How the Covid Pandemic Created a Surrogate Shortage in the US

He started the agency so that others could have more transparency about the surrogacy process.

Mr. Amir and his husband, Mike Gowen, have used surrogates twice and are now entering their third trial with one.

They paid a total of about $200,000 for their first surrogacy in 2017: $35,000 for egg donor screening fees, an egg donation, egg donor insurance, egg donor brokerage fees, travel, and legal fees; $35,000 for IVF, including egg retrieval, embryo creation and embryo transfer; and more than $120,000 for the surrogacy process, including a $35,000 surrogate fee, plus surrogate agency fees, surrogacy insurance, legal fees, screening, travel expenses, and other miscellaneous fees. The second time, in September 2020, they paid $150,000, through another agency.

Mr. Amir, living in New Haven, Conn. lives, said his relationship with his surrogates has always been very important to him. “We FaceTime a lot and talked on the phone as much as possible,” he said. “But because of the distance” – the first surrogate lived in Ohio; the second in Tennessee — “and Covid on the second trip, we didn’t meet in person for the first time until our babies were born.”

And because surrogacy is not allowed for same-sex couples in many other countries that allow it differently, helping a gay couple is a calling for some.

Shea Eschman, a photographer living in Yukon, Oklahoma, is expected on July 4 with twins for a gay couple living in Italy. Ms Eschman, who has a 4-year-old daughter, had spent time on social media talking to others about possible surrogacy when she was having trouble conceiving her daughter. Now, she said, she wants to help people who cannot have children of their own.

“I’m excited to give them their dream family,” said Ms. Eschman. “They wanted twins, and it’s exactly what they’re getting.”

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