You’ve probably heard the saying: Everything is bigger in Texas. This includes bigger hopes, bigger dreams, and bigger hearts, especially when it comes to the amazing journey of surrogacy.
In recent years, Texas has become a surrogacy-friendly state. This means that it’s easy for intended parents to use gestational surrogacy as a way to build a family. It also means that surrogates can be compensated well for their time and work during the pregnancy.
In this article, we’ll look at everything you need to know about surrogacy in Texas, including the laws, process, and costs as well as how to find the right surrogacy agency for you.
What Are The Surrogacy Laws In Texas?
According to Texas Family Code §160-751 through §160-763, gestational surrogacy is 100% legal and recognized. Additionally, the laws state that valid and enforceable surrogacy contracts must meet the following requirements:
- The intended parents must be married to one another.
- All parties must sign the contract.
- Any information about the health of the gestational mother and unborn child must be shared with the intended parents.
- The gestational mother does not donate her egg so that she’s not genetically related to the child. She must also relinquish all parental rights.
- There must be separate legal representation for the intended parents and surrogate mother.
- The physician performing any assisted reproduction procedures must advise all parties about the risks and success rates.
- The agreement can not limit the gestational mother’s right to make decisions about her health or the health of the embryo.
If a surrogacy contract does not meet these requirements, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the surrogacy will be illegal. It just means that it won’t have the explicit protections afforded under Texas law.
Additionally, the intended parents will have to petition the court to make the contract valid. Once it’s approved, it’s officially known as a gestational agreement. This petition may be filed in either the county where the gestational mother or the intended parents live, as long as they’ve lived there for at least ninety (90) days.
Finally, Texas has no statutes for traditional surrogacy, meaning that intended parents who want to use this form of surrogacy will have to go through a conventional adoption process. As a result, gestational surrogacy is the preferred method.
What Is The Surrogacy Process In Texas?
Let’s now take a look at the surrogacy process in Texas:
- Intended parents can start the process of IVF and fertility treatments to create a viable embryo. Luckily, Texas has excellent IVF clinics, especially in major cities like Houston, Dallas, Austin, and Ft. Worth as well as smaller cities like El Paso, Irving, and Arlington.
- Both the surrogates and intended parents will have to find the right surrogacy agency and apply. Surrogates will also have to meet all the necessary requirements.
- The surrogacy agency will match intended parents with the right surrogate.
- Reproductive lawyers will draft a surrogacy contract. Under Texas law, the contract must be submitted to the court at least two (2) weeks before the gestational mother undergoes the embryo transfer.
- The surrogate undergoes embryo transfer and becomes pregnant.
- Once the pregnancy is confirmed, the intended parents may petition the court for a pre-birth parentage order. If accepted, this orders the hospital and the Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics to name the intended parents as the legal parents on the birth certificate.
The basic surrogacy process is similar to other surrogacy-friendly states like California or Oregon. However, there are some subtle differences, so it’s always best to work with a surrogacy agency that can guide you through the process.
How Much Does Surrogacy Cost In Texas?
In Texas, the cost of the surrogacy journey for intended parents is usually between $100k and $135k. This includes:
- Surrogacy agency fees
- Attorney fees
- Screening for surrogates
- Surrogate compensation
- Medical procedures related to the pregnancy and delivery
- Regular checkups with doctors
In most cases, surrogate compensation is the single largest cost. This is especially true in a surrogacy-friendly state like Texas, where surrogates can command a base salary of anywhere from $40k to $70k. Additionally, they must also be reimbursed for various expenses like:
- Embryo transfer
- Medications, including fertility drugs
- Monthly allowance
- Maternity clothes
- Travel expenses to and from medical appointments
- Lost wages and child care (if applicable)
- Independent legal counsel
Finally, the overall cost may be more if the intended parents have to use IVF and fertility treatments. For example, a single IVF mock cycle at most Texas fertility clinics is about $10k. However, Texas requires health insurance providers to cover some fertility procedures, so make sure you talk to your insurance provider to see what they cover.
How Do I Find A Surrogacy Agency In Texas?
Even if the intended parents or surrogates live in Texas, they don’t necessarily have to choose a Texas-based surrogacy agency. Instead of making the choice based on geographic proximity, it’s better to choose the one that’s best for the job.
If you’re a surrogate, make sure you find an agency that offers the highest benefits. This will make sure that everything you need is taken care of during your pregnancy such as pregnancy clothes, gym membership, travel expenses, etc. If you’re the intended parents, make sure you choose an agency that you can trust. Remember, it’s important to not cut corners when choosing a surrogate – you’ll want the best candidate to ensure a successful pregnancy and healthy child.
To learn more about what to look for in an agency, check out our article: How to Find the Best surrogacy Agency?
Can I Use Surrogacy By Faith If I live in Texas?
Yes, you can! Here at Surrogacy By Faith, we’ll help you start you surrogacy journey with us if you live in Texas or in any other surrogate-friendly state.
Choosing the right agency is important to having a successful, meaningful, and positive surrogacy journey. It’s not a decision that should be taken lightly, so it’s best to carefully consider what you need from an agency, whether you’re a hopeful parent or an aspiring surrogate.
We use our faith and values as guiding principles for providing the best possible experience for everyone. In fact, surrogates and parents have said that working with us was both fulfilling and life-changing.
For us, it’s more than just a business: it’s a mission. We believe we’re doing God’s work and making dreams come true. We love to see couples starting their own families and hopeful surrogates sharing the gift of life. It’s also important to us that the relationships extend beyond just the surrogacy journey – we want our surrogates and intended parents to forge a deeper, more meaningful connection.