Traditional surrogacy is when a woman carries a child that was conceived using her own 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.
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.
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.
Even though The Stork’s Nest is located in Indiana, we do work with intended parents from states all over the country. However, it is extremely important to work with a gestational surrogate that is 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.
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 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.
Unlike most other gestational surrogacy agencies, The Stork’s Nest completes ALL of the gestational surrogate’s medical and psychological screening prior to ever matching and meeting 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. Most other agencies do a mini-screening and then make the intended parents pay for the expensive medical and mental health screening after they have matched and met the gestational surrogate, never guaranteeing that the gestational surrogate is even fit for the gestational surrogacy arrangement. Further, if the gestational surrogate does not pass the medical and mental health screening, the intended parents have lost all funds they paid for the prior gestational surrogate to get tested and will be required to pay for the next gestational surrogate to have the same testing with no guarantees that she will pass the testing either. This can be very costly for intended parents and emotionally traumatic for both the intended parents and gestational surrogate if a bond has been formed.
The Stork’s Nest also maintains a limited number of arrangements at any time to ensure that each client is 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.
We offer high quality gestational surrogates into our program if the following requirements are met:
Yes! Intended parents and gestational surrogates have a choice of 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 intended parents and the gestational surrogate are of great importance to us so that all parties have a wonderful and positive experience.
If you live in a state where it is surrogacy friendly then intended parents may continue to utilize their current fertility clinic. If intended parents want to continue utilizing the services of their fertility clinic and have chosen a surrogate that is not local or out of state, they may be responsible for the gestational surrogate’s travel costs. If intended parents are not in a surrogacy friendly state, we are happy to refer you to a well-respected fertility clinic that would be in the gestational surrogate’s state. Also, if intended parents do not have a current fertility clinic we are happy to refer you to a well-respected fertility clinic.
While adoption can be a wonderful choice for some families, surrogacy offers the option for one or both of the intended parents to have a genetic connection to any resulting children through in vitro fertilization (IVF). Another advantage to utilizing gestational surrogacy is the ability to have embryo testing done prior to implantation to determine whether certain abnormalities are present. This can be a great option for intended parents who have diseases in their lineage that could affect the child(ren) and/or gestational surrogate. Also, depending on the laws of the state in which the surrogate resides, the gestational surrogate can have diminished to non-existent parental rights in the child(ren) at birth.
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 intended parents and gestational surrogates 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, as well as physician monitoring after a pregnancy. Lawyers will be involved to negotiate any arrangements drafted between the parties and establishing parentage pre-or post- birth.
Many variable factors can contribute to the length of time it would take to find a gestational surrogate 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 gestational surrogates and the success of the medical procedures and length of legal requirements.
It is best to check with your insurance company to see if they can provide any coverage for the in vitro fertilization procedure. Certain insurance companies may offer this coverage. Oftentimes, the intended parents will be required to purchase separate medical insurance for their gestational surrogate. The Stork’s Nest requires a back-up plan to be purchased by the intended parents for their gestational surrogate.
We celebrate diversity and feel that all people should have the right to have a family, irrespective of their sexual orientation or relationship status and we provide a supportive environment at The Stork’s Nest. We also hold all of our affiliated professionals to the same high standard. Oftentimes for same sex couples, adoption is a difficult to achieve and surrogacy is a very achievable option. The laws in each state vary and it is important to speak with an attorney in your state to discuss the requirements for establishing your legal parentage through a surrogacy arrangement.
Absolutely! We offer this service to ensure that the proper procedures and arrangements take place to make the surrogacy journey less stressful and more enjoyable for all parties involved.
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 our affiliated Indiana surrogacy attorney if you have matters involved in Indiana. Please contact Amanda D. Sapp, Esq. at Sapp Law Office, LLC (email@example.com; 317-374-1251) or visit Our Team or Indiana Surrogacy Laws that highlights our affiliated 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. If you live outside of Indiana, The Stork's Nest or our affiliated attorney may be able to refer you to an attorney in your home state.