Gay men looking to surrogacy for children

Some gay men, who want to expand their families, are opting for surrogacy – a practice regulated on a state-by-state basis.

“For gay people, men at least, this is pretty much the only way they can have their own children,” said John Weltman, president and founder of Boston-based surrogacy agency Circle Surrogacy, which serves the gay and lesbian communities.

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“Everything varies by state, and that is the conundrum,” said Judy Sperling-Newton, director of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys. “Every single state is different… In some states, like California, there is a lot of law.”

But those laws have been a driving force in leading the rest of the nation in protecting parents who have children through surrogacy, Weltman said.

“In California you can actually get two men’s names on the birth certificate pre-birth,” said Weltman, “but that won’t be acknowledged as a valid parentage in New York. You have to do an adoption.”

The Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution was enacted to respect the public acts, records and judicial proceedings of other states, meaning if someone is considered a parent in one state, they’re supposed to be considered a parent in another. But it’s an issue that is still fought in the courts today, said Stuart Bell, co-owner of Growing Generations.

“It’s become part of the conversation of what we call ‘family building,’ which has made it much more normal,” Bell said.

Surrogacy can take a relatively short amount of time compared to adoption, which can be a long process as couples wait to be selected.

“Surrogacy is different because the intended parents can be much more assertive,” Sperling-Newton said.

They are able to select their egg donor and their surrogate, and then nine months later, have their child. On average the process takes about 18 months, and it’s common for couples to remain in contact with the surrogate and even the egg donor after birth.

“Surrogates have the right to choose their parents, just like parents have the right to choose their surrogates,” said Bell.

via The Desert Sun