How to Find a Surrogate in New York or New Jersey
While there are many women who would like to be surrogates, either because they have a desire to help someone or because they are looking for the financial assistance they can receive for their effort, many may not be physically or emotionally qualified. The criminal and social background assessment, medical testing and mental health evaluation are all critical to determining whether the surrogate can become pregnant and safely carry a pregnancy to term. For this reason, finding a surrogate mother who is qualified, whom you trust and with whom you have shared expectations, can be complicated and time-consuming. Fortunately, there are resources and professionals available to help you find a surrogate in New Jersey or New York who is qualified and a good match for you both.
While the law firm of Rumbold & Seidelman does not provide matching services, we are happy to assist you through the legal aspects of the process. Because we’ve worked in the field of reproductive law for many years, we are able to refer you to qualified professionals and matching programs which can help you to find an appropriate surrogate in New Jersey and New York. To learn more about our services as surrogacy attorneys, we encourage you to call our law firm at 914-779-1050.
We’ve provided more detailed information below regarding where to find a surrogate in New York or New Jersey.
How to Find a Surrogate in NY or NJ
Individuals or couples looking for a surrogate in New York or New Jersey have two paths available to them. They may choose to find a surrogate on their own, or they can work with a matching professional. The path you choose is up to you, but it should be guided by the responsibilities you are prepared to take on in the surrogacy process.
How to Find Surrogates with a Matching Program
There are many professionals who can help you to find a surrogate. Most surrogacy matching programs work throughout the United States and can help you to find a surrogate in a state with favorable surrogacy laws. However if you wish to pursue your surrogacy arrangement under New York law, the matching program must be licensed by the New York State Department of Health.
If you decide to work with a matching professional, that professional should take the time to get to know a little about you, including your personal preferences and the ideal profile for your prospective surrogate. The information the program gathers is often used to match you with a surrogate already working with their program or within the program’s network. While many matching programs pre-screen potential surrogates before matching with intended parents, there are other programs which don’t start the screening process until the surrogate has been matched with intended parents. Some intended parents find the services provided by matching professionals to be invaluable because many of these programs support you through every step of the surrogacy process rather than limiting their services to just finding a surrogate mother.
New York State Regulations Governing Surrogacy Matching Programs
When the CPSA went into effect in February 2021, New York became the first state in the country to require surrogacy matching programs to be licensed by the state. This mandate is set forth in New York General Business Law Article 44 Sections 1400-1404, which directs the Department of Health to issue regulations that prevent conflicts of interest between a matching program and its clients. For example, matching programs must provide a copy of the “Surrogate’s Bill of Rights” to the surrogates with whom they work, and all client funds must be placed in escrow with an independent escrow agency. In sum, New York intended parents and surrogates need to ensure that their matching program is licensed by New York State.
How to Find a Surrogate Mother Without a Matching Program
Some intended parents may prefer not to work with a matching program either because they want to be more involved in the process or because they don’t want to pay the fees charged by matching programs. For that reason, they may choose to find a surrogate in New Jersey or New York on their own. There are a few ways to go about this independent surrogate search which include:
- Online and print surrogacy classifieds ads
- Surrogacy matching groups posting on social media and on internet forums
- Networking with family and friends
If you intend to work with a traditional surrogate (meaning the surrogate’s egg was used in conception) you will have to find a surrogate on your own because matching professionals are unlikely to work on anything other than gestational surrogacies. Importantly, New York’s Child-Parent Security Act does not apply to traditional surrogacy arrangements and New York law will continue to severely restrict these arrangements. Anyone contemplating a traditional surrogacy arrangement would be well advised to consult with a legal professional prior to achieving a pregnancy to ensure that they fully understand the legal restrictions and the risks they will confront during the process.
If you are finding a surrogate on your own, it may take you longer to find someone who is qualified, shares your surrogacy preferences and goals, and is a good match for you. Because a professional won’t be guiding the process, it will be your responsibility to get to know the surrogate to make sure she has a lifestyle conducive to a healthy pregnancy. You will also need to find out her expectations regarding your payment of her living expenses or compensation. While this list is far from comprehensive, you will also need to be comfortable discussing sensitive issues such as termination of the pregnancy (in the event of a medical complication) and pregnancy reduction (if she becomes pregnant with multiples). Once you’re comfortable moving forward with the surrogate, she will need to be medically and psychologically cleared by professionals. In the unfortunate event that she doesn’t pass these hurdles, you will need to start the process of finding a surrogate mother all over again.
Many intended parents successfully find their surrogacy partner on their own, and you can too — provided you educate yourself on the process and are prepared for the realities you’ll confront along the way.
Contact Our Law Firm About Finding Your Surrogate
Whether you find your surrogate in New York or New Jersey, you will need to work with an attorney who can make sure you will be securely recognized as the legal parents of your child. Rumbold & Seidelman has the experience required to advise you through this complex process. If you want to begin the process of finding a surrogate, we can advise you on how to do this. If you have already found your surrogate in New York or New Jersey, contact us today to get started.