Frequently Asked Questions



I can’t decide between adoption and surrogacy.  Do you have any suggestions?

Yes.  First of all, your decision may be financial.  What is your budget for forming a family?  In general, the least expensive route to parenthood is by adopting from a public agency.  Other types of adoption are more costly, ranging from private placement adoptions to inter-country adoptions.  In general, surrogacies are more costly than adoptions.

A second consideration is whether you want a genetic connection to your child.  If so, surrogacy is recommended.  In a traditional surrogacy, the Intended father is the
biological father.  In a gestational surrogacy, the child is sometimes the offspring of both Intended Parents, and sometimes the offspring of one parent.

I am beyond traditional child-bearing age.  Can I still adopt or pursue a surrogacy?

Yes.  Many of Mark Eckman’s adoption and surrogacy clients have been beyond the age of child-bearing.  In most adoptions, a home study is required.  If you are older than the norm, you should discuss the issue with your home study preparer.  In the case of surrogacy, there are no age restrictions.

I am a single woman.  What are my chances at forming a family?

Some source countries treat single women just as they treat married couples.  Others, permit only married couples to adopt.  In domestic adoption, there is no legal bar against adoption by single women—or single men.  However, the placing entity—birthparent, agency—may opt for a married couple.

In the realm of assisted reproduction, many single women have successfully formed families through donor insemination and gestational surrogacy.

I am a single man.  What are my chances of forming a family?

In terms of adoption, not as good as for single women.  At the current time, no foreign country permits adoptions by single men.   However, assisted reproduction is an option for single men, who have successfully formed families through traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy using donor ovum.

How long will all of this take?

Count on at least a year, if not more.  Some people are lucky enough to adopt within a few months, but this is rare.  As for surrogacy, most people become parents within one and two years after beginning the process.

Are there are tax breaks for adoption or surrogacy?

There is a Federal Tax Credit of $13,000 for adoption, both domestic and international.  It is taken in the year that the adoption is finalized.  This is a very attractive benefit, since it is a credit, not a deduction.  Unfortunately there is no similar tax credit for persons pursuing surrogacies.

I don’t live in the Washington DC area.  Can I still retain Mark Eckman’s services?

Yes, he has many clients outside his immediate area.  Ideally, he would like to meet you face-to-face, at least once, but he has successfully represented clients from abroad , some of whom he never met personally.

Can Mark Eckman provide references?

Yes.  Email or call.  Tell us your situation, and we’ll try to refer you to a former client sharing a similar profile.  Bear in mind that in general adoptive parents are more open to commumication with strangers than are surrogacy clients.  Perhaps this is because very often surrogacy arrangements are kept confidential, where nowadays most adoptive parents are comfortable with some degree of openness.

There is so much to think about.  I can’t decide what to do…

Then make an appointment and speak to Mark Eckman.  At his free orientation he will help you crystallize your ideas.

I have decided to pursue a surrogacy, not an adoption.   What do I do next?

Call Mark Eckman.  There are vitally important initial decisions to be made:  Do I opt for a ‘traditional’ surrogacy or a gestational surrogacy?  How do I find the surrogate?  What are the medical procedures.  What are the pro’s and con’s of traditional surrogacy, as opposed to gestational?  Discuss these and other questions in a free initial consultation.


Client Testimonials

  Mark, you were awesome! Thanks for helping us adopt Megan. What we liked especially was that you were always available by phone or email. And bravo for having live persons answer the telephone at your office, persons who seemed to know who we were when we called.
- S.R. and E.R., Richmond, VA  

 Dear Mr. Eckman, We will never forget your calm and efficient assistance when we were adopting our son Peter from Guatemala. There were times during the long process that we despaired of ever getting him home. But you remained optimistic, and we came home with him exactly eleven months from the date of accepting Peter’s referral.
- M.L., Washington, DC  

 My chances in France were not good, since surrogacy is not allowed there. My case was further complicated by the fact that I am a single man. So I came to America and completed a surrogacy with a wonderful surrogate mother. My daughter Isabelle was born nearly a year after I started. She now has dual citizenship—French and US—and is flourishing. Un grand merci a Mark Eckman.
- Philippe M., Marseille, France.  

 Mark Eckman helped us resolve a difficult situation: Our son originally came to the United States with his birthparents as a tourist. After they made the decision to place him in adoption, my husband and I were the lucky adoptive parents. We adopted D. with Mark Eckman’s assistance in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia. Then two years later, Mark Eckman put on his “immigration” hat, and represented us before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (INS) in petitioning for a Green Card for D, and later for his US citizenship. Mark’s calm demeanor and expertise in the areas of adoption and immigration law were a godsend.
- P.R., Arlington, VA