FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS about surrogacy and other third-party reproduction

If you have further questions, please let us know. We are happy to help clarify. If you are ready to explore the possibilities, fill out our intended parents’ inquiry form to receive detailed information, or call Meryl at 301-217-0074.

Do you work with all intended parents, whether they are single, married, gay or LGBT?

Yes! We are happy to assist any intended parent on the path toward realizing their dream of building a family. Find out more about our surrogacy program and legal services for LGBT family building here. Or download our LGBT brochure.


Do you work with clients from any state or country?

Yes. Although ARTparenting is based in the Maryland/Virginia/DC area, we work with clients from all over the United States and from other countries as well. We welcome intended parents from all over the world. 


How do we get started with any process?

Please submit an INQUIRY FORM. We will then provide you with information about our program, including how we might be of assistance to you, and can make arrangements for a free initial consultation. You may also call Meryl directly at (301) 217-0074.


What is the difference between a “gestational carrier” or “gestational surrogate” and a “traditional surrogate”?

gestational carrier or gestational surrogate* is a woman who carries a child conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF) using the egg (ovum) of the intended parent or an egg donor, and the sperm of the intended parent or sperm donor, or even utilizing an embryo donor. This is different from a traditional surrogate who carries a child using her own egg and is the genetic and biological mother of the child. With traditional surrogacy, pregnancy is usually achieved using artificial insemination.


What is Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)?

Assisted Reproduction is a method of achieving a pregnancy through means other than by sexual intercourse, and may include intrauterine or intracervical insemination, donation of gametes, in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer, and intracytoplasmic sperm insemination. Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) refers to any medical or scientific procedures or treatment provided by a medical provider with the intent of achieving a pregnancy and having a child. This may involve third-party reproduction.


What is Third-party Reproduction?

This is a process that includes the use of any of the following: donor sperm, donor eggs, donor embryos, traditional surrogate mothers, and gestational surrogates.


Can we use our own surrogate and still work with you?

Yes. ARTparenting will prepare the necessary legal agreements. It is highly recommended that this be done after medical and psychological screening, and clearance. We can also assist the parties throughout the process, including with the necessary paperwork or court order for recognition of parental rights and the birth certificate before or after the birth.


Can we use a sperm donor, an egg donor, or both in a gestational surrogacy?

Yes. In some cases, the sperm and/or egg of the intended parents are utilized. In other cases, a sperm donor or an egg donor or both, or even an embryo donor, is utilized.


Can we use our own egg or a sperm donor?

Yes. Your IVF center will screen the donor. You will still need to have an egg-donor or sperm-donor agreement in place prior to the donation.

Meryl delivers!
She offers knowledge, quality work and kind, personal attention. We have a healthy, beautiful daughter and couldn’t be happier. Our gratitude is endless. Without Meryl we would not have received this amazing gift.


When is the right time to contact an ART attorney?

Before you start any medical or fertility treatments. You want to be fully informed about the process and clear about all legal aspects, including any required decision-making prior to egg retrieval, sperm donation, embryo formation, or to signing any documents.


How long does it take to be matched with a surrogate?

This usually will take a number of months. As the demand in the US grows, the matching time does as well. The time will depend in part upon what is important to you in a match. Keep in mind we do not match any surrogate until they are fully prescreened, including medical clearance from their OB, medical review of records,  insurance review, and full psychological evaluation. It is critical to complete ALL of these reviews prior to any match so that it may proceed smoothly and without unnecessary expense.


Do all states have similar laws regarding surrogacy?

No, all states are not the same. It is the job of your attorney or surrogacy program (1) to educate you about which states are surrogacy friendly and, (2) to make sure you are only working with a gestational surrogate that will deliver in a surrogacy-friendly state.

What are the legal issues in the state in which I/we live that are relevant to surrogacy for intended parents?

Your attorney must be able to advise you about the relevant laws in the state in which you live, and the state in which the gestational surrogate lives and will deliver. 

The location will affect how you will be legally recognized as the parents of your child and obtain a birth certificate with your names on it after the delivery of your baby. It is imperative to work with a surrogate who lives in and will deliver in a surrogacy-friendly state. Your surrogacy agreement must be drafted by an attorney with the relevant state language contained therein.


What do we do if surrogacy is illegal in the state in which I/we live? Can ARTparenting help me/us?

Yes. We can match you with a gestational surrogate who will deliver in a surrogacy-friendly state. Please contact ARTparenting to find out how your state laws will affect you.


Will my/our name(s) be on the birth certificate?

This is the ultimate goal! How this is accomplished will depend completely on the state in which you live and/or the state where the gestational surrogate delivers, as well as the type of surrogacy involved (traditional or gestational). Your attorney will advise you about what legal steps are necessary to legally recognize you as your child’s parent(s) at the time you are matched with your gestational surrogate.


From a legal standpoint, what exactly happens after the birth?

This depends on the states involved. ARTparenting will help the intended parent(s) obtain one of the following: a pre-birth judgment (order) a post-birth judgment  (order) or we will go through a step-parent or second-parent adoption process to legally recognize you as the sole legal parents of your child and obtain a birth certificate with the your names on it. In a few states with applicable state statutes, this is handled without the involvement of a court process. No matter what the legal process is, this will not affect the ability of the intended parent(s) to be with the baby in the hospital, to make medical decisions for the baby, or to go take the baby home after the birth.

> Explore our surrogacy program

> Find out about surrogacy program fees

> Learn about our legal services