For single and gay men, having a child through surrogacy is an ordeal that requires vetting, then coordinating, multiple parties. The financial and temporal costs can be mind boggling and, while most in this camp are not dealing with the emotional pain of infertility, the process can take an enormous personal toll. Below is our summary of what is required, and some of the associated costs.
Where to begin:
Given the multitude of required parties and steps, it's unclear where a couple should begin. Here are the better arguments we’ve heard for starting with the clinic first, the egg donor first, or the surrogate first:
Argument for Starting With a Clinic – One Stop Shop
Finding a clinic that understands this process from the gay couple’s point of view is important, and many of these clinics should know both good egg donation, and surrogacy, agencies. Most major clinics will themselves have an egg donation agency, and if they happen to have an egg donor you like, you will have saved a ton of time and energy.
Argument for Finding an Egg Donor First – Logical Sequencing
You will want to ensure you have frozen embryos before you start the more arduous, less predictable journey of finding a surrogate. If you land a surrogate, but then lose months of time trying to line up the right egg donor, that surrogate may get antsy and move on to carrying for someone else, leaving you back at square one. Or, if you select a surrogate, but do a haphazard job of choosing an egg donor, your efforts have been for naught.
Argument for Finding a Surrogate First – Long Pole & Forced Deadlines
Finding the surrogate is often the hardest portion of the search, and is the “long pole in the tent.” Nailing this should be your focus when you are early in the process, and freshest. As we mentioned, surrogates get antsy, and so once you have a surrogate, you have a self-created, but real, deadline: have the transfer in the next few months, or the surrogate will likely leave you. This can force you to be decisive about selecting your egg donor and clinic.