Despite being one of the many states that has no laws specifically governing the process, surrogacy in Oregon is still very much legal and a common way to create families. Intended parents and surrogates will still need some help navigating a complex set of procedures during the course of their Oregon surrogacy journey, and this guide is a good place to start.
The Oregon Surrogacy Process
While everyone’s surrogacy process in Oregon will look slightly different, there are generally six steps you’ll go through in your pursuit of becoming a parent or a surrogate:
Step 1: Commit to Surrogacy
Surrogates and intended parents alike should anticipate committing to an approximately year-long process that will require your legal, emotional and physical investment in addition to your time and effort. It’s important that everyone is prepared to meet the demands of surrogacy in Oregon prior to beginning that process, so the first step you should take is to educate yourself and decide if you’re ready to commit to the Oregon surrogacy process.
Surrogates will need to consider if they’re ready to commit their time, bodies and emotions. Their careers and families will also be affected by this decision. Intended parents will need to consider all the different types of family-building options, including the ways in which each option could affect them mentally, emotionally and financially, so that they can decide if Oregon surrogacy is the right option for them.
Are you clear and honest with yourself about your motivations for choosing surrogacy in Oregon? It’s important that you’re motivated to pursue surrogacy in Oregon for the right reasons and that you’re prepared for the realities of this process before you make this major commitment.
Step 2: Select the Type of Surrogacy and Professional
Have you decided that you’re prepared to fully commit to surrogacy in OR? Then the next step is to choose which type of surrogacy is right for you. There are two types:
- Traditional surrogacy: This is a less-common method of surrogacy in Oregon, and many professionals will not complete it due to the increased legal and emotional risks associated with it. Traditional surrogates are the biological mothers of the children they carry, as a traditional surrogate uses her own egg and fertilize it with sperm from a donor or an intended father through intrauterine insemination.
- Gestational surrogacy: This is the preferred method of surrogacy in OR. Gestational carriers are not biologically related to the children they carry. An embryo is created through in vitro fertilization using an egg and sperm from donors or intended parents, and is then transferred to the gestational surrogate’s uterus.
It’s always recommended for surrogates and intended parents to work through a reputable Oregon surrogacy professional. You can choose from two types:
- A surrogacy agency: These professional are usually able to complete all of the necessary services for the Oregon surrogacy process, so you only have to contact the one professional. They handle things like finding surrogacy matches, screening those potential matches, case management, counseling and referrals for both the intended parents and the surrogate.
- A surrogacy attorney: This professional completes the legal steps necessary in the Oregon surrogacy process. Some attorneys are also able to match intended parents and surrogates together, while others give referrals to other professionals for those services.
Step 3: Find Your Surrogacy Partner
Do you already know who you’ll be working with during your Oregon surrogacy process? Go ahead and skip this step, since you won’t need to search for a surrogate or an intended parent.
If you do need to find a surrogacy match, keep in mind that your surrogacy partner — whether you’re looking for a surrogate or an intended parent — doesn’t have to live in Oregon. You can match with someone who lives anywhere in the U.S. Long-distance matches are common in surrogacy, and you’ll still be able to have whatever kind of relationship you’d like to have. Opening up your geographical boundaries will decrease your wait time.
If you’re not currently partnered with someone you know for your surrogacy process, a surrogacy agency is the professional that most people will utilize to find a match when they don’t already have one. An agency shows you profiles of pre-screened possible matches from which you can choose.
You can search for a match on your own without the protection of an agency, but you should do so with caution. In independent surrogacy, you’re responsible for vetting potential matches that you find online or through networking, so watch out for fraudulent situations.
Step 4: Complete the Legal Steps for Surrogacy in Oregon
When you’ve been matched with your surrogacy partner, you must complete the legal process together prior to beginning any medical steps. Intended parents and surrogates will need individual representation by an Oregon surrogacy attorney to create surrogacy contracts, which will outline important details including:
- The risks that each party accepts
- The expectations for contact that each party agrees to throughout the process
- What appointments or meetings each party agree to attend
- What relevant medical procedures everyone would be comfortable with, and what procedures they would not feel comfortable with
- How each party feels about issues that may become relevant, such as selective termination
- Surrogate compensation
- How the legal parental rights of the intended parents are going to be established
- And more
Your surrogacy contracts serve as a kind of roadmap that will help guide the way as you begin the surrogacy process in Oregon together, and will prevent miscommunications before you start. Once the OR surrogacy attorney has finalized the contract that everyone feels confident about, you can move on to the medical steps of surrogacy in Oregon.
Step 5: Complete the Medical Steps of Surrogacy in OR
There are a series of health requirements and screening processes that a woman must meet in order to become a surrogate in Oregon, as she will need to take a number of fertility hormones and medications leading up to an embryo transfer.
This embryo transfer typically occurs at the intended parents’ preferred fertility clinic, so the surrogate may need to travel if she doesn’t live in the city or state where the clinic is located. Any travel expenses would be compensated for the surrogate by the intended parents.
Prior to an embryo transfer, embryos are created in a lab using the eggs and sperm from either donors or intended parents using in vitro fertilization. An embryo is then transferred to the uterus of the gestational surrogate. Multiple cycles of transfers are sometimes needed before a healthy pregnancy occurs, but once that pregnancy is confirmed by the doctor, surrogates can start receiving a base compensation and a monthly allowance. Compensated surrogacy is not directly addressed in Oregon surrogacy laws, so talk to your attorney to understand what surrogate compensation will be allowed in your circumstances.
Then, the surrogate can begin seeing her own OBGYN for her regular prenatal checkups as the pregnancy progresses. Surrogates and intended parents can keep in contact about the growth of the baby leading up to delivery, and often enjoy this opportunity to get to know one another.
Step 6: Celebrate Your Baby’s Arrival
Because long-distances matches are commonplace in Oregon surrogacy, intended parents are usually prepared to travel to support their surrogate when she goes into labor. A surrogacy birth is a unique and special experience, so intended parents and surrogate like to be together for the baby’s first moments.
Many intended parents and surrogates in Oregon bond during their surrogacy experience, so they stay in touch long after their surrogacy journey together ends. You can always reach out to your OR surrogacy professional for help facilitating a post-surrogacy relationship with your partner, or for access to post-surrogacy resources.
Interested in learning more about how to become parents through surrogacy in OR, or have you felt called to help others to have a family by becoming a surrogate in Oregon yourself? Contact an Oregon surrogacy professional now for information about the process.