Dreaming of becoming a parent? Worried that it will never happen because the country you live in doesn’t allow surrogacy as an option for gay or single parents?
It’s okay – you CAN still start a family! Surrogacy agencies such as Family Source Consultants work with Intended Parents from around the world. Over half of our parents are same-sex couples or LGBTQ+ individuals. And we’ve made dreams come true for intended parents in Asia, the UK, Europe, South America, and many countries in between.
There are just a few things to understand first.
Location and surrogacy: when it matters (and when it doesn’t)
Location is one of the most important and confusing aspects of third-party reproduction, especially as laws differ widely from one country to another.
In the UK, Ireland, Denmark, and Belgium, only non-commercial (altruistic) surrogacy is allowed. This means a woman can carry a baby for another couple or individual, but she cannot receive compensation for the pregnancy.
Some countries may allow surrogacy but have strict requirements that residents or citizens must meet if they want to become Intended Parents or a surrogate. This can make the process a little more difficult.
And then there are many European countries – including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Bulgaria – that ban all forms of surrogacy. People from these countries who cannot have their own children often despair that they will never be able to start a family.
There are now many countries, including the US, which not only allow surrogacy but welcome it. These countries often draw international parents who cannot undergo third-party reproduction in their own locations. So, the good news is that you don’t have to use a surrogate within your own country!
When pursuing surrogacy in the United States, what matters is that the laws are favorable in the state in which the surrogate lives. In other words, it doesn’t matter where YOU live, but where your surrogate lives.
Of course, laws still vary within the United States, so it’s a matter of finding a surrogate in the right place. This is something that an agency – such as Family Source Consultants – can help you navigate. Agencies like FSC only work with surrogates in “surrogacy-friendly” areas, making your search for a surrogate much easier.
Which countries allow gestational surrogacy arrangements?
Greece, Russia, and Ukraine are among the few countries that have clear, detailed laws permitting and regulating surrogacy arrangements. But every year, more and more countries are accepting third-party reproduction as a family-building option.
In July this year, Israel ruled that it would lift current legal restrictions barring same-sex couples from becoming parents through surrogacy. This has been hailed as a major breakthrough by Israel’s LGBTQ+ community, who have demanded for years to be allowed to pursue surrogacy. Until now, surrogacy has only been accessible to heterosexual couples and single women in Israel.
Surrogacy in the US
Surrogacy is legal in an increasing number of states in the US. Over the past decade, Intended Parents from all over the world have fulfilled their dreams of starting families by using US surrogacy agencies.
These “surrogacy-friendly” states do not discriminate against who can become Intended Parent/s. Pre-birth orders will generally be granted regardless of marital status or sexual orientation. Both compensated and uncompensated agreements are possible.
California is one of the most surrogacy-friendly states in the US, followed by Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington.
FSC has offices in multiple locations: Illinois, Florida, and California some of the most surrogacy-friendly states!
This is one of the many reasons that surrogacy in the United States is highly sought-after. For a start, third-party reproduction has been possible in many states for years, and the process has had time to become very well regulated. Many US surrogacy agencies have a proud reputation for their ability to match IPs to donors and surrogates and to facilitate legal proceedings.
Of course, surrogacy still isn’t legal in every state. Michigan, Louisiana, and Nebraska are among the states that prohibit compensated surrogacy. The US also doesn’t have any federal laws regulating surrogacy, which means that surrogacy cases can be handled differently from state to state.
Benefits of working with a US surrogacy agency
US surrogacy agencies are accustomed to working with international clients. In fact, most agencies have dedicated international programs that provide language assistance and other guidance. Family Source Consultants specializes in this!
At FSC, our international surrogacy program is managed by a team of professionals who will lead you through the legal, technical, and medical aspects of your surrogacy journey. This includes everything from the fertility clinic and doctor to the attorney and other legal professionals. Our agency screening processes ensure that our surrogates are suitable, committed, and passionate.
Our International Parents are closely guided from start to finish. We will answer all of your questions, while also assisting with financial details and other legal jargon.
We also provide multilingual services! Our international team includes a range of coordinators who speak fluently in Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, French, and German. We can also cater to other languages by assisting with interpreters through phone, video conference, and in-person meetings.
We’ll help you in coordinating meetings with your surrogate, both online and face-to-face. If you should desire, we can connect you with an interpreter to provide translation and general support at meetings and appointments. And, when it’s time for your little bundle of joy to arrive, we’ll help you with travel and accommodation bookings so you’re in the right place at the right time.
Our case managers provide a clear and detailed timeline so that both Intended Parents and surrogates know what’s ahead.
Choosing the right agency is crucial
The important part of your surrogacy journey is knowing the rules, and a surrogacy lawyer is the best person to guide you through the legalities. This will ensure protection both for intended parents and prospective surrogates during the process. Don’t worry, FSC is aligned with the best attorneys in the third-party fertility industry and can provide you with a recommendation!
If you’re living outside the US and hoping to start your family through surrogacy, don’t hesitate to reach out! Our friendly team is ready to answer your questions.