Thursday, May 23, 2024


Gestational Surrogacy Related Frequently Asked Questions

The medical term gestational surrogacy refers to an IVF procedure, where another woman known as the gestational surrogate undergoes the embryo transfer process and becomes pregnant with the baby of the couple (intended parents). The intended parents are involved with the initial IVF treatment and are typically present at the birth of their child(ren). Once the delivery takes place, the intended parents assume the full responsibility of their child(ren) and become the legal parents thereafter. Our US-based surrogacy program works in a dual phase. The legal work, surrogate recruitment, child delivery and court proceedings all take place in the US while the actual IVF treatment takes place in Cyprus. The laws in Cyprus do not have any definition for surrogacy, therefore, any documents to be prepared here in Cyprus will not have a legal base. This is why we carry out all our surrogacy cases in the US, to make things 100% legal, and reliable. The fact that your IVF treatment takes place in Cyprus is something that drives the cost down and in fact offers a higher chance of success.

1) How does the process work?

Cyprus-America Surrogacy Services (CASS) is a unique gestational surrogacy program where the legal procedures are organized by our US partners “The Surrogacy Group” in the United States under the United States legal system. Surrogacy laws are clearly defined in the United States and the legal system is well equipped to answer any legal requirements in a gestational surrogacy arrangement. Therefore, we make sure that your “surrogate recruitment”, “surrogacy contract”, “child delivery” and “court proceedings” are handled by our US partners so that the legal work is governed by the US legal system to offer you a reliable contract. The actual IVF treatment takes place at North Cyprus IVF where your surrogate travels to Cyprus for the embryo transfer procedure. The cost of IVF treatment is substantially lower compared to the United States, therefore, the total cost of your gestational surrogacy program turns out to be much lower compared to a gestational surrogacy arrangement at a US clinic.

2) How are the surrogates matched with the recipients?

The first step in surrogate recruitment is to have you fill out our “intended parent application form”. On this form, we ask that you specify your requirements for the surrogate selection so that we can match you up with a suitable candidate accordingly. All our surrogates are US citizens from surrogate-friendly states in the United States of America. One of the requirements that our agency has when recruiting surrogates is that, a suitable candidate should have had her own children and have proven her ability to achieve and maintain a healthy pregnancy to a full term.

3) Can we use donor eggs or donor sperm with the CASS program?

Most of the US states require that at least one of the intended parents is biologically connected to the child(ren) born via surrogacy arrangements. Therefore, as long as one of the intended parents has a biological connection, then using donor eggs or donor sperm is an option that can be offered to our patients. However, there are states that will allow for surrogacy arrangements without any biological connection to the child (using both egg and a sperm donor). Since there aren’t very many states offering this as an option, surrogate recruitment will take a longer period of time.

4) Can we plan a twin pregnancy with a surrogacy arrangement?

Twin pregnancy is a condition which must be agreed upon prior to the contract stage with your gestational surrogate. If you wish to have twins, then you need to be matched with a surrogate who is willing to carry a twin pregnancy. However, you should keep in mind that twin pregnancy has to do with the number of embryos transferred into the uterus. The higher the number of embryos transferred into the surrogate’s uterus, the higher the likelihood of multiple pregnancy. While we can increase the likelihood of a twin pregnancy by transferring 2/3 embryos into the uterus, we cannot predict how many of these embryos will implant and generate pregnancy. In other words, while we can increase the likelihood of a twin pregnancy, we cannot guarantee it.

5) How do I take my child back into my country?

Our agency in the US will organize all the paperwork required for taking your child back home. These documents include birth certificates and a US passport. Even though all our patients have been able to take their children back home without any problems, we strongly recommend that you consult with a local lawyer prior to signing your contract to discuss the procedures to be followed in your local country for registering your baby once you take your baby home with you.

6) Will my child’s birth certificate mention the surrogacy arrangement?

No. There is no mention of your surrogate or the surrogacy procedure on your child’s birth certificate. You and your partner will be the registered parents on your child’s birth certificate. This is true for same-sex couples as well as heterosexual couples. There will be no mention of your surrogate or your egg/sperm donor on the birth certificate (if an egg or a sperm donor is used).

7) Will my child have a US citizenship?

Yes, your child will automatically receive American citizenship after (s)he is born. Issuing a US passport usually takes about two weeks after the delivery of your child.

8) How soon after our child is born can we travel?

You will need to be present at the birth of your child in the US. Given that you will be in direct contact with your surrogate and the agency, you will always be kept in the loop with the progress of pregnancy and when the delivery is likely to be scheduled. That way, you can plan your trip to the US accordingly. From delivery to the point where you can take your child home, there is an estimated waiting time of two weeks, which is the period of time necessary for organizing the legal paperwork and issuing the US passport.

9) When can we meet our surrogate?

The first time when you meet your surrogate is likely to be via skype or any other form of internet communication. This is likely to be during the surrogate matching stage. Once you have selected your surrogate, you will be able to keep in touch. The first time when you meet your surrogate in person is likely to be during the IVF treatment stage in Cyprus.

10) How is the pregnancy monitored?

We do have collaborating physicians and clinics in various parts of the US where your surrogate will be monitored. Each surrogate is monitored by a doctor in her local area, therefore, there are no long trips necessary for the doctor consults and pregnancy scans. You will be notified immediately after each consultation and each scan about the progress of pregnancy.

11) Will our surrogate breastfeed our child after delivery?

If you want your surrogate to breastfeed or to pump her milk into a bottle so that your child can be fed with breast milk, we can most certainly organize this for you. However, if such an arrangement is to be made, your surrogate is likely to ask for additional compensation for this.

12) How much does a surrogacy arrangement cost with the CASS program?

The cost of a surrogacy arrangement through CASS (Cyprus-America Surrogacy Services) runs at 65,000-75,000 USD. This is inclusive of legal fees, surrogate and egg donor’s compensation, IVF treatment, and delivery fees. Extra expenses can be faced in the case of a multiple pregnancy where some surrogates might ask for extra compensation. But you will get a chance to talk about all of this with your surrogate and have everything out in the open before you proceed with your contract.

13) For male same-sex couples, can you use both sperm samples for creating embryos?

If desired, we are able to fertilize two sets of eggs, one set with your own sperm and one set with your partner’s. You can, in turn, transfer both sets of embryos. This gives you both a chance to have you biological child(ren) with your surrogacy arrangement. You can do a transfer of 2 embryos (one from each partner) or any other combination you see fit.

14) I have a friend/relative who has accepted to be my gestational surrogate. Can you help with such an arrangement?

When you have your own surrogate mother, one of the most important things is to make sure she is fit for pregnancy (meaning she has no gynecological problems) and is able to carry pregnancy to a full term. This can be done via a basic pelvic ultrasound at her gynecologist and make sure there are no large fibroids or polyps in the uterus or anything that can potentially interfere with a successful pregnancy.

15) Can I be a single father on my child’s birth certificate?

If you would like to be the sole parent on your child’s birth certificate, that is an option. Some single male parents prefer to have their surrogate go on the birth certificate while some like to remain a single parent on all the paperwork. This also depends on the country of your citizenship/residency. Most countries won’t let you have a baby with no mother on the birth certificate, so you may want to have a friend or a surrogate on board to sign the birth certificate without claiming any rights to the child.

16) How soon can a match be obtained?

Depending upon the desires of the couple related to specific issues involving their surrogate, matches are usually made in from four to eight weeks. Requests for surrogates that live in certain geographical locations, or that are of certain religious or ethnic backgrounds may delay this matching process. In all instances, the couple and the surrogate will meet at least on the internet prior to finalizing a match.

17) How soon may we begin?

Once a suitable match has been arranged, the limiting factor becomes completion of all of the appropriate legal formalities. Once a signed surrogacy contract is received, the cycles of the mother to be (or egg donor) and the surrogate will be analyzed, and arrangements will be made to initiate the treatment cycle. We are able to take into account scheduling requirements of all involved. With modern cycle management techniques, we can usually accommodate any scheduling requirements of either the couple or the surrogate.

18) In the case of male same-sex parents, can we both be listed as fathers on our child’s birth certificate?

Absolutely! In states where gay surrogacy is permitted, both partners can go on the birth certificate as the legal guardians with no mention of surrogacy. However, it is important to look into your own country’s laws regarding surrogacy or bringing your child into the country as some countries won’t allow two fathers being listed on the birth certificate. If your country requires a listed mother, then it may be required for your surrogate to go on the birth certificate.

19) Is there an additional (sur)charge for foreign or out of State parents?

No! While additional expenses may be incurred related to immigration details and the final disposition of the child, these expenses are paid directly to the person(s) providing the services (surrogacy or immigration attorneys, etc.). We do not financially penalize any couple based upon their place of residence. There is never a foreign or out of State surcharge imposed by us. On occasion, where extensive paperwork or consultations were required to allow for a temporary visa to be issued for medical care, we charge only a modest per hour service fee at our cost for those extra efforts made by us on behalf of a patient.

Please check out Frequently Asked Questions and Answers on our other IVF treatments: