Considering Surrogacy? Consider This First

Using a surrogate to help create or grow your family is a big deal. Besides putting the ultimate trust in another human being, there are also major fiscal and legal considerations to contemplate before taking the plunge. Here are a few things you should contemplate before considering surrogacy.


State Laws

Working with an agency has so many pros. An excellent understanding of state laws is a big part of why working with an agency can save you time, money, and stress. Surrogacy laws vary, often greatly, from state to state. It is essential that surrogate and intended parents have separate legal representation to protect their interests, and that the lawyers chosen have an excellent understanding of state laws and how they work together in this unique pairing of people. Our attorneys specialize in reproductive law, and on top of that assurance, we also will only present you with surrogate candidates that live in surrogate-friendly states. Beyond the initial matching process, it is important to consider the types of things you’ll want covered in your contract. Nothing is off limits, including how you’d like your surrogate to eat and behave during pregnancy. More important than diet, however, are choices surrounding how many embryos you will agree to transfer, and how you feel about reduction procedures. Having experienced, expert advice to guide you through this process is crucial to a smooth journey.


Parental Rights

Make no mistake about it; parental rights in a surrogacy situation will rest with the intended parents – not the surrogate. Most surrogacy agreements are drafted to execute the moment of birth as a separation in care; releasing the surrogate from care choices that impact her body, and transferring care choices of the newborn infant to the intended parents. However, establishing these parental rights by means of names presented on the birth certificate is a process that differs from state to state. The process of removing the surrogate’s name from the birth certificate, if needed, can take anywhere from a day or two to a matter of weeks. This is a legal matter that will be determined by the state in which your surrogate resides. We explain more about the procedure in this blog post. What you need to know, however, is that no matter if your surrogate is from a pre or post-birth order state; you are the parent with the rights at the time of birth.


International Considerations

If you are an international intended parent, you’ll also want to consider how travel and legal documentation can impact your journey. You will need to be present once the child is born, and stay in the States until you have obtained the proper passport documentation to travel home with your child. The beauty of working with a surrogate in the USA is that all children born in the USA are considered citizens at birth and qualify for a passport right away. This means that the only considerations you’ll need to plan for are those revolving around getting a birth certificate listing you as a parent and the processing time required for obtaining a US passport. The process may be simple, but that does not mean it’s quick. You need to be able to allot several weeks for your stateside stay in order to make sure this process goes smoothly.


Fiscal Matters

Surrogacy isn’t cheap. There are no two ways around that fact. Before entering into a surrogacy agreement, you should consider how you will finance this venture. In this blog post, we talk about creative ways to save up for and fund surrogacy. And, in this blog post, we talk about our unique financing options. In any event, if you choose to pursue surrogacy without an agency, you’ll want to look into an escrow agency to act as the purser of your funds. This protects both you and your surrogate’s fiscal interests.



If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a major metropolis to have a child through surrogacy. Very quickly you will learn that there are many moving parts in this process. From lawyers and doctors to your surrogate and her support system, there is no shortage of people involved in this process. Working with a respected agency like Growing Generations means that you’re walking into a well-established and trusted network of professional connections. Growing Generations has been creating families of choice since 1996. We are proud to work with the most respected and reputable law firms, IVF specialists, and surrogacy specific insurance agencies in the USA. In addition, our long tenure means established connections with maternity and NICU wards across the country. These people know us, and they trust us.



Entrusting other human beings with something as intimate as creating your future children is a tall order. Surrogacy requires so much trust! It requires your surrogate to trust you, and perhaps more importantly, it is absolutely essential that you be able to trust your surrogate. She will be making a lot of daily decisions during the pregnancy that you have no control over, and this can drive many intended parents crazy. Before enlisting the help of a surrogate, you should take a hard look at yourself and be certain that you’ll be able to release a bit of control and trust other human beings to help make your dreams come true. It may be difficult to imagine, but we promise, it’s worth it.


Surrogate Selection

Once you’ve considered all of these things, you can begin to think about the type of woman you want to entrust to carry your future child. Is she a stay at home mom, or a top-notch executive? Maybe you’d prefer to find an experienced surrogate or someone who is willing to follow a specific diet or birth plan? Understand that the more distinctions you want to put on your ideal gestational carrier, the harder it will be to find your candidate. Finding and selecting a surrogate can be stressful, and is another reason to enlist the help of an agency. At Growing Generations, we’re very proud of our highly selective surrogate screening process. We will accept roughly 1% of women who apply to be surrogates, declining women who do not meet physical, medical, or psychological guidelines. We also examine their lifestyle choices, criminal and personal backgrounds, annual income (to remove any possibility of extortion), and motivations for choosing surrogacy. When you work with us, all candidates have passed this intense screening and are, we believe, the most qualified candidates in the United States to help you create your family. If you choose to find a surrogate on your own, you’ll still want to hire professionals to help you screen your potential surrogates.


Ready to dive in and get started? We’re ready to hear from you! Learn more about the process of becoming an intended parent here.

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for intended parents, surrogates and donors. She is the co-owner of Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019) as well as the children's book You Began as a Wish (Independent Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. She has two adult daughters.