Separation & Divorce in Surrogacy


Surrogacy is a very rewarding experience, but it can also accelerate stress on an already troubled relationship. From time to time, we have surrogates who wind up experiencing a separation or divorce during their surrogacy journey. This situation is not favorable, but it can happen. The end of a marriage can impact the surrogacy journey differently depending on the person, with no two cases unfolding in an identical manner.

There are many variables that will play into how or if your journey continues. If you are already pregnant, things will continue to progress. If you are matched but not yet pregnant, all parties may have the option to consider if they’re still comfortable moving forward at that time. You should consider if the split is amicable or tumultuous. The upcoming months of surrogacy will require a lot of attention and emotion. Surrogacy may be something you want to put off while your personal life balances out.

Bear in mind that most surrogacy contracts will identify the spouse of a surrogate as instrumental to her process. These documents cannot be amended to remove that person while you remain legally married, even if you are legally separated. Additionally, if your spouse’s insurance policy is being used for your journey, a separation or divorce could impact how you proceed financially.

Ultimately, each of these cases will be considered and weighed on a one by one basis. While some situations may allow for the journey to continue, others may present unique circumstances that force Growing Generations to stop your journey.

In these tender situations, we find that the best policy is transparent honesty with your case specialist, or if you’re not yet matched, with your admissions specialist. Your mental health specialist will reach out to you to ensure that you have the support that you need during this time of transition. Your case specialist will also be able to answer questions you may have as it pertains to your unique situation.

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.