As you’re beginning your surrogacy journey, whether you’re an intended parent or prospective surrogate, you likely have several questions about surrogacy. After all, this is a huge commitment to make, so it’s important that you have all the answers you need before dedicating yourself to a year or more of the surrogacy process.
The surrogacy professionals at Bierly & Rabuck are always available to answer whatever surrogacy questions you may have as you research the surrogacy process in Pennsylvania. While we can offer specific legal advice, we are more than just surrogacy lawyers; in our surrogacy program, we guide intended parents and prospective surrogates through the entire surrogacy process. Therefore, we can answer all of the questions about surrogacy in Pennsylvania you may have, as well as refer you to additional professionals, should you need them.
In this article, we’ve listed some of the most frequently asked questions about surrogacy we receive. As you conduct your personal surrogacy research, these answers should give you a good base knowledge of how surrogacy really works in Pennsylvania.
Intended Parent Questions
Q: How does surrogacy work?
A: When you work with our professionals at Bierly & Rabuck, you will receive guidance through every step of your surrogacy process. Our surrogacy program only completes gestational surrogacies, which means that your surrogate will not be genetically related to the child she carries. Instead, you’ll create an embryo using your own sperm and egg (or with donated sperm or egg, if needed), which will then be transferred into the surrogate’s uterus until she carries the baby to term. Once your baby is born, you will have full parental rights and finally have the family you’ve always dreamed of.
Q: How much does surrogacy cost?
A: The costs of surrogacy vary based on several factors, including the intended parents’ medical needs, a surrogate’s desired compensation and more. The best way to find out how much surrogacy may cost for you is to contact our professionals, who can give you a better estimate based on your personal situation. They can break down the individual aspects of surrogacy expenses to help you better prepare for your prospective surrogacy costs.
Q: How do I find a healthy surrogate?
A: Bierly & Rabuck will facilitate the matching process to help you find the perfect surrogate to carry your child. All of our surrogates must meet certain health requirements and complete background checks before they are eligible to work with our program. After we find a prospective surrogate who meets your surrogacy goals and preferences, we’ll conduct a phone call and meeting between you to make sure you are both comfortable with a match moving forward.
Q: How do I make sure my parental rights are protected?
A: In Pennsylvania, there is a straightforward process of establishing parental rights through pre-birth or parentage orders. These legal orders are completed by our experienced attorneys as early as possible, and the process will be outlined to you at the beginning of your surrogacy journey, as well. All of the legal aspects of your surrogacy, including parental rights and surrogate compensation, will be detailed in a binding legal surrogacy contract.
Q: Can I complete the surrogacy process if I’m single?
A: Surrogacy is absolutely possible for single parents. In fact, many single men pursue surrogacy to have the child they’ve always wanted. We work with all intended parents, whether single, married, straight, gay, etc. There may be differences in the legal process, but our experienced lawyers will make sure you are protected.
Q: Will I have contact with my surrogate?
A: You can have a direct relationship with your surrogate during the process, and many surrogates and intended parents actually prefer this. Our professionals can mediate your initial phone conversation and in-person meeting and then help you establish a set of expectations when it comes to future contact while your surrogate goes through the medical process and her pregnancy.
Q: What if I need a sperm, egg or embryo donor?
A: Intended parents usually work with their own fertility clinic to complete the medical process of creating an embryo and having it transferred to the surrogate. For those intended parents who do not have embryos already created, their fertility clinic will likely refer them to an appropriate gamete bank to find an egg, sperm or embryo donor. We can also provide references to local clinics, if needed.
Q: How long does surrogacy take?
A: Every surrogacy process is unique, but in order to complete screening, medical procedures and a successful pregnancy, the whole journey usually takes a year or a little longer.
Q: How does surrogacy work?
A: When you choose to become a surrogate, the professionals at Bierly & Rabuck will be by your side through every step of the journey. You will need to pass lengthy medical and background screening to make sure that you are physically and mentally prepared for the challenges of surrogacy. After that, you will be matched with intended parents that meet your surrogacy goals and expectations, and our professionals will create a surrogacy contract that lays out both sides’ responsibilities moving forward. You will undergo the medical process of embryo transfer, including some preparation with fertility medications, and then proceed with your pregnancy as normal once the transfer is complete. The intended parents will likely be there for the baby’s birth, and you’ll be able to see the family that you’ve helped create.
Q: Do you get paid to be a surrogate?
A: In Pennsylvania, surrogates can receive a base compensation. This means, in addition to having your pregnancy costs covered by the intended parents, you will receive a base payment (usually around $26,000–$30,000). Every surrogate’s compensation schedule and payment is different, so make sure to talk to our surrogacy professionals for a more specific idea of what you can expect in terms of surrogate compensation.
Q: What are the requirements for surrogacy?
A: It’s important that every woman who becomes a surrogate is physically and mentally prepared for the challenges and rewards of the surrogacy process. That’s why you will need to meet these specific health requirements to become a surrogate with our program. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis, so contact our offices if you have questions about these requirements.
Q: What is the difference between gestational and traditional surrogacy?
A: In gestational surrogacy, a surrogate is not related to the baby she carries. Instead, the intended parents create an embryo using their own sperm and egg or with a donated gamete. In traditional surrogacy, however, a surrogate is related to the baby — usually by donating an egg to the embryo creation process or by artificial insemination. Most surrogacy programs, including Bierly & Rabuck, only complete gestational surrogacies.
Q: Will I have contact with the intended parents?
A: Many intended parents are excited to share contact with the surrogate carrying their child, and your intended parents can certainly be a part of milestones in your pregnancy. Surrogacy is an intimate journey, and it’s natural for intended parents and surrogates to develop a special relationship during this time. Any contact you have with the intended parents will be discussed and decided on early in the surrogacy process.
Q: Can I choose the intended parents I carry for?
A: You have the right to choose what kind of intended parents you’re comfortable carrying for. This includes factors like their location, sexual orientation, marital status and more. Our surrogacy professionals want to make sure that intended parents and surrogates are comfortable in their surrogacy match, and we will help you find the perfect intended parents.
Q: Can I use my own OB/GYN?
A: You can certainly use the obstetrician that is most convenient to you and that you’re comfortable with during your surrogate pregnancy. While the embryo transfer process will be completed by the intended parents’ fertility clinic, you will be able to start working with your own OB/GYN after a healthy pregnancy is confirmed. Remember, all your medical fees will be covered by the intended parents. You will likely need not travel for any part of your surrogacy beyond the embryo transfer process (any travel fees will also be covered for you).
If you have any additional questions about surrogacy that have not been addressed in this article or throughout the other articles on our site, please contact our surrogacy professionals today at 814-237-7900.