What Is My First Step? The Agency or the Clinic?

What is my first step as an intended parent? Do I l find a fertility clinic or surrogacy agency? This guide explains what to do.

What is your first step as an intended parent? Do you locate a clinic for in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment or try to find a surrogacy agency? We’re here to answer that question for you.

If you want to get free surrogacy information now, then you can contact us online whenever you need us. Our trusted team is always here to support you. In the meantime, though, we’ve put together this guide that explains what your first step should be as an intended parent.

Your First Step in Choosing Surrogacy [What You Need to Know]

You know surrogacy is the right path toward building your family and making your dreams of parenthood a reality. But, what you don’t know is how you begin the surrogacy process. What is that important first step, exactly? When you’re ready to get started, you’ll want to contact a reputable agency like American Surrogacy.

Our agency’s experienced professionals can answer all your questions. We will also determine your needs and preferences for matching with a prospective surrogate. Before you seek out a fertility clinic to undergo the IVF process, you should first work with American Surrogacy and go through our matching services. After all, how would you start IVF without a surrogate? That’s where we come in to help.

Finding a Surrogate Mother with Our Agency

As you might imagine, finding a prospective surrogate alone can be stressful. Fortunately, American Surrogacy has an extensive surrogacy screening process that ensures they are 100% committed to carrying a baby for you. For instance, we require all surrogates who work with us to:

  • Complete thorough background checks
  • Visit an obstetrician to confirm their fertility
  • Fill out social and medical history forms
  • Undergo a home assessment from a licensed social worker
  • Receive a psychosocial evaluation from a licensed psychologist

In other words, you can rest assured that all our prospective surrogates are dedicated to this journey. Before you match with a surrogate, our media specialists will help you create your intended parent profile. This profile showcases who you are. When prospective surrogates view them, they’ll learn about your hobbies and interests, family traditions, why you’ve chosen surrogacy, and so much more.

After they view your profile, you can begin getting to know the surrogate a bit better. Your American Surrogacy professional can arrange a video chat for you all. Here, you can ask them any questions you have and learn more about them as a person.

Also, your professional will mediate this call, and they’ll inform you of any topics to avoid before you speak with the surrogate mother. If you’re ready to move forward and feel like this is the right choice, then let your specialist know! It’s time to move to the next step.

What to Look for in a Surrogacy Clinic

Once you’ve matched with a prospective surrogate mother, your professional will refer you to a fertility clinic. Still, it is ultimately your choice as you decide which surrogacy clinic you’d like to work with.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to research which clinics meet your needs and preferences. No two surrogacy journeys are the same, so it’s important to find a surrogacy clinic that’s best for you. To give you a solid starting point, we’ve listed some key services below that you should keep an eye out for:

When you reach out to these clinics, be sure to ask them all your questions. Their answers will help you determine if the clinic you’re interested in meets your surrogacy needs.

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There’s no doubt that surrogacy is a complex topic, so we completely understand if you have some more questions. American Surrogacy is here for you whenever you need us. To get more free information now, you can fill out our online contact form today. We would love to hear from you!

A Day in the Life of a Surrogacy Specialist

The surrogacy process is a beautiful way to start a family. It’s also something that takes a lot of work. Everyone involved has an important role to play, especially the specialist with your surrogacy professional.

Surrogacy specialists are responsible for many aspects of the process. Typically, they’re juggling multiple tasks and everything is high priority. They know they can’t afford to drop any balls, because this work is vital to fulfilling your dreams of becoming a parent. Surrogacy specialists are passionate, caring professionals who work tirelessly to help create families.

As an intended parent or surrogate considering surrogacy, or as an intended parent currently going through the process, you obviously know that surrogacy specialists are important, and the work they do matters. But do you really know what their days look like?

We’re going to pull back the curtain on the daily life of a surrogacy specialist. As you’ll see, these are everyday heroes performing challenging tasks under high pressure. From the required administrative duties to filing paperwork to counseling families and surrogates through the ups and downs of the process, your specialist is there for you.

Here’s what a typical day in the life of a surrogacy specialist might look like.

7 a.m. — Family First

Wait, isn’t this about what a surrogacy specialist does at work? Yes, it is. But before we get to that, we need to establish something very important: Surrogacy specialists have lives, too. They have families, obligations, early mornings and everything else.

When an intended parent or surrogate is working with a surrogacy specialist, it can be easy to get tunnel vision and forget that they are more than just a surrogacy specialist. Before the drive to the office, there’s getting the kids fed and out the door and, if they’re lucky, time to sit down for a cup of coffee.

8 a.m. — Time for Some Emails

Awareness and interest in surrogacy is growing every day. As recently as several years ago, surrogacy was still seen as an “out there” option for family building. Today, it is much more common. A surrogacy specialist knows this firsthand through the amount of inquiries they respond to each day.

After driving to the office and settling in with a hot cup of coffee, their day will often begin by responding to all of the requests for information that came in over the last 24 hours. This could be five, 10 or more emails.

Each response carries a lot of weight. This is a person who is interested in starting a family or interested in carrying a baby for intended parents. Both are asking serious questions that could be life-changing. Far from a quick response, each email demands careful focus and attention.

9 a.m. — Assisting Active Cases

Our surrogacy specialist shifts focus to the caseload already on their plate once these interest inquiries are taken care of. Along with the people interested in surrogacy, there are also the people who are already in the process. These could be matches — intended parents and a surrogate who are already paired up — or either party that is still waiting for a match.

Managing the caseload is part administrative work, part counseling work and a little bit of everything else. One minute could be dedicated to reviewing a surrogacy contract, and the next is spent vetting a family to ensure they qualify. It’s important for each step of this process to be completed accurately for the protection of everyone involved.

10 a.m. — Phone Calls to Speak with Women Interested in Surrogacy

Deciding to carry a baby as a gestational surrogate is a big choice. After initially requesting information online, women who are interested in taking the next step will often schedule a follow-up call to have a more in-depth discussion about the surrogacy process.

This is unique in the day of a surrogacy specialist, as opposed to many other family-building professionals. Many adoption agencies, for example, have adoptive family specialists and birth mother specialists. In surrogacy, the surrogacy specialist works with everyone involved from start to finish.

These calls are a chance to educate and encourage women interested in becoming a surrogate.

11 a.m. — Team Meeting

Our team at American Surrogacy is made up of several hard-working individuals, and it helps to be on the same page. The surrogacy process can get complicated. There are a lot of moving parts, important documents and necessary phone calls. Plus, working as a team helps provide encouragement on the hard days.

12 p.m. – Lunch, and Probably More Emails

Who really takes a full lunch, anyways? While our surrogacy specialist was speaking with women on the phone and collaborating with her team, new requests for information and emails from active cases have been building up in her inbox. A working lunch is typical.

1 p.m. – Intended Parent Calls

It’s time for more phone calls! So much of being a surrogacy specialist involves answering questions. These questions are important, and they require complete responses. Without the support of a surrogacy specialist, intended parents would be at a loss in this process.

Just like our surrogacy specialist did at 10 a.m. with surrogates, they will spend time in the afternoon following up with intended parents who want to learn more. These calls typically last an hour, and, depending on the day, could take up the whole afternoon. Each family is unique, which means each conversation is totally different.

2 p.m. – Delivering Good News and Finding a Match

One of the best things that can happen in a surrogacy specialist’s day is when intended parents hop on the phone and are ready to go. That means they already have taken the necessary medical steps, have embryos prepared and are ready to find a match. Here’s the best part: showing them our list of available surrogacy situations.

We work with so many amazing gestational surrogates. Helping a family find a match is one of the best parts of the day. This is a moment they’ll remember for the rest of their lives, and we are honored to play a part in the story of their family.

3 p.m. – Delivering Bad News and Having Tough Conversations

This is a profession comprised of ups and downs. For all the times a surrogacy specialist gets to be a part of life-changing moments, there are times when they have to deliver bad news and have tough conversations.

At this point, a surrogacy specialist may have to pick up the phone and call a woman hoping to be a surrogate with some bad news: We’re so sorry, but something has come up, and you do not meet the qualifications.

American Surrogacy has psychological and medical standards for all surrogates, which provides protection for everyone involved in the process. It can be really hard when something comes up in the medical screening that was unknown or unexpected. Delivering news like this is not easy. It’s the knowledge of the good things that will happen that keeps a surrogacy specialist going through hard conversations like this.

4 p.m. – Wrapping up loose ends

You never truly know what a day is going to hold. The last hour is reserved for the unexpected (unless, of course, something unexpected demands attention earlier). There are plenty of loose ends to tie up. A surrogacy specialist rarely leaves the office feeling like work is “done.” The goal is to get everything in a good place to come back to work tomorrow.

 5 p.m. – An Evening Full of Family

Once again, we’re back to life.

It’s time for school pickup, volleyball practice, basketball games, cooking dinner (or, let’s be real, ordering takeout) and enjoy time with family. American Surrogacy is all about creating family, so of course a surrogacy specialist places a high value on her own. This is what makes life great. Even though toting the kids to and from evening activities can be tiring, it provides fuel for the next day at work.

The Heart of Surrogacy

Anyone who dreams of starting a family should have the opportunity to see that dream fulfilled. That’s the belief at the core of American Surrogacy. Yes, being a surrogacy specialist is a job. But it’s also much more than that. It is a position with daily opportunities to play a vital role in changing someone’s life.

That kind of work comes with its ups and downs. There are hard days when nothing seems to go right, but there are also great days when you get to witness a family come together for the first time. Surrogacy specialists accept both the good and the bad, holding it all together in this delicate process and working tirelessly to serve you.

If you’d like to speak with a surrogacy specialist today, you can call 1-800-875-BABY(2229) or reach out online. We would love to talk with you.

From Adoption to Surrogacy: Founder Scott Mars’ Story

Over the past five years, American Surrogacy has made great strides in helping intended parents and gestational carriers achieve their surrogacy dreams. We’ve brought more and more children into the world each year that our organization has been around, and we’re incredibly grateful to all those who have trusted our professionals with their surrogacy journey.

But, we’re also grateful to someone else: our founder Scott Mars. If it weren’t for him, American Surrogacy would not exist — and certainly not with its current focus and dedication. Scott Mars is the person who has made our agency what is today and what it will be for years to come.

But, who exactly is Scott Mars, and how did American Surrogacy come to be?

That’s a great question! To help you understand a bit more about American Surrogacy and our professionals, you need to first understand the story of our founder.

An Early Spark

If there’s one thing you should know about Scott Mars, it’s that he is an adoptee. When he was just 10 days old, his adoptive parents — Ted and Susan Mars — brought him into their family. The couple had tried for years to be pregnant and, after suffering several miscarriages, decided that private domestic infant adoption was the right path for them.

For Mars, adoption was a positive experience growing up. Although he had a closed adoption relationship with his birth parents, his adoptive parents celebrated his adoption story from an early age. He knew his birth parents had made their adoption decision out of love for him and how much their decision meant to his adoptive parents.

“Every day I realize how important I am to my parents. The fact that I was adopted doesn’t matter,” Mars says. “It is simply another way to become a parent.”

But, Scott Mars’ own adoption story wasn’t the only experience he had with alternative family-building methods growing up. After they adopted Scott, Mars’ parents became foster parents for temporary placements. Over the years, the Mars family would take in more than 140 infants who needed a temporary home. While the adjustment process wasn’t always easy, it was rewarding.

“My parents came to me and asked if I wanted to keep doing it, and I said absolutely — because we got to be a small part of these children’s lives,” Mars says.

While fostering was a fantastic experience for the Mars family, they felt like they had more to give — and felt like giving back to the process which had brought them together. So, when Scott Mars graduated from college in 1991, he and his parents began their own adoption agency. This organization would become American Adoptions, one of the largest and most successful private domestic adoption agencies in the country.

Today, American Adoptions is an industry leader in helping hopeful adoptive parents bring children into their family. The organization’s focus on counseling and supportive, objective information and open adoption relationships has helped place thousands of children in safe, adoption-friendly homes over the last 25 years.

The Beginning of American Surrogacy

But, as American Adoptions continues to succeed in its adoption goals, Scott Mars had another idea — a different way to help people create their family. He and his adoption professionals had seen assisted reproductive technology make great advances over the decades since American Adoptions had been founded, and they had heard a common theme from their adoption attorneys who also practiced surrogacy law: that intended parents and gestational carriers needed an agency that would provide a more surrogate-centered approach, just as American Adoptions provided a more birth-mother-centered approach than other agencies.

Soon, for Mars, adoption wasn’t enough — gestational surrogacy was on the horizon.

Shortly after, Scott Mars gathered a team of experienced adoption professionals to start the process of building a surrogacy agency. They knew what the advantages were of using positive approaches in their adoption organization, and it made sense to them to found a surrogacy agency with the same ideals. So, Mars and his team created a surrogacy program offering the same kind of services: support, screening, matching, case management and mediation and encouragement of openness in relationships. As a result, in 2013, American Surrogacy was born.

Since then, our surrogacy specialists have been hard at work helping many intended parents bring children into their families and gestational carriers achieve their surrogacy dreams. Our surrogacy director, Angie Newkirk, is a former adoption specialist with American Adoptions, and she brings the experience from that role to her current role guiding intended parents and gestational carriers through this family-building process.

Today, American Surrogacy and American Adoptions have collectively helped build thousands of families through their desired family-building method — all thanks to Scott Mars and his parents’ dream more than 25 years ago. Our team at American Surrogacy looks forward to what the future holds for us and our sister agency with the continued leadership of Scott Mars!

What American Surrogacy is Thankful for This Year

As Thanksgiving comes around, we at American Surrogacy are taking the time to express all of the things we are grateful for this year. For many people, the last year has been full of its ups and downs — and that is certainly true for those who have traveled the surrogacy path.

We are thankful for every single person that our team has worked with during the past 12 months. Without you all, our process could not have been possible. It’s because of you that we are able to help so many family-building dreams come true.

With Thanksgiving being a time to reflect, we’d like to give a shout-out to some of the people who we are most thankful for in 2018:

Our Intended Parents

Building your family can be a scary prospect. For those who have spent months or years trying to build their family in the traditional way or with other infertility treatments, deciding to pursue surrogacy can be a monumental decision. We are so grateful that our intended parents have chosen our agency to trust with their parenthood dreams.

We are grateful for the excitement we receive from every new intended parent who contacts our agency. With all of the steps involved in the surrogacy process, it can be easy to forget the big picture. Our intended parents help us remember that. When we hear about the first time an intended parent sees their child in a sonogram, or we are able to see the photos from an intended parent’s first meeting with their child in the delivery room, it reminds us how special this journey is — for all involved.

Our Gestational Carriers

We also know that the joy and love our intended parents feel couldn’t be possible without their gestational carriers. Carrying a child for someone else is no easy feat, and we are so grateful for the women who willingly sacrifice their time, energy and bodies to help someone else become a parent. Without these women, American Surrogacy couldn’t help so many intended parents reach their family-building dreams.

We are so appreciative of all our gestational carriers who have worked with our agency thus far, and we are so proud of the women who have already given the gift of life this year! We love seeing the selflessness of our carriers and the beautiful relationships they build with their intended parents. Just like their surrogacy partners do, our gestational carriers remind us every day that what we do is special and makes a difference.

Our Surrogacy Specialists

There are a few people who are instrumental in helping all of our intended parents and gestational carriers to achieve their surrogacy dreams: our surrogacy specialists Angie and Wade.

If you didn’t already know, surrogacy is a family-building process that involves a lot of moving parts and complicated aspects. Coordinating with all the necessary professionals in a surrogacy process and navigating this journey with intended parents and gestational carriers is a difficult job, but our specialists handle it with grace and confidence. A lot of their work happens out of view, but it doesn’t mean it’s out of mind.

So, as Thanksgiving rapidly approaches, American Surrogacy wants to take a moment to appreciate all of those who make our agency’s work possible — intended parents, gestational carriers, and surrogacy specialists. Our appreciation also goes out to the surrogacy attorneys and medical professionals we work with, as well as the family members and friends that support our clients through this complicated family-building process. Without you, American Surrogacy could not exist. Thank you!

Want to learn more about American Surrogacy and our gestational surrogacy program? Call our specialists at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) today.

An Introduction to American Surrogacy

Hello and welcome to American Surrogacy’s blog! Here you will find the latest news about American Surrogacy, stories about intended parents and surrogates, stories about our staff and various helpful surrogacy information.

We’ve been receiving a lot of questions about our organization and services, so we decided to answer some of the most popular ones in our first blog post.

1. Where is American Surrogacy located?

American Surrogacy is based out of Overland Park, KS, but we offer surrogacy services to intended parents and surrogates nationally and even internationally.

2. How can you work with clients not located in Kansas?

American Surrogacy works closely with a network of both social workers and ARTs attorneys who meet with our clients face to face, and when necessary, our clients will visit us in Kansas. No matter where you live in the country, or even in the world, you will receive the best surrogacy services possible.

3. How did American Surrogacy begin?

In 1991, a small adoption agency named American Adoptions was founded, and today, it has grown into one of the largest domestic adoption agencies in the country, completing around 300 adoptions every year.

While adoption and surrogacy are very different processes, there are also many similarities between the two, and the American Adoptions’ staff began seeing and hearing about areas in which surrogacy could be greatly improved for both intended parents and surrogates. Thus, with 25 years of experience, American Surrogacy was founded, with the mission of making a better surrogacy organization for both intended parents and surrogates alike.

4. What makes American Surrogacy different from other surrogacy professionals?

We’ve spoken to former surrogates who said their surrogacy professionals made them feel like a “womb for rent.” They said once a match was made, their surrogacy professional largely removed themselves from the process, never to be heard from again.

For 25 years, American Adoptions has prided itself on offering birth mothers the best support imaginable, going as far as being available to these women any time of the day or night, any weekend or holiday, and before, during and even after the adoption is completed. We wondered why surrogates should be treated any differently?

The support we offer to surrogates, as well as intended parents, is unmatched. We are directly involved in each step of the surrogacy process, preparing our clients for what’s to come and offering support and counseling when necessary. We are as involved in the intended parent/surrogate relationship as needed, mediating contact and requests when requested, or we can simply be there if either the intended parent or surrogate needs to ask a question or has a concern.

Each surrogacy situation is unique, as is each intended parent and surrogate that we work with. American Surrogacy can serve any role required during the surrogacy process.

5. How much does surrogacy cost with American Surrogacy?

Every surrogacy is different and the overall cost largely relies on the variance in medical expenses and your unique situation.

However, American Surrogacy’s Organization Fees, which include background checks, screenings, medical and psychological evaluations, support and education, marketing and advertising, and matching services, always remain fixed. Therefore, if intended parents are matched with a surrogate, and the match doesn’t work out, they will not be charged to find another surrogacy opportunity.

You may click the following to read more about our surrogacy costs.

If you have would like more information about American Surrogacy’s costs or have another question that isn’t answered here or on our website, please contact us today!