How Does Surrogacy Work For Gay Parents: Guide For Same-Sex Intended Parents

Surrogacy is generally one of the last choices considered by heterosexual couples who want children after a lengthy and emotionally and physically draining appointment with a fertility specialist. However, surrogacy is one of two alternatives available to same-sex couples who wish to have children (the other is adoption). It is a drawn-out and expensive procedure, and same-sex intended parents may find it significantly more challenging due to variations in state regulations.

A lot of same-sex couples want to expand their families. Surrogacy journey is one option for those in the LGBT community, and as notions of the family become more inclusive, it is becoming more popular among lesbian and gay couples.

While there are particular special considerations to be made, surrogacy for gay couples and individuals is usually the same as the surrogacy process for any other prospective parents. The surrogacy journey is the emotional and financial process of establishing your dream family.

Overview of Surrogacy for Gay People

Female homosexual couples can have biological children through assisted reproductive technology such as artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization. Through surrogacy, individuals can have biological children if they have uterine issues or suffer from severe health issues that make pregnancy risky.

However, two gay men use surrogacy to pass on their DNA to their children. More and more people are becoming aware there are several family models and that each one is equally valid. Nowadays, a man can become a parent without the help of a woman through assisted reproduction. So, how does surrogacy work for gay couples?

The steps can be as follows:

  • Choosing a surrogate woman to carry the pregnancy;
  • Choosing an egg donor;
  • Donation of a sperm sample to a fertility clinic;
  • Embryo transfer to a surrogate mother. The woman must permit the intended parents to transfer more than one embryo. The main reason for this is the high likelihood of multiple pregnancies, which might raise the risk of difficulties during pregnancy;
  • Development of pregnancy and childbirth.

Men are always up to date on all the planned steps and the process. It allows a couple to have a positive and easygoing attitude throughout the surrogacy journey.

Surrogacy Laws

Every state has surrogacy legislation, while some do not permit or acknowledge surrogacy contracts. It might make the legal surrogacy procedure more challenging for potential parents, especially same-sex parents.

The official recognition of LGBTQ couples as the parents of their children and the receiving of a birth certificate that identifies both parents may require additional steps in some states. It can be accomplished by birth order, full adoption, step-parent adoption, or second-parent adoption, depending on your location and circumstances, to guarantee that both spouses are legal parents.

All intended parents should work closely with an experienced surrogacy expert and an attorney knowledgeable about state surrogacy laws to manage the legal process. No matter where you live, speak with a surrogacy agency to learn about the regulations in your state and your alternatives for carrying out the surrogacy process.

Common Legal Procedures For Gay Parenting

Although traditional surrogacy for heterosexual intended parents and same-sex parents are similar in many aspects, several factors distinguish it.

Pre-Birth Order (PBO)

A court proceeding to establish parental rights before the birth of a child. Only some states may access PBOs. In some countries, a warrant is obtained after the child is born.

Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity

Allows the biological mother to identify the biological father without a court proceeding.

Second-Parent Adoption

Ensures the rights of the non-biological parent of gay couple to the child. The issuance of a second-parent adoption is recommended. Intended parents should be aware that not all governments recognize kinship established in this way, even if it is possible to get a warrant before or after the baby is born. Adoption, on the other hand, is acknowledged everywhere.

Wills and Estate Planning

Provides for the custody of a child in the case of the death of one or both intended parents. Making these documents is especially crucial for homosexual couples who reside in countries or states where same-sex marriage is illegal.

PROS & CONS Of Surrogacy For Gay Couples

Surrogacy is an assisted reproduction option for LGBT couples and people interested in starting a family, although it is not suitable for everyone. The intended parents should consider all of the benefits and challenges of surrogacy to determine if it is right for them. Here are some of the most common advantages and problems of surrogacy for gay couples:


  • Surrogacy journey can fulfill the dream of having a baby;
  • Gestational surrogacy allows same-sex couples to have children who are biologically related to one or both parents;
  • The intended parent can create meaningful long-term relationships with the surrogate mother;
  • Many surrogates are specifically interested in supporting same-sex couples to become parents.


  • Surrogacy is a legally complicated process that can be even more challenging for gay parents, depending on state surrogacy laws;
  • The cost of surrogacy can be high, and there are fewer funding options for intended parents than for adoptive parents;
  • Some LGBTQ parents and people may face discrimination or prejudice from some surrogacy professionals, prospective surrogates, or donors throughout the process.

Many of the listed above apply to heterosexual couples and people but also to members of the LGBT community. Regardless of sexual orientation, every family should consider the pros and cons of surrogacy, and their circumstances, when putting together a surrogacy plan.

Countries Where Gay Surrogacy Is Allowed

Many countries prohibit surrogacy since the law does not adequately protect intended parents, deeming the surrogacy contract void. The woman who gave birth is often considered the child's mother in European nations.

There are no gay surrogacy options in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Mexico, India, Thailand, or Greece. In Mexico, India, and Thailand, foreigners are not permitted due to stricter rules.

The court system of Greece, Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine forbid homosexual couples from using this reproductive method. Nevertheless, some states in the U.S. (California, Florida, and Utah) especially allow and encourage surrogacy so that gay couples or single male can establish their own families. The same is valid for Canada, another country where gay parents travel to have children.

Surrogacy Process

Surrogacy is a popular option for gay men who want a biological connection to their children and for lesbian couples who cannot conceive or carry a pregnancy. In LGBT surrogacy, pregnancy is achieved through an egg donor, a gestational carrier, and in vitro fertilization (IVF); and the surrogacy process is essentially the same as for any other intended parent. However, there are a few important decisions that same-sex couples must make before the process begins:

I. Decide who will be genetically related to the child.

Unlike straight surrogacy, which often uses genetic material from both parents to create an embryo, same-sex parents must decide whose sperm or egg they will use. Some intended parents choose to fertilize multiple eggs for implantation using sperm from both partners, allowing one or both of them to become the biological father.

II. Choose a known or anonymous donor.

Although it is sometimes more convenient to work with an agency or IVF clinic to use an anonymous sperm or egg donor, many LGBT couples and individuals prefer to work with a known donor to complete the surrogacy process. Prospective fathers may choose to use one partner's sperm with eggs from a close relative of the other intended parent, giving both fathers a biological connection to the child.

What To Look For In A Surrogacy Agency

The surrogacy journey requires tremendous coordination, planning, and legal contracts. A surrogacy agency works with intended parents every day. Surrogacy agencies are experts in surrogacy, so you do not have to be.

1) Protection of your rights.

Our knowledgeable legal team will help confirm and protect your parental rights.

2) Experience working with LGBTQ+ parents.

Working with an agency with a high level of expertise in social work and same sex surrogacy laws helps ensure a positive and successful outcome for IPs.

3) Partnerships and support.

IFG has accountants, program managers, lawyers, and social workers under one roof, allowing intended parents to manage their experience with one team in one agency, eliminating the need to involve third parties.

Finding A Surrogate And An Egg Donor

You may be curious about what you need from egg donors or how to start your search. That is okay! Some intended parents take the "I will know it when I see it" approach and make their list of criteria as they start looking at profiles of egg donors.

Choosing An Egg Donor

Like anyone else who selects an egg donor, same-sex couples look through egg donor databases and look for a young woman who meets particular criteria. You may choose an egg donor based on her looks, intelligence, artistic or athletic ability; perhaps you might choose someone who resembles one of them or a close family friend. Finally, it is possible to pick an egg donor after meeting her in person and feeling comfortable with her.

Choosing A Surrogate

Finding a woman to be your gestational surrogate and carry your child(ren) is one of the most exciting steps to parenthood. Trust surrogacy agencies to help you find the best surrogate. Gestational carriers and intended parents fill out a questionnaire about the type of person they would like to pair with, the expectations for surrogacy, and the level of communication they want to have.

Surrogacy Costs

The cost of surrogacy is determined by many aspects; it is divided into five categories: professional fees, carrier fees and expenditures, donor program costs (if necessary), insurance charges, and IVF expenses.

Professional fees, gestational carrier fees, expenditures, and insurance prices add to a total of between $100,000 and $140,000. A program to recruit egg donations would cost an additional $20,000 to $30,000. Some intended parents' insurance may cover IVF, but if not, developing embryos and performing transfers usually cost between $15,000 and $40,000.

Take Your First Step

For same-sex parents who are prepared to expand their families, surrogacy is an excellent choice. Members of the LGBT community can achieve parenthood on this surrogacy journey while preserving a genetic connection with their baby.

You can find additional information regarding homosexual surrogacy and same-sex parenting at the following websites:

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine

It’s Conceivable

Men Having Babies

M.D., IVF specialist, gynecologist, reproductive endocrinologist, expert of ultrasound diagnostics.


IVF and Surrogacy programs and costs

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