Our Tips for Choosing a Hospital for a Surrogacy Delivery

The surrogacy process is a unique experience in many ways. One example of this is making important medical decisions as a team. Working together, the surrogate and intended parents choose which doctors to see, the type of prenatal care to receive and, of course, the hospital for labor and delivery.

Finding the right hospital for labor and delivery can make this important and climatic step of the surrogacy process better for everyone. Your hospital should make you feel safe and have all of the available resources you could possibly need. Proximity to the surrogate’s home could be a big factor, as could other common concerns about hospitals.

If you’re preparing to begin the surrogacy process, this guide will give you the step-by-step process and information you need to make this important decision.

How to Choose a Hospital for Delivery

Choosing a hospital for delivery in the surrogacy process will follow a few steps:

Step 1: Start a Conversation

Choosing a hospital for delivery in surrogacy is a collaborative process. Coordinating with your surrogate and your agency, start talking about what you’re looking for in a hospital. Set your standards and make any non-negotiable items clear.

Step 2: Research Options

Now that you’re on the same page with your surrogate and agency, you can begin searching for hospitals that meet the criteria discussed in step one. Put a list together, starting with online research, and then talk over the list with your surrogate and agency.

Once you have it narrowed down to a few locations, schedule time for consultations with those hospitals to get a personal feel for the staff and ask specific questions. In some cases, the intended parents or surrogate (or both) may be able to take a tour of the maternity ward before making a choice.

Step 3: Choose Your Hospital

Once everyone has reached an agreement about the best location for labor and delivery, you can choose that hospital and move forward with the process.

Seems simple, right? While there may not be that many steps involved in choosing a hospital for surrogacy, the tricky part of this process is working collaboratively on an important and personal medical decision.

Working with Your Partner

Surrogates and intended parents are partners in this life-changing journey. Each has distinct desires and needs. For the best outcome, everyone involved should respect the desires and needs of everyone else involved.

Choosing a hospital is the type of thing that can become contentious if one person tries to take over. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. For the best hospital choice that makes everyone feel safe, supported and encouraged, make sure to do the following:

Listen First

Approach the conversation with the goal of understanding what the other person wants. Of course, you will always need to be clear about what you are looking for in a hospital for labor and delivery, too.

If both the surrogate and intended parents approach the conversation with this posture — eager to listen and also prepared to clearly state their needs — then you’ll be well on your way to making a good decision.

Remember the Goal

It can be common, in the midst of a close game, for a team’s two star players to get into a heated disagreement. This doesn’t happen because one wants her team to win and the other wants the opponent to win. They both want what is best for their team. The disagreement comes from passion, but the goal is the same.

This is how it is with surrogacy. When you’re in the middle of a conversation where you want different things, it can be easy to assume you are fighting for different outcomes — essentially playing for different teams. If you can’t come to an agreement, stop and remind yourself that everyone is playing for the same team and trying to reach the same goal. You all want what is best for the process.

This simple reminder — we’re all working toward the same goal — can help ease tension and resolve disagreement.

Turn to the Experts

Having a hard time with this choice? Your surrogacy specialist can help. Remember, you aren’t in this process alone. Your specialist has helped many other intended parents and surrogates make choices like this.

If you’re stuck between two hospitals or you can’t agree on what’s most important while making your choice, bring your specialist into the conversation. Their professional guidance can bring clarity to your choice.

Things to Consider in Prospective Hospitals

Now that we’ve covered the steps to choosing a hospital and the conversation tools needed to make this decision as a team, let’s take a look at the important practical considerations you’ll need to keep in mind when evaluating locations for labor and delivery.

Insurance

The intended parents cover the costs associated with the medical process of surrogacy, including the hospital stay for labor and delivery. You will want to make sure, as the intended parent, that your insurance offers assistance in cost coverage for any of the hospitals that you’re considering.

Capabilities of the NICU

You never want to believe that your child will spend extra time in the NICU, but it’s always a possibility. If there are complications around the birth, does the hospital have the staff and resources in the NICU to provide adequate care?

Location of the Hospital

Ideally, the hospital will be a short drive from the surrogate’s home. This may not be possible in some situations. In cases like this, you will want to come up with a travel plan so that the surrogate is able to get to the hospital as quickly as possible.

Comfort Level

Does the maternity ward and birthing suite make you feel comfortable and safe? An environment that increases comfort and decreases anxiety can lead to a better birthing experience. This is why it can be a good idea for the surrogate to request an in-person tour of a location before making a final choice.

Speak with a Surrogacy Specialist

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to choosing a hospital for surrogacy. Sometimes, it can be helpful to speak with a surrogacy professional if you have more specific questions about your own decision-making process.

You can contact us online or call 1-800-875-BABY (875-2229) at any time to speak with a specialist. This free consultation can provide the answers you are looking for about surrogacy and, if you’re ready, we’ll always be happy to help you get started with your own journey.

5 Things Every Intended Parent Should Be Ready For

The surrogacy process can be confusing. But, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, it’s relatively easy for someone who is interested in the process to learn how it works.

The American Surrogacy website features in-depth guides to every step of the process, and we do our best to answer all of the biggest questions that intended parents have about surrogacy.

Still, there are some things that you won’t find in most articles online — subtle nuances about the process that intended parents should be ready for, but aren’t always mentioned in how-to guides.

Today, we’re going to focus on those little things that most intended parents should expect to experience during the journey. Here are five things every intended parent should be ready for during the surrogacy process.

1. The Amount of Appointments

Get your calendars ready. Your schedule is about to fill up. It can be easy, when looking over the steps of the surrogacy process, to miss just how many appointments and conversations have to happen along the way.

Whether it’s a video call with your surrogacy specialist or a physical appointment with the fertility clinic, the surrogacy process can take up more of your time than most people realize. All of the little things pile up, and before you know it you’ve got several hours a week reserved for surrogacy-related phone calls and appointments.

Being caught unaware by the demands of the process can become stressful, but this doesn’t have to feel overwhelming if you prepare for it.

2. The ‘Legalese’ of the Contract

This is an emotional journey for you, but it’s a binding legal agreement for your attorney. And that’s a good thing!

Your surrogacy contract can’t reflect the personal nature of this journey because it needs to be an airtight legal agreement. A good surrogacy contract ensures that everyone involved — intended parents and surrogate — are legally protected. This is key to a successful surrogacy process.

Because of this, the language in the contract can feel cold and even, at times, confrontational. We promise it’s not. Those of us who are not legal professionals just aren’t used to the common vernacular of contracts like this. What might feel harsh to us is actually thorough legal work.

If you do have any questions about the contract or are bothered by some of the language, you can always ask your attorney for an explanation.

3. Feelings of Jealousy

This is a beautiful journey. You’re on your way to starting a family. Why would you feel jealous?

Surprising and challenging emotions often sneak up on intended parents. This can be especially common for the intended mother, who might begin to feel jealous of the surrogate for carrying the child.

The long-lasting impact of infertility can affect you in surprising and unsettling ways. Even though you are grateful for the surrogate and happy about your match, you may still experience strong feelings of jealousy.

Instead of feeling ashamed of these emotions, you can prepare for them, accept them as a natural and normal part of the process, and create a plan for how you will address them in a healthy way.

4. The Intensity of the Vetting Process

Hard questions and criticism are no fun. During the surrogacy process, intended parents may experience both sides of this.

While going through the surrogacy agency’s vetting, you may feel like you are under the microscope. You’ll be asked a lot of personal, challenging questions. You need to be prepared to answer them honestly.

Conversely, you may be the ones asking the questions during the matching process. You will need to think critically about any potential matches to ensure that the one you do accept is the perfect fit.

This will probably be uncomfortable, but it’s important that we get this right. It can be helpful to remember that everyone is on the same team. From your agency to your attorney to a potential surrogate match, everyone wants what is best for everyone else. That’s why you may have to ask and answer the hard questions.

5. The Wait to Find a Match

Waiting for a match can stretch out over weeks or months. Finding the surrogate who is just right for your family rarely happens overnight. Your surrogacy specialist will be working hard to find the perfect surrogate for you, but it’s not always easy.

A long wait for a match may be frustrating, but it’s not a bad thing. So many little factors contribute to this relationship, and it’s natural for something this delicate to take time.

While it can be hard to find patience for this part of the process, waiting for the right match will make the whole experience better and more rewarding. If you do find your patience wearing thin, you can always speak with your surrogacy specialist. Just remember that they’re doing everything they can to put you in the best situation to start your family with a successful surrogacy match.

Speak with a Specialist

You’re already on the right track for a successful process by educating yourself and preparing for the journey. Along with online research, it can be helpful to speak with a specialist. If you are an intended parent who is interested in learning more about surrogacy or in beginning your surrogacy process today, you can contact us online at any time or call 1-800-875-BABY (875-2229). This consultation is always free, and our specialists would be happy to answer your questions.

How Adoption After Birth in Surrogacy Works

The surrogacy process can be a bit confusing. While it is primarily experienced as an emotional journey on the part of the intended parents, it’s actually a legal and medical process, too.

All of the little nuances associated with surrogacy law and parental rights can come as a surprise to some intended parents. That’s why it is so important to work with an agency — like American Surrogacy — that can ensure your process follows all the necessary legal requirements.

One potential requirement that catches intended parents off guard is adoption after a surrogacy birth.

Wait — adoption? Isn’t that a totally different family-building option?

Yes, it is. But, due to some state laws, there is a chance you will have to legally adopt your child after birth.

If you find yourself in this situation, don’t panic. It’s totally normal. We’ve created this guide to explain how adoption after birth in surrogacy works, why it might be necessary, and how you can ensure that yours is completed successfully.

What Is an Order of Parentage?

Parentage is a legal term that refers to legal rights to parent a baby. So, an order of parentage is a legal document that declares which people have those parental rights for the newborn child in the surrogacy process.

While laws differ from state-to-state, most laws make an assumption that the woman who gives birth to the baby is the child’s mother. In surrogacy, this is clearly not the case. So, an order of parentage is necessary to set the record straight and grant parental rights to the intended parents.

In many instances, this order can be secured before birth and is appropriately known as a pre-birth order. Your surrogacy agency and attorney will help you file the pre-birth order so that parental rights are already taken care of when the baby is born.

However, some states do not allow for pre-birth orders, and that’s where adoption comes into play.

How Adoption After Birth in Surrogacy Works

Instead of obtaining a pre-birth order, some intended parents will need to work with their agency and attorney to file a post-birth parentage order. Within surrogacy, this is the term we use for this action. But in the eyes of many states, a “post-birth parentage order” is, legally speaking, an adoption.

How does this work? Once again, it can depend on the laws of your state. Generally, the surrogate must execute her official consent to adoption after the child is born. This involves either a written consent to the adoption (witnessed and signed by a public notary) or a petition for relinquishment of parental rights that is filed by the attorney.

During this period of waiting for the official post-birth order of parentage, the surrogate is considered the legal parent in the eyes of the state. But, this doesn’t mean that the intended parents cannot act as the parents they are. You can still hold the child and personally assume your role as mom or dad while the state sorts out the legal roles.

Additionally, it’s important to know that while their may need to be a post-birth adoption order, the surrogate cannot just “keep” the child if she has a change of heart. The surrogacy contract is a binding legal agreement that both parties will have already signed. That contract makes any worst-case scenario fears impossible.

Why Adoption After Birth in Surrogacy is Necessary

Ultimately, it comes down to state laws. Some states do not allow pre-birth orders to be filed. If you live in one of these states, your attorney will need to help the surrogate follow the required adoption laws after birth, which can involve a waiting period and mandatory counseling before officially signing the consent to the adoption.

This may seem confusing. Why would the surrogate have to receive counseling or wait for a certain amount of time?

Keep in mind that, in the eyes of the state, this post-birth surrogacy order is actually an adoption. Adoption laws were written to protect the rights of prospective birth mothers, who are in totally different situations than a surrogate. The waiting period and counseling are in place to ensure that these women are fully informed before making their choice in an adoption process. It just so happens that post-birth orders in surrogacy may have to follow these same steps.

Once again, it’s important to stop and realize that this is very common. Many surrogacy placements go through post-birth orders. There’s no reason to be worried if you have to take this additional step due to your state’s laws. Everyone is on the same page, and your process will be completed successfully.

Who Can Help with Adoption After Birth in Surrogacy

Your surrogacy process will include several different professionals. When it comes to pre- and post-birth orders of parentage, your most important resources are your surrogacy attorney and agency. These legal professionals and counselors will help you understand what’s happening, ensure that all legal requirements are met, and guide you to the completion of a successful surrogacy process.

Would you like to speak with a specialist today about this part of the process or any other questions you have? Contact us online at any time or call 1-800-875-BABY (875-2229). We’d be happy to help you understand the process and get started on your surrogacy journey.

Life After Infertility: Infertility, Pregnancy Loss and Infant Loss Awareness Month

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. The tragedy of losing a pregnancy or newborn takes many forms and is experienced by thousands every year.

Talking about something as personal as the loss of pregnancy or of a child can be incredibly uncomfortable. This month is an opportunity to push past that discomfort in the hope of offering solidarity and help to those who are struggling with the lasting effects of devastating loss.

There are many aspects of pregnancy and infant loss that are worth discussing. Here, we want to look ahead to life after infertility and pregnancy and infant loss. Even in the darkest moments, there can be a spark of hope ahead.

Giving Grief its Time

Although it may seem counterintuitive, we need to talk about grief before we can talk about hope.

Grief is complicated. It’s not as simple as feeling sad, talking about it and moving on. The weight of grief — and specifically that of infertility and pregnancy loss — can stick with you for years.

We say this not to be discouraging, but to acknowledge an important reality: Although there is hope for a beautiful life after infertility, its impact will never fully disappear. We can’t have an honest discussion about life after infertility and pregnancy loss without honoring the very real and challenging grief of this experience.

Real hope is found in confronting pain, not avoiding it. That’s the first principle of life after infertility and pregnancy loss. Give yourself time to honestly face the loss you’ve experienced — to wrestle with it, feel it deeply and process it fully — before jumping to the next step.

Good is coming, but it can’t be rushed.

When you are on this journey, you may realize that you cannot do it alone. Many others have come to the same breaking point. There’s no shame in this. Reaching out to a counselor or other form of professional help could provide the support you need to carry on. You can use this guide from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine to find counselors who specialize in infertility and pregnancy loss.

Rebuilding Your Dreams

Alternative family-building options are becoming more popular and accessible. This means that your dream of starting (or growing) your family can take on a new shape in life after infertility.

Before we go on to family-building options, it’s important to stop and consider if this is really what you want. Life after infertility looks different for everyone. That could mean that, in your life, your new dreams are not related to building a family. Whatever passions bring your joy, that’s what you should pursue.

If your dream of starting a family is as strong as ever, then there are two primary ways to do that:

Adoption: There are several different ways to adopt. For hopeful parents choosing between adoption and surrogacy, domestic infant adoption is often the route that makes the most sense. This type of adoption involves a prospective birth mother creating an adoption plan for her unborn baby. She then chooses the adoptive parents (that could be you!) and, after birth, the newborn is placed with the parents.

The adoption journey is rarely easy, but it can be a beautiful and life-changing way to build your family. If you’d like more information about adoption, you can contact our sister agency, American Adoptions.

Surrogacy: The surrogacy process can be an amazing way to become parents. There are several different ways to go about finding a match, choosing a gamete donor, and completing other aspects of the process. The most important step to a successful surrogacy process is finding the right agency to work with. If you’d like to learn more about surrogacy, you can contact us at any time to speak with a specialist.

You’re Not Alone

Life after infertility and pregnancy and infant loss will always be impacted by the pain you’ve experienced. But, as you can see above, there are available options that create the opportunity for new life in the midst of the pain.

If you find yourself in a place where moving forward feels impossible, it may help to read the stories of others. You are not alone. Others have carried the same weight, and they can testify to the promise of a bright future.

Everyone is on a unique path. As you can see from these courageous stories, there’s always the chance that, despite the pain of the past, the future is full of goodness.

Contact Us Today

Would you like to speak with a surrogacy professional about surrogacy after infertility? Please contact us online today or call 1-800-875-BABY (875-2229).

Should You Become an Intended Parent During COVID-19?

We’ve all felt the widespread effects of COVID-19 in different ways. For some, it has brought about job loss and economic hardship. Others have struggled with loneliness due to social distancing, and many have felt an increase in anxiety as they go about their daily life with all of the new health and safety precautions.

COVID-19 has caused massive change and disruption to nearly every area of life, and that includes the surrogacy process. Intended parents who were ready to begin the process, and even those already in it, may be confused about what to do next. Should you continue to pursue surrogacy during COVID-19?

This is a personal choice, so we can’t make it for you. However, we can give you helpful information that puts you in a better place to make the right decision. And that’s why we’ve created this guide.

This is Part Two in our series on surrogacy and COVID-19. If you are a potential surrogate asking the same question, make sure to check out our blog for surrogates.

In order to decide whether or not pursuing surrogacy during COVID-19 is the right choice for your family, it may be helpful to understand how the process could change because of the pandemic.

How COVID-19 Could Change the Surrogacy Process

Every journey toward building a family through surrogacy is unique. That means the specific ways COVID-19 changes your process will depend on the details of your situation.

Has someone close to you contracted the virus, or have you gotten sick? How prevalent is the spread of the virus in your community? Are you a high-risk individual?

These (and other) personal questions will play a big role in determining how things change in your surrogacy process. Along with these things to consider, there are some bigger changes that most processes are experiencing in the face of COVID-19.

Clinic Policies:

Each fertility clinic implements unique precautions to protect clients from COVID-19. You should expect your experience to change. Consultations may move online, and in-person visits may require mask-wearing and other social distancing measures. Consult your fertility clinic to learn more about the guidelines they have put in place during this time.

Travel Plans:

Will your surrogacy process involve travel? Not all processes do. If you do expect to travel, then you will feel the impact on COVID-19 on this aspect of your journey. Airlines have enacted stringent safety measures, and flying is a higher risk activity due to the confined airspace shared with many others for several hours. If you have the ability to drive to your destination, that may be a preferable mode of transportation.

Surrogacy Funds:

The financial impact of COVID-19 has been devastating for many. Whether this comes in the form of job loss, reduced hours, stock losses or something else, your surrogacy budget may have been reduced because of the virus. You’re not alone in dealing with this. Speak to your surrogacy specialist and be totally clear about what your budget looks like because of the pandemic.

The Family-Building Timeline:

It seems like one feature of life in a pandemic is that everything takes a bit longer. Many places of businesses are still catching up on backlogged appointments from the shutdowns, and others simply run at a slower pace in order to follow all the required safety measures. The family-building timeline of your surrogacy process could be extended due to COVID-19.

These are several significant changes to the surrogacy experience that any intended parent should take into account when considering whether or not to carry on with the process in light of COVID-19.

Evaluating Your Options

Taking these considerations into account, should you move forward with the surrogacy process as an intended parent? The answer depends on several factors, including your personal risk tolerance, ability to be flexible and the current situation around COVID-19 in your area.

It should be noted that the impact of COVID-19 could change rapidly. Some communities have already weathered the worst of the virus and are operating under more normal procedures, while others are on the brink of lockdown. Make sure to take your local situation into account.

You might want to move forward with the surrogacy process if:

  • You are prepared to be flexible.
  • You surrogacy funds are secure.
  • You are OK with an extended timeline.
  • You are aware of the health risks involved with clinic visits, travel and other parts of the process.

You might want to consider pressing pause on surrogacy if:

  • The changes to the process will make you anxious.
  • Your surrogacy funds have been reduced due to the pandemic.
  • The fluctuating timeline and delays will be a source of frustration.
  • You or someone you know is at a higher risk for severe presentation of COVID-19, making the health risks associated with certain steps of the process more dangerous.

There’s no “right” or “wrong” decision in this situation. We’re all going through a pandemic for the first time, and it’s OK to feel confused or unsure. Whatever you choose will be the best decision for your life.

If pressing pause on your surrogacy process is what’s best, then that is OK. You’re not on a deadline. American Surrogacy will still be here to assist you months or even years from now.

Even if you had already stepped into the early stages of the surrogacy process, it’s OK to press pause and pick things back up when life is better. It’s not ideal, and it may be disappointing or frustrating. But, it’s better to be patient (even when it’s hard!) then to try and force the process at the wrong time.

Speak with a Specialist

Many intended parents find clarity when they speak to a surrogacy professional. If you have more questions about your specific situation, you can contact us online at any time or call 1-800-875-BABY (875-229) to speak with a specialist. We’d be happy to answer your questions, fill you in on how we are keeping our clients safe during the pandemic, and help you decide what will be best for your family.

Should You Become a Surrogate During COVID-19?

COVID-19 has disrupted nearly every aspect of modern life. What was once an abstract idea — a respiratory virus in a relatively unknown region of south-central China — has become a fundamental fact of daily life around the world. From work to school to social life and everything in between, we’re always considering how COVID-19 will come into play.

It’s no different, of course, with the surrogacy process. There’s a chance you were considering surrogacy before the pandemic began. Or, you may have started giving surrogacy serious thought more recently. Either way, you’re probably wondering if you should continue to pursue becoming a surrogate during COVID-19.

This is a personal decision, and only you can decide what is right for you. American Surrogacy is active and operating according to the highest standard of safety procedures to keep our staff and clients safe in the face of COVID-19.

We’ve created this guide to help anyone trying to decide whether or not becoming a surrogate during COVID-19 is the right choice. If you’d like to speak with a surrogacy specialist about this decision, you can contact us online today.

COVID-19 and Surrogacy

Surrogates and intended parents have different considerations when it comes to COVID-19 and surrogacy. To give both sides the time and attention they deserve, we’ve split this blog up into two parts. Keep an eye out for Part Two, which is for intended parents considering surrogacy during COVID-19.

For those who might be thinking about becoming a surrogate, the primary risk factors to consider have to do with your health during pregnancy, changes to typical prenatal visits, and how labor and delivery could be different because of COVID-19.

Understanding Pregnancy Risks

The majority of people who become sick with COVID-19 have mild symptoms and recover within several weeks. While anyone can experience a severe presentation of the disease — which can result in hospitalization — certain groups are at a higher risk for severe presentation. Those include people who are:

  • Elderly
  • Overweight
  • Living with pre-existing conditions, like heart failure or type 2 diabetes

So, what about women who are pregnant?

The jury is still out on the risk of severe presentation for women who are pregnant. There have not been enough observable presentations of COVID-19 in pregnant women to clearly determine the increased risk. Still, caution is advised. According to the CDC, “Based on what we know at this time, pregnant people might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people. Additionally, pregnant people with COVID-19 may be at increased risk for other adverse outcomes, such as preterm birth.”

The way this virus attacks can be random and unique from person to person. There are so many variables involved in a pregnancy that the risk for a severe presentation of COVID-19 that requires hospitalization is unknown. The best course of action is to exercise caution and use all social distancing measures to stay safe.

When considering your level of risk, take into account things like preexisting conditions, history of anxiety or depression and the current level of COVID-19 spread in your area.

If you are considering surrogacy during COVID-19, you will need to decide whether or not stepping into the unknown risk of pregnancy and the coronavirus is something you can handle. If these risks during pregnancy because of COVID-19 will increase your anxiety and stress, then it may not be the best time to become a surrogate.

Considering the Surrogacy Process

Most of the surrogacy process can’t be done virtually. There are some things that can transition to video calls, like conversations with your surrogacy specialist and the intended parents.

However, when you’re a surrogate, there’s plenty that you have to do in person. Depending on the spread of COVID-19 where you live, this experience could be different because of the pandemic.

Your visits to the fertility clinic will likely involve wearing a mask and other safety precautions. You may have to be tested for COVID-19 before the embryo transfer process, depending on the guidelines of your fertility clinic.

Similarly, your OBGYN appointments following a successful embryo transfer process won’t be the same as they would be in a pre-pandemic world. You will most likely have to wear a mask and potentially take other precautions as well.

Finally, labor and delivery may not be what you would have experienced before COVID-19. Depending on the hospital rules, one or both of the intended parents may not be allowed in the room with you. Other social distancing measures may be in place during this time, as well.

It’s difficult to say exactly what your experience would be like if you choose to become a surrogate during the pandemic. So many factors come into play — like the spread of the virus in your area, the specific rules of your medical providers and your own level of risk tolerance.

You should keep in mind that the surrogacy process can take 12-16 months from start to finish. If you are considering becoming a surrogate today, things could be different (as it pertains to COVID-19) by the time you get to appointments at the fertility clinic and other parts of the process.

Making Your Decision

Taking into account the increased risks associated with COVID-19 during pregnancy and the changes to the process, should you pursue surrogacy now? Ultimately, it’s your decision. Your choice will depend on your risk tolerance and your ability to be flexible during uncertain times.

Surrogacy professionals are still providing the necessary services to complete the process. Intended parents are still seeking matches. If you want to become a surrogate, you can. Just keep in mind how things will be different because of this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic.

Even if the risks and changes feel like they’ll be too much for you to handle, that’s okay, too. You’re under no obligation to become a surrogate, and there’s no shame in deciding that now is not the right time. Whenever you’re ready, American Surrogacy will be there to help you get started.

Contact a Professional

Finding clarity for a life-changing decision like this won’t be easy. If you’re still feeling confused, it could be helpful to speak with a professional. You can contact us at any time to connect with one of our surrogacy specialists, and you can also call 1-800-875-BABY (875-2229).

This conversation is always free of charge, and you’ll never be pressured into making a decision. We just want to help you make the right choice for you, whatever it may be.

Surrogacy and Vaccinations: Unpacking a Difficult Process

Surrogacy is an intimate process, and sometimes it requires uncomfortable discussions. The safety and happiness of everyone involved in the process — both the surrogate and the intended parents — is always the goal. To ensure that goal is achieved, one touchy subject has to be addressed: surrogacy and vaccinations.

The medical aspects of surrogacy make up a large part of the process. If you’re considering surrogacy — either as a surrogate or intended parent — then you’ll need to get used to in-depth discussions around medical issues. This can often feel invasive and uncomfortable.

Vaccines have become a delicate issue in our culture. What was once accepted almost universally as a good and necessary piece of modern medicine is no longer so simple. In fact, in many circles the mere mention of vaccines can cause tension. And ever since COVID-19 became a big part of our daily existence, the conversation around vaccines has only intensified.

If you’re interested in surrogacy, you’re going to need to push through this tension to understand how vaccinations can impact your journey. From agency requirements to finding a surrogacy match, vaccinations can significantly alter your experience with the process.

Surrogates and Vaccinations

Your health as a surrogate is a priority during the process. You may feel a strong conviction about vaccinations — whether you see them as necessary or harmful. What’s important to understand is how your views (especially if you are against vaccinations) could disrupt the process.

There are two levels of medical screening that surrogates must complete: the agency screening and the fertility clinic screening.

Each surrogacy agency has its own in-house medical screening standards. These agency requirements will determine whether or not you can begin the process as a surrogate. If you do not have all of your immunizations, you will need to check on your agency’s requirements before going any further.

The intended parents choose the fertility clinic that will perform the in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Each fertility clinic will conduct a medical screening before the procedure, and requirements differ from clinic to clinic. Many require a full vaccination record.

When you’re a surrogate, you don’t officially enter into your legal contract with the intended parents until the medical screening with the fertility clinic has been completed. A failed screening could result in the dissolution of a match, which can be very disappointing.

Our intent in saying this is not necessarily to change your mind. It’s important to remember that, when you are a gestational surrogate, you have the right to choose what you believe is best for your body.

However, it is our job to make sure you have all the information you need before making big choices. If you are interested in being a surrogate and are personally against vaccinations, it could become an issue in your medical screening.

Intended Parents and Vaccinations

The intended parents’ opinion on vaccinations can also be a factor in the surrogacy process. While intended parents do not undergo the same medical screening that surrogates do, their perspectives on vaccines can come up in the screening process and, as we’ll explore in greater detail below, could potentially become an issue when it comes to finding a match.

Intended parents who are against vaccines may want to find a surrogate who is also against vaccines. This could become an issue if it is not clearly addressed upfront. If a surrogate feels that immunizations are necessary to protect her health, the intended parents cannot force her to abstain.

Additionally, intended parents who are against vaccinations may have a hard time finding a fertility clinic that does not require them. Many fertility clinics have guidelines that include a long list of immunizations.  If this concerns you, you can ask a clinic if there are exceptions, or ask them to explain the safety of vaccinations during pregnancy. However, there is a chance that anti-vaccination views on the part of the intended parents could limit the number of professionals available to work with. 

Anti-Vaccination Views and Finding a Match

The aspects of surrogacy and vaccination covered above are primarily technical. But, there’s a more personal side to this discussion, as well. While medical screening and agency requirements should be considered, finding a surrogacy match is another topic of equal importance.

Here’s the simple truth when it comes to anti-vaccination views and finding a match: It may be more challenging to find a match if you hold this opinion of vaccines.

This can be true for intended parents or surrogates. If the other party accepts medical science on the safety and importance and vaccines and you do not, then it can often become an insurmountable disagreement.

Intended parents and surrogates do not have to perfectly agree on everything. In fact, disagreements on some level are common. However, vaccinations are too important for many people to simply “agree to disagree.”

The views of the intended parents and surrogate on vaccinations should always be discussed early in the process, so that a passionate disagreement can be avoided at a later stage.

The COVID-19 vaccine, specifically, could become a regular requirement for surrogates and intended parents when it comes to finding a match. While requirements from the agency side will vary, it’s expected that many surrogates and intended parents will want the other party involved to have received the vaccine once it is available.

On the other hand, there is a growing public wariness about vaccines, and the COVID-19 vaccine in particular. This could cause it to become a hot-button issue that impacts all areas of society, including surrogacy.

Once again, this information is not presented in an effort to change opinions. Rather, it’s vital that you fully understand the potential implications of anti-vaccination views when it comes to the surrogacy process.

Speak with a Specialist

Surrogacy can be a beautiful journey. Whether you are pursuing this opportunity as a surrogate or intended parent, we want you to feel encouraged and empowered. If you’d like to learn more about the process and speak to a specialist about this specific topic, you can contact us online today or call 1-800-875-BABY (875-2229).

Can You Still Pursue Surrogacy Even if You Can Conceive?

Surrogacy is an exciting opportunity. For many families, this path is the best and only way to build the biological family of their dreams.

But what happens if you and your partner are able to conceive naturally? Is surrogacy still an option for you, and if so, is it the right path?

Absolutely. Just because you can physically conceive doesn’t mean that’s the only path to building a family. In fact, many families feel that surrogacy is the best and only way to bring a child into this world.

Hopeful families come to surrogacy for a host of different reasons. Like with other types of family-building methods, choosing surrogacy will be a very personal decision to make — but it’s always an option for you.

Why Do Intended Parents Pursue Surrogacy if They Can Conceive?

There are a lot of answers to this question. Ultimately, every intended parent gets to decide how they want to build their family and why they want to do so through surrogacy.

Below are just five reasons that intended parents might choose surrogacy over their other options. Remember, no matter what the reason is, each one is valid, and there’s nothing wrong with choosing surrogacy over other family-building options.

1. An intended mother struggles to carry full-term.

Many women who are able to conceive struggle to carry their baby to full term. The reasons are numerous, but frequent miscarriages are common. After so many failed pregnancies, some women instead turn to surrogacy to make their family-building dreams come true.

2. Surrogacy feels right for them.

Similar to couples who choose to adopt even when they can conceive, many couples know that surrogacy is the right path for them, even if conceiving naturally is a possibility. Many women just don’t want to be pregnant, whether that’s for health or personal reasons, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

3. A pregnancy could put an intended mother’s health at risk.

For many women, conception is possible, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe. Some medical conditions and complications during pregnancy can affect not only a mother’s but a baby’s health, as well.

If a woman already has a pre-existing condition — like high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) and preeclampsia — becoming pregnant can worsen her health. Some conditions can made worse by becoming pregnant, posing too much of a risk for the intended mother. In that case, surrogacy will almost always be a better option.

4. They’re not interested in adoption or foster care.

When they learn how much goes into surrogacy, some people ask, “Why can’t you just adopt?”

It’s not as simple as you might think. While adoption is a viable option for building a family, it’s not for everyone. Adoption, like surrogacy, is still a complex, emotional process. There are some families who don’t want to pursue adoption because of the length of time it takes to bring a child home. They may also decide against foster care adoption because of the unreliability of this family-building path.

5. An intended mother is older than ideal for pregnancy.

By the time a woman reaches her 40s, it becomes much harder to conceive naturally. While it can still happen, the likelihood drops significantly. Age can be a huge obstacle for women who decide that they’re ready to become pregnant and carry a baby to term.

Rather than risk the failure to conceive, they instead choose gestational surrogacy from the get-go.

Is Surrogacy Right for Me?

That’s a question that only you can answer. But, with a lot of research, you can come to an answer that feels right for you.

Whether you can conceive or not, you should never feel guilty or ashamed for your surrogacy choice. At the end of the day, you have to make the decision that feels right to you. As long as you’ve done the work to educate yourself about what it takes to pursue surrogacy, there’s nothing wrong with this family-building option.

If you’re interested in becoming an intended parent, your first job will be to speak to a surrogacy specialist. To learn more, please call 1-800-875-BABY(2229) or contact American Surrogacy online to speak with a surrogacy specialist today.

Surrogacy for Gay Couples: Who Should Be the Genetic Father?

Surrogacy is the journey of a lifetime. But if you’re considering this family-building path as a gay male couple, there’s a big decision you’ll have to make.

Which one of you should be your child’s genetic father?

This question may be a lot harder to answer than you might think. For many LGBTQ couples, deciding who should be the genetic parent is the first obstacle as you start the surrogacy process.

But it doesn’t have to be as tough as it seems. To help make the decision a little bit easier, we’ve gathered some tips to set you off on the right path.

Start with an Honest Discussion

The most important conversations can be some of the toughest to have. But in any committed, loving relationship, you should be able to have open-minded, respectful discussions while recognizing both parties’ feelings. However, deciding who will be the genetic father could lead to a challenging and awkward conversation.

Because this decision will have a huge impact on your future, it’s only natural to be concerned. Family ties can also invoke strong emotions, so don’t be surprised if this conversation becomes stressful. Preparation and honesty will go a long way. Make sure to be up-front and honest about your expectations for this process.

Ultimately, choosing the genetic father is a decision you should make together. It goes without saying, but don’t save this conversation until the last minute. Leave enough time so the two of you can say what you need without feeling rushed. More likely than not, this will need to be a conversation that you revisit more than once.

Don’t forget to put your own convictions aside for a moment to give your partner’s feelings your full attention. Even if you are set on one choice beforehand, this conversation might just change your feelings. Try to be flexible and understanding throughout these discussions.

As long as you’re open and honest, you should be able to eventually come a decision that works for both of you.

Helpful Tips

Before you can make a decision this big, there are some key things you’ll need to do as an LGBTQ couple:

  • Talk to your fertility doctor: While it’s important to talk amongst yourselves, we recommend a third opinion, too. A fertility doctor can take a better look at your genetics and sperm quality. From there, they might explain which one of your sperm samples will give you the best chance of success.
  • Take a look at your family history: Before you make your decision, you may want to look at your family history, too. If there are genetic conditions or predispositions on either side of your family that you don’t want to pass on, take that into account.
  • Think about what you do want to pass on: Do you or your partner have a favorite trait that you’d like to pass on, such as your height or your hair color? It might sound like a small piece of the puzzle, but this might make a big difference in your decision.

Think Outside of the Box

When it comes to biological connection, there are a number of options for LGBTQ couples like you.

If you are planning to have multiple children through surrogacy, think about your future. For example, one of you could be the genetic father for your first child, and your partner could be the genetic father of the second (and so on). That way, each father could have a biological connection to each child.

Another option is to let your doctor choose the embryo without telling you who the genetic father is. This way, you’ll take the decision off your shoulders and leave it up to a professional. You can later identify the genetic father with a paternity test, or you might decide knowing is not as important as you thought.

Finally, you could ask a female relative (like a sister or cousin) of the non-biological father to be the egg donor for your gestational surrogacy. That way, the non-biological father still has some genetic connection to his child, even if it’s not direct.

However you decide to do it, choose a path that will make both of you happy.

It may not be easy to decide who will pass on genetic traits to your child. No matter what you decide, make sure that you’re able to come to an agreement together. If you’re having trouble doing so, the two of you might speak with an infertility counselor or a professional who specializes in gamete donation for more advice.

If you have any other questions about the surrogacy process with our agency, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our surrogacy specialists.

5 Signs Surrogacy After IVF is Right for You

Building a family is a lifelong dream for many people, one that can be years in the making. But, if you’ve been struggling with unsuccessful IVF attempts for some time, you might be unsure of what your other options are to make your dreams come true.

It’s common for hopeful parents to turn to gestational surrogacy after IVF and infertility treatments. However, it can be hard to know when it’s the right time to move forward or if it’s worth giving this process one last shot — especially if you are hoping that your dreams of becoming pregnant will eventually come true.

Naturally, this will be a decision that you’ll want to put a lot thought into. Changing your family-building plans will be a big adjustment, so it’s okay to take your time as you decide what works best for you. If you’re struggling at all while you try to figure out what to do next, remember that you can always talk to your infertility counselor.

In the meantime, here are five signs to look out for that might mean surrogacy is the right option for you.

1. You’re Ready to Move on from IVF Treatments

This one seems obvious, but it may take a lot of soul-searching before you can truly say yes.

Many people who are moving to surrogacy after IVF have already gone through several rounds of treatment — which means a lot of time and, sadly, disappointment. At this point, you’re probably feeling exhausted, disappointed and heartbroken. And no one can blame you.

For many people who have been pursuing IVF for months or years, it can be extremely difficult to let go of the dream of finally becoming pregnant.

It would be a great disservice to yourself to pursue surrogacy before you’re truly ready. Surrogacy is a long process with its own emotional ups and downs. Before you decide to move forward with it, you should research all family-building methods to confirm you’re making the right decision.

2. You’re More Interested in Parenting than Pregnancy

If you’re interested in surrogacy, you need to be prepared for the fact that someone else will be carrying your baby. Obviously, this process will not be like the pregnancy process you spent so much time envisioning. While it will be difficult, you must let go of your dreams of becoming pregnant in order to have a smooth journey during the surrogacy process.

If you have come to terms with this fact, you may also have realized that, for you, becoming parents is more rewarding than the pregnancy process itself. At the end of the day, that’s what this process really comes down to.

If you’re having doubts about the surrogacy process, or if you’re not ready to let go of your dreams of carrying your child, it would be better to wait until you are truly 100% ready to move forward.

3. You’re Worried About the Cost of Continuing IVF

As you likely already know, IVF treatments aren’t cheap.

It can be extremely frustrating and disheartening to watch your savings dwindle as you attempt cycle after cycle. Instead, many families choose to put their money toward a process with a higher chance of success. While this could mean they decide on surrogacy, they might even think about adoption, which has even greater chance of success.

While it may not be what you hoped for when you set off on your family-building journey, surrogacy can still be a great, fulfilling journey — that leaves you with more funds to give your child the opportunities they deserve.

4. You Only Have a Few Embryos Left

If an intended parent only has a few embryos left, they may start to look at other options — like surrogacy. When faced with this situation, the last thing that many families want to do is to put all their hopes into the traditional IVF process only to be let down once more.

If you’re unsure what to do and you want to protect your last embryos, it may be time to look into surrogacy, especially if you’re looking for an option with a higher success rate. Naturally, you will want to talk to a surrogacy specialist if you’re considering this path.

5. You’ve Done Your Research

For many people, surrogacy is still relatively new. Before you really get going, do as much research as possible about this process to make sure that it’s the best alternative for you.

Like IVF treatments, surrogacy can be a lengthy and expensive process. It is not something that just anyone can jump into, and it is certainly not right for everyone.

Please make sure that you’re ready emotionally, mentally and physically before you get started. Remember that moving on from IVF treatments doesn’t mean that you have to let go of your dreams of parenthood. We know that this is a big adjustment, and it will be an incredibly difficult decision to make as you consider your options for building a family.

If you think that you’re ready to learn more about the surrogacy process, please contact our surrogacy specialists at 1-800-875-2229(BABY). You are under no obligation to start the process, but they will give you plenty of information to help you learn more about this option.