Delivering Family Dreams

Gestational Surrogate Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between gestational and traditional surrogacy?

Traditional surrogacy is when a woman carries a child that was conceived using her egg(s). Traditional surrogacy is generally the result of artificial insemination by the intended father or a sperm donor.

Gestational Surrogacy is when a woman carries a child that is not genetically related to her. A physician will perform in vitro fertilization and then implant the embryo(s) into the gestational surrogate. This happens when intended parents wish to use their own genetic material, or material from a donor that is not the gestational surrogate.

What is the difference between a gestational carrier and gestational surrogate?

A true “surrogate” is a woman who not only carries the child, but also contributes her genetic egg(s). “gestational carrier” or “gestational surrogate” refers to a woman who is carrying a child with no genetic relationship to her. Many surrogacy agencies, attorneys, medical professionals, mental health counselors, and other professionals may use these two interchangeably. It is best to ask for clarification when the term “surrogate” is being used.

What is assisted reproductive technology (ART) and third-party reproduction?

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is meant to include all fertility treatments in which both eggs and sperm are handled, and generally involves surgically removing eggs from a woman’s ovaries, combining them with sperm in a laboratory, and returning them to a woman’s body (intended mother or gestational surrogate). Assisted reproductive technology does not include intrauterine (artificial) insemination where only sperm are handled.

Do you work with gestational surrogates from other states?

Even though The Stork’s Nest is located in Indiana, we do work with gestational surrogates from states all over the country. However, it is extremely important that our gestational surrogates are located in a surrogate-friendly state. We always require that legal consultations take place in the home state of the gestational surrogate and intended parents so that it can be determined how legal parentage will be established.

Do you arrange traditional surrogacy?

From a legal point of view, traditional surrogacy differs tremendously from gestational surrogacy since the traditional surrogate is genetically related to the child and would likely, depending on the state specific laws, have legal and parental rights in the child(ren). Although we feel that traditional surrogacy is a beautiful act and is the right arrangement for some surrogates and intended parents, it also raises many legal issues that could cause problems and complications in establishing parentage and may involve costly adoption work. At The Stork’s Nest, we limit our process to gestational surrogacy only.

Why should I choose The Stork’s Nest?

Unlike most other gestational surrogacy agencies, The Stork’s Nest provides a personal experience to each individual journey and completes an initial screening of the gestational surrogate’s criminal, medical, insurance, and psychological history prior to ever matching with intended parents. Most intended parents have already experienced emotional ups and downs and we believe that it is most beneficial to ensure that a gestational surrogate is fit for any surrogacy arrangement prior to the intended parents establishing an emotional connection with her. 

The Stork’s Nest also maintains a limited number of arrangements at any time to ensure that the gestational surrogate and intended parents are receiving individualized and personalized attention, and frequent communication, from our staff. It also allows our staff to stay up to date with where each client is in the process to ensure that the process is going as smoothly as possible.

How do I qualify to be a gestational surrogate?

We offer high quality gestational surrogates into our program if the following requirements are met:

  • Must be a woman between 23 and 40 years old
  • Had a healthy pregnancy and is currently raising her child(ren) in her home
  • Must be single, divorced, married, or widowed, but is not separated from her husband.
  • Must be free of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI/STD) and transmittable diseases
  • Has no history of chronic drug use
  • Has not smoked for at least 2 years
  • Is not dependent on alcohol, and is willing to abstain from alcohol use throughout the pregnancy
  • Emotionally stable
  • Is not significantly overweight or underweight for height
  • Must not be receiving any federal or state public assistance or funding
  • Must currently be enrolled with an insurance policy
  • Must have a good support system
  • Must have a stable and safe living environment
  • No criminal history
  • Have a desire to help other couples for reasons unrelated to financial compensation

For more in-depth requirements, please visit our Requirements page to see if you are eligible to be a gestational surrogate with The Stork's Nest

Do I have a choice about which intended parents I work with?

Yes! Intended parents and gestational surrogates have a choice in who they work with, and both have to agree to form a relationship prior to a match being made. We do not encourage a relationship where the intended parents or the gestational surrogate do not feel like there is a good connection or do not wish to move forward with the other since that would likely result in a breakdown in the relationship at some point and cause many unnecessary issues. Happiness of the gestational surrogates and intended parents are of great importance to us so that all parties have a wonderful and positive experience.

How do the surrogacy arrangements happen?

There are many professionals that work together to find the most ideal match for the intended parents and the gestational surrogate alike. There is involvement from mental health professionals, medical professionals (fertility physicians and OB/GYN physicians), insurance professionals, escrowing services, and legal professionals. After The Stork’s Nest has determined the needs of all parties involved and a match is made, the professionals assist throughout the process to make it a much less stressful journey, giving the gestational surrogate and the intended parents the ability to focus on and enjoy the pregnancy and birth. Mental health counseling is provided throughout the gestational surrogacy arrangement. Medical professionals are required and involved in any procedures necessary to obtain a pregnancy in the gestational surrogate and will be conducted in their clinic. Attorneys will be involved to negotiate any arrangements drafted between the parties and establishing parentage pre-or post- birth.

Can I use my own doctor?

Most of the time, yes. Once there is a viable heartbeat and the gestational surrogate is released from the fertility physician, the gestational surrogate’s obstetrician (OB/GYN) may resume care throughout the pregnancy and delivery. There may be situations where a physician is not comfortable or qualified in managing a high-risk pregnancy (if a gestational surrogate is pregnant with more than one baby), or if your insurance does not cover your doctor, that could necessitate a change in obstetricians. Should a gestational surrogate need to change obstetricians, The Stork’s Nest is happy to assist them with finding a new one.

How long does it take to arrange a surrogacy?

Many variable factors can contribute to the length of time it would take to begin the process. Preferences of the gestational surrogate and intended parents should align as closely as possible, and if those preferences are very specific that could lengthen the amount of time to find a qualified candidate to fit those preferences. Other variable factors are the availability of intended parents and the success of the medical procedures.

Can I use The Stork’s Nest for legal services only?

The Stork’s Nest does not provide legal advice since we are not an attorney. However, The Stork’s Nest can refer you for legal services with an Indiana surrogacy attorney if you have matters involved in Indiana. Please contact Amanda D. Sapp, Esq. at Sapp Law Office, LLC (; 317-941-6996) or visit Our Team or Indiana Surrogacy Laws that highlights a surrogacy attorney that provides assisted reproduction law services, including Indiana surrogacy law and Indiana egg donor law, Indiana sperm donor law, and Indiana embryo adoption law

For additional information, please contact us at, or you may visit the Contact Us page and submit your information and questions.