10 Answers to Nosy Questions and Comments: Intended Parents

The holidays are coming up. Although we’re still in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we’re all trying to find ways to safely come together to observe family traditions, whether that’s virtually or in-person. On top of that, if you’re an intended parent in the middle of a gestational surrogacy journey you’re about to be on the receiving end of a slew of questions and comments from well-meaning (but sometimes insensitive) loved ones.

So, to help you handle the holiday season (and the resulting inquiries) as an intended parent, here are 10 things you might hear and some ways in which you can respond:

1. “How much are you paying your surrogate?”

You wouldn’t casually ask each other how much someone makes in a year, or what their home cost. So why would it be appropriate to ask about financials now?

It can also be frustrating that so many people focus on the compensation aspect of surrogacy, when it’s such a small part of your experience. Gestational surrogates do this because they want to help a family, not because they’re making it rich (which they’re not).

Keep it simple with:

  • “That’s confidential, as per our surrogacy contract.”
  • “Surrogates aren’t in it for the money.”
  • “That’s not your business.” 

2. “Why didn’t you just adopt?”

This person clearly doesn’t know much about the intricacies of the adoption process. Plus, this kind of question is often asked because the person believes that adoption is “saving” a child, which is a problematic attitude.

 Stand your ground:

  • “Adoption is a lot more complex than you might realize.”
  • “Why don’t you adopt? Everyone has their reasons.”
  • “That’s not your business.” 

3. “How do you know the baby is yours?”

They don’t know the steps that are taken to avoid this situation. If you’re feeling especially patient, you can elaborate.

Or, close the case by saying:

  • “There are rules that gestational surrogates have to follow, which ensures that the baby she carries is not biologically related to her.”
  • “Our surrogate is working closely with our doctor. The baby is ours.”
  • “That’s not your business.” 

4. “It must be nice not to have to be the one who’s pregnant and giving birth!”

…Ouch.

Here are some gentle-but-firm answers:

  • “I would give anything to be able to carry and deliver this baby.”
  • “Pregnancy and childbirth is tough, but not being able to have a child is harder.”
  • “That’s not your business.” 

5. “What if the surrogate decides to keep the baby?”

Nope. Defend your surrogate with all you’re worth, and just tell them it’s not even possible.

  • “That’s not legally an option.”
  • “Even if she technically could, she wouldn’t want to. She has her own children. She doesn’t want to raise ours.”
  • “That’s not your business.” 

6. “I don’t know how you can let someone else carry your baby. I’d be a nervous wreck.”

Of course you’d like to be the one carrying your baby. So, thanks a lot for the “encouragement?”

Big sigh. Tell them:

  • “We are nervous, but this is how we’re going to become parents.”
  • “This was the best option in front of us.”
  • “That’s not your business.” 

7. “So, who is the baby biologically related to?”

This. Is. Your. Baby.

Feel free to let them know they’re being awkward:

  • “Does it matter?”
  • “This baby is ours, regardless of genetics.”
  • “That’s not your business.” 

8. “How are you going to explain this to your kids someday?”

I don’t know, Janet, how did you explain where babies come from to little Bobby over there?

Tell them that you’ve got it handled, and that surrogacy is nothing to be ashamed of:

  • “We plan on talking about it together from day one, and we’re prepared to do so.”
  • “Everyone talks to their kids about their birth and coming into the family. This will be no different.”
  • “That’s not your business.” 

9. “Is it awkward? Don’t you get jealous?”

OK, sure. Maybe you’ve felt a little jealous or awkward at times. But 99.9% of the time you’re just really amped to be a parent.

Once again, it’s time to come to your surrogate’s defense:

  • “Our surrogate is our partner, not our rival.”
  • “We’re just excited to be parents, and our surrogate is helping us achieve that.”
  • “That’s not your business.” 

10. “I heard this story about a surrogate who…”

And I heard that you finally learned how to behave in social situations, Deborah, but clearly that was just a rumor.

  • “Cool story, bro.”
  • “Horror-story situations are the ultra-rare exception to the rule, and most occurred in situations of traditional surrogacy and usually happened before surrogacy contracts and agencies were a thing. This isn’t like that. At all.”
  • “That’s not your business.” 

One More Time, with Feeling: “That’s. Not. Your. Business.”

Because, honestly — it bears repeating. As long as you’re honoring your surrogacy contract and you’re respecting the privacy of your surrogate, it’s entirely up to you how much (or little) you choose to disclose. These types of questions and comments are always a great teaching moment when talking with your loved ones. But, nobody would blame you if you just respond with a plain old, “That’s not your business.”


Not sure how to navigate conversations with family during the holiday season? Reach out to your American Surrogacy specialist for information and support at any time.

10 Answers to Nosy Questions and Comments: Surrogates

Even in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, friends and families will be finding ways to come together this holiday season, whether virtually or in-person. And, if you’re a woman in the middle of a gestational surrogacy journey, that means you’ll likely be on the receiving end of a slew of questions and comments from the family members you haven’t seen in a while. Unfortunately, their curiosity and opinion on your status as a gestational surrogate can get a little grating, or can even be downright insensitive.

So, help you handle the holiday season (and the resulting inquiries) as a gestational surrogate, here are 10 things you might hear and some ways in which you can respond:

1.    “How much are you getting paid?”

It’s not considered polite to discuss financials in most situations. Most people wouldn’t casually ask each other how much they make in a year, or what their home cost.

It can also be frustrating that so many people focus on the compensation aspect of surrogacy, when it’s such a small part of your experience. Your motivations were altruistic and you want people to recognize that you’re doing this because you want to help a family.

Here are a few go-to responses:

  • “That’s confidential, per my surrogacy agreement.”
  • “I’m not actually doing it for the money.”
  • “That’s not your business.”

2.    “Who’s baby is it?”

People are often curious about who the baby is biologically related to. Whether the intended parents are both biologically related to the baby or gamete donation was involved, it’s against your surrogacy agreement to breach their privacy. That question is also just something you wouldn’t ask people, normally, so it’s a bit annoying.

End the discussion with:

  • “Does it matter?”
  • “It’s the intended parents’ baby, regardless of genetics.”
  • “That’s not your business.”

3.    “I could never carry a baby for 9 months and then give it up.”

This comment comes across as a little judgemental, self-centered and ignorant: All at once.

Feel free to answer with a firm:

  • “I’m just babysitting. Do you find it hard to give someone else’s kids back after babysitting?”
  • “Well, then, I guess that’s why you’re not a gestational surrogate and I am.”
  • “That’s not your business.”

4.    “So, do you breastfeed the baby?”

People always want to know about how some of the more intimate aspects of childbirth play out in surrogacy situations. And then, they sometimes want to place their own opinions on these matters, even though it doesn’t concern them in any way.

You can just succinctly say:

  • “The intended parents have a nutrition plan set in place.”
  • “No. I may decide to pump for a while if they ask me to, but that’s our decision.”
  • “That’s not your business.”

5.    “Can you keep the baby if you wanted to?”

Oh, boy.

Make sure you’re clear when you say:

  • “It’s not my baby. I’m giving it back, not ‘giving it away.’”
  • “No. It’s illegal and I wouldn’t want to, anyway.”
  • “That’s not your business.”

6.    “Isn’t it hard on your kids and husband? Do they understand?”

If your family wasn’t on board with your decision to be a gestational surrogate, you wouldn’t even be answering these questions. But, most people don’t know that the support of a surrogate’s children and spouse are required to even start the gestational surrogacy process.

So, briefly explain:

  • “They understand perfectly well, and support me.”
  • “Their support was required and given before I even signed on to become a surrogate.”
  • “That’s not your business.”

7.    “Why didn’t they just adopt?”

This question always betrays the person’s ignorance about the intricacies of the adoption process. Not to mention the fact that it seems to equate adoption with “saving” a child, which is a problematic attitude.

Break it down for them with a quick:

  • “It’s not as easy as ‘just adopting.’ Adoptive parents must meet a series of strict requirements before they can be approved to adopt a child.”
  • “Why don’t you ‘just adopt?’ Everyone has their reasons.”
  • “That’s not your business.

8.    “How did you get pregnant?”

Either they don’t understand how the science works, or they (horrifyingly) believe that gestational surrogates need to conceive the baby with the intended father in “the old fashioned way.”

Give them the short version with:

  • “Go research the IVF process.”
  • “Embryos are implanted with a lot of careful planning and the help of doctors.”
  • “That’s not your business.”

9.    “I don’t know why you’d want to go through pregnancy and childbirth if it’s not your kid.”

…Ok.

Shrug off that unsolicited opinion with:

  • “Good thing you’re not a gestational surrogate, then, huh?”
  • “I’m fine with being pregnant and giving birth if it helps someone else become a family.”
  • “That’s not your business.”

10. “I heard about this surrogate who….”

Honestly, a good eye-roll is probably enough to express how you feel about this type of comment.

Or, you can use your grown-up words, like:

  • “Cool story, bro.”
  • “Horror-story situations are the ultra-rare exception to the rule, and most occurred in situations of traditional surrogacy and usually happened before surrogacy contracts and agencies were a thing. This isn’t like that. At all.”
  • “That’s not your business.”

One More Time, with Feeling: “That’s. Not. Your. Business.”

As long as you’re respecting your surrogacy contract and the privacy of the intended parents, how much (or little) you disclose about your gestational surrogacy process is entirely up to you. If you’re feeling particularly patient, you can use these types of questions and comments as a teaching moment for your loved ones. But, if you don’t feel like being the ambassador to all-things-surrogate, there’s nothing wrong with telling them the tried-and-true, “That’s not your business.”


Not sure how to navigate the holiday season as a surrogate? Worried about staying safe and healthy? Reach out to your American Surrogacy specialist for information and support at any time.

15 Things Intended Parents Should Do Before the Baby Comes

After a long road to parenthood, those last few months before your baby is born can feel simultaneously like an eternity and a minute! Staying busy will help you pass the time (and keep you from losing your mind).

Here are 15 things that intended parents should do as they wait for their gestational carrier to deliver their baby:

1. Stock up on essentials.

No need to go overboard, but it’s always a good idea to have some boxes of diapers, a stash of bottles, wipes, cloths or rags, some clothes, formula, blankets and other baby basics! Remember that babies will grow quickly, so asking friends, family or community members for their gently-used items can be a great money-saver.

2. Prepare a nursery.

For some, decorating and stocking a nursery can be a fun way to get excited about your child’s arrival. For others, staring at an empty and waiting nursery can trigger stress and impatience.

However, it’s usually a good idea to have at least the essentials ready to go. You don’t have to paint the room or hang elaborate decorations if you don’t want to! Just setting up a crib and diaper-changing station is enough for now, if that’s all you want to do at the moment.

3. Baby-proof the house.

Walk through the house and make a list of what needs to be baby-proofed before your child is born. There are plenty of checklists that can help, and they may give you some tips that you hadn’t thought of yet!

Now is a great time to slowly start purchasing and installing things like covers for electrical outlets, tying up cords to the blinds, locks on cabinets, installing a gate in front of the stairs and more. As a newborn, your baby won’t be in a position to cause much trouble, but they’ll be finding ways to pull down anything and everything much sooner than you think!

Even just slowly implementing some of those safety checks and upgrades in advance can save you a few headaches several months down the road.

4. Tackle those projects.

Everyone has tasks that they’ve put off. You’ll be far less likely to ever get around to that task once your newborn arrives! So, now is the time to check those off your “I’ll do it later” list.

For you, that might be:

  • Cleaning the gutters
  • Updating your will and financial information in anticipation of your new child
  • Hang up those photos that are gathering dust
  • Finish painting the bathroom
  • Finish landscaping the yard
  • Or whatever project in your life that has been side aside

5. Deep clean and eliminate clutter.

The arrival of a newborn means you’ll have a tough time just keeping up with the messes they create! So, take advantage of this time and get your home ready.

Now is the time to finally go through your attic, basement, closets, garage and drawers. Downsizing and tossing out as much as you can will free up space for things like a stroller, toys and baby furniture!

Then, clean all those appliances, corners and baseboards that you never clean. You’ll feel soothed and more prepared with a nice, clean home.

6. Spend some quality time with your spouse.

If this is your first child, these will be your last few months together just the two of you. Take this opportunity to do some things you probably won’t be able to for a while! Enjoy a date night, sleep in late, take a weekend trip and spend time with your friends and family.

If you have older children, this is your last time together before your family changes and you introduce a new arrival. Spending some quality time with your children will be important before you leave to go be with your surrogate and before the chaos of a new baby begins. Relish in some one-on-one snuggles, participate in your child’s favorite activities and more.

As anxious as you are to welcome your child, be sure to savor this quality time.

7. Make child care decisions.

You and your partner have probably already talked about child care: Whether a parent will be home with the baby, a family member, daycare, etc.

If you are planning on daycare or hiring a child care provider, you’ll want to spend some time researching your options, interviewing prospective choices and more. We also recommend having a babysitter picked out, in case you need last-minute child care or just a night to yourselves!

8. Take parenting classes.

No one is ever 100% ready for their first child. But, it doesn’t hurt to be as ready as possible!

Maybe you already know every way to handle a gassy baby and exactly what to expect when you’re in the delivery room, or maybe you’re not even fully clear on diaper-changing. No matter your current knowledge of babies, taking a parenting class can allow you to brush up on your skills, bond with your spouse and give you the opportunity to ask questions.

Local hospitals and family-planning centers often have parenting classes for you to attend, and there are even online webinars.

9. Find a pediatrician.

A good pediatrician is always worth it! You’ll be glad you took the time to research your options when your baby has their first cold or ear infection.

We recommend a couple things:

  • Interview prospective pediatricians to make sure they’re the right fit and will be a conveniently-located choice.
  • Start collecting medical information about gamete donors (if applicable), the pregnancy (and eventually, the delivery) to give to your pediatrician’s office.

10. Create a surrogacy baby book.

This will mean a lot to your child someday, and it’s also a great way to document the journey you took to meet your baby. Consider including:

  • Letters to your future child.
  • Photos of your child’s gestational carrier, and some information or stories about her.
  • Memories and milestones, like ultrasound photos or fun pregnancy information from the surrogate.
  • And more.

11. Collect surrogacy children’s books.

It’s important that you tell your child his or her surrogacy story from the first day your baby arrives home. That way, surrogacy will always be a normalized and celebrated thing within your home.

As they grow, those surrogacy books will help your child understand the unique way in which they joined your family.

12. Talk about spousal roles.

If you haven’t already, sit down with your spouse about who will be responsible for what, and when. You’ve probably spent no small amount of time dreaming of your life as parents together, but you may not have discussed some of the finer details.

Sit down and have an honest discussion about things like:

  • The plan for middle-of-the-night feedings
  • Who will stay home with the baby, and when
  • Who prepares meals, and at which mealtimes
  • How you plan to divvy up new tasks like the additional laundry and cleaning
  • Who is in charge of keeping the baby supplies in stock
  • And more

It can feel a little awkward or tense, but hammering out these specifics and getting on the same page will help your relationship in the long run, and it’ll keep your household running smoothly and peacefully during the chaos-to-come!

13. Make travel plans.

If your surrogate lives in a different city or state, you’ll want to make some flexible travel plans. Although it can be tricky (and ill-advised) to establish concrete plans, like purchasing plane tickets or booking a hotel when you don’t know when your surrogate will go into labor, it’s helpful to have a plan, plus a few backups!

We recommend that you:

  • Look into hotels or accommodations near the hospital where your gestational surrogate is going to give birth, and have that booking information ready to go.
  • Have local ground transportation plans if you’re going to be flying.
  • Have a babysitter, house sitter and/or pet sitter on standby, as needed.
  • Notify your employers, banks and immediate family members about your surrogate’s potential due date, so that they know you may be traveling on short notice during that time frame.
  • Bookmark some flight options, and try to fly with an airline that will be flexible about cancellations or changes.
  • If you’re driving, install a baby carrier in advance. Those can be tricky!

14. Pack a bag.

Just like any parent-to-be, you’ll want to prepare a “go bag” in advance. Remember that you’ll likely spend some time in the hospital with your surrogate, traveling and more, so pack accordingly.

Be sure to include:

  • Comfortable, layered clothing for yourself and the baby.
  • Some travel toiletries.
  • Medications.
  • Diapers, wipes, cloths, bottles and other basic baby essentials.

15. Support your gestational surrogate.

In your excitement about your baby, don’t forget to spend time loving on your surrogate! Express appreciation and support however you like, but many intended parents like to:

  • Prepare a little hospital or pregnancy care package
  • Give her a small gift
  • Sending a quick card or note in the mail
  • Spending some time together, if you live nearby
  • Text, call or video chat to ask how she’s feeling, or just to let her know that you’re thinking of her

This is a unique, life-changing journey and you’re on it together. You won’t regret the time you take to savor those moments with this special woman.

At American Surrogacy, we know that the time spent waiting for your baby’s birth can be both exciting and stressful. Continue to lean on your surrogacy specialist for support, and find little ways to make the most of this wait. Your baby will be home before you know it!

5 Things to Expect During a Repeat Surrogacy Journey

When you began your first surrogacy journey, either as an intended parent or as a gestational surrogate, you didn’t fully know what to expect! That’s normal — no matter how much you research and prepare, there is so much about surrogacy that you can only understand once you’ve actually experienced it for yourself.

Now you’re considering doing it all again.

First of all, congratulations! This is always an exciting time. And now, you have firsthand knowledge and experience on your side.

Right now, you might be a little worried about what will differ from your last surrogacy experience. A lot will remain the same. But there are a few things that may change.

Here’s what you can expect as you begin your latest surrogacy journey through American Surrogacy:

1. It Won’t Be Exactly the Same as Last Time

No two surrogacy journeys are exactly alike. You may be working with different people, a different agency, different doctors, gamete donors, etc.

Even if all of that is exactly the same as your last surrogacy journey, no two pregnancies are alike! It may take more (or less) time for the surrogate to get pregnant, she may have more (or fewer) IVF and pregnancy side effects and the delivery may be different.

The surrogacy process always involves a few unknowns, even for veterans. Be ready to roll with whatever comes next!

2. The Process May Be Faster

This is particularly true if you’re working with the same agency. If you’re working with American Surrogacy again, we’ll have a lot of your information on file from last time, so you may be able to skip some of the paperwork you filled out for your first surrogacy journey — you’ll just need to make sure everything is up-to-date and still accurate.

The screening and matching process may also be sped up for repeat surrogates and intended parents. If you’ve already met the screening requirements before, you may be able to skip a couple steps. So, because you’re generally able to be re-approved faster this time around, you’ll head to the matching stage in less time.

If you’re going to be partnering with the same surrogate or intended parents as last time, you’ll be able to skip the wait to be matched altogether! If you’ll be partnering with someone new, you’ll still spend less time on this stage, because now you know what you’re looking for in a prospective surrogacy partner.

3. You May Not Be Partnered with the Same Intended Parents or Gestational Carrier

Many intended parents and surrogates who are interested in completing another surrogacy journey will approach one another for a repeat performance. This is a beneficial option if you already trust one another and enjoyed your last experience together.

However, your previous surrogacy partner may not be ready for another round! Or, you may just wish to work with someone new this time.

If you won’t be partnering with the same surrogate or intended parents as your last journey, don’t worry — your American Surrogacy specialist will help to match you with someone who fits what you’re looking for.

4. Repeat Surrogates Receive More Compensation than First-Timers

Women who have already completed at least one journey as a surrogate will receive a higher base compensation than women who haven’t been a surrogate before. This is because these women have proven themselves to be exceptional gestational carriers. Physically, mentally and emotionally, they have had a relatively easy time with surrogacy in the past.

At American Surrogacy, our average surrogate compensation for first-time surrogates starts at $35,000. Our experienced surrogates typically receive an additional $5,000 per pregnancy on top of that, but it may be more.

5. It’ll Come More Easily Now You Know the Ropes

Surrogacy is never easy, for the intended parents or the surrogate. However, this time you have the benefit of personal experience and knowledge. You can apply that knowledge and experience as you move forward.

Your first surrogacy journey was likely full of first-time nerves and no small amount of confusion. It is, after all, a complicated process — even with an American Surrogacy specialist walking you through things. But now you have a stronger understanding of the medical process, insurance, financials, the emotions and all the details that newbies haven’t encountered. You’re coming back better than ever!


Ready to begin your next surrogacy journey? Reach out to an American Surrogacy specialist now to get started.

4 Things You Should Know about Gestational Diabetes This Month

November 14 is World Diabetes Day. In an effort to raise awareness, here are 4 things you should know about gestational diabetes, especially if you’re considering becoming a gestational surrogate.

November 14 is World Diabetes Day. In an effort to raise awareness and to prevent gestational diabetes your own pregnancies, here are 4 things you should know about gestational diabetes — especially if you’re considering becoming a gestational surrogate:

1.      What is Gestational Diabetes?

All types of diabetes affect how efficiently your cells convert sugar in your body — your blood sugar levels become too high, which can quickly become life-threatening. Gestational diabetes develops only during pregnancy. It affects up to 10% of pregnant women in the U.S. each year.

There are two types of gestational diabetes. Women with class A1 gestational diabetes can manage the condition with diet and exercise alone. Class A2, however, requires insulin or other medications in addition to the diet and exercise changes.

Although gestational diabetes goes away after you give birth, it can permanently affect the baby’s health as well as your own.

2.      Who is at Risk for Developing Gestational Diabetes?

Any pregnant woman can develop gestational diabetes. However, there are risk factors that you should keep an eye on if you’re planning on becoming pregnant as someone’s gestational carrier.

You may be at an increased risk for developing gestational diabetes if you:

  • Are over the age of 25.
  • Are not regularly physically active.
  • Have a BMI of 30 or higher.
  • Are of a nonwhite race.

In order to be accepted as a gestational surrogate, a woman must have no previous history of gestational diabetes or have any family history of diabetes. This helps reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes in the course of your surrogacy journey, and protects both you and the baby.

The physical requirements that a prospective surrogate must meet can seem a little excessive, but every requirement takes complications like gestational diabetes into account, so risk can be minimized at every possible opportunity. The safety of the surrogate and the baby are American Surrogacy’s first priority.

If you’re thinking about becoming a gestational carrier, your reproductive endocrinologist will assess your gestational diabetes risk factors, and will complete several screening processes.

3.      How Can it Affect the Surrogacy Process?

Gestational diabetes is clearly not just a nuisance, but a danger to the surrogate, the intended parents and their baby. It can result in health complications for the surrogate like:

  • High blood pressure and preeclampsia, which can be life-threatening to be the baby and yourself.
  • The need for a surgical delivery (C-section).
  • Increased likelihood of future diabetes — recurring gestational diabetes in future pregnancy, as well as an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later on.

Gestational diabetes complications for the intended parents’ baby can include:

  • Excessive birth weight, which makes the baby more likely to become wedged in the birth canal, sustain birth injuries or need a C-section birth.
  • Early (preterm) birth.
  • Serious breathing difficulties called respiratory distress syndrome.
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which can cause seizures.
  • An increased risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life.
  • And even stillbirth, if the gestational diabetes is not treated.

All this is pretty scary. That’s why it’s so important that you work with American Surrogacy to ensure that you are low-risk for developing gestational diabetes. But, there are also some additional measures you can take to avoid gestational diabetes:

4.      How Can You Avoid Developing Gestational Diabetes?

Even if you aren’t considered high-risk for developing gestational diabetes, surrogates are still encouraged to take steps that will not only help them to avoid gestational diabetes, but will also help them to have a healthy and safe pregnancy.

Both before and during your journey as a gestational carrier, be sure to:

  • Eat healthy foods, especially foods high in fiber and low in fat and calories. Watch your portion sizes, and eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Exercise, before and during the pregnancy. Aim for about 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week. Even daily walks, bike rides, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help.
  • Start pregnancy at a healthy weight. This is why surrogacy agencies like American Surrogacy require gestational surrogates to have a healthy BMI before they can be accepted into the surrogacy program — it lowers the health risks for you and for the baby.
  • Keep an eye on your weight throughout the IVF processes and pregnancy. All women will gain weight during pregnancy — this is normal and healthy. However, gaining too much too quickly can increase your risk for gestational diabetes and other health complications. Work with your doctor to stay within a healthy weight range throughout the surrogacy process and pregnancy.

Not sure if you might be at-risk for developing gestational diabetes? Talk to your doctor about your concerns. Thinking about becoming a surrogate? Start the American Surrogacy screening process, and we’ll work with you to assess your risk level for gestational diabetes.

Share this blog to raise awareness about gestational diabetes in honor of World Diabetes Day, and to help women learn how to prevent the condition whenever possible.

7 Deeper Things to Look for in Intended Parents

When you’re a surrogate, carrying someone else’s child is a life-changing responsibility and partnership that you take very seriously. You understandably want to make sure that you have a strong connection with the parents — you shouldn’t settle for carrying for just anyone. 

There’s no such thing as a “perfect” intended parent, because there is no such thing as a perfect person. There is, however, the ideal match for you! They’re out there right now, longing for a child and waiting for someone like you to help them. Remember that American Surrogacy will help you to find and match with those parents, so contact us whenever you’re ready to get started.

But, how will you know when you’ve found those intended parents that are truly right for you? Aside from that important gut instinct of “just knowing” and, of course, sharing the same surrogacy goals, here are seven deeper things to look for in an intended parent:

1. They’ve Grieved Any Fertility Loss, and They’re Excited About Surrogacy

You’ve likely thought about how, if you were to match with a couple who struggled with fertility or pregnancy loss, this grief may affect your relationship. Will feelings of pregnancy envy mar the joys of the shared journey? Can you all honor those losses while moving forward?

In most matches, intended parents are absolutely ready and able to move forward with surrogacy after grieving infertility.

American Surrogacy works with intended parents to make sure that they’re emotionally ready for surrogacy after infertility grief, but you yourself will also need to feel that these intended parents are as excited about this as you are.

2. They Don’t View Surrogacy as a Business Transaction

Gestational surrogacy is far from transactional! There is compensation and a lot of paperwork involved, certainly. But neither you nor American Surrogacy would want to work with intended parents who view this experience as some kind of business transaction.

And no child wants to feel as if they were the result of a simple transaction. 

You’re pursuing surrogacy because you love families, and you want to help someone create their own family. So, it’s important that you find intended parents who are also coming to surrogacy full of love — for you as well as for their future child.

3. They Get to Know You

It can be a little awkward to get to know strangers at first. Surrogacy is an intimate and vulnerable experience in many ways. But your American Surrogacy specialist will help you all get through the early stages and have the important conversations.

However, the sign of a good fit is the intended parents’ interest in getting to know you for you. It’s important that they ask questions about your abilities as a surrogate, to be sure. Hopefully, they’ll ask questions about you, your family and your interests, too, purely for the sake of creating a connection.

4. They Aren’t Just Looking for the Cheapest Option

Surrogacy is not an inexpensive family-building process for hopeful parents. It’s more than reasonable to receive fair compensation for the sacrifices, risk and effort you take on when completing fertility treatments and carrying someone else’s child — but some intended parents will want to cut corners on costs where they can.

You aren’t in this for the money, and the right intended parents will understand this. They’ll also have researched everything you’ll need to undertake as their surrogate, and they’ll understand why some amount of compensation for that is fair. 

If an intended parent is making choices based purely on cost, then they’re likely not a good fit.

5. They Talk about How Surrogacy Will Be Discussed With Their Child

This is something that all intended parents should be ready to talk about with you. Like with children who were adopted, the best policy for children born via surrogacy is openness, honesty and positivity from day one.

The right intended parents will express how they plan to talk about you with their child. Will you stay in touch so that their child can meet you someday, if he or she is interested? Will they share details about you so their child can have a clear picture of his or her birth story? Children need to understand their personal histories, and you’ll be a small but important part of that. How do you want to be talked about?

6. They Respect Your Opinions

Although this is their child and the intended parents will be leading for much of the surrogacy process, the right intended parents will also understand that this is your body. You’ll know it’s a good match when you meet intended parents who ask about your wishes and express that they will respect your input when decisions need to be made.

As the parents of this child, these people will be making many of the choices that lie ahead. However, their decisions will affect you. The right intended parents will understand this and will never put you in a position that makes you uncomfortable. This is a team effort, and they should see you as the “Most Valued Player!”

7. They Feel “Right” to You

Most of our surrogates (and intended parents) at American Surrogacy say that, outside of sharing the same surrogacy goals, they had a gut instinct that the match was just “right.” Sometimes, even something as small as a shared interest will spark that serendipitous feeling, while in other moments you may feel drawn to intended parents because of their personal story. It might just be something about their personalities and relationship.

Whatever it is, as long as you share the same goals for the relationship and journey ahead, go ahead and follow that feeling! It’s likely your heart and gut telling you that this is the right decision.

Ready to find your ideal match? Contact American Surrogacy for more information about becoming a gestational surrogate now.

6 Ways to Honor Loss During National Infertility Awareness Week

Wherever you’re at in your experience with infertility — whether you’ve recently received a diagnosis of infertility, or it’s been years since then and you’ve created a family through surrogacy or adoption — it’s alright to take a moment to honor loss this National Infertility Awareness Week.

Here are some ways you can acknowledge loss this week while still looking to the future:

1. Take Some Time for Yourself

Anniversaries that remind you of things like pregnancy losses, the feeling that everyone around you is getting pregnant, or National Infertility Awareness Week itself can all open old wounds. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, give yourself permission to take care of yourself this week. 

Everyone’s version of self-care will look different, but consider:

  • Taking a break from social media
  • Spending some quality alone-time with your spouse on a date night
  • Treating yourself to a long bath or even a trip to the spa
  • Taking 10 minutes to practice some breathing exercises 
  • Taking a weekend or day-trip alone with your spouse for a short getaway
  • Going on a long walk somewhere quiet and bringing a journal
  • Reading a book that inspires you

2. Share Your Story

You’ve never obligated to share your story, nor should you share more than you’re comfortable with — but talking about your personality fertility struggles can help you and others.

Infertility affects 1 in 8 couples in the U.S. By sharing your personal story with others, you’ll likely provide comfort and information to someone else who is, or will be, affected by infertility. Connecting with others who have experienced infertility can be mutually beneficial — feeling supported and heard is instrumental in healing from fertility losses.

Sharing your story can also be important for acknowledging the losses you’ve experienced. Some people have also experienced pregnancy loss and need others to acknowledge that those pregnancies are not simply “replaced” or something to just “get over,” even when moving from infertility to surrogacy.

If you’re ready, you can share your story on social media, on an infertility blog, speak at a local National Infertility Awareness Week event, or even just open up to a friend or family member.

3. Share Information

A simple, quick and easy way to raise awareness and to help others who are struggling with infertility is to share the facts. Resolve is a great resource to get you started, as is the National Infertility Awareness Week website if you’d like to share a link or graphic on your social media or in an email.

The whole point of National Infertility Awareness Week is to raise awareness! What better way to honor your own personal losses and journey than to call widespread attention to this common struggle. 

4. Start a Tradition

One way to deal with grief is create a tradition that allows you a special time to honor your losses. This way, you can continue to move forward with your life throughout the rest of the year but never forget where you’ve been. 

Feeling as if you’re “moving on” can be bittersweet. You deserve to be happy again, but it can be hard to let go of grief. Having a tradition that allows you to honor that grief in a special way at a special time can help you to do both. 

Consider incorporating a tradition for National Infertility Awareness Week like:

  • Lighting a candle
  • Planting a flower in a memory garden
  • Writing a letter to yourself
  • Saying a special prayer
  • Putting a wish into a box

5. Honor the Things You’re Grateful For

When you look back on your infertility journey, you might be surprised to find that you gained things that you didn’t have before, despite the losses you may have experienced. Take a moment to honor the things that you’re grateful for, in addition to honoring the things you’ve lost.

This will be different for everyone, but did you…

  • Become closer to your spouse, a friend, or a family member?
  • Turn to someone for support in a difficult moment and were met with love and comfort?
  • Find a newfound support group?
  • Discover something about yourself?
  • Experience a spiritual strengthening? 

Even though you and your relationships were likely tested in unimaginable ways, you also likely discovered something that you’re grateful for. Take a moment to write down everything in your life that you’re grateful for at this point.

Maybe you even chose to have a child through surrogacy or adoption — that would certainly be something important that you’ve gained.

6. Get Involved with National Infertility Awareness Week

One way to honor your own loss is to help others with their own losses and to help raise public awareness about infertility. Find a way to get involved with National Infertility Awareness Week, big or small. You can:

How do you plan on recognizing National Infertility Awareness Week? Let us know in the comments.

5 Tips for Traveling with a Newborn after a Surrogacy Birth

The birth of your baby is a life-changing moment shared with your family and your surrogate. But what happens after your baby has entered the world, your surrogate is ready to go home, and your baby is ready to be discharged and leave the hospital with you?

Reminders About What Happens Before Your Baby is Born

Most of the preparations for post-birth steps will be completed by your specialist and attorney.

Your American Surrogacy specialist will be in touch with your attorney before the birth to make sure that all the appropriate paperwork is sent to the hospital ahead of time. We’ll remain in touch with your attorney throughout your surrogate’s labor, delivery and recovery, in case any additional paperwork is required. We’ll notify your attorney when your baby has been born so that they can complete any paperwork needed to discharge your baby to your care during and after the hospital stay. 

In many states, most (if not all) of the legal processes can be completed before the baby is even born, so everything can be sent to the hospital in advance. However, if there are any necessary legal steps after your baby’s birth, your attorney will already have walked you through those processes, and they will be ready to put the finishing touches on that paperwork once your baby is born. 

If any additional documentation is required in your situation, you may need to sign some paperwork or wait for those documents to be processed. However, this still won’t affect your ability to bring home your baby after he or she is born.

Generally speaking, most intended parents’ attorneys and specialists will have things ready to go once the baby is cleared for discharge.

From there, all that’s left is to travel home. Traveling with a newborn born via surrogacy will, in most respects, be the same as bringing any new baby home. However, intended parents often ask how they should prepare. Here are five of our tips:

1. Don’t Stress Too Much about the Birth Certificate and Social Security Card

Is it likely that anyone is going to eye you suspiciously and stop you to ask for documentation proving that this is your child as you travel home? No. But getting the standard documentation sooner rather than later never hurts, for bureaucratic purposes. So obtain those items right away if you can, but if you can’t, it’s alright!

Many states allow for pre-birth surrogacy orders, in which case, your baby’s birth certificate will be ready to go with your names listed when you’re discharged from the hospital. If, however, you require post-birth measures, your attorney will complete the necessary steps to update the birth certificate with your names as soon as possible. Processing that might take a little longer, so don’t stress if it’s not available right away.

You’ll be able to apply for a social security card as soon as your baby is born, but you may need your child’s birth certificate at some offices. This can be a pain if you don’t have the birth certificate right away; you might need to wait until you get it to apply for the card. It may be helpful to have any pre- or post-birth orders on hand, just in case officials would like to see those. You can begin applying for that card on the Social Security Administration’s website

Most parents don’t have any trouble with either step, but contact your specialist or attorney if you run into any difficulties.

2. Don’t Rush It

It’s understandable if you want to get back to “real life” with your new child, but this precious early time together is very short-lived. Additionally, there are two important reasons to take your time before heading home:

The first: More time with your surrogate and her family. This is the end of your journey together, and seeing your new family together will mean so much to her. Be sure to spend plenty of time with her while you can, even if you’re excited for some quality alone time with your own family!

The second: More time to make sure your baby is healthy and sturdy enough to travel. Newborns are surprisingly tough and ready to travel fairly quickly, but they can also benefit from a day or two of bonding time and adjusting to the world before they take their first trip. If you’re planning on flying, different airlines will have varying policies on the earliest they’ll permit an infant to fly with them, so this is something to be aware of before you book that flight.

3. Choose to Drive, If You Can

The first reason we recommend driving, if possible, is because of the aforementioned policies that airlines have regarding newborns. Some may require the baby’s birth certificate as proof of age, and if you don’t have that certificate yet, it can be an additional hurdle.

It’s absolutely possible to fly with an infant, but there are some benefits to driving your newborn home:

  • Reduced exposure to illness for a new immune system
  • The ability to make stops as-needed for diaper changes and feedings
  • Less chance of significant travel delays
  • No need for proof of age (if you’re nervous about not having all of your baby’s documentation yet)

Just like when flying, you’ll still want to follow basic newborn safety practices when driving. Otherwise, this route is fairly straightforward.

4. Bring Something to Organize Documents

Again, most of the surrogacy-related documentation will already have been sent to the hospital before the birth by your American Surrogacy specialist and your attorney. However, it never hurts to bring physical copies of relevant documentation with you to the hospital, just in case you or the hospital staff need to refer to something. 

You might pack copies of:

Afterwards, you’ll walk out of the hospital with a new baby — and a lot of papers. You may receive:

  • A list of immunizations
  • A list of health screenings and panels completed
  • Your baby’s birth stats
  • Doctor’s notes
  • Discharge papers
  • Pamphlets for new parents to help with the care of their newborn
  • A birth certificate, in some situations
  • And more

Having a folder of some sort where you can safely store and access these papers — alongside whatever surrogacy-related documentation you brought with you as a just-in-case measure — will likely be helpful.

5. Follow Standard Safety and Packing Tips

Parents everywhere will have plenty of advice for you when it comes to packing for the hospital and the trip home. The biggest differences in your situation: You won’t need to pack for postpartum care, and you’ll want to pack some extra clothes and supplies in case you’re in the hospital for a while.

Of course, the most important things you’ll need to have ready before you head out of the hospital with your baby include:

  • An approved carrier/car seat, preferably already installed
  • A stocked diaper bag
  • Breastmilk (and something to transport it in), formula or a combination of both
  • Diapers and wipes
  • Extra clothes
  • Plenty of cloths and rags
  • Bottles (remember that you can always clean them on-the-go, if you need to, so don’t overpack)
  • Some plastic bags to temporarily seal up dirty spit-up rags and clothes 

Resist the urge to pack the cute, unnecessary things. For now, just make sure that your baby is safe, comfortable, warm and fed as you travel home. Keep your own bags packed with strictly practical and comfortable items, too.

If you have any questions, or you’re uncertain about preparing to travel home with your surrogacy-born newborn, you can always ask your American Surrogacy specialist, or check in with parents who have been in your shoes!

What if the Intended Parents Miss Their Baby’s Birth?

Intended parents are usually able to get to the hospital with plenty of time to spare, so they can welcome their baby alongside their surrogate. But it’s always a fear in the back of the mind of gestational surrogates and intended parents, especially in long-distance matches — what if the intended parents don’t make it in time? 

What if they miss their baby’s birth? Who would be responsible for the baby’s care and for making any necessary medical decisions until the intended parents arrive? 

While this is extremely rare (it’s never happened with American Surrogacy so far!) it’s certainly possible for an unavoidable impediment like unexpected/emergency labor, a travel ban or flight delay to prevent the intended parents from being present at the time of the baby’s birth.

Here’s what surrogates and intended parents should know:

Always Stay Calm

In the unlikely event that this happens in your surrogacy journey, both parties will be understandably upset that things aren’t going according to plan. The arrival of the baby is an important moment, and you all want to be together for that event. 

However, if something unexpected and unavoidable occurs, all that really matters is the health and safety of the baby and surrogate. No matter what, the baby will be born and the families will be united — even if it’s not as soon as everyone would prefer. Until then, stay calm and trust that each party (along with your American Surrogacy specialist) will take care of their end of things. 

The Baby Would Be Cared for By the Nurses

If the parents are significantly delayed for some reason, the gestational surrogate cannot care for the baby in the interim because she’s not the parent and has no legal rights to the child. That will be the hospital’s policy, even if the intended parents give permission for her to temporarily take over for them until they arrive. 

The hospital’s pediatric staff would assume care of the baby until the parents arrive.

Talk to Your Attorney

Your surrogacy attorneys may be able to work a clause into your contracts that outlines what would happen in this situation, including some advanced medical directives. Ask them what’s possible in your situation, and coordinate with your surrogacy partner as well as your specialist to make sure any relevant legal information is provided to hospital staff in advance.

Talking to your attorney will be especially important if you’re stationed overseas and need to travel back to the United States mainland to be with your U.S. surrogate. Ask your attorney and hospital if there are any exceptions that can be made in your situation, or if you can make some decisions regarding your newborn’s care in advance.

Keep Phones Close at Hand

Some of the medical and newborn care decisions that need to be made by the parents may be done over the phone. This can be tricky if the parents are mid-flight or are traveling through an area with spotty reception. However, surrogates and intended parents can try to keep an open line of communication before, during and after the baby’s birth for important updates, so we always recommend having that phone fully charged, close at hand and with the ringer on.

This will also be important in case your surrogacy specialist tries to get ahold of either of you for updates or important information!

You’ll Have the Rest of Your Lives to Make Up for One Missed Moment

If, as an intended parent, you can’t imagine missing your baby’s first breaths, try to keep things in perspective. Missing your child’s birth would be incredibly difficult. But you’ll have a lifetime together ahead of you!

Surrogates: If you’re comfortable doing so, and you know that the intended parents are about to miss their baby’s birth, consider asking your spouse or a nurse to video or photograph your labor and delivery. Being able to see their baby come into the world (even after the fact) may mean a lot to the parents. 

Your Surrogacy Specialist Will Be Ready

Whether you’re an intended parent or a surrogate, remember that your American Surrogacy specialist will be watching over your journey and making sure that things are going smoothly. Even if something unexpected and unavoidable happens, like the intended parents being delayed on their way to the hospital, your specialist will be ready. 

She will be communicating with hospital staff, your attorneys and both parties as often as possible to keep everyone in the know. We understand that sometimes things unexpectedly happen and throw a wrench in our carefully-made plans! But we’ll be ready to help everyone deal with whatever comes your way and make sure the baby is safe, happy and healthy until he or she is placed into the parents’ arms.

How to Prepare Older Children for a Sibling Born Via Surrogacy

If you have a child or several children, and you’re in the process of adding to your family through surrogacy, you’re also going to be preparing your children for a new baby brother or sister. So, in honor of National Siblings Day, American Surrogacy wanted to offer you some tips!

In most respects, you’ll talk to your children about the responsibilities of being a big sibling just like any family would. Your children will likely experience the same thoughts and feelings that most kids have when they find out they’re getting a new sibling.

However, because you’re welcoming a child via surrogacy, a few aspects of this experience will be a little different. For example, your kids won’t be watching Mom’s belly grow. They may wonder if their surrogate-born sibling will be different somehow. They may want to establish their own relationship to your surrogate and their unborn sibling.

You may not be sure of how to move forward, so here’s American Surrogacy’s advice on how to help get your children ready for their newest surrogate-born sibling:

1. Explain Surrogacy to Your Children

Having a basic, age-appropriate grasp of the surrogacy process is the first step. Reading some children’s books about surrogacy together can be a great introduction to the topic. 

Explain that there are many different but equally wonderful ways to grow a family, and this is just how your child’s brother or sister will be joining your family. Ask them if they have any questions about surrogacy, and express your excitement and pride in this shared experience — they’ll mirror your calmness and positivity!

Remember that your children will become their own ambassadors for surrogacy at school and among their peers, so give them the tools they need to answer questions they might be asked by inquisitive kids or teachers. Teaching them some basic language to use and practicing using that language at home can be helpful.

2. Continue to Talk About the Baby and Let Them Ask Questions

When you’re adding to your family via surrogacy, the concept of the new baby can be a little “out of sight, out of mind” for some kids. After your initial news, they may forget that the baby is still coming because they aren’t watching Mom’s body change. The baby’s arrival can feel very far away to a little kid!

Keep their new sibling a topic of conversation. Ask them what they’re excited to do with their little brother or sister when they’re older, or what names they like. Ask them for their help in setting up the baby’s nursery.

Take the opportunity to listen to their questions, as well. Your child might be wondering about how the baby is doing with the surrogate, or they might be unsure of what the hospital process will be like. They might also be nervous about typical big sibling concerns, too!

3. Involve Them in the Surrogacy Experience

It can be comforting for your child to feel included and clued in with what’s happening, in an age-appropriate way. Here are a few ways you could include your child in your family’s surrogacy journey:

  • Let your children meet your surrogate, if possible. You can show your child her picture or video chat with her if an in-person visit isn’t convenient. Getting to know the wonderful person who is carrying their sibling can make things feel a little more real and exciting.
  • Let your children meet their sibling at the hospital. This may also give them the opportunity to thank your surrogate for helping your whole family. 
  • Encourage your child to write letters or draw pictures to your surrogate and your baby. Mail them to her! It’ll probably bring a smile to her face.
  • Record your child reading a story to the baby, and send it to your surrogate to play. Get a jumpstart on sibling bonding!
  • Have your child pick out two special gifts — one for your surrogate and one for their baby sibling. Letting them choose a toy or stuffed animal for the baby can help things feel tangible.
  • Talk about your surrogate. Tell your child stories that she’s shared about the baby’s progress or movements. Tell your child about where she lives and what her family is like. Talk about how she’s taking amazing care of their baby sibling.

4. Be Reassuring and Express Your Excitement

Kids pick up on our emotions and look to parents to see if they should feel positively about a new situation. Speaking and behaving in a way that shows you’re proud of this surrogacy journey will set the example for your children to follow suit. Setting this tone now will especially be important for your surrogate-born child. Show your children that this is a happy and exciting time for your family. 

Even so, your child may still be afraid of the big changes ahead or may feel some uncertainty toward the surrogacy process. Keep assuring your children that things are going to be alright. The surrogacy process can be hectic and emotional, but your children will look to you for normalcy and positivity in the adventure you’re undertaking together.

In many ways, these feelings are the same that any family experiences with the arrival of a new child. Surrogacy can make things seem a little challenging at first glance, but the enormous benefit that it will have for your family will be lifelong.

Want more tips and suggestions on preparing your children for a sibling born via surrogacy? Reach out to your American Surrogacy specialist anytime for personalized advice.