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 guarantee a base compensation of at least $40,000 — the highest compensation ever offered by our agency!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Increase Your Openness to Opportunities in Other States

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

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

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

2. Be Flexible

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

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

3. Being Open to Pay for Surrogates Insurance

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

The Importance of Patience

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

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

How Does the Surrogacy Matching Process Work?

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

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

Right now, start thinking about whether:

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can I Become a Surrogate if I Adopted My Child?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are the Requirements to Become a Surrogate?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Make a Surrogacy Plan

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

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

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

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

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

What is a Surrogacy Plan?

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

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

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

Intended Parents

You’ll be asked:

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

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

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

Gestational Carriers

You’ll be asked:

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

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

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

What Happens After I Create My Surrogacy Plan?

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

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

What Happens After I’m Presented with an Opportunity?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1) Lack of Screening

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

2) Scams

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

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

3) It Might Take Longer than You Planned

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

4) You’ll Be in Charge of All Communication

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

5) Lack of Counseling and Support

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

The Security of Finding a Match Through an Agency

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

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

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

3 Ways Faith Plays a Role in Surrogacy

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

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

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

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

What Does Religion Have to Say About Surrogacy?

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

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

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

3 Ways Faith Plays a Role in Surrogacy

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

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

Coming to Terms with Surrogacy and Your Religious Beliefs

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

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

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

Is it Cheaper to Pursue Surrogacy with a Family Member?

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

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

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

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

So, How Much Does Identified Surrogacy Cost?

If you’re an intended parent looking at the costs of surrogacy, then you’ll know that it’s definitely not cheap. The average costs can be up to $100,000 or more. Because of these high costs, we understand why it might be tempting to ask a family member for their help, and to ask, “How much is surrogacy with a family member?” Especially since finding an identified gestational carrier means that your fees can be reduced by $17,000 for domestic intended parents and $19,000 for international intended parents.

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

What are Some Other Ways to Keep Costs Down?

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

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

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

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

Can a Family Member Become a Gestational Surrogate?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Choosing a Family Member to Be Your Gestational Surrogate

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

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

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

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

5 Things Women Wished They Knew Before Becoming Surrogates

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

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

1) You Won’t Get Paid ASAP

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

2) The Screening Process is Surprisingly Intense

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4) You’ll Need to Be Ready to Communicate

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

5) You Might Decide to Pursue Surrogacy Again

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

What Else Should I Know?

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

The Gestational Surrogate’s Guide to Taxes

The due dates for taxes are just around the corner, which means that it’s time to start gathering all the essential forms. But before you get started on filling out your important information, you’re probably starting to wonder if surrogate mothers have to pay taxes on any compensation they receive. 

The answer to that question can be a little tricky. After all, figuring out what you need for your taxes can be frustrating even without having to throw gestational surrogacy into the mix. But with the help of this guide, we’re sure that you’ll find the answer you’re looking for.  

Before we get too deep into the article, we want to give a quick word of warning: While we have tried our best to provide most if not all the information you need for this busy season, this article should not be taken as legal or financial advice. We strongly recommend that you speak with a local tax accountant before making any decisions.  

Looking to talk to someone who can offer help right away? We’re here to help! Please call 1-800-875-2229 or fill out our free information form to get information from one of our specialists.  

Do Surrogate Mothers Have to Claim Income?  

If you’ve already received your surrogacy compensation recently, then it’s normal to start wondering about potential taxes on them – especially considering that the typical amount you can receive is around $30,000. Now that April is almost here, figuring out whether or not you have to claim it as income will make a huge difference in how you do your taxes.   

The answer to this question really comes down to whether or not you receive a 1099 — the form commonly used by independent contractors and those who are self-employed. If you receive a 1099-MISC from your intended parents, your surrogacy specialist, or escrow service, then you will definitely need to claim to your compensation as income. And once it is claimed as income, it’s considered taxable.  

But What Happens if I Don’t Receive a 1099? [What You Should Know] 

If you end up receiving a 1099, then a lot of the guesswork is taken out for you because you’ll know you’ll need to claim your compensation as income. But if you don’t receive a 1099, is that money still considered taxable? 

The answer to this question really depends. Ideally, you’ll want to start talking about potential taxes with your attorney way before you receive your actually compensation, which should happen when you draft your surrogacy contract. A good surrogacy attorney will talk with you in depth about what you need to know about what taxes (if any) you’ll need to pay on your compensation and about the legal process.  

Most of the time, a surrogacy attorney will be able to find a reason to prevent a gestational surrogate from needing to pay taxes on their compensation. But it all comes down to how your compensation is addressed in your contract.  

But Can’t Surrogacy Compensation be Considered a Gift? [Other Questions to Ask] 

If you’ve gotten a head start on your research for tax season, then you might have come across different terms that might make it so that you’re exempt from having to pay taxes on surrogacy compensation. These situations vary widely, as some surrogate agencies and sources cite one opinion over the other.  

However, there are a few instances in which your compensation might not be tax-exempt. These are: 

Gift: In some cases, your account can avoid some of the taxes by claiming them as a gift from the intended parents. But it’s important to keep in mind that the amount of compensation that you’ll receive is usually higher than the amount you’ll be exempt from. So, you might end up paying a portion of your taxes from your compensation.  

Pain and Suffering: There are some sources, surrogacy professionals, and accountants that believe that if any compensation was received for pain and suffering, then the income can be considered non-taxable under Sec 104 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). However, surrogacy doesn’t exactly meet the list of excludable injuries listed under the section, such as someone who has experience some form of bodily injury or another type of accident, such as a burglary. So, whether or not surrogacy compensation can actually be claimed for “pain and suffering” and is therefore tax-exempt if a surrogate enters her contract willingly is still pretty divisive.  

Pre-Birth Child Support: Because child-support payments are exempt from taxes, there are some attorneys that word surrogacy compensation as pre-birth child support in order to avoid tax liability. But how well this reason will hold up in court is still debatable.  

Who Should I Talk to Next?  

Getting your taxes done can be frustrating at the best of times. But just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. Before you get started on your taxes, it’s a good idea to speak with a financial advisor, or a surrogacy specialist who can help answer your questions about any potential taxes for your compensation.  

Ranking 6 TV Surrogacy Plots from Least to Most Realistic

Good television is all about escapism, entertainment and surprise. Our favorite TV shows ramp up drama and conflict to give us a more heightened story than occurs in our real, everyday lives. After all, nobody wants to watch a story about something that goes smoothly and uneventfully — it wouldn’t be very exciting! But, this means that real occurrences, like growing a family through surrogacy, are often dramatized and fictionalized beyond recognition in order to make a better TV plot twist. 

The problem? Surrogacy is still a relatively new and misunderstood concept in the eyes of many viewers. So, these fictional and sensationalized portrayals could be inadvertently fueling dangerous misconceptions about what surrogacy is really like. How do these shows measure up to the real surrogacy process

Meet the Contenders 

While surrogacy is no stranger to the small screen, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Roseanne,” “Superstore,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “The Nest,” and “Top of the Lake: China Girl,” have all recently had surrogacy storylines that garnered some buzz. Let’s rank those 6 depictions, from least accurate to most accurate: 

6“The Handmaid’s Tale” 

The winner of the least realistic portrayal of surrogacy, “The Handmaid’s Tale” takes place in a dystopian future, where fertile women are forced into becoming traditional surrogates via rape. Needless to say, it’s devastatingly far from the truth of real and legal gestational surrogacy. Read real stories of gestational carriers and parents here

5. “The Nest” 

A drinking, partying teenage surrogate who lives with the intended parents, a drug-dealing intended father, a swapped embryo, some murder, mystery and general mayhem ensue. This series takes place in the U.K., but this show flies in the face of the requirements of actual surrogacy professionals in the U.S. and the surrogacy contracts that real intended parents and surrogates establish with attorneys.  

4. “Top of the Lake: China Girl” 

Their portrayal of surrogacy is just one of many wildly inaccurate and dangerously dramatized plots throughout the series. The titular “China Girl,” a murdered sex worker and illegal surrogate for intended parents working outside the law in Australia, is one of many outlandish (and at times, offensive) aspects of the show. 

3. “Roseanne”  

Becky decides to pursue surrogacy purely for money — she’s promised a whopping and unrealistic $50,000. She also lies about her age and is faced with unreasonable demands from the intended parent. In real life, base compensation starts at about $35,000 for a first-time surrogate like Becky, who also would have been carefully screened and background-checked prior to her acceptance into a gestational surrogacy program like American Surrogacy. Additionally, the wishes of intended parents and surrogates are talked about with their American Surrogacy specialist long before the process ever begins, to ensure everyone is on the same page and feels comfortable with how things move forward. 

2. “Superstore”  

Dina volunteers to be Glenn’s surrogate, although she’s never been pregnant or given birth before — a requirement for surrogates in real life. At different points, comedic misunderstandings are inserted into the plot, including disagreements about the contract (which would have been discussed with an attorney beforehand in real life), threats to have unprotected sex in the midst of the surrogacy process, shock over what childbirth is like and more. Unsurprisingly, none of this is a realistic depiction of the careful, legal contract between surrogates and intended parents. 

1. “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 

This is probably the most accurate of these portrayals, although it’s still not realistic by a long shot. After two unsuccessful rounds of IVF, Darryl runs out of the money he’d saved to conceive a child. He is successful once Rebecca donates her egg for free and Heather offers herself as a gestational carrier, also for free.  

But, who is covering the costs of Rebecca’s egg retrieval and Heather’s medical processes? Were the reimbursements of these costs discussed and established in a contract with a licensed attorney? Heather had never given birth before, which is a requirement for surrogates, so she wouldn’t have been a gestational surrogate in the first place.  It’s not a wildly inaccurate portrayal, but it’s not a very clear one, either. 

Red Flags in Fictional Surrogacy 

One common theme in these fictional portrayals: Many of the surrogates had never been pregnant before and they panicked midway through their pregnancies at the thought of childbirth, which they mysteriously had not considered up until that point. In real life, gestational carriers must have given birth at least once before, with no history of complications. Real surrogates have a history of smooth pregnancies and childbirth, and enjoy being pregnant. It’s what draws them to surrogacy in the first place. 

Another fairly common element in TV storylines is the presence of traditional surrogacy, which has been all but fully phased out in favor of gestational surrogacy. In fact, most professionals in the U.S., American Surrogacy included, won’t complete traditional surrogacy journeys. But, traditional surrogacy is more dramatic, so it makes for better television. 

There’s another red flag in most of these stories: Informal agreements without the guidance of a professional. Surrogacy professionals screen and background check the prospective gestational carrier as well as the intended parents. They educate the participants about the highs and lows of the surrogacy process, so everyone knows what to expect — no comedic surprises, unlike TV’s depiction of surrogacy in sitcoms. Professionals help intended parents and surrogate forge supportive, healthy relationships, which often turn into genuine friendships. So, none of the situations in the TV shows mentioned above would have ever happened under the guidance of an actual surrogacy professional. 

Instead of perpetuating myths about real surrogacy experiences, we encourage anyone and everyone to read the stories of our real-life gestational surrogates and families created through surrogacy. Their stories may not be shown on the small screen, but they’re far more meaningful!