Making Babies: What comes first, the reproductive endocrinologist, the surrogate, or the egg donor?
As I started to write this blog I was reminded of a children’s story called, “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie”. It is not a matter of just giving the mouse a cookie because each step brings another (“If you give a mouse a cookie, he's going to ask for a glass of milk. When you give him the milk, he'll probably ask you for a straw.” And so on). In the same way each step in the third-party fertility process brings about another step.
If you already have a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) who you have been working with, that’s a great place to start. In most cases the other players (surrogate and egg donor) can travel to your clinic. If you have not yet chosen an RE, I suggest that you find a surrogate and then Donor Concierge can recommend an excellent RE proximate to your surrogate.
When choosing a surrogate (for guidance on how to choose a surrogate click here) be sure she can give birth in a state that supports you and your significant other or you as a single parent. Every state has different surrogacy laws and some are much more supportive than others. You also need to make sure that the state where your surrogate lives allows surrogates to be compensated as a surrogate. Not all states allow it and, unless you have a family friend or relative who is willing to carry your child, there are very few women who are willing to carry a baby to term without compensation.
I recommend against trying to skirt the law and have your surrogate plan to give birth over the state line to avoid her home state’s ban on paid surrogacy. Some surrogacy agencies offer surrogates from states that ban paid surrogacy and claim to be able to get around these laws but it will make life more complicated than it needs to be. Donor Concierge works closely with attorneys who are intimately familiar with the laws in a variety of states so that we can find you surrogates in states that will support you as the child’s parent(s) of record. Surrogacy laws can and do change so I recommend consulting with an attorney expert in this area to confirm a state’s laws before making a final selection.
I recommend looking for your surrogate and egg donor simultaneously. Many egg donor agencies will not let you reserve an egg donor if you don’t have a surrogate. Surrogacy programs often don’t want you to reserve a surrogate if you don’t have an egg donor. Because Donor Concierge has access to so many options for both egg donors and surrogates, you can usually find both in about 2-4 weeks.