Surrogacy is About More Than Getting a Baby [8 Life Lessons of Surrogacy]

When you choose surrogacy as intended parents, you’re not just getting a baby — you’re going to learn some important life lessons along the way.

First, here are a few things to remember before you choose to start or grow your family through surrogacy:

  1. Gestational carriers will be sacrificing a lot to carry your baby for you — she deserves your respect.
  2. Putting effort into building a relationship with your surrogate (and her family) can turn your surrogacy experience into a lifelong bond.
  3. Your surrogate is eagerly anticipating the day that you get to meet your baby!

If this sounds like a journey that you’re ready to start today, call American Surrogacy at 1-800-875-BABY (2229). If you meet the requirements to become a surrogate and you’re ready to begin your journey, contact us online at any time.

Next, let’s take a look at some of the life lessons that go hand-in-hand with your surrogacy experience.

1. Respect for Surrogates and Intended Parents

When a woman chooses to carry a child for you, she is doing more than becoming pregnant. Her family, her body and her time are putting in the effort to help you start or grow your family. On the other hand, you having the courage to ask for help when you’re struggling to conceive a child is brave. Trusting a woman to carry the precious gift of a child for you while you shower her with love and appreciation is one of the ways that can bring others faith in humanity. Both gestational carriers and intended parents deserve respect for their loving efforts.

“We were all able to grow in this experience, and it taught us a greater appreciation for what we have and who we are. Surrogacy helped me appreciate the profound luck that many of us have with conceiving and birthing our children and helped me bring about a greater respect for those that cannot. — Kelli, a surrogate

2. Patience [It’s a Virtue of Surrogacy]

Once you decide to choose surrogacy, as a surrogate or as intended parents, you’re ready to get pregnant and have a baby. But, this doesn’t happen in nine months — it could take a year or two. You must be armed with patience and the knowledge that it will happen, even if it doesn’t happen on the first try.

“When you want a baby, you want it right now — you wanted it yesterday — so it’s very, very hard to be patient, but in the end, it’s worth it,” Lindsey said. “You want it to be a happy ending for everyone and, if you’re patient, it will come.” — Lindsey and Shiloh, intended parents

3. Compassion and Understanding

You know the adage of walking a mile in someone else’s shoes? This certainly applies to surrogacy. You may not be going through the pregnancy yourself, but your surrogate is. Asking her how she’s feeling and really taking the time to listen can make a world of difference in your personal relationship with your surrogate. Even joining her at prenatal appointments, if possible, can bring you much needed compassion and understanding.

“Once, in my 2nd trimester, I mentioned to the [intended] dads that sleeping was becoming uncomfortable,” Chelsie, a surrogate, said. “Days later, I came home from work and had a delivery on my front porch — they had bought me a pregnancy body pillow! This is just one of the many sweet things they did for me and my family.”

4. The Humility of Surrogates and Intended Parents

It can be hard to ask for help, especially with something as personal as fertility. When you reach out to American Surrogacy and ask for help finding a prospective surrogate to carry your child for you, it can be a humbling experience. Watching a woman that you may not (yet) know very well go through the rigorous medical process of preparing for embryo transfer, and then carrying your child for nine months, can quickly help you realize that she is a selfless and brave woman — she wants you to have a precious gift that you may be unable to create for yourself.

Cassie, a surrogate, explained the simplicity of the humbling experience of surrogacy to her children in this way:

“[The intended parents] need help having a baby — mommy can help them have a baby.”

5. Surrogacy is About More Than Getting a Baby

You want to start or grow your family through surrogacy, but you will get more than the precious gift of a baby. Through surrogacy, you will meet your incredible surrogate and her family — the spouse and children who are supporting her in the process of carrying your child. You will get the opportunity to get to know wonderful people for nine plus months or even for a lifetime.

“We got our dream baby, but more than that we met amazing people along the way and had renewed faith in humanity and the kindness and love that can get you through tough chapters in life.” — Katie and Bryn, intended parents.

6. An Appreciation for Health

Being unable to carry a child often has to do with health conditions. For example, heart conditions, diminished ovarian reserve, low sperm count and other conditions that make pregnancy dangerous or extremely difficult. Prospective surrogates must have a clean bill of health and proof that their previous pregnancies were low risk and healthy throughout. Surrogacy can be a reminder that some people develop health concerns throughout their lives that prevent them from doing the things that they want to do, like having a baby, and that’s OK.  

 “There are so many great people out there that want a child but can’t do it without help. You were blessed with a body that cannot only give you a family but could help build another!” — Alexis, a surrogate

7. A Surrogacy Support Team Makes All the Difference

When a woman plans to become pregnant with her own child, she has the support of her family and friends before, during and after childbirth. But when a woman becomes pregnant as a gestational carrier, she needs the extra support of American Surrogacy and you, the intended parents. Surrogacy is a unique journey that involves extra supportive people because so much planning, time, effort and love are going into the arrival of your precious child.

“I began the medications, and between the parents, [surrogacy agency], and family, I had people checking on me often to ensure everything felt right. We had the first transfer…and I was confirmed pregnant. It was an amazing feeling knowing we were on our way.” — Kelli, a surrogate

8. It Takes a Village [to Have a Child]

When you choose to have a baby through surrogacy, there are many people involved. It may seem like it’ll be just you (the intended parents) and your surrogate, but that’s not the case!

First, once you reach out to American Surrogacy you will get assistance from your screening coordinator and case manager. They will be involved in your journey from beginning to end, cheering you on and answering all of your questions.

Next, you begin the matching process which will result in you meeting your prospective surrogate. She will already have children of her own who you may get the opportunity to meet. Often, your surrogate will be married as well, which means you’ll probably meet her spouse, too.

Finally, you’ll meet with an attorney for contract negotiations and then there will be many other professionals behind the scenes. Fertility doctors, nurses, lab and ultrasound technicians are just a few of the many people involved in helping you have a baby. (Don’t worry: American Surrogacy can help you find these professionals and resources!)

Last, but not least, are the extended family and friends who are looking forward to meeting your baby. These are people who have been by your side as you made the decision to choose surrogacy. All of these people help make it possible for you to meet your baby for the first time and will be there for you as you embark on your journey to parenthood.

If you’re ready to begin your surrogacy journey today, call American Surrogacy at 1-800-875-BABY (2229). Contact us online at any time if you meet the requirements to become a surrogate and you want to learn how you can get started.

80 Surrogacy Quotes that Will Make You Laugh and Cry

What Surrogates and Intended Parents Have to Say about Surrogacy

Surrogacy can be an amazing experience for surrogates, their families and intended parents. But, don’t take our word for it — see what surrogates and intended parents have to say about their surrogacy experiences.

To begin your journey as intended parents or as a gestational carrier, call American Surrogacy today at 1-800-875-BABY (2229). If you meet the requirements to become a surrogate and you’re ready to begin, contact us online at any time.

Why Surrogates Choose Surrogacy

1. “Choosing to be a surrogate and to have a surrogate, is a calling and not without heartfelt considerations.” — Amber, a surrogate

2. “The top reasons I chose to become a surrogate mother was to be pregnant again, to enjoy pregnancy. To help a family, a couple that wasn’t able to have another child. To just give back in some way that not many people think about. But, that’s something easy that you can do and it’s selfless, and it’s something actually fun.” — Alicia, a surrogate

3. “The top reasons I wanted to become a surrogate were to help a family. I enjoy being pregnant, so that wasn’t a problem. It was also going to financially benefit us, so it was good timing, a good fit for us at that point.” — Codi, a surrogate

4. “I initially chose to become involved in surrogacy because I watched some very dear friends struggle with infertility. I knew they would be amazing parents and it broke my heart that they may not have the opportunity to have a family of their own… As a bonus, I also happen to LOVE being pregnant!  I have four children, including a set of twins. And yes, even pregnant with twins, I enjoyed it! — Delicia, a surrogate

5. “Becoming a mom completely changed my life in the most unimaginable way. My son is 6 and I cannot imagine my world without him. After watching several friends face infertility, I realized I could help others who were unable to have their own children. After almost 6 months of research and thinking about the impact surrogacy would have on me and my son, I…made one of the most rewarding decisions of my life.” — Chelsie, a surrogate

6. “Surrogacy was something I had wanted to do for a long time, after having watched a friend struggle with their own fertility and knowing how great of a mother she would be.” — Amanda, a surrogate

7. “My first interest in surrogacy came long before I had children of my own, during the time in which my sister was currently carrying twins for a family who could not conceive themselves…” Kelli said. “After I birthed my second child, I felt that my family was complete and began my research into surrogacy to ensure it was still on the table. It was truly the love I hold for my children that confirmed surrogacy was for me. As many surrogates will say, I could not imagine my life without my children, and wanted to provide every opportunity for a family to be able to say the same thing.” —  Kelli, a surrogate

8. “I became a surrogate from sheer fate. A dear friend of mine had asked if I would be her surrogate. I thought, ‘Surrogate?! That’s a thing?’…Three months later [my friend] was pregnant. However, I was left with the thought of having a baby for someone else. My husband and I were done having more babies, I enjoyed pregnancy and thought, if I could be pregnant and help create a family that I would look into it.” — Alex, a surrogate

9. “I first considered becoming a surrogate while visiting Disney World with my family,” Alexis said. “When I was there, I was overcome with pure joy for the memories we were creating with our three boys. It was like the joy you get at Christmas. It made my heart ache for those who truly want to have this experience but can’t due to health reasons.” — Alexis, a surrogate

10. “Once you put yourself in somebody’s else’s shoes, there’s really no turning back, once you see the struggle and the pain, and you wish you could just help everybody,” Megan said. “I said to [my husband], ‘If we couldn’t have children, what would you want? What would you want somebody else to do for us?’” — Megan, a surrogate

The Surrogacy Motto: “Hurry Up and Wait.”

11. “When you want a baby, you want it right now — you wanted it yesterday — so it’s very, very hard to be patient, but in the end, it’s worth it,” Lindsey said. “You want it to be a happy ending for everyone and, if you’re patient, it will come.” — Lindsey and Shiloh, intended parents

12. “Hurry up and wait. You’re like, ‘Yeah, let’s go get pregnant right now!’ and then you’re like pre-screening, medical screening, psych, contracts…literally it took me two years and all of that time, I was waiting for this moment [when the IPs meet their baby].” — Cassie, a surrogate

13. “I was so excited and my husband was completely supportive and on board but I had no idea what to expect. The next few months consisted of meetings, medical record reviews, appointments with fertility clinics and of course, our match meeting…We knew this journey would be life-changing, and it has greatly bonded my family while adding a new extended family. As we approach our third trimester with our IPs’ first little boy, we are filled with so much excitement and love.” — Amanda, a surrogate

14. “I began the medications, and between the parents, [surrogacy agency], and family, I had people checking on me often to ensure everything felt right. We had the first transfer…and I was confirmed pregnant. It was an amazing feeling knowing we were on our way.” — Kelli, a surrogate

The Moment that Every Surrogate is Waiting for

15. “The surrogacy surpassed all of my expectations. I wanted to help a family and I loved being pregnant, but nothing prepared me for the overwhelming feelings when I saw the dads holding their twins for the first time after delivery! My heart could have burst! It wasn’t just happiness I saw on their faces, but a sense of wholeness. They had the missing pieces from their lives. I immediately told myself: ‘If I am approved to do this again, I will.’ Knowing the difference I’d made and the lives changed through the birth of those sweet twins was so fulfilling.” — Delicia, a surrogate

16. “The first [embryo transfer] was a success! I couldn’t wait to share the news with my intended family. My biggest hope was that I could keep this bun baking to full term so this family could be blessed with a happy, healthy baby… a less stressful welcome to the world than their previous pregnancies.” — Chelsea, a surrogate

17. “WOW, I helped them become dads! They were so full of love, joy, awe, excitement and nervousness at being new parents, but never stopped checking in on me to make sure I was doing well.” — Chelsie, a surrogate

18. “Being able to help give something to someone they may have not had the chance to otherwise is a wonderful feeling. I am most looking forward to seeing our IPs hold and raise this child they have longed for.” — Amanda, a surrogate

19. “From the success of the second transfer to the birth, the little one grew perfectly and was wonderfully (and thankfully) easy to carry every step of the way. I gave birth to a little girl just 4 days before my birthday…the parents were unable to attend, a moment I’d wanted so badly to witness. We sent them many pictures and offered to care for the baby until they arrived…It was close to midnight for the IPs, so they wished us a good day and signed off by saying excitedly, ‘Take care of our little girl!’ My heart swelled for them.” — Kelli, a surrogate

20. “I was so excited to see my intended parents hold their daughter for the first time. As I had been watching them prepare for parenthood and decorate her nursery, I couldn’t wait to see them feed her, change her, love her. As a mother and parent I know that feeling and for them, the moment she was born, I knew they felt the same exact way. — Alex, a surrogate

21. “It was such a fulfilling experience to see my IPs head home as a family.” — Maggie, a surrogate

22. “It was the moment that I had been waiting for, it was just like all of this work and that [moment] was the pay-off…I loved my first journey so much that I decided to do it again.” — Cassie, a surrogate

The Gestational Carrier/Intended Parent Relationship

23. “I think what made it was the connection — the very first connection,” Nichole says. “I think if you have the right match, you will have an extended family for the rest of your life… I chose to go with American [Surrogacy] because Angie was also worried about finding me the perfect match, and that’s what I wanted.” — Nichole, a surrogate

24. “Now I am on my second and final journey as surrogate,” Alexis, a surrogate, said. “I felt so much happiness providing a baby to a wonderful family that I decided to do it again. The new family I’m working with feels like I have been best friends with them for 20 years. They are so kind and grateful for the chance to have a baby. It is going to be a great experience that will end in a friendship for a lifetime.”

25. “We were very lucky that we got pregnant with our little baby girl, Freia. Our surrogate was so loving towards our baby, she also told her children about her, and they all called her by her name and spoke with her during the pregnancy, which we are so grateful for, she could never have been in better hands.” — Anne-Marie and Igor, intended parents

26. “[The surrogacy] team found us the most amazing woman to be our surrogate and carry our baby girl. She is just an excellent match for us! We have created a very unique relationship with her and her family! …Now our first baby girl is in our arms and our dreams have come true! We are looking forward to our next journey…in the very near future!” — Jasmine and Victor, intended parents

27. “We started the matching process…I got to meet my intended parents, we did contracts and matched. Once all of that was taken care of it became very much about building a relationship with my intended parents so that they felt comfortable trusting someone with their child, and then also for me so that I didn’t feel just like a body. That relationship was really important for me.” — Codi, a surrogate

28. “My life has changed so much since having been a surrogate…I have had one very successful surrogacy journey that resulted in me delivering a beautiful baby girl to the most amazing couple, of whom I remain good friends with!” — Anonymous surrogate

29. “Even though they lived around the world, they were involved, supportive and very open and communication was easy. They built a solid relationship with me, my parents, and my son. Once, in my 2nd trimester, I mentioned to the dads that sleeping was becoming uncomfortable. Days later, I came home from work and had a delivery on my front porch — they had bought me a pregnancy body pillow! This is just one of the many sweet things they did for me and my family.” — Chelsie, a surrogate

30. “But, I believe I was most grateful for the opportunity to select the family as much as the family is able to select me. It is important in this journey to feel comfortable and happy…when choosing my path.” — Kelli, a surrogate

31. “As a first-time surrogate, I knew that helping someone have a family was something I wanted to do, however, I had no idea how life-changing this would be. I was matched with a wonderful couple — it could not have been any better of a match. For this couple, I carried twins, a boy and a girl…When I look back on my experience, I realize that I have given a couple a beautiful family, gained a good friend [the intended mother], and developed a new level of closeness with my husband. I am changed forever in a beautiful way!” — Nicole, a surrogate

32. “You get [to give] your baby kisses and smooches, and I get to love on [the intended parents], too,” Megan says. “I didn’t just have babies for somebody else; I gained an entire family through the whole process….It was the most rewarding thing in the entire world. I would do it all over again.” — Megan, a surrogate

33. “Nicholas told our children that Julian is their cousin from Miami… It’s amazing to me that we have such a great relationship.” — Nichole, a surrogate

34. “For some surrogates, it’s a goodbye: ‘Thanks for everything you did; I’m out.’ But it just wasn’t like that,” Nichole said. “It was, ‘We love you guys, we’ll see you later, thanks so much’ — that kind of relationship.” — Nichole, a surrogate

How Surrogates Explain Surrogacy to Their Kids

35. “I told my children that it’s just like when we buy supplies or Christmas gifts for needy children – we are helping a family have a baby they can’t have on their own,” Alexis, a surrogate, said. “I told my boys, ‘If I could never make these amazing memories with you, I would be heartbroken.’ We are allowing someone else to create happy memories and complete a hole in their hearts.’ I have always believed in teaching my kids compassion for others and we are here on this earth to help one another, not to be self-consumed. What better way of showing this but by example of helping a family have a child!”

36. “My kids and my [intended parents] are very close. They Skype with us and send presents on holidays and birthdays and my kids/surrokids refer to themselves as ‘siblings of the heart.’ The experience has been an amazing way for my kids to learn compassion for others and the importance of using what you have available to help others.” — Delicia, a surrogate

37. “Since the beginning, my husband and I have been very open with our two boys (ages 5 and 3) about our plans for surrogacy and even brought them to our match meeting, and to meet with our IPs in person, as we felt if we wanted a lifetime connection, our children were just as big of a part of that.” — Amanda, a surrogate

38. “[The intended parents] were involved with my kids, and my daughter knew they were the parents of the baby I was pregnant with and that this baby had no ties to mommy. My son just thought I ate all of his toys.” — Alex, a surrogate

39. “Kids are so nonjudgmental. They don’t have that in their brains yet, so they’re like, ‘cool mom’ and they get it…With our IPs I told my smallest that [the intended mother’s] tummy is broken, mommy’s is not, and we’re just going to help them have a family like I have a family.” — Rose, a surrogate

40. “Nobody’s been able to tell [your kids] that [surrogacy is] weird or that there’s anything different about it. They’re just like, ‘OK they need help having a baby — mommy can help them have a baby,’ and that’s perfectly enough for them.” — Cassie, a surrogate

41. “I was just open and honest with them throughout the whole process. They were really young when I started, but I talked to them and laid it out for them, even in their young age, I explained to them what was going to happen. I wanted to make sure that they understand. I wanted to make sure that they were comfortable with the process before I even moved forward. And I think if you do it like that they just kind of take it and that’s what it is and they just accept it…They’re not going to think it’s weird unless you tell them it’s weird.” — Ami, a surrogate

Surrogacy Can Influence Positive Change in Your Family, Your Friends and Yourself

42. “I have always been a giver by nature and…I thought, ‘This is an amazing gift!’ Alexis, a surrogate, said. “I will be honest – my husband thought I was crazy but…he admitted he was very intrigued by the money. How things change! After our first [surrogacy] meeting, he said, ‘This is truly the greatest gift that you can give.’”

43. “We were all able to grow in this experience, and it taught us a greater appreciation for what we have and who we are. Surrogacy helped me appreciate the profound luck that many of us have with conceiving and birthing our children and helped me bring about a greater respect for those that cannot. — Kelli, a surrogate

44. “[My dad] was not supportive at all…But, he’s done a complete turnaround…It’s a humbling experience for everybody that you come in contact with and it’s definitely a growth experience for me, I know, and for people like my dad.” — Rose, a surrogate

45. “It helped open a lot of people’s eyes to surrogacy. My mom was one that whenever I told her, ‘I think I want to be a surrogate,’ she was one of those people that was like, ‘How does that work? I don’t understand the whole process.’ But then now, at the end of it, she was so proud of me and proud of what I was able to help these people get. Any chance that she has she tells people about me.” — Cassi, a surrogate

46. “Once people find out how the whole [surrogacy] process works and everything, a lot of the time they change their tune. Once they realize that it’s not malicious or you’re not doing anything wrong that you’re genuinely just helping people.” — Cassie, a surrogate

The Hardest Part of Surrogacy is…

47. “Of course, there are challenges in the process, like the shots and medications, and the strong feeling of not wanting to disappoint anyone, and even wondering if it would be difficult to say goodbye to the baby,” Alexis, a surrogate, said. “But as the journey progressed, I was so eager for the family to meet their little one. The shots were hard; but like childbirth, you quickly forget the pain.”

48. “As surrogates, I don’t think we can imagine the potential emotional stress and challenges that are ahead. My IPs and I have had our smiles and our tears. Having someone qualified and experienced…makes the whole process and experience smoother and more enjoyable for all.” — Susan, a surrogate

49. “Anyone who has ever been pregnant knows that pregnancy is a stressful time, no matter how ideal. Carrying a baby for someone else has the potential to be even more stressful…Even though I didn’t have any major issues, it was comforting to know that someone was available, day or night, if I needed them for anything!” — Suzie, a surrogate

50. “I am in my second surrogate relationship and have found that it is an emotional roller coaster no matter who you’re coupled with…For me it has made all the difference in the world to have that personal relationship with [a surrogacy agency] who cares about my journey.” — Jovita, a surrogate

51. “The hardest part about being a surrogate is being pregnant, it’s the best and the hardest part because you’re giving up a part of your life for somebody else. It’s not even for your own family; it’s for someone else’s family to have this precious gift. And I believe that’s the hardest part that you have to put a part of your life on pause for nine plus months to give someone else a gift.” — Alicia, a surrogate

52. “The hardest part for me about being a surrogate was the weight of carrying somebody else’s joy and happiness. You carry your own, and you love them immensely, and you know that you would do the best things for them, but when you’re carrying somebody else’s you have all of those feelings, but you feel like you have to prove to someone, ‘I promise I’m taking care of him to the best of my ability.’ I found myself worrying about things that I didn’t worry about with my own son. That was the hardest part. By the end of the journey I was very much ready to not be responsible for somebody else’s joy and prized possession.” — Codi, a surrogate

53. “Unfortunately, we lost the baby the following August. It was an event that was always a possibility, but it still caught me off guard. It was the only fear I had going into the process and it had happened. I could not believe the outpouring of support the IPs and I received from all the agencies. The IPs even extended their condolences to me, which is the least selfish thing I have ever experienced. They were eager for another transfer and we tried again…” — Kelli, a surrogate

54. “Due to her prematurity, the baby had some difficulties breathing on her own and had to be whisked away in the middle of the night to a proper NICU almost 2 hours away. I believe hormones played a role, but this was the only moment in my surrogacy that I felt helpless. I had cared for this little being for almost 9 months and protected her, but now I couldn’t do anything to help her, and her IPs were not yet here to hold her…I was suddenly alone with the thought that I had failed. In hindsight, I know that this thought was misguided, but I was devastated…and very concerned for the baby…It was a unique emotion, but the other hospital called me regularly to update her status…and the IPs and I talked as much as possible until they arrived. As soon as I was well enough to leave the hospital, I immediately traveled to the NICU. Baby girl and her parents were all cozy in their own private room. I had missed the moment they were united as a family for the first time, the moment I’d dreamed about since day one, but it didn’t matter. You could almost feel the love and excitement in the room…It was almost overwhelming. The baby was released from the hospital in less than a week, and she is now home with two loving parents and an extended group of family and friends that have waited years for her arrival.” — Kelli, a surrogate

Reimbursement and Compensation

55. “When I started the process I always thought, ‘I could probably do it without compensation, like I just really want to do this.’ However, I think it’s important now that I’ve gone through it, to say it was very valuable. The compensation made it feel like I was valued in that sense.” — Codi, a surrogate

56. “I did not know what I was going to do with the money ahead of time. The first time around I did know that I was going to go to nursing school with the money, which I did get to do that, and that was very helpful. The second time around…I used the money for expenses and also for my daughter. Trips with her, we went on vacations a lot. I used a lot of the money for her…to show my appreciation for her being so understanding and just a great little helper while I was going through the process.” — Alicia, a surrogate

57. “For me, surrogacy was a great experience I hope to repeat again one day when my husband and I both finish school, hopefully debt-free thanks to the compensation!” — Kelli, a surrogate

58. “The first time I did it to make a difference in the world,” Alexis, a surrogate, said. “I wanted to show my children how to help others and that giving is a great thing. This time I am excited to give the gift of a child but I’m doing it for my family. We spent the first money on home improvements and a trip, but this time I am doing it for financial peace. We plan on paying off both our cars and student loans. This will free up $900 in our monthly bills! We will save that extra money and plan to travel more with our kids. It is allowing us to do more without hurting us financially and paying off our debt will save us over $10,000 a year! So yes, my motives have slightly shifted for the second surrogacy but in the end, a wonderful family will get the baby they so eagerly await!”

59. “This journey has changed our life in so many positive ways. Aside from the financial gain that we are experiencing, being able to save for a house and build our savings, we have been able to positively educate people on gestational surrogacy and teach our children the act of giving.” — Amanda, a surrogate

Surrogates Believe Surrogacy is Worth It

60. “I can tell you now it is worth every second, and every up and every down. Surrogacy is worth it, 110%.” — Megan, a surrogate

61. “I was very happy that they had their child. I at no point wanted to take their child home nor did I feel like it actually belonged to me. I did not have that portion, I didn’t feel like a piece of me was missing. I felt like I did something good for someone else, and it was their child to have. I was glad that I was able to carry their child for them.” — Alicia, a surrogate

62. “The journey was so much more rewarding than I could ever have imagined!” Alexis, a surrogate, said. “From little things, like hearing the parents cry with joy when they found out I was pregnant, to the breathtaking ultrasound with the grandparents in the room. I will never forget the grandpa crying when he learned his family name would carry on and that the baby was a boy! There was not one dry eye in the room.”

63. “On this Mother’s Day evening…I am reflecting on how I made someone a mother of 2 beautiful healthy babies which she could never have on her own,” Jessika, a surrogate, said. “Wish I could do it for many more women out there. What a dream come true.”

64. “The entire experience of being pregnant again, being a surrogate, and helping a couple have a baby was all that I had hoped it would be…Though I have to wait a while before I can be a surrogate again due to my own medical reasons, it is something I feel I would like to repeat.” — Charleen, a surrogate

65. “When the baby was delivered I was very relieved, first off, and then very excited because the parents were in the room so they got to see the baby and everyone was already coming up to me saying ‘thank you’ and kisses and hugs. It was just a great experience and I felt really proud of what I did at that time. Even afterwards, when the baby came to visit me the next day, I was very grateful to be a part of this experience and they were grateful for me having the child for them and you could see it in everyone’s face, and they tell you, and it was just a lot of love and joy in the room and it was a great thing to be a part of.” — Alicia, a surrogate

66. “I never felt attached to the baby in the same way I felt attached to my own, but I did get very attached to the adventure…,” Kelli said. “There were a few individuals who said I would regret it, but I am happy to state that I definitely do not, and knew I never would.” — Kelli, a surrogate

67. “You are giving the ultimate gift,” Alexis, a surrogate, said. “There are so many great people out there that want a child but can’t do it without help. You were blessed with a body that cannot only give you a family but could help build another!”

68. “I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever done. It just made me feel so fulfilled, so happy, so blessed to be able to do that for a family.” — Ami, a surrogate

69. “Surrogacy allowed me to fulfill a dream that I had always wanted to do. I wanted to give the biggest gift possible and, to me, that was life. I got to fulfill that and I got to watch the emotions and I get to see the joy and it is the most amazing feeling in the world.” — Megan, a surrogate

What Intended Parents Say About Surrogacy and Their Gestational Carriers

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

71. “One of the first things [Megan] said to me was, ‘I’m not in this for the money,’” Lindsey said. “She wasn’t going to just do it for anybody; she wanted a family that she felt a connection with. That meant a lot to me.” — Lindsey and Shiloh, intended parents

72. “I never thought that [the surrogacy relationship] would go from complete stranger to best friend and a relationship that will always be there, so that’s pretty neat,” Lindsey said. — Lindsey and Shiloh, intended parents

73. “So I try to repay [our surrogate] in any way I can. Just any little thing that makes her feel loved – just anything to say ‘thank you, thank you, thank you for helping make me a mom!’” — Jenn and Brad, intended parents

74. “We got our dream baby, but more than that we met amazing people along the way and had renewed faith in humanity and the kindness and love that can get you through tough chapters in life.” — Katie and Bryn, intended parents

75. “My husband and I had a beautiful girl on Feb. 26., and I can’t describe how happy and excited we are…We liked our surrogate very much, she is amazing and a wonderful woman…We are ready for a second child now, and hope that… we can have a second child next year.” — Sunny, intended parent

76. “My husband and I have been trying to have a baby for eight years…[our surrogacy agency] has…provided us a wonderful surrogate, who is a beautiful spirit and a lovely person whom I believe is a true gift to us and our future child!” — Tamara, intended parent

77. “[Our surrogacy agency] paired us with a wonderful surrogate…and ultimately to a successful result. As we write this, our surrogate is carrying our next pair of twins! …It’s been a wonderful experience.” — Mike and Lisa, intended parents

78. “This is an incredible thing to do with your life, to give the gift of carrying someone’s child, so I am very grateful and feel very blessed and grateful to [my surrogate].” — Ellen Pompeo, intended mother

Why People Love American Surrogacy

79. “You need someone that you’re going to trust to choose a surrogate for you, and American Surrogacy was the only agency I felt comfortable with and was genuine enough for me to choose over the other agencies. I spoke to many surrogacy agencies — small and big — and none of them made me feel the way American Surrogacy made me feel. The people (at American Surrogacy) really cared about what they were doing, and this is the main, main thing you have to find. Everyone over there cared about me and what I wanted. ” –Nicholas, intended father

80. “When I researched American [Surrogacy], they had a lot of information on their website — information you could obtain without submitting your information first. I submitted my information and immediately I got a response back. [My American Surrogacy specialist] wasn’t in it just to have her company make money. She was very sincere in finding out how I was and finding me a good match. She worked really hard to do so, and that match was amazing.” –Nichole, surrogate

To begin your journey as intended parents or as a gestational surrogate, call American Surrogacy today at 1-800-875-BABY (2229). If you meet the requirements to become a surrogate and you’re ready to begin, contact us online at any time.

Surrogate Compensation vs. Reimbursement [An Intended Parent’s Guide to Understanding the Difference]

Women who desire to be surrogates, and those who already are gestational carriers, are special people who want to give a gift that will start or grow a family. Although there is monetary reimbursement involved and base compensation for carrying a pregnancy, surrogates aren’t in it for the money.

You may be wondering, “If not for the money then why do they do it?” Believe it or not there are several reasons that women choose to become surrogates:

  1. She wants to help intended parents, like you, start or grow your family.
  2. She enjoys being pregnant, but feels that her own family is complete.
  3. She wants to see you meet your baby for the first time.

Honestly, surrogates just want you to have the family that you deserve!

So, if surrogates aren’t in it for the money, then why do they get reimbursement and compensation? The answer is simple: a surrogate’s body and time deserve to be respected. Just because gestational carriers enjoy being pregnant doesn’t mean that the gestational surrogacy process is easy for them.

As you read this article, keep in mind that reimbursement and compensation are secondary (and likely even tertiary) thoughts for a surrogate. Her desire to give you a healthy baby is her top priority.

Codi, a surrogate through American Surrogacy, explained her thoughts on her responsibility as a surrogate.

“The hardest part for me about being a surrogate was the weight of carrying somebody else’s joy and happiness,” Codi said. “You carry your own, and you love them immensely, and you know that you would do the best things for them, but when you’re carrying somebody else’s you have all of those feelings, but you feel like you have to prove to someone, ‘I promise I’m taking care of him to the best of my ability.’”

To begin your journey as intended parents or as a gestational carrier, call American Surrogacy today at 1-800-875-BABY (2229). If you meet the requirements to become a surrogate and you’re ready to begin, contact us online at any time.

Surrogacy is a conscious choice and effort for a woman to help you have a baby, which brings us to the first myth about reimbursement and compensation — surrogacy is not a job.

“We’re Paying Her to Do a Job.” Here’s Why That’s Not Accurate.

When a woman voluntarily makes the conscious decision to carry your baby, she is doing this out of her desire to see you become a family.

That doesn’t sound like a job at all.

It’s actually a humanitarian effort. Surrogates may enjoy being pregnant, but they’re not choosing surrogacy just to be pregnant. They’re choosing surrogacy because they want to help you create the loving family that you deserve.

Delicia, a surrogate, talks about where her heart truly was when she made the decision to become a surrogate.

“I initially chose to become involved in surrogacy because I watched some very dear friends struggle with infertility. I knew they would be amazing parents and it broke my heart that they may not have the opportunity to have a family of their own”

Does that sound like she wanted to apply for the job position of gestational carrier? No.

If surrogates are looking for a job, they can certainly find a position that is less physically demanding on their bodies, doesn’t involve medications and regular trips to the doctor, and isn’t a 24/7 gig that takes 38 or more weeks of her time. She’s not looking for a job, she just wants you to start or grow your family by helping you have a baby.

Speaking of the physical demands and time constraints of pregnancy, before your surrogate can even become pregnant, she has to go through screenings and medical treatments. She should certainly be reimbursed for her efforts and the significant amount of time that the screening process will take.

What is Surrogacy Reimbursement and What Does it Include?

Prospective surrogates go through a rigorous round of medical evaluations, psychological evaluations, cycle medications, hormone treatments and more to prepare her mind and body for surrogacy.

Here is a list of a few common requirements that your prospective surrogate must complete:

  • Previous childbirth records review
  • In-home assessment
  • Background check
  • Emotional maturity evaluation
  • Personality test
  • Physical exam to include a pap smear
  • Blood and urine lab tests
  • Saline sonogram to evaluate the uterus
  • And more

This all happens before she is even approved for the embryo transfer!

Can you imagine going through this process without some form of reimbursement for the medical costs incurred? Your prospective surrogate isn’t receiving any base compensation during this process, but she is entitled to financial reimbursement for her time and efforts.

You may be wondering, “Does my surrogate still get reimbursed for a failed embryo transfer?” Yes, even though the embryo transfer may be unsuccessful, she will still receive reimbursement for any costs incurred during that process.

On the other hand, when the embryo transfer is successful, and your baby has a confirmed heartbeat, it’s time to move from reimbursement to base compensation. She is now officially your gestational carrier!

What is Base Compensation and How Does it Work?

Surrogates aren’t trying to get rich by helping you have a baby. Often gestational carriers don’t want compensation at all (yes, they’re really that selfless!), but it is important for you to understand that compensation is a very reasonable expectation for her and her family.

Base compensation is the set amount of funds that a surrogate will receive once pregnancy is confirmed. This amount is written into a contract between the surrogate and the intended parents before any attempts are made to move forward with the surrogacy process.

First, you should know that base compensation does not include medical, legal or travel expenses. Those expenses are paid outside of base compensation. The funds for base compensation are to be used by the surrogate in any way that she sees fit, unlike the reimbursements for very specific pregnancy — and surrogacy—related costs. For example, if she and her family want to make a down payment on a new home, she can use her base compensation in that way. She can save the base compensation payments for her child’s future college education, pay off her own student loans, go on vacation, etc.

Next, base compensation amount can increase depending on your surrogate’s level of experience (number of successful surrogate pregnancies), the cost of living in her state, and it even depends on the intended parent’s situation (if you are international intended parents, then your surrogate may earn additional compensation).

Finally, here’s a basic overview of how surrogacy base compensation works:

  1. Base compensation begins with confirmation of the baby’s heartbeat — around six weeks of pregnancy.
  2. An escrow account will be created to ensure that base compensation transactions are managed properly and match the agreed contract terms.
  3. Funds for base compensation are deposited into the escrow account in 10 equal installments throughout the pregnancy.

It is important to note that not all pregnancies are smooth sailing, so additional compensation is set aside for your surrogate in case of emergencies and/or unforeseen circumstances. If the pregnancy does go as planned, resulting in a healthy and happy baby and surrogate, then the use of emergency compensation is not necessary.

Codi, a surrogate through American Surrogacy, explains how she came to realize that compensation for her time and the physical demands of pregnancy was important.

“When I started the process I always thought, ‘I could probably do it without compensation, like I just really want to do this,’” Codi said. “However, I think it’s important now that I’ve gone through it, to say it was very valuable. The compensation made it feel like I was valued in that sense.”

Surrogates are valued beyond measure and, truthfully, their decision to carry your child for you is selfless, loving and priceless.

Alicia, a surrogate through American Surrogacy, talks about how compensation helped her reach her educational goals and created opportunities to spend time with her daughter.

“I did not know what I was going to do with the money ahead of time,” Alicia said. “The first time around I did know that I was going to go to nursing school with the money, which I did get to do that, and that was very helpful. The second time around…I used the money for expenses and also for my daughter. So, trips with her — we went on vacations a lot. I used a lot of the money for her…to show my appreciation for her being so understanding and just a great little helper while I was going through the process.”

Remember, when a prospective surrogate agrees to carry your child, she’s not doing it for the money. But, she certainly deserves the reimbursement and compensation that she receives. Although she truly desires to help you start or grow your family out of the kindness and love in her heart, her time and her body deserve respect. Your surrogate is choosing to help you in a special and intimate way. She receives 10 months of compensation while you receive the priceless gift of a new family member and a lifetime of love.

5 Things to Look for When Choosing an Egg or Sperm Donor [Beyond Physical Appearance and Health]

If you’re looking for a sperm or egg donor (or maybe even both) to help you complete your surrogacy process, you’re choosing more than a photo out of a pile – you’re choosing the person who will be 50% of your child’s biological origin. This is hugely significant not just for you and the donor, but for your child.

Whether you’re considering asking someone you know to be your donor, or you’re thinking about working with a professional donor clinic, there are 5 important things you always need to look for when choosing a gamete donor:

1. Someone Willing to Sign a Donor Contract

Even if your donor is your most trusted friend, legal protection through a donor contract is necessary for everyone involved. Having this important document will ensure that you, your donor, and your child are all protected from potential legal complications that could cost you no small amount of money, time, or tears.  

Many family law attorneys; in particular, attorneys who have experience with surrogacy and A.R.T. law will be able to create a donor contract for you. If you have any questions about donor contracts or if you need an attorney referral, your American Surrogacy specialist can help.

2. Someone Willing to Be Identified

If our roots in open adoption have taught us anything, it’s that children should know their history. While you will always be your child’s parent, your child’s donor still represents a very important part of their identity and history. Losing or even hiding that biological link would be detrimental to your child.

Instead of choosing an anonymous donor, we strongly encourage intended parents to consider working with a known donor or to choose an identified donor through a donor bank or clinic. Many donor clinics have exclusively moved toward working with donors who are willing to be identified, because in today’s world of at-home DNA tests and ancestry websites, there is no such thing as true anonymity.

Having a donor who is willing to answer your child’s questions someday can be invaluable.

3. Someone with an In-Depth Profile

Again, because donors today aren’t truly anonymous, it’s standard practice to provide a complete profile. When looking at a potential donor’s profile, it should include:

  • Their social and medical history.
  • Family medical history.
  • Details about their education and occupation.
  • Their interests and hobbies.
  • Their marital status.
  • Information about any children they’re raising, or any children conceived through their contributions as a donor.
  • Photos of themselves as an adult and a child.
  • Details about whether or not they’d be open to contact from donor-conceived children.
  • Details about whether or not they’d be open to helping families have biologically connected siblings.
  • And more.

Intended parents commonly focus on the physical appearance of the donor first. But remember that a child can inherit much more than looks from a donor. Personality, quirks and traits can also be genetically inherited, to a degree.

Nobody can precisely predict how their child will look or what their child will be like — regardless of whether that child is conceived “the old fashioned way” or via donor gametes. However, a donor’s profile can give some insight into 50% of your child’s genetic heritage.

4. Someone Who Understands the Responsibilities of Being a Donor

If a donor is willing to sign a legal contract, willing to be identified and is also willing to provide an in-depth profile full of information, they probably understand the responsibility of being a donor! Whether you’re looking for a donor through a clinic or you’re considering taking a friend up on their offer to be your donor, the right donor will understand that this is a big responsibility. Whenever you’re considering a potential donor, look for someone who understands:

  • Your child may one day have questions about their biological roots.
  • Their willingness to receive contact from you and/or your child if medical or personal questions ever arise can be incredibly beneficial.
  • They have no parental responsibilities ­­– legal, financial, emotional or otherwise, but they will still be an important aspect of this child’s history.
  • The importance of updating you and/or your child if they learn of any new medical concerns that could affect a donor-conceived child.

5. Consider If You Might Like Biologically Related Siblings Someday

Maybe you’re thinking about having more than one child with the assistance of a donor and/or gestational carrier, this is something you’ll want to specify in your search. Some intended parents like the idea of their children being either full- or half-biological siblings. This is an entirely personal decision, but some intended parents opt for this route because:

  • They don’t want to have to search for a donor more than once.
  • It may make medical updates or potential communication with the donor a bit easier.
  • They want their children to have a biological connection within the family.

Some donors only contribute to a clinic once, while others will donate many times. If genetically related siblings are something that you might want, you can specify this preference with a gamete bank. If you’re accepting a donated gamete from a personal acquaintance, you may first want to ask if they’d be willing to donate more than once.


Already found a donor? Ready to begin the surrogacy process? Then it’s time to find a gestational carrier. We can help. Contact us now to get more information.

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.