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Prospective parents explore the option of surrogacy generally because they cannot give birth to children themselves. Thanks to IVF, surrogates can carry children related to one or both intended parents if their eggs and/or sperm are healthy (donor eggs, sperm, or embryos can also be used).
What makes surrogacy complex is that another human being comes into the equation for nine plus months. And this brings emotional, medical and legal concerns. Questions you may want to examine early on when exploring surrogacy are:
- Why is having a child with a biological connection important?
- If your surrogate will use a donor embryo, you may ask, Should I consider adoption instead?
- Do we want to maintain contact with our surrogate after our child’s birth?
- Can we trust that she will take care of herself for nine months?
- Do we have the finances for a surrogate? Is this how we want to spend our money? Typically, surrogates are paid from $20,000 to $25,000 and upwards. In addition, medical insurance, uncovered medical costs and legal fees can bring the bill to about $120,000.
Take time to explore these questions with your partner, trusted friends and/or a therapist trained in third-party reproduction. Some people find it helpful to join a support group on this issue. It’s also helpful to talk to others who’ve built their families through surrogacy.
You’ll also need to hire an attorney experienced in surrogacy to draw up a contract that covers every aspect of surrogacy from relinquishment to termination decisions. Realize that surrogacy laws vary across states, and many states, including New York, do not recognize surrogacy contracts; other states have no case law on surrogacy.