Many couples face fertility challenges when they are ready to have a baby. Fortunately, there are many options for adding to the family. Some people choose to select a surrogate. A surrogate is a woman who physically carries the baby for the couple. There is a new trend towards open surrogacy wherein the surrogate and the parents know each other.

How does the process work? If you are thinking of Surrogacy in California, call the Center for Surrogate Parenting, Inc. The Center allows the surrogate mother to choose the couple she helps. The surrogacy agencies tell the surrogate about couples on the waiting list, and the list is narrowed down. The intended parents are also sent a profile of the surrogate. Hopefully, a match occurs and the parties will be able to meet.

There are three medical options for surrogacy:

Program I: In-vitro fertilization/Gestational Surrogacy (IVF)-The ovum and sperm of a couple are combined to make embryos that are implanted into the surrogate mother.

Program II: IVF and egg donation-The ovum from a donor is fertilized with sperm from the intended biological father. The resulting embryos are implanted into the surrogate.

Program III: Artificial Insemination/Traditional Surrogacy: The surrogate is inseminated with the sperm of the intended biological father.

Placing names on the birth certificate is one of the complications of the process. Most states allow the intended biological mother and father to put their names on the birth certificate under Programs I and II. Some states require the intended mother to perform a step-parent adoption, using Program III.

Surrogacy is such a new area, many of the legalities have not been worked out. The intended biological parents stay in touch with the surrogate, at least once every two weeks, during the pregnancy. The Center aims to involve the intended parents in the pregnancy as much as possible. The processing of establishing parental rights begins in the second trimester, and the parents are present at the birth. As soon as the baby receives medical clearance, the parents can take the baby home. Surrogacy in California is a complicated process, but it allows many childless parents to fulfill their dream.