Many potential surrogates and egg donors are referred to us by current and former surrogates and donors who have had positive experiences in working with our agency. We also receive contacts via our website, online forums, social media and other outreach efforts. We are vigilant about monitoring and responding to all contacts we receive to determine their eligibility to become surrogates or egg donors to ensure a robust pool of prescreened, qualified candidates.
To begin with, qualified surrogates or egg donors must be mentally and physically healthy. A surrogates must have already have given birth to at least one child of her own with no major complications during pregnancy and delivery. In order to qualify, surrogates and egg donors may not use illegal drugs or tobacco and must meet a number of health and emotional wellness standards. Qualified candidates also are asked to confirm their commitment to the surrogacy or egg donation process, expressing responsibility for their decision to participate and confirming they have met our requirements. A comfortable, trusting relationship between intended parent(s) and surrogate is essential, so we do our best to get that relationship started off on the right foot with properly vetted and qualified candidates.
The Same Love Surrogacy staff are reachable 24 hours a day to respond to emergencies and to provide emotional support and guidance for you and your surrogate. During the early stages of your journey to parenthood, your interaction with us will be frequent, as we proceed through screening of surrogate and/or egg donor, finalizing legal agreements and the pregnancy attempt. Once a pregnancy is achieved, our staff stays in close contact with the surrogate in order to foster good mental health, ensure proper medical care, and monitor the legal process to ensure all requirements are met prior to the birth. Our intended parents are welcome and encouraged to contact us, via phone, email or Skype, with questions or concerns as we accompany you at every stage of this incredible journey.
Prior to the 20th gestational week of pregnancy, you will be required to retain your attorney for the purpose of legally establishing your parentage of your child or children. Your attorney will prepare, review and process all necessary documents to begin the paternity establishment. Your attorney will request a certified paternity establishment with the state your child will be born and will appear in court on your behalf. (NOTE: Although in most cases the intended parent(s) are not required to appear in court, in some rare instances special circumstances may require it.) A certified copy of the paternity establishment will be sent to you. Uncertified copies of the document will be sent to your surrogate, to Same Love Surrogacy and to the delivering hospital. When you arrive at the hospital with proof of identity and the certified Pre-Birth Court Order, the hospital will officially recognize you as the legal parents. Under California law, the intended parent(s) names will be listed on your child’s original birth certificate without an adoption procedure required. NOTE: there are a handful of states where paternity is established POST birth.
Although Same Love Surrogacy is registered as a California business, doing business in English, we do have a Chinese and Spanish translator who will be pleased to assist with translation services during our initial meetings prior to retaining our services. Intended parents who speak a language other than English, Chinese or Spanish may wish to seek the assistance of a trusted friend or family member for translation services, or we can refer you to an agency that offers translation services at an additional cost to you. It is very important that intended parents have an in-depth understanding of the process and our services, so we encourage the use of translation services if needed. Please note: All documents for signature will be written in the English language.
Same Love Surrogacy was established for the express purpose of helping LGBT intended parents become parents via surrogacy and/or egg donation. In fact, the agency founders and owners are gay men who became parents via surrogacy and egg donation and a two-time surrogate for gay male intended parents. Our application questionnaires for potential surrogates and egg donors make it clear that the intended parents are likely to be LGBT individuals. In no case would we attempt to match you with a surrogate or egg donor who was not fully aware of your sexual orientation.
If you are using your own sperm and/or eggs, all medical testing must be conducted in the U.S. to meet U.S. Food & Drug Administration guidelines and clinic requirements. In addition, you will be required to come to the United States for the egg retrieval process and/or to leave your sperm sample. You may expect to remain in the U.S. for a period of at least five to seven days while the pregnancy is attempted. It is recommended, but not required, that you return to the U.S. at least once during the pregnancy and, of course, for the delivery of your child. Because you will not know the exact day and time when your surrogate will go into labor, you should prepare to come to the U.S. on short notice during the final month of pregnancy, or at least two weeks prior to your surrogate’s due date, if she is carrying one child. If your surrogate is pregnant with twins, you should plan for a sudden trip to the U.S. at least three to four weeks before the due date; for triplets, make plans to travel at short notice during the final two to three months. Be sure to maintain close contact with your surrogate and with SLS staff during the last trimester of pregnancy.
Yes, similar to other agencies in the United States, SLS does require all intended parents to compensate their surrogate an additional amount for each additional fetus she carries. In a multiple pregnancy, added strain will be placed on your surrogate’s body, many more medical appointments will be required, and her pregnancy will be more uncomfortable. A multiple pregnancy also adds risk. SLS surrogates receive an additional $10,000 (per additional fetus carried).
The paternity establishment or pre-birth judgment will be filed with the court in the state in which your surrogate lives or give birth when your surrogate is about 28 weeks pregnant, so you will be listed as the legal parent on your child’s birth certificate. NOTE: there are a handful of states where paternity is established POST birth. You will receive your child’s birth certificate approximately seven to 10 days after the birth, although this can differ state to state. Once you receive the birth certificate and your baby has been released from the hospital, you can apply for a passport for your child. The passport process takes approximately two to seven days. We recommend that all new parents prepare to remain in the United States for a minimum of three weeks after the birth of their child or children to allow time for completion of these important documents. In order to provide new parents with added assistance, SLS offers a concierge service to help you during the post-birth process. In some cases, we can refer you to a qualified fertility law attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced with the laws and policies of your home country. Additionally, we highly recommend that you contact a family law attorney in your home country in order to ensure you are properly informed of the requirements in your own country once you return home. You may need to establish your child’s citizenship in your own country for your child to receive your country’s benefits.
First, we will contact your surrogate to confirm she is willing to carry another child for you. Once we speak with her and she has agreed, we will email you a discounted retainer agreement for a sibling arrangement. We will speak with your surrogate and negotiate her fees prior to you signing the retainer agreement. NOTE: As a “proven” surrogate, she may increase some of the associated fees. Remember, you do not have to communicate directly with your surrogate about financial arrangements; we provide that service for you as a way of ensuring your relationship with your surrogate is as positive and stress-free as possible. We represent both you and your surrogate fairly and honestly, providing our experienced opinion on the reasonableness and validity of any proposed fee increases. Our goal is for both you and your surrogate to have as positive an experience as you did the first time around.
The best way to ensure your and your surrogate’s experience during your next pregnancy will be as enjoyable and memorable as your last is to include the same professional team. Same Love Surrogacy advocates for all clients, surrogates and egg donors equally. However, if for any reason your previous surrogate is unable to fulfill that role for you again, Same Love Surrogacy will work to match you with an equally qualified surrogate, also provided under our discounted agency fee, which is available to all returning clients for a sibling arrangement.
Yes, it is possible for the intended mother to induce lactation and provide breast milk to her baby. We will be happy to provide you with information and resources from previous clients who have succeeded in sharing this bonding and nurturing experience with their baby born through surrogacy.
Same Love Surrogacy highly recommends that all clients consider cord blood banking. Stored immediately after birth, the plasma from your baby’s umbilical cord can be used later in your child’s life to cure disease and potentially save his or her life. We have information and resources for cord blood banking available on request. However, arrangements for the procedure must be made in advance. If you decide to pursue cord blood banking, please let us know as soon as your surrogate becomes pregnant.
Family courts at the state level require a notarized legal contract between the parties. Therefore, the intended parent or parents, surrogate and surrogate’s husband all must sign the surrogacy agreement and have their signatures legally notarized. The notarization is performed by a notary public, a person legally empowered to witness and certify the validity of documents and personal identity. In this case, the notary public will certify that you are in fact the individuals signing the signature page of the surrogacy agreement. A valid, current photo identification card or passport will be required of all parties signing the agreement. This is required in most states to ensure legal and parental rights to the child were provided to the proper individuals.
Same Love Surrogacy believes in the promotion of wellness and health during the process. Your surrogate will receive dietary and nutritional counseling and/or acupuncture, relaxation and birth coaching, as well as high quality prenatal vitamins. Research shows that women who regularly receive nutritional counseling and birth coaching during an IVF cycle and pregnancy have fewer pregnancy related complications and are more likely to experience a healthy full-term pregnancy.