Many individuals and couples within the LGBTQ community consider surrogacy as a path to start their new family. Surrogacy is a beautiful process that creates an intimate bond between surrogates and intended parents and has become an increasingly common pathway to having children.
When starting your surrogacy journey, it’s important to choose an LGBTQ-friendly surrogacy agency. You want to work with professionals who are inclusive, understand the needs of your growing family and will ensure you’re matched with a surrogate who is happy to carry a baby for you. Many gestational carriers in surrogacy-friendly states are interested in helping LGBTQ couples and individuals become parents. All Families Surrogacy was actually founded by a member of the LGBTQ community, who was also a gestational carrier herself — carrying a little boy for a same-sex couple. In fact, most of the staff members at All Families Surrogacy have been surrogates, and each of them have carried for same-sex couples.
Oregon has become an international center for surrogacy. Intended parents from all over the world such as Israel, France, Germany, China, Australia and Canada are flocking to surrogacy agencies like All Families Surrogacy in Oregon to become new parents. Oregon is unique in that there is a strong and proven legal process established, which makes Oregon a popular state for surrogacy. The owner of All Families Surrogacy is also the Co-Founder and Co-President of the Oregon Surrogacy Professionals Association, which aims to create safe, ethical and successful surrogacy practices in Oregon.
Gestational surrogacy is most popular today for intended parents. An embryo is created using the egg and/or sperm of the intended parents, or via donors, through in vitro fertilization (IVF). The resulting embryo is then transferred to the gestational carrier’s uterus. The gestational carrier is not biologically related to the child they carry.
It is important to give some thought to who will be genetically related to your child and if using a sperm or egg donor, whether you’ll want to work with a known or anonymous donor. Intended parents may choose to use the genetic material of one partner, and eggs or sperm of a close relative, a donor, or from the other partner. Working with an experienced surrogacy professional and fertility clinic can provide guidance when making this decision.
Once you select an agency, the application and matching process will be the same as a heterosexual couple. You must:
- Be between the ages of 21-55
- Pass a comprehensive background check, psychological and medical screenings
- Be financially stable and able to afford the costs of surrogacy
- Be in a stable living situation
- Have the support of your spouse or partner (if applicable)
- Not use illegal drugs or abuse alcohol
If you meet those requirements, you’ll sign an Agency Agreement, and then the agency will create an intended parent profile after initial screening and testing. This profile will help surrogates see how dedicated and prepared you are to become parents. It’s an opportunity to showcase what you’ll be like as parents, and to give the surrogate a window into who you are and what your life is like.
All Families Surrogacy will then go through the matchmaking process to find a surrogate that’s the right choice for you, and will ensure the surrogate finds you to be the right choice for her. At that point, you will get to know each other before you move to the next phase and sign legal contracts, making everything official.
It’s not uncommon to have a lot of questions about the surrogacy process. That’s why it’s recommended to work with an experienced and trusted surrogacy agency that will walk you through the entire process. A surrogacy professional can explain everything from costs and insurance coverage, to finding a surrogacy lawyer and qualified fertility clinic. As with any big life decision, it’s important to do your research.
As an intended parent, the most important thing to remember is to go into the process with an open mind and heart. Your surrogate wants to be there to help make your dreams come true. It’s an incredible journey for everyone involved and you should be prepared to learn and grow from the experience. If you’re ready to take the first step, we’re here to help.