Surrogacy in New York – What You Need to Know
Surrogacy is an excellent way for hopeful parents to build their families. The surrogacy process involves a lot of professionals and steps – and can feel a bit complicated. In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about surrogacy in New York, from the surrogacy laws to the surrogacy process itself, to how to get a Gestational Surrogate, and more.
Gestational Surrogacy is Now Legal in New York
Physician Surrogacy is happy to hear that commercial surrogacy is now legal in New York starting from February 2021. While we already work with many hopeful parents from New York, this new law will enable hopeful parents to use top New York fertility clinics and get paired with Gestational Surrogates from the Empire state.
The law will provide adequate protections for Surrogate Mothers and support all kinds of families that need medical intervention to have babies.
Women living in New York can now submit a surrogacy application with us and begin the Surrogate process to get ready for matching and contracts.
A Complete Overview of Surrogacy in New York
As commercial surrogacy has become legal in New York, Intended Parents living there can now enter into surrogacy agreements.
There are several options you can consider if you are searching for a Gestational Surrogate. Below are all the things you should know about gestational surrogacy in NY.
Who Does Surrogacy Help?
Surrogacy enables individuals and couples to grow their families, regardless of their ages, backgrounds, and sexual orientations.
Hopeful parents from New York who contact Physician Surrogacy include:
- Women who cannot carry their own baby
- Heterosexual couples who have trouble getting pregnant
- Homosexual Intended Parents who want to have biologically related children
- Hopeful parents with a medical condition or genetic disorder that they don’t want to transfer to their babies.
We work with hopeful parents no matter their reasons for considering surrogacy. We take great pride in having helped countless Intended Parents from the US as well as from around the world.
Why New York Is a Good State for Gestational Surrogacy
New York is a good place to reside if you are thinking of becoming a parent through surrogacy. Beginning in 2021, Gestational Surrogates and Intended Parents from New York can legally enter into a surrogacy contract that would protect and safeguard their rights.
There are plenty of world-class IVF clinics and hospitals in New York and the entire Tri-state region. Surrogates and Intended Parents from New York – and foreign Intended Parents coming to New York, US – will be able to access renowned reproductive endocrinologists.
New York is bordered by states, such as Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New Jersey – all of which have friendly surrogacy laws. As a result, hopeful parents from New York can get matched with Gestational Surrogates residing in New York as well as in the mentioned states. The Surrogate Mothers from these states would also be able to access the state-of-the-art fertility clinics in New York that are just a few hour’s drives away.
Physician’s Surrogacy has a strong presence in New York. We have a great working relationship with top New York clinics and help build a community of Intended Parents from New York. We have an experienced support team that would meet with any couples or individuals who want to become parents through surrogacy in NY.
The Surrogacy Process in New York
Physician’s Surrogacy has been helping heterosexual and homosexual couples in New York become parents via gestational surrogacy for many years.
The surrogacy process can be complicated, with several milestones to be completed before getting the final result: the birth of your baby! Hence, it is crucial to understand and get ready for all the steps involved in the surrogacy process.
Intended Parents may decide to embark on a surrogacy journey on their own or use the assistance of a surrogacy agency. Physician Surrogacy suggests that you work with an agency to ensure you have the necessary support for a safe and smooth journey.
Select an Agency
The best way New Yorkers can begin a surrogacy journey is by finding a reliable surrogacy agency.
To do that, conduct thorough research. This may be in the form of internet research, talking to fertility doctors, or contacting others who have undergone the surrogacy process as parents.
These three steps can help you find a surrogacy agency:
- Carry out your research! Learn everything you need to know about surrogacy.
- Jot down what matters to you in a surrogacy journey. What kind of Intended Parent – Surrogate relationship do you want to have? What level of surrogacy support do you expect?
- Create a list of agencies that meet your criteria and get in touch with them. It is very important to find an agency that you are comfortable with!
There are a lot of agencies around, from smaller partial-service agencies to bigger agencies that offer full surrogacy services. And it is crucial to know the differences between them so that you can make an educated decision.
It would also be good to figure out the qualities you want in a surrogacy agency. Not all agencies are suitable for you. Go for one that has the same views as you do regarding the surrogacy process and where you feel great chemistry.
Since surrogacy laws in the US vary by state, it is essential to work with a surrogacy agency whose attorneys are well versed in surrogacy laws and assisted reproductive technology (ART).
Finding a Gestational Surrogate in New York
The first thing to do when looking for an ideal Surrogate match is to figure out
- What you want in a Surrogate Mother
- Your relationship with your Gestational Carrier and
- What you expect from your surrogacy journey.
At Physician’s Surrogacy, our program coordination team will work with you to help you find the ideal Surrogate match. Physician’s Surrogacy partners with many Surrogates from New York’s neighbouring states and also has a strong representation on the US East Coast, which makes it easier for Intended Parents and potential Surrogates to get in touch with us.
We are proud of maintaining the nation’s largest surrogate network. This allows hopeful parents to match with their preferred Gestational Carrier and start the process with reduced wait time.
As a relationship-based agency, we place huge importance on the relationship between hopeful parents and Surrogates. We will suggest that you establish a strong connection with the woman who will be carrying your babies.
Our Recommendations When Looking for a Surrogate Through an Agency
It is crucial to be completely honest when answering questions during consultation because your program coordinator will use your answers – plus your present geographic location and views on pregnancy termination – to help you find the perfect Surrogate match.
We will also ask you to complete an intended parent profile, which will enable us to know you better and help your program coordinator select the best match for you.
For your Intended Parent profile, you will be told to provide information about yourself, your family, your relationship (assuming you have a partner), your hobbies, your parenthood plans, and what led you to surrogacy. Also, we will ask you to provide pictures of yourself, those you love, and any other thing that can give us an idea of who you are. This profile shows who you are as hopeful parents for Surrogate matches.
Aside from your profile, Physician’s Surrogacy will also use other requirements to find your ideal Surrogate match. These include your preferences regarding:
- Communication. What level of communication do you wish to have with your Surrogate mom?
- Surrogate’s location. Do you want a Surrogate that resides in a particular state?
- Number of embryos to transfer
- Your views regarding selective reduction and pregnancy termination
If you are embarking on a surrogacy without an agency, you may use the above as a guide regarding what to look for in a Surrogate match.
Three Criteria for Finding Surrogate Moms
Below are three important criteria that Intended Parents should bear in mind when looking for a Surrogate mom in New York or neighboring states.
1. Is she legally fit to be a Surrogate?
Surrogacy laws in the US vary from state to state. At Physician’s Surrogacy, our legal team makes sure that the surrogacy laws in the Surrogate Mother’s home state (where the baby will be born) match the laws in the hopeful parents’ state (including regulations regarding gay parenting). Our legal department will first have to approve a Surrogate match from a legal viewpoint before we present the Surrogate profile to Intended Parents.
2. Do her personality and expectations from surrogacy align with yours?
Upon receiving a list of safe matches from our legal team, our matching team checks the list to make sure your personalities match. This is a vital step as we want both of you to have a great relationship throughout the surrogacy journey.
Both parties will have phone calls and physical meetings with the Physician’s Surrogacy team in the early stages of the process. These meetings will help us figure out your personality regarding surrogacy. We also consider what the Intended Parents and Surrogates expect during the journey, including the level of communication and number of embryos to transfer.
3. Expectations regarding selective reduction and termination
We ask Intended Parents and Surrogate Mothers their opinions on pregnancy termination because we want to match parents and Surrogates who have the same views on this issue. We want to make sure the views of both parties are similar in case there is a need to consider a reduction or outright pregnancy termination.
Finding an Egg Donor for Your Surrogacy Journey
Some hopeful parents, especially gay parents, need donor eggs to build their families through surrogacy. These parents can take advantage of our partner donor egg agencies (for fresh cycle) and egg banks (for frozen eggs readily available) to select the right donor.
Creating a list of search criteria before you start searching can help. Here are some things you may want to consider:
- Physical features (eye color or hair)
- Rate or ethnicity
- Previous fertility
It is possible that you don’t know the exact things you want in a donor, and that’s fine! Some Intended Parents believe they will “know the right person when they see her.”
Pregnancy and Parenthood
The relationship between Intended Parents and Surrogates grows deeper during the pregnancy. Surrogates usually keep the parents updated about the pregnancy, and if they like, would-be parents can also attend important doctor’s appointments in person.
At times, Surrogate Mothers will do video chat during appointments so that the parents can be “virtually present.” From week 20 to your due date, Physician’s Surrogacy will work with you to help you prepare your baby’s arrival, establishing parentage and making sure you have all that is needed to take the baby home safely.
Begin the Surrogacy Process
After identifying a few agencies “that seem like it,” the next thing to do is complete an interest form and connect with their parent intake team. Once they get back to you, you can then decide whether you are ready to have a surrogacy consultation with them. If you have chosen an agency you would like to work with, the next step is to arrange a consultation.
While we prefer meeting with hopeful parents physically for our consultations, everyone’s safety and health remain our main focus. If the parents cannot meet us in person, we also offer complimentary online consultations with our expert team via Zoom or Skype.
If you don’t want a full consultation now but want to have more information, you can have a 15-min chat with one of our team members.
Becoming a Parent in New York with Physician Surrogacy
New York is a safe place to become a parent through surrogacy, and Physician’s Surrogacy has partnered with a lot of Intended Parents from NY over the past few years. Intended Parents should be confident working with our agency to help them build a family via surrogacy.
We are ready to meet with Intended Parents during the day or in the evenings, during weekdays, or on weekends. Our free initial consultation gives parents the chance to tell their story, why they are pursuing surrogacy, and to ask any questions about the process, the overall costs, and our agency.
One of the most common questions we get is how much does surrogacy cost. Physician’s Surrogacy is very transparent about the expenses of our surrogacy program. We are available to talk to you about what costs are usually involved in a surrogacy journey.
How Much Does Surrogacy Cost?
The costs of surrogacy in New York depend on the type of program you select and whether or not you need an egg donor.
Surrogacy costs can be divided into four broad categories:
- Surrogate (Gestational Carrier) fees
- Medical and insurance expenses
- IVF expenses
- Professional fees
Most surrogacy agencies don’t fix the costs for all these categories, which may lead to unexpected fees and financial uncertainty during the surrogacy journey. This is why we offer fixed costs for medical and insurance expenses, professional fees, as well as Surrogate fees.
For NY Intended Parents, we have a fixed cost program with fixed prices that stay the same throughout the surrogacy journey. This allows you to plan for surrogacy costs without surprises.
Surrogacy Laws in New York
New York is one of the best states for hopeful parents who trust Physician’s Surrogacy to help build their families. We have had huge success helping couples and individuals from New York achieve parenthood. With one of the largest, active LGBTQ+ communities in the country, New York is a great place to reside if you are trying to become a parent through surrogacy.
The Child-Parent Security Act (the law legalizing commercial surrogacy in New York) was passed in April 2020 and takes effect in February. New York parents can keep working with Physician’s Surrogacy as they have done in previous years and take advantage of the new statute.
Starting from Feb 15, 2021, the new statute regarding gestational surrogacy legalizes commercial surrogacy for the first time ever. It ends the state’s existing law that made compensated surrogacy contracts illegitimate and non-enforceable in New York
Note: A lot of amendments have been suggested to clear up certain issues raised in the first version of the Act. Bear in mind this new law only applies to hopeful parents who presently live in New York and one of the parents has been living in the state for at least 6 months.
Below is what the new statute means for hopeful parents:
- Parents who get pregnant through 3rd party reproduction will have a secure legal connection to their baby right from birth
- Make commercial surrogacy contracts legal
- An easier process for establishing for non-biological parents
- Ending legal uncertainty for single mothers who conceive with donor sperm
What the new law means for Surrogate mothers:
- Gestational Surrogates will be able to make all welfare and health decisions concerning them and their pregnancy, including pregnancy termination.
- Surrogates will have their own legal counsel, paid for by hopeful parents
- Gestational carriers will have access to an insurance policy, paid for by Intended Parents
- Surrogate Mothers will have access to counseling and life insurance
Some questions about new surrogacy law amendments in New York
1. Can the intended father and mother be declared the baby’s legal parent in a pre-birth parentage order if one of the parents is biologically related to the baby?
2. Can the intended father and mother be declared the legal parent of the baby in a pre-birth order if none of them shares a genetic connection with the child?
3. What are the bases for venue?
The county where,
- The Gestational Surrogate lives after signing the surrogacy agreement
- Hopeful parents live after signing the Gestational Carrier agreement
- The baby was delivered or lives.
4. Do results vary from one venue to the other?
5. Is a court hearing needed to obtain a pre-birth order?
No. However, some judges may demand a physical appearance or online appearance, at least. This requirement might be addressed in amendments to the new law.
6. Can you get a pre-birth order in New York if the gestational carrier plans to give birth in New York, even though neither the Surrogate nor parents reside in New York?
The answer is no. Either the Gestational Surrogate or one of the parents needs to have been living in NY for at least 6 months at the time of signing the GC Agreement to be able to obtain a parentage order.
7. Will Vital Records accept a pre-birth order from a different state?
Section § 4138 of NY Public Health Law reads:
“A new certificate of birth shall be made whenever:
. . . (b)notification is received by, or proper proof is submitted to, the commissioner from or by the clerk of a court of competent jurisdiction or the parents, or their attorneys, or the person himself, of a judgment, order or decree relating to the parentage.”
Until the new Act takes effect and Vital Records is given a parentage order from another state, it will remain unclear whether Vital Records accepts out-of-state order or rejects such an order. This makes a domestication process necessary in such cases.
8. What’s the average timeframe to get a birth certificate after childbirth?
Although it usually takes around 6 months to receive a birth certificate in New York, it may not take up to that if you expedite it or apply outside of New York City. That is, you can get it within 3 to 6 months in upstate New York.
9. How are the names of same-sex parents written on the final birth certificate?
Father and Father; Mother and Mother; Parent and Parent
10. Can a foreign-based homosexual couple get an initial birth certificate mentioning the name of the biological father only?
No, the new law doesn’t apply to Intended Parents from abroad. It is unsure whether it even applies to US Intended Parents that don’t reside in New York.
11. Okay, can an abroad-based gay couple get an initial birth certificate bearing the names of the genetic father and Gestational Surrogate?
No, the new statute doesn’t apply in this case.
12. Can they get a birth certificate naming both fathers or the genetic father alone without mentioning the Gestational Surrogate?
13. Can the non-genetic parent in a homosexual couple get a second-parent adoption based on the fact that the baby was delivered in NY?
Yes, provided they apply for the adoption within three months of the baby’s birth in the county where the child was born.
14. Suppose the answer is No. Will New York Vital Records accept a second parent adoption order from a different state and name the second parent in the birth certificate?
If the baby was delivered in New York and there is an order of adoption from another state, New York will issue an amended birth certificate upon receiving the adoption order.
15. Will New York courts grant stepparent adoptions or second-parent adoptions to opposite-sex couples resident in New York?
Yes, they will.
16. Does the couple have to be married?
17. Will New York courts grant stepparent adoptions or second-parent adoptions to homosexual couples residing in New York?
18. Does the couple have to be married?
19. Is there case law or statute regarding the donor’s rights over the sperm, eggs, embryo, or baby?
Yes. The new surrogacy Law in New York talks about donors in sections 581-302. A known egg or sperm donor needs to agree (before conception) with the hopeful parent that he or she has no proprietary or parental interest in the eggs or sperm.
In the case of anonymous donors, if the donation was originally made to an egg bank or under the supervision of a doctor, a letter from the egg bank or doctor stating the donation is truly anonymous will help.
20. If the law refers to sperm donors only, is there a case law showing that it offers similar protection for egg donors too?
No, not applicable. The new law refers to both gamete donors and embryo donors.
Note: Keep in mind that the new statute doesn’t apply to women who use their own eggs to get pregnant. Traditional surrogacy agreements remain banned in New York. If anybody who participates in such agreements can face civil and criminal penalties. Non-compensated traditional surrogacy agreements cannot be enforced. However, those in such agreements can establish parentage via adoption (the genetic Surrogate would also be the birth mother).
The new progressive law amendment is surely a great advantage for Intended Parents from New York. This will reduce legal concerns as well as make the process less time-consuming.
We have previously worked with many New York based Intended Parents and helped them build their family successfully through surrogacy. Schedule a complimentary consultation today to learn more about surrogacy in New York.Schedule A Consultation