Surrogacy is a blessing for many individuals and couples who want to have a child but cannot do so due to various reasons. According to Surrogate Parenting Services, there are approximately 750 babies born through gestational surrogacy each year in the United States. California is one of the most surrogate-friendly states in the United States, allowing a clear path to parentage for intended parents.
The surrogacy process can be complex, with many steps to follow, and it is helpful to know those steps before you start the process.
Find a surrogate
Once you decide to pursue surrogacy, the next step is finding a surrogate. This could be someone you know, or you can use a surrogacy agency. It is important to ensure that the potential surrogate is physically healthy, emotionally ready and understands her role in the process.
Once your surrogate has been medically and psychologically cleared you can proceed to drafting the surrogacy agreement. Both parties (Intended Parents and Surrogate) need their own attorneys to review the Agreement with them. Once everyone reviews and agrees the surrogacy agreement is signed and notarized by everyone and the clinic is notified that the cycle can move forward.
After selecting a surrogate and completing your surrogacy agreement, the medical procedures begin. The intended mother or egg donor will undergo egg retrieval, the intended father or sperm donor will provide sperm, and the surrogate will receive fertility treatments to prepare her uterus for the embryo transfer.
Following successful implantation, the surrogate will carry the pregnancy to term. Throughout this stage, you will need to support your surrogate emotionally and financially. You can stay involved by attending doctor’s appointments and sharing in the joy of each milestone.
Establishing parental rights
California law allows you to establish parental rights before the child’s birth through a pre-birth order. This ensures that your names are on the birth certificate and that you have all parental rights and responsibilities from the moment your child is born.
Birth and beyond
When the child is born, you will be able to welcome your new family member into the world in the delivery room. After the birth, you need to ensure the surrogate receives proper postnatal care.
The relationship with the surrogate can continue based on the agreement you have reached together. For example, many people look at their relationship with their surrogate as a business relationship and stop communicating when the baby is born. However, others view the surrogate as an important part of their family and choose to update them on anything regarding the baby.
Starting a family via surrogacy is a journey filled with excitement, hope and, sometimes, anxiety. Understanding each stage of the process can help you approach surrogacy with confidence and optimism. It may be complex, but it is also deeply rewarding and life-changing.