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Gestational Surrogacy in Chicago
Surrogacy is the most complex of the collaborative assisted reproductive technologies. A gestational surrogate carries a child using the intended parents’ sperm and egg or donated sperm or egg. (A traditional surrogate uses her own egg. Traditional surrogacy is less common and not covered here.) A gestational surrogate may be a family member, friend, or a woman you don’t know and are matched with through an agency. There are many surrogacy programs in Chicago that work with intended parents and gestational surrogates.
Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act
The Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act (IGSA) became effective January 1, 2005. This law has specific requirements and offers protection for people who choose gestational surrogacy in the state. It says that a court does not need to be involved in a surrogacy agreement as long as the requirements of the act are met. The intended parent or surrogate does not need to live in Illinois. This law also states that at least one of the gametes (egg or sperm) must come from an intended parent. Additional requirements include physician statements for both the surrogate and intended parents, specifications about who can become a surrogate, and legal and insurance requirements.
People do travel to Illinois from other states for surrogacy. Intended parents should work with an Illinois based attorney, as they are subject to Illinois laws.
Chicago Surrogacy Programs
Chicago has several surrogacy programs. These programs can help find egg donors and surrogates. They do extensive medical and psychological screenings of donors and surrogates. In addition they offer medical and psychological support to prospective parents. Three well-established programs are:
- Parenting Partners
- The Surrogacy Source
Consult a Chicago-area attorney experienced in surrogacy if you are considering having a baby with the help of a surrogate or gestational carrier.