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Washington is one of the best states in the country to embark on your surrogacy journey. Surrogacy laws passed Washington in recent years have expanded protections for intended parents and opportunities for surrogates. Today, Washington is a surrogacy-friendly state where single, partnered, and married intended parents can compensate surrogates for a gestational or traditional pregnancy. Beyond the accommodating legal environment for surrogacy in Washington, surrogacy medical services in Washington are excellent and widely available. Washington’s high number of top surrogacy clinics offer surrogates reliable, safe, and experienced fertility treatment and prenatal care.

What are the requirements for becoming a surrogate in Washington state?

The requirements for becoming a surrogate in Washington state are similar to surrogacy requirements in most surrogacy-friendly states in the United States.

First, the surrogate must be physically healthy enough to carry a healthy child to term: surrogate applicants typically must be between the ages of 21 and 40, be neither under- nor overweight (most agencies require surrogates to have a BMI between 19 and 32), and be a non-smoker. Additionally, a potential surrogate must have given birth to a child they are raising in their own home with an uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery. This requirement is intended to ensure surrogates have both a capacity to carry a child to term and a grasp of the demands—both physical and emotional—of surrogacy.

Also, surrogates must be free of any antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications for at least a year prior to beginning the surrogacy process. To verify that the surrogate is physically, emotionally, and psychologically healthy enough to serve as a surrogate, surrogates must be willing to undergo a series of thorough physical and psychological examinations.

Additionally, surrogates in Washington state must be legal immigrants, legal residents, or citizens of the United States. Surrogate applicants cannot be receiving any state or federal financial aid or government assistance and must be financially stable. Surrogates cannot have received any recent piercings or tattoos (in the year preceding the beginning of the screening process).

How are surrogate mothers screened in Washington state?

Before surrogates can move forward in the surrogacy process, they must undergo a rigorous screening process that verifies potential surrogates are physically, psychologically, and emotionally able and prepared to carry a healthy child to term for the intended parent or parents. 

First, the surrogate will receive a comprehensive physical examination at a surrogacy clinic. Doctors performing a medical screening evaluate the surrogate’s overall health, including their weight, height, substance use, prescription medications, and recent tattoos and piercings. While the specific procedures included in a medical screening vary by surrogacy clinic and agency, medical screenings in Washington state always include collecting a urine and blood sample for an STD panel and drug screening for the surrogate and their partner and a comprehensive uterine exam in two parts.

First, doctors will perform a hysteroscopy to examine the shape, size, and viability of the uterus and fallopian tubes; a hysteroscopy is a minimally invasive exploratory procedure conducted by inserting a thin scope into the cervix. Next, doctors will conduct a saline sonogram, a procedure that detects fibroids using a uterine saline flush. Lastly, the clinic will perform a general physical and pap smear to  test for infection and cell irregularities to confirm the surrogate is physically prepared for a healthy, full-term pregnancy.

Next, the surrogate will meet with a psychological counselor for a psychological and emotional consultation. The counselor will explore the potential surrogate’s psychological health to ensure they are mentally prepared for the emotional demands of carrying a child for someone else. The counselor will often inquire into the surrogate’s home life to confirm the surrogate has a stable support system for the duration of the pregnancy. Finally, the counselor will typically discuss the surrogate’s expectations or continued or discontinued contact with the intended parents after the child’s birth so as to ensure the surrogate’s expectations align with those of the intended parents. 

What are the surrogacy laws in Washington state?

As of January 1, 2019, Washington state applied the Uniform Parentage Act and became one of eleven U.S. states in which compensated gestational surrogacy is legal for all intended parents. Single, partnered, and married, heterosexual and homosexual—all intended parents who have agreed on gestational surrogacy can file for pre-birth orders, a legal document that declares the intended parents the child’s legal parents.

In Washington, the pre-birth order allows the intended parent’s or parents’ names to be listed on the child’s birth certificate. (Pre-birth orders are not available for intended parents who have agreed to a traditional surrogacy; instead, intended parents can file a post-birth order after a 48-hour period following the child’s birth during which the surrogate can rescind her agreement.)

In addition to laws protecting the rights of surrogates and the parentage of intended parents, all parties will work with their respective legal representatives (often provided by a surrogacy agency) to agree to the terms of the surrogacy. The agreed-upon conditions typically outline the type of surrogacy (gestational or traditional), expectations for the surrogate during the pregnancy, the nature of the relationship between the surrogate and intended parents, and the post-birth procedure. This agreement will be drafted into a contract signed by all involved parties before moving forward with the surrogacy process.

How much do surrogates get paid in Washington state?

Surrogacy can be an exceptionally rewarding experience, emotionally and spiritually. For many surrogates, the primary motivation to become a surrogate is the opportunity to help others grow their family and fulfill their dreams of parenting a child. Bringing a child into the world and giving an intended parent or parents the gift of life is what draws many surrogates to surrogacy.

However, the surrogacy process can be demanding—in addition to the physical demands of pregnancy and delivery, surrogates must undergo extensive screening, receive fertility treatments in preparation for IVF, and attend medical appointments regularly throughout the pregnancy.

Intended parents work with surrogacy agencies to compensate surrogates with a base fee of $30,000 to $40,000. Surrogates begin receiving payments before pregnancy, and medical screening and expenses are covered by both their insurance and the intended parents. After the pregnancy has been confirmed, surrogates can receive additional compensation and benefits amounting up to $20,000.

Surrogates in Washington state will receive, on average, between $50,000 and $60,000 in payments and benefits by the end of their time as a surrogate. 

What resources are available for surrogate mothers in Seattle, Washington?

Seattle, Washington, is an epicenter of fertility services. If you’re considering pursuing surrogacy in Seattle—as a surrogate or intended parent—there are a wide range of resources available to you. Surrogacy by Faith is a Christian-based surrogacy agency that serves surrogates and intended parents on the West coast, including Washington state. We work closely with a number of top surrogacy clinics, including the following located in Seattle:

  • ORM Fertility in Bellevue
  • Northwest Surrogacy Clinic in Seattle
  • Seattle Reproductive Medicine in Seattle
  • Pacific NW Fertility in Seattle
  • Seattle Reproductive Medicine in Seattle

 

Because of Washington state’s surrogacy-friendly laws and Seattle’s exceptional fertility clinics, Seattle is an excellent place to begin your surrogacy journey.

Why choose Surrogacy by Faith?

While this article provides a brief summary of the surrogacy process, legality, and compensation in Washington state, intended parents and potential surrogates considering surrogacy should consult with a surrogacy professional.

Surrogacy by Faith is a surrogacy agency that provides guidance, support, surrogate screening, surrogate matching, and legal guidance to both surrogates and intended parents. We’re an agency built on the foundation of our faith in Christ, and we believe in working closely with our clients to embark on surrogacy journeys guided by our faith in God.

At Surrogacy by Faith, we treat our clients with empathy, kindness, and support—surrogacy brings people together to build families, and we believe the surrogacy process should be filled with joy. If you’re considering beginning your surrogacy journey in Washington state, consider contacting us with any questions or filling out a form as a surrogate  or as an intended parent.