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Two Chicago-area surrogacy firms today announced the launch of a program designed to facilitate the delivery in Illinois of babies carried by gestational surrogates.
Alternative Reproductive Resources (ARR), Chicago, and the Center for Egg Options (CEO), Northbrook, Ill., created The Surrogacy Advantage to help more intended parents benefit by the state’s surrogacy friendly status.
Gestational surrogacy is when a third party carries a child that will be parented by another individual or couple; the child is not conceived with the surrogate’s egg. In Illinois, if at least one intended parent has contributed the sperm or egg(s) and if they fulfill all of the necessary legal requirements prior to the child’s birth, they are recognized as the child’s legal parents through an administrative process, without an adoption, allowing them full custody of the child upon its birth.
“We’ve fully addressed the necessary legal and medical guidelines to give parents the best possible outcome once the baby’s arrived,” said Robin von Halle, president of ARR (www.arr1.com).
Added Nancy Block, president of CEO (www.egg411.com), “Both of our agencies have certain clients – those who live overseas, for example – who need help coordinating an Illinois birth. We want to make it work.”
Under the program, the two agencies will jointly recommend willing surrogates to clients, and will also administer arrangements for other agencies whose clients need assistance arranging Illinois births. The program includes:
• Securing an obstetrician for the surrogate.
• Facilitating hospital coverage.
• An exclusive surrogacy health insurance that allows for payments to be stretched over five months.
• Provision of lodgings for out-of-state surrogates and their families.
• Referral to a legal specialist with expertise in third-party fertility matters.
• Referral for independent psychological testing.
• Independent, bonded/insured escrow services for the surrogate’s payments.
• Referral to a nutrition counselor for the surrogate.
ARR and CEO have been matching parents with gestational surrogates for a combined 15 years. “It’s a tremendous amount of work, so it makes sense for us to combine our knowledge of surrogacy and Illinois’ unique environment to help people on this path,” said Block.