Surrogacy is an arrangement whereby a woman (called a surrogate or gestational carrier) agrees to bear a child for another person or persons (called the intended parents) pursuant to an agreement, usually a written legal agreement. Immediately upon birth, the surrogate returns the baby she carried to the parents of the child. They will have full custody and all parental obligations and rights to the child.
Typically, the surrogate is not biologically related to the child she is carrying. In most surrogacy cases at least one intended parent is biologically related to the child. Sometimes the child is not biologically related to the intended parents and is created with the help of an egg and sperm donor. In traditional surrogacy cases (which very rarely happens, but there is a good argument for this practice to continue), the surrogate uses her own egg to create the child. In ALL cases, the intent of the parties was for the intended parent(s) to take full custody immediately upon birth, and to take full legal responsibility for the child.
Surrogate parenting has been around for a very long time. There are examples in the Bible. Surrogacy has been legally practiced in the United States for almost 40 years. Thousands of births have been celebrated because of amazing, generous women who volunteer to help create families for other people. Surrogacy is now permitted in almost all States.
There are essentially two options when it comes to surrogacy: working with an agency – or – undertaking surrogacy independently. Both options have proven to be successful. Thanks to our efforts and that of our contributors, you can read more about working with surrogacy agencies vs independent surrogacy by visiting our Articles & Videos section. We have also authored some in-depth articles on the subject for you to come to your own conclusion, including how to navigate through surrogacy without the assistance of an agency. We simply aim to objectively educate and inform so that you, the client, can decide which is best for you.