10 Holiday Gift Ideas for Intended Parents

When the holiday time rolls around, it’s a period full of family, fun and festivities — not to mention gifts.

Finding the perfect gift for anyone can be a challenge. When there are intended parents in your life, you may be unsure of what to give them during their surrogacy journey. Despite its growing popularity, gestational surrogacy is still new to many people. And, if you’re in that boat, you may be unsure of what is even an appropriate gift to give intended parents during the holidays.

Don’t worry — American Surrogacy is here to help. We’ve gathered 10 great gift ideas for intended parents here. Our specialists are always happy to give you more advice when you call us at 1-800-875-BABY(2229).

In the meantime, get started with these suggestions:

1. A Personalized Care Package

The best presents aren’t the most extravagant — they are the ones with the most heart. So, instead of rushing out to buy the fancy new coat or pair of shoes for your friend, go a little more personalized. Create a care package with all of the small goodies they like. Maybe throw together a movie-night basket with popcorn, wine and the biggest new flick, or add some Gatorade and new headphones for the exercise aficionado.

However big or small, your personal touch shows that you care enough to think about them during the busy holiday season.

2. Something to Help Them Prepare

If the intended parents are in the middle of the surrogacy process, they are probably freaking out a bit at the upcoming changes in their lives. You can help reassure some of their worries by aiding them through the preparation process.

Send them a package of outlet covers or another baby-proofing device. Consider buying them a set of parenting classes to ease their nerves. While intended parents may have more energy to prepare than an expectant parent carrying their child, that doesn’t mean they are any less nervous or know better what to do. Offer to step in and give them a hand during the busy holiday season.

3. Baby Supplies

On the same note, a parent-to-be can never have too many baby supplies! Their loved ones will likely be excited to buy all of the cute baby onesies and toys on their wish list but, at the end of the day, intended parents will be much more grateful of gifts such as diapers, formula, baby wipes and more.

It may not seem like the most exciting holiday gift, but the intended parents will be thankful for it.

4. Something for the Baby

That doesn’t mean you can’t buy something fun for the baby! Whether or not they are already here, if you find the perfect little stuffed animal or holiday decoration for the baby, don’t be afraid to get it.

This gift can be even more meaningful if you are the surrogate carrying the baby for the intended parents. It can be a keepsake that helps them explain their child’s surrogacy story in the years to come.

5. A Night Out on the Town

Intended parents spend a lot of time worrying and waiting during the surrogacy process. You can help them take their mind off of those worries for a bit by gifting them a date night. Consider buying a movie and restaurant gift card to give them a night on the town. After all, time together won’t be easy to come by once the baby is born. It can be just the thing they need to escape from the surrogacy and holiday stress this time of the year.

6. A Sentimental Accessory

If you are the surrogate carrying for the intended parents, you might want to give them something special that commemorates your journey together. That could include anything from paying for a photographer to be there during delivery to nicely framing an existing photo you have of all of you together. You might even choose to write a letter to the baby you’re carrying or gather other important mementos for the intended parents to add to the baby’s surrogacy memory book.

7. A Home-Cooked Meal

If the intended parents have already welcomed their little one home, they’re probably going through all the motions of new parenthood — and finding out they have little time for themselves.  A home-cooked meal may be exactly what they need. Put together a tried-and-true casserole yourself, or use a service like Send a Meal to deliver a fully cooked meal right to their doorstep. It can be the perfect way to say, “I’m thinking of you, and I know how you’re feeling,” without pressuring them to find a babysitter for a dinner out.

8. Surrogacy-Specific Gifts

Despite the support intended parents receive from their surrogacy specialist and their family and friends, surrogacy can be an isolating journey. While the family-building process is growing in popularity, your friends may be the only ones they know who have taken this route.

So, find a holiday gift that shows pride in their family-building process. Websites such as Etsy are great places to find décor with surrogacy phrases or other keepsakes commemorating their surrogacy journey.

9. Something Handmade

Maybe you have a special hobby. If so, consider making the intended parents a personalized gift. Their baby will love a soft handmade blanket or beanie, and the intended parents might appreciate a one-of-a-kind painting with which to decorate their child’s nursery.

It will certainly be a gift unlike any other they receive!

10. A Holiday Card and Family Update

Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you have to go overboard when it comes to gifts and presents. The act of gift-giving is all about showing someone you care, and the smallest card and letter can be all an intended parent needs to know you were thinking of them. This can be especially heartwarming from their former surrogate; they are forever bonded to her, and they want to know how her family is doing, even years after the surrogacy process is complete.

If you’re a surrogate struggling over what to get your intended parents during the holidays, don’t be afraid to go simple. Just knowing you were thinking about them will make the intended parents smile.

Want more guidance on picking out a holiday gift for intended parents? Contact our specialists today.

5 Things Every Surrogate Needs from Her Friends

If your friend has told you she’s becoming a surrogate, you’re likely thrilled for her. She’s probably wanted this journey for a while now, and you’re excited to watch her achieve her dreams of helping to create a family.

But, if you’re unfamiliar with the surrogacy process, you may be unsure of how to help her during the journey to come. What’s appropriate and what’s not? How do you know the best things to say and do to support her through fertility medication, pregnancy and postpartum recovery?

Don’t worry — American Surrogacy is here to help. We’ve gathered a few things every surrogate can benefit from during her surrogacy journey.

Friends and family, listen up: Here’s where you can start.

1. A Listening Ear

While surrogacy can certainly be a complicated practical process, it can also be draining on a woman’s emotions and mental health, too. Even when surrogates are 100 percent ready for the ups and downs of being a surrogate, it can be overwhelming to balance their everyday lives and intended parent relationships with the wild emotions of pregnancy hormones.

Your friend will be emotionally committed to the surrogacy process through every step — but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some hard times along the way. A surrogate may not feel comfortable sharing her stress with her intended parents, so you should be there to serve that role. Be her shoulder to cry on, if she needs it, and empathize with the emotions she’s feeling during this time.

Pay close attention to your friend, too. Like any pregnant woman, she will have the chance of developing antepartum depression. If she seems like she’s reaching out for help instead of just venting, help her get the professional assistance she needs.

2. Practical Support — Like Childcare

Emotional support won’t be the only help your friend needs. Managing her surrogacy responsibilities and her everyday responsibilities as a mother can be difficult. Your help will be much appreciated.

You can step in by providing childcare when she has to attend medical appointments or appointments with the intended parents. Offer to take her and her family out for dinner, or cook them a meal they can eat during the week.

Don’t wait to be asked — think about what you or other loved ones wanted most during their pregnancy. Take the initiative to offer those to your friend who’s a surrogate. The last thing she wants to do is make a list of things you can help her with, but it’s unlikely she’ll refuse when the specific help is right in front of her.

3. A Welcome Distraction

For a year or more, surrogacy will be the most important part of your friend’s life. She’ll be paying close attention to her fertility medication, pregnancy, and intended parents’ wishes. Sometimes, she’ll just want a break.

Be there for her in this situation. The next time she seems overwhelmed, offer to take her out for the evening. Go to your favorite dinner spot and then see the movie you’ve both been dying to see. Take her on a spa day to get a pedicure, especially if she can no longer reach (or see) her toes.

While her surrogate pregnancy is certainly something she is proud of, your friend probably doesn’t want to talk about it all the time. Give her a mental break, and she’ll feel more refreshed — and ready to dive back into the day-to-day of being a surrogate.

4. Interest and Understanding

When your friend becomes a surrogate, she becomes an automatic ambassador for the process. She’s going to receive the same questions and comments over and over again — but don’t let them come from you.

One of the best things you can do for your friend is to research surrogacy and understand exactly what the process is like. Not only will this show her you’re interested in this important part of her life, but it will save her from having to explain the basics to you every time you discuss her journey.

You can even go the extra step and start educating others — your family, your group of friends — about gestational surrogacy. That way, there will be fewer questions from your friends’ circle of loved ones. She’ll feel more supported knowing they took the time to learn about something that is so important to her.

5. Postpartum Care

While a surrogate will not bring home the child she delivers, she will still need time to recover from pregnancy and childbirth. As her friend, you can step in to make the recovery easier.

Your friend will appreciate many of the same services that you might give to a new parent. A home-cooked meal can help feed her and her family when she’s too tired to cook. Offering to watch her children can give her the rest she needs to recuperate. And, of course, don’t forget the importance of emotional support — even though surrogates don’t raise the children they deliver, they can still develop postpartum depression. Keep a close eye on your friend’s moods and emotions, and help her get the assistance she needs if you feel like she is reaching out.

Yes, a surrogate’s postpartum recovery period is typically much shorter than any other new mother’s is (because she’s not caring for a newborn), but that doesn’t exclude her from emotional and practical support during this time. Again, don’t wait for her to ask for it; offer your assistance as early and as frequently as possible to ensure her mental and physical recovery.

Supporting a friend through surrogacy can be complicated, especially if you have no experience with the surrogacy process. But, by following these steps, you can make sure she receives the support she needs.

For more information on the surrogacy process and suggestions for helping your friend through her journey, contact our surrogacy specialists anytime.

5 Things Every Intended Parent Needs from Their Friends

It can be hard to be an intended parent. In many cases, these hopeful parents have gone through a lot to even get to the surrogacy process — and, once they’ve started it, they still have a long and complicated journey to go. Sometimes, they just want to feel like any other expectant mom or dad.

If you’re a friend or family member of an intended parent, you can take certain steps to help them feel “normal” during their family-building journey. Just like any parent creating their family through adoption, intended parents deserve all the same love as someone who has conceived naturally.

Not sure what you can do to help? We’ve gathered a few simple tips that you can use to support the intended parent in your life:

1. A Baby Shower

Just because your loved one isn’t giving birth to their child doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a baby shower! It’s common for intended parents to be left out of the baby-shower fun because they are not the ones who are pregnant. But they deserve to be showered just as much any other parent.

Take the initiative to throw a baby shower for your loved one (they probably won’t do it themselves). It may be the first time they truly feel like an expectant parent, and a baby shower can help them experience some of the parent “firsts” they’ve been longing for.

Check out our tips for throwing a baby shower for surrogacy here.

2. A Distraction from the Wait

During much of their surrogate’s pregnancy, an intended parent can feel like they are just sitting around, wasting time. There’s not much they can do to contribute to their child’s development in utero, and the wait to meet their baby can be a difficult experience.

So, take it upon yourself to distract them from the tough emotions they’re feeling. Suggest a night out with a nice dinner and a movie, or invite them to your next big gathering (avoid anything with too many children and babies). Sometimes, even the smallest things — like a drink at your local bar — will be enough to alleviate the stress they’re feeling.

3. An Inclusive Conversation

It’s easy for intended parents to feel left out of conversations about parenting with their friends who have had children. So, the next time you talk about parenthood and include the intended parents, focus on what makes the journey exciting for them. Ask about their surrogate and her pregnancy, and talk about their plans for parenting after the baby is born. While you don’t have to completely avoid topics such as pregnancy and labor-and-delivery stories, be mindful of how your loved ones’ experiences will differ from your own.

4. Emotional Support

It’s no secret that surrogacy is an emotionally trying experience. It’s likely that your friends are going through this process for the very first time; they have to cope with all the novelty of their situation while simultaneously grieving the infertility path that likely brought them here. Like any expectant parent, sometimes they just need a shoulder to cry on.

Be there for them. Don’t try to solve all of their problems or connect with everything they’re saying; unless you’ve been through surrogacy yourself, you can’t comprehend the situation they’re in. Show them some empathy during the hard times and, if you think they are crying out for help, help them get the assistance they need. Postpartum depression is possible among intended parents, too, so make sure to keep a close eye on your friend.

5. Practical Support — Like a Home-Cooked Meal

Emotional support won’t be the only kind of support your loved one needs. Once their new baby is born and brought home, your friend will be dealing with all the normal demands of parenthood. You can be a huge help during this time.

Don’t wait for an intended parent to ask you for help; step in to provide the practical support they need at this time in their life. Ask if you can watch the baby while they take care of important details such as calls with their surrogacy lawyer, surrogacy professional or insurance company. Bring them over a home-cooked meal; they’ll probably be too tired to cook themselves.

If nothing else, just be there for them. Be the first one to volunteer if they look like they need help, and don’t take no for an answer. Just because they didn’t give birth doesn’t mean they’re more prepared for the parenthood journey. If they’re going through it for the first time, every exciting new step has a learning curve.

Don’t forget — your loved one needs just as much support during and after the surrogacy process as any other new parent. Step in and be the friend they need during this time. They’ll be forever grateful.

If you’re an intended parent struggling with the emotions of the surrogacy process, remember that you can always look to your American Surrogacy specialist for advice and support. Call us at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) any time.

5 Tips for Talking to Family About Surrogacy: Surrogates

When it comes to the holiday season, nothing can be as fun as catching up with loved ones you haven’t seen in a while. But, when you’ve recently made the decision to become a surrogate, these family gatherings can hold another purpose — telling your family about your upcoming surrogacy journey.

But, how do you casually drop into conversation that you’re going to become a gestational carrier?

American Surrogacy is always here to help. When you work with our agency, you can always prepare for these conversations with the help of your surrogacy specialist. In the meantime, check out some tips to prepare yourself below.

1. Clear up misconceptions about surrogacy.

First, you should remember that not everyone is as well-versed in the surrogacy process as you are. You’ve likely spent a great deal of time researching gestational surrogacy before you applied with an agency. Remember the confusion and misconceptions you had before? Your loved ones probably have similar thoughts.

If you are planning to share your news with family, you should be prepared to educate them about the process. Don’t just drop your news casually into your conversation; follow it up with a basic explanation of what this journey will mean for you. Explain that you and the intended parents were fully screened before starting, that you will be compensated for your services, and that the baby you will carry will not be related to you.

A basic understanding of the process will go a long way to helping your loved ones get excited about your announcement.

2. Explain your reasoning for becoming a surrogate.

Many times, when surrogates share their news with family members, they are met with the same response: “Why didn’t you tell us you were financially struggling? We could have helped!”

Unfortunately, many people unfamiliar with the surrogacy process believe women choose this path only for the compensation. It’s a myth that persists, despite education otherwise. You can play an important role in teaching your loved ones about the reality of your situation.

Be confident in explaining your reasoning for this path. Talk about your love of motherhood and how you want to help someone else experience that. Mention how much you love being pregnant and how you want to use your healthy uterus to aid someone who can’t have a child on their own.

3. Give your loved ones a chance to ask questions.

When you share your surrogacy announcement at a family get-together, you’ll be able to answer many of our loved ones’ questions at the same time. It can save you from having to answer the same questions over and over again if you tell everyone individually.

However, keep in mind that you may receive some insensitive and ignorant comments and questions during this conversation. It will be likely be stuff that you’ve heard before and will continue to hear, so prepare yourself by doing your research.

Your surrogacy specialist can help by listing some of the most common responses you may get. She can also provide answers that you have ready-to-go when these questions inevitably come up.

4. Protect your intended parents’ privacy.

Some of the questions you get from your family and friends will likely be about the intended parents you’re carrying for. They are naturally curious about the family you are helping to create; in a way, they may seem like extended family to your loved ones.

While their interest is a sweet sentiment, your intended parents’ privacy should always come first. We encourage surrogates to talk with their intended parents prior to sharing news with family members. That way, they can both come up with a list of details they are comfortable telling others. The last thing you want is to break your intended parents’ trust by sharing private information with others.

Don’t be afraid to lean on the old “My surrogacy contract doesn’t let me talk about that” line if your family members won’t stop asking about details you’re uncomfortable sharing.

5. Share only what you’re comfortable with.

And, on that note, think hard about this conversation with family before you have it. What are you willing to tell them? Which details do they need not know?

What you decide to share during this conversation is entirely up to you. Surrogacy is an exciting journey but it is also an intimate one. While you may want to share your announcement with family members, you may not want to share every detail – and that’s OK. Your loved ones should understand and support you, no matter what.

We know the holiday season can heighten family relationships and get-togethers. So, whether you’re dreading or looking forward to this conversation about surrogacy, know that your surrogacy specialist is here to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out today to prepare for sharing your surrogacy news.

5 Tips for Talking to Your Family About Surrogacy: Intended Parents

The holiday season — a time of family reunions, good food, and catching up after months or years apart.

As much as we love our families there’s one thing we can agree upon — sometimes, they can be a bit nosy. It makes sense; they haven’t seen you in a while, and they want to know what’s going on in your life. But, when you’re an intended parent, you often can’t easily just drop “surrogacy” into a conversation and move onto the next topic.

You may be a bit overwhelmed about the potential surrogacy conversations awaiting you during the holidays. How can you share your surrogacy news without having to answer the same questions and address the same comments over and over again?

Your surrogacy specialist can always help you prepare for these conversations when you call them at 1-800-875-BABY(2229). In the meantime, we’ve created this guide to help you make the most of your family gatherings this holiday season.

1. Only share what you are comfortable sharing.

The first rule of talking about surrogacy with family members? That you are always in charge of the amount of information you want to share.

Surrogacy is an exciting journey, to be sure, but it can also be a very private one. You and your surrogate are taking a path together that few people do. It’s a journey that you will both remember for the rest of your life. It also requires trust in each other, as you will participate in intimate procedures together.

The exact details of your surrogacy journey may be something you want to keep in between you and your surrogate — or, you may be excited to share them with family and friends. The decision will always be up to you. Consider talking to your surrogate prior to the holidays to create a plan of what you will both share with loved ones.

Don’t let any family members or friends try to pressure you into sharing information you’re not comfortable with. If all else fails, falling back on the old “I’ve signed a privacy contract and can’t discuss anything more” should put a pause on your loved ones’ questions.

2. Keep your cool.

Surrogacy can be a complicated topic for many people, especially those who have no experience in or prior knowledge of how it works. When you choose to share details of your family-building journey with your loved ones, you may or may not get the reaction you are hoping for. Either way, you should be prepared for the next steps.

If your family members react negatively to your news, take a deep breath. Remind yourself that this is not their choice to make and that the only one you need to answer to will be your future child. You have to do what is right for you.

Think about what you’ll do if someone questions your decision or responds negatively. Do you have a way to change the topic quickly? Are you comfortable saying something like, “I appreciate your concern, but we’ve already made our decision, and nothing you say will change it”? Talk to your surrogacy specialist for more tips for unsupportive family and friends.

3. Show your pride in your decision.

In many cases, your friends and family will mirror your own emotions about surrogacy. So, if they see you are excited and proud of this path you are taking, they will likely feel the same way. They may have their misgivings about the surrogacy process, but when they see you are so thrilled about this family-building process, they will be excited for you.

While friends and family may be saddened about your path to this decision, especially if you’ve dealt with infertility, try to put a brave face on and tell them everything happens for a reason. Yes, your infertility journey was difficult, but if you can look at it with a positive view, they might, too.

4. Be prepared to answer questions and explain your decision.

Not everyone will be as well-versed in the surrogacy process as you. So, when you announce you are following this path, you should be ready to explain exactly what surrogacy is and how it will work. You’ll likely want to clear up any misconceptions about the process. Explain that your surrogate is heavily screened before being approved, that she will get compensated for her services, and that your baby will not be genetically related to her.

It’s a good idea to research the commonly asked questions about surrogacy so you are prepared with the right answers before this conversation.

5. Set expectations and boundaries early on.

It can be a good idea to prime your loved ones on your surrogacy decision before you even meet in person. That way, you can let them know what aspects of the journey you are comfortable talking about – and save yourself from being bombarded as soon as you walk through the door.

Consider sending out a mass email or text: “Hi, everyone! We’re excited to see you at dinner, and we have some exciting news: We’re pursuing surrogacy! We’re happy to answer your questions when we see you, but please keep in mind we cannot talk about (our surrogate/compensation and finances/etc.) per our surrogacy agreement. We look forward to seeing you!”

Not only will this heads-up help your loved ones process your news, but it gives them time to look into surrogacy and complete some basic research, if they so desire.

Want more tips on sharing your news with your loved ones? Contact your surrogacy specialist today.

5 Support Tips for Spouses of Surrogates

When your spouse first told you of her plans to be a gestational carrier, you may have felt a lot of emotions. Now that she’s in the middle of her journey, you likely share her excitement – and you’re proud of her selfless decision to help create a family.

But, being the spouse of a surrogate can sometimes seem like a passive job. After all, she’s the one doing all the work, and you might have no idea what you can do to help out as she brings a miracle into the world.

Fortunately, American Surrogacy is here to help. Below, we’ve gathered a few tips for spouses of surrogates like yourself. Next time you find yourself wanting to help out your spouse during her gestational pregnancy, remember these suggestions:

#1: Make a Game Plan Early On.

The worst thing a spouse of a surrogate can do is wait until she is in the middle of her pregnancy to start helping her out. While your spouse will be the one carrying the intended parents’ child, her surrogacy journey will affect your entire family. You must all make a plan for this journey before you even get started.

When your spouse first mentions her desire to be a surrogate, you should sit down with her and think hard about how this journey will go. She won’t be able to handle her usual responsibilities at certain points, so how will you cover those as her spouse? Who will take care of your children while she attends doctor’s appointments? What would you both do if she were put on bedrest during the end of her pregnancy?

Your spouse’s surrogacy specialists can always assist you in this conversation, but it’s important that you and your spouse can make a plan that works best for your family as early as possible. That will make the journey ahead that much easier.

#2: Don’t Wait to Be Asked.

When a woman is a gestational carrier, she has a lot on her mind: maintaining a healthy pregnancy, cultivating a relationship with her intended parents, and taking care of her everyday responsibilities. She shouldn’t have to make her spouse a chore list, too.

As a spouse, you need to identify the areas in which your wife or girlfriend may need help. Don’t wait for her to ask you to do the dishes or cook dinner; take initiative and be the first to step in to handle those responsibilities.

Offering to help her with certain things – “I’ll take the kids to baseball practice” – instead of asking her what she needs help with will relieve some of her stress. She’ll be grateful.

#3: Take On Her Everyday Duties.

What exactly can you help your spouse with? Think hard about the everyday responsibilities she has a mother. Whatever tasks you typically see her do, take those on for yourself.

Remember that pregnancy is hard work; your spouse will likely be physically and emotionally exhausted at certain times in her journey. Give her the chance to relax by taking care of her duties before she gets home or starts them herself. It will be a pleasant – and welcome – surprise.

Not sure what your spouse usually handles? Ask your children; they will likely know exactly what responsibilities their mom handles in their everyday lives.

#4: Be There for Emotional Support, Too.

Supporting your spouse means more than just handling the practical details of a household and family. Pregnancy and surrogacy can be emotionally draining, even in the best situations, and your spouse will likely want someone to talk (or vent) to when she’s feeling overwhelmed.

It can be tempting to try to fix the situation that is making her upset, but your spouse is likely looking for validation – not solutions. Let her know you are happy to listen to her at any time, and emphasize with her emotions, even if you can’t relate to them. She likely just needs someone to lean on in the hard times and, once she’s worked through her emotions, she’ll probably be ready to move forward with a positive attitude.

#5: Be a Distraction From the Journey.

As much as your spouse is excited for her journey as a surrogate, there will be certain times where she wants a distraction. As great as surrogacy is, it can be overwhelming – and all surrogates reach a point where they want to go about their everyday life without including a conversation about surrogacy into everything they do.

If you can tell your spouse is stressed or overwhelmed, plan something to take her mind off of her troubles. A date night with a nice dinner and movie may be just what she needs. Remind her that, even though she is carrying someone else’s baby, she is still your spouse – and her identity is more than just “someone’s surrogate.”

When she’s ready to get back to her relationship with the intended parents or her next doctor’s appointment, be there to support her. But don’t be afraid to take time for yourself as a couple – without her surrogate pregnancy hanging over your heads.

Want more advice on supporting your spouse through her gestational pregnancy? Her surrogacy specialist will always be here to help. Give our team a call anytime at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) for personal suggestions to get your spouse through the next nine months.

6 Ways to Help Those Going through Surrogacy

Things You Can Do and Say to Help Surrogates or Intended Parents

If you’re friends with a surrogate or an intended parent, you’re likely wondering how you can help them. Surrogacy journeys are full of joys and excitements, but they can also be tough and tiring for everyone involved.

Here’s how you can lend your support if your loved one is in the midst of the surrogacy process, whether they’re a surrogate or an intended parent:

1. Offer practical support whenever you can.

The business of pregnancy and waiting for a baby can be hectic, time-consuming and physically draining. This is true for any expectant parent, and it’s also true for gestational surrogates and intended parents.

Surrogates are raising children of their own at home in addition to growing another family’s baby, so they would probably welcome an extra hand with everyday tasks as their pregnancy progresses! Offer to watch your friend’s kids while she’s at her obstetrician appointments or bring over a casserole for dinner so she can have some leftovers.

Although the intended parents aren’t handling the physical strains of the pregnancy, they’re still busy and stressed about their upcoming baby. They may be called for their surrogate’s delivery last-minute, so offer to housesit or watch their other children for them while they’re away. Even offering to take them out to lunch to get their mind off of things can be helpful.

2. Listen.

The surrogacy process can be incredibly emotional for both gestational surrogates and intended parents. There will likely be some ups and downs, and they’ll need someone to talk to about it.

Sometimes, the best way to show your support for someone you love is to just be there and listen. No need to fix anything for them — just hear them out so they can work through their feelings.

3. Encourage them.

The end result of surrogacy — a brand-new baby — makes all struggles worthwhile. But, your loved one will likely need continued encouragement from you to remind them why they started their surrogacy journey in the first place.

The surrogacy process takes at least a year once it’s underway, and that doesn’t include the time that it takes an intended parent to decide that this family-building path is the right one for them. Your loved one will need your encouragement as they continue pursuing something so important, especially when their journey feels difficult.

4. Celebrate their joys.

There are a lot of moments to be celebrated throughout the surrogacy process, both big and small. But because surrogacy is still a relatively misunderstood way to build a family, many people don’t recognize these joys for surrogates and parents.

Your loved one will feel more appreciated and part of a “normal,” celebrated experience if you take the time to acknowledge these joys. If you’re not sure what’s appropriate, ask!

Offer to throw a baby shower for the intended parents and ask how to appropriately honor the surrogate and surrogacy process. Congratulate your surrogate friend on the pregnancy, and let her know to extend your congratulations to the baby’s parents. Surrogates, intended parents and children born via surrogacy all deserve to be celebrated like anyone else, while you also acknowledge their unique journey to get where they are now.

5. Educate others.

Your loved one probably gets a little tired of answering questions about their surrogacy process. They’ve likely talked to you about their experiences, so you already have some knowledge of how surrogacy works.

A great way to show your support for those who have been touched by surrogacy is to educate others about the process and to dispel misconceptions. Continue to learn about surrogacy, and then share your newfound information with others. If you notice someone spreading inaccurate information about surrogacy, set the record straight with some facts!

Just be sure to avoid sharing information from your friend’s personal surrogacy story with others.

6. Be ready to help after their surrogacy journey is over.

Gestational surrogates will be recovering postpartum, and new parents will be right in the middle of baby craziness.

Sending a card or flowers to either party is a nice gesture. Even better, bring over a meal to help save them some time as everyone gets back to their lives post-surrogacy, or offer to babysit their older children so that they can have a quick break.

Remember that gestational surrogates will want some time to rest and recuperate, and new parents will want plenty of alone-time to bond with their child and settle in with the newest family member, so give your loved one some space.

However you help and support your loved one throughout their surrogacy journey, they’ll appreciate that you took the time to make the effort. If you need advice on supporting a gestational surrogate or an intended parent, you can always reach out to an American Surrogacy specialist at 1-800-875-BABY(2229).

What to Say — and What Not to Say — to the Intended Parent in Your Life

So, your friend or family member has told you they’re pursuing surrogacy to add a child to their family — how exciting!

But, what if you’ve never had any experience with surrogacy before? How do you know what to say — and what not to say — when you receive this news? How do you express your excitement without offending the intended parents?

Surrogacy can be a tricky conversation, but American Surrogacy is here to help. In this blog post, we’ll run through some of the biggest things not to say when talking to intended parents and offer some alternatives instead. Remember, our team is always available to explain more about surrogacy when you call us at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).

In the meantime, find some tips for this conversation below:

5 Things Not to Say to an Intended Parent

There are a few common things that people say when their loved ones first share their surrogacy news. As well-meaning as they are, they can actually be quite intrusive and hurtful for intended parents to hear. Here are a few phrases you’ll want to avoid:

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

Surrogate compensation is a hot topic among those who are unfamiliar with the surrogacy process — but it’s not a topic up for discussion with intended parents. Refrain from any comments on money or how the intended parents must be “rich” for pursuing this path. The fact is that many intended parents are often in debt or have spent much of their life savings trying to have a child.

Any compensation they are paying their surrogate is between them and her. Rest assured that it’s a number the two parties have both agreed is fair.

2. “Why don’t you just adopt?”

Adoption is a lot harder than many people think it is. It’s a process that takes a great deal of time and money, just like surrogacy. It also comes with some unknowns that surrogacy doesn’t.

Asking intended parents this question comes across as judgmental. Odds are, they considered adoption when deciding on their next step in their family-building process, and they decided it wasn’t right for them. It’s not your business why they chose surrogacy over adoption; it’s your job to support them through their family-building journey.

3. “Who’s the baby’s real mother?”

Most surrogacies today are gestational surrogacies, in which the surrogate is not genetically related to the child she carries. Instead, the intended parents’ embryo is implanted in her uterus for her to carry to term. Some intended parents use donor gametes to create this embryo.

Using the word “real” in reference to non-traditional family-building processes only perpetrates the idea that pregnancy is the only way to be a parent. Pregnancy and genetic relationship does not make a family; instead, it’s love and dedication.

4. “Whose sperm are you using?”

Similarly, when a male gay couple pursues surrogacy, people often ask who the “real” dad will be. This is an incredibly rude and intrusive question. A parent’s genetic connection to their child is only the business of the parent, the child, and the spouse.

Both men in a gay couple will be great parents to their child, regardless of genetics. Focus on that in your conversation, not their biological relationship.

5. “Can I meet your surrogate?”

This question may come from a place of interest; after all, you want to meet the woman who will be carrying your loved one’s baby! However, a surrogate isn’t someone to be put on display. She’s her own person with her own life, not subject to whims of intended parents and their friends and family.

Intended parents should be the one bringing up this idea, not you. Their relationship with their surrogate and their personal preferences will determine whether they are comfortable with this sort of thing.

6. “Wow, you’re lucky you don’t have to get fat/have morning sickness!”

You may be trying to find a silver lining in your loved one’s journey to surrogacy, but remember that many intended mothers would much rather carry their child on their own — regardless of side effects or risks. It may have taken an intended mother a long time to grieve her dreams of pregnancy, and this flippant response can bring up her negative experiences and feelings all over again.

7. “Don’t you feel jealous of your surrogate?”

Of course an intended mother has some feelings of jealousy toward her surrogate! On the same note as the comment above, don’t mention these kinds of things to intended mothers. Infertility grief is strong and can last a long time, and your loved one should be looking forward to the positives of the future — not the bad experiences of the past.

3 Things to Say to an Intended Parent

While there are many things you should not say to an intended parent, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t talk about their surrogacy at all! Here are a few more positive phrases you should make sure to use in your conversations with intended parents:

1. “How can I help?”

Even though intended parents aren’t the ones physically going through pregnancy, their journey through gestational surrogacy will still be hard. Not only do they have to stay organized and pay for all of the expenses of pregnancy, there will be tough emotional journey ahead as their surrogate gets pregnant and they watch their baby grow within her over the next nine months.

As their friend or family member, you can play a huge role in making this journey a little easier. Offer to take them out for dinner or do something else to take their mind off of surrogacy. Throw them a baby shower or help them decorate their nursery for their future child. Find ways to help them out just as you would anyone else who is expecting a child in the traditional way.

2. “You must be excited to be parents!”

Intended parents often have conflicting feelings about surrogacy. It’s one step closer to them finally having a child, but it also requires them to give up their dreams of pregnancy and a great deal of control over their child’s development in utero. Because of the emotions involved, it may be difficult for them to share their excitement.

So, give them an opportunity to talk about it! Instead of focusing on the details and asking lots of questions, accept their news with excitement and reflect what they are likely feeling. Ask them about their plans for the nursery and what will happen after the baby is born; don’t focus too much on their choice of surrogacy in getting there.

3. “I know you’ve waited a long time for this. I’m happy for you!”

Similarly, express your excitement about their news, too! Remember that intended parents have often gone through a lot before choosing surrogacy, and it can be reassuring for someone to notice and validate their struggles. This is the kind of response they are looking for when they announce their surrogacy journey. You can’t go wrong with mentioning this in your conversation.

More than anything else, pay close attention to the intended parents’ language and responses during this kind of conversation. You should be able to detect fairly easily what topics they are comfortable with and which they are not. Use that to guide your conversation.

Want more tips on supporting those going through the surrogacy process? Talk to our surrogacy specialists anytime by calling 1-800-875-2229(BABY).

What to Say — And What Not to Say — to the Surrogate in Your Life

Talking about surrogacy can be tough — especially if you’re still learning about the ins and outs of the process. If a loved one tells you about her plans to become a surrogate, you may not be sure of how to respond. What should you say to be as supportive as possible?

We know surrogacy can be a tricky conversation for some people. That’s why we’ve gathered this helpful guide to what to say — and what not to say — when someone tells you they’re becoming a surrogate. Proper language is so important in the surrogacy process, and it’s a good idea to have a base knowledge of surrogacy before your loved one begins their journey.

Below, check out some important things to know for talking about surrogacy with your loved one. Remember: American Surrogacy’s team of surrogacy specialists is always here to answer any of the questions you may have about the surrogacy process.

5 Things Not to Say to a Surrogate

First, let’s start with the things not to say to a gestational carrier. There are a lot of misconceptions about the surrogacy process, and a lot of them emerge as ignorant or insensitive questions to a gestational carrier.

Before you have a conversation with your loved one about her surrogacy journey, scratch these ones from your vocabulary:

1. “Aren’t you afraid that you’ll ‘get attached’ to the baby?”

Many people assume “surrogacy” still means “traditional surrogacy” — that the carrier is related to the baby. But, that’s not the truth. More than likely, your loved one is a gestational carrier, meaning she is just “the oven” for the intended parents’ baby.  It’s silly to ask her if she’ll get attached; she knows she’s just “babysitting,” and she will likely be excited to hand over the baby once he or she is born!

2. “How much are you getting paid?”

This is an absolute hands-off topic when you’re talking with gestational carriers. How much a woman is paid for her surrogacy services is her family’s and the intended parent’s business alone.

Know that if your loved one is receiving compensation for her services, it is a number that she and her intended parents agreed is fair to all parties. Avoid any conversation about money when talking to your friend or family member about her surrogacy journey.

3. “Why don’t the intended parents just adopt?”

This is one of the most common questions that intended parents get — and their surrogate will likely get the query, too. The fact is that adoption is not right for everyone. Every parent has the right to choose the family-building path that is right for them, and it’s no one’s business to question it.

Intended parents choose surrogacy for many reasons: They have remaining embryos, they want a genetic connection, or adoption may not be possible for them. Their reasons are not your surrogate’s story to tell, so stop asking!

4. “How will you tell your kids?”

While this question itself can be a well-meaning one, it can come off in another way. Often, the people who ask this question are implying that the surrogate’s children won’t be able to understand the surrogacy process, or that they will take it personally when their mother “gives away” the baby she is carrying.

Children understand more than adults give them credit for. It’s highly likely that your friend has already started to explain the surrogacy process to her children in a positive way — maybe even in a way not much different than how she explained surrogacy to you.

5. “Pregnancy is dangerous — are you sure about this?”

Most likely, by the time your friend is telling you about her plans to become a surrogate, she has already begun the process. She may have already matched with intended parents, she may be taking fertility medication, or she may even be pregnant!

Whatever stage she is at, she’s already made up her mind about this journey. Expressions of concern from her loved ones are not what she is looking for. A woman has to be fully informed of all the risks well before she starts the surrogacy process. So, she’s already evaluated those risks, and she won’t like to be reminded of them.

3 Things to Say to a Surrogate

While there are certain things that surrogates are tired of hearing, there are also some things that surrogates don’t hear often enough. If you’re discussing your friend’s surrogacy journey with her, here are some positive things that you can say:

1. “The intended parents must be so grateful!”

A surrogate knows that what she’s doing will help her intended parents reach their dreams of having a family. But, to hear someone else acknowledge her impact is a big deal.

Rather than focusing on what she gets out of the surrogacy process (ie. surrogate compensation), focus on what her decision will give to other people. It shows that you truly understand why she chose this path and, in turn, that you appreciate her, too.

2. “You are such a wonderful person for doing this!”

But, don’t just assume that your loved one knows you respect her decision — tell her to her face!

A surrogate may not always receive positive comments from all of her friends and family. It can be disheartening to be so excited about being a surrogate, only to have someone respond with judgement or disapproval (see comments above). Make it obvious that you respect her decision by congratulating her on it and clearly showing your pride in what she has chosen to do. After all, surrogacy is something that affects the whole world, not just her intended parents.

3. “How can I help?”

When your loved one becomes a surrogate, she gives up a great deal of her time and energy to grow a baby for someone else. She may be just as tired and overwhelmed as during her previous pregnancies, but she may not be receiving the same support from her friends and family because the baby isn’t hers.

So, when your friend tells you she’s being a surrogate, take the opportunity to offer your assistance. Tell her you’ll make dinner on a busy night or watch her kids when she has doctor’s appointments. She will certainly appreciate it in the next year or so to come.

Want more advice on talking to a surrogate about her journey? Contact our surrogacy team at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) for our tips and advice.

Why Don’t Intended Parents “Just” Adopt?

It’s a common question that intended parents pursuing surrogacy receive:

Why don’t you just adopt?

For those unfamiliar with gestational surrogacy, choosing this method to build a family may be hard to understand. For them, surrogacy brings up concerns over financial burden, genetic relationships, time and emotional complications.

While their concerns are often well-meaning, they can be hard for intended parents to hear. People who have struggled with infertility go through a lot before deciding on gestational surrogacy. They’re excited about this next step to build their family! But, when people ask them why they don’t “just” adopt, intended parents can feel judged for the personal decision they’ve made for their family.

The decision between adoption and surrogacy is a big one to make. So, before you start prying into this personal decision of intended parents, think about these reasons why adoption may not have been right for them:

1. They want a biological connection to their child.

People who have never struggled with infertility often take for granted their ability to have a genetically related child. It was easy for them to conceive a biological child, so they likely don’t think about the emotions tied to this seemingly simple connection.

But, intended parents have.

A biological connection is the biggest reason why intended parents choose to pursue surrogacy over adoption. Like many other parents, intended parents want a child who looks like them and shares their blood. While genetic relationship does not make a family, many intended parents want to have this relationship, if at all possible.

It’s not a simple decision to give up dreams of having a biological child. Parents who pursue adoption must go through a grief process as they accept their child will not have a genetic connection. It’s not as easy as “just deciding” to start the adoption process.

2. They have remaining embryos from infertility treatments.

For some intended parents, the idea of discarding or donating perfectly usable embryos is a difficult one. So, instead, they decide to use those embryos in a gestational surrogacy situation. This way, they feel better about the money they put into creating those embryos in the first place, and it gives them another chance for those embryos to develop into babies.

If you have leftover embryos you’re considering for surrogacy, you can always call our surrogacy specialists at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) for more information on the surrogacy process with our agency.

3. They want more control over their baby’s development in utero.

Parents who choose adoption to bring a child into their family must give up a great deal of control. No matter what kind of adoption process they use, there are likely unknowns when it comes to the child’s health history and the personal history of their birth mother.

Intended parents who choose surrogacy have a bit more control over their surrogate’s pregnancy than adoptive parents have over a prospective birth mother’s. Every preference and expectation for a gestational pregnancy is outlined in a legal surrogacy contract. Intended parents can be involved in medical appointments and the birth of their child, and they are reassured in knowing the personal health history of their child — because the child is genetically related to them. They also have the confidence that their child will be theirs at the end of the pregnancy — unlike in adoption, when a prospective birth mother always has the right to change her mind.

Don’t get us wrong: Intended parents do have to give up a certain amount of control. But, they are often more comfortable with this sacrifice in gestational surrogacy than in adoption.

4. The adoption process isn’t right for their family.

Just as gestational surrogacy isn’t right for everyone, neither is the adoption process.

Sometimes, intended parents don’t have the option of adoption. Perhaps they’re an LGBT individual or couple, and they are worried about finding an LGBT-friendly agency in their state or country. Maybe they’re too old (or too young) to meet adoption requirements. Maybe they simply aren’t prepared to raise an adopted child and cope with the challenges along the way.

It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Adoption isn’t “easy”; it’s a path that parents often take after they have exhausted all of their other options and have spent months and years preparing. Intended parents who choose surrogacy may not have been ready for that challenging process at this time.

5. They have the right to choose the family-building option that is best for them.

Finally, for people asking, “Why didn’t you just adopt?” ask yourself this: Why didn’t you adopt?

Every hopeful parent has the right to choose the family-building process that is best for them. Just as you may have never considered adoption yourself, perhaps intended parents considering surrogacy didn’t either. There’s a lot that goes into this decision, including costs, emotions, timeline and more.  After considering all of this, intended parents discover that gestational surrogacy is the right option for them.

No matter how you built your own family, it’s never your place to judge or question why people build their families in specific ways. It’s much better to support someone’s family-building journey, whatever it is. Offer your practical and emotional support, and your friends going through surrogacy will be thankful.

Trying to decide whether gestational surrogacy is right for your family? Reach out to our surrogacy specialists for more information and professional advice.