Learn with Southern Surrogacy

Southern Surrogacy is a leading surrogacy agency specializing in assisted reproductive services in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama. Learning about the surrogacy process and selecting the right agency are the first steps in the surrogacy journey, whether you’re an intended parent (IP) or a potential surrogate.

At Southern Surrogacy, we believe in empowering our surrogates and IPs with the knowledge and information they need to make informed decisions for themselves. Although surrogacy is an excellent option for many people struggling to conceive a baby, we realize it’s not for everyone. We respect the rights of each person that we meet to explore their options and make informed decisions. Keep reading to learn about the surrogacy process for IPs and surrogates, surrogacy requirements, laws, costs, compensation, and more.

What is surrogacy?

Surrogacy is the practice of carrying and giving birth to a baby on behalf of another person. People who employ a surrogate are those unable to carry a pregnancy, same-sex male couples, single intended parents, and others. The medical and legal aspects of surrogacy are very complex. A surrogate pregnancy is achieved through a series of advanced medical procedures performed by a fertility specialist and embryologist. To address the legal aspects of the surrogacy process and establish parental rights, there is a legal contract that specifies each party’s duty and responsibility regarding the pregnancy and child.

What’s the difference between a traditional surrogate and a gestational surrogate (also called a gestational carrier)?

There are two types of surrogacy: traditional and gestational. Southern Surrogacy only works with gestational surrogates.

In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate mother is not biologically related to the baby. Rather, an embryo is created in-vitro using the egg of one of the IPs or an egg donor and the sperm from the intended father or a sperm donor. Next, the embryo is transferred to the surrogate’s uterus by a fertility specialist.

In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is artificially inseminated with the IPs chosen sperm, resulting in the conception of a baby biologically related to the surrogate mother. Before IVF in 1978, traditional surrogacy was the only form of this type of assisted reproduction. Since then, the practice of traditional surrogacy has fallen out of favor within the fertility industry, due to the legal, ethical, and psychological impacts and complications. Today, the vast majority of surrogacy arrangements (including 100% of arrangements facilitated by a surrogacy agency) involve gestational surrogates.

Does a surrogate share DNA with the baby?

Some IPs are concerned that, even with a gestational surrogate, the baby will be genetically related to the surrogate. IPs often ask if the DNA could be transferred from the surrogate mother to the baby. This is a common misconception; in gestational surrogacy, there is no DNA transfer during pregnancy.

Are there any requirements for becoming a surrogate?

Southern Surrogacy seeks surrogates who will have the best chance of being accepted by the intended parents’ fertility clinic, including:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Live in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, or Tennessee
  • Have at least one previous healthy pregnancy
  • Be raising their own child in their home
  • Be a non-smoker and non-drug user
  • Have a healthy BMI
  • Be able to travel for surrogacy appointments
  • Submit medical and insurance documents
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Undergo physical and mental health screenings

Learn more about our surrogate requirements.

Are surrogates compensated and paid for their services?

In exchange for the surrogate’s dedication and sacrifice, three types of surrogate pay are provided by the IPs. The grand total usually ranges between $38,000 to $50,000. The benefits include:

  • A base compensation
  • Additional payments based on the pregnancy’s progression
  • Coverage of all surrogacy services (e.g., medical screening, contract signing, medication regimen, and more)
  • Additional coverage for a C-section delivery and other associated costs

Learn more about the financial benefits for surrogates.

What is the surrogacy process like for intended parents?

At Southern Surrogacy, the surrogacy process involves several steps, including:

  • Learning about surrogacy
  • Finding prospective surrogates
  • Engaging in a match meeting to discover more about the surrogate candidates, and finalizing the process of finding a match
  • Meeting with a surrogacy attorney to handle the legalities involved in the surrogacy process and signing a surrogacy contract
  • Getting to know your surrogate throughout the journey
  • Planning for your baby’s birth and homecoming
  • Bonding with the new baby immediately after birth and taking your new family member home

What is the surrogacy process like for surrogates?

Much like IPs, surrogates go through some of the same steps of the process, as well as some steps that are unique to the surrogate. The surrogacy process for surrogates includes:

  • Learning about surrogacy
  • Submitting an application to become a surrogate
  • Undergoing initial screenings
  • Getting acquainted with potential IPs by participating in a match meeting
  • Selecting the IPs you want to work with
  • Undergoing medical and mental health screenings after the match
  • Meeting with a surrogacy attorney to manage the legalities involved in the surrogacy process, protect your rights, and sign a surrogacy contract
  • Getting to know your IPs
  • Taking hormonal medicine injections to prepare your body for pregnancy
  • Completing the necessary medical procedures, such as the embryo transfer
  • Taking blood and ultrasound tests for pregnancy confirmation
  • Visiting your OB/GYN doctor for regular pregnancy examinations
  • Giving birth with the assistance of your OB/GYN doctor

What do I need to know about surrogacy laws in the South

Legal consultations play an important role in the surrogacy process. Most of the legal work is completed before the baby’s birth; this ensures very few unforeseen events along the way.

The laws pertaining to surrogacy vary from one state to another. For example, some states allow a parentage agreement (i.e., a signed document that pre-established the IPs as the legal parents before the birth of the baby) to be put in place far in advance of the birth. Southern Surrogacy will refer you to an attorney experienced in surrogacy laws in the southern states who will advise you on the specific process used in your case. Click on your state below to discover more about surrogacy laws that pertain to you.

What are the benefits and challenges of surrogacy?

There are many pros and cons to consider when deciding whether to use a surrogate as part of your family-building journey; some common advantages and disadvantages include:

  • Benefit: Surrogacy allows many people, otherwise unable to have a family, to have a baby
  • Benefit: Surrogacy allows IPs to have a genetic connection with their child.
  • Challenge: Surrogacy is complicated, there is a learning curve to figure out the medical and legal complexities.
  • Benefit: Surrogacy involves a legally binding contract, and therefore there are usually no unexpected outcomes when it comes to custody or other legal issues.
  • Challenge: There are significant costs involved in surrogacy.

Are there any financial services available for surrogacy?

There are many grants and resources to help intended parents pay for fertility treatment, such as The Baby Quest Foundation, the Jewish Fertility Foundation, The Family Formation Charitable Trust, and more. Our team of surrogacy professionals can connect intended parents with various resources to make their surrogacy journey more financially manageable.

Learn more about financial resources for surrogacy.

Learn More About Surrogacy

At Southern Surrogacy, our goal is to assist you in your surrogacy journey, providing the highest level of legal expertise and as much in-person interaction as possible. Whether you are an intended parent or a potential surrogate, we can help you find the answers you’re looking for to make an informed decision. Contact us today to learn more or to find out how to start the application process.