Can a Baby Look Like the Surrogate Mother?

As an intended parent, there can be plenty of details swarming through your brain. While you prepare for parenthood, there is a lot to think about. What is the right surrogacy match for you? What biological connection is there between the prospective surrogate and your baby? It’s common and natural to consider questions like these.

That’s why we’re here to help you out. If you are curious about the genetic connection in surrogacy between the surrogate and baby, then you’re in the right place. We have created this comprehensive guide to give you the information that you’ve been searching for. Now, you can get an answer to that lingering question: Can a baby look like the surrogate mother?

Does the Baby Look Like the Surrogate Mother? [Gestational vs. Traditional Surrogacy]

Because you are an intended parent, you might be wondering, “Will the baby look like the surrogate mother?” To answer that question, you will need to understand the differences between gestational and traditional surrogacy. The vast majority of surrogacies today are gestational, and traditional surrogacies are illegal in many states.

When it comes to gestational surrogacy, there is no genetic connection between the prospective surrogate and the baby. This is because there is a sperm or egg donor involved, and many surrogacy professionals consider this the safer and more ethical option. So, can babies look like their surrogate? In gestational surrogacy, they won’t. It uses in vitro fertilization (IVF), which is when a doctor takes sperm to fertilize eggs outside of the body. Once the eggs are fertilized, they become embryos. These embryos are then transferred to the prospective surrogate.

Traditional surrogacy, on the other hand, uses an intended father’s or donor’s sperm. But it does not use an intended mother’s or donor’s egg. In other words, the prospective surrogate is the biological mother of the child. This can be much trickier for everyone involved, as there will be extra steps and legal precautions to be mindful of.

Explaining the Surrogacy Screening Process [Do Babies Look Like Their Surrogate Mothers?]

If you are still wondering, “Does a surrogate baby look like the parents,” then it may be helpful to have a deeper understanding of the surrogacy screening process. Starting the surrogacy process as an intended parent can be overwhelming. So, developing a solid understanding of the screening process for prospective surrogates can bring you some peace of mind.

For instance, American Surrogacy has a thorough screening process that is designed to provide you with as much reassurance as possible. We make sure that all prospective surrogates we work with are physically and mentally ready to embark on this journey. There are many emotional highs and lows of surrogacy, and we can guarantee that all our prospective surrogates are prepared for them. On top of rigorous background screening, they must meet the following set of requirements for surrogate mothers:

  • Between 21 and 38 years old
  • A BMI of 19-32
  • Non-smoker and no use of illegal drugs or other substances
  • No exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Have had at least one successful pregnancy but no more than five C-sections
  • Currently raising a child of their own
  • No significant complications in previous pregnancies
  • Completed a pap smear within the past year
  • And more

Because of these requirements, American Surrogacy can ensure that all our prospective surrogates are ready to meet the demands of both a successful surrogacy and pregnancy. Although it’s common for intended parents like you to wonder, “Does a surrogate baby look like the parents,” this ultimately doesn’t matter.  Whether a baby looks like you or the prospective surrogate isn’t important in the grand scheme of a successful surrogacy.

What Matters in a Successful Surrogacy

So, if genetic makeup doesn’t matter in a successful surrogacy, then we should tell you what does matter. As you enter your surrogacy contract as an intended parent, it can be helpful to prepare some questions for a prospective surrogate. Finding the right match is an important step, so we’ve given you some examples of questions to get you started:

  • What are some of your hobbies and interests?
  • How would you describe your family?
  • What education do you have?
  • Why do you want to become a surrogate?
  • What is your previous experience with surrogacy?

To get free surrogacy information now, you can fill out our online contact form at any time. We would love to help you get started on your surrogacy journey today! We are here for you whenever you may need us.

What American Surrogacy is Thankful for This Year

As the holiday season approaches, we here at American Surrogacy want to take time to reflect and recognize the incredible journey we’ve been on with all of our amazing surrogates and intended parents in 2021.  

Even though we’ve all faced challenges through the pandemic, we are grateful for the opportunity to help build families and see surrogates making a tremendous sacrifice to help intended families see their dreams of parenthood become a reality. 

Angie, one of our surrogacy professionals, always uses the holiday season as a time to reflect on all of the families we’ve worked with. 

“The holidays are my favorite time of the year and I am thankful to surrogates for making the ultimate sacrifice to allow others to become parents or add to their family. I’m thankful this option is available to so many families who otherwise felt they were at the end of their road.” 

“Although it might be a new normal, it finally feels like we are getting closer to getting through the pandemic and we can’t wait to help surrogates and intended parents achieve their surrogacy dreams in 2022.”   

While intended parents seeing their child for the first time is life-changing, surrogacy isn’t just about the day a baby is born. It’s about the journey everyone involved takes together to reach a happy ending. 

We want to take this time to recognize everyone that plays a role in the amazing surrogacy process. 

  1. The Selfless Surrogates Who Help Our Intended Parents  

There is a strong commonality you all share; the desire to help. 

Having experienced the miracle of pregnancy and the joy of parenthood gives you the perspective to understand what intended parents face when having a biological child of their own isn’t possible. 

Your choice to become a gestational carrier to help give an intended parent the gift of having a child is incredible. 

We’re thankful for the opportunity to work with all of you because we know carrying a child for someone else comes with its set of challenges.  

Your sacrifice, time, energy and willingness to do something so amazing for someone else is what drives us to be the best surrogacy agency we can be. 

Thank you to all of our gestational carriers who have helped bring life into the world in 2021! 

  • Our Amazing Intended Parents Seeing Their Dreams of Parenthood Become a Reality 

Whether you’re patiently waiting for the day your baby is born, or you’ve experienced the birth of your child in 2021, we want to say how thankful we are for the opportunity to work with so many amazing intended parents. 

We know many of our intended parents come to us as the last hope for a biological child. It’s an honor for us to be a part of helping make that dream become a reality through surrogacy.  

There is no greater joy than helping intended parents find the perfect surrogate and realize the chance to become a parent is on the horizon.  

We want to wish all of our intended parents their families the very best this holiday season. 

  • Our Surrogacy Professionals Who Work Tirelessly to Help Build Families  

Our surrogacy specialists, like Angie and Katie, are instrumental in helping our surrogates and intended parents come together to make surrogacy dreams come true. 

Family-building through surrogacy can be a lengthy and detailed process. Our goal is to help our surrogates focus on having the healthiest pregnancy possible and allow our intended parents to offer support and prepare for becoming parents by working hard in the background. 

Our professionals spend most of their time coordinating with various professionals during the surrogacy process while also offering support, education and resources when our intended parents and surrogates need it. 

This year, we want to offer a special thank you to all of our extraordinary surrogate professionals who play a significant role in building families through surrogacy. 

As We Look Ahead to 2022 

While looking back on another fantastic year at American Surrogacy, we also want to focus on the future and our goal of continuing to help build families through the life-changing journey of surrogacy. 

As surrogacy continues to grow as a way for intended parents to have a biological child and surrogates to experience the joys of pregnancy again while also helping intended parents, we strive to ensure that all of our clients get the support and resources they need. 

Our message is clear: We are here to help you every step of the way and to provide you with everything you need to have a healthy pregnancy that results in a beautiful child. 

For prospective surrogates and individuals or couples dreaming of parenthood and reading this, we are ready to provide you with the information you need to begin your surrogacy journey. 

Prospective surrogates can contact us online here. Intended parents, you can connect with a surrogacy professional today by completing this online form

We can’t wait for the opportunity to help your surrogacy dreams come true! 

Pursuing Surrogacy after Adoption

Adoption and surrogacy are two amazing ways to build a family, but there are some important things to know before beginning your surrogacy journey. 

  • Surrogacy and adoption have some significant differences. 
  • The surrogacy process can be lengthy. 
  • Intended parents can match with a well-qualified surrogate when working with a reputable surrogacy agency. 

Before we talk about the differences between adoption and surrogacy and how the surrogacy process works, it’s important to know that you can always reach out to a surrogacy professional by completing this online contact form

If you’re considering surrogacy after adopting a child, you probably have many questions about how surrogacy for intended parents works. An experienced professional is ready to answer all of your questions. 

Having already adopted a child, you know what it’s like to match with a birth mother, develop a relationship and experience the joy of seeing your child for the first time. 

Surrogacy offers some similarities in matching and experiencing a remarkable journey with a woman carrying your child. However, the dynamic in your relationship has some unique differences, and the medical process is more complex, which is why we want to provide you with as much information as possible to prepare you for what’s ahead. 

What is Gestational Surrogacy and How Does it Work? 

Gestational surrogacy is when a surrogate carries a child for an intended parent but has no genetic link to the child. Through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), an embryo created by the egg and sperm of the intended parents (or donor) is transferred into the surrogate’s uterus. 

Gestational surrogacy differs from traditional surrogacy in that a traditional surrogate would have a genetic link to the child. 

As surrogacy has become more popular and past cases of parental rights issues such as the case of “Baby M,” surrogacy professionals have moved away from traditional surrogacy and only work with gestational carriers. 

In your adoption, you may have matched with a birth mother well into her pregnancy or potentially after the baby was born. 

But what about pregnancy and the medical process of surrogacy

How the Surrogacy Medical Process Works 

First, you can find a complete guide to the surrogacy medical process here. You can also get more information from a surrogacy professional by filling out this online contact form

As the intended parent, you want the best chances for a healthy pregnancy and baby from your surrogate. 

To ensure that is the case, prospective surrogates must undergo a thorough screening process to determine they are medically and psychologically ready to be a surrogate. 

The screening process includes: 

  • healthy BMI 
  • Between the ages of 21-40 
  • At least one previous successful pregnancy 
  • No major complications from previous pregnancies  
  • No untreated STDs 
  • No smoking, drug use or exposure to second-hand smoke 
  • No use of anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications for the last 12 months 
  • And more 

After the initial screening process, surrogates will participate in medical and psychological evaluations to ensure they are medically ready to move forward with a gestational pregnancy and prepared for the complex emotions associated with pregnancy and becoming a gestational carrier. 

Once all screenings are complete and a prospective surrogate is determined to be a qualified candidate, the matching process will move forward, followed by sitting down with your surrogacy attorney to draft your legal surrogacy contract. 

Included in your legal contract is determining:  

  • How much financial compensation beyond covering medical costs will be given to your surrogate. 
  • The number of embryo transfers will take place to achieve a positive pregnancy. 
  • An agreement on issues such as selective reduction or termination. 
  • Your involvement in prenatal appointments and the birth of the child. 
  • The risks and liability associated with the pregnancy. 
  • Your preferences for diet restrictions during pregnancy. 
  • And more 

After you and the surrogate have agreed to the legal contract, you can move forward with the medical process of surrogacy. 

Remember, you can always get more information on the entire surrogacy process by contacting one of our surrogacy professionals

How Much Does Surrogacy Cost? 

Because each surrogacy journey is different, it’s always best to reach out to one of our professionals to discuss surrogacy costs. 

We also have a guide on general surrogacy costs here

Additionally, your surrogacy attorney and the surrogate’s attorney will work to develop an agreeable amount of compensation beyond the standard costs. 

What’s it Like to Match with a Surrogate? 

As previously mentioned, the matching process in surrogacy differs from adoption. As an intended parent, you match with well-qualified surrogates who have passed an extensive screening process, medical exam and psychological evaluation. 

When working with a surrogacy agency, the goal is to always match you with a surrogate that gives you the best possible chance for a healthy pregnancy and successful surrogacy journey. 

Your surrogacy professional will handle the entire matching process to ensure the surrogate you work with fits your specific needs and goals, giving you the chance to focus on building a relationship with her as you move forward in the process. 

Finding a surrogate safer and quicker is one of the many benefits of working with an experienced agency and professional. 

You can get more information on surrogacy matching and the entire surrogacy process by completing this form to connect with one of our professionals today. 

What are the Surrogacy Requirements for Intended Parents? 

In general, the surrogacy requirements for intended parents are about preparation. 

There are four key elements to preparing for your surrogacy journey. 

  • Research – When considering surrogacy, the best place to start is to research your state’s surrogacy laws, consult your doctor or a fertility clinic and read information on the basics of the surrogacy process. You can also reach out to anyone you know who has experience with surrogacy to gain different perspectives. 
  • Emotionally Prepare Yourself – Because surrogacy is a lengthy process and could include multiple embryo transfers to achieve a positive pregnancy, it’s vital that you and your partner or spouse are fully committed to the process and ready for any challenges. You’ll also need to commit to psychological screening and counseling both during and after the surrogacy process. 
  • Prepare Your Finances – Surrogacy is expensive, and you’ll need to prepare yourself for the costs associated with this type of family building. You’ll want to speak with your surrogacy professional to determine your exact costs and prepare for the additional surrogate compensation during the process. 
  • Legal Protection – Legal counsel for creating your surrogacy contract and protecting your parental rights is another crucial step in preparing yourself for surrogacy. Your attorney will help navigate your state’s surrogacy laws as well as obtain a pre-birth order to establish yourself as the baby’s parent legally. 

What Else Do You Need to Know about Surrogacy? 

The information provided here outlines the surrogacy process, surrogacy costs and requirements for intended parents. 

The next step is to reach out to one of our experienced surrogacy professionals to learn more about how to get your surrogacy journey started today. 

Why work with a surrogacy agency

  • A history of success 
  • Unlimited matching 
  • Extensive surrogate screening 
  • Support and guidance every step of the way 
  • Protection of surrogacy fees 
  • And more 

You deserve to work with the best professionals to ensure you have the safest and smoothest experience possible. 

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month [How to Cope]

Surrogacy is an amazing journey filled with twists and turns, some planned, some unexpected. There may be times where you encounter devastating obstacles. Whether it’s the embryo transferring not taking, a miscarriage or infant loss, experiencing heartbreaks during your surrogacy process is an unfortunate reality for many families. 

That’s why October has been chosen as the month to commemorate pregnancy, infant loss and miscarriage awareness month. Many families don’t know where to turn and feel they must grieve alone, struggling to cope with the loss of their infant or pregnancy. During this month, we encourage families, whether they’ve experienced infant or pregnancy loss or not, to recognize those who have. You should never have to bear these difficult emotions in silence. This month stands to help these families cope with grief in a healthy way. 

While the entirety of October is an awareness month, Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. “Remembering Our Babies,” a group dedicated to spreading awareness of this issue and encourages everyone to light a candle at 7 p.m. on Oct. 15 to represent the pregnancies and infants that were lost too early. 

The organization also offers guidance for coping with grief of a lost pregnancy or infant over the course of the year. Friends and families can view suggestions on how to support and counsel loved ones going through this grief process. 

In addition to the worldwide candle lighting, you can also see if an organization near you is hosting an awareness walk or activity within the month of October. You can also submit information about an event you’re hosting for advertising on their website. 

How to Cope with Pregnancy or Infancy Loss [Reach Out for Support] 

Many families might not know where to turn for help processing their grief. You might find more solace in one outlet than another. Fortunately, there are many resources available to those going through this difficult experience. 

Step 1. Find someone you can talk to 

The pain of losing an infant or pregnancy is immeasurable. Keeping all of these emotions to yourself can compound the pain and grief you are already experiencing. Your silence can potentially make it difficult if not impossible to grief properly and move forward. Verbally acknowledging your feelings can help you process them and work through them in a progressive way.   

You can find support in a spouse, parent, sibling friend or surrogacy specialist. Being able to talk about your grief can be a great form of emotional release. During National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month also allows you to connect with other families who have experienced this loss.  

Step 2. Find a support group 

There is an abundance of support groups and forums made up of people who are experiencing a lot of the emotions that you may be. Through this groups you can find a safe space to talk about your experience, receive emotional support, connect with others and support them and get tips on accessing helpful resources during this time. 

Whether these groups are in-person or via an online forum, having a community of individuals who can relate to your experience can be incredibly helpful in processing your grief and reaffirms that you are not alone. 

Step 3. Commemorate Your Loss in a Way that’s Meaningful to You 

There are many ways you can remember what you have lost on October 15. You can light a candle in remembrance of not only yours, but all the little ones that have been lost. Some communities organize walks or charity events to remember the ones lost.  

You might donate to a charity that helps other families who are going through the same pain you are. Some families even plant a tree or create some form of a memorial in remembrance of their lost infant. There is no right or wrong way to commemorate your loss. You may decide to do so in a way that’s personal and unique to your family. As long as you find a way to do so in a way that’s means something to you and brings you a sense of closure. 

Many surrogacy specialists can provide counseling and support to intended parents who are coping with their grief during this difficult month. They can also refer you to trusted professional counselors and/or other pregnancy and infant loss support groups. 

The surrogacy groups listed below can help you cope with your grief and connect with others who are experiencing something similar: 

You can also find a full list of infertility and infant loss groups in the United States here

The grief of losing a pregnancy or infant should never be something you have to deal with in silence. You are not alone. Your support system, surrogacy specialist and community of those who share in your grief will be there for you to lean on. To get the emotional support you need, reach out to a surrogacy specialist today. 

Can I Change my Mind About a Match? [What to Look for]

As a surrogate or intended parent, you will get a say in the intended parents that you will be carrying for or the surrogate you want to carry your baby.  It’s important that you match with a person or couple who shares your values and surrogacy goals. But what if you choose the intended parents or surrogate and further down the line change your mind? Can you choose a different person or couple? 

Yes! You should never be made to feel like you have to surrogate for intended parents that you don’t feel comfortable carrying for or choose a surrogate who you don’t want to carry your child. You will always have the right to choose the person or couple you feel best align with your surrogacy goals. Surrogacy is a complex and collaborative process. Having that special connection with the intended parents or surrogate will make for a positive surrogacy experience and foster a lasting bond. 

The Choice is Always Yours 

If you want to pursue surrogacy you will be able to create a surrogacy plan. This will include your preferred compensation, roles and responsibilities, any contact arrangements once the baby is born and more. You will never be forced into doing anything you want to do. Surrogacy is a collaborative effort, so your input will always be valued, even if that means changing intended parents or surrogates. 

While you can change intended parents or surrogates, it’s important that you carefully consider what you’re looking for in the couple or person you will be embarking on this journey with, not only for your sake but for theirs as well. You can take all the time you need to find the match that you feel aligns with your surrogacy goals. Surrogacy is a big decision, so it’s important that you feel completely comfortable with the person or couple you have chosen. 

How do you know when you’ve found the right match? Many surrogates say they could feel it in their gut. 

“It was just a gut feeling. The moment she messaged me there was just something there,” said Megan about her first conversation with her intended parents. “It’s just kind of like, when you know, you know, and… I just knew that they were going to be my family.” 

Your surrogacy specialist will work closely with you to create a set of preferences for the intended parents or surrogate you are looking for. 

Whatever you’re looking for in intended parents or your surrogate, your surrogacy specialist will find a person or couple who meet those preferences and present you with their profiles. Once you find a match  that resonates with you, your surrogacy specialist will be able to set up a meeting so you can get to know them and ask any questions you might have.  

With the help of your surrogacy specialist you’ll never have to ask, “Can I change intended parents?” “What if I’ve changed my mind about the surrogate I’ve chosen?”  You always get to choose the intended parents or surrogate who is right for you, and you will never have to make a choice until you are 100% confident in this decision. 

How to Change Intended Parents [Finding the Right Connection] 

When embarking on a journey as important as surrogacy, we understand that your surrogacy goals may change as you progress through the surrogacy process. It will always be within your rights to change intended parents if you feel this is what’s best for you. 

But, how do you change matches when making this decision? There are a few steps involved: 

Step 1: Tell your Surrogacy Specialist 

Your surrogacy specialist is there to support you in whatever you need. They understand the complex emotions that come with surrogacy and will never judge you for changing your mind about the intended parents you want to carry for or surrogate you want to carry for you.  They want your surrogacy process to be a successful and positive one— and that can’t happen if you aren’t working with the right family. 

Always be up front with your surrogacy specialist. They will be there to help you work through your feelings and potentially address any fears you might have. Whether this decision stems from miscommunication or a misunderstanding, they’ll help you pinpoint exactly what you are looking for in intended parents or surrogate. 

After you tell your specialist about your decision and you’ve talked through everything, they will break the news to your previously selected person or couple, and then help you learn more about how to change intended parents or surrogate and find the right match for you. 

Step 2: Think About what you Want 

If you decide to change intended parents or surrogate, it’s important that you identify the reasons why. Only then can you find the right couple or person to work with. 

Your specialist will talk with you in detail about your preferences and surrogacy goals when they talk about how to change intended parents, including what you didn’t like about the previous match. Together, you will create an updated list of preferences for the ideal intended parents you would like to carry for, and they will start collecting more surrogacy profiles for you to view. 

No matter how long it takes, you will find what you’re looking for, just like Nichole did. 

“We just decided we just wanted to work with each other; we have that connection that people say, ‘When you know, you know,’ and it’s true,” Nichole said. “You just know when it’s the right people to work with.” 

Step 3: Choose a New Surrogate or Intended Parents 

The rest of this process will be the same as choosing your initial match. You will get the chance to ask questions about the person or couple and even speak with them over phone to confirm they are the right choice for you. Think about the concerns you had about the last match, and make sure those are addressed before committing to this partnership. 

What to Consider When Changing Matches 

It’s normal to have reservations about intended parents or your surrogacy plan in general. Surrogacy is a big endeavor, and it’s nothing that you want to rush into before you are 100 percent ready. And that’s why many surrogates, like you, want to know, “Can I change intended parents if I need to?” 

The answer is yes. However, if you’re a surrogate, it’s important to recognize that intended parents have been through a lot, so it’s important to be 100% confident in your decision so that you aren’t jerking them around. Many prospective surrogate mothers and intended parents have an idea of what they want their “perfect match” to look like on paper, and it can be difficult to find intended parents or a surrogate that you feel that special connection with.  

No one is perfect, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find a match that’s perfect for you. To get more information on what to do if you change your mind about a match, reach out to a surrogacy specialist today.