What to Pack for Your Surrogacy Hospital Stay – Surrogates

The moment when you place the baby you’ve been carrying for nine months into the arms of his or her parents is an incredibly special one. Now it’s time to get ready for that moment! Here’s what you should pack in your hospital bag as a surrogate:


These are probably the most important items you’ll pack. The hospital will usually have things like extra toiletries on hand, but especially with a surrogacy birth, only you’ll be able to supply some of this information.

It’s best to try to prepare your hospital by letting them know about your birth plan in advance, as they may not have had any experience with a surrogacy birth. Your American Surrogacy specialist will work with you, your intended parents and your hospital to create a hospital plan that you’re comfortable with and to make sure that everything is ready, so that everyone is prepared and on the same page.

Bringing more information than less is a good idea, just in case. Some things you should pack include:

  • Your insurance cards
  • Your driver’s license or I.D.
  • Your surrogacy contract
  • The pre-birth order (if possible)
  • Copies of relevant prenatal medical information (if necessary)

The hospital should have a way to identify you and your family (like your spouse and children if they visit you) as well as the baby and the intended parents. Most hospitals are accommodating of the intended parents once they understand your special birth plan, so check with your surrogacy specialist to confirm what paperwork you should have ready.


Comfort is definitely key. Some hospitals tend to keep the temperature uncomfortably low, while others set it too high. You can’t go wrong with light layers. A few essentials you should pack include:

  • A robe to put on over your hospital gown
  • Socks or slippers
  • A couple of loose and comfortable outfits that you could go home in
  • Extra underwear
  • Nursing bras


Again, the hospital will likely have spares of anything you might need, so don’t over pack, but you might have preferences about brands. Think back to your last delivery and what would have made you more comfortable. Helpful things to pack include:

  • Your toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Hairbrush
  • A hair tie, headband, or whatever you prefer to keep your hair out of the way
  • Breast pads
  • Pads for post-partum bleeding
  • Nipple cream or Lanolin if your breasts get tender
  • If you plan on pumping breast milk for the baby, a breast pump
  • Post-partum ice packs


Don’t stress too much about packing. If you forget something, ask your spouse to run home and grab it for you. Your past deliveries will be your most helpful guide when considering what to pack for your hospital stay. Some additional things you might want to toss in your bag before you forget include:

  • Your phone charger
  • Anything from home that’ll make you more comfortable (a book, headphones, a specific pillow, blanket, sleep mask, etc.)
  • A little gift or memento for the child, like a photo album of your pregnancy or a special stuffed animal if you’d like them to have something to mark the nine months you spent together

Giving birth as a surrogate is an incredible and unique experience. Packing your hospital bag may seem small, but it’s all part of something exciting. Enjoy it!

American Surrogacy is here to help you create a hospital plan that you can feel confident about, and is with you every step of the way, preparing you for what to expect at the hospital with a surrogacy birth. Contact us now at 1-800-875-BABY (1-800-875-2229) to learn more about how to become a surrogacy and to make a surrogacy birth plan.

What to Pack for Your Surrogacy Hospital Stay – Intended Parents

One of the most exciting days of your lives is almost here! You’re about to meet your child for the first time. Do you know what you need to bring? We’ve got you covered. Here’s what you should pack in your hospital bag if you are an intended parent who is having a baby through surrogacy:


Your surrogate will be bringing the same information, but you should pack your own copies of this documentation in case she’s busy (she will be having your baby!) and hospital staff needs to reference something. Make sure you bring:

American Surrogacy will work with you to coordinate with your surrogate’s preferred hospital, and we’ll help make sure that they’re prepared for a surrogacy birth, as some hospitals haven’t experienced this before. Ensuring that the necessary hospital staff members are informed about your birth plan will help prevent any snags in you, your surrogate and her family, and your baby being able to access one another freely.

Having your relevant paperwork on hand can help communicate this to hospital staff, which rotates frequently.


You will likely be actively involved in supporting your surrogate during labor, but there is often also a lot of waiting and idleness for intended parents during the hospital stay, which might make you feel a little anxious or helpless. Bring some things to keep yourself occupied during this time, like:

  • A book
  • Headphones
  • Snacks (try to eat in the waiting area, out of politeness to surrogates who might be sensitive to smells while in labor and who aren’t permitted to eat while laboring)
  • Your phone charger

Having something quiet that can keep you busy while you wait for your baby’s delivery can be surprisingly helpful for both you and your surrogate!


The average duration of labor is about 8 hours, but it can vary widely. You’ll also need to stay at the hospital so your baby can be monitored, so your surrogate may be discharged before you if all goes well. This means that you could need to pack for a few days’ stay. Here are a few things you should consider bringing:

  • A few sets of comfortable clothes that you can sleep in if necessary, with light layers, since hospitals can sometimes run pretty warm or chilly
  • Overnight clothes and supplies, as a 24 hour post-birth observation period for all babies is usually required by most hospitals
  • A front buttoning shirt if you’d like to have skin-to-skin contact with your baby, which is recommended for intended parents


You’ll likely be staying at the hospital overnight, so have whatever you need for that stay ready to go, such as:

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hairbrush
  • Daily prescription medications
  • Contacts and glasses


You’ve probably waited for this day for a long time, but try not to over-pack, especially if you have to fly to your surrogate. It can be helpful to ask your surrogacy professional what other intended parents have found useful in their hospital bags, and what you can leave at home. However, there are a few additional items you might want in your bag, such as:

  • Whatever you need to be comfortable, like a blanket or sleep mask, as you might be there 1-3 days
  • A labor care kit for your surrogate with little supplies like lip balm and slipper socks
  • A small gift for your surrogate to mark the closing of your journey together. Talk to your surrogacy specialist about some appropriate gift ideas

For Baby

Don’t worry about bringing along the entire baby aisle of the store. The hospital will have extra newborn diapers, bottles and other basics. You can handle most supplies when you get home. Some things you should pack for baby include:

  • A weather-appropriate coming-home outfit (in a couple sizes in case one doesn’t fit)
  • Blankets
  • A hat
  • Two or three comfy onesies for sleeping
  • Socks or booties
  • A few burp or spit-up cloths
  • An approved baby car seat
  • Diapers and wipes
  • Bottles, formula, or whatever supplies you need to transport breast milk

Bring what’s essential for keeping your baby warm, comfortable, safe and fed. Most importantly, have the car seat ready. The hospital usually won’t let you leave unless they know it’s safe and installed correctly.

Meeting your child is one of the most important moments in your life, but you don’t need to bring a bunch of extras. Just focus on a few essentials and yourselves!  Your American Surrogacy specialist will help you and your surrogate to create a surrogacy birth plan that you’re comfortable with, and make sure you’re ready for your hospital stay. Contact us now at 1-800-875-BABY (1-800-875-2229) to begin your surrogacy process.

What to Look for in a Gamete Donor

Like choosing a gestational surrogate, selecting the right gamete donor — whether you need an egg, sperm, or both — can be difficult. You might not be sure what to look for in a potential donor, but this person will contribute 50 percent of your child’s genetic makeup, so it’s important that you choose wisely!

If you’re beginning your search for an egg and/or sperm donor, this guide will help.

Anonymous vs. Identified Donors

First, you’ll need to decide whether you want to work with an anonymous donor or an identified donor.

An anonymous egg or sperm donor has a profile that usually includes basic, non-identifying information about the donor’s health, appearance and a bit more. It’s usually noted on each profile whether or not the donor is to remain anonymous or is willing to be identified if the need arises for more information in the future.

An identified egg or sperm donor, also called a known donor, is willing to provide their identifying information or exchange contact with the intended parents before or after the intended parents’ child is born. There is more information offered about these donors to intended parents through their profiles, and these donors are willing to talk to you and your child if contacted.

Identified donors can also be someone that you know, like a close friend.

Today, many professionals recommend using an identified donor whenever possible. Research on open adoption has shown that a child’s knowledge of his or her genetic history can be incredibly important, not only for medical purposes, but also for identity development and emotional wellbeing.

The 6 Things You Should Consider in a Potential Egg or Sperm Donor

The importance of each of these points will probably rank differently to everyone, but you should consider all of them when looking at a potential donor. In no particular order, here are the six things you should keep in mind for a donor:

1. Health

All egg and sperm donors must meet certain health requirements before they may donate. Check with your individual professional to learn more about their criteria for donors, as these requirements can vary. Generally, donors must prove that they’re in good health through a medical screening process, and must provide family history on both sides. Keep in mind that nobody’s family health history is spotless, including your own.

The surrogacy process also includes preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) and prenatal testing to look for, prevent or potentially treat any birth defects, disorders or diseases that could be present and genetically inheritable.

2. Blood Type

Having a child who shares your blood type can be helpful in an emergency, in the event that one of you needs to donate blood to the other. This is a lower priority for most intended parents, but if a donor you feel drawn to matches your blood type or your spouse’s, it can be an added benefit.

3. Appearance

For many intended parents, having a child that looks like them or their spouse is important. Identified donors are usually asked to provide current photos of themselves as well as a childhood photo so you can try to imagine what your child might look like if you work with a particular donor.

Remember that the appearance of your child is largely guesswork. For example, maybe both of your parents were very tall, and you’re barely five feet tall. Your fertility specialist can help you find donors that match what you’re looking for appearance-wise, but nature can still be unpredictable, so don’t get too caught up in finding someone who looks just right.

4. Intelligence

Similar to the health requirements, sometimes donors must meet minimum education requirements as a means to measure intelligence and drive. This may mean having at least an undergraduate degree, meeting minimum SAT scores or other educational accomplishments.

There are many different kinds of intelligence, and a person’s interests and upbringing can play into how they perform in certain fields academically. While your donor may affect your child’s intelligence to some extent, genetics are not the only determining factor in intelligence.

5. Personality

It can be difficult to feel as if you know someone through an online profile, but often, a donor’s personality shines through. Certain personality traits can be genetically influenced, in addition to being affected by a person’s environment and upbringing.

Perhaps you’re hoping for a child to share in your sense of humor, and you’d like to find a donor who also has that same personality trait in the hopes that it might be passed on to your child. Or maybe you admire a certain personality trait, like a special talent that a donor has, and you hope your child might receive that gift, too. Either way, personality may not always be inherited by a child, but it’s an important thing to consider in a potential donor nonetheless.

6. A Connection

This is likely the most important thing to look for in an egg or sperm donor. When you view a potential donor’s profile, you’ll hopefully feel a sense of connection with the right one. Many intended parents describe a sense of “rightness” or of having a thought of, “That’s the one.”

Nobody is absolutely perfect, so if a donor meets most of your preferred criteria but doesn’t check off all of your boxes, don’t worry — especially if you feel a connection with that donor.

The best advice for intended parents who are choosing an egg or sperm donor is surprisingly simplistic, but very effective — trust your gut. If you have any questions about using donor gametes in surrogacy, or if you’re ready to start the surrogacy process, call 1-800-875-BABY (1-800-875-2229) now.

National Birth Defects Prevention Month

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month. This month focuses on raising awareness of birth defects, how they’re caused, the affect they have and how some can be prevented. Through National Birth Defects Prevention Month, the hope is that those who are affected by birth defects can live healthier, longer lives, and that those who are growing their families remain unaffected by birth defects.

What Is a Birth Defect?

There are many kinds of birth defects, and they can affect people in many different ways. Here are some important facts that everyone should know about birth defects:

  • Any complication that is presented at birth that alters the body’s appearance, function, or both is considered a birth defect.
  • One in 33 babies is born in the United States with a birth defect.
  • The severity of birth defects can range from moderate to critical, even causing death.
  • Birth defects are a leading cause of infant mortality.
  • Most birth defects occur during the first trimester.
  • Although some defects are detectable during gestation or at birth, some defects may not be identified until later in the person’s life, especially if the defect hadn’t caused noticeable health problems for the person.

How Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) is Helping to Decrease Birth Defects in Surrogacy

In gestational surrogacy, preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) is routinely conducted to help prevent birth defects. PGS checks the embryos used in surrogacy for potential genetic diseases or disorders that could result in a birth defect before they’re transferred to a surrogate to carry. Here’s how PGS works:

  • A few cells are microsurgically removed from the embryos being tested after they’ve been developing for about five days, at which point the embryos are frozen.
  • The DNA of those cells is examined to see if certain genes which could cause harmful defects are visible. This stage takes a minimum of one week.
  • If the embryos have no concerning genetic issues, an embryo (or multiple embryos) will be transferred to the gestational surrogate in the hopes of a successful implantation.

In addition to PGS, prenatal screening is also routinely done later in the gestational surrogate’s pregnancy to catch any other potential health concerns. The health and safety of gestational surrogates as well as the baby are the two primary goals in surrogacy, so PGS and prenatal screening are both important to achieving that.

What You Can Do

Many of the causes behind birth defects are unknown, but there are always efforts being made to better understand and prevent birth defects whenever possible. Here’s what you can do:

As a Surrogate…

Gestational surrogates must meet a fairly strict list of physical requirements. This is designed to limit the risk of health problems for the surrogate as well as the baby. Surrogates must be generally healthy, have already given birth with no pregnancy complications, have a healthy BMI, be free of STDs, be smoke- and drug-free, be financially stable, meet age requirements and meet other important health criteria.

These health requirements may make it less likely for birth defects to occur, but even the healthiest gestational surrogate can’t guarantee that a child she carries won’t develop a birth defect, as much as she’d like to protect the baby from health issues. If you’re a surrogate, most of the strategies for preventing birth defects are the basics of maintaining a healthy pregnancy. This includes:

  • Seeing your OBGYN for regular prenatal checkups. Some defects can be caught early and treated or prevented before birth.
  • Staying healthy by eating right, drinking lots of water, exercising regularly (light to moderate), getting plenty of sleep and of course avoiding smoke, drugs, alcohol and other unhealthy habits.
  • Taking your prenatal vitamins, especially daily iron, which can reduce the risk of anemia, as well as daily folic acid, which has been shown to reduce the occurrence of birth defects in the baby’s spine and brain.
  • Reducing your stress. Stress hormones can be transferred to the baby through amniotic fluid and can negatively affect development, so rest, meditate and try to stay relaxed.

Remember that you can do everything right and a child may still be born with a birth defect. Although this is a frightening thought for surrogates who feel responsible for the safety and health of the intended parents’ child, understand that most of the time, these things are out of anyone’s control. Keeping yourself healthy is the best thing you can do for the intended parents’ baby!

As an Intended Parent…

Again, there is no 100 percent guarantee that a child will be free of birth defects. However, there are a few things that you can do as an intended parent to reduce the risk of birth defects when you’re having a child via surrogacy, including:

  • Using donor gametes if you or your spouse has a genetic disorder that you’re worried about passing on.
  • Obtaining a detailed family health history on both sides whenever possible.
  • Having PGS completed on your embryos prior to embryo transfer with your gestational surrogate to ensure your embryo(s) are healthy and free of potential defects.

An important thing to consider as an intended parent: what would you want to do if one or more of your embryos had a genetic disorder that would lead to a birth defect? This possibility can be difficult to think about, but it is something you’ll need to consider before you complete PGS.

As a Person Who Cares…

If you’ve been affected by birth defects, know someone with a birth defect, or you simply want to help raise awareness and offer support, everyone can step up during National Birth Defects Prevention Month. Here are a few simple ways you can join the cause:

  • Join the #Prevent2Protect Thunderclap to raise awareness of National Birth Defects Prevention Month and to sign up to share a unified, simultaneous message of support across social media.
  • Share your story with the hashtag #1in33 This is Me if you or someone you love has been affected by a birth defect, and help others to feel supported and understood.
  • Share factual information about health, and how steps can be taken to prevent some birth defects by using the hashtag #Prevent2Protect when you share that information.

How will you participate during National Birth Defects Prevention Month? Let us know in the comments.

Washington State Welcomes New Year with New Surrogacy Laws

This year marks the beginning of a new era for surrogacy in Washington, thanks to newly enacted legislation regarding the gestational surrogacy process.

Starting this month, intended parents and gestational carriers in Washington state will follow a set of standards and regulations that makes their surrogacy experience safer than ever before. While the state’s laws were severely anti-surrogacy prior to 2019, the new laws passed last year (and being enacted this month) provide a clear path ahead for those interested in gestational surrogacy.

So, what are the biggest changes that this new legislation brings? Find a breakdown of some of the most important points below:

1. Compensated surrogacy is now legal and enforceable.

Up until this month, compensated surrogacy in Washington was illegal. But, the passage of the Uniform Parentage Act last March changed all that. Today, intended parents and gestational carriers can enter into legally binding compensated surrogacy contracts for the benefit of all involved.

Washington contracts can now provide for surrogate “payment of consideration and reasonable expenses and reimbursement of specific expenses if the agreement is terminated.”

For more information about surrogate base compensation, contact our surrogacy specialists today.

2. Enforceable contracts must meet certain standards.

Following other states, Washington state requires intended parents and gestational carriers to meet certain requirements for their surrogacy contract to be legally enforceable.

In order for a woman to become a gestational carrier, she must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Previously have given birth to at least one child, but not have entered into more than two surrogacy agreements
  • Complete a medical evaluation
  • Complete a mental health consultation
  • Have independent legal representation

In order for intended parents to enter into a surrogacy contract, they must:

At least one party to the agreement must be a resident of Washington. The surrogate’s spouse must be a party to the agreement, and the agreement must be executed before any medical procedures can occur.

A legal gestational surrogacy contract will include:

  • The acknowledgement that a surrogate and her spouse have no claim to the child born
  • The acknowledgement that the intended parents will take custody of and responsibility for the child
  • Information on how the intended parents will cover the expenses of the carrier
  • Information on surrogate base compensation
  • And more

For more information on what a legal contract in this state requires, speak to a local Washington surrogacy attorney.

3. Both parents of children born via gestational carrier are treated as legal parents from the start.

The new legislation states “on birth of a child conceived by assisted reproduction under a gestational surrogacy agreement, each intended parent is, by operation of law, the parent of the child.” This means that all intended parents can receive pre-birth orders that will be enforced once the child is born.

This eliminates the complicated business of post-birth parentage orders and adoptions that some unrelated or unmarried intended parents previously had to complete in Washington.

4. Traditional surrogacy remains legal but with additional requirements.

Traditional surrogacy, denoted as “genetic surrogacy” in the new legislation, is available in Washington state. However, new stipulations have been established for intended parents and surrogates taking this route.

All traditional surrogacy contracts must meet the same standards as gestational surrogacy contracts. In addition to these terms, there are specific rules regarding termination of contracts. Intended parents may terminate the surrogacy contract any time prior to the embryo or gamete transfer. A traditional surrogate may withdraw consent any time before 48 hours after the birth of the child. When she does so, she waives all right to compensation, and her parental rights may be upheld, depending on the legal situation. However, she is not automatically assumed to be the legal parent of the child.

5. Children born of gamete donors have new rights.

The Uniform Parentage Act doesn’t just address surrogacy; it addresses many different aspects of assisted reproduction technology. Now, any child conceived by assisted reproduction has the right to request identifying information about their biological parent and/or notify their biological parent of their request. Even if the donor is anonymous, the child born of a gamete donation and their parent has the right to access non-identifying medical history.

American Surrogacy is thrilled to help intended parents and gestational carriers in Washington reach their surrogacy dreams under this new surrogacy-friendly legislation. For more information about working with our agency, or to start your surrogacy process today, please call 1-800-875-BABY(2229).

A Year in Review: The Biggest Surrogacy News from 2018

As 2018 comes to an end, it’s always helpful to look back on the last 12 months.  Whether your year included a surrogacy journey or not, you probably had some ups and downs along the way. Reflection can be incredibly helpful before looking to the future.

At American Surrogacy, we take that ideal to heart. While our agency has grown a lot in the years since we were created, we know there is always room for improvement — both for our team and for our intended parents and gestational carriers. We are proud of the journey we took through 2018, and we are even more excited for what 2019 will hold for our agency.

As the year winds down, we take a look back at some of the most memorable moments in the surrogacy industry over the last 12 months — just in case you missed them.

At American Surrogacy…

Our surrogacy specialists have been hard at work all year helping intended parents and gestational carriers prepare for the surrogacy process. Since January, they have guided many of our clients through the steps of this journey, from screening to matching to delivery. In fact, we have many gestational carriers and intended parents at different steps in this process as we close out the year.

We are also happy to announce that American Surrogacy helped to bring more babies into the world in 2018 than we did in 2017 — and we are on track to do the same in 2019!

In U.S. Legislation…

This year was a big year in terms of changes in U.S. surrogacy law. While there still remains no federal legislation overseeing this family-building process, a few states have taken important steps to making gestational surrogacy more widely available to those who wish to pursue this path.

The most notable changes in state laws came from one of the states with the most complicated relationship with surrogacy — New Jersey. It was in New Jersey back in 1985 that a traditional surrogate went on to sue for custody of the intended parents’ child in what would be known as the “Baby M.” case. Shortly after, New Jersey laws were put into place banning surrogacy of all kinds. But, this year, legislators now allow for enforceable gestational surrogacy contracts in the state, as long as they meet certain legal requirements.

Other states have also taken steps to make surrogacy more readily available. Starting Jan. 1, intended parents and gestational carriers in Washington will be able to enter into enforceable compensated gestational surrogacy contracts, as per a law signed last March. A New York state task force also issued a recommendation that the state do away with its ban on commercial surrogacy, although no further steps have yet been taken toward this goal.

In Pop Culture…

Gestational surrogacy became a household name in 2018, thanks to Kim Kardashian West and husband Kanye West. Kardashian West had announced late in 2017 that she and West were expecting a child via gestational carrier after her previous two pregnancies had complications that would make a third incredibly dangerous.

In January, the couple’s third child, Chicago, arrived via gestational carrier. The most recent season of “Keeping Up with the Kardashian” documented parts of the couple’s gestational pregnancy, and Kardashian West opened up to several publications about their decision and their experience during the family-building process. She even took the chance to educate her audience about the reality of gestational surrogacy:

“I refer to her as a surrogate, but it’s completely my and Kanye’s DNA, so technically that’s called a gestational carrier,” she told Elle. “A surrogate is when they use the husband’s sperm and the surrogate’s egg.”

She lauded the gestational surrogacy process on “Live with Kelly and Ryan”:

“I really, really enjoyed the surrogacy process,” she said. “I will say, when it came to the breastfeeding time, I was like, ‘Okay, this is the best decision I have ever made…’ I can spend so much more time with the older kids and getting them used to the baby.”

Kardashian West wasn’t the only celebrity to announce their surrogacy journeys this year. Olympian Tom Daley and husband Dustin Lance Black welcomed a son through gestational surrogacy in June, and actress Gabrielle Union and her husband Dwayne Wade welcomed a baby girl in November. TV personality Maria Menounos has also been open about her consideration of gestational surrogacy as a family-building method (with guidance from Kardashian West, no less).

We love the openness with which these celebrities have discussed their personal surrogacy journey in the past year, and we look forward to more conversations about non-traditional family-building from those in the spotlight!

As we wrap up 2018, our team at American Surrogacy wishes everyone a happy New Year and only the best in the surrogacy journeys to come in 2019!

Is starting your surrogacy journey your New Year’s Resolution? Contact our surrogacy specialists today to get started.

New Year’s Resolution: Why We Should Stop Surrogacy Shaming

Each new year brings a fresh new slate. With the end of the old year and the start of the new one, we have a chance to break old habits, examine our strengths and faults and to try to be better. In 2019, let’s make it a priority to stop surrogacy shaming. It’s an old, tired argument that everyone is sick of. Here are six reasons why:

1. Families Expanded through Surrogacy are Families

Whether a family comes together through surrogacy, adoption, foster care, biologically or by any other means, they’re a “real” family as long as there is real love. Biological ties, how a child comes into a family, or whether or not a family is considered “traditional” are all pretty inconsequential in the big picture.

2. You May Not Know the Whole Story

Infertility, disrupted adoptions, lost pregnancies or children, medical treatments, or other heartbreaks — there are often rough patches in a person’s journey that has ultimately led them to surrogacy that you may not know about. Before you speak, even if you’re trying to be helpful or make suggestions, remember that this person may have already tried what you’re suggesting and it ended badly.

Be kind, be thoughtful and keep your “helpful suggestions” or opinions to yourself. This person or family has likely chosen surrogacy after a lot of careful thought, and you haven’t been in their shoes.

3. It’s Not a Moral Superiority Competition

There is no “right” or “wrong” way to have a family. Are you going to presume to know better than anyone else?

Children are not moral superiority trophies to argue over. You’re not a “better” or “worse” person for choosing a different path to parenthood. All that should matter is that you’re a good parent to your children, and that you’re raising them to be kind people.

4. If Someone Wants to Be a Parent, They Deserve that Happiness

Why would you spoil that with your judgment? If you’re a parent yourself, you can sympathize with those who long to know that joy for themselves. While there are many ways to become a parent, a person’s reasoning for choosing surrogacy is their own, and again, you may not know the whole story.

It’s simply not your place to decide who gets to become a parent or how they do so. Not everyone can (or chooses to) have and carry a child biologically. They may need help. Are you really going to try to take away all the happiness and unconditional love that parents get to experience?

Be happy for those who are about to become a parent. If you can’t manage that, keep your opinions to yourself.

5. If a Woman Wants to Help Someone Become a Parent, She Deserves Respect

We’ve talked a lot about why you should stop shaming people who become parents through surrogacy, but it’s no less important to stop the shaming of surrogates. Enough already with the judgmental nonsense.

Surrogates are extraordinary women who see a need and offer to help. They’re mothers themselves, so they know what it’s like to wish for a child. Perhaps they’ve known someone who has struggled to have a child, or maybe they simply feel compassionate towards those who have been waiting to complete their families.

Surrogacy shamers might assume that surrogates only want monetary gain. However, this is far from the truth. Studies like this 2014 report have shown that the main motivators for women who choose to become surrogates are the desire to help others and a love of being pregnant.

Thank a surrogate for helping to create families!

6. Children Born through Surrogacy Will Hear What You Say

Kids who come to their family through “nontraditional” means hear the things you say  to their parents, on social media and to other parents in the schoolyard — make sure what you’re saying is something that makes them feel good about themselves, because it’ll stick with them for longer than you might realize.

No matter how you feel about surrogacy, no child has any say in how they come into this world, but every child deserves to feel safe and loved. Is your opinion of surrogacy worth the peace of mind of a child?

Let’s make 2019 the year where we get over surrogacy shaming. It’s time we moved past quibbling over how families are made and instead started focusing on celebrating the many different kinds of loving families!

Share this to spread your New Year’s Resolution and to help end surrogacy shaming in 2019.

Happy Holidays from American Surrogacy!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from American Surrogacy & American Adoptions

From all of us at American Surrogacy, Merry Christmas and happy holidays! This time of year reminds us how incredibly lucky we are to help create families through surrogacy as well as adoption at our sister agency, American Adoptions.

Every year around the holidays, our families send us cards, notes and photos. We love seeing your families get bigger, your kids grow up and hearing about how you’re all doing.

No matter how your family came to be, we’re glad to have been a part of yours. You’ll always be a part of ours!

The holidays can be a difficult time for those who haven’t completed their family yet. You can talk to a surrogacy specialist at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) or an adoption specialist at 1-800-ADOPTION if you’re ready to begin your journey to becoming a parent.

4 Tips for Pregnant Surrogates During the Holidays

You may be feeling somewhat overwhelmed when you’re taking care of the intended parents’ growing baby and your family, especially in the midst of craziness of the holiday season. Now more than ever, it’s important to care of yourself.

Here are four tips that can help you navigate the upcoming holidays as a surrogate so that you stay healthy, sane and actually enjoy yourself:

1. Take Care of Yourself

Pregnancy is physically, mentally and emotionally tough. Surrogacy adds extra pressure to what you’re experiencing. Combine that with the holidays, and you probably need a break. Here are few self-care tips that might seem obvious, but are no less important:

  • Sleep! Need a nap? Take a nap. Whenever. Go to bed early if you need to. If you (and baby) say “sleep,” everyone else can say, “sweet dreams.”
  • Stay hydrated. There will be (non-alcoholic) punch, cider, soda and all sorts of delicious holiday indulgences. However, keep drinking plenty of plain old water so that you’ll both stay healthy throughout the winter.
  • There will be plenty of temptations, but it’s best to avoid some holiday foods. You probably know to stay away from soft cheese, alcohol and undercooked meats, but you should also skip the eggnog, cookie dough and caffeine. Make sure you eat lots of healthy fruits and veggies if you indulge in holiday treats.
  • Ask for help, delegate tasks and take time for yourself. Whether that’s letting your partner or spouse take over your half of the holiday to-do list or having a friend or family member pitch in so that you can get some rest, let others know when you need a hand.

Be honest and firm about your needs this holiday season. Taking care of yourself (mentally, physically and emotionally) as well as the baby is priority number one. Once you and the baby are taken care of, you can take care of your family and holiday matters.

2. Holiday Stress Can Be Tough on the Baby (and You!)

All the planning, shopping, traveling and expectations of the holiday season can be fun, but it can also be stressful. That stress now affects both you and the baby. Staying relaxed is healthier for you and for the baby, but that can be trickier during the heightened emotions of the holidays.


  • Ask for help when you need it, whether that’s with everyday tasks or holiday chores like decorating and shopping.
  • Cut out excess stress wherever you feel it’s possible or needed, like skipping that party you don’t feel like going to, buying fewer presents, or making fewer travel plans.
  • The holidays aren’t about commitments or gifts, so take a breath if you feel overwhelmed.

The holiday season can bring us so much joy and warmth, or it can make us feel overwhelmed and frustrated. A lot of that depends on how we choose to approach it. Don’t feel bad about cutting out things that cause you stress this season. This is an opportunity to reconnect with what’s important to you as you celebrate.

3. Focus on Your Family

You’re doing an amazing thing for someone else’s family — you’re growing a child for them! It can be easy to get caught up in the feelings of your intended parents while you’re on this journey together, but you deserve some time to focus on your own family during the holidays. Here are a few tips for making the most of this time with your family:

You don’t have to go overboard with gifts or special plans… just spend some undistracted time together as a family. As a surrogate, you mean a lot to someone else’s family. But your family comes first.

4. Take it Easy this Year

Maybe your house is normally the one festooned with the most lights on the block each year. Maybe it’s an annual tradition to stay up all night carefully basting a turkey. Maybe you usually host a bunch of people for a party, or you travel to several different family celebrations.

This might be the year to take things easy. You’ve got a lot going on, and it’s ok to say “no” to obligations, even if those commitments are self-imposed.

Your pregnant body will probably thank you if you’re not traveling, staying up late, stressing or overexerting yourself. Changing things up and adopting a more laid-back holiday schedule this year will allow you to spend some relaxed time with your family and also maybe give you a couple new traditions.

Instead of more elaborate holiday traditions, consider these stress-saving holiday ideas:

  • Have the family’s favorite simple meal (think spaghetti or tacos) instead of a fancy holiday meal.
  • Have a staycation with hot cocoa and a holiday movie marathon instead of traveling across the country for holiday get-togethers.
  • Book a post-surrogacy family trip as a gift instead of giving traditional presents and save yourself some shopping trips.
  • If you normally cook or bake a lot, opt for store-bought this year.
  • If you don’t feel like going to the usual holiday parties, don’t go! Put yourself first.

The holidays can bring a certain amount of pressure, but there’s nothing wrong with keeping things simple and low key. Spending your holidays pregnant can be frustrating, depending on how you’re feeling, but it can also be a chance to change things up and get back to the basics of the season. Remember the wonderful reason why you’re doing this, and how you’re about to give the best gift ever to your intended parents! If you’re struggling with the stress of the holiday season as a surrogate, you can always reach out to your surrogacy specialist for support at 1-800-875-BABY (875-2229).

7 Questions You Have About Your Surrogate’s Delivery

It’s finally here, the thing you’ve been waiting your entire family-building process for — your gestational carrier’s delivery. As much that goes into the initial stages of the surrogacy process, you may not have thought about what would happen when your gestational carrier reaches the end of her pregnancy. What can you expect from your upcoming hospital stay?

This is a new experience for many intended parents, and it’s perfectly normal to have lots of questions about this part of the journey. Your upcoming hospital stay can be nerve-wracking and exciting at the same time. The good news is that the more prepared you are for this experience, the more successful it will be.

Understanding what to expect from this part of the surrogacy journey is a big part of preparing for the unknowns ahead of you. When you work with American Surrogacy, your surrogacy specialist will always help you prepare for this exciting time. He or she will answer all of your questions and help you feel comfortable with what is to come.

You can always talk to your specialist by calling 1-800-875-2229(BABY). In the meantime, you can find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about a gestational pregnancy hospital stay below:

1. Will we be present during childbirth?

Yes! Your surrogacy specialist and your gestational carrier will do everything possible to ensure that you make it to the hospital in time for your carrier’s delivery. You will be in close communication with your carrier and receive all the updates she gets from her obstetrician, and you will be made aware of the hospital plan every step of the way. This way, you’ll know when your surrogate is due, and you can make the proper arrangements to be there during childbirth.

That said, babies come when they want to, so you may want to take precautions just in case she goes into labor earlier than expected.

As far as being in the room during the actual birth, that will depend upon the policies of the hospital where your gestational carrier is delivering. Some hospitals will only allow a certain number of people into a delivery room, and the rules could be even stricter when there’s a cesarean-section. In some cases, both intended parents are allowed to be in the room with the carrier and her spouse, but some situations allow for only one or two people to accompany the carrier into delivery.

As with every other part of the hospital plan, a plan for who will be present during delivery will be set before the carrier gets close to delivery. You and your surrogate will decide which preferences you are both comfortable with during that time.

2. Will we get our own room?

Again, the answer to this will depend upon hospital policies. Some hospitals treat surrogacy as similar to adoption; intended parents can stay in a hospital room near the carrier after the baby is born. This can be incredibly instrumental in the bonding time shortly following birth.

However, some hospitals do not provide extra rooms for intended parents. Therefore, some parents stay in the same room with their gestational carrier as she recovers, or they stay in a nearby hotel and visit the carrier and their baby as often as possible.

3. Will our baby get to stay with us?

Again, this will depend upon hospital policy. If you are staying in a hospital room, and the surrogacy situation has been explained to hospital staff in detail, it shouldn’t be a problem for your baby to stay in the room with you as your surrogate recovers and your baby waits for discharge.

However, there may be situations in which a baby cannot stay in the same room with either the intended parents or gestational carrier, most notably in cases of premature birth or other birth complications. Separation from a new baby can be stressful for any parent, let alone a parent who didn’t carry a child themselves. Remember that your baby’s doctor will do everything they can to move your child to your rom when they are medically ready. In the meantime, if you are staying at the hospital, you can always visit your child as often as allowed. You can invite your gestational carrier to accompany you, as well.

4. Will our names be placed on the baby’s birth certificate?

If your state laws allow for a pre-birth order, your names will be placed on your baby’s birth certificate when they are born. This can be a massive relief for intended parents, but remember that, even if you don’t have a pre-birth order, there will never be any confusion about who the baby really belongs to. Your surrogacy specialist will make sure the hospital is aware of your situation and understands the parental rights you have in this process.

Some states don’t allow for pre-birth orders, only post-birth parentage orders or adoption. If this is the situation with your surrogacy, your surrogacy attorney will explain the necessary legal process to you before your carrier gives birth. They will also work to ensure that an amended birth certificate is provided to you as quickly as your state processes allow for.

5. Can I breastfeed my baby in the hospital?

If you are an intended mother, you may be interested in breastfeeding your child born via surrogacy. Not only is this recommended by breastfeeding advocates, but it is entirely possible — and you can start breastfeeding once your child is born.

You’ll need to talk to your doctor ahead of your carrier’s delivery to ensure you induce lactation early enough for your baby’s delivery. If you have a separate room for you and your baby during the hospital stay, you may even have access to lactation specialists during this time. They can help you with any issues you have inducing lactation and adjusting to your new breastfeeding schedule.

6. Do we get a say in the hospital and delivery plans?

While your gestational carrier will be the one undergoing childbirth, you are still an active part in this surrogacy process. When your carrier creates her hospital plan, your surrogacy specialist will make sure to include you in this decision-making. If you have specific desires for your child’s birth — such as a natural delivery, delayed cord clamping or more — it’s important that you tell your carrier and surrogacy specialist as early on as possible.

Like the other aspects in surrogacy, a hospital plan may include compromises. Being honest about what you want early on will help ensure a surrogacy process you are comfortable with.

7. How do we start planning our hospital stay?

When you work with American Surrogacy, your surrogacy specialist will ensure that your hospital plan is created in plenty of time to let you and your gestational carrier prepare for this experience. Typically, this plan is created during a carrier’s second or third trimester in a conversation between all parties involved.

While planning a hospital stay can be stressful in an independent surrogacy, when you work with American Surrogacy, your surrogacy specialist will handle all the necessary details. They will mediate the conversation between you and your gestational carrier, coordinate with the carrier’s insurance provider and medical professionals, and work with the hospital to ensure all professionals are prepared for the unique surrogacy situation ahead of them.

The birth of your baby can be an incredible experience. Let our specialists help you through every part of this process. To learn more about our agency’s services, please contact our specialists today.