Hatch Fertility Blog

The Surrogacy Journey for Gay Men: A Step-by-Step Guide

Hatch Fertility

Overview of the Surrogacy Process

Everyone who is willing and has a desire to become a parent should be given that opportunity. Here at Hatch Egg Donation & Surrogacy, we wholeheartedly believe that all walks of life are entitled to this and should be provided with options to make these desires a reality. For homosexual men, some particular challenges arise that are often inquired about at Hatch. Fortunately, we have the knowledge and experience to help guide these individuals or couples through their journey to parenthood. A surrogacy journey for gay men involves an IVF (In-vitro fertilization) cycle with egg donation and the help of a gestational carrier (surrogate) to carry the baby to term.

At Hatch, our dedicated team is experienced in helping hopeful dads become parents through surrogacy.

During the surrogacy journey, it is important to understand who is involved in this whole process. The various parties in this journey include:

  • Intended parents
  • Surrogacy agency team
  • Egg donor
  • Gestational carrier
  • IVF clinic professionals
  • Surrogate‘s OB/GYN
  • Delivery Hospital

A Surrogate is someone who agrees to carry a child for another individual or couple. Gestational Surrogacy is the most common form practiced for gay couples; eggs from a donor are used to create embryos, so there is no biological relationship between the gestational carrier and offspring.

An IVF specialist will conduct medical screenings, create embryos, and help the surrogate achieve pregnancy. In order for the egg donor and surrogate to begin treatment at a fertility clinic, they will need to sign legal contracts with both, the surrogate and egg donor.  At Hatch, we work with experienced lawyers who are specialized in reproductive law, they will guide you through the whole process.

Step-by-Step Process

Below is an overview of the overall process from beginning to end. Understand that every case is unique and that your particular case may include additional steps; the steps below are for the most common paths and include the required steps along the way.

Sign-up and Consultation

Upon initial consultation, our specialists will determine your third-party reproduction needs—and explain how your family-building journey can be facilitated from your location.

Choose an Egg Donor

Finding the right Egg Donor can be challenging. Fortunately, our professional staff Hatch will assist Intended Parents in finding the perfect match for an egg donor. All the donor candidates are pre-approved by our in-house IVF specialists. 

There are a few essential elements to consider when you start looking for an egg donor:

  • Medical and mental health history
  • Age
  • Physical appearance
  • Education
  • Possible donation history
  • Egg Donor Medical Screening, legal contract, and Egg Retrieval

After being matched with an egg donor, the donor will go to her in-person medical screening appointment with the Intended Parent's IVF specialist. The donor screening process is thorough, it can vary depending on different IVF specialists’ requirements. The screening process typically involves a review of the donor's profile and medical records, psychological assessment, genetic risk evaluation, a physical examination including a specific pelvic ultrasound examination of her ovaries, a panel of blood tests including an infectious panel, a genetic carrier screening, and a urine drug screen.

The egg donor needs to pass all the tests in order to be considered as medically cleared to move forward. And then the next step is to sign a legal contract. Once contracts have been signed, it is time to begin the egg retrieval stimulation cycle to create embryos. The egg donor will be given hormonal medications to help her develop-eggs and undergo an egg retrieval procedure. The eggs retrieved are then fertilized in the laboratory to create embryos, and the embryo(s) will be transferred to the surrogate later on.

Matching with a Surrogate

One of the most exciting and important steps of the surrogacy process is finding the right match for a surrogate.  If the intended parent(s) and their surrogate are interested in moving forward, they may get to know one another better through phone calls, emails, or in-person meetings and may then make the match official. Some important factors to keep in mind when looking for a surrogate include:

  • Medical and mental health history
  • Age
  • Pregnancy and delivery history
  • Location
  • Surrogate Medical Screening, Legal Contract, and Embryo Transfer

Once officially matched with a surrogate, she will go to your IVF clinic for in-person medical screening with the Intended Parent's IVF specialist. The surrogate screening process typically involves a review of pregnancy records, a physical examination which includes a specific pelvic ultrasound examination of her uterus, a panel of blood tests including an infectious panel, and a urine drug screen.

Once a surrogate is considered as medically cleared, the surrogate and intended parents will need to start working on a legal contract. Each party will have its own attorney to ensure that its legal interests are represented and protected. Each party will meet with their attorney individually to review the legal aspects of the surrogacy. Once everyone agrees to the terms and signs the finalized contract, then the embryo transfer process can begin. The surrogate will undergo fertility treatments prior to the embryo transfer and during the early pregnancy. When it comes to a Surrogate’s Frozen Embryo Transfer cycle, each case can vary due to several factors. In a typical scenario, the embryo transfer procedure usually takes place between days 19 and 21 of the Surrogate’s menstrual cycle. This is followed by a pregnancy blood test approximately 10 days post-implantation.


After the embryo transfer, the pregnancy will be confirmed. The surrogate’s pregnancy will be monitored through ultrasounds and blood tests by the IVF specialist either at the IVF doctor’s office or through a monitoring clinic closer to your surrogate’s home until about 10 weeks of pregnancy.  At 6 weeks of pregnancy, the surrogate will have an ultrasound to check for the growth of the baby and confirm the fetal heartbeat. At 10 weeks of pregnancy, she will be graduating from IVF care to OB care. Our experienced staff at Hatch will help the surrogate to transition to her OB care. The OB doctor will complete the 1st-trimester screening for your surrogate around 12-14 weeks of pregnancy.

At around 16 weeks of pregnancy, the legal parentage process will be initiated with the same attorneys who assisted with the initial contract. One important step during a surrogate's pregnancy is to establish the intended parents as the baby’s legal parents. This process looks different depending on state surrogacy laws. Attorneys generally begin working on the pre-birth order about seven months into the surrogate’s pregnancy. If a pre-birth order is filed, the only paperwork needed to finalize the surrogacy after birth is a document signed by the surrogate and her partner recognizing that they are not the legal parents of the child, as well as documentation from the intended parents stating that they will accept custody of the child.

In most surrogacy-friendly states, the intended parents can work with their attorney to file a pre-birth order. The pre-birth order essentially expedites the post-birth legal process and allows the baby to be discharged from the hospital to the intended parents.

 The requirements to file a pre-birth order vary by state. In general, the intended parents will need to compile the following paperwork:

  • An affidavit from the physician saying that the embryos were in fact transferred to the surrogate.
  • Any social documents prepared for the surrogacy, including evaluations of the intended parents and the surrogate.
  • Paperwork signed by the surrogate family saying that they intended to relinquish any legal rights they have to the child once he or she is born.

Around 20 weeks of pregnancy, the surrogate will have a 20-week fetal anatomy ultrasound and possibly a fetal echocardiogram, which is the ultrasound of the baby’s heart. We will start assisting with finding a delivery hospital.  Most intended parents will plan to be in town two weeks before the estimated due date, so they don’t miss the important moment. It’s typical for the intended parents to be present for the birth, as long as the surrogate is comfortable with this.  


After the long surrogacy process, the birth of the baby is a life-changing event for both the surrogate and the intended parents. Most times, the intended parents will join the surrogate at the hospital for this momentous experience. The surrogate and new family may wish to maintain a relationship throughout the child’s life. Our compassionate staff at Hatch can help to facilitate this relationship and continue to provide any other support that is needed after the surrogacy.

Financial Cost

The surrogacy journey can cost around $150K on average but it depends on each specific case.

Hatch is the only agency in the United States to offer a truly all-inclusive financial package, covering both medical and non-medical expenses, with no surprises. To learn about our one-of-a-kind program that covers all standard expenses for egg donation, surrogacy, and IVF treatment with one fee, click the button below!

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