Surrogacy in California

At Pacific Reproductive Center, we encourage our patients to explore every option for family building, including surrogacy.

We are passionate about providing potential parents with the resources and information to welcome healthy babies into their hearts and homes. Though certain reproductive obstacles might seem too large to overcome, we are confident that we can help you reach your goal.

If you are experiencing fertility challenges, one of the reproductive possibilities you might be considering is California surrogacy services.

Surrogacy involves the participation of a third party who carries a pregnancy to term. While potential parents who are medically incapable of achieving pregnancy might opt for surrogacy, it is also a choice often made by same-sex couples or single parents.

There are two general categories of surrogacy: traditional and IVF surrogacy. Here, we delve deeper into IVF surrogacy and discuss the entire process, giving you a clearer picture of the full journey.

To learn more about IVF surrogacy, contact us for a consultation to explore your options or continue reading below.

How Does Surrogacy Work?

Surrogacy is a beautiful way for people who can’t have babies on their own to experience the joy of parenthood. Here, we outline the different types of surrogacy agreements that you can choose from at a reputable surrogacy clinic.

Gestational Surrogacy

Gestational surrogacy is a type of surrogacy where the surrogate carries a child that is not biologically related to her. In this method, an embryo created through in vitro fertilization (IVF) using the eggs and sperm of the intended parents or donors is implanted into the surrogate’s uterus.

The intended mother or an egg donor undergoes ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, and fertilization in a lab to create the embryo. The resulting embryo is transferred to the surrogate’s uterus, and the surrogate carries the pregnancy to term. After birth, legal procedures establish the parental rights of the intended parents.

Compensated Surrogacy

Compensated surrogacy refers to a surrogacy arrangement where the surrogate receives financial compensation or reimbursement for the expenses associated with the pregnancy and surrogacy process. This compensation can cover medical expenses, legal fees, pregnancy-related costs, and sometimes additional payments for the surrogate’s time and effort.

The surrogate and intended parents enter a legal agreement outlining both parties’ financial terms and responsibilities. Compensation amounts and details are agreed upon beforehand and included in the surrogacy contract.

Compassionate Surrogacy

Compassionate surrogacy, also known as altruistic surrogacy, involves a surrogacy arrangement where the surrogate does not receive financial compensation beyond the reimbursement of medical and other reasonable expenses related to the pregnancy.

The motivation behind compassionate surrogacy is primarily driven by the surrogate’s desire to help others build their family rather than financial gain.

Surrogates in these arrangements often have a close relationship with the intended parents or choose to help someone in need without seeking monetary compensation.

It is important to know that gestational surrogacy encompasses both compensated and compassionate aspects. It can involve financial compensation for the surrogate’s expenses or be altruistic, depending on the specific agreement between the parties involved.

Surrogacy vs. IVF

Surrogacy and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) are distinct fertility treatment options.

Surrogacy entails a third party, known as a surrogate or gestational carrier, carrying a pregnancy for the intended parents. This can involve either the surrogate’s eggs or embryos created through IVF using the intended parents’ or donors’ genetic material. Surrogacy is typically pursued by individuals or couples unable to carry a pregnancy themselves.

In contrast, IVF involves fertilizing eggs with sperm outside the body in a laboratory, followed by the transfer of resulting embryos into the uterus. IVF is commonly used to address infertility due to various factors.

The choice between surrogacy and IVF depends on individual circumstances and preferences, with surrogacy being an option when carrying a pregnancy is not possible and IVF being an infertility treatment.

The IVF Surrogacy Process

IVF surrogacy only requires the surrogate to host an implanted embryo to term. The baby will not be the biological offspring of the surrogate, also called the gestational carrier. This is essentially the preferred type of surrogacy because it presents the fewest legal obstacles.

IVF surrogacy involves standard in-vitro fertilization protocols – retrieving the intended mother’s mature eggs, which are then fertilized by the intended father’s sperm. The resulting fertilized eggs or embryos are transferred to a third-party gestational carrier.

IVF surrogacy might be an appealing option for some potential parents who want a child who is the biological offspring of one or both parties.

Below, we discuss each step in the IVF surrogacy process in further detail.

Egg Retrieval

During the egg retrieval process, the intended mother or an egg donor undergoes a process called ovarian stimulation, where fertility medications are used to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. When the eggs are ready, they are retrieved through a minor surgical procedure.

Sperm Collection and Preparation

During sperm collection, the intended father or a sperm donor provides a sperm sample, which is then prepared in the lab. The sperm is washed and concentrated to ensure its quality and viability for fertilization.

Creation of Embryo in the Lab

In the laboratory, the retrieved eggs and prepared sperm are combined to facilitate fertilization. The fertilized eggs, now embryos, are closely monitored as they develop over several days.

Embryo Transfer to the Surrogate

Once the embryos reach an optimal stage of development, one or more are selected for transfer to the surrogate’s uterus. This transfer is a relatively simple procedure performed by a fertility specialist.

Implanting the Embryo

The transferred embryo(s) is gently placed into the surrogate’s uterus, where it hopefully implants and begins to grow. This step is crucial and marks the beginning of the surrogate’s pregnancy.

Fertility Drugs and Medications

Fertility medications play a crucial role in the IVF surrogacy process, benefiting both the intended mother (or egg donor) and the surrogate. These medications are tailored to ensure the best conditions for successful implantation and a healthy pregnancy.

For the intended mother or egg donor, fertility drugs are used to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. These medications help regulate and enhance the natural ovulation cycle, allowing for the retrieval of several eggs rather than just one during the egg retrieval procedure. This step is vital in increasing the chances of creating viable embryos for transfer to the surrogate.

On the surrogate’s side, medications are administered to prepare her uterus for implantation. These medications are aimed at creating an optimal environment that supports embryo implantation and facilitates the early stages of pregnancy. The drugs may include:

  • Hormone treatments to thicken the uterine lining.
  • Making it more receptive to the embryo.
  • Progesterone supplements are used to maintain a supportive environment during pregnancy development.

The careful administration of these medications is crucial in synchronizing the reproductive cycles of the egg donor or intended mother and the surrogate. It ensures that the embryo transfer occurs at the most favorable time within the surrogate’s menstrual cycle, maximizing the chances of successful implantation and subsequent pregnancy.

Monitoring the Pregnancy

Monitoring the pregnancy post-embryo transfer is a crucial phase in the surrogacy journey, dedicated to safeguarding the health and well-being of both the developing baby and the surrogate mother.

Check-ups and consultations at your surrogacy center become routine occurrences in the surrogate’s life post-embryo transfer. These involve regular visits to the obstetrician or fertility specialist, where various aspects of the pregnancy are evaluated. During these appointments, the surrogate’s vital signs, overall health, and any potential symptoms or concerns are thoroughly examined and addressed.

Ultrasound scans are pivotal in monitoring the baby’s growth and development. These non-invasive imaging procedures allow medical professionals to track the embryo’s progress, observe its heartbeat, and assess its overall health within the surrogate’s uterus. Ultrasounds provide essential information on the baby’s size and development of organs and ensure that the pregnancy is progressing as expected.

Additionally, various tests and screenings may be conducted at different stages of the pregnancy to evaluate the health of both the baby and the surrogate. These tests may include blood tests to check hormone levels, genetic screenings, and other assessments to detect potential complications early on.

The surrogate’s well-being is a top priority during this phase. Regular medical check-ups focus on the baby’s growth and assess the surrogate’s physical and emotional health. Monitoring her overall health helps identify signs of discomfort, complications, or issues that may arise during the pregnancy.

The Role of Surrogacy Agencies and Professionals

Surrogacy agencies are helpful liaisons in the surrogacy process who assist people looking to become parents and those willing to carry a baby for them. They match the right parents with a suitable surrogate, making sure they share similar hopes and values about their specific surrogacy journey.

These agencies also help with the legal side of things. They work with lawyers to create agreements that explain what everyone involved should expect and do. They ensure everything is transparent and fair for both the parents-to-be and the surrogate.

Along with the parental and legal aspects, surrogacy agencies work closely with hospitals and doctors. They arrange all the medical procedures needed for the surrogacy to happen smoothly. Plus, they provide emotional support to both the surrogate and the parents-to-be. They help manage feelings and solve problems that might come up during this journey.

Surrogacy agencies follow strict rules and ensure that everyone follows the right laws and guidelines for surrogacy. They do all this to ensure that everyone involved is safe, happy, and fairly treated throughout the process.

When finding surrogacy in California, beginning your search with a reputable agency is the best approach.

Emotional and Psychological Impact

Surrogacy impacts each participant uniquely. The surrogate experiences the physical and emotional demands of carrying a child for another family. At the same time, the intended parents undergo the emotional strain of relying on someone else to have their child.

The child, upon learning about their birth story, might have questions or emotional responses related to their surrogacy journey.

The good news is that support is available for all involved.

Numerous resources, such as support groups, counseling services, and online communities, offer emotional support. These resources provide a safe space to share experiences, seek advice, and manage the emotional challenges that may arise during the surrogacy process.

Counseling services are often available to help individuals or couples navigate the emotional complexities of surrogacy, fostering understanding and coping strategies for a positive experience.

Navigating the emotional landscape of surrogacy requires open communication, empathy, and access to supportive resources. These avenues facilitate a better understanding of the emotional needs of all participants and foster a supportive and empathetic environment throughout the surrogacy journey.

How to Become a Surrogate Mother

Becoming a surrogate involves several steps. Firstly, interested individuals typically connect with a surrogacy agency or directly with intended parents. They undergo extensive screening, including medical evaluations, background checks, and psychological assessments. Once matched with the intended parents, the surrogate embarks on the surrogacy journey, which includes medical procedures, pregnancy, and delivery.

Surrogate mothers typically need to meet specific qualifications to ensure a smooth and successful surrogacy process.

These qualifications often include:

  • Being within a specific age range (usually 21-40 years old)
  • Having a healthy lifestyle
  • Previously given birth to a child
  • Passing various medical and psychological evaluations

Additionally, surrogates should have a supportive environment at home and be emotionally prepared for the responsibilities of carrying a pregnancy for another family. Meeting these surrogate mother qualifications ensures the best possible outcome for both the surrogate and the intended parents.

Legal Considerations and Regulations

Surrogacy involves various legal considerations that differ based on location and individual circumstances. Some legal regulations to consider include the following:

  • Surrogacy Contracts: Legal agreements between the surrogate and intended parents outline rights, responsibilities, compensation, and expectations. These contracts detail parental rights, medical decisions, and financial matters, safeguarding all parties involved.
  • Pre-Birth Orders: In some places, pre-birth orders establish the intended parents as legal parents before the baby’s birth, streamlining the parental rights process and avoiding post-birth legal complications.
  • State Regulations: It is crucial to understand that surrogacy laws significantly vary across states and countries. Some places have specific regulations governing surrogacy agreements, while others may have no laws. To learn more about the particular laws in your area, we encourage you to speak with a legal advisor in your state.
  • Legal Parentage and Parental Rights: Ensuring legal parentage is crucial, especially in cases involving gestational surrogacy where the surrogate has no genetic connection to the child. Legal measures solidify the intended parents’ status as the child’s legal parents.

Navigating the legal side of surrogacy requires careful consideration, legal professionals, and adherence to specific local laws. If you’re considering surrogacy, our team of fertility experts is here to help guide you through it.

Financial Aspects and Costs

Surrogacy involves several types of expenses, and while the actual figures can vary widely based on location, surrogacy mother cost, and specific arrangements, these are the key areas where costs typically occur, including:

  • Agency Fees: Surrogacy agencies charge fees for services like matching intended parents with surrogates, coordinating the process, and providing support throughout the journey.
  • Legal Fees: Legal help is essential to draft, review, and finalize surrogacy agreements, ensuring legal clarity and protection for all parties involved.
  • Cost of Required Medical Procedures: The costs associated with fertility treatments, IVF procedures, embryo transfer, and prenatal care are significant components to consider when considering the total procedure amount. These expenses cover the medical aspects of the surrogacy process, including screenings, medications, and medical consultations.
  • Medical Insurance: Intended parents may need to provide health insurance coverage for the surrogate, covering prenatal care, delivery, and potential complications.
  • Surrogate Compensation: This fee includes compensation for the surrogate’s time, effort, and commitment throughout the pregnancy. Compensation may cover the surrogate’s base fee, monthly allowances, lost wages (if applicable), and other related expenses. Intended parents often provide financial support for the surrogate’s expenses, such as maternity clothing, travel costs (if needed), and additional medical or pregnancy-related expenses not covered by insurance.

While the costs associated with surrogacy can be substantial, they are an investment toward fulfilling the dream of parenthood. Understanding these cost breakdowns and working closely with reputable agencies, legal experts, and fertility experts helps in managing and planning for the financial aspects of your surrogacy journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you considering surrogacy to grow your family? Explore some of our most frequently asked questions and answer below to learn more.

How much does surrogacy cost?

Surrogacy costs vary widely but can range from $80,000 to $150,000 on average in the United States. Health insurance coverage and individual surrogacy contracts significantly affect overall costs. To determine the price of surrogacy treatment for you, we encourage you to contact our team to learn more.

Does a surrogate mother share blood with the baby?

No, in gestational surrogacy, the surrogate mother does not share blood with the baby. The baby’s genetic material comes from the intended parents or donors. At the same time, the surrogate carries the pregnancy but does not contribute genetically, resulting in no shared blood connection between the surrogate and the baby.

Can same-sex couples or single individuals pursue surrogacy?

Yes, same-sex couples and single individuals can pursue surrogacy to build their families, successfully utilizing assisted reproductive technologies to have a child.

Explore Family Planning Options With Surrogacy in Los Angeles

Pacific Reproductive Center offers comprehensive surrogacy assistance tailored to the diverse needs of individuals and couples throughout Southern California.

Whether you’re considering surrogacy in Los Angeles, Orange County, or other areas in Southern California, our experienced team is dedicated to guiding you through every step of the surrogacy journey.

With our commitment to excellence and personalized care, Pacific Reproductive Center strives to make your fertility experience positive and successful.

Contact us today to learn more about Southern California surrogacy options and begin your path toward parenthood with confidence.

Kathleen testimony
Contact PRC


Pacific Reproductive Center has been successfully aiding conception for over two decades. We optimize the conditions of fertility treatment to give every potential parent the greatest chance of successful childbirth.


We ensure that every patient fully understands their medical condition and treatment options available to them. We understand each patient is unique so we help guide you through the best option to support your own fertility journey.

Looking for the Best Fertility Clinic in Southern California?

Pacific Reproductive Center has four convenient locations throughout Southern California, making it easy for patients to receive quality care close to home. Each IVF fertility center has an on-site lab, next-generation services, and state-of-the-art equipment.

Whether in Glendale, Torrance, Irvine, or Corona, our world-class fertility doctors can help you build the family you’ve always wanted.

PRC Torrance
3720 Lomita Blvd, Suite 200 Torrance, CA 90505
PRC Glendale
116 E. Broadway, Suite 300 Glendale, CA 91205
PRC Irvine
10 Post Irvine, CA 92618
PRC Corona
381 Corporate Terrace Corona, CA 92879
CALL TODAY! 424-340-0871

Lifestyle Tips for Fertility – For Free!