Welcome to Coastal Surrogacy!
Thank you for your interest in our Surrogate Parenting Program. Coastal Surrogacy, LLC assists individuals and couples from across the United States and Worldwide become parents through surrogacy. We take great pride in providing the highest quality Surrogate Mothers, exceptional care and support to everyone involved. Whether you are working towards starting your family or extending your current family, we are here to help you achieve that dream through the gift of surrogacy. Utilizing the assistance of a reputable, experienced Surrogacy Agency can be essential to the success of your journey.
What is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy involves the act of one woman carrying a child for another. There are other terms or variations for different types of surrogacy. Generally, there are two types: “gestational” (the surrogate has no biological relationship to the child and is only acting as the “host womb”) and “traditional” (the surrogate’s own egg/ovum is being utilized to create the child, thus introducing a direct biological relationship with the woman carrying the baby).
With “commercial surrogacy,” the surrogate mother is introduced to the intended parents through a third party: an agency, attorney, medical office, etc. The surrogate does not know the couple or individual and is most likely to be compensated for her participation in the surrogacy process.
In an “independent surrogacy” arrangement, the specific contractual terms and obligations are made directly between the intended parents and the surrogate without the involvement of a third-party representative. In many of these cases, the people find each other on surrogacy websites or through other means of advertisement.
In a “known surrogacy” or “directed surrogacy” arrangement, the surrogate is a friend or relative - someone known by the intended parents. This type of arrangement may be referred to as an “altruistic surrogacy” arrangement if no financial contribution is involved.
Why does someone choose to become a Surrogate Mother?
A woman who chooses to become a surrogate mother has had successful and uncomplicated pregnancies of her own and may have known someone - perhaps a close friend or family member - who has struggled with infertility. Above all, she feels strongly about helping others experience the joy of having a family of their own. Her intention is usually unselfish and not motivated by money.
The surrogate candidate should possess several requirements: an excellent health record, successful pregnancy and birth history, and no record of criminal activity or drug use. She should have a genuine compassion and empathy for the intended parents’ situation. She also should be free of psychological issues (determined via screening by a mental health professional) and be financially secure - not using any financial compensation for day-to-day expenses or receiving any state or federal aid (welfare). A good support system from the surrogate’s husband, family and friends will provide her with emotional well-being, and be a resource to help her should she need assistance with her own children or other complications arise.
What is involved?
The keys to a successful outcome include a well-thought-out plan, education about relevant surrogacy laws and the assistance of knowledgeable professionals in the fertility industry. While you have probably heard the saying “it takes a village to raise child,” it literally takes a village to create a child in the realm of surrogacy. Many people are involved whose expertise will be needed through every step of this process: a reproductive endocrinologist (fertility specialist), surrogacy agency and/or egg donor agency, mental health professionals (psychologist/therapists), attorneys, obstetricians and hospital staff - each of whom plays a vital role in the outcome of your surrogacy arrangement.
Is Surrogate Parenting right for you?
Here’s a typical case: The Intended Mother has exhausted all efforts to conceive a child or is unable to carry one to term. She may have a uterine health condition, such as fibroids or uterine scarring. She may have undergone a hysterectomy or cancer treatment. Or, she may suffer from any number of other conditions wherein pregnancy is considered dangerous to her health or not possible. It is also an ideal option for same-sex couples, single intended fathers or when a woman is no longer of child-bearing age. In these cases, surrogacy can be a viable choice.
For some, adoption is either not an option or the adoption process is too daunting or has been unsuccessful. Although adoption is a more commonly considered route, prospective parents often don’t know the birth mother or birth father’s past or their family medical or hereditary history. With a surrogate birth, medical screening and care begins prior to the pregnancy, and everyone is on far more solid footing from the very beginning because you are working together with your surrogate as a team to create this child.
The costs involved in a commercial surrogacy arrangement can vary widely. Exploring your options, and empowering yourself to learn and understand what industry standard fees are, such as agency fees, compensation for surrogates, legal fees, psychological testing and medical procedure related fees/costs will help you to determine if this is financially possible for you. It is also important to become familiar with the unanticipated fees, surprise expenses that can arise in a surrogacy arrangement. A reputable surrogacy agency will help you financially prepare for both the best-case and worst-case scenarios.
It is important that anyone considering surrogate parenting be emotionally prepared for the process. Honesty, trust and communication are top priorities for a successful surrogacy arrangement. You should know from the onset what your expectations are of this process. This is important to communicate to your surrogate upfront and understand what expectations she has of you and what you are able and/or willing to commit to. There is always potential for situations to arise that are beyond anyone’s control, such as the timing of the process or multiple IVF cycles or pregnancy complications etc. Just as you may have fears or concerns about this process, surrogates naturally do too. If you are a prospective mother, are you at peace with the idea of another woman carrying a child for you? If you are not fully ready for these possible scenarios, this could pose serious emotional consequences to you, your surrogate and the child. The assistance of a therapist or psychologist experienced with counseling those dealing with infertility and surrogacy can be a valuable asset. You may be prepared for the emotional aspects, but a mental health professional specializing in this field can also help you deal with unforeseen stressors. Most fertility offices and surrogacy agencies require the Intended Parents to undergo psychological counseling before beginning the process.
California Law and Surrogacy
Although surrogacy remains unregulated in the United States, California provides one of the most favorable legal climates in the U.S. for surrogacy. California is accepting of surrogacy arrangements which include married and unmarried heterosexual couples, gay couples, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples and individuals, single parents (women and men) and international individuals and couples. While California has no statute directly addressing surrogacy, California’s courts have used the state’s Uniform Parentage Act to interpret several cases concerning surrogacy agreements. One of the most significant surrogacy cases in California history and the United States is Supreme Court decision, Johnson v. Calvert. To this day, California Court rulings such as Johnson v. Calvert and In re Marriage of Buzzanca have continued to set the legal precedent in recognizing the establishment of parental rights in surrogacy cases and confirming the validity of surrogacy contracts in the state. Through California case law and when the intent of “who created this child” is clearly indicated, the Intended Parents have prevailed and the Surrogate has had no legal rights to parentage.