Surrogacy Center of Philadelphia

Being a Surrogate For a Friend: What You Need to Know

friends surrogate
Every journey of parenthood is unique, and not everyone’s path to it is straightforward. Some face challenges that make conceiving or carrying a pregnancy difficult and, sometimes, impossible or even life-threatening. In these situations, the support of friends can be an incredible source of strength. In this blog post, we’ll explore what it truly means to become a surrogate for a friend, including the emotions, legal considerations, and profound impact this journey will have on everyone involved.


You’ve been friends for as long as you can remember. You’ve shared countless memories and supported each other through thick and t From bad dates to sick parents to buying your first homes to miscarriages and failed IVF attempts, you’ve been there for each other. As you build your own family, having a baby (or three!), you see your dear friend struggle to do the same, and you wish there were something you could do.

One Saturday night, you’re playing cards at your friend’s, and the idea comes to you. You can help your friend and become their surrogate. As you discuss this with your friend, the idea becomes a reality, and you start researching what that decision means for everyone involved.

Being a surrogate for a friend is more than an idea shared over drinks and cards. It’s a life-changing decision and journey that will forever change the lives of you, your friend, and your family. Your willingness to offer your body, time, and emotions is a true testament to the depth of your friendship and an act of true love and compassion for someone who means so much to you. All that to say, it shouldn’t be entered into lightly.



While being a surrogate for a friend sounds easy in theory, the surrogacy process can and will be complex and emotional in practice. So many feelings are intertwined for both you and your friend(s), and even the strongest bond can be tested when you don’t take steps to safeguard and protect the most precious gift you can give.

This is why partnering with a surrogacy agency like ours should be the first step you take after making the decision to be a surrogate for your friend. Likely, you’ve never been a surrogate before, and what you’ve read seems overwhelming. A surrogacy agency has done this before – hundreds of times, in fact – and will be your trusted advisor, advocate, and partner throughout your surrogacy journey. They know every milestone, law, and pitfall and take great pride in helping build families. From navigating insurance to helping with medical reimbursements, your case manager will always take your call, get you an answer, and even be there on the baby’s birthday.

We suggest you and your friend interview multiple agencies to find the one you feel most “at home” with. Being a surrogate and choosing to build your family via gestational surrogacy is deeply personal. That’s why it’s so important to work with an agency like ours that makes you feel comfortable, doesn’t pressure you to make decisions before you’re ready, and takes the time to answer all your questions (even if you ask them more than once!) making sure you fully understand the process, potential risks, and rewards.


Once you’ve decided on the agency you’ll partner with jointly, you and your friend(s) – the intended parents – will complete an intake process and orientation. This is when the agency will sit down with you individually and together and go over every single aspect of the gestational surrogacy journey – milestones, timelines and expectations, and next steps – and learn about the intended parents’ fertility history, reasons you and your friend(s) are pursuing surrogacy and thoroughly answer any questions you have.

Once you’ve completed the surrogacy process orientation and decided you’d like to proceed with the agency, you are presented with an agency agreement to review and sign. This agreement memorializes the roles and responsibilities of the agency, surrogate, and intended parents and outlines the agency fees and the payment timing. Once you sign the agreement, your surrogacy journey officially begins!


Typically, when a woman decides to serve as a gestational surrogate, she will apply at a surrogacy agency where she (and those who live with her) will be medically and psychologically screened before she’s cleared to become a surrogate. Once cleared, she will complete a matching profile that is matched with potential intended parents. In cases where the intended parents and surrogate already know each other, the matching process is bypassed, and you head straight to the fun stuff – the medical and psychological screening.

The extensive medical screening ensures that your body can carry and deliver a baby to term without complications. At a high level, doctors and clinicians are looking for the following requirements to be met:

  1. Cradle your baby in the bend of your elbow, with your other hand holding their back.
  2. Get them to latch onto the nipple. Make sure a lot of breast tissue around the nipple in their mouth.
  3. Listen to the baby’s suckling for a regular pattern. If they seem not to be getting enough air, move them closer to your body. This will tilt their head back so that the nostrils can clear to for breathing.
  4. If the baby needs a break, give it to them, and then offer them the breast to see if they want more.


You’ve gone through screening and are cleared to be a surrogate for your friend. Yay! Before you head to the clinic for embryo transfer and get this baby train moving, you will work with an agency-provided attorney to collaborate and sign a Gestational Surrogacy Agreement. We completely understand that the idea of a contract between friends can feel awfully official and… icky. While we understand it sounds idyllic, and you can’t imagine anything going wrong with your friendship or your pregnancy, the stakes are high, and emotions can take over, especially when medical decisions need to be made.

A Gestational Carrier Agreement captures every single detail of the surrogacy journey and how it will be handled. For example, are you willing to carry multiples or undergo additional testing if the intended parents want you to? Remember, you’re carrying another person’s child, and they have a say in how you grow their baby. These details should be discussed and agreed to in writing before becoming pregnant. That way, when or if these situations arise, you have a plan everyone has discussed and agreed with.

The agreement also provides protection for you and your body should complications arise that pose a risk to you and your health. It also may outline any surrogate compensation such as reimbursement for driving to and from appointments, maternity clothing allowance, and income protection should you be placed on bedrest are also covered.

Finally, and most importantly, the contract defines the Intended Parents as the baby’s legal parents. This is the foundation of the legal work done after pregnancy is confirmed to ensure that the right names are on the birth certificate when the baby arrives—no need to hire a lawyer when you partner with our agency. One is provided for you and your friend(s) as part of the agency’s fees, and surrogacy is their specialty. Collaboration is key here. While you’re carrying their child, you still have a right and obligation to include what you are and are not comfortable with. They’re called Gestational Carrier Agreements for a reason, and they’re required by law.


Once the agreement has been signed, it’s time to get that one womb apartment ready for the baby to live in for the next nine months. Said simply, you’ll begin fertility drugs and prepare your uterus for embryo transfer. During this time, you’ll also learn much about the science behind IVF. Your hormone levels will be checked regularly, and once they’re optimized, you’ll be ready for embryo transfer. All the screenings and injections are to create the best possible chance for a successful embryo transfer. Success rates for first-time embryo transfer remain relatively high at 60% for first-time embryo transfers, and 80% should a second embryo transfer be necessary.


The embryo transfer was successful, and you and your friend are in full baby-prep mode now that the morning sickness is gone. Doctor appointments and milestones are celebrated, and you just found out you’re having a boy! Amidst the cravings and heartburn, you’re going to doctor’s appointments and working with your nutritional coach to ensure your pregnancy is progressing well and you’re staying active. Your agency-appointed case manager is on speed dial, day or night, and “pregnancy brain” is in full effect. Your waddle is epic. Any day now…


Your water breaks, and your contractions are getting closer together. Your friend(s) – the intended parent(s) – drives you to the hospital, and it’s like a scene from the movies. You’re sweaty, breathing hard, and can’t wait for them to hold the baby boy that makes them a parent.

Your case manager is also there. They’re making sure the hospital has your birth plan and the parentage orders, and to be honest, they’re excited to see the baby they’ve heard so much about for the last nine months.


The journey of being a surrogate for a friend extends beyond the nine months of pregnancy. The experience leaves an enduring mark on you and your friend(s). The bond that develops between you is one of the purest forms of connection—a shared journey of hope, sacrifice, and love.

For the intended parents, the arrival of their child through the generosity of a friend is a dream come true. It’s a unique story they’ll share with their child, a story of friendship and love that brought them together. For you, the surrogate, the experience can be transformative. It’s a testament to your capacity for empathy and selflessness. The knowledge that you’ve played a pivotal role in helping your friend achieve parenthood is a source of immeasurable pride.


Becoming a surrogate for a friend is a remarkable journey, and It’s a story of one person’s willingness to offer their body and heart to help a friend achieve their dreams of parenthood. If you’re considering the path of being a surrogate for a friend, remember that this unique journey is both a gift you give and a legacy you create—a story of love that will be cherished for generations to come.

If you’d like to learn more, please connect with us. We’d love the opportunity to partner with you and become a part of your story.

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