Two young women in casual clothes and with pink hair, a lesbian homosexual couple, lying on a rug with a child. Same marriage

LGBTQIA+ Fertility Services


Lesbian couple
Great Beginnings Commitment to LGBTQIA+

With hundreds of happy, healthy babies to our credit, we’re proud to say that LGBTQIA+ parents-to-be, from Tokyo to Tampa and everywhere in between, have come to us to build families from Surrogacy, IVF and Egg Donation. People from all over the world have been using Great Beginnings Surrogacy Services to complete their families for more than 20 years.
Gay couple with their young daughter enjoying a day in a park dancing happily.
Great Beginnings Surrogacy Services for LGBTQIA+ families

Great Beginnings Three-Step Overview

While we are consistently listed among the top surrogacy agencies in the country, our proudest achievement is that we have become known as the agency of choice for same sex and LGBTQIA+ surrogacy. Though a hot button issue in many states, we’ve embraced the opportunity to provide any couple, regardless of their sexual orientation or identification, the chance to have a family. You might have seen our staff at the San Diego LGBTQIA+ Pride Festival or at similar festivals in Palm Springs, Long Beach, and Los Angeles. Or maybe you heard about us from one of the many same-sex or LGBTQIA+ parents we’ve worked with for over two decades. However you got here, we’re glad you came! The reason you’re here is to learn how. same-sex and LGBTQIA+ works. The information to follow will help you do exactly that.

For a child to be born, it needs a sperm donor, an egg donor and a uterus. For same-sex and LBGTQIA+ couples to have their own biological child, there are obviously an additional step or two to make you an Intended Parent. We’ve broken it down here into three basic steps.
Step 1: Egg Donor

Egg donors are women who are generally under 29, in excellent health, and are willing to give their eggs to a man, same-sex, or LGBTQIA+ couple so they can have a baby of their own. This woman has generally sought out an agency like ours that is very open to same-sex and LGBTQIA+ surrogacy because we help match the donor with great intended parents like you and then help navigate the egg donation process, from the initial medical screening to the final egg retrieval. 

Once you’ve chosen an egg donor, most agencies will then begin a screening process to make sure the donor is physically capable of handling the various fertility medications and that her ovaries are functioning normally. Great Beginnings Surrogacy Services helps take the anxiety out of the matching process + speed you on your way to parenthood by pre-screening all our egg donors. When a match is set, the egg donor begins a series of medications under the care of a fertility specialist.

The medication causes her ovaries to release more eggs than they normally would. With a healthy young woman under the right circumstances, a donor may provide between 8-10 healthy eggs. Once the eggs are retrieved through a short medical procedure, the egg donor is compensated her previously agreed-upon sum, and her part is done.

*Note: Egg donors are not always found through an agency. When dealing with same-sex and LGBTQIA+ couples, it is not uncommon for a family member or friend to be willing to go through the process as their gift. When handled correctly, this can be a beautiful arrangement as you may want your child(ren) to have ongoing contact and relationship with their donor (called a “known donor”). However, some same-sex and LGBTQIA+ couples prefer the anonymity of the agency route, where the donor doesn’t typically expect much interaction with the LGBTQIA+ parents, either during or after the process. Once eggs are retrieved, the next step is to fertilize them.

Turning Eggs Into Embryos Once eggs are retrieved, the next step is to fertilize them. In the situation of a male same-sex couple, both men may choose to provide sperm while other times only one will. Laboratory staff will use the provided sperm and fertilize the eggs using IVF-related procedures. The next step is putting one or two of the best-fertilized eggs into a uterus. For that, same-sex or LGBTQIA+parents frequently need a surrogate.
Step 2: The Surrogate

Believe it or not, there are women who share your dream and specifically ask us to donate to the same-sex and LBGTQIA+ community. These women, while compensated, don’t do it solely for the money. They become surrogates because they genuinely love children and the idea of helping build families. They have a history of being able to handle pregnancy well and without complications. When choosing a surrogate, chemistry can be everything. After all, same-sex and LGBTI couples work with a surrogate indirectly for nearly a year. Honest, open communication with someone who accepts you and makes you feel comfortable is what it’s all about. 

There are two types of surrogacy. One is Gestational Surrogacy and the other is Traditional Surrogacy. Traditional surrogacy means the surrogate uses her own eggs, sharing a biological link to the child. Gestational surrogacy means the surrogate has no genetic link to the child because her eggs were not used to create the pregnancy. The eggs used to form embryos are provided by an egg donor instead. We encourage all our same-sex and LGBTIA+ surrogacy couples to use a gestational surrogate because they have no genetic link to the child. Therefore, there will be no risk of a legal claim to maternity thanks to the exceptionally strong California surrogacy law to back you up.

In Johnson v. Calvert, the California Supreme Court held that gestational surrogates had no parental rights to the child born , meaning a gestational surrogacy contract was legal and enforceable. Since that ruling, thousands of same-sex and LGBTIA+ couples have had children through gestational surrogacy in California and there has been no record of any court disputes that would compromise their full parental rights. Same-sex and LGBTIA+ have a variety of options to have a child who is biologically their own.

Great Beginnings will provide you profiles of prospective surrogate mothers so you can find the one that’s right for you. We will next arrange for you to meet, either in person or over the phone should long distances make travel too difficult for all parties. This meeting is your chance to get a feel for the surrogate candidate and help them see what a wonderful, deserving couple you are! Of course, Great Beginnings staff will be right there with you to help support you during this important step forward. You’ll have a chance to privately confer with each other as a couple once the initial meeting is over. In addition, the surrogate candidates will talk with Great Beginnings staff separately to share how good they feel about your mutual fit. We will answer your questions in support of your decision-making process as a couple until you feel confident you have found an excellent match. When all parties agree to move forward toward contracts, surrogates will undergo both psychological and medical screenings to make sure they’re healthy and emotionally stable. As you enter the contract phase, we will provide you information so you can choose outside counsel who specialize in third-party reproductive law and will draft your surrogacy contract, clearly outlining your financial responsibilities and clear expectations and responsibilities for your gestational surrogate. Once the contracts are signed by all parties, your path to parenthood can finally begin.

This process traditionally runs in parallel to the egg donor process so that the cycles can be coordinated whenever possible. Once the contract is set, the surrogate may begin medications to make sure her body is best prepared to accept a pregnancy. You will have already determined with your fertility specialist which, if not both, partners will be donating sperm or you will be using a sperm donor. Then, when your surrogate’s cycle is complete, eggs from your egg donor will be fertilized with your sperm and then placed into your surrogate via an embryo transfer. A few weeks later, a pregnancy test will confirm your baby(s) are on their way!
Step 3: The Pregnancy

Once your surrogate is pregnant, she will be under the specialized care of the fertility specialist for at least 10 to 12 weeks as she will be closely monitored at the fertility center through frequent ultrasounds, blood work and physical examination. Great Beginnings staff will be in close contact with both she and your fertility specialist to make sure everything is progressing smoothly. You can expect frequent check-ins and updates from us every step of the way. We may attend doctor’s appointments alongside them in cases where extra care and support will be appreciated. 

We can well imagine you and your surrogate will be exchanging lots of texts and e-mails during this first phase, at the very least. Once your surrogate reaches her first trimester, the fertility specialist will release her to the care of her preferred obstetrician who frequently has helped her through prior deliveries and often has direct experience in surrogacy pregnancies. You can count on Great Beginnings to continue our close collaboration with her obstetrician, making sure everything is going according to plan, from dream to baby. At the 10th week of pregnancy, Great Beginnings will give your attorney the green light to begin the Parental Establishment process.

This process is unique to surrogacy in California which insures your names appear as parents on the birth certificate, gives you the legal right to make all medical decisions for your baby and results in the issuance of a Pre-Birth Order (PBO) well ahead of your delivery date. The PBO is a document you carry with you to the hospital that gives you the legal right to immediately begin caring for your baby(s) upon delivery.

Then, what we’ve all been waiting for, rejoice with us when your baby(s) due date is set! We recommend you plan to be in close proximity to the hospital where delivery will be happening, several days to a week in advance. That way you are able to be there from the moment labor begins until your baby(s) are delivered into your arms! Babies typically stay in the hospital at least 24 hours following delivery. The pediatrician will want to wait to release your baby(s) home until they are completely stable. Of course, you’ll have full visitation rights as all parents do, staying with and by your baby’s side as long as you please.

Once the hospital discharges your baby, you get to take him/her home! As your new life as a family unfolds, keep in mind the kind, loving hearts of our surrogates are filled with gladness to hear how your baby and family are growing together. You share a bond like no other which may be further strengthened by periodically reaching out to her in this way. On the other hand, sometimes it feels more natural to maintain your new family’s privacy. You’ve been through so much to get here and might be eager to focus on your future instead. Whatever you decide, Great Beginnings will be here to guide, facilitate and support you in any way we can.

One of our greatest honors is to welcome our Intended Parents back for siblings! You’ll find the second and third time feel much easier. You’ll know exactly what to expect and will likely skip over the egg donation process as your first treatment cycles likely produced more high-quality embryos than necessary for your first child(ren). These embryos are then professionally frozen and remain in stasis at your fertility clinic until needed. Once you decide it’s time, some couples ask to work with their first surrogate again while others choose to open their hearts for a match with someone new. However you decide you want to continue our journey together, Great Beginnings Surrogacy Services is ready to expand your family when you are!
Surrogacy General FAQ's
Where do your Surrogates come from?

Though we have Surrogates who reside all over the United States, most live in the Southern California area. We receive a steady stream of response to our social media campaigns. Happily, many refer friends/family after journeying with Great Beginnings themselves!
How long does it take to find a suitable Surrogate?

Matching is a process where many factors simultaneously come together for intended parents and surrogates to begin a mutually agreeable relationship where everyone will feel comfortable. This may be take as short as a few days or as long as several months. We recommend keeping an open mind during the matching process. Don’t set your expectations so high you miss the chance of a lifetime and let someone slip away whom you feel comfortable matching with. Though our economy seems to be in constant flux, the demand for surrogates consistently remains high. IPs tell us they have the least regrets when they match with someone they feel comfortable with right away.

Is Surrogacy legal in my state?

Surrogacy is currently legal on some level in all the states in the US, except Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, and New York. Other states allow surrogacy but have hurtles, e.g., requiring one or both of the Intended Parents to adopt their child following the birth. By the far, California surrogacy laws are known to be the most generous and flexible in the world.
Do you welcome same-sex and LGBTQIA+ parents?

Yes, we are here to help everyone grow their family! Great Beginnings believes everyone has the right to be a parent, regardless of their gender, race, religious affiliation, fertility issue, age, marital status or sexual orientation.
How are the Surrogates compensated?

Prior to the start of medications, we help you fully funded a Trust Account with an independent escrow company. This account will be used to pay your Gestational Surrogate according to the contractual guidelines.
What is the Great Beginnings Surrogacy screening process for Surrogate applicants?

Surrogate candidates apply with our agency online. During the initial phone call, a series of critical questions are asked to ensure the candidate meets the general surrogate requirements. Once these criteria are met, the Surrogate proceeds to an extensive application and list of surrogacy program requirements she must complete and/or obtain in order to be considered for our program. We obtain previous birth records from her OB/GYN and require records of her current physical exam and/or pap smear as completed by her own OB/GYN. We also request an OB Clearance letter recommending her as a surrogate. A background check will be completed prior to her profile being made available to Intended Parents. She will receive medical pre-screening, including an in-depth physical exam and immunity/vaccination bloodwork. A psychological screening will be conducted by a licensed therapist and then she will complete extensive blood work, testing for infectious disease, hormone levels, drug, alcohol and nicotine screening and any other testing deemed necessary by the fertility specialist to confirm her ability to conceive and safely carry a child.
What Surrogacy program services do you provide?

We provide Intended Parents with Surrogate profiles so you can find the one that feels comfortable to you. Using the details you submit in your IP profile coupled with our discussions with you in person, we locate a gestational surrogate who shares your goals and values. These include agreement on number of embryos to transfer, the type of relationship you want to have and agreement on important processes, such as selective reduction/termination, etc. It is our primary focus to make sure you travel together in a spirit of cooperation, support and companionship from the very beginning.

Our services include:
1. Coordinating the surrogate application process.
2. Coordinating the background check, psychological screening medical screening process.
3. Coordinating with two separate attorneys during the contract process between you and your gestational surrogate.
4. Coordinating the purchase of medical and life insurance policies for your surrogate.
5. Coordinating with your fertility center, attorneys, psychologists, obstetricians, medical providers and hospitals.

San Diego

3420 Carmel Mountain Road, Suite 250
San Diego, CA 92121

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