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Surrogacy Step-by-Step for Gay Men
The following provides an overview of the surrogacy process for gay men and couples.
- You may start by finding either an in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinic or a surrogacy agency that you like and works with gay men/couples. IVF clinics and surrogacy agencies work closely together and will often be able to refer you back and forth to each other. However, many people start with surrogacy agencies. Either way, make sure your questions and concerns are adequately addressed.
- Review the overall timeline and processes of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy, as well as your agency's or clinic's costs, policies and procedures.
- If you are a couple, decide who will provide the sperm. One partner may provide all the sperm, or a couple may choose to divide the eggs and have half fertilized by each partner. In this case, one embryo from each partner would be implanted into the gestational carrier. Anyone providing sperm will need a physical exam, medical history and sperm analysis.
- Find a surrogate through your surrogacy agency or fertility clinic. Or, the surrogate may be someone you know.
- Find an egg donor. Some people choose to use family members or friends as egg donors; other people choose to work through their agency or fertility clinic, which usually can pair an egg donor with you and your surrogate. You may chose traditional surrogacy, where the woman is both egg donor and surrogate and artificial insemination (as opposed to IVF) is used. The egg donor may be anonymous. In that case, all communication would be through the agency or clinic. In gestational surrogacy a donor egg is used.
- Once you select a surrogate, you will meet with an attorney and draw up a contract. Once the contract has been signed, funds are provided to the surrogate for her expenses and fees, often through a trust account. It is critical that you choose an attorney with experience with surrogacy. Most surrogacy agencies will be able to assist you with this. You should also want to draw up legal contracts with the egg donor, whether she is a known donor or anonymous donor.
- If you have not already, select an IVF clinic to work with. You can find a fertility clinic near you through our directory.
- Collect the egg donor’s and gestational surrogate’s medical records and provide them to the IVF clinic. Again, most surrogacy agencies will help facilitate this type of information transfer.
- Prior to IVF, you and the surrogate as well as any other relevant parties (such as the surrogate’s partner) will undergo some type of counseling, often through the surrogacy agency or IVF clinic, as well as signing consent forms and reviewing the process as a group.
- The egg donor and the surrogate will take oral contraceptives followed by hormones to synchronize their menstrual cycles and prepare their bodies for egg donation/embryo implantation.
- Six to nine weeks later the eggs will be retrieved from the egg donor, fertilized in the laboratory and implanted in the surrogate.
- Fifteen days after egg retrieval, the surrogate will have a blood test to check for pregnancy.
- Three weeks after the first positive blood test a pregnancy ultrasound to confirm pregnancy will be done. If the surrogate is not receiving care at the clinic, the surrogate will sign a consent form so her records can be transferred to her obstetrician, where her care will continue.
- The surrogate will have ongoing prenatal care at her own obstetrician. You can negotiate with the surrogate how much you will participate in this.
- Birth of the baby! Celebrate.