5 Weird Tips to Improve Egg Quality

If you’re an intended parent, you probably have a lot of questions when it comes to IVF. One of them might be:

“Is there a way that I can improve my egg quality?”

Why Egg Quality Is Important in Surrogacy

While some intended parents will use a donor egg, other intended parents hope to use their own eggs in the gestational surrogacy process. Eggs can be surgically retrieved from an intended mother, and her fertility clinic can combine the most viable of those eggs with sperm from a donor or an intended father to create an embryo. That embryo can then be transferred to a gestational surrogate’s uterus.

But, egg quality is one factor that can directly impact whether or not the transfer will result in a pregnancy. So, some intended mothers will try to increase their chances of producing as many healthy eggs as possible leading up to their retrieval procedure.

It might sound surprising, but there are actually a few tricks that you can check out. To help make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a few of them into this guide. But if you’d like to talk to one of our specialists to learn more, you can fill out our free information form.

In the meantime, check out these surprising tips to improve egg quality.

1. Try Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years. But did you know that some intended moms also use this well-known method to improve IVF success rates?

It might sound surprising, but a number of women have attributed their success to this medical technique. Here are two ways that acupuncture may help improve egg quality and potentially increase egg production:

  • Improved Blood Flow: There are two big things that can lead to a decline in blood flow to the uterus and ovaries: stress and aging. But acupuncture can actually increase blood flow by slowing down (also known as de-regulating) the nervous system. This will cause your blood vessels to dilate, which means that they’ll start to widen. When this happens, your blood vessels may release more nutrients to the ovaries and uterus, which may help create healthy eggs.
  • Reduces Stress: Many people rely on acupuncture for stress relief. When needles are inserted into the skin at specific points, the body will release endorphins, also known as your natural pain-relief chemicals. These hormones produced by your brain and nervous system can lift you out of a bad mood and can help alleviate stress.

Most doctors recommend that you begin acupuncture sessions at least 3 months before going to your IVF cycle appointment. To learn more about whether or not acupuncture may help you, we recommended talking to your doctor!

2. Exercise

Exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are one of the most important tips you can follow when you’re going through IVF. While it’s generally a good idea to abstain from strenuous activities, studies have shown that having a healthy BMI is linked to positive IVF success. Activities like light to moderate weight lifting, walking, using an elliptical and light yoga are good options to choose from. 

3. Eat well

Eating healthy foods won’t just make you feel better; it will help your eggs stay healthy, too. Eating plenty of leafy greens, whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables should be part of your diet. And of course, you’ll want to avoid processed foods, fast food and too much sugar.

4. Manage your stress

You might know that overexerting yourself can quickly take a toll on your mental and physical health. But did you know that stress can affect your egg production, too? When you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed, try to take a step back and look for ways to reduce your stress. A good book, practicing yoga or meditation and light exercise can help take your mind off what’s worrying you.

5. Take Supplements

Taking your vitamins can actually be a good way to increase your egg quality. In one study, women who took DHEA fertility supplements were even able to produce more eggs. Coenzyme Q10 is another option that might help. In general, a good quality multi-vitamin that includes vitamins like A, zinc, magnesium, iron might help you see an improvement.  As always, consult your doctor before you take any new supplements or vitamins.

6. Consider Minimal Stimulation IVF

In some cases, egg retrieval following minimal stimulation produced better quality eggs. With this type of treatment, the goal is to grow fewer but higher-quality follicles. While this method produces fewer eggs, focusing on higher quality may help you get the most out of egg retrieval day. Ask your fertility specialist if this might be a good option for you.

The IVF process takes patience, and we know it can be tough – physically and emotionally. If you’d like to speak with your specialist about more tips to improve your egg quality as you begin the surrogacy process (or about surrogacy in general), you can reach out to us through our free information form to learn more.

6 [Surprising] Things That Could be Affecting Your Uterine Lining

As a surrogate, you’ll take medications to ensure a thick, healthy uterine lining — but what if yours is too thin? Why isn’t it as thick as it should be? Here are six common culprits to be aware of. 

The embryo transfer. It’s one of the most important and exciting milestones of the surrogacy process —the moment you actually become pregnant with the intended parents’ baby!

But before you can get to this point, you’ll work closely with fertility specialists at the intended parents’ clinic to prepare your body for the best possible chance of a successful pregnancy. That includes ensuring your uterine lining is the ideal thickness for the embryo to successfully implant. 

Here, we’ll explain how you can work with your medical professionals to thicken your uterine lining — and six common culprits that could be affecting that process.

Preparing Your Uterus for IVF

Everyone knows how much is riding on the embryo transfer. The intended parents you work with may have a precious few embryos with which to attempt surrogacy, and you’ll spend a lot of time before the procedure preparing your uterus for the best possible chance of success.

This preparation actually starts at the very beginning of your surrogacy journey. Before you are even accepted into our surrogacy program (or any other surrogacy program), you will go through a rigorous screening process to rule out any major concerns that could impact your uterine lining, such as fibroids, scar tissue, endometriosis and other conditions. You’ll also need to have a healthy BMI and be smoke- and drug-free — other factors that can impact uterine lining.

When it comes time to begin the medical process, your doctors at the fertility clinic will prescribe you a number of medications to thicken your uterine lining and prepare you for the embryo transfer, and you’ll be monitored closely to ensure everything progresses as it should.

Still, despite all of these preparations, there’s a chance that a woman’s uterine lining just isn’t quite as thick as the doctors would like it to be. There are a number of reasons why this could be — many of which are beyond your control (and some of which even doctors don’t necessarily understand).

6 Factors that Could Impact Your Uterine Lining

Remember, every woman’s body and situation is different. While the information in this article is meant to be informative and helpful, none of it is a replacement for qualified medical advice. As always, we recommend you speak with a fertility specialist or gynecologist for the most accurate information about your specific situation and any actions you should take to improve the thickness of your uterine lining.

With that being said, here are six things that may be affecting your uterine lining as a surrogate: 

1. Your medications

Obviously, the course of medication prescribed to you leading up to the embryo transfer will affect the thickness of your uterine lining. That’s what it’s designed to do! Hormones like estrogen and progesterone will help create a welcoming environment for the embryo to implant.

You’ll likely attend several monitoring appointments leading up to the embryo transfer to assess the thickness of your uterine lining, and your doctor may make changes to your medication protocol as needed to achieve the ideal thickness. Again, every woman’s body is different, and the exact course of medication that you will need to take will vary depending on your individual needs and circumstances — which is why it’s so important to always take all medications on time as directed by your doctor.

2. Physical activity

It’s a widely agreed-upon fact: One of the best things you can do to encourage a healthy uterine lining is to get moving! Regular, moderate exercise, like yoga, walking or riding a bike, can improve blood flow throughout the body, including to the uterus — which can, in turn, improve the thickness of your uterine lining.

The key is to get your blood pumping without putting too much stress on your body; strenuous exercise for four or more hours per week may actually reduce IVF success rates. Stick to a couple of hours of moderate exercise per week for the best results.

There may be other ways to improve blood circulation, too. Acupuncture has shown some promise as a treatment to help improve blood flow, and while the reviews are mixed, it may not hurt to treat yourself to a massage. If you are considering any of these treatments or taking up a new exercise routine, just run it by your doctor and surrogacy specialist first!

3. Certain substances

Caffeine and nicotine — substances you’re probably cutting out anyway, per your surrogacy contract — are known to restrict blood flow. But there are other, more surprising substances that you may want to avoid, like certain allergy and cold medications that stop nasal swelling. These are designed to constrict your veins to reduce swelling. And less blood flow = thinner lining.

4. Your diet

It’s always a good idea to strive for a healthy, balanced diet, but that may be especially important as you prepare for the embryo transfer. Iron-rich foods like red meat and dark leafy greens, as well as healthy fats like olive oil, avocado and raw nuts, help your body to produce blood — which is necessary to create a thick uterine lining. Your doctor might also recommend certain dietary supplements, like fish oil, vitamin E or iron supplements.

At the same time, there may be certain foods, spices or supplements to limit or avoid. For example, you may want to skip the turmeric tea; one study in mice linked curcumin (an anti-inflammatory substance found in turmeric) with a lower rate of implantation. Talk to your doctor about any alterations you may need to make in your own diet.

5. Exposure to chemicals

One small study suggests that phthalates, a group of synthetic chemicals used in plastics and cosmetics, can impact implantation in women undergoing IVF. The study looked at 231 IVF patients and tracked their exposure to four major phthalates. Almost all of the women had been exposed (phthalates are pretty hard to avoid), but those with the most phthalates in their systems were twice as likely to suffer from implantation failure as those with the lowest levels.

The author of the study acknowledged that it is extremely difficult to minimize exposure to these chemicals because they are found in so many products. But you can try to limit your exposure by avoiding scented products and cosmetics that list the following as ingredients:

  • Dibutylphthalate (DBP)
  • Dimethylphthalate (DMP)
  • Diethylphthalate (DEP)

When using plastic food containers or plastic wrap, avoid products with a recycling number of 3 or the letters “V” or “PVC” printed underneath the recycling symbol. Stick to plastics number 1, 2, 4 or 5 to ensure they’re phthalate-free.

6. About a zillion other variables

While you may be able to make some lifestyle changes to improve your chances of a successful embryo transfer, the thickness of a woman’s uterine lining is often largely out of her control. As with anything in nature, there may be many variables at play, some of which you just can’t change. Ultimately, it’s something that is regulated by your body, and it will naturally vary from one person to the next.

It’s also important to note that uterine lining isn’t the only factor that dictates the success of implantation. In fact, the quality of the embryos being used may be just as, if not more, important.

As a surrogate, you clearly care a lot about this journey and about helping intended parents, and you want nothing more than a smooth and successful process. But, don’t beat yourself up if your uterine lining isn’t quite where you (or your doctors) would like it to be. You’re doing an incredible thing by becoming a surrogate, and the fertility clinic you work with will do everything they can to help make you successful.

To learn more about the medical process of surrogacy, we encourage you to contact a local fertility specialist or one of our agency’s surrogacy specialists today.

3 Reasons Why Now is a Great Time to Become a Surrogate

By becoming a surrogate, you have the opportunity to change someone’s life in the most amazing, generous, selfless way imaginable.

If you’re like many women considering surrogacy, you’ve known for a long time that this is something you want to do. But deciding when to actually start this process is an incredibly personal decision. If you are wondering, “When is the best time to become a surrogate?” The answer is always, “Whenever you feel ready!”

That being said, if you have been thinking about becoming a gestational surrogate, now may be the perfect time for you to join American Surrogacy.

Here are just a few of the reasons why:

1. The process has returned to “normal”

COVID-19 completely upended life as we knew it. Through it all, American Surrogacy was still here, helping our clients through the process and adapting to every change and challenge along the way. But, certain steps of the surrogacy process were also affected.

Fortunately, as more and more people are vaccinated and restrictions continue to loosen, the surrogacy process has more or less returned to normal — meaning clinics are back to doing embryo transfers, travel is much more convenient for surrogates and intended parents, and hospital policies are making it easier for intended parents to be present for the birth of their child.

And, if you’re concerned that your COVID vaccination status will impact your ability to be a surrogate, don’t worry. Whether you choose to get vaccinated or not, we will help you find families who are comfortable with that!

2. We just increased our surrogate compensation

At American Surrogacy, we know how much you and your family will sacrifice to help another person realize their ultimate goal of becoming a parent — and we feel strongly that you deserve to be compensated fairly in return. That’s why we offer a competitive compensation package for all of our surrogates.

The amount of base compensation you receive will vary depending on your personal situation and experience with surrogacy, but we recently increased our guaranteed base compensation to the highest amount ever offered by our agency!

3. You’ll still have months before you actually get pregnant

We know that summer is a busy time of year for many of our prospective surrogates. School is out, which means you may be busy with additional childcare responsibilities, vacation plans or just spending extra time with your kids. Often, women are hesitant to start the process at this time of year because they know that it is not a good time for them to be pregnant.

This concern is completely understandable. But, it’s important to remember that even if you start the surrogacy process today, there are a number of steps you will need to take before ever becoming pregnant, including:

  • Submitting an application
  • Scheduling a consultation with our surrogacy specialists
  • Completing the screening process
  • Gathering medical records
  • Matching with intended parents
  • Signing legal contracts

Many of these steps can take weeks or even months to complete. So, even if you are not ready to be pregnant right now, that doesn’t mean you can’t get started with the application and screening process!

This can be a time-consuming step for our specialists as we work to gather and review your medical records, sometimes taking up to three months before we are really ready to get started. If you are hoping to be pregnant in the fall or winter, when your kids are back in school, now is actually the perfect time to take your first steps toward becoming a surrogate.

Surrogacy is a gift unlike any other and one that only a woman like you is able to give to hopeful parents. If you are thinking about becoming a gestational surrogate, or if you know other women considering surrogacy, now is an opportune time to join our agency.

To learn more, or to get started today, contact us online or call 1-800-875-BABY(2229). We can’t wait to work with you on this life-changing journey!

How to Speed Up Your Surrogacy Matching Process [3 Tips for Intended Parents]

As an intended parent, it’s only natural to get excited about finally starting the matching process. You’ve spent a lot of time waiting and dreaming for the opportunity to start your family and we know that you can’t wait to get the ball rolling.

But, as you may have discovered by now, getting matched with a surrogate isn’t always the fastest process in the world. And if you’re like many intended families, it can be hard to stay patient while you wait for the perfect opportunity to come your way. When this happens, it’s only natural to ask:

“Is there any way we can speed up the matching process?”

The answer is yes. While every situation is different, there are a few tips that can help minimize your wait time. In this guide, we’ll go over everything you can do to get through the matching process quicker so that you can get one step closer to meeting the newest member of your family.

If you’d like to talk to one of our American Surrogacy specialists about steps you can take, you can reach out to us at any time by filling out our online form to get more information. You can even meet some of the women who are waiting to become surrogates through American Surrogacy here.

In the meantime, keep reading below to learn more about the tips you need to speed up the matching process.

1. Increase Your Openness to Opportunities in Other States

When you fill out your surrogacy plan as intended parents, you’ll be asked a series of questions about what you’re looking for in a gestational surrogate. This is done to help your surrogacy specialist find a match that meets your preferences. Of the many questions you’ll be asked, you’ll be asked to decide your surrogate’s location.

Right now, you’re probably thinking that you’re limited to the surrogates within your area. But luckily, this isn’t something you have to worry about. Because of American Surrogacy’s national reach, you’re not limited to the surrogates in your area. You can find the perfect surrogacy match in any state.

Pursuing a long-distance surrogacy relationship might sound intimidating. After all, as the intended parent, you’ll want to be there as much as you can for every step of the process. But with American Surrogacy, your specialist will be there to help you through any challenges you come across. With a consistent communication schedule and plenty of patience, a long-distance surrogacy relationship is more than possible. In fact, it’s very common!

2. Be Flexible

As you work through your intended parent surrogacy plan, you’ll notice that have a lot of control to make sure it’s a good fit. This means that you have a lot of freedom to find a surrogacy match that fits your preferences.  But as you begin to envision what the perfect gestational carrier looks like, it’s important to not be so specific that you close yourself off to other opportunities.

As an intended parent, being flexible is one of the best things that you can do. Rigidity in what you’ll accept in a gestational carrier can significantly increase your wait time. When you open yourself up to more surrogacy situations, your intended parent profile will be seen more often, and you’ll have a better chance of finding the perfect match. So, if you’re trying to speed up the process, you might consider opening your preferences. For instance, you can increase the amount of contact you’re open to after your surrogacy journey is over, as long as everyone is comfortable. You might also start out looking for surrogate who is married, but are open to a single mom. Being as flexible as possible will make it easier to find a match.

3. Being Open to Pay for Surrogates Insurance

There are many reasons why a woman might not have health insurance. And if she does, she might have a policy that lists a surrogacy exclusion. Matching with a surrogate in these circumstances will increase your budget. But being open to women in these circumstances can make it easier to find a match.

The Importance of Patience

As an intended parent, we know how anxious it feels when it comes to finding a match. But we also don’t want you to feel so impatient that you’ll take the first opportunity that comes your way. More than anything, it’s important to be honest with yourself. Don’t be afraid to say no if you feel like a match isn’t what you’re looking for.

Finding the perfect match will take time. Don’t feel like you have to rush through it. It’s important to properly take the time to get to know a prospective surrogacy partner before you make any serious commitments.

How Does the Surrogacy Matching Process Work?

If you haven’t started your surrogacy journey yet, but you’re worried about how to find a match, here’s what this process typically looks like: 

When you start your surrogacy journey, one of the first things you’ll do is fill out our unique Surrogacy Planning Questionnaire (SPQ). This document is the key to finding the perfect match. Here, you’ll include information about yourself, such as the amount of contact you’re open to with your surrogate, your assisted reproductive history, and your surrogacy budget. Additionally, you’ll also include what you’re looking for in a surrogate.

Right now, start thinking about whether:

  • You’re open to a surrogate in your state
  • You’re looking for a surrogate in another state
  • You’re looking for a married surrogate
  • You’re looking for a single surrogate
  • And more

Once you’ve determined what you’re looking for, your American Surrogacy specialist will start sending out your preferences to potential matches. If you and the other party express interest in one another, then your surrogacy specialist will set up a conference call. There, you can start to get to know one another and talk about your surrogacy goals in more detail. If everyone decides to move forward, then you’ll start the process of drafting your legal contract with your surrogacy attorney.


Right now, we bet that you’re eager to find the perfect match. To learn more about ways that you can help speed up the surrogacy matching process, don’t forget that you can contact us through our free online form to get more information. Or, you can meet some of the women who are waiting to become surrogates through American Surrogacy here.

Can I Be a Surrogate if My First Child Was Adopted?

Becoming a surrogate is a rewarding and fulfilling journey. Like you, many women want nothing more than to help someone else start their own family. But depending on your situation, you might start to ask, “Can I be a surrogate if my first child was adopted?”

The answer to this question is complex. But in this guide, we plan to go over everything you need to know if you’re thinking of becoming a surrogate after your first child was adopted. If you’d like to learn more, you can always reach out to our free contact form to get in touch with one of our specialists.

In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about becoming a surrogate after your first child was adopted.

Can I Become a Surrogate if I Placed My Child Up for Adoption?

Adoption is an incredibly selfless decision. You’ve already seen the incredible way you can change a family’s life. And after giving someone else the opportunity to become a parent, you might be wondering about the possibility of sharing that gift again through surrogacy.

As you may already know, one of the requirements to becoming a surrogate is already having a child. And as a birth mother, you’ve already met this requirement, so you have one thing to check off your list. But can you become a surrogate if your first child was adopted?

The answer to that depends. Another one of the requirements for becoming a surrogate is that you’re currently raising a child or children in your home. If you have placed a child up for adoption, and you are not currently raising other children, then you may not be able to become a gestational carrier.

Can I Become a Surrogate if I Adopted My Child?

If you’re an adoptive mom, then you already know the joys of becoming a parent. And if you’re like many women who consider becoming gestational surrogates, then you want to use this opportunity to spread that love to someone else. But can you be a surrogate if your first child was adopted and if you haven’t given birth yourself?

Not exactly. Right now, you do meet the requirement of raising a child in your home. But if you are an adoptive mother who hasn’t given birth yourself, then you are not eligible to be a gestational carrier.

If, however, you’ve given birth to a child in addition to adopting a child, then yes ­– you may meet the requirements to become a gestational surrogate.

Having a history of a previous successful pregnancy is an important step to becoming a gestational carrier. It’s also one of the first requirements that every surrogate must meet before they start their journey. The reason for doing so is to make sure that every surrogate is ready for the physical challenges of carrying a child for someone else. If you’ve never been pregnant or given birth before, then you can’t be certain how your body might handle surrogacy. And most importantly, you might not be sure if you can even get pregnant at all.

Additionally, being pregnant is an extremely emotional experience. You would be dealing with hormonal changes that you won’t be able to control. If you don’t know what to expect, you’ll have no idea how you’ll feel after you give birth and how you’ll cope once you hand the child over to their intended parents.  

To sum it up, becoming a surrogate without successful previous pregnancy and childbirth experience is a risky endeavor. And not knowing how your mind and body will handle a pregnancy can be dangerous for you, the intended parents, and the surrogacy professional.

What are the Requirements to Become a Surrogate?

If you’re thinking about becoming a surrogate, there are a few requirements that you’ll need to meet. Before you can officially become a surrogate, you’ll need to meet the agency’s qualifications and pass their screening process. Below are just a few of the traits that you’ll need to have to become a gestational surrogate:

  • Have completed at least one previous successful pregnancy
  • No more than five vaginal births or three cesarean sections
  • Have no complications from previous pregnancies
  • Have no history of postpartum depression
  • Have a strong support system
  • Have a healthy BMI of 30 or less
  • Be within a certain age range
  • Require no government assistance

If you do meet the agency’s requirements, then you can take the first steps of your journey as a gestational carrier. The next step will be for you to pass the agency’s screening process. Typically, this includes:

  • An application that asks you some general questions along with your reasons for becoming a surrogate
  • A social and medical history form
  • A physical examination
  • An in-home assessment
  • Background checks
  • A mental health evaluation

We know that these steps look like a lot of work. But they’re an essential part of the process that helps ensure that you are ready for the surrogacy journey. We need to be certain that you’re physically, mentally and emotionally healthy enough to safely be a surrogate. Becoming a gestational carrier is not easy, but for many women, it’s the most rewarding thing they ever do.

To learn more about your eligibility to become a surrogate, you can reach out to our agency and speak with one of our specialists. There, we’ll go over in more detail what you need to know if you’re thinking about going on this journey. To speak to a specialist today, please fill out our free information form.

How to Make a Surrogacy Plan

You’ve taken the first big steps: You’ve decided that you’re ready for the surrogacy journey and you’ve reached out to American Surrogacy to help you do that. But now that you’re here, you probably have one big question:

“How will I find a gestational carrier or intended parent?”

The process is actually much simpler than you might think. And it all starts with creating what’s called a “surrogacy plan.” American Surrogacy’s planning process is unique, and it’s the best way to make sure you have everything you’re looking for. And in a lot of ways, it’s the key to finding the perfect match. But it does require a lot of thought.

Here, we’ll be going into detail about what you need to fill out to help find the perfect match. But if you’d like to go into more detail with your American Surrogacy specialist, you can give us a call at 1-800-875-2229 or fill out our contact form.

In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about making a surrogacy plan.

What is a Surrogacy Plan?

The surrogacy plan is like a roadmap – one that’s very much like an adoption plan. Whether you’re becoming a surrogate or a parent, this personal roadmap will guide your entire experience.

Through a set of simple questions, you’ll outline all of your preferences for a match. You’ll also fill out some important information about yourself, too. Your answers to all of these questions will help your surrogacy specialist find the perfect match for you.

Both parties will answer similar questions. But there are a few differences that you’ll see below depending on whether you’re an intended parent or gestational carrier. Here’s what it will look like for each of you:

Intended Parents

You’ll be asked:

  • Some basic information about you, like your full name, birthday, address, etc.
  • Your assisted reproductive history
  • The type of contact you’re comfortable sharing with your gestational carrier
  • Whether or not you’re currently working with an attorney for assisted reproduction
  • Your surrogacy budget
  • Additional questions to help assess your readiness for surrogacy

You’ll also be asked questions about what you’re looking for in a gestational carrier, like:

  • Are you looking for someone in your state?
  • Are you looking for a married surrogate?
  • Are you looking for a single surrogate?
  • And more

Gestational Carriers

You’ll be asked:

  • Are you looking for a family in your state?
  • Are you open to traveling?
  • How close would you like to be in contact afterward?
  • And more

In addition to their surrogacy plan, gestational carriers will also have to fill out information regarding their social medical history. As the name implies, this form gives your surrogacy specialist some much-needed information on your medical background.

As you can see, these questions are pretty similar. The purpose of these questions is to make it easier to find the best match. And one of the easiest ways to do that is to make sure everyone is on the same page.

What Happens After I Create My Surrogacy Plan?

In addition to creating a surrogacy plan, you’ll also start the process of making either an intended parent or gestational carrier profile. This profile will be used to show potential matches a little more about you before accepting a match.

This profile is basically a snapshot of who you are. If you’ve found one that you like, you can move on to the next step: Getting to know each other!

What Happens After I’m Presented with an Opportunity?

Once both parties decide to move forward with a potential match, it’s time to start getting to know each other. Typically, the first time you speak to one another will be a mediated call over the phone with your surrogacy specialist. This call typically lasts about 1 hour while everyone gets to know each other. After that, you can continue to build your relationship on your own through phone calls, emails, and video calls.

If both parties decide that you’re ready to move forward, then you’ll make the match official by drafting a legal contract.

How Will I Know When I’ve Found the Right Match?

It’s important that you’re absolutely certain before you accept a match. If you’re not getting a good gut feeling, or if you need to change your mind about anything at all, please don’t be afraid to let your specialist know how you’re feeling. It might feel stressful to start the process of finding a match again, but it’s better that you take some time to look at all your other options before you get into a match that doesn’t feel like a good fit.

Remember, the relationship you have with your gestational surrogate or intended parent will be life-changing. The right partnership is what makes a surrogacy journey a meaningful, enjoyable and emotionally rewarding shared experience. Don’t feel pressured to say yes to the very first match you’re presented with if you feel unsure. Intended parents and gestational carriers have a lot of control when it comes to deciding what they’re looking for in a match. Until you decide that you’ve found a good one, it’s okay to take your time and wait. We’ll help you find the right fit!

I’m Ready to Create My Surrogacy Plan. How Do I Get Started?

There’s a lot of thought that goes into making the perfect surrogacy plan. But we’re ready to talk you through all of your questions. If you’re ready to start your surrogacy process as a parent or as a surrogate, you can give us a call at 1-800-875-2229 or fill out our contact form.

The 5 Biggest Risks of Using Social Media to Find a Surrogacy Match

When it comes to surrogacy, waiting for and finding the right match can be one of the hardest steps. While you always have the option of working with a professional who can help you find what you’re looking for, it’s possible that you’ve realized that working with an agency isn’t the right option for you. In that case, how will you go about finding an intended parent or surrogate on your own?

For many pursuing an independent surrogacy, there’s one simple answer: Try to find a match online.

These days, it’s easy to find just about everything you’re looking for on the internet. So, it should really come as no surprise that many people, maybe like yourself, have thought about using social media to find their perfect surrogacy match. And there have been cases where the internet has provided a great opportunity to find a successful surrogacy journey. But are the potential risks worth it in the long run? Let’s take a look at 5 things to know before you start your search.

And if you’d like to talk a little bit more about what it’s like to find a match, whether online or through an agency, you can always give us a call at 1-800-875-222 to get more information.

1) Lack of Screening

The first thing you might want to consider before finding a match online is the lack of screening available. When you decide to work with an agency, you’ll know that any woman you’re matched with has already been approved by a professional. But the same can’t exactly be said for any surrogate you find online. While there is a chance that you can meet someone who already meets all the qualifications, you’ll have a better chance of finding what you’re looking for when you work with an agency. If you do decide to start your search online, and find someone who could be the right fit, be aware that there is a chance that they they’ll end up ineligible for the process.

2) Scams

Scams happen all the time – especially on the internet. Unfortunately, there are just too many people pretending to be someone they’re really not and getting away with it. As you can imagine, this can cause some serious problems when it comes to finding a potential match online or through social media.

Because you’re not screening any potential matches, it can be difficult to verify if any potential match you talk to is genuinely interested in becoming a surrogate for the right reasons. So, when it comes to meeting a potential match online, be sure not to share any financial or personal information until you contact a surrogacy attorney.

3) It Might Take Longer than You Planned

Looking for the right match is hard enough. But when it comes to searching for the right candidate online, you could be in for an even longer wait. Of course, it’s important to be patient during this process whether you work with an agency or not. But having to wait even longer for the perfect match who is compatible with what you’re looking for can be incredibly frustrating. If you’re set on the surrogacy process, and you’ve been dreaming about getting started for a long time, it might be a better idea to work with an agency from the get-go.

4) You’ll Be in Charge of All Communication

When you decide to find a surrogacy match online without the help of an agency, it becomes your job to handle all communication. This means that, in place of an agency’s role, intended parents will be the one making sure their surrogate is ready for the journey ahead and is taking the correct steps. And for surrogates, that means making sure that their potential intended parent is safe to work with along with being emotionally and financially ready for surrogacy. So, before you take this leap, take a look at the steps involved in a regular screening to make sure you have everything you need to complete this part of the process.

5) Lack of Counseling and Support

The support of a great surrogacy specialist is more helpful than you might realize. Surrogacy isn’t just a complex legal and medical process, but an emotional one, too. And one of the downsides of pursuing an independent surrogacy is not having the support when you really need it. Having someone who can help you navigate any challenges you might face will be incredibly important throughout the entire process for both intended parents and surrogates. While you may be able to find the support you need through a third party, it can be difficult to find a counselor who is as familiar with the process as a surrogacy specialist would be.

The Security of Finding a Match Through an Agency

When you decide to work with an agency, like American Surrogacy, to find a match, you won’t have to stress about the risks that come with finding a potential intended family or surrogate online. No matter who you pick, you’ll rest easy knowing that they’re:

  • Screened
  • Ready and prepared for the surrogacy journey
  • Full invested in the surrogacy process
  • Meet the requirements to start the process
  • And more

Finding the right match thought an agency means less stress on your end. What’s more, it could save you a significant amount of time, legal issues or even money, in the long run. Working with an agency ensures that you’ll have the support you need throughout every step of the process. If you’d like to know what it’s like to work with a surrogacy specialist to find a match, we’d be happy to help! Give us a call at 1-800-875-222 to get more info today.

3 Ways Faith Plays a Role in Surrogacy

Making the decision to become an intended parent or a surrogate means that you have many things to consider before you can take the leap. One of those is how your faith will play a role in your surrogacy journey.

As surrogacy continues to grow as a popular way for hopeful couples to grow their families and for hopeful surrogates to bless a couple with the gift of a child, the opinion on what is acceptable within a certain faith continues to change, too. Now, there are more and more people who can recognize the blessing of a family, no matter how that family was formed.

As you start your journey, we know that you’ll have a lot of questions about how to include your faith in growing a family through surrogacy. We hope that these tips can reassure you and give you the courage you need to take your first step towards this family-building process.

And if you’re looking for someone to talk to, you can always reach out to one of our specialists at 1-800-875-2229 to get more information, or you can consult a faith-based surrogacy agency for additional resources.

What Does Religion Have to Say About Surrogacy?

If you are someone with a strong faith, then you likely have a lot of questions about how your beliefs will be a factor in your surrogacy journey. And depending on what your specific religion has to say about assisted reproductive technology, you might be left with many questions about what to do next.

Every religion has its own opinion about surrogacy and sometimes IVF. Additionally, your religious leaders and congregation might have their own interpretations about how surrogacy fits into your religion.

When you are thinking about ways that surrogacy can fit into your religion, try to remember that religious views on surrogacy are still changing. While many religions were established thousands of years before surrogacy or IVF were thought about, there is still room and time for opinions to evolve. If you are worried about what your particular faith has to say about your decision, we encourage you to reach out to either a trusted religious leader or another family who understands what you’re going through.

3 Ways Faith Plays a Role in Surrogacy

Religion can connect us in many different ways. But you might be surprised to find that there are actually a few ways in which faith can play a role in your surrogacy journey. Here are just a few to think about.

  1. Surrogacy itself requires a leap of faith: Surrogacy is an incredible way to expand a family, but it’s definitely not a process that’s quick or easy. When you decide to start this journey, there are a lot of people on whom you’ll rely to make this process as smooth as possible. This can be especially true when you’re an intended parent, as you’ll be spending a lot of time waiting and putting your faith in your surrogate. When so many factors are out of your control, being patient and holding onto faith is one of the best things you can do.
  2. Your faith can connect you to other families: It might seem like you don’t have anyone to reach out to, but there are plenty of families in your position who have either thought about starting their surrogacy journey or are getting started just like you. Additionally, you’ve probably considering looking for a match with a gestational surrogate who shares your beliefs. While there could be a wait to find the right person, it will be well worth it in the end.
  3. It’s one of the greatest ways to help others:  There are many reasons why women choose to become surrogates. But one of the many reasons is because becoming a surrogate is spiritually and emotionally rewarding or fulfilling, and offers an opportunity for them to give back in some way.

Coming to Terms with Surrogacy and Your Religious Beliefs

It’s difficult to become fully excited about this process if you’re worried about how it could clash with your beliefs. After all, even though you’ve likely thought about this process for a long time, your faith has likely been a part of your life for even longer.

If you’d like someone to talk to about how your faith can impact your experience with the surrogacy process, you can always reach out to one of our specialists. There are also several faith-based surrogacy agencies, like Surrogacy by Faith, which you can always reach out to if you’re looking for more information.

We know that you already have a lot to think about before you start your journey. But before you can be sure that surrogacy is right for you, it’s important to consider your faith as well. So, no matter what your final decision ends up being, we just want you to make the best choice for you. If you have any questions at all about what your next step should be, you can always reach out to your surrogacy specialist for help.

Is it Cheaper to Pursue Surrogacy with a Family Member?

It’s no secret that using surrogacy to build your family is expensive. Between the IVF treatments, agency fees, advertising services, and much more, it’s clear to see why anyone would want to find ways to cut down on costs.

But would asking a family member for their help be the best way to achieve that goal?

It makes sense as to why someone would want to learn more about identified surrogacy with a family member. After all, working with someone you already have a solid relationship with while keeping costs to a minimum seems like the perfect solution. But, for a number of reasons, an identified surrogacy isn’t as easy or simple as you might expect.

To help you make the best decision that works for your family, we’ve created this guide to what it’s really like to pursue surrogacy with a family member. But if you’d like to talk a little bit more about what this process is like with one of our specialists directly, we’d be happy to help. Give us a call at 1-800-875-2229 to get more information today.

So, How Much Does Identified Surrogacy Cost?

If you’re an intended parent looking at the costs of surrogacy, then you’ll know that it’s definitely not cheap. The average costs can be up to $100,000 or more. Because of these high costs, we understand why it might be tempting to ask a family member for their help, and to ask, “How much is surrogacy with a family member?” Especially since finding an identified gestational carrier means that your fees can be reduced.

It’s important to remember that, no matter how you choose to find a gestational surrogacy, you’re still going to be spending a lot of money during this process from start to finish. While having a family member become your gestational surrogate is a possibility, we consider you to consider all of your other options for finding a gestational carrier first.

What are Some Other Ways to Keep Costs Down?

While surrogacy might be an expensive endeavor, there are thankfully a few ways that you keep costs low and make your dreams for building a family come true. Below are just a few other options that can make surrogacy a little more affordable.

Loans: The most common way to fund your surrogacy and one that you might already be thinking of applying for are loans. Like any other type of loan, however, you’ll want to consider potential interest rates you’ll be charged and make sure that you can afford the monthly payments.

Grants: If you’re eligible, receiving a surrogacy grant is the best way to cut costs. This is money that you won’t have to pay back, which makes it a huge win. Any grant you apply to will have different requirements, so be sure to read up on them before you apply.

Fundraising: Having a supportive community of friends and family will be a great help during your surrogacy journey. If you haven’t looked into it yet, why not consider starting a fundraiser with their help?

Can a Family Member Become a Gestational Surrogate?

Now that we’ve talked about costs, let’s talk about the logistics of surrogacy with a family member. The short answer to the initial question is yes — they can become one. But should a family member be a part of your surrogacy journey? The answer to that really depends.

As you may already know, becoming a surrogate is not as easy or simple as many people seem to believe. No matter who you choose, she will still have to go through a rigorous screening process to assess her eligibility. On top of that, she needs to be prepared for the steps it will take to prepare her body for the embryo transfer itself. Becoming a surrogate is a lot of work, and it’s not a quick or easy process. So even if they are a family member, you should both make sure that everyone is on board for them to make this sacrifice of time, stress and physical effort.

And if you are considering traditional surrogacy within the family, definitely take some time to seriously consider all the pros and cons first, as this can be extremely complicated emotionally and legally. You should also be aware that the vast majority of surrogacy agencies won’t work with you for this type of traditional surrogacy. Instead, your best bet is always work with a gestational surrogate if you’re considering the help of a family member.

What’s it Like to Have a Family Member Become a Surrogate?

Working with a family member isn’t the right choice for everyone. Below are just a few things that can make an identified surrogacy a challenge for both the intended parents and the surrogate:

1. Personal differences when it comes to finances. Compensation is one of the most important things to consider if you’re pursuing identified surrogacy. While your family member may have offered to do a non-compensated or altruistic surrogacy, in the long term this might not be the best option. For instance, your family member might initially feel comfortable with this kind of arrangement only to feel later like they’re being taken advantage of. When drafting up your surrogacy contract, it’s important that each party works with their own surrogacy attorney who can negotiate on both of your behalf.

2. Surrogacy could put a strain your relationship. Even if you already have a close relationship with your surrogate, it doesn’t mean that both parties won’t be tested in unexpected and challenging ways. If your surrogate if your sister, for example, it’s possible that feelings of sibling rivalry can come up — making for an uncomfortable experience for both parties.

3. The surrogate will likely need some space, even if they’re a family member. Surrogacy isn’t easy, and being pregnant certainly isn’t, either. There will be ups and downs throughout her experience, but she might not feel comfortable talking about this when her intended parents are also part of her family. Before you consider asking a family member to become your surrogate, think about what kind of boundaries you’ll need to keep in place to make this situation work.

Choosing a Family Member to Be Your Gestational Surrogate

In many cases, finding a gestational surrogate that’s not a family member can be a better option. But if you are in a situation where you would rather work with a family member, then we recommend that you still work with an experienced professional, like American Surrogacy, to help you through the process. Choosing to work with an agency, even in an identified match, gives you the same amount of protection as any other intended parent. This means that you’ll receive:

  • Screening and assessment of both parties
  • A larger network of prospective surrogates
  • Support and guidance for every step of the process
  • And more

Even if you’re pursuing surrogacy with a family member, it’s important to make sure that everyone is ready for the journey ahead. Like we mentioned earlier, surrogacy with a family member can cause a strain on your relationships. That’s why, during the screening process, we will help you and your surrogate talk through any potential difficult situations before feelings of tension arise.

While you will always have the option of pursuing gestational surrogacy with a sister, cousin or another relative, we encourage you to do plenty of research. You might find that, while it will cost less to work with a family member, you might end up with a better experience by working with a gestational surrogate who is not a friend or family member. To learn more about your options, you can always speak with our specialists.

5 Things Women Wished They Knew Before Becoming Surrogates

The opportunity to become a surrogate is a life-changing experience, not only for yourself, but for the family whose lives you’ll touch in countless ways. By now, you’ve probably starting doing your own research about what to expect from the surrogacy process. But there are probably a few things that you haven’t come across yet that can make your experience a whole lot easier.

If you haven’t started your surrogacy journey yet, but you’d like to learn more about the process, we’d be happy to answer your questions. Please call 1-800-875-2229 to get more information from our specialists. Before you start this journey, we’ve compiled a list of 5 things other women wished they knew about what it’s really like to become a surrogate.

1) You Won’t Get Paid ASAP

There are a lot of misconceptions about surrogacy, and some of it surrounds the compensation you’ll receive. It might seem obvious, but signing up to become a surrogate is not something that just any woman can apply for, be approved for and get paid for right up front. In fact, most surrogacy agreements are spread out over the course of the pregnancy.

2) The Screening Process is Surprisingly Intense

The process and requirements to become a surrogate takes a lot longer and is more intense than most people expect. On average, for every 20 women who apply to become a surrogate only two will actually qualify. In this long list of requirements, some of the things your agency will be checking are:

  • Proof that you’re financially secure
  • That you already have children who you are currently raising
  • If you have a partner that you have their consent to start the process
  • That you have a strong support system
  • And much more

Signing up to become a surrogate basically means that everything in your life will be under a microscope. It’s safe to say that going through all of these steps can be kind of daunting.

3)  There are a Ton of Steps to Prepare Your Body

Not only do you have to go through an arduous screening process that involves tons of paperwork, on top of mentally and emotionally preparing yourself to become a surrogate you’ll also have to get your body ready for the embryo transfer.

Like the screening process, preparing your body will involve a lot of steps. Once you start the process, you’ll be going through different medications to prepare your body for pregnancy, so think pills, patches and injections. The injections, which you’ll have to administer yourself, have to be taken on a very strict schedule for the first 12 weeks. Additionally, you’ll have to undergo weekly blood tests and ultrasounds to make sure everything looks okay. All of this physical stress can be a lot to go through, and it’s just one of the many reasons why surrogacy is definitely not an easy job.

3) You’ll Become Attached to the Intended Parent’s Journey

Building a relationship with your intended parents is an exciting step. So, it only makes sense that, over time, you’ll become personally invested in their journey to become parents. This means that you’ll feel for them throughout the rollercoaster of emotions during the embryo transfer process, the pregnancy and beyond. Many surrogates and intended parents are surprised to find that, at the end of the journey, they not only brought a person into the world together — they formed lasting friendships.

4) You’ll Need to Be Ready to Communicate

Due to the nature of surrogacy, there are a lot of things out of the intended parents’ control. While they’re going to be trying to keep themselves busy so that the pregnancy isn’t the only thing they’re thinking about, and of course building a relationship with you, it never hurts to communicate as much as you can. And doing what you can to reassure them can help you build a stronger relationship, too.

5) You Might Decide to Pursue Surrogacy Again

The feeling of being able to help another family grow their own is indescribable. After seeing how they’ve changed someone else’s life, many women come out with a positive experience with gestational surrogacy, and might even come back multiple times to help someone else build their family. If you were initially only planning to pursue surrogacy once, you might be surprised with to find that you’re ready to do it again.

What Else Should I Know?

Becoming a surrogate is a huge and monumental journey and it’s one that will change your life in many unexpected ways. If you’re thinking about starting this journey, we hope that this list of things to know has helped. And as always, if you have any questions about what it’s like to become a surrogate, we’d be happy to help answer them.