In honor of Pride Week and National Coming Out Day (October 11), we would like to continue to show our support for the LGBTQ+ Community.
As a LGBTQ+ individual or couple, becoming a parent through surrogacy can seem daunting. Working with an agency can help make the process much easier. At Hawaii Surrogacy Center, we have more than a decade of experience building families through LGBT surrogacy. You become part of our ohana, so we care for you as ohana.
LGBT Surrogacy Process At Hawaii Surrogacy Center
An important step of your surrogacy journey is matching you with the right surrogate. All of our surrogates go through background checks, lifestyle and medical screening and psychological evaluations to ensure they are qualified to become surrogates, and before any profile is ever presented to parents. And we never match a surrogate who has different values than your family. Intended parents as well as surrogates are encouraged to think carefully about and openly communicate their preferences to us.
Surrogate Prizzilla shares, “When I decided to become a surrogate, I wanted to make sure I was helping with something close to my heart. I was looking for intended parents from the LGBTQ+ community because I knew the discrimination they face when it comes to parenthood, and I wanted to make sure if they’re pursing surrogacy, that they would be a priority. I asked to give ‘first dibs’ on my body and allow IPs from the community to jump the waitlist instead of hoping for a surrogate who’d just be “okay” with carrying for them.”
After Finding a Perfect Match
When a match is right from the start, lifetime relationships and bonds are formed. For Prizzilla, she knew immediately that the first set of parents presented to her were the perfect match.
“The first IPs I was shown was a gay couple who had uprooted their lives 10 years ago in preparation for surrogacy, but their plans kept falling through. I read their story and felt I was called to help them. We met over Skype, talked about parenting styles, their plans for the future, and I immediately knew we were the perfect match.”
They still keep in contact, sending photos and baby updates. “They were the best intended parents you could ask for; extremely supportive, allowed me to share my journey. I adore them, and will always consider them family.”
Help with Financial Complexities
In addition to facilitating a healthy relationship with your surrogate, an experienced agency can help families navigate legal and financial complexities associated with a surrogacy journey.
When it comes to finances, Hawaii Surrogacy works hard to make LGBT surrogacy affordable for all families. The cost does vary and with a same-sex couple that needs either an egg donor or sperm donor, you’re looking at a total journey cost of around $100,000. Some expenses may be covered by your insurance or employer benefit plans, but usually not much. So Hawaii Surrogacy has a comprehensive financial advising program available that is totally free of charge. Our advisors have been able to find grants and special discount programs, many of which are focused on helping build LGBTQ+ families.
Gay Surrogacy Laws in Hawaii
In 1973, Hawaii became one of the very first states in the U.S. to pass legislation that made same-sex sexual activity legal. In the ensuing years, Hawaii has always taken a progressive position related to the rights of the LGBT community.
It wasn’t until the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act was passed in November 2013 that couples who identified as part of the LGBT community were ensured to have the exact same rights as non-same-sex couples. Through interpretation, that does extend to the right to participate in both the adoption and the surrogacy processes.
Hawaii is a surrogacy-friendly state. So even if you are a same-sex couple, both of your names can go on the birth certificate. It doesn’t matter who is the biological parent – we are able to do the legal parentage work to give both parents equal rights to their child.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What if my surrogate doesn’t want to carry a baby for LGBT parents?
Here is where caution is warranted. Based on Hawaii’s Marriage Act, a surrogacy agency cannot discriminate against a gay couple that wants access to an LGBT surrogacy process. In fact, they cannot discriminate against them in any way.
What the law does not permit is keeping individual surrogates from choosing not to carry a baby on behalf of a same-sex couple. That would be a direct violation of the surrogate’s individual rights. Under federal law, one person’s rights do not trump another person’s rights. You simply can’t force or compel someone to do something they don’t want to do.
It’s for this very reason that finding a surrogate for a same-sex couple is a little bit more challenging. With that said, Hawaii residents have a long history of support for the LGBT community. It’s for this reason that surrogates are available and willing participants in the LGBT surrogacy process.
Can both intended parents become biological parents to a child?
This is a matter of biology and the answer is no. Human biology dictates that babies are created by the union of one egg cell and one sperm cell. That makes it absolutely impossible for both members of a same-sex relationship to be biological parents to the same child.
Here’s some additional clarity. If a same-sex couple is made up of two women, only one of the women will be able to contribute the surrogacy baby’s egg cell. Likewise, only one man from a same-sex male relationship will be able to furnish the baby’s sperm cell.
If you would like more information on starting your surrogacy journey, please connect with us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.