5 Things to Consider About Being a Surrogate as a Stay-at-Home Mom

Our gestational surrogates come from all kinds of backgrounds. Whether you work a 9-5 career job or you stay at home caring for your children, you may be a candidate for surrogacy.

However, there are some things to consider about each path. In this blog post, we’ll tackle being a surrogate when you’re also a stay-at-home mom. It’s certainly a possibility, and many of our gestational carriers have successfully followed this journey. That’s not to say there aren’t certain things to consider before getting started.

If you are interested in being a surrogate, we encourage you to speak with a surrogacy specialist for free anytime at 1-800-875-BABY(2229). Our staff is always willing to answer your questions and help you make the best decision for your family.

In the meantime, if you are considering surrogacy as a stay-at-home mom, we’d like you to think about these things first:

1. Childcare

As a mom, you are likely used to providing all the childcare in your home. Any errands that need to get done, your kids come with you. Unless you’re going on a date night with your spouse, you probably don’t have the need for additional childcare.

Things will change when you become a surrogate. As a gestational carrier, you will be responsible for attending all kinds of medical appointments. Your children won’t be able to come along. You’ll need to focus solely on your pregnancy at these appointments — not on corralling your children in the waiting room.

For many stay-at-home moms, the childcare that being a surrogate provides can be a nice break from their everyday responsibilities. However, it can also be complicated, especially if you’ve never had anyone care for your kids but you. Your surrogacy compensation will always cover the costs of childcare, but it will be up to you to find an appropriate childcare professional and ensure your children are under their care when you have to be somewhere for appointments.

2. Travel Requirements

You won’t just have to attend prenatal appointments at your local OBGYN. You will also need to travel to complete medical screening and the embryo transfer process of surrogacy.

Whether you are matched with a local intended parent or someone who lives in another state, there’s a high likelihood that their fertility clinic will be located far away from you. So, you will need to take time away from your children and home life for early medical appointments. Depending on the clinic’s location, your medical screening and embryo transfer may require overnight stays.

You will need to coordinate with your spouse and your childcare provider to ensure all of your everyday responsibilities are handled. Remember, your travel expenses will always be covered — but you must be organized enough to take care of your family well before you leave for these appointments.

3. Everyday Responsibilities

Speaking of everyday responsibilities involved in raising children, you will need to consider how your pregnancy might affect your ability to handle these tasks. If you have more than one child, you probably know what it’s like to be pregnant while also maintaining your child-raising duties. But, it’s a bit different when you’re a surrogate.

When you are carrying a baby for someone else, there is an added responsibility. Not only will you be expected to attend all of your medical appointments, you will need to maintain a relationship with your intended parents and follow whatever preferences they set in your surrogacy contract. This can sometimes start to interfere with your daily responsibilities, especially as you get further along in your pregnancy.

Don’t be afraid to reach out for help with activities such as cooking and cleaning. You should talk with your spouse and other loved ones in your support system to create a schedule that works for all of you.

4. Bed Rest

Similarly, your everyday responsibilities will get much harder if you are put on bed rest during your pregnancy. While your surrogacy contract will always cover extra costs incurred during a bed rest requirement, there will be some extra emotional and practical stress in this situation.

Ask yourself: How will you and your spouse manage if you are on bed rest during the end of your pregnancy? How will you prepare your children?

Remember, your surrogacy specialist will always be there to support you during the hard parts of your surrogacy journey. Call her anytime at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) for more information on bed rest policies and how other surrogates have managed this development.

5. Your Family’s Feelings

Finally, if you are thinking about adding surrogacy to your stay-at-home-mom journey, you must always talk with your immediate family. While you will be the one carrying the intended parents’ baby, your entire family will be affected by your decision — and they must be prepared for the changes to come.

Before you even start the surrogacy journey, we encourage you to sit down with your spouse and your children. Ask them what they think of your interest in surrogacy. Explain what you might expect of them should you choose this path, and give them a chance to ask any questions they may have. Their cooperation and support will be crucial as you choose this journey, so you should have them on your side from the very beginning.

Need some guidance for this conversation? Your surrogacy specialist will always be there to help.

Being a surrogate as a stay-at-home mom can offer the best of both worlds. You’re spending time with your family like you always do, but you’re also helping to create another family and bringing in some extra income with your surrogate compensation.

Want to learn more about the journey of being a surrogate? Contact our specialists today to get started.

One Embryo Left: Is Surrogacy Right for You?

There are a lot of questions intended parents have to ask themselves when they’re considering gestational surrogacy. If you’ve spent months or years on other fertility treatments, you may have already exhausted a great store of your family-building savings along the way.

You might also have depleted another store — that of your previously created embryos.

If other infertility treatments have not worked for you and you have one embryo left, you may be considering surrogacy as your best chance of success. Transferring a healthy embryo into a woman who has proven her ability to carry pregnancies to term may be the last opportunity you have for a biological child.

However, there are a few things to consider before starting the surrogacy process. It’s a long journey, and it will require a great deal from you, your spouse (if applicable) and the surrogate you work with.

While gestational surrogacy with one embryo is certainly possible, certain aspects can also make it more difficult. We encourage any intended parent considering this path to call our specialists for free at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) for answers to all of your questions.

In the meantime, it’s a good idea to think about the following:

The Time (and Expense) That Pre-Surrogacy Screening Takes

Surrogacy is not an easy process. It requires a long application journey, filled with background screening, medical and psychological screening, and matching with the perfect surrogacy candidate. It can take several months to get all of this done — and that’s before you even start the surrogacy medical process.

When most intended parents begin gestational surrogacy, they are committed to more than one embryo transfer. But, when you only have one embryo remaining, you may be limited to one transfer. This can make your surrogacy experience less economical; you will pay the same amount of fees and expenses as other intended parents but your journey may be a great deal shorter.

Here at American Surrogacy, a certain amount of our agency fees last as long as our partnership. You won’t need to pay those expenses again if your first embryo transfer fails; we will honor your payments until you are able to bring a healthy child home. It’s part of our commitment to an affordable surrogacy process.

If you are an intended parent with only one embryo, however, you will need to evaluate whether these expenses (and the pre-surrogacy time commitment) are worth it for you. If you only plan to complete one embryo transfer process, are you prepared for the commitment this process requires?

What happens if the embryo transfer fails? That will be time and money you cannot get back.

Wait Time for Appropriate Surrogates

Intended parents aren’t the only ones that go through a long approval process to start surrogacy; gestational carriers must undergo screening, too.

The women who choose to become surrogates are dedicated to helping someone else become a parent, whatever it takes. They want to create a genuine relationship with the intended parents they carry for, and they are committed to a long journey with those intended parents. Just like you, they want to make sure all the pre-screening and matching steps they go through are worth their time and effort.

That’s why many surrogates will only work with intended parents who are willing to complete two or more embryo transfers. If a surrogate partners with someone who only wants one embryo transfer, and that transfer fails, she will need to go through the screening and matching process all over again.

For this reason, you might expect a longer wait for a match if you are only interested in one embryo transfer. Your surrogacy specialist will do all she can to find you the perfect surrogate, but it must be a candidate who is comfortable with your anticipated timeline.

Your Plan if the Transfer Fails

Optimism is important in any fertility treatment. When you start the surrogacy process, you have to believe that your last embryo will take, and your surrogate will have a successful pregnancy.

But, what if this isn’t the case? What are your next steps?

Before you begin surrogacy with one embryo, you and your spouse (if applicable) need to think long and hard about your next steps. For women under 35, the success rate of an embryo transfer is only 53.9 percent. That means your transfer is just as likely to fail as it is to succeed — and you need to plan for what happens if a pregnancy does not occur.

You have a few options:

  • Create more embryos: If you wish to continue with surrogacy, you will need more embryos. You can either create these from donated egg and sperm, or complete the in vitro fertilization process with your own gametes. Both of these paths can take some time, so you may have to pause your surrogacy journey and eventually find another surrogate once your embryos are complete. Talk to your surrogacy specialist before starting to see what how this choice may impact your journey.
  • Pursue adoption: If your last embryo transfer fails, and you don’t want to create any more, you can always become a parent through adoption. There are several types of adoption to choose from, and you will need to research each to determine which is right for you. Our team can always connect you to our sister agency, American Adoptions, for more information on this process.

Having a set plan in case of a failed embryo transfer is crucial. That way, you won’t waste precious time trying to figure out your next steps when you could be actively working toward bringing a child into your family.

If you’re unsure of how to proceed with only one embryo, you can always contact a surrogacy specialist at 1-800-875-BABY(2229). They can talk to you about your options for gestational surrogacy with our agency and help you make the best decision for your family, whatever it might be.

Are Women Choosing Surrogacy to Avoid Pregnancy? The Truth Behind the Myth

When it comes to discussions of the surrogacy process, we’ve heard it all before:

“Intended mothers pay someone else to carry their child for them because they don’t want to mess up their body. They’re so vain and materialistic.”

As all surrogacy professionals know, surrogacy is often a last resort for intended mothers who want a biological child. Yes, pregnancy is hard, and it can have dire effects on your body — but ask any intended mother, and she’ll be the first to tell you she would give anything to carry her child herself.

So, we’re here to clear the myth of intended mothers who use surrogacy to avoid pregnancy. Intended mothers aren’t celebrities paying someone for pregnancy so they can keep their own bodies in good shape; they are everyday people like you who, for one reason or another, cannot carry a biological child on their own.

What are those reasons? We’re glad you asked.

Fertility Struggles

The majority of intended mothers have attempted their own pregnancies before turning to surrogacy. In fact, many couples go through months and years of fertility treatments after unsuccessfully conceiving on their own. They may go through surgeries and other invasive treatments and procedures, all to no avail.

Some intended mothers receive a diagnosis explaining their fertility struggles. They may have a condition such as uterine fibroids or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Other women don’t even receive an answer; they go through many medical tests and treatments only to have unexplained infertility.

After experiencing so many miscarriages and failed transfers, an intended mother just wants a fertility treatment that can bring her a biological child. But, that’s not to say she completely forgets her desire to carry her own child. All intended mothers need to grieve the loss of the pregnancy experience before they can proceed with gestational surrogacy.

Dangerous Medical Conditions

Other intended mothers don’t even attempt pregnancy before choosing gestational surrogacy — but it’s not because they are lazy or want to avoid pregnancy for vanity reasons. Instead, they must avoid pregnancy to protect their health.

There are many chronic conditions that can be exacerbated by pregnancy and even put a woman in serious danger. For example, women who have type 1 diabetes put themselves at risk for preeclampsia, insulin resistance, hypoglycemia and other life-threatening conditions. Being pregnant can also exacerbate their diabetes complications for the rest of their life, not just during their pregnancy.

Many times, intended mothers with chronic conditions would love to carry their own children, but their doctors often recommend against it. It can be heartbreaking to give up this dream of pregnancy, but it’s more important for a child to have a healthy mother who can care for them throughout their life.

In other cases, women develop conditions during pregnancy that make carrying another child impossible. Take, for example, Kim Kardashian. After giving birth to two of her children, she developed placenta accreta, which made future labor and delivery difficult — and life-threatening. She was in the same position as many other intended mothers who choose surrogacy to protect their health and ensure they are around for their child’s future.

Tokophobia, or Fear of Pregnancy

It’s no secret that pregnancy and childbirth are strenuous and dangerous conditions. In fact, the majority of women in the world experience some degree of fear and anxiety about this experience, even when they are already pregnant.

Tokophobia, however, is the pathological fear of pregnancy and childbirth. Research indicates that 14 percent of women experience this fear, and it’s a rate that has been increasing in the last few decades.

Tokophobia can have serious effects on women. Like any phobia, it can be debilitating, and it can severely impact a woman’s mental health during a period where she should be as mentally and emotionally stable as possible. Tokophobia often involves feelings of dread, anxiety and depression, and it can cause women to have difficulty bonding with their children (both in utero and once they are born).

Some intended mothers experience this phobia, and it can actually be the reason they seek out surrogacy. They may be excited to become mothers but are not confident in their ability to safely and responsibly carry a child to term. Mental conditions such as phobias are not to be taken lightly, and an intended mother may pursue surrogacy to give herself the best chance at being the mother she wants to be.

It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s nothing to judge. Every person has the right to create their family in the way that is best for them. The only ones this decision should concern are the parents involved.

Here at American Surrogacy, we know intended mothers come to our program for many reasons. We never judge them. We are dedicated to helping parents build their family in their desired way, whatever their motivations for doing so. We are happy to work with intended parents — fathers and mothers — from many different circumstances, and we can help you, too.

If you are considering surrogacy for any reason, give our specialists a call at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) or contact us online. We will be happy to answer your questions and help you get started with the process ahead.

What Happens if a Surrogate Changes Jobs During Her Pregnancy?

A surrogacy journey can take a year or more to complete — and a lot can happen in that time. Surrogates are some of the hardest-working women in the world, so it’s no wonder that many of them advance quickly in their chosen career fields.

But, what happens if a woman gets a promotion or changes jobs during her surrogacy journey?

In most cases, this change can be accommodated easily. There’s usually no reason for a woman to have to quit her surrogacy journey halfway because of her job — but there are some smaller aspects of the journey that may need to be adjusted in the best interest of all involved.

Remember: If you’re a surrogate, you will need to keep your surrogacy specialist updated on all major changes in your life during the journey. They will help ensure you receive the support and protection you need during this time. Don’t be afraid to reach out anytime by calling 1-800-875-BABY(2229).

In the meantime, learn a bit more about the steps to take when you change jobs or careers during your surrogacy journey.

What Will Need to Be Considered:

When you first apply to be a surrogate, your job will be an important consideration in your eligibility. You will often need to work in a career where you are guaranteed maternity leave (if unpaid, your intended parents will cover these losses) and where you can guarantee the safety of yourself and the child that you are carrying.

In fact, your career will be worked into your legal surrogacy contract. Your attorney will calculate what lost wages you may need covered (as well as additional expenses such as childcare), taking into account your work policies and your intended parents’ expectations for the last trimester of your pregnancy.

While your surrogacy contract will be finalized before you start the medical process of surrogacy, when you change careers or job positions, everyone involved will need to revisit this. There will be a few aspects that must be reevaluated:

1. Lost Wages

There is always the potential for lost wages when a surrogate starts this journey. She may have to take time off work to attend appointments, including the embryo transfer process (which may require a few days of travel and rest). She will have to take time off work to deliver the intended parents’ child, and she will likely need a few weeks of rest and recovery after giving birth.

While a surrogate is protected from losing her job due to pregnancy, she is not always entitled to paid parental leave. United States law protects a pregnant woman’s right to up to 12 weeks of maternity leave, but it does not mandate that leave has to be paid. So, intended parents will cover any wages that a surrogate loses during her maternity leave.

But, these wages are initially calculated based on her salary at the start of the process. If she receives a wage increase, the surrogacy contract may have to be amended — or an agreement must be sorted out between her and her intended parents. Many surrogacy attorneys will write a certain wage increase into the initial surrogacy contract, but it’s a good idea to reevaluate this policy if you receive a promotion or raise during your surrogate pregnancy.

2. Bedrest Situations

Similarly, any discussion of bedrest in your surrogacy contract should be revisited. Some jobs allow you to work from home, and you may not lose out on wages if you are able to work remotely while on bedrest. But, if you change to a position where remote work isn’t possible, you’ll need to ensure your finances are protected in case of this situation.

Your surrogacy contract will always include an expenses schedule for any bedrest, intended to cover your childcare and housekeeping costs. Your initial contract may cover a certain number of weeks of bedrest, but this may need to be amended if your job situation changes.

Even if nothing needs to change regarding your bedrest policies, it’s still a good idea to revisit this aspect of your contract — just in case.

3. Physical Requirements of Her Position

Finally, it’s important that you always keep your health and the health of the baby in mind. Whatever your job position, you should refrain from excessive physical activity that may stress your body or the baby you’re carrying.

When you first became a surrogate, you were in a job position or career where physical activity wasn’t an issue. But, what if your new position requires a lot more physical activity? The path ahead of you would depend on where you are at in the journey.

If you haven’t yet become a surrogate, and you’ve taken on a physically demanding job, continuing your journey may or may not be possible. The intended parents only want what is best for their child, and that includes a stress-free pregnancy. If your new position will put undue stress on your body during pregnancy, you may not be able to continue. You may need to postpone your journey until you are in a better position to do so.

If you are already pregnant, but being changed to a more physically demanding job position, it’s likely you’ve talked to your surrogacy specialist before accepting this new position. You will probably need to talk with your employer about their modifications for pregnant women, including how you can keep yourself safe during the last few months of your pregnancy. After all, you signed a contract with the intended parents before you got this career raise, and you must honor that first and foremost.

If you’re unsure of how to address a potential promotion or a newly accepted job change, don’t be afraid to reach out to your surrogacy specialist. She will always be there to support you and answer your questions.

Interested in starting the surrogacy process? Give us a call at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) or contact us online today.

How Could Abortion Restrictions and Bans Affect Surrogacy?

New restrictions and bans on abortion may do more than affect women facing unplanned pregnancies — they could soon have a drastic effect on intended parents using gestational surrogacy to add to their families.

While American Surrogacy won’t dive into the ethics and morality of abortion as an unplanned pregnancy option, we see it as our duty to keep intended parents and gestational carriers informed of all aspects of the medical surrogacy process. And, in some situations, selective reduction and termination (another name for abortion) are integral parts of a safe surrogacy journey.

If you’re unsure how new abortion bills may affect your ability to pursue surrogacy, we encourage you to contact our surrogacy specialists or speak with your personal reproductive endocrinologist. In the meantime, read below to learn more about this important new development in gestational surrogacy.

Why is Selective Reduction and Termination Used in Surrogacy?

Before we get into the details of new abortion laws across the country, you must first understand why they might even apply to surrogacy in the first place.

Selective reduction and termination are relatively common in the medical process of surrogacy, although these procedures are used less frequently thanks to advances in pre-genetic screening. Intended parents and gestational carriers only want to proceed with pregnancies that have the best chances of success, and that all starts with the embryo transfer process.

During in vitro fertilization, it’s common for intended parents to create several embryos. Their reproductive endocrinologist screens these embryos to determine which are the most viable, with the highest chances of success. The doctor will then transfer those embryos to the surrogate’s uterus.

Sometimes, however, a doctor will transfer more than one embryo to a surrogate. This may be done when several embryos are of lower quality; the more that are transferred, the increased likelihood that one or more may implant. But, when two or more do implant, intended parents are left with a choice: to continue with the increased risks of a multiples pregnancy or reduce to a singleton pregnancy.

If they choose a singleton pregnancy, the doctor will inject any extra implanted embryo with medication to stop its heart. That way, a surrogate can continue to carry one embryo, without the added risks of carrying twins or triplets.

In other situations, an embryo may start developing abnormally once it has implanted in the surrogate’s uterus. It may develop genetic or chromosomal abnormalities undetectable in prior genetic screening. Intended parents may make the heartbreaking decision to end this pregnancy before it gets further along, especially if the fetus is not expected to survive outside of the womb. To save themselves and their surrogate from the stress and emotional turmoil of that later on, they may choose to terminate.

Keep in mind: The decision to use selective reduction or termination is not one made lightly. Both intended parents and their gestational carrier will agree on the situations in which each of these is used before they even begin the medical process. The surrogacy contract will always detail the situations in which these procedures are (and are not) acceptable.

While no intended parent or gestational carrier wants to experience a selective reduction or termination, these procedures are still important parts of the surrogacy medical process — but may be put in jeopardy with new abortion restrictions and bans across the country.

How Could Abortion Bans Affect the Surrogacy Process?

New legal challenges to abortion have popped up over the last few years — the most noticeable being “heartbeat” and “personhood” bills, which prevent abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy and assign human rights to embryos, respectively. While pregnant women considering abortion are undoubtedly the targets of these bills, they can also have a dire effect on those using assisted reproductive technology.

“Heartbeat” Bills

First, let’s tackle the so-called “heartbeat” bills:

A reproductive endocrinologist is involved throughout the beginning of the surrogacy process. This doctor will monitor the embryo transfer and the surrogate’s early pregnancy, confirming the success of the transfer and completing the first ultrasound. If an abnormality occurs in the fetus, they will be the first to know — and often the professional to recommend selective reduction or termination.

They will typically also complete the six-week ultrasound, which will check for a heartbeat. If a heartbeat is not heard, the doctor will usually induce a miscarriage.

But, in a state where abortions after six weeks of pregnancy are banned, this might not always be possible. Perhaps a heartbeat was heard at the six-week appointment but not at the 12-week appointment. Maybe the heartbeat stops a day after the six-week appointment. What would usually be the normal course of action — termination — would be impossible, forcing intended parents and gestational carriers to wait for nature to take its course, however stressful and emotional that would be. It could be medically risky, as well.

Surrogates in states such as Alabama and Louisiana may find themselves unable to match with intended parents or even complete the surrogacy process at all. Many intended parents may not wish to start the process with a surrogate who cannot terminate or selectively reduce in the future, just in case. And, for surrogates in Alabama, traveling to another state for a pregnancy termination won’t be possible; a surrogate, her doctor and her intended parents will be criminally liable.

In effect, these “heartbeat” bills will make gestational surrogacy in these states all but impossible. For many, the risks of the process won’t be worth it — and they’ll choose another state to pursue their family-building journey.

“Personhood” Bills

On the other hand, intended parents may not even get so far as the gestational surrogacy process. New “personhood” bills may make it difficult for them to even complete in vitro fertilization in certain states.

In essence, “personhood” bills assign all the rights of a living human to an embryo. This means that hopeful parents would be unable to donate extra embryos to research or discard of them. They would be forced to store them indefinitely or donate them to another couple, which is an extremely personal decision to make.

An intended parent should have the right to choose what they wish to do with extra embryos, but “personhood” bills could effectively take that right away from them — if IVF is even an option. As infertility psychologist Angela Lawson theorizes:

“In short, as legislation regarding at what week of pregnancy an abortion can be performed potentially changes, such laws affect IVF. The assignment of personhood to embryos will mean that IVF clinics will no longer be able to create, freeze, or dispose of them. It would also prevent the retrieval of eggs for fertility preservation because those eggs would be used in the future to create embryos, thus creating ‘life’ in the lab.”

Intended parents who live in states with these laws would be forced to go out of state to complete their fertility treatments — adding more costs to an already expensive process.

Here at American Surrogacy, we advocate for every intended parent’s right to choose the path that’s best for them. We also believe in defending the right to gestational surrogacy across the country, even when new laws and regulations make that difficult.

That’s why, when you work with us, we will work for your interests every step of the way. That means matching you with a surrogacy partner in a surrogacy-friendly state and helping you find the medical professionals you need to complete your journey. For more information on surrogacy with our program, please contact our specialists online or call them at 1-800-875-BABY(2229).

Can You Be a Surrogate if You Don’t Have Insurance?

So, you’re ready to help create a family by serving as a gestational carrier. Congratulations — by coming to this page, you are one step closer to making your dreams (and the intended parents’ dreams) come true!

In your research on the medical process of surrogacy, you may have found conflicting information out there about surrogacy insurance. It’s a complicated topic, to be sure; both intended parents and their gestational carrier often have to coordinate with each other, their surrogacy specialists and their insurance providers to ensure all parties are sufficiently covered in the months to come.

The first thing you should know: If you decide to become a gestational carrier, you will never be responsible for the medical costs of your surrogacy.

The second thing you should know? It is possible to become a surrogate without preexisting insurance — but it can make your journey a bit more complicated.

Is Being a Surrogate Possible if You Don’t Have Insurance?

There are many reasons a woman may not have health insurance. She may be in transition from one job to the next, she may have had insurance with her spouse but be going through a divorce, or she may be experiencing a special circumstance that allows for new enrollment — but hasn’t gotten around to applying quite yet.

Surrogacy specialists understand that life is complicated, and you may find yourself without health insurance at some point. As long as you meet the requirements to be a surrogate, your specialist can help you move forward with the surrogacy process. Along the way, she will help you get the insurance you need.

However, there is one reason why women without insurance may be disqualified from surrogacy. If you do not have insurance because of a low or unstable income, or you are on Medicaid, you will be disqualified from surrogacy. Every woman who takes this path must be financially stable, for the protection of everyone involved.

You can call a surrogacy specialist at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) today to determine your eligibility.

How Surrogacy Works if You Have No Insurance

If you are interested in being a gestational carrier but don’t have insurance, your first step should always be contacting a specialist at American Surrogacy. Our specialists can answer all of your questions and determine whether you are eligible to be a surrogate in your situation.

If you are eligible, your specialist will help you find the perfect intended parents for your journey. Your insurance situation will play a role in which intended parents you can work with; they will need to be comfortable with the extra costs of your upcoming journey.

You see, when you become a surrogate with no insurance (or a surrogate whose insurance doesn’t cover her surrogate pregnancy), your intended parents are responsible for the extra medical costs. They will need to pay extra for a special insurance policy during your pregnancy. This may cause some changes to the surrogacy budget they previously set.

Therefore, you may be asked to reduce your desired compensation rate. Your specialist will always discuss this in detail with you before matching, but it’s an important thing to think about. After all, you’re not choosing surrogacy for the money; instead, you want to help someone else become a parent. Many surrogates without health insurance are happy to reduce their desired compensation to help those intended parents reach their dreams through a more affordable path.

Ultimately, the decision will always be yours. That’s why it’s important to be honest with your surrogacy specialist from the very beginning. She will also be honest with you — including whether or not your insurance situation will make you wait longer for an intended parent match. She will also tell you if your situation will make it impossible to find intended parents to carry for.

Surrogacy is a partnership, and it’s important that you and your intended parents are on the same page about every aspect. That includes surrogacy insurance, as well. Put yourself in your intended parents’ shoes and think about how much this family-building process is costing them. Flexibility is an important part of the surrogacy process — for both you and your intended parents.

We encourage any prospective surrogate with no insurance to contact American Surrogacy today. Our specialists will be happy to discuss what surrogacy will be like for you, should you decide to move forward.

Important Questions to Ask When Creating Your Birth Plan

A birth plan is a roadmap that guides you and your hospital staff through your labor and birthing preferences. When you’re a gestational surrogate, a birth plan tailored to your situation is especially important, because it will help everyone navigate through the specifics of a surrogacy birth.

Once you’ve established your birth plan, your American Surrogacy specialist will make sure that your hospital and your intended parents have a copy. The plan that you provide to the hospital will serve to prevent confusion and awkwardness during your delivery process.

Remember, when you work with American Surrogacy, your specialist will help you create this document. Take a sneak peek at some of those questions she’ll ask you during the planning process:

Cover the Non-Surrogacy-Specific Labor and Delivery Questions First

Your birth plan should always include details that aren’t specific to a surrogacy birth. Solidify the basics of your birth plan by asking yourself (and your intended parents) these questions:

  • What arrangements do you need to make for childcare, pet care, or other responsibilities at home or work while you’re in labor and recovering after birth?
  • Where do you want to deliver?
  • What kind of labor do you want — in a hospital bed, a birthing tub, another alternative location?
  • Do you plan on having a doula or birthing coach present?
  • What positions do you prefer to help the labor — walking, squatting, standing, on your hands and knees?
  • What kinds of medications are you comfortable with? What medications would you prefer to avoid?
  • What additional pain management tactics do you prefer — massage, meditation, breathing, hydrotherapy?
  • How are you going to stay hydrated — ice chips, IV, sips from a water bottle?
  • Are there measures you’d like to take to prevent an episiotomy when possible?
  • Is there anything that the doctor should know if you need a cesarean section, or anything you’d like to request if that procedure should become necessary?
  • Is there anything that would make you feel more comfortable — music, items from home, certain clothing?

As a surrogate, you’ve delivered before, so drawing on your past experiences will likely be helpful. If you and the parents are planning on a “non-traditional” birth, your plan should be tailored with that in mind.

Surrogacy-Specific Questions to Ask

It’s also important that start thinking about some questions specific to a surrogacy birth, including:

What do you need to pack?

You probably have an idea of what to pack in a “go bag” for a standard birth, but there are a few additional things that will be helpful for a surrogacy birth — primarily paperwork!

Who needs to be on the hospital visitor’s list? Who will be with you in the delivery room?

You’ll likely want your spouse with you for support (if applicable). But also ask yourself: When do you want your children to visit? Do you want anyone else to stop by?

Intended parents usually accompany their surrogate in the delivery room so they can be there for the birth of their baby. It’s good to consider what you’ll do if you can only have one person in the delivery room, as sometimes happens in the event of C-section deliveries. Which intended parent would be there with you? Would you want your spouse there instead? This may be a topic you’ll want to discuss with the intended parents.

Does the hospital have copies of documentation that identifies the intended parents?

Your surrogacy specialist will coordinate with your hospital to make sure they have everything they need to grant your intended parents access to you and their baby. Filing documentation well in advance and following up with your doctors and nursing staff will help keep you, the intended parents and the baby from being separated from or confused for one another.

How involved will the intended parents be?

What do the intended parents plan on doing to help you during labor? Who cuts the cord and when? Who holds the baby and when? Do you and the intended parents have skin-to-skin contact plans?

An intended parent’s involvement in labor and delivery will depend on individual relationships and comfort levels. Some surrogacy partners are unanimously excited for this to be a “team effort,” while others are content with the intended parents taking on a few select roles in the experience. No two surrogacy partnerships and birth experiences are alike.

Therefore, make sure you discuss with your intended parents how involved they’d like to be in the birth of their baby.

Who will need to be granted access to see medical records of the delivery?

After childbirth, the baby’s pediatrician will benefit from having your prenatal and delivery records. Because many of these records include information about your own health, you may need to coordinate with your obstetrician and the hospital to grant permission to the pediatrician’s office, the intended parents, or their insurance providers.

What do you plan on doing with your breast milk?

What are the intended parents’ plans for feeding their baby? Pumping breast milk can be time-consuming and tiring, but having access to your breast milk can mean a lot to new parents. If you’re willing and they’re interested, you could consider pumping for the family (with compensation) or you could donate your supply to a local milk bank. You could also talk to your physician about stopping your milk supply after the delivery.

It’s good to consider your options in advance; that way, you can decide what you’re comfortable with and make any necessary preparations.

How do you all feel about birth photography or video?

Labor and delivery is a very intimate experience for everyone involved, but it’s also incredibly beautiful and life-changing. Some surrogates and intended parents want to document aspects of their shared experience with photos or video. This can be a special keepsake for you and the parents to remember your journey together, but also someday for the child involved, as they learn about the love that surrounded them on the day they were born.

These photos could be taken by a professional photographer or someone who is there to support you during labor.

Be Prepared to Be Flexible with Your Birth Plan

As you know, babies don’t always adhere to our timelines and preferences! Even when you’ve mapped out every detail in your birth plan, something unexpected may happen during your pregnancy or labor, and you may have to change your plan.

Always listen to the advice of your doctor, and be ready to do what’s best for your health. That may mean sacrificing some things you and the intended parents had planned for, but your wellbeing and the wellbeing of the baby are most important.

Keep in mind that this might be the intended parents’ first child; you, having experienced childbirth before, may have a better idea of what to expect than they do.

Your American Surrogacy specialist can work with you and the intended parents to create a birth plan that honors your wishes, as well as coordinate with the hospital and help guide these conversations between you and the parents.

You can always contact American Surrogacy at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) if you’d like to learn more about pursuing surrogacy or if you need help creating your birth plan with your intended parents.

10 Ways to Stay Busy During Your Surrogate’s Pregnancy

For many people, the nine months they are expecting is a time full of excitement, joy and things to do. But, when you’re not the one who is physically carrying your child, you may find yourself sitting around twiddling your thumbs — and obsessively counting down the minutes until your gestational carrier gives birth.

Surrogacy is a hard journey for everyone involved, but it’s easy for intended parents to feel forgotten during their surrogate’s pregnancy. But just because you aren’t carrying your own child doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for his or her imminent arrival! On the contrary, you actually have a great many things you can do during these nine months while your surrogate is carrying your child.

Below, find some tips on staying busy during your surrogate’s pregnancy. Not only will this help keep your mind occupied during the wait ahead, but it will also help you cross some important things off of your to-do list!

1. Prepare your nursery.

Just like any other expectant parent, you should make sure you have your baby’s nursery ready to go long before he or she is born. This eliminates a great deal of stress and can help you feel more connected to your experience as an expectant parent.

If you have a spouse, make the nursery a team project. Pick out wall colors, put together furniture, and organize baby supplies together. It will help you develop your team skills as a couple and put you in the proper mindset for bringing your baby home soon!

Make sure you have a list of baby supplies so you don’t forget about any important items!

2. Take parenting classes.

Contrary to what many people think, not all aspects of parenting are instinctual skills — and are definitely not skills to learn on the fly. To be the best parent possible, you’ll need to attend parenting classes and educate yourself about the path ahead of you.

“Parenting classes” may conjure up images of rows of pregnant women sharing their pregnancy experiences, but that’s not the case at all. Today, there are many non-traditional ways people can bring children into their families, and you may be surprised to see you’re not the only one in the class waiting for a gestational surrogate or a prospective birth mother to deliver. Focus on the important aspects of parenting classes — the skills you’ll learn — instead of the experiences you may be missing out on.

3. Plan some date nights.

Your life will dramatically change the moment that you become a parent. Your priorities will need to shift, and you’ll have a lot less free time than you had before.

So, take advantage of the time you have now! You and your spouse can schedule some date nights out on the town, focusing on things you won’t be able to do with a newborn by your side. Or, you might take the opportunity now to try a new hobby or do something else you’ve always wanted to do. While being a parent is a change you’ve been anticipating for a while, don’t forget to enjoy this period in your life, too!

4. Spend time with your family and friends.

Remember that your loved ones are just as excited for your upcoming child as you are. Odds are, they are likely planning some baby showers and other exciting events during your surrogate’s pregnancy! Take the extra time you have during this period to share your excitement with them and solidify your relationships.

You will need a lot of help when you’re a new parent, and your friends and family will be there for you. Help them know the support you’ll want ahead of time; don’t wait until your baby is born to ask!

5. Support your surrogate.

This is an obvious thing to do during your surrogate’s pregnancy, but its importance can’t be overstated. Remember that your surrogate is giving up a great deal of time and energy to help you create your family, and she likely wants to involve you in any way she can. At the same time that she is sending you updates and making you feel a part of the pregnancy, you should also be doing what you can to help her out. Offer to take her and her kids out for a day trip to the zoo or another similar adventure, or suggest a special bonding activity like a spa day.

Pregnancy is hard, and your surrogate will appreciate the friendship and support you can offer her during these next nine months.

6. Record your story.

Surrogacy is a unique journey to go through, and intended parents often have a lot of emotions along the way. You can address those emotions by writing down your story — either for yourself or for your future child.

Just because you are not carrying your child doesn’t mean you can’t create a baby book for them! You can document your child’s surrogacy story in a scrapbook, detailing the different steps and people involved to bring them into the world. You and your surrogate can include letters to your future baby, as well as photos of her pregnancy and prenatal ultrasounds.

On the other hand, maybe you just want to document your surrogacy story for yourself. You might find that journaling can help you process your emotions during your family-building journey. It can also helpful for looking back later on when things are especially tough or especially joyful.

7. Share your story, if you’re comfortable doing so.

Surrogacy is still a fairly new way for people to add to their family, and there is a lot of misconception out there about exactly how it works. If you feel up to it, you can take the opportunity to educate others about the reality of the surrogacy process. Start with your friends and family — it’s important they understand proper terminology for how your little one is coming into the world. You can also be open about your journey with anyone who asks. After all, you will need to explain your child’s surrogacy story to many people as he or she grows up, so practice makes perfect!

8. Organize and update your affairs and official documents.

Surrogacy involves some complicated documents and processes. While your surrogacy specialist and surrogacy attorney will guide you through most of these, you will play a role in making sure all your “i”s are dotted and your “t”s are crossed. Important things such as insurance for your surrogate and your baby, pre- and post-birth parentage orders, and wills should all be arranged for prior to your child’s birth.

9. Choose a pediatrician.

Parents should always have a pediatrician picked out for their child long before he or she enters the world. This can be a process that takes some time, so take advantage of your surrogate’s lengthy pregnancy to interview professionals and determine the best choice for your family.

Remember: If you are matched with an out-of-state surrogate, the pediatrician who sees your child immediately after birth will be different than the pediatrician he or she sees for the rest of his or her life. If you can, explore your options for pediatricians both locally and where your child will be born.

10. Explore your childcare options.

If you’re like many intended parents, you will be lucky enough to take advantage of maternity and paternity leave after your child arrives. But, if you and your spouse plan to go back to work, it’s important that you think about the childcare options available to you.

Just like choosing a pediatrician, choosing a childcare provider is a big deal — and is often done well before a child is born. Take the time you have now to interview several providers and find the one that works best for your family’s needs. It may take you longer than you think.

American Surrogacy knows that the time between a successful pregnancy test and the arrival of a child can be tough for intended parents. That’s why our team of surrogacy specialists will always be there to support you, every step of the way. We are never more than a phone call away: 1-800-875-BABY(2229).

10 Ways to Stay Busy During Your Surrogate Pregnancy

Being pregnant can be a stressful — and exciting — time. Many women who are expecting find themselves swept up in the tasks of preparing to bring a little one home, and their nine months seem to fly by.

But, what if the baby you’re expecting is not yours? What can you do during these nine months to make the time go faster?

In many ways, when you’re a surrogate, your life will proceed as normal. That means you can handle all of your day-to-day activities and responsibilities while simultaneously carrying the intended parents’ child.

However, as important as it is to maintain your daily responsibilities, there are still some very important surrogacy tasks to handle during this time. If you’re looking for ways to stay busy during your gestational pregnancy, check out some of our tips and suggestions below.

1. Involve the intended parents in your pregnancy.

First and foremost, the best way to pass time during your gestational pregnancy is by including the intended parents. This means inviting them to important milestones like ultrasounds and other doctor’s appointments, but it also means taking the steps to establish a long-lasting relationship with them.

As long as it works for both of your schedules, try to set up some activities you can do together — whether that’s a night on the town or something more simple like a lunch date. Remember that many surrogates and intended parents share a relationship long after the baby is born, and the steps you take during your pregnancy to start this relationship will play a big role.

2. Enjoy the time you have with your family.

As you get further in your pregnancy, you may find that you can’t do the normal things you and your family enjoys together. But, that doesn’t mean you have to focus more on your pregnancy than with them. On the contrary, you may find that the extra time you have from not doing more strenuous activities allows you more time to spend with your family. Have a day of adventures out and about, or plan a fun evening at home with your little ones.

Remember that your spouse and your children will be affected by your decision to be a surrogate. In addition to keeping them in the loop about your journey, take the time to make sure they are appreciated and that they know how much you love them, even while you are carrying someone else’s child.

3. Plan for your hospital stay and postpartum recovery.

Just as you would if you were having your own child, you will need to think about your delivery experience and your postpartum recovery when you’re a gestational carrier. It will be different from your past pregnancies; your intended parents will be an active part of your delivery, and you won’t have a little one to care for while you’re at home recovering.

Your surrogacy specialist will help you plan for these steps in your surrogacy journey. You and the intended parents will create a hospital plan together during your pregnancy. You will also need to speak with your employer and your insurance provider to determine what kind of postpartum recovery leave and benefits you may receive. Collecting and organizing the proper paperwork can take some time.

4. Think about how you’ll use your surrogate compensation.

You probably thought about the benefits of surrogate compensation when you first explored this pathway. But, as you receive your compensation throughout your pregnancy, it’s important that you think hard about what you’re going to do with it — to prevent yourself from spending it right away.

Maybe you want to take your family on a vacation. Maybe you want to save up for your child’s future college expenses. It may be a good idea to speak with a financial advisor during your pregnancy to ensure you are taking responsible steps toward your goals.

5. Record your story.

Your intended parents will grow up telling their child about their surrogacy story and your generous assistance. Consider helping them out by contributing to a baby book or writing a journal of your experiences. This way, when your surro-baby is growing up, they can look back on your memories to learn more about you and what their parents’ journey was like.

6. Share your story, if you want.

At the same time, you may wish to share your story with your friends and family. Surrogacy is still a highly misunderstood process, and you may receive certain comments and questions during your pregnancy. If you want to, you can serve as a surrogacy ambassador during your pregnancy — documenting your story via blog or social media can help others understand what you are going through and see the beauty of this family-building process.

7. Stay in touch with your surrogacy professionals.

One of the most important things to do while you are pregnant is keep your surrogacy specialist, surrogacy attorney and obstetrician up to date on your pregnancy and how you are feeling. Surrogacy is a journey with many moving parts, and it’s possible that something may not go as expected along the way.

Whether or not this is the case, staying in touch with your surrogacy professionals will make sure that you take care of every necessary step along the way and reduce the risk of any possible surprises.

8. Pay close attention to your body.

When you become a surrogate, it’s tempting to believe that everything will be the same as your previous pregnancies. But, no two pregnancies are the same — and the health of this pregnancy is arguably much more important, because you are carrying someone else’s child.

That said, pay close attention to your body and the baby’s development. Keep your obstetrician in the loop, and don’t be afraid to speak up if something seems off. While many surrogates deliver healthy, happy babies after an easy pregnancy, there are just as many surrogates who develop complications they never experienced before while carrying their own children.

9. Plan your post-surrogacy relationship.

If you haven’t already, you should talk to your intended parents about their desires for a relationship after you give birth. It’s important that you all are on the same page about topics such as how often you will communicate, whether you will meet in-person or talk over the phone, and more. If you decide to have a post-surrogacy relationship, you can hammer out the details with the intended parents during your pregnancy, making it more likely that your future relationship will be as successful as you all envision now.

10. Enjoy your pregnancy.

It’s easy to get caught up in things designed to keep you busy during pregnancy. But, if you’ve become a gestational carrier, it’s likely because you enjoy pregnancy — so why the rush? While it’s important to get all of your necessary tasks done while you are pregnant, don’t forget to enjoy the experience along the way! Revel in every small change your body makes, and remember the joy of feeling the baby move inside you. After all, it’s part of why you became a surrogate in the first place.

Remember: When you become a surrogate with our agency, your surrogacy specialist will be there for you throughout your pregnancy. To learn more about surrogacy with American Surrogacy, please contact our specialists online or call us at 1-800-875-BABY(2229).

10 Moving Quotes from Intended Parents

Having a child can be a complicated business — especially for those who have struggled with infertility. Fortunately, gestational surrogacy offers a path for these people to become the parents they’ve always wanted to be.

Surrogacy is still a confusing process for many people. Sometimes, the best way to learn about how it works is from those who have been through it. We’ve gathered a list of emotional, moving quotes from intended parents who have been there to help you understand just what surrogacy is all about.

1. “It means more than the world; only very selfless people could [be a surrogate]. It’s such a huge commitment from a woman to carry a child — mentally, emotionally, physically — I can’t even realize it. I will be forever, forever grateful to Nichole.”

Nicholas, who worked with surrogate Nichole to bring his son into the world

2. “Jill has been amazing during this whole process. She lets me ask her all these weird questions, lets me touch her stomach; and it’s just amazing because this is the closest I could get to actually having the babies inside me.”

Whitney, whose twin sister carries twins for her and her husband

3. “I love my surrogate; we have a really good relationship. I really trust her, and I definitely see, like, the first time that I went through it, I was a little bit more anxious, and texting more and calling more, and I feel like my surrogate, this time around, really is such a protecting person, and I really trust that in her.”

Kim Kardashian, who has used surrogacy twice to add to her family

4. “It wasn’t necessarily saying goodbye to [our surrogate], but it was just a different chapter and a different part of the relationship… I never thought that it would go from complete stranger to best friend and a relationship that will always be there, so that’s pretty neat.”

Lindsay, who worked with surrogate Megan to add twin boys to her family

5. “I’m so grateful to a wonderful surrogate that I’m working with. I turned 50 this year, and it takes some people longer to get to that place and it took me this time.”

Andy Cohen, who became a father through gestational surrogacy

6. “I’d been waiting for her all this time. She was finally here. I want to do everything I can do to raise her as best as I can… Even though I’m only one, where a traditional family would have two parents, I will do everything I can to make it up more than double.”

Nathan, who became a father to a baby girl thanks to surrogacy

7. “I’m so glad I got over myself and my fear of what people would think of me if I did not carry my own child. It’s OK to bring your child into the world in a way that is not through your body… Every route to parenthood is perfect, worthwhile and amazing.”

Gabrielle Union, who brought her daughter Kaavia into the world via surrogacy

8. “We got to see the whole process unfold, from the time we got (to the hospital), to her starting medication, to the epidural and the birth, all the way through, and Heidi was totally gracious enough to let us be in the room for all of it. It was nothing I will ever forget. It was just amazing.”

Elizabeth, who became a parent with her husband after turning to gestational surrogacy

9. “My cousin had known about our struggles to conceive. She has two kids, and a few years prior she had written me an email asking how she could help. We didn’t know what that meant at the time, but I was grateful she asked. Then, after she heard about our second carrier dropping out, she texted me to ask if I ever considered working with a family member. I was crying so much when I read her note that I could barely respond. I never thought to ask my cousin or anyone I knew. It’s such a huge undertaking!”

Andrea, an intended mother and founder of pregnantish, a platform for those struggling with infertility

10. “Our child did come out of me, from us. Our bodies were married in a glass dish, and our boy was carried by another woman for nine months. He is our most vivid dream realized — the embodiment of the most blindly powerful force in the universe, brought to life the only way he could be. With a little help.”

Alex, who hired a surrogate to give birth to her child more than a decade ago

Interested in adding to your family through the surrogacy process? Call our surrogacy specialists at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) or contact us online today to get started.

Check out our “10 Moving Quotes from Gestational Surrogates” here.