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December 22, 2023

LGBTQ+ Surrogacy

LGBTQ+ Surrogacy opens avenues for family creation when biological reproduction isn’t feasible. It involves a woman (the surrogate) carrying and birthing a child for intended parents who can’t conceive. While traditionally used by heterosexual couples facing infertility, it’s increasingly embraced by LGBTQ+ individuals and same-sex couples.

The journey involves legal, financial, medical, and emotional intricacies – selecting the right surrogate, managing contracts, and fostering connections during and after pregnancy. Despite challenges, LGBTQ+ Surrogacy offers unparalleled opportunities for individuals to embark on parenthood, breaking barriers and creating families that may not have been possible otherwise.

Choosing the Right Surrogacy Arrangement

For LGBTQ+ intended parents considering surrogacy, one of the first steps is choosing the right surrogacy arrangement. There are two main types:

  • Traditional Surrogacy: The surrogate is impregnated using the sperm of the intended father or a donor, making her both the gestational carrier and biological mother. This option is less common today.
  • Gestational Surrogacy: The surrogate has no genetic connection to the baby. She is implanted with an embryo created via IVF using the egg and sperm of the intended parents or donors. This is the most common arrangement for LGBTQ+ families today.

Within these two categories, surrogacy arrangements can also be classified as:

  • Commercial surrogacy: Compensates the surrogate beyond just medical expenses
  • Altruistic surrogacy: No compensation beyond medical costs

The legality of commercial surrogacy varies greatly by state in the US. Washington, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Michigan expressly prohibit it, while California, Illinois, and Louisiana expressly permit it. Laws are constantly evolving, so it’s important LGBTQ+ intended parents research their state’s current surrogacy statute.

Choosing between traditional vs gestational surrogacy depends on several factors:

  • State laws – some prohibit traditional arrangements
  • Desire for a genetic connection to the child
  • Importance of finding a surrogate open to either option
  • Health regulations at IVF clinics on allowable arrangements

While traditional surrogacy can be simpler and less expensive, the majority of LGBTQ+ families today pursue gestational surrogacy. It provides a clearer legal framework for establishing parenthood, allows at least one parent to contribute genetically, and minimizes potential issues with parental rights for the surrogate.

Finding and Working with a Surrogate

For LGBTQ+ intended parents, finding the right surrogate is among the most important steps in the process. Surrogates who truly understand the specific needs of the LGBTQ+ community are still relatively rare. Here are some key factors to consider:

Working with an agency vs independent surrogacy

Agencies offer services like screening and matching potential surrogates. But they charge added fees, and some won’t work with the LGBTQ+ community. Independent surrogacy avoids agency costs but can make finding the ideal surrogate more challenging.

Open vs closed surrogacy

In open surrogacy, all parties meet and communicate directly. In closed arrangements, the surrogate remains anonymous. Most LGBTQ+ intended parents prefer open surrogacy to be involved throughout the process.

Desired level of relationship with the surrogate

Some want a strictly professional transactional arrangement, while others envision an ongoing relationship, viewing the surrogate like extended family. Defining expectations early is key.

Views on LGBTQ+ families

Not all surrogates are comfortable working with same-sex intended parents. Vetting views on non-traditional families is crucial.

Once matched, building rapport and trust with the surrogate is critical. Areas to communicate about include:

  • Medical elements like embryo transfers, prenatal care, delivery
  • Legal aspects such as contracts, establishing parental rights, etc
  • Financial agreements – how much is the surrogate compensated?
  • Boundaries and privacy – what info can be shared related to the pregnancy?
  • Relationship expectations during and after pregnancy

Remember the surrogate is doing an immense service. She should be treated with empathy, respect, and gratitude through the journey.

Bonding During Pregnancy as Intended Parents

For LGBTQ+ couples and individuals navigating surrogacy, pregnancy can be an emotionally intense time. Here are some tips for finding meaningful ways to bond during this special period:

  • Attend important prenatal appointments when allowed – hearing the heartbeat or seeing ultrasound images helps cement that this is your baby.
  • Create rituals that honor the expanding family, like belly photo shoots documenting the pregnancy, journaling to the baby, or evening prayers focused on the child.
  • Join support groups to connect with others going through similar experiences. Pride Angel is one excellent online community.
  • Read up on childbirth classes and parenting books to prepare – the more knowledge gained ahead of time, the more empowered intended parents will feel.
  • Be sensitive to your surrogate’s needs during pregnancy – offer support and gratitude. But don’t be overbearing, and respect requests for space.
  • Envision your future lives together – discuss things like nursery options, how to share parenting responsibilities, and how you’ll support each other after the baby arrives.

While surrogacy entails its own unique challenges, taking intentional steps to bond and prepare as intended LGBTQ+ parents leads to incredible rewards – chiefly, the joy of finally welcoming your baby into your lives!


For LGBTQ+ individuals and couples, surrogacy offers a life-changing chance to create families. But pursuing this path also involves complex legal, medical, financial, and emotional considerations. Doing extensive research on choosing the right surrogacy arrangement, finding a surrogate who’s the ideal fit, establishing open communication, and bonding during the pregnancy can make the process run more smoothly. While surrogacy is never easy, for those willing to embrace both the challenges and blessings it can bestow, their long-awaited dreams of parenthood may finally be fulfilled. At the end of the journey, all the effort pays off abundantly when intended LGBTQ+ parents get to hold their new baby for the first time.

Frequently Asked Questions:-

What is surrogacy in LGBT?

Surrogacy is the compassionate act of someone carrying a baby on behalf of individuals who, for various reasons, are unable or opt not to conceive. In the United Kingdom, either the sperm or egg can be sourced from a donor, but not both. While surrogacy is legally recognized in the UK, it is prohibited to actively seek surrogates through advertising, and compensation for surrogates is not permitted.

Is surrogacy legal in India for Lgbtq?

The Indian Marriage Act exclusively acknowledges marriages between heterosexual individuals, thereby prohibiting gay couples from utilizing surrogacy as a means to have children. Once the surrogate has committed to the agreement, she is legally obligated to carry the pregnancy to term and cannot refuse to fulfill this commitment.

Can a woman reproduce without sperm?

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