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.
US surrogacy agencies offer the best protection for international intended parents. Other international surrogacy agencies may not offer the same level of service and security to intended parents that a US surrogacy agency can offer. Working with a reputable surrogacy agency in the US that is skilled in helping international gay parents grow their families is key to your success. Circle has grown families in over 70 countries, and every one of them returned home safely with their baby(ies).
In today's world, working with a surrogacy agency that is halfway across the world is relatively easy and seamless. You are able to meet with the agency a via video call, at a time when it's convenient for you. Or, many agencies travel worldwide meeting with parents, and you may meet them in your home country. Most communication with the agency is done via email, phone calls or video.
How many times do I have to come to the US for my surrogacy journey?
At the minimum, you would travel to the US two times: the first time to create your embryos, the second time is for the birth of your baby. Many international intended parents, however, come to the US additional times during their journey, including: the embryo transfer and 20-week ultrasound. Additional visits allow them to spend time with their surrogate and her family, getting to know them and the area where their baby will be born.
What are the benefits of working with US surrogacy agency if you live outside of the United States?
1. Your child is a US citizen
Any child born in the United States is a US citizen. Your baby will receive a US birth certificate and is entitled to a US passport for travel purposes (you can usually get one in 24-72 hours from application). Your surrogacy lawyers will do the legal work to establish your parentage (either via a Pre-Birth Order, post-birth order or possibly through a second parent adoption). You will be the sole legal and physical parents under American law. By establishing the rights of parentage in the United States, you can travel home safely and securely. Some countries – such as Spain, Sweden and Germany (amongst others) – accept the US Declaration of Parentage.
2. Surrogates are fully screened and get the best medical care
Surrogacy agencies in the U.S. follow strict guidelines and screening protocols for women who are interested in becoming surrogates. Women must complete a lengthy application, undergo medical and psychological testing, and identify a primary support person for her journey. Plus, surrogates have access to the most-advanced medical care, and the world's top hospitals. These same protocols are not always followed by international surrogacy agencies.
3. Financial security
In the US, when you embark on a surrogacy journey with most agencies, your money is safe. Circle Surrogacy is a well-established, secure company. The money you send to the agency is secure, held in an IOLTA account (Interest on Lawyer Trust Account). IOLTA accounts are kept only at regulated and approved financial institutions.
Returning home with your baby(ies)
One concern international dads-to-be may have is how they will get their brand new baby home. Just the thought of traveling all that way with a newborn can be stressful. Because your baby would be a US citizen, you'll obtain a passport for travel. Working with an agency such as Circle will ensure you return home safely with full parental rights. In some instances there may be additional legal work to be done upon returning home. If so, your surrogacy lawyer will play an advisory role and assist you in connecting with legal counsel in your home country.
Being a gay dad thousands of miles away from an agency in the United States may feel daunting, but you can be confident knowing that many other international gay men have become parents through surrogacy in the US. You'll follow a precise surrogacy process, work closely with your lawyers to establish parentage, and your agency will assist you in preparing for the birth of your baby in the US, but also for your travel home so you can start your life together as a family.