How to Become a Surrogate

While we do not “match” surrogates with intended parents, we have almost two decades of experience representing and guiding women through the surrogacy process. Jennifer has more experience representing gestational carriers than anyone else in the region.

Becoming a surrogate is a major decision, and our admiration and respect for women who are willing to help a hopeful parent’s dream to come true is what makes us so passionate about representing gestational carriers in the surrogacy process. The following information will help you learn how to become a surrogate mother in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, and how we can represent you in that process.

Contact us now to begin your surrogacy journey, or read on for more general information:

Step 1: Choose What Type of Surrogacy You Want to Pursue

There are two ways to be a surrogate in D.C., VA and MD:

Traditional surrogacy: where you’re the biological mother of the baby that you carry. This type of surrogacy uses your egg and either a donor’s sperm or the intended father’s sperm to create an embryo. Because you’re the biological parent of the child, you will need to have your parental rights terminated when you give birth so that you can place the child with his or her intended parents. This type of surrogacy is rare because of the emotional and legal complications associated with it.

Gestational surrogacy: where you’re not biologically tied to the baby at all. This is the more common type of surrogacy, where donor egg and sperm or the egg and sperm of the intended parents are used to create an embryo, which is transferred to you to carry.

To learn more about how to become a gestational surrogate or traditional surrogate, and the differences between those legal processes, contact us now.

Step 2: Find Out If You Meet the Surrogacy Requirements

In order to become a surrogate mom in MD, VA or D.C. you must meet a number of requirements. These requirements can vary depending on:

  • The type of surrogacy that you choose
  • The state you live in
  • The surrogacy professional and fertility clinic you choose to work with
  • And more

We can help you understand the requirements to becoming a surrogate mother in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Contact us now for more information.

Step 3: Decide How You Want to Find Intended Parents

There are three ways that you can search for intended parents when you want to be a surrogate mother for a family:

Independent Search: becoming a surrogate without an agency is also sometimes called being a “private surrogate.” With this method, you would search for intended parents through family or friends, networking, advertising or word-of-mouth. We can help you screen the potential intended parents.

Attorney-Owned Program: these matching services are owned by attorneys, who represent both the surrogate and the intended parents through the surrogacy process. The surrogate is only independently represented during the legal contract phase.  Otherwise, she is working with the Intended Parents’ attorney who is facilitating the process. We are not an attorney-owned surrogacy program; we represent one party in the legal surrogacy process and we do not provide matching services.

Non-Attorney-Owned Program: this type of surrogacy program helps you search for and match with intended parents. This method also screens potential intended parents for you prior to being matched. Both parties have their own separate legal representation, so you can retain us as your legal counsel with this method from the beginning. These programs are sometimes referred to as “surrogacy centers” or “surrogacy agencies,” but keep in mind that there is currently no licensing authority for these types of surrogacy programs.

We can help guide you through the MD, VA or D.C. surrogacy process and counsel you to find the method of search that you feel is best for you. Contact us now to learn about the different ways to find intended parents, and learn how to become a surrogate without an agency or with one.

Step 4: Create Your Surrogacy Plan

If you have completed all the steps above, and you’ve found potential intended parents to become a surrogate for, it’s time to create a surrogacy plan.

In this stage, we’ll work with you to draft and negotiate legal contracts that outline what you want to happen in your surrogacy process, including: parental rights, custody, location of delivery, choice of law, future contact, health insurance, medical decisions, payment of medical bills, liability for medical insurance and complications, compensation (if allowed), lost wages (if allowed), legal fees, child care, housekeeping, maternity clothes, life insurance, information about medical history, doctors’ visits and the participation of the parties throughout the process.  

This is done to protect your best interests and to ensure a smooth pregnancy and birth. There are many moving parts when you carry a baby for someone else, but we have the experience to see you through it successfully so that you can have the surrogacy journey that you want. You should always be represented separately from the intended parents, because sometimes you’ll have opposing wishes in the surrogacy process or an issue arises and you need independent advice to resolve it. We’re here to advocate for you and navigate these contract negotiations on your behalf.

When you contact us, we’ll talk about decisions that you potentially need to make in your surrogacy plan and how you might want to deal with those decisions. (For example, you will need to determine how you would feel about becoming pregnant with multiples.)Then we draft those wishes into your contract so that you’re legally protected.

To learn more about the process to be a surrogate mother in VA, MD and D.C., call us now, and we can walk you through the surrogacy planning process.

Step 5: Begin the Surrogacy Process

Once your surrogacy contract has been finalized, the medical process of surrogacy can begin.

When becoming a gestational surrogate carrier, this means taking fertility hormones in preparation for the embryo transfer. Based on your surrogacy agreement with the intended parents, there may be a number of attempted transfer cycles until a healthy pregnancy is confirmed. From there, you would simply attend routine prenatal checkups like you would with any pregnancy.

Depending on the type of relationship that you established in your contract with the intended parents, you may communicate with them about the progress of your pregnancy, and if distance and your contract permit it, the intended parents may attend some of your key medical appointments as well as the birth.

We’ll walk you through any post-birth legal steps that might be needed in your situation to transfer parental rights to the intended parents. These legal processes can vary depending on the state in which you live and the type of surrogacy you complete.

We’ll help you learn how to become a surrogate in Virginia, Maryland or the District of Columbia, so contact us now.

“I believe in working with each of my clients—in support of their family dynamic—to make the dreams of parenthood a reality. Whether you are single or married; or gay; a step-parent, a surrogate or intended parent or a child of adoption, it is my mission to serve as your advocate. With a dedication to the ethical and sensitive nature of each situation, I will help you understand the laws within Maryland or Washington, DC for adoption or surrogacy, and pledge to be your partner throughout the journey.” - Jennifer Fairfax

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