Surrogacy is the process by which a surrogate (also known as a gestational carrier or gestational surrogate) becomes pregnant (via IVF and embryo transfer) and gives birth to the intended parents’ child. The surrogate is not genetically related to the child. The child may be genetically related to one or both intended parents or neither if egg and sperm donors are used. The intended parents obtain an order declaring them to be the parents of the child during the pregnancy and are responsible for the care and financial expenses of the child.
Most intended parents turn to surrogacy because they are not able to have children any other way, including those with fertility or other medical issues, same sex couples, and those wishing to become single parents. Becoming a surrogate provides an amazing opportunity to help others fulfill their life-long dreams of becoming parents.
Surrogates are compensated for their time, discomfort, and the medical risks they undertake during the pregnancy and delivery. Many surrogates use their compensation for things like paying off student loans, a down payment on a house, savings for their children’s college expenses, or vacations. For some surrogates, being a surrogate allows them to earn income while staying home with their own children or to supplement their income from home-based self-employment. For others, surrogacy allows them to add to their income from part-time or full-time employment.
Surrogates residing in New York are protected by the Surrogate’s Bill of Rights, which includes rights such as making your own medical decisions, having independent legal counsel paid for by the intended parents, having your medical expenses covered, having access to counseling, having a life insurance policy, and being able to terminate the surrogacy agreement for any reason prior to becoming pregnant.