Yes. If your baby is born in the United States, the baby will be an American citizen upon birth.
In California the genetic parent or parents name will appear on the birth certificate. Single parents, only your name will be on the birth certificate. Same sex couples both of the intended parents names will appear on the birth certificate. Heterosexual couples, both parents names will appear on the birth certificate.
Before the surrogacy process begins, we recommend that you secure a US visa to ensure that you will be permitted into the United States. Please check if your country is part of the US visa waver program.
There is no doubt that surrogacy is costly. We are committed to providing you with different options and alternatives to meet your budget.
If you are interested in having your IVF performed in the United States, we offer a complete Los Angeles-based surrogacy program. The IVF is performed at Huntington Reproductive Center (HRC Fertility) under the guidance of Dr. Michael Feinman. We have negotiated very competitive and exclusive pricing with the clinic. If needed, we will also put you in contact with several egg donor agencies that we work with for exclusive pricing.
The most affordable option, which will save thousands of dollars, is to perform the egg retrieval, IVF and embryo transfer in Mexico using a Cancun-based egg donor and fly the US surrogate into Mexico for the embryo transfer. We work with one of the most successful fertility clinics in Mexico, Fertility Center Cancun (FCC).
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees with surrogacy. The biggest risks you take are unsuccessful IVF attempts that do not result in pregnancy. The first 12 weeks of her pregnancy are the most crucial and there is always the chance that the surrogate can miscarry during her pregnancy.
Surrogate mothers are the most important part of our program. These women are the real heroes! All of our surrogates undergo comprehensive psychological and medical screening according to American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) guidelines.
In California, surrogacy is an equally good and legal option for single parents and same-sex couples. What matters is that the intended parent/s make sure that they are represented by skilled and experienced counsel who will make sure that all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. As long as everything is done correctly, all parties, intended parents and surrogates—will be well-protected.
If I enter into a surrogacy arrangement by which I am designated as the Intended Parent, will I be recognized as a legal parent even if my baby is not genetically related to me?
Yes. If you enter into a surrogacy contact that complies with California law that designates you as the baby’s Intended Parent, you will be the legal parent regardless of the whether the baby is conceived from your eggs or your sperm. In other words, Intended Parents engaged in surrogacy can use donated eggs, donated sperm or both and still be the legal parents of their child, as long as you have proper documentation and you are compliant with all the surrogacy laws. For international intended parents, who want to use both donor sperm and eggs, please speak with us first as there might be restrictions depending on your country.
An attorney fundamentally has two separate roles in the surrogacy process: (1) preparation of the written contract for you and your surrogate; and (2) bring the legal action to make you the child’s parents. In addition, an attorney or legal expert who is experienced in assisted reproduction law can help make sure that you and your surrogate are a good match. They can also help figure out the right insurance for the surrogate and the baby, and can troubleshoot any issues that might come up between you and your surrogate during the pregnancy.
No. Under a new California law (AB1217), effective January 1, 2013, for a surrogacy contract to be legally binding, the intended parents and the surrogate must each have representation by an independent legal counsel of their own choosing. We can recommend experienced surrogacy attorneys for you and your surrogate or work with your lawyer/s, if you have a preferred one.
California law requires that 100% of the surrogate compensation be held in escrow and distributed monthly throughout the pregnancy, with the remaining balance paid when the baby is born. Having your funds held in escrow ensures that your funds will be protected and distributed properly and at the same time, the surrogate knows her compensation has been paid. All other fees are paid in stages. The remaining fees are all paid directly to each vendor (i.e. the egg donor, the insurance broker, your lawyer and your doctors). The only fee Los Angeles Surrogacy collects is the agency fee, and this ensures total transparency throughout the process.
It is important to note that even though many California courts are routinely issuing pre-birth judgments in surrogacy cases, these judgments do not technically go into effect until a baby is born, to avoid a legal conflict over medical decision-making prior to birth. Therefore, the Surrogate remains in full control over her prenatal care and medical choices prior to the moment of delivery. This is contingent upon the specifications included in the contract between the surrogate and intended parent(s).
A surrogacy contract should address the following :
(1) What is the source of the gametes?
A gamete is a haploid cell that fuses with another haploid cell during fertilization (conception)
By law, the surrogacy contract must identify the source of the gametes (eggs and sperm). If an egg or sperm donor is used, this must be indicated in the contract with the surrogate. If the intended parents are a gay male couple, the contract should specify whether the sperm of one or both intended fathers are being used. However, it is sufficient to state that the eggs or sperm come from an anonymous donor – no identifying information is required under these circumstances.
(2) What is the surrogate being compensated for, and how much is she being paid?
Typically, a contractual surrogate is paid a “base fee” for her gestational services, and then additionally compensated for additional procedures and conditions such as invasive procedures, carrying multiples (twins or triplets), travel expenses, legal fees, etc. The exact compensation terms should be spelled out in the contract to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings about fees.
(3) Who will hold escrow?
Under California law, the surrogacy agency cannot hold the funds. Surrogacy funds must be held by either a licensed attorney (who will hold the funds in a state-registered legal trust account that is governed by State Bar rules) or a licensed, bonded escrow company. This is to protect both the intended parents and surrogate from the funds disappearing in the middle of the surrogacy process. Some attorneys for the intended parents will hold escrow, but many will not because they believe this is a conflict of interest. If there is a conflict between the surrogate and the intended parents over payment of fees or expenses, the attorney for the intended parents needs to be available to advocate for the intended parents, and this may be inherently inconsistent with the neutral role of a person holding the funds in a fiduciary capacity.
(4) What behaviors are expected of Intended Parents and Surrogate?
A surrogacy contract generally will set out behavior expectations for the intended parent/s and the surrogate. This includes compliance with all medical directives, dietary and travel restrictions during pregnancy, agreements on communication about the pregnancy and attendance at prenatal visits, who will be in the delivery room, etc.
(5) How many embryos will be implanted and what is the plan regarding selective reduction?
The intended parent/s and the surrogate need to be in agreement about multiple pregnancies. If the intended parent/s are clear that they will not selectively reduce a triplet pregnancy unless there is a serious medical issue then they need to be matched with a surrogate who is willing to carry triplets. On the other hand, a surrogate who is unwilling to carry more than twins will be a perfect match for intended parent/s who are unwilling to have more than twins. The contract needs to clearly state the plan regarding implantation and reduction. This way expectations are set and a mismatch of intended parents and surrogate is avoided.
(6) How is the surrogate’s healthcare being paid for?
Under a new law that went into effect on January 1, 2015, for a surrogacy contract to be valid, it must spell out how the surrogate’s health care is being paid for (i.e. what insurance policy will cover the pregnancy and delivery, and who is paying the premiums).
(7) What is the plan for assuring that the Intended Parent/s become the legal parents and the Surrogate is not held legally responsible for the child?
A surrogacy contract should clearly state that the intended parent/s will be the legal parents and the surrogate (and her husband, if she has one) will not. The contract should also specifically set the plan for assuring that parentage is established in a timely manner, pursuant to the laws of the relevant state(s). Since each state has its own laws and procedures for establishing parental rights, the exact manner for addressing this will vary depending on the state where the surrogate and intended parent/s live.