's learned along the way.

"Similar to most gay men I struggled with the coming out process," Dr. Leondires wrote. "I strongly desired to be a parent. And as a fertility doctor I knew this was possible. What was enlightening was after we had our first child is that in the eyes of my community, I went from being a gay man or gay professional to being a parent just like most of my straight friends."

Dr. Leondires goes on to say his reasons for opening up about his parenting journey is to offer some perspective LGBTQ people who are considering parenthood. "Once you have a family you will have this common bond with the vast majority of our population and something they can relate to — having children," he wrote. "You are no longer someone living this "special" lifestyle, you are a parent on a shared journey."

Being a parent is the "one and only job" held by the majority of the population, he continued. "It is also the only job you can't be fired from."

Understanding this commonality helped Dr. Leondires in his coming out process, he said. "I had to be proud of my family because I want them to be proud of our family," he wrote. "It wasn't about me anymore. The reality is that 5-7% of patients identify as LGBTQ+, and there may be a greater likelihood that your child might be LGBTQ+ because you are. Therefore, you need to be proud of who you are and who your family is, establish and maintain this foundation unconditionally."

Read Dr. Leondires entire essay here.

News

People Magazine Interviews Four Surrogates in Latest Issue

People Magazine helped humanize the experiences of surrogates by interviewing for women who carried babies for other people

There are common misperceptions about what motivates women to do the seemingly unthinkable: carry a child for another person. The only motivator, people assume, must be money. But as anyone who has been through the process will tell you — the reasons women decide to carry children for other people are varied. Financial compensation is of course a factor, but typically it is not the only one, and rarely is it even the most important.

Recently, People Magazine ran a feature on four women who served as surrogates, which helped reveal a plethora of other motivators. Sammie Diaz, for instance, carried a son for a gay couple in Seattle, because she was motivated to help people who can't have children on their own start their families — money was just a minot factor.

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"Dadvocates" Gather in D.C. to Demand Paid Family Leave for ALL Parents

"Dadvocate" and new gay dad Rudy Segovia joined others in D.C. recently to educate lawmakers on the need for paid family leave for ALL parents

On Tuesday October 22, Dove Men+Care and PL+US (Paid Leave for the United States) led the Dads' Day of Action on Capitol Hill. A group of over 40 dads and "dadvocates" from across the states lobbied key member of Congress on the issue of paid paternity leave for *ALL* dads. They shared stories of their struggles to take time off when welcoming new family members and the challenges dads face with no paid paternity leave.

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Gay Dad Photo Essays

Falling for Fall: 33 Photos of Gay Dads and Kids at the Pumpkin Patch

Oh my gourd, it's fall! To celebrate, we rounded up 33 pics (and whole lot of pun-kins) in our annual fall photo essay!

Don your checked shirt, grab them apples, and shine those smiles while perched on pumpkins — it's the annual fall family photo op! A trip to the pumpkin patch and / or apple orchard is a staple family fall outing, and we're here for it. 🎃🍎🍂👨👨👧👦

Thanks to these dads who shared their pics with us! Share your own to dads@gayswithkids.com and we'll add them to this post!

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Single Gay Dad and the City

When Kyle decided to take his four kids, ages 6-11, to New York City on vacation, his friends thought he was crazy.

"You're crazy, Kyle."

"You can't be serious? A single dad taking four kids to the Big Apple? Think again."

"That's bold. There's no way I'd do that."

Those were a few of the responses I heard from my friends as I told them I was thinking of booking a trip to New York City with four kids, ages 11-6. My children's fall vacation from school was approaching and I wanted to get out of the house and explore. Was the Big Apple too much of an adventure?

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News

National's Pitcher Cites Wife's Two Moms as Reason for Declining White House Invite

"I think that's an important part of allyship," Doolittle said of his wife's two moms.

Sean Doolittle, pitcher for the Washington Nationals, declined an invitation to the White House after his team won the World Series this year. In an interview with the Washington Post, he listed his numerous reasons for staying home — and a main consideration, he revealed, was his wife's two moms.

"I want to show support for them. I think that's an important part of allyship, and I don't want to turn my back on them," Doolittle said during the interview.

Trump's treatment of a minority groups, generally, factored into his decision as well. "I have a brother-in-law who has autism, and [Trump] is a guy that mocked a disabled reporter. How would I explain that to him that I hung out with somebody who mocked the way that he talked or the way that he moves his hands? I can't get past that stuff."

Doolitttle clarified that his decision had little to do with policy disagreements with the White House. "There's a lot of things, policies that I disagree with, but at the end of the day, it has more to do with the divisive rhetoric and the enabling of conspiracy theories and widening the divide in this country. My wife and I stand for inclusion and acceptance, and we've done work with refugees, people that come from, you know, the 'shithole countries.'"

He concluded by saying he respected his teammates decision to attend the White house ceremony. "I want people to know that I put thought into this, and at the end of the day, I just can't go."

Read more of the Washington Post interview here.

Fatherhood, the gay way

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