7 Ways to Share Your Journey as a Surrogate

Whether you’re just starting your surrogacy journey or you are in the midst of your surrogate pregnancy, your excitement to be a surrogate is likely something that you want to shout from the rooftops. More than ever before, surrogates today have great opportunities to spread awareness of and share their surrogacy story with friends, family and strangers — and you can do so, too.

So, how exactly can you share your surrogacy story? How do you know what to share and what not to share?

When in doubt, we encourage you to contact your surrogacy specialist at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) for guidance. But, to help get your thoughts going, we’ve offered a few suggestions below.

First: Check with Your Intended Parents

Before you decide to share any aspect of your surrogacy story, it’s important that you speak with your intended parents. They are just as much a part of your surrogacy story as you are, and you will need to make sure both parties are comfortable with what information will be shared with friends, family and strangers. Surrogacy is a very intimate partnership; some intended parents may be less likely than others to share their personal journey.

When you first start your surrogacy journey, ask your surrogacy specialist about mediating a conversation about social media and personal information. Your specialist can help you and your intended parents come to an agreement about the level of detail shared by each other. This is an important step in creating a respectful, solid relationship moving forward.

Before signing your surrogacy contract, make sure that this issue is properly addressed by all members of the surrogacy journey.

How to Share Your Surrogacy Story

Once you and the intended parents have decided what to and what not to share with other people, you can move forward with sharing your surrogacy story in the way that works best for you. Which steps you take can also play a part in documenting your surrogacy story for yourself for later.

As a surrogate, you are entering a role in which you have a responsibility to educate others about the surrogacy process. There is a lot of misconception out there about how surrogacy works and, by sharing your story, you can take the steps to help others understand the reality of the process.

Every surrogate is different, which means how you share your story will always be up to you. Here are a few suggestions if you’re wondering how to get the word out about your surrogacy experience:

  1. Use social media.

While it does come with downsides, social media is by far the best way to communicate ideas to a large number of people. If you choose to share and document your surrogacy journey on your social media, you can let people into the intimate details of your surrogacy story — providing a better overall view of the surrogacy process from someone they know and trust.

Social media also provides an opportunity for people to easily ask questions about surrogacy — without having to go far to find the information they want. If you and your intended parents are comfortable doing so, don’t be afraid to share photos, videos, personal stories and more before, during and after your pregnancy.

As you are posting on social media, you can further connect with other intended parents, surrogates and surrogacy professionals by using hashtags. Use phrases like #surrogacy, #fertility, #infertility, #surrogates and more to share your story with an even wider audience.

  1. Use a photo-sharing app.

Sometimes, surrogates and intended parents don’t want to share photos with everyone on the internet — and that’s okay. Instead, you can use secured methods of sharing photos, like Shutterfly or Dropbox or an app like 23snaps. This way, you can share the photos with only the people you want, whether that’s a wide range of family members and friends or just the intended parents. Uploading photos to these sites can also easily document your surrogacy journey and provide a way for you to look back on the experience later.

  1. Join an online support group.

Odds are, before you became a surrogate, you participated in online support groups and forums to learn more about the realities of being a surrogate. Once you become a surrogate, take that chance to give back in the same way — by answering hopeful surrogates’ questions, chiming in on bigger issues and overall sharing your story for those who will most be interested in hearing it. As long as you keep the disadvantages of online support groups in mind, you can share and tell a great deal of helpful information on these kinds of sites.

  1. Keep a blog — or volunteer a blog post.

If you like writing, creating a blog may be the best way for you to share your story. You can start whenever you want in your surrogacy journey, and your words will mean a lot to the women and parents who are considering the surrogacy process. If you don’t wish to maintain a constant blog, consider reaching out to a surrogacy website (American Surrogacy included) to share a blog post about a topic that is important to you.

  1. Share your experiences in real life.

Just as you should be open to answering questions and educating people online, you should do the same in-person. Make sure your friends and family are aware of your surrogacy from early on, and don’t be afraid to bring up your recent experiences during your surrogacy process. Don’t wait until it’s too late; you don’t want to answer the awkward question of “Where is the baby?” after you give birth.

  1. Create a surrogacy memory book.

There’s another important person with whom you may wish to share your surrogacy journey: the child you are giving birth to. To help them understand your surrogacy story down the line, you may work on a surrogacy memory book right now. This memory book can include photos from your pregnancy and delivery, letters you’ve written to the child, and more.

Before you work on this, make sure you speak with the intended parents to ensure their comfort in you doing this — and to see whether they wish to include any memories of their own!

  1. Share your story with your surrogacy professional.

Finally, recognize that your surrogacy story can be incredibly helpful to intended parents and surrogates considering this journey. At American Surrogacy, we offer the opportunity for surrogates to tell their story as part of a testimonial. These stories have been instrumental for those considering surrogacy, and it’s a fairly easy process to complete. To learn more, we encourage you to contact your surrogacy specialist today.

10 Surrogate Blogs to Read Today

When you’re considering becoming a surrogate, hearing from other women who have been in your position can be incredibly helpful. Fortunately, there is a wealth of surrogate blogs available to help you understand the process ahead of you.

Being a surrogate is a unique journey to take, and many women choose to document their experiences and surrogacy stories through a surrogacy blog. It can help them address the feelings they may have, as well as help them connect with other surrogates and raise awareness of the reality of surrogacy for intended parents and others who are curious about the surrogacy process.

Want to learn more? We’ve gathered some of the best blogs by and for surrogates here to help you start your surrogacy research. While some of them may be older blogs that haven’t been updated recently, the information still available on them can teach you a lot about the aspects of surrogacy:

  1. American Surrogacy Blog

At American Surrogacy, we assist both intended parents and prospective surrogates — which is why our blog tackles issues that are relevant to both. We know you likely have a million different questions about becoming a surrogate, and whatever answers you can’t find on our website you can likely find on our blog. If you have any questions that aren’t answered, you can always contact our surrogacy specialists at 1-800-875-BABY(2229).

  1. I’m Not the Mom, I’m Just the Stork!

Gestational surrogate Kelley recounts the three surrogacy journeys she completed, as well as her own life experiences along the way.

  1. Surrogacy Diva

While it’s an older blog, Surrogacy Diva is managed by a multiple-time surrogate, who discusses her own journey, posts news about surrogacy and answer questions from other prospective surrogates.

  1. Return to Senders

Gestational surrogate Dana recounts her experience being a surrogate from 2013-2015 and her current experience being pregnant for the same male couple in 2018.

  1. A Baby to Share

While Mandy’s story is old, she goes into detail about the different aspects of her gestational surrogacy journey here.

  1. Not My Bun in the Oven

Liz created her surrogacy blog to record her personal journey and help connect with other people who were considering or going through a surrogate journey. Her gestational surrogacy story lasted through 2014 and 2015.

  1. SurrOreal Life

While Beth’s blog stops right before she gives birth to her surrobabies, she does document the whole process of being a gestational surrogate for an international intended mother up until then.

  1. Mommy From IVF

Kim’s surrogacy journey is a bit briefer documented than others, but she comes from the unique experience of using IVF herself to conceive her children and then becoming a gestational surrogate.

  1. Foster Womb

One of the most recently updated blogs, Foster Womb is written by surrogate Sarah. She originally carried for an international couple during her first surrogacy journey and blogged her way through her second surrogacy journey, as well. Today, her blog addresses common questions that prospective mothers and surrogates have about the pregnancy process.

  1. I’m Just the Oven

Chrissy documented her first gestational surrogacy journey on her blog, including detailed posts about the preparation processes before transfer.

If you are interested in learning more about being a surrogate from someone who has been through this process, reach out to our surrogacy specialists. We can help connect you with former and current surrogates who can answer your questions.

You also might consider reading some of these stories from former surrogates:

7 Tips for Making a Surrogacy Memory Book

Many parents-to-be love creating a memory book documenting their child’s journey into the world — and just because your child is being carried by a surrogate doesn’t mean that you can’t also create a memento for this important time in your life.

But, how exactly do you create a surrogacy memory book? Won’t it be complicated when a surrogate is involved?

Absolutely not! When you have a positive, genuine relationship with your surrogate, making a surrogacy memory book will be easier than you think. While it’s true that your child’s memory book will be slightly different because of the way they were brought into the world, a surrogacy memory book doesn’t need to be incredibly different from a memory book for those born traditionally and those brought into a family through adoption.

Here, find a few tips to help you if you are considering creating a surrogacy memory book:

1. Design it chronologically.

If you’ve never made a surrogacy memory book, it can be intimidating to start. However, when you decide to frame your book chronologically, this will give you an easy beginning, middle and end to work around.

When starting your surrogacy memory book, remember that this should be a happy document, so it may not be best to dwell upon the infertility struggles and other challenges that made you choose surrogacy. Instead, simply mention that you decided on surrogacy at a certain point in time, and then move forward with the rest of your book from there. You can use the important dates in your surrogacy journey as a starting point, and then include any other fun moments or mementos as fillers.

2. Include a table of contents.

Children often grow to love the memory books of how they came to be, and they may enjoy reading it over and over. They will usually fixate on different aspects of your surrogacy journey at different times in their life, so you may consider a table of contents to aide that. This way, your child (and anyone viewing the surrogacy memory book) can quickly flip to the section that they want to read about most.

3. Include the surrogate.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but there are many ways you can choose to include your surrogate in your child’s surrogacy memory book. In addition to including a page about who she is and how she was involved throughout the journey, you may also wish to let a surrogate add to the memory book, as well. You might suggest that she write a letter to your child about her experience, any fun moments she had, and why she chose to be a surrogate. Your surrogate can be instrumental in providing photos and other mementos that you can use in the memory book. For this reason, it can be a good idea to inform the surrogate of your plans to make a memory book as early as possible. Many surrogates are excited at this opportunity to document their experience!

4. Include other important people in your surrogacy journey.

Your surrogate isn’t the only one who was involved in bringing your child into the world, so consider including people like your surrogacy specialist, fertility professional and the doctor who delivered your baby. You can include photos and names and, depending on your relationship with these professionals, ask them if they also want to contribute to the memory book.

5. Make sure to explain certain aspects of the surrogacy experience.

Remember that the people who will eventually read your child’s surrogacy memory book may not understand how surrogacy works. Therefore, when you include important parts of the surrogacy process (like finding a surrogate or the embryo transfer), you should consider explaining them, as well. Not only will this help your child understand their surrogacy journey from an early age, it will also help spread awareness about the beauty — and truth — of surrogacy.

6. Leave room for future pages.

Surrogacy is not just a one-time process; your child’s surrogacy story will impact the rest of his or her life. Therefore, leave blank pages or pages with certain prompts for different times in your child’s life. For example, if you anticipate your child meeting your surrogate one day, create a page for that, leaving open spots for photos and other mementos.

7. Protect your surrogacy memory book.

Often, a surrogacy memory book can become a treasured item for a child. But, knowing how messy (and forgetful) children can be, take the steps early on to protect this book from future damage. Consider laminating any homemade scrapbook pages or placing them in protective sleeves, or work with a professional bookbinding and creation company like Shutterfly to include scanned documents, rather than precious, sentimental originals.

More than anything else, when you’re creating your child’s surrogacy memory book, don’t forget to make it your own! There is no “right” way to make a memory book; instead, just focus on including what is important in your surrogacy story and what you want your child to know growing up. The best surrogacy memory books aren’t always the most creative ones; they are the ones in which intended parents have taken the time and effort to create something special.

You can always contact our surrogacy specialists at American Surrogacy for more tips and suggestions when creating your surrogacy memory book. To learn more today, please call 1-800-875-2229(BABY).

Taking Surrogacy Delivery Photos — What to Know

If you’re considering surrogacy as a way to build your family, you’ve probably come across beautiful photos of intended parents and surrogates sharing in the delivery experience together. Just as women giving birth to their own children hire photographers to capture this life-changing moment, intended parents whose child is being born via surrogate also use this method to commemorate the moment they’ve been waiting for forever.

But, you may wonder: What is the process of delivery photos like when the woman giving birth is not the mother, and how do you suggest this to your surrogate, who is already giving so much to help you reach your parenthood dreams?

Fortunately, most surrogates will be thrilled at the idea of having delivery photos taken. Having already had children themselves, they will understand how important this moment is and, more than likely, will be completely on board with this process.

Why Delivery Photos Can Be So Special

If you have not yet started the surrogacy process or been matched with a surrogate, the idea of taking photos of another woman giving birth to your child may seem odd and even intrusive. But surrogacy delivery photos are much more than that.

Photos taken during the time that your surrogate gives birth will capture everyone involved in the process — not only her but also you, your spouse (if applicable), your surrogate’s spouse and your doctor. Surrogacy is a partnership, and delivery photos of a surrogate pregnancy capture that relationship perfectly.

By the time your surrogate gives birth, she will not be a stranger. Instead, she will likely be a close friend who you have created a genuine relationship with. Therefore, the intimate photos taken during delivery will seem natural. They will capture that unique relationship you have and both your and your surrogate’s emotions while she is giving birth.

For many intended parents, these photos are priceless, no matter who is the one giving birth — you are all working toward the same end goal.

How to Broach This Idea to Your Surrogate

Whether you know you want delivery photos taken when you first start your surrogacy process, or whether it’s an idea that you have during your surrogate’s pregnancy, it’s important that you discuss this openly and honestly with your surrogate. After all, the photos will feature her as much as you, and she will need to be comfortable with this process before you start scheduling a photographer for her delivery.

If you know you want surrogacy delivery photos early on, this can be discussed in your contract when you initially match with a surrogate. However, if you are unsure of how to bring this topic up after you have been matched with a surrogate, your surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy can help mediate a discussion of this idea.

Your specialist can also offer suggestions on how to make the process as comfortable as possible for all involved. As intended parents, you will be responsible for the costs of hiring a photographer for the delivery, and you’ll need to speak with them and your surrogate to create a photography plan that everyone is comfortable with.

As mentioned before, most surrogates will be happy to have delivery photos taken — but taking the time to ask her about her preferences and her comfort level before moving forward will mean a lot to her. If your surrogate is uncomfortable with this idea, you should never try to pressure or force her into changing her mind.

A Note to Surrogates

If you are a surrogate who is interested in delivery photos at the hospital, your situation is a bit more unique than if an intended parent suggested this idea to you. While you will be included in any surrogacy delivery photos, you will need to be respectful in suggesting this idea to your intended parents — as they have just as much say in the decision as you.

If you have a good relationship with your intended parents, you may suggest this idea in a light-hearted and no-obligation way. If you are unsure of how to suggest this to your intended parents, your surrogacy specialist can always help mediate this conversation. You may even suggest splitting the fee of a photographer at the hospital if these photos are incredibly important to you.

As always, remember that both intended parents and surrogates have a say in this process, just like with shooting maternity photos. By respecting each other’s wishes and determining what you are both comfortable with, you can come up with a plan for photography at the hospital that produces photos you will cherish forever.

To learn more about how the delivery process works for a surrogate pregnancy, please contact our surrogacy specialists at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) today.

Taking Surrogate Maternity Pictures — What to Know

When parents are expecting a baby, many wish to document their parenthood journey with maternity photos. Just because you are expecting a baby via surrogate doesn’t mean that you can’t do the same, although the process for surrogate maternity pictures may require greater discussion and more creativity that it would for a mother carrying her own child.

If you’re curious about documenting your parenthood journey and the surrogacy process, it’s important that this is a decision made together with your surrogate. Your surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy can also help you figure out whether surrogate maternity pictures are right for your surrogacy and, if so, help you move forward with that process.

If You’re Considering Surrogacy Maternity Photos

While it’s natural to want to document the time when your unborn baby is developing, you may not know how to approach maternity photos when another woman is carrying your child. Ultimately, whether or not you should consider surrogate maternity pictures will depend upon your relationship with the surrogate. Because this involves her as much as you, she’ll need to be comfortable with this idea before moving forward with it. If she is uncomfortable with it, you should not pressure or force her.

Sometimes, surrogate maternity pictures can be discussed early on during the contract phase of your surrogacy. Other times, intended parents may not think about maternity photos until later in the surrogacy process — and may not be sure how to bring the topic up with their surrogate. Your surrogacy specialist can help you mediate this conversation and offer suggestions to make both parties feel comfortable. Most surrogates will be thrilled to help you document this part of your parenthood journey, although they may have different preferences for how they want to be shown in these photographs. When you have an open conversation about what you each desire in surrogate maternity pictures, you’ll be able to come to a photo style that makes both of you happy. These photos will be something you’ll get to treasure forever.

Ideas for Surrogacy Maternity Photos

So, what are some different styles of surrogate maternity pictures, and which are right for you?

Like other maternity photos, surrogacy maternity photos are only limited by your imagination. As mentioned before, your surrogate’s interest in being a part of these photos will also play a role in how your photographer stages these memories.

Some surrogates would rather have maternity photos focus on what she thinks is most important — the baby. Instead of showing herself in the photo, she may be most comfortable with a photo that highlights her pregnant belly. There are many beautiful ways of doing this:

Other surrogates may be more excited to be a focal point in your surrogate maternity pictures — and invite you to be a part of them as well. Your photographer can find a creative way to incorporate you all into maternity photos for a sentimental snapshot that you both will cherish.

Check out some of these ideas:

These are just a few of the ideas available to you if you’re considering taking maternity photos with your surrogate. If you and your surrogate decide to take maternity photos, make sure you both are included in conversations with the photographer about what you prefer. A surrogacy is a partnership every step of the way, and surrogate maternity pictures are no different!

A Note for Surrogates

If you’re a surrogate, remember that you are just as important a part of the surrogacy process as the intended parents — which means you should always have a say in any maternity photo plans that are made. You are never required to do anything you’re uncomfortable with, so if you feel like you are being pressured to participate in a photography session, let your surrogacy specialist know.

On the other hand, if your intended parents have not mentioned surrogate maternity pictures and it’s something that you’re interested in, take the same respectful approach that intended parents might take with you. Evaluate your relationship and, if you’re comfortable doing so, suggest the idea in a light-hearted and no-obligation way. Just like you, they have a right to say “no” if maternity photos with you aren’t something they’re interested in. Even if they do turn your offer down, you can still enlist a photographer on your own to document this important moment in your life.

If you ever have questions about surrogate maternity pictures (whether you’re a surrogate or an intended parent), American Surrogacy encourages you to speak with your surrogacy specialist. She can provide suggestions on not only how to bring this topic up but how to make the photography session a great memory for all involved.

How Do You Announce Your Surrogacy on Social Media?

When you decided to start your surrogacy journey, you probably shared your decision with some of your close friends and family members. But, when a pregnancy is finally confirmed and is far enough along, you may want to shout your surrogacy story from the rooftops and let everyone know how excited you are for this baby to be born.

Most of the time, intended parents and surrogates turn to social media as a convenient way to notify everyone in their network about their surrogacy decision. However, there are some important things to consider before posting about your surrogacy online.

Surrogacy is an intimate process, and it’s understandable if one party of the surrogacy wants to keep certain information confidential. Ideally, this is discussed early in the surrogacy process as part of your surrogacy contract, but it’s also a discussion that can be mediated by your surrogacy specialist, if you so desire. The most important thing is to always respect each other’s privacy and interests — in a way that still allows you to share your good news with everyone that you know.

Here are some general guidelines to follow when announcing your surrogacy journey on social media:

1. Talk to your surrogate or intended parents before posting anything.

As mentioned, it’s important to lay down ground rules when you choose to announce and/or document your surrogacy journey. Can you use the intended parents’ or surrogate’s names in the post? How much information about the pregnancy can you reveal (like due date, gender of the baby, etc.)? How much information about the intended parents or surrogate can be posted in this announcement?

Remember, an announcement posted on the internet may reach far beyond the original intended audience of friends and family members. For this reason, many surrogates and intended parents try to keep identifying information private, instead using initials or first names only when posting about the surrogacy process.

2. Look around for examples you like.

Announcing your surrogacy on social media is a big deal, and many intended parents and surrogates want to make sure their announcement perfectly captures how they feel about this process. You may wish to share a maternity photo you all have taken together, or use a cute poem or phrase to share your announcement. It’s a good idea to look through surrogacy websites and other social media to find announcements you want to model your own after.

3. Express your excitement and use this as an opportunity to educate others.

Unfortunately, not a lot of people are familiar with how the surrogacy process actually works. When you announce your surrogacy on social media, make sure you include information or links to information to help others understand the process in more depth. That way, you’ll avoid ignorant questions and comments and instead be able to focus on your excitement and others’ congratulations.

4. Be prepared for negative feedback.

As mentioned above, some people who don’t understand surrogacy will see your surrogacy announcement. Therefore, you should be prepared for friends and family who don’t understand your decision to express their opinion. This is something important to consider before posting your surrogacy announcement; will potential negative feedback undermine your happiness and excitement? If so, you might want to refrain from posting anything on social media about your surrogacy and instead only tell people in person.

If you do get negative feedback, you can always take this as another opportunity to educate people. You can also choose to be selective with your privacy settings, to make sure unsupportive family and friends cannot see your announcement.

5. Remember that there are pros and cons to announcing your surrogacy online.

When you choose to announce your surrogacy online, you are opening your intimate process up to a wider range of people — and opening yourself up to questions that those involved in a natural pregnancy may not experience. For example, people may ask you about fees and the intended parent or surrogate you’re working with. They may not think about how rude these questions can be; they just come from a place of curiosity. You’ll need to prepare yourself to answer these questions, usually with a generic phrase like, “Sorry, but my surrogacy contract doesn’t allow me to discuss that.” Many intended parents and surrogates say they are working with a friend (without mentioning that they actually became friends after they started working together) to avoid more nosy questions.

On the other hand, announcing your surrogacy to a wider range of people can also save you from other uncomfortable questions. For example, if you’re a surrogate and don’t tell people in your life, they may make assumptions when they see you pregnant and then without a baby after you give birth. Likewise, intended parents who weren’t pregnant and who then suddenly have a baby may get inquisitive questions from those who weren’t aware of the surrogacy in the first place.

Ultimately, how and if you decide to announce your surrogacy online will be up to you and the intended parent or surrogate that you’re working with. If you do decide to announce on social media (you’re never obligated in any way to do so), your surrogacy specialist can always give you advice on what information to include, how to best answer people’s questions and more.