Surrogacy is a growing option for the LGBTQ community for biological children. Almost all sur-rogates are gestational, which means that the surrogate is not the same person as the egg do-nor.

From a medical perspective, once an egg donor is screened and cleared, embryos are created using the frozen sperm of the intended father or fathers. In fact, many intended parents create embryos from each partner. The embryos can then be transferred to the same surrogate from each partner without compromising the success of a healthy pregnancy.

The transfer of the embryo is a straightforward process that intended fathers often attend. A small white flash can actually be seen on the ultrasound screen as the embryo is released.

Then, after 12 to 14 days we can determine if there is a viable pregnancy. If so, we will con-tinue to monitor the pregnancy to ensure that it is progressing normally. The first pregnancy ultrasound is performed about a month after the transfer. This is another special time for in-tended fathers as we should be able to see the fetus or fetuses and hear their heartbeats.

Why are surrogates typically separate from egg donors?

The main reason is emotional or psychological for both the surrogate and the intended parents as it helps separate the connection. Stuart Bell, the founder of the agency, Growing Genera-tions, also points out that because there are more women willing to donate eggs than carry a pregnancy, there are more opportunities for biological selection.

What do agencies look for in a surrogate?

Surrogates who are selected through the agency, Growing Generations, are, says co-owner Kim Bergman, typically between 23 and 38. They must have transportation, a means of communi-cation and live close to a level-three NICU hospital where they can deliver. They also need to have given birth to and be raising their own children, and to have a strong support system.

Surrogates must also pass psychological and medical tests. They will be disqualified if they have a history of drug or alcohol abuse or a criminal background. And finally, the must have a clear understanding of their roles, and that most decisions will be made in conjunction with the parents.

Is it necessary to have a legal contract?

According to Rich Vaughn, the founder of International Fertility Law Group, it’s crucial to have a legal contract as it will help confirm parental rights, which vary from state to state. Contracts also help determine that there will be communication between the surrogate and the intended parents.

Are intended parents automatically on the birth certificate?

It depends on the state and the country. In California there’s a pre-birth order whereby intend-ed parents automatically go on the birth certificate. In some states, like Texas, the surrogate does get listed on the birth certificate initially as it’s considered a vital statistic and should be recorded. But the surrogate can then be removed by virtue of a court order.