The Florida surrogacy process can be completed legally, ethically and with little stress when you have an experienced professional to guide you and you’re well-prepared prior to beginning the process. Surrogacy in FL is a beautiful way to bring people together over a common goal: creating a family.
Whether you’re an intended parent or a surrogate, the following guide will help you to better understanding the process of surrogacy in Florida, so you can safely begin pursuing your FL surrogacy goals.
The 6-Step Florida Surrogacy Process
Florida is a fairly surrogacy-friendly state, but the laws and processes regarding surrogacy in Florida are still complex. Having a good understanding of these six steps will help you be ready:
Step 1: Decide If Surrogacy is Right for You
First, you should understand the legal, emotional and physical processes of surrogacy in Florida and the ways in which these processes can affect your whole family. This is true for both intended parents and surrogates.
The Florida surrogacy process is about one-year commitment, and it’ll require full dedication from both parties.
If you’re considering becoming a surrogate in Florida, you’ll want to consider how your commitment to surrogacy will impact your time, body, emotions, family and career. If you want to become a parent through surrogacy in FL, carefully compare the different family-building options available to you, and consider how the FL surrogacy process will affect you mentally, emotionally and financially compared to those other options.
Both parties should always be honest with themselves about their motivations for pursuing surrogacy in Florida. Surrogacy isn’t the right path for everyone, and that’s ok!
Step 2: Pick Your Type of Surrogacy and Surrogacy Professional
Once you’ve committed to the process of surrogacy in Florida, it’s time to choose which type of surrogacy you’re going to pursue:
- Traditional surrogacy: The less common of the two methods, traditional surrogacy involves the surrogate using her own egg, which is fertilized through intrauterine insemination using sperm from a donor or an intended father. This means that a traditional surrogate is the biological mother of the child she carries, so the process involves a pre-planned adoption agreement and a termination of her parental rights. She may revoke her consent within 48 hours of giving birth, meaning the surrogate would still be the legal parent of the child. This type of surrogacy in Florida carries inherent legal and emotional risks, so it’s rare.
- Gestational surrogacy: The most common method, gestational surrogacy involves transferring an embryo to the gestational surrogate’s uterus, which is created in a lab using in vitro fertilization with either the intended parents’ or donor egg and sperm. The gestational surrogate is not biologically related to the child she carries. Most surrogacy professionals today only complete gestational surrogacies.
Next, you’ll need to decide which type of surrogacy professional you want to guide you through the FL surrogacy process. Surrogates and intended parents are always encouraged to work with a Florida surrogacy professional rather than trying to complete the surrogacy process on their own. Here are your two options:
- A surrogacy agency or program: Sometimes also called surrogacy programs or centers, surrogacy agencies provide screening, matching, case management and counseling services to intended parents and surrogates in addition to referrals to fertility clinics and legal representation. They’re usually able to provide all of the services you’ll need to complete the Florida surrogacy process in its entirety.
- A surrogacy attorney: Lawyers complete the legal stages of surrogacy in Florida, like drafting surrogacy contracts. They don’t match surrogates and intended parents, although they can sometimes refer you to an agency that does offer those services.
Step 3: Find Your Surrogacy Partner
If you aren’t already partnered with someone for your surrogacy journey, a surrogacy agency can work with you to find the right match. Agencies will search, screen potential matches who fit what you’re looking for and recommend matches who have the same goals for the surrogacy process as you do.
You should always be cautious if you choose to search for a match independently, without the protection of a surrogacy professional. Whether you look online or ask through your personal connections, you’ll be responsible for vetting any of those potential matches, and you could be at risk for fraud. Use your best judgment if approaching this path.
It’s important to note that you don’t have to match exclusively with intended parents or surrogates in Florida. The majority of matches actually occur across states, and intended parents and surrogates are still able to have whatever kind of surrogacy relationship they want to have.
If you’re still unsure about what you’re looking for in a potential match, talking with a Florida surrogacy professional can help you better understand how to go about finding the right partner for such an important experience.
Step 4: Complete the Legal Stage of Surrogacy in Florida
Depending on the type of surrogacy that you choose (either traditional or gestational), your legal processes will vary somewhat. But regardless of the type of surrogacy you choose, intended parents and surrogates will need to be individually represented by Florida surrogacy attorneys. This is so that both parties’ interests are equally represented when drafting legal surrogacy contracts.
Florida surrogacy contracts cover just about everything in your surrogacy process, including compensation for the surrogate, establishing legal parental rights and how everyone would proceed in the event of “what-if” situations like pregnancy complications or the surrogate becoming pregnant with multiples. Your surrogacy attorneys are there to ensure that your Florida surrogacy process is completed in accordance with all Florida surrogacy laws and that everyone’s rights are protected.
The creation of a surrogacy contract takes place after finding a surrogacy match, but before you’ll proceed to the medical process of surrogacy in FL.
Step 5: Complete the Medical Stage of Surrogacy in FL
Once a surrogacy contract is signed by both parties, the medical surrogacy process can begin. After meeting the health requirements and screening processes necessary to become a surrogate, the surrogate will need to begin a regimen of fertility medications and hormones.
In gestational surrogacy, those fertility medications lead up to an embryo transfer. In traditional surrogacy, intrauterine insemination may take place instead. Either procedure is typically done at the intended parents’ fertility clinic of choice. Sometimes, multiple cycles of transfers are necessary for an embryo to successfully implant. Once a doctor has confirmed a healthy pregnancy, surrogates can start receiving base compensation and a monthly allowance, which is legal in Florida.
Surrogates can receive routine prenatal care through their own OB throughout the pregnancy, and can continue to update the excited intended parents about their baby’s growth. This is often a fun time in the Florida surrogacy process for intended parents and surrogates to share in their excitement together. Even if you don’t reside in the same city or state, you can communicate however you all feel most comfortable.
Step 6: Celebrate the Baby’s Arrival Together
Again, because many surrogates and intended parents don’t live in the same area, the intended parents will often travel to the surrogate once she goes into labor so that they can support her and welcome their baby. A Florida surrogacy birth is an amazing and unique experience, and it’s one that you can share together!
Some surrogates and intended parents stay in touch after their surrogacy journey together has come to a close. Your Florida surrogacy professional is a good resource for helping to facilitate post-surrogacy contact, for finding resources or support, or anything else you might need after the baby is born.
The process of surrogacy in FL is an incredible way to bring people together for the sake of creating a family! If you want to become a surrogate in Florida to help others to become parents, or if you want to become parents through surrogacy in Florida, contact a FL surrogacy professional for more information.