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When deciding to build your family with assisted reproduction or adoption we know how stressful the process can be. We have been through it ourselves. We will spend the time with you to make sure you know what to expect if you are just starting, or make sure you haven't missed anything if you have already begun the journey on your own. 

In 2019 our son, was born thanks to the great generosity of a wonderful surrogate and an egg donor. It was a process that had taken us almost two years and had some unnecessary hurdles. It opened my eyes to the many challenges, costs, fears, and frustrations that families going through this process face. It changed my life both personally, obviously, and professionally and inspired me to change the area of law I focus on. I have always been focused on helping families but moving forward I wanted to help build families the way that my spouse and I were helped. I am so grateful for the opportunity to help any family on this journey and if you choose to work with me I will be there for you every step of the way. -- Steven Cayton

THE PROCESS - What you should expect?

First, you need to prepare yourself. Going through the process of adoption and/or utilizing assisted reproduction is intensely personal and you will have to let a number of people into your private life. From mental health evaluations, parental fitness evaluations, home studies if adopting, medical information, income information, and a variety of other personal information, you should expect that you are going to have to share every aspect of your family's personal life. 

Second, you should be realistic about the timeline. Whether adopting only or using egg/sperm donor and assisted reproduction/surrogacy, the process almost always takes several months and can extend beyond a year in some cases. Many intended parents find the length of the process one of the hardest parts of the process. One of the reasons it takes so long are delays that are unavoidable. With a surrogate for instance maybe she took a trip to a country that has reported a Zika outbreak, most reproductive clinics will not proceed until a certain amount of time has passed. There are many other examples of things that come up in normal life and cause delays. So be prepared to be patient and have a plan for how to deal with unexpected delays. 

Finally, you should be prepared for the costs associated with the process. There is a very wide range of costs depending on which route you choose. Attempting to give a precise number can be challenging but it is best to budget high and end up with a nice surprise at the end, in addition to a child. The first part of the budgeting process here is to identify where the money will come from. For adoption through the foster care/DFACS system or private person-to-person adoption, you should budget up to $30,000, it may cost much less than that but again it is better to over budget. Going through an agency you may want to add an additional $10-15k to your budget. Using an egg donor only you should budget around $20-30k. If you are using a surrogate you should budget up to $100k or more for the process. Things that can reduce these costs: a compassionate donor/surrogate who is not being paid a fee; a surrogate having health insurance that does not have a surrogacy exclusion; using a nonprofit agency for parts or all of the experience; the location of the donor, surrogate, and/or medical clinics that are used. 

For more information on the adoption/assisted reproduction process, please take a look at our helpful links section by clicking here.

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