You’ve found the love of your life, and everything’s in the right place to become parents! You and your partner have been discussing starting a family through surrogacy, but as a gay couple, you have some specific questions about surrogacy and gay parenting. Here are 5 common questions about surrogacy from gay intended parents:
1. Does it matter what state we are in? Does it matter what state our surrogate is in?
First off, when considering surrogacy, always consult an attorney knowledgeable in surrogacy and assisted reproductive technology law. An attorney can guide you through the laws and procedures to become parents in your state and the state where your surrogate lives. There are some states where surrogacy is prohibited, and some states where there are friendly laws or courts (hello, Colorado!). The short answer? Yes, it matters where your surrogate gives birth, for sure.
2. What if my surrogate (or her family) ends up not being gay friendly?
The best way to avoid a situation in which you are not being respected as gay parents by your surrogate or her family is to thoroughly vet your surrogate first. If you are using an agency, the agency will have likely already screened for this (but it doesn’t hurt to ask to make sure!). If you are self-matching, don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions of your surrogate. And, just in case, always have a gestational carrier agreement that has been negotiated by your lawyer and the surrogate’s lawyer to ensure that you (and your surrogate) are protected.
3. Which parent, if either, will be the biological parent?
With surrogacy, you and/or your partner have the chance to be genetically related to your child. Think about if it is important to you to be genetically related, and think about if it matters if one of you is genetically related while the other is not. Some couples decide that genetic relation is not important and use donated embryos (or donated eggs and sperm). Some gay male couples ask their fertility clinic to mix sperm samples so that genetic relationship could be with either father. Some couples use one partner’s egg or sperm for one embryo and the other partner’s egg or sperm for a second embryo, and choose to transfer two embryos at the same time or do sibling journeys with the two embryos. You have options!
4. Should we have twins or triplets? Or stick with a singleton pregnancy?
Surrogacy is expensive and to couples who know they want more than one child, the idea of twins can be very attractive. Reproductive endocrinologists (REs) recommend that only one embryo be transferred at a time, because singleton pregnancies tend to be the healthiest for the baby and for the surrogate. Twin pregnancies and deliveries are also more expensive in terms of healthcare costs than singleton pregnancies and deliveries. However, many REs will work with couples who are looking to have twins, so be sure to talk it over with your doctor!
5. Will both of our names be on the birth certificate?
If your surrogate gives birth to your baby in a state that is surrogacy friendly yes, absolutely, both your names will be on the birth certificate! In surrogacy friendly states, a pre-birth order (PBO) will be filed on your behalf by your attorney, and will make you and your partner the parents who will be listed on the birth certificate. Be sure you consult an attorney about the rules about PBOs in your state.
Best wishes to you on your journey to parenthood! If you have questions about the surrogacy process or about the laws regarding surrogacy in your state, you can reach out to us at