What gestational surrogacy?
The terms “surrogate” and “carrier” are used interchangeably in both traditional and gestational surrogacy. In traditional surrogacy, the woman is genetically related to the child she is carrying. Her own egg(s) are used to create the pregnancy with the intended father’s or a donor’s sperm. She is thus both egg donor and surrogate for the baby she is carrying. In gestational surrogacy, there is no genetic link between the surrogate and the baby that she carries and delivers. The embryo(s) are created via in vitro fertilization and may contain cells from the intended parent(s) and/or egg, sperm, or embryo donors. Heartland Surrogacy offers gestational surrogacy only.
How do I know if surrogacy is right for me?
Surrogacy is right for you if you want to share the joy of parenthood with another individual or couple. Surrogacy requires much work and sacrifice: you must be a devoted and loving person. In addition, you must meet our agency guidelines, pass screening, and have a strong support system.
What are the benefits of using an agency versus going independently?
There are many benefits of using an agency, the most important being decreased risk for all parties. While some matches may be able to navigate the many details of a surrogacy journey, few are equipped to manage complications with insurance, medical providers, and court decisions. Working with an agency will give you the peace of mind you need to focus on your pregnancy.
Why should I choose Heartland Surrogacy?
Heartland Surrogacy was cofounded by a three-time gestational surrogate who worked with two different agencies for her first journeys: one that took good care of her, and one that was not fully supportive. She has taken these experiences to build a local matching service that meets the needs of our surrogates. We are here to support you through every step of this incredible journey. As a small, dedicated team, we limit our client network to provide individualized service. It is our priority to be accessible to you any time you need us.
How am I matched? Do I get to choose the individual or couple I work with?
Yes, you get to choose the intended parents. We present you with profiles of intended parents that we think would be good matches for you. You will get to review their information and ask questions before we proceed.
Do I get to meet the family with whom I might be matched?
We specialize in open matches with strong communication and solid relationships. Our hope is to have all matches meet in person, but the timing depends on specific circumstances. If an in-person meeting is not possible at first, we will arrange conference and Skype calls.
How do I determine my fee for being a surrogate mother?
We recommend a minimum base of $25,000, and you choose the specific amount. The amount should be fair compensation for the risk and hard work you undertake as a surrogate. You are entitled to a higher compensation if you carry multiples or have served as a surrogate in the past.
How do you handle the financial aspect of my surrogacy?
All funds for your journey are held in escrow, an account held by an independent provider. The specific details of payments and expenses will depend on your contract, but generally our agency handles your expense reports and passes them on to the escrow manager. We are in charge of making sure you are reimbursed and compensated on time. We typically work with a licensed attorney for escrow services, but intended parents may choose another escrow provider if they prefer.
Do I need to have insurance that will cover surrogacy?
No. If you do not have insurance that covers surrogacy, the intended parents are required to purchase a policy for you.
Can I apply to become a surrogate if I am currently breastfeeding?
Yes. We do require that surrogates wean before beginning fertility medications, but you can submit your application and necessary materials to us up to six months in advance. We can start working on your background checks and screening so that you are ready to start as soon as you wean.
Can I still be a gestational carrier if I’ve had my tubes tied?
Yes, because you can still undergo IVF. However, we cannot accept applicants who have had Essure.
How long do I have to wait after my last delivery before I can become a surrogate?
We require you to wait 6 months after delivery before you can start the medical process of surrogacy. However, you can submit your application and necessary materials to us before then so that we can start the screening process.
I do not believe in selective reduction or abortion. Can I still be a surrogate?
Yes. At Heartland Surrogacy, all matches are based on common goals and beliefs. No matter what your stance on reduction/termination is, it is imperative that your intended parents feel the same way and that your contract is written accordingly. However, restrictions on reduction/termination are not common amongst intended parents so it may take longer to match you. In order to be accessible to all of our surrogates, we may need to limit the number of applicants that hold these beliefs. Please inquire about availability before applying to the program.
Can I be a surrogate mother for a family member or friend?
Yes! Our agency offers case management services that allow a surrogate to carry for a family member or a friend. By working with an agency, you will be able to provide this amazing gift without having additional legwork. These services cost less for intended parents while still helping protect both parties from legal and financial risk.