Become a Surrogate in California

Becoming a Surrogate in California

For individuals or couples experiencing fertility issues, one of the greatest gifts you can give is becoming a surrogate for their child. While the experience of being a surrogate mother can be rewarding in itself, the decision to become a surrogate is not one to be taken lightly. Pregnancy is a risk and can be physically, mentally and emotionally demanding. Not to mention that surrogacy is a time commitment, the entire process taking at least 18 months.

Here are a few things to consider, as well as steps to becoming a surrogate in California:

Traditional or Gestational Surrogacy?

There are two types of surrogacy – traditional and gestational surrogacy.

Traditional Surrogacy

With traditional surrogacy, the surrogate’s egg is used instead of that of the intended mother. The sperm used to fertilize the egg may come from either a donor or the intended father. This means that biologically, the surrogate is the child’s mother. This type of surrogacy is less common than gestational surrogacy.

Gestational Surrogacy

With gestational surrogacy, the egg and sperm used are that of the intended mother and father, which makes them the biological parents of the child.

Becoming a surrogate with Made in the USA Surrogacy will mean you are a gestational surrogate. We do not typically match surrogate mothers using traditional surrogacy.

Time and Energy Commitment

As we mentioned earlier, while being a surrogate is an extraordinary gift to give to couples and individuals looking to expand their families, it is a time and energy commitment, and not everybody is well-suited to the task. The process can take a mental, emotional and physical toll on the surrogate. It is a process that you must be ready to commit to whole-heartedly.

Altruistic vs Commercial Surrogacy

It is important to be clear about your intentions for wanting to become a surrogate in California. Is your primary goal to help couples with fertility problems become parents or is your main motivation to make some money? When it comes to the issue of compensation, there are two types of surrogacy: altruistic and commercial surrogacy.

Altruistic Surrogacy

Altruistic surrogacy refers to a surrogacy arrangement in which the surrogate mother does not receive monetary compensation outside of medical and pregnancy-related expense reimbursements. In most cases, altruistic surrogates are family or close friends of the intended parents. It is rare but possible, to find complete strangers who are willing to go through the demands of carrying and giving birth to a child without receiving some compensation for their time and energy commitment.

Commercial Surrogacy

On the other hand, commercial surrogacy involves a legal agreement between intended parents and surrogates, stating that surrogates be properly compensated for their services beyond medical, travel and other pregnancy-related expense reimbursements. In California, commercial surrogacy is legal and quite common. Usually, the intended parents and surrogate would each be represented by a surrogacy attorney to make sure that both parties are clear on what to expect from the surrogacy arrangement. The amount of compensation varies and the exact figure will be agreed upon between both parties. Although there is absolutely nothing wrong in receiving compensation for your personal time and effort as a surrogate, it should not be your only motivation for becoming a surrogate.

California Surrogacy Requirements

There are legal and health requirements that you must meet to become a surrogate in California. These requirements may vary from one surrogacy agency to the next, or from clinic to clinic, but generally, below are some requirements for becoming a surrogate in California:

  • You must be a citizen, permanent resident or legal immigrant in the United States
  • You must be financially secure and not receiving financial aid from the government through programs like welfare, public housing, and cash assistance.
  • You should be within the ages of 21 and 39, although this age range varies slightly from one surrogacy professional to the next
  • You should have a healthy BMI, roughly between 19 and 33
  • You must be a non-smoker and not use illicit drugs or abuse alcohol
  • You must have given birth successfully at least once with no pregnancy complications, with corresponding medical documents to prove this.
  • You must undergo a physical screening as well as a mental evaluation to ensure that you are physically, mentally and emotionally fit to be a surrogate.

California is a surrogacy-friendly state and for that reason, you will find that there are many surrogacy agencies around that offer surrogacy services, including matching surrogates with intended parents. Surrogacy agencies manage the surrogacy process for you, minimizing the stress associated with the surrogacy journey. Always do your research before selecting a surrogacy agency. Be aware of what services the agency offers as well as the level of expertise and amount of experience of the surrogacy professionals working for these agencies.

Surrogacy Agreement

It is critical, after matching with intended parents, to make sure that an agreement is in place between you and the intended parents. Each party will have attorney representation to be sure that both parties are protected at the expense of the intended parents. The agreement should state, among other things, who gets legal parental rights to the child; a breakdown of compensation for medical and other pregnancy-related compensation and a clause clearly outlining what actions should be taken if a pregnancy complication or other unexpected development occurs during the surrogacy process.

Fertilization and Embryo Transfer

Once the surrogacy contract has been signed by both parties and both parties are clear of what is expected of them during the surrogacy journey, and once all health screenings – physical and psychological – have been performed, fertilization and embryo transfer can begin. During in vitro fertilization (IVF), eggs from the intended mother are fertilized by sperm from the intended father. Then the embryo is placed in the uterus of the gestational surrogate. All medical and travel expenses associated with the procedure is covered by the intended parents. Keep in mind that it may take a couple of cycles of embryo transfers before a successful pregnancy occurs.

Giving Birth

The final (and probably most exciting) stage is giving birth. The surrogacy agreement should state the preferred birth plan the intended parents and you – the surrogate – have agreed on. For a surrogate mother, it is one of the most fulfilling experiences to be able to help give the gift of a baby to a couple.

Looking to become a surrogate in California?

Now that you know a lot more about the process of becoming a surrogate mother in California, you can make up your mind whether or not this is a journey you want to embark on. If you have decided that surrogacy is for you, we recommend that you contact our surrogate agency to help simplify the entire process for you.

At Made in the USA Surrogacy, we are dedicated to ensuring that the surrogacy process is as smooth and stress-free as possible for both intended parents and surrogates. Our team of experts understands how beautiful the gift of parenthood is to individuals and couples looking to expand their families, and we are committed to making sure that surrogates thrive and enjoy the process as much as possible. We take pride in offering comprehensive surrogacy services including:

  • Matching surrogates with the right, pre-screened intended parents
  • Liaising with fertility clinics and medical professionals
  • Counseling and providing full support for surrogates throughout every phase of the process
  • Assigning you a case manager who oversees all aspects of the surrogacy and mediates communication between you and intended parents
  • Helping you find a surrogacy attorney to help negotiate your surrogacy contract

And much more! Contact us for more information and to begin your surrogacy journey.