Is Surrogacy Safe? What to Know Before Starting

Yes — surrogacy is safe, if you take basic but essential precautions.

At American Surrogacy, we are committed to protecting every surrogate, intended parent and child in our program, which is why we take every precaution to make the surrogacy process as safe as possible. Your safety is our top priority.

Here are some of the potential medical, legal and emotional issues with surrogacy that could make it unsafe for surrogates and intended parents, and how to avoid these issues and minimize risk:

Emotional Safety

When first considering surrogacy, potential intended parents and surrogates are often worried about the emotional risks involved. Some of the most common emotional concerns associated with the surrogacy process for surrogates are:

For intended parents, emotional issues can include:

  • Post-surrogacy depression, not unlike postpartum depression
  • Feeling out of control during the surrogacy process, as you’re not carrying your baby
  • Worrying that you won’t bond easily with your baby
  • Dealing with infertility-related grief, or with your baby not being genetically related to you
  • Jealousy toward the surrogate

American Surrogacy works with surrogates and intended parents to avoid these emotional issues by providing both parties with constant support before, during and after the surrogacy process. We counsel you on how to build a solid emotional support system at home so that your loved ones can help you through the emotions of surrogacy. We’ll also help everyone involved to communicate honestly and openly about their needs and feelings to foster stronger intended parent-surrogate relationships.

Medical Safety

Both intended parents and surrogates will often undergo medical procedures throughout the surrogacy process and may worry about the medical risks involved. Here are some of the medical risks that prospective surrogates are most concerned about when considering surrogacy:

Prospective intended parents may worry about the medical risks of:

  • Egg retrieval (if an intended mother is using her own eggs for IVF)
  • Hormone treatments (if an intended mother is using her own eggs for IVF)

Most of the medical risk falls on surrogates. Many of these risks are the average risks that a woman takes anytime she becomes pregnant and gives birth. However, there are always additional, if minor, risks associated with the medical processes unique to surrogacy.

To minimize these risks for the safety of surrogates (and for the baby), American Surrogacy carefully screens prospective surrogates and has a list of medical requirements in place. Potential surrogates are thoroughly medically screened to ensure that they are healthy enough to undergo the surrogacy process before they begin, to prevent exposing you to any unnecessary medical risk.

Legal Safety

There are a few legal risks associated with surrogacy that many potential surrogates and intended parents may worry about, as well, especially after hearing sensationalized horror stories in the news. Surrogates are often concerned about:

  • The intended parents refusing to parent the baby after he or she is born
  • Legally questionable forms of surrogacy compensation
  • Being asked to terminate a pregnancy when you are uncomfortable doing so

Intended parents worry about legal issues like:

  • The surrogate “keeping” the baby
  • The baby not being “theirs”
  • Being scammed by a surrogate

All of these legal issues are entirely preventable when you work with a reputable surrogacy professional like American Surrogacy. The only instances these legal risks are possible are when people attempt surrogacy on their own without the legal protection of experienced professionals and surrogacy contracts. American Surrogacy ensures that each party is individually represented by a licensed surrogacy attorney, so that everyone is equally advocated for throughout the legal process of surrogacy. We insist on detailed surrogacy contracts, and will walk you through the surrogacy laws within your state so you’re fully informed about protecting your rights.

It’s understandable to worry about the potential risks of surrogacy. But by working with American Surrogacy, these risks are reduced, if not completely eliminated. Surrogacy brings people together to create families, and the benefits far outweigh any minor risks. Contact American Surrogacy now at 1-800-875-BABY (1-800-875-2229) to learn how we work to minimize or avoid potential surrogacy risks for surrogates, intended parents and children.

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

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

1. Families Expanded through Surrogacy are Families

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

2. You May Not Know the Whole Story

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

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

3. It’s Not a Moral Superiority Competition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank a surrogate for helping to create families!

6. Children Born through Surrogacy Will Hear What You Say

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

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

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

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

How Long Does the Surrogacy Process Take?

No matter whether you’re an intended parent or prospective surrogate, we know that your time is precious. Even if surrogacy is one of your greatest dreams, there are likely other important aspects of your life that you have to plan around before committing to this life-changing process.

So, one of the most common questions from people like you is, “How long does the surrogacy process take?”

This is a good question for both prospective gestational carriers and intended parents to ask before getting started. Surrogacy will require a great deal from both parties in this journey, including a large time commitment from beginning to end. Knowing what to expect before starting will help ensure that your surrogacy journey meets your expectations.

While every surrogacy process is different, most surrogacy journeys take about 12 to 24 months to be completed. Certain aspects — such as the number of available surrogacy matches, medical processes and more — will determine how long or short your surrogacy journey will take.

Below, you’ll find a sample breakdown of the different steps involved. We always encourage you to reach out to our surrogacy specialists at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) for more detailed information on what your personal surrogacy timeline will look like.

Pre-Screening Stage: 2-4 Months for Gestational Carriers, 1 Month for Intended Parents with Created Embryos

Before either a gestational surrogate or an intended parent can even begin the surrogacy process, they must complete certain pre-screening steps. These steps exist to ensure that all parties are physically, mentally and emotionally ready for the potential challenges and rewards of the process ahead.

If you are a prospective gestational carrier, your first steps will be to fill out the initial application form and a social and medical history form. If you meet the basic surrogacy requirements, you will next undergo an in-home assessment completed by a trained social worker, as well as general backgrounds checks. You and your spouse will also need to complete a mental health and psychosocial evaluation.

If you are an intended parent pursuing surrogacy, you will first submit a planning questionnaire detailing your desires for your surrogacy journey. Then, you will undergo similar screening, including background clearances and, if needed, an in-home assessment. If you have already created embryos for your surrogacy journey, you will be able to complete your pre-screening stage fairly quickly. Otherwise, the process of creating embryos for a gestational surrogacy can greatly increase the time spent in this stage.

So, how long does this part of the surrogacy process take? That will depend upon your communication and coordination with your surrogacy specialist and any other professionals needed during this step.

Matching Stage: 1-3 Months

So, how long does the surrogacy process take after you have been approved? First, you’ll need to match with a surrogacy partner.

How long this step takes will depend upon your preferences for a surrogacy partner and the available surrogacy situations with your surrogacy professional. At American Surrogacy, our specialists employ a large network to find surrogacy situations and help you match with a partner as quickly as possible. For many intended parents and gestational carriers, this is the shortest step in the process. You will be presented a surrogacy profile, complete a conference call with your prospective match and finalize your match with a legal surrogacy contract.

Preparation for and Completion of Embryo Transfer: 3-6 Months

Once your surrogacy match has been confirmed with a contract (which usually takes one or two months), the medical process of surrogacy can begin. A gestational carrier will work closely with her intended parents’ fertility clinic to complete additional screening (done four to six weeks before the contract is signed) and to start a fertility medication protocol. This medication will allow reproductive endocrinologists to manage her cycle for 30 days prior to the embryo transfer process.

How long this step takes will depend upon several factors: the policies of the fertility clinic, any mock transfers that need to be completed, whether intended parents are using fresh or frozen embryos, and more. The embryo transfer process itself is done within an hour. The gestational carrier’s pregnancy levels will be tested twice in the following days, and she will undergo an ultrasound a few weeks later to confirm pregnancy.

If an embryo transfer is unsuccessful, that can increase the time spent on your surrogacy process. Your surrogacy contract will always detail any additional transfers that will be completed if the initial procedure fails to take.

Pregnancy: 9 Months

Once a gestational carrier is pregnant, both parties are in the home stretch of the surrogacy process. There are only nine months to go until a baby is born and the surrogacy process is complete!

A gestational carrier will receive prenatal care throughout her pregnancy to ensure she and the unborn baby are as healthy as possible during this time. Her intended parents will likely be present during certain appointments and milestones, including the baby’s birth.

Once the baby is born and any necessary parentage orders are completed, the surrogacy process will be over. Whether your surrogacy process takes more or less time than you expected, you will find it will all have been worth it when that little child enters the world.

Remember, every surrogacy journey is different, and yours may take longer or shorter than the average quoted by your surrogacy professional. At American Surrogacy, we make every effort to ensure your surrogacy journey meets your expectations, and we will do all we can to respect your timing desires, as well.

Have more questions about how long the surrogacy process takes? Please contact our surrogacy professionals today for more information.

5 Rules for Proper Etiquette with Your Surrogacy Partner

If you’re considering the surrogacy journey, it’s likely your first foray into this kind of family-building process. You may be excited and nervous all at the same time, and you may not even know where to start. But, once you have found your surrogacy partner, you’ll find that things seem to fall into place the way they were supposed to.

However, until that level of comfort comes, you may be unsure about how to build a relationship with your surrogate or intended parents. How do you speak with someone who is simultaneously still a stranger and yet holds your surrogacy dreams in their hands? What are some “dos” and “don’ts” for this shared journey that awaits you?

Remember, your surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy is always here to answer whatever questions you have about surrogacy and help you prepare for this upcoming relationship. But, if you’re thinking about completing a surrogacy, there a few basic etiquette rules you can apply to every aspect of this journey moving forward.

1. Don’t assume.

Intended parents and surrogates always have the right to their own opinions when it comes to their surrogacy preferences and goals. Sometimes, those don’t always match up at the beginning. This is why the negotiation of a legal surrogacy contract is so important; it works out any differences surrogacy partners may have and establishes common expectations moving forward.

Until then, it’s important that you don’t assume your surrogate or intended parents think a certain way or share your desires. Don’t assume that a prospective surrogate is comfortable carrying altruistically without talking to her about it, and don’t assume that intended parents will be comfortable with your whole family being there for your surrogate pregnancy delivery. You know the saying about “assume”; if you hold expectations without talking to the other party, you will likely find yourself disappointed — which can severely impact your relationship.

2. Be respectful.

Just as the Golden Rule should be applied throughout your life, it should be a standard in your surrogacy journey as well. And you shouldn’t just apply it to your surrogacy partner — treat all of your surrogacy professionals with respect to ensure as positive a surrogacy process as possible.

There may be times when you and your surrogacy partner disagree, or times when your surrogacy professionals require extra steps you may have been unaware of. Remember that surrogacy is not all about you; take a deep breath to accept the things you cannot change. If you have difficulty maintaining a civil and respectful conversation, your surrogacy specialist will always be here to mediate between you and your surrogacy partner, if necessary.

3. Be cautious of over-sharing.

It’s normal to be excited about surrogacy, especially if this is your first journey down this path. You may want to share your news with everyone, but remember that surrogacy is more than just your journey. There is another surrogacy partner who must be considered.

Whether it’s regarding social media or in-person conversations, always be considerate in the amount and detail of information that you share with others outside your surrogacy journey. Parts of surrogacy can be incredibly personal and intimate, and you should never reveal certain aspects of your surrogacy journey without first discussing it with your surrogacy partner. In general, always be overly cautious with what you share about your surrogacy to be respectful of your partner’s privacy.

4. Be honest and open.

As part of being respectful to your surrogacy partner’s wishes, you will need to always be honest and open during your discussions. Surrogacy is a complicated process, and it relies heavily on the willingness of both parties to honestly share their history and desires. While compromises may be necessary to create a positive journey for each side, intended parents and surrogates need to always make clear what their non-negotiables, goals and preferences are.

On the same note, always be honest with your surrogacy professionals about your background and surrogacy wishes. This is the only way that your professional can tailor the best surrogacy experience and make sure that the surrogacy journey is a safe one for you.

5. Remember surrogacy is a partnership.

Perhaps the biggest thing to know about surrogacy etiquette is that surrogacy is, first and foremost, a partnership. Both intended parents and surrogates have to work closely with each other to make their surrogacy dreams come true. If you are not committed to building a strong, mutually respectful relationship with your surrogacy partner, it’s highly unlikely your surrogacy journey will be the best it can be.

As tempting as it can be to focus on your own desires, remember to keep your surrogacy partner in mind during the whole time you take this journey together. Doing so will help you adhere to the rest of the surrogacy etiquette: being open to their suggestions, being honest about your desires, and just genuinely keeping their interests in mind as you go about your surrogacy process.

Working with a surrogacy partner can be an exciting — but nerve-wracking — part of this family-building process. But, when you work with American Surrogacy, your surrogacy specialist will help you prepare for this partnership and support you every step of the way. For more information about our surrogacy services, please call 1-800-875-BABY(2229).

Surrogacy Laws & “Medical Necessity”: What Does It All Mean?

Surrogacy provides a great way for hopeful intended parents to add to their family. Usually, the process is not restricted for intended parents; as long as they meet the basic requirements set by state laws and their surrogacy professionals, they can choose surrogacy to bring a genetically related child into their home.

However, in addition to the medical and psychological screening all intended parents must undergo, some intended parents may be subject to one more requirement: “medical necessity.” Whether it’s because of a requirement set by their surrogacy professional or their state laws, proving medical necessity can be just one more hurdle to hopeful parents achieving their family-building dreams.

If you’ve heard the term “medical necessity” in your surrogacy research, you may have a few questions. What does it mean to “medically need” surrogacy, and how do you know if you are subject to this requirement?

You can always contact a surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy for more information, but we’ve also provided some of the basic things you need to know about this topic below.

What Does “Medical Necessity” Mean?

Today, there are two states that require “medical necessity” in order for a surrogacy contract to be enforced: Louisiana and Utah. In both cases, these states’ surrogacy laws mandate that an intended mother must be medically proven to be unable to bear a child and cannot use another reproductive method to add a child to her family. However, these states do not go into more detail about exactly what this “medical necessity” might entail.

In Louisiana, a physician in obstetrics and gynecology and/or reproductive endocrinology must provide an affidavit that an intended mother’s medical condition requires a gestational surrogate. Utah requires the same kind of “medical evidence” in order to validate a gestational surrogacy agreement.

Fortunately, because there are no state regulations on exactly what this term means, all intended parents need in these states is to receive documentation from their doctor affirming their inability to safely and successfully have a child in any other way than gestational surrogacy. If you have further questions about obtaining this affidavit, speak to your fertility specialist and your local surrogacy attorney. They will help you meet this requirement before moving forward with your surrogacy journey.

5 Conditions that May Lead to Medical Necessity for Surrogacy

There are many reasons why an intended mother may be medically unable to carry a child to term. Infertility is a complicated thing, and every intended parent’s path with this challenge will be unique. However, there are a few common reasons why gestational surrogacy may be deemed “medically necessary” for an intended mother.

  1. Unexplained Infertility

In some ways, this can be the hardest path for intended parents. About 1 in 8 American couples struggle with infertility at some point and, for some intended parents, their infertility issues go unexplained. Infertility is usually described as failure to conceive after having unprotected sex for 12 months. Intended parents in this situation are encouraged to see a medical professional, who may suggest fertility treatments. If those treatments fail, gestational surrogacy may be that couple’s only option.

  1. Lack of a Uterus or Vagina

Some women are born without a uterus, while other women undergo hysterectomies early in life to treat conditions like endometriosis. Other times, women have congenital malformations, which can include the absence of a vagina — making traditional conception and delivery impossible. For these women, gestational surrogacy is the only way they can have a genetically related child carried to term.

  1. Scarring on the Uterus

In other cases, women with otherwise healthy uteruses find they cannot conceive or carry a child to term because of extensive uterine scarring. This scarring can be caused by fibroids, a past surgery and scar tissue. Uterine scarring makes it difficult for an embryo to implant and receive the nutrients it needs while it grows. A gestational surrogate’s healthy uterus can often provide a more welcoming environment during this crucial stage.

  1. Complicated Previous Pregnancies and/or Miscarriages

Some intended parents have been able to conceive and carry previous pregnancies — but many of them have either experienced miscarriages or other complications along the way. For intended mothers who already have one child, secondary infertility may be the reasoning behind choosing gestational surrogacy. Usually, a woman’s obstetrician will inform her of the dangers of another pregnancy and may suggest surrogacy instead.

  1. Existing Medical Conditions

Finally, some intended mothers must use gestational surrogates because of existing medical conditions that make pregnancy exceedingly dangerous for them. These conditions often include heart disease, kidney disease, or severe diabetes. Any previous pregnancy conditions (like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes) can also impact a woman’s ability to safely carry a child to term without putting her own life at risk. Usually, conditions like these are noted before pregnancy by a woman’s personal physician, although some may not appear until a woman has already become pregnant. This is why close care from an experienced obstetrician is so important for all women, including intended mothers and gestational surrogates.

What If You’re Experiencing Social Infertility?

Not all intended mothers and fathers have a “medically necessary” reason for choosing gestational surrogacy. For example, single gay and straight fathers may wish to have a child on their own, while gay male couples will need a surrogate to carry a child for them.

If you live in a state that requires “medical necessity” to pursue surrogacy, and you’re in one of these situations, know that you do have options. You can always match with a surrogate in another state where medical necessity is not required. You can also speak with a local surrogacy attorney and surrogacy professional to determine what paths are available for you in your home state if you wish to pursue gestational surrogacy.

Medical necessity doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker for intended parents considering surrogacy. If you wish to have a child through this family-building method, there are options. To learn more about them, please call our agency at 1-800-875-BABY(2229).

Understanding Surrogacy Controversy: What’s the Big Deal?

Type the words “surrogacy controversy” into your web browser, and you’ll be inundated with sensationalized headlines about surrogacy scandals, scholarly articles detailing the social ramifications of this family-building process, and fierce arguments for and against surrogacy.

If you are considering surrogacy yourself, either as a hopeful parent or a prospective surrogate, this surrogacy debate can be alarming. You might be wondering, “Is surrogacy morally or socially wrong? What are the issues with surrogacy that I need to be aware of? Is it even possible to practice surrogacy ethically?”

At American Surrogacy, we are committed to completing every surrogacy to the highest ethical standards. When completed correctly, we believe that surrogacy can be an overwhelmingly positive experience that benefits everyone involved — the surrogate, intended parents and, most importantly, the child.

However, we also recognize that nothing is perfect, and there are some surrogacy issues worth considering. Here, we’re examining some of the common arguments for and against surrogacy so you can better understand this hotly debated topic.

Why is Surrogacy Controversial?

To understand the potential benefits and issues of surrogacy, it’s first important to have a basic understanding of the different types of surrogacy and the way this process actually works today.

There are two basic types of surrogacy:

  • Gestational surrogacy: The most common type of surrogacy today, in which the surrogate has no genetic relationship to the baby she carries.
  • Traditional surrogacy: A very rare form of surrogacy today, in which the surrogate’s own egg is fertilized using sperm from an intended father or donor via IVF or intrauterine insemination in the lab.

Surrogacy can also be categorized by the financial arrangements made between the intended parents and surrogate:

  • Compensated surrogacy: Surrogacy in which the surrogate is compensated for her time, energy, sacrifice and participation in the surrogacy process.
  • Altruistic surrogacy: Surrogacy in which the surrogate is not paid a base compensation beyond reimbursement of her medical and legal expenses.

Finally, surrogacy can further be categorized by where it takes place:

  • Domestic surrogacy: Surrogacy in which the intended parents work with a surrogate living within their own country. Because American Surrogacy is a U.S. surrogacy program, we define domestic surrogacy as a surrogacy completed within the United States.
  • International surrogacy: Surrogacy in which intended parents work with a surrogate living in a different country. Because the U.S. surrogacy process is well-regulated, foreign intended parents can complete an international surrogacy in the United States safely, ethically and legally. However, there are many ethical issues with surrogacy in some other parts of the world, especially in developing countries — and this is where much of the surrogacy controversy stems from.

So, why is there so much controversy surrounding surrogacy? Often, it’s because of misinformation. In fact, many anti-surrogacy arguments revolve around misconceptions about the modern-day gestational surrogacy process. Many people don’t know that today, the vast majority of surrogacies are gestational, not traditional. They may not understand why surrogates receive compensation or how that compensation is regulated. And they may assume that because of certain ethical dilemmas in international surrogacy, the same applies to surrogacy completed in the United States.

What are the Arguments Against Surrogacy?

There is no shortage of people ready to point out reasons why surrogacy is “bad” or “wrong.” However, when examining the arguments against surrogacy, it’s important to keep in mind the various types of surrogacy; not all of these arguments will apply to every type of surrogacy completed today.

  • Surrogacy commodifies the human body. A common anti-surrogacy argument is that the practice (particularly of commercial surrogacy and particularly in developing countries) commodifies babies and women’s bodies. Some have even gone so far as comparing surrogacy to prostitution, arguing that in both cases, women “sell” intimate, physical services.

  • Surrogacy exploits women. Critics of surrogacy argue that intended parents who “use” surrogates are interested only in their reproductive ability; they see this practice as “womb-renting,” especially when the woman carrying the pregnancy is in a financially disadvantageous position to the intended parents. This is especially true in international surrogacy, where women may be particularly vulnerable and surrogate compensation can be especially life-altering.
  • Surrogacy is risky. There are, of course, inherent risks involved in any pregnancy, and surrogacy critics sometimes point to these medical risks as a reason to be against surrogacy. They also argue that children born through assisted reproduction may be at greater risk for certain health conditions (though there is no evidence that this is true). Additionally, those against surrogacy may argue that the process is legally, emotionally and financially risky, citing highly publicized and sensationalized cases (like the “Baby M” case or the “Baby Gammy” case) as evidence — even though these cases are not at all representative of most surrogacies completed today.

  • Surrogacy goes against religion. Finally, some object to surrogacy on religious grounds. Many religions emphasize the importance of a husband and wife conceiving naturally on their own, and assisted reproduction is sometimes viewed as going against these religious beliefs.

What are Some Arguments for Surrogacy?

At the same time, just as many people will argue for reasons why surrogacy is good — not just for hopeful parents who desperately want to have a baby but also for the generous surrogates who help them to reach this goal. Advocates for surrogacy will tell you:

  • Surrogacy is mutually beneficial for the parties involved. For intended parents, surrogacy offers the chance to finally have the child they’ve always dreamed of. Surrogacy gives LGBT parents and couples struggling with infertility an opportunity for parenthood they may not have otherwise. Surrogacy also offers many benefits for surrogates, financially and emotionally.

  • Surrogates are compensated fairly for their services. Some argue that surrogate compensation commodifies human life, but it’s important to understand the reality of a surrogate’s commitment and the importance of paying her in exchange for these services and sacrifices. It’s also worth noting that there are protections in place to ensure vulnerable women are not forced into surrogacy in the United States; surrogacy professionals require women to be able to support themselves and their family without state assistance in order to be a surrogate.
  • Surrogacy professionals minimize risks. Through a careful screening and selection process, surrogacy professionals ensure all prospective surrogates and intended parents are truly prepared for the process ahead of them. This is done to minimize risks to everyone involved, especially the surrogate. Surrogacy attorneys also work closely with intended parents and surrogates to ensure their rights and interests are protected, eliminating legal risks, as well. And, contrary to popular belief, the emotional risks to surrogates are minimal; because most surrogates are not related to the children they carry, the vast majority report no emotional complications with the process.
  • Everyone has a voice in the surrogacy process. In domestic surrogacy, intended parents and surrogates enter into the process knowingly and willingly. Screening and counseling services are offered to ensure every prospective surrogate and intended parent is motivated to do surrogacy for the right reasons, and every party plays an active role in the process.

Should Surrogate Motherhood be Allowed?

So, after reviewing both sides of the argument, should surrogacy be allowed? We tend to think so. Should society regulate the practice of surrogacy? Absolutely.

At American Surrogacy, we are able to say with confidence that the surrogates, intended parents and children involved in our program all benefit from the process — and that’s largely because surrogacy issues in the United States are minimized by the well-defined laws and processes that are in place here.

By working with a trusted U.S. surrogacy professional like American Surrogacy, you can ensure that every step of your surrogacy process is legal, ethical and well-regulated, and that everyone involved in your journey is protected from start to finish.

To learn more about surrogacy, or to start your journey now, please contact our surrogacy specialists at 1-800-875-22299(BABY).

7 Fun Bonding Activities for Surrogates and Intended Parents

In most surrogacies, intended parents and prospective surrogates are lucky enough to meet each other before the baby is born. Intended parents may travel to a surrogate’s state to get to know her before a match is solidified, before the embryo transfer takes place or to be present at one of her prenatal appointments. A surrogate, on the other hand, will travel to the intended parents’ clinic as the same time they do and likely spend a few days in the area.

All of these opportunities offer great chances for intended parents and surrogates to get to know each other better and create a solid relationship and partnership through their upcoming journey. But, what exactly should surrogates and intended parents do when they meet face-to-face? How do you approach building a relationship with someone who will be so important to you for the next year or more?

The answer is always whatever both parties are most comfortable with. Some surrogates and intended parents will jump into a friendship more easily than others, and that’s okay. It’s about doing what is right for your and your partner’s preferences to be as successful as possible while moving forward.

If your surrogacy partner is scheduled to be in your city soon, here are a few great bonding activities to consider:

1. A Family-Friendly Activity

Women who become surrogates with our agency are required to be raising at least one child in their own home — which means intended parents who are visiting should consider including their surrogate’s family in their bonding activities. After all, a surrogate’s family is just as impacted by her surrogacy decision as she is, and it will mean a great deal to her if all of her immediate family is able to get to know and build a relationship with the people she is carrying a baby for. It may even help her children understand the process ahead.

If a surrogate’s (or intended parent’s) family is able to participate in a bonding activity, consider a fun activity like going to the zoo, the museum or the park. Finding an activity where children can be occupied allows their parents to focus more on bonding with their surrogacy partner while also including the child in the process.

2. A Local Attraction

On the same train of thought, if you are looking for a unique activity to do while spending time with your surrogacy partner, think about the local attractions in your area. Whether it’s a museum, a park, or another kind of local feature, taking your surrogacy partner there allows you to “do something” while bonding and will give your partner a taste of the area that you live in.

3. A Spa Day

Spa days aren’t just for ladies; men can enjoy the benefits, too! Both intended parents and surrogates will likely go through their own set of stressors during surrogacy, and a spa day can help them relieve those feelings. Take time to get some massages, pedicures or whatever else floats your boat; your body, mind and relationship will thank you for it.

4. A Nice Dinner or Lunch

If you’re not comfortable enough to commit a full day to bonding quite yet, having lunch or dinner with your surrogacy partner can be a great way to start getting to know each other. It provides a great opportunity for conversation, and you get a meal out of it, to boot.

If you decide to take this route, think of a few conversation topics ahead of time. Odds are you have already talked about the logistics of the surrogacy journey before this point, so use this meal as a way to learn more about your surrogacy partner’s personal life and family.

5. A Concert or Other Live Show

If you and your surrogacy partner have similar interests, you might choose to add something fun like a concert to their visit. While you may not be able to talk to each other as much as you would with another activity, it can be a great bonding experience and help kick-start your relationship. It will also be a memory that you’ll be able to look back on for years to come.

6. An Outdoor Excursion

If you are both outdoorsy people, a hike, bike ride or similar outdoor activity can be a great way to get your blood pumping! Surrogates may not be able to continue their exercise regimen once they are far along in their pregnancy, so take advantage of the opportunities to explore the great outdoors — talking and encouraging each other every step of the way.

Always make sure that a surrogate is cleared for appropriate physical exercise before making plans for this activity.

7. A Tour of the Hometown

Finally, if your surrogacy partner is coming to you, offer to give him or her a tour of the town where you live. This gives intended parents an idea of what a surrogate’s community will be like during her pregnancy, and it gives surrogates an idea of what the parents’ child will be like as he or she grows up. It can be as detailed as you want; whatever you choose to share with your surrogacy partner will help them get to know you in a completely different way.

For more suggestions on how to build a strong relationship with your surrogacy partner, you can always talk to your surrogacy specialist at 1-800-875-BABY (2229). She can discuss with you in more detail what she thinks is appropriate for your personal relationship.

Whatever you choose to do, remember this: The relationship that you have with your surrogacy partner will play a large role in the success of your journey moving forward — so always take the time to make it the best it can be.

5 Dangers of Online Surrogacy Support Groups

If you’re considering starting the surrogacy process, whether as a prospective surrogate or intended parent, you’ve probably come across websites and forums where members of the surrogacy journey share their stories, opinions and advice for others. These websites can be a great way for you to learn more about surrogacy from someone who has been where you are — but it’s important that you take the information presented here with a grain of salt.

When it comes to learning about the surrogacy process, there is no better source of information than the surrogacy specialists at American Surrogacy. When you call 1-800-875-BABY(2229), an experienced surrogacy professional is able to answer your personal questions and help you best determine whether surrogacy is the right path for you.

Proper research is important for every prospective surrogate and intended parent. While we are not discounting the helpful stories and information presented on sites and forums where anyone can share their experience, there are a few things you should know about these information sources.

  1. Not all information is accurate.

You know that not everything on the internet is true — and that is certainly correct when it comes to information shared about surrogacy and other IVF processes.

Surrogacy is still a new way of building a family, which means there are many people out there who do not fully understand how the process works. People who only mean well may be the people constantly sharing incorrect information in online support groups and forums, leading others astray. Don’t take everything you read on these support groups and websites to heart. You could easily be misled about how surrogacy actually works, putting your own surrogacy journey at risk.

For the most accurate information about the surrogacy process, you should speak with a surrogacy agency, a surrogacy attorney and a fertility clinic.

  1. Dramatic circumstances and stories are actually in the minority.

When people hear about surrogacy, their minds often go to the dramatic stories they hear on the news: of surrogates becoming pregnant with their own children, of surrogates taking custody of children, of intended parents refusing to take responsibility for their children, etc. While these stories are popular online, they are in the small minority in real life. The majority of surrogacy stories go well without any hiccups — but, because those are “boring” in comparison, people don’t talk about them as much.

The same applies to stories shared in surrogacy support groups and forums. Because dramatic stories get the most attention, you may see a disproportionate number of these in your feed. Don’t let these scare you away from surrogacy; make sure to speak with a surrogacy professional about how surrogacy actually works before making a decision for your family.

  1. Some support groups are formed with an agenda.

People on the internet always have an opinion, no matter how hard they may try to be objective. However, some people don’t try to be objective at all — and instead use the internet as a way to deliver biased information to sway people one way or another.

There is a very vocal anti-surrogacy community online. You may find yourself stumbling upon a support group or forum that claims to offer helpful information when it really just offers biased, non-factual information intended to dissuade people from surrogacy. For example, even though American surrogacy is very different from surrogacy elsewhere in the world, people use ethical breaches in international surrogacy as reasoning against surrogacy on U.S. soil.

Before you join any online support group or forum, take your time to investigate who is hosting the discussion and what personal affiliations they may have. Even if a support group itself is not biased, remember that certain people will want to promote their own ideas in the comments, as well.

  1. There is always a risk in finding surrogacy partners online.

More and more people are using online support groups and forums to help them find a surrogate or intended parent to share their journey with. A great number of these people use these sources because an agency will not help them match for a traditional surrogacy, or because the laws in their state or country disallow the kind of surrogacy they wish to pursue.

If you use these methods to help yourself find a surrogacy partner, be cautious. Not all intended parents and surrogates on online sites have been properly screened for the surrogacy process. “Matching” with one of these partners on your own can delay your surrogacy journey as they follow through with screening, especially if they are not approved for the surrogacy process.

Working with an experienced surrogacy agency like American Surrogacy is the best way to find a safe and approved surrogate or intended parent for your journey.

  1. Be prepared for “shaming” of surrogates and intended parents.

Online shaming: It’s something that you’ve probably seen in all aspects on the internet, and surrogacy is no different. People are able to say terrible things online that they would never say in a face-to-face conversation because they are emboldened by their anonymity and the lack of consequences.

If you join a surrogacy support group, be prepared for seeing (and receiving) some mean comments about your surrogacy choices. No matter which path you choose, there is always someone on the other side who might disparage your decision. Try not to take these comments to heart. If a surrogacy support group starts doing more harm than good in your surrogacy journey, it’s probably time to give it up and find your information from a local, experienced professional instead.

For more information about surrogacy support groups, including which ones to join and which ones to avoid, reach out to your surrogacy specialist. They can also answer whatever questions you may have about the personal surrogacy journey ahead of you.

5 Resources Everyone Needs for Their Surrogacy

Surrogacy can be a complicated family-building journey — which is why neither intended parents nor surrogates should go through the process alone. But, how do you know which resources you need to have as successful a surrogacy journey as possible?

Ultimately, the decision of who and what to include in your surrogacy will be up to you. It’s a good idea to do as much research as possible before starting this journey to give yourself the best place to start from. Below, you’ll find a few important resources that we recommend — no matter where you are at in your surrogacy process.

1. Informational Websites

There is a wealth of information available online for prospective surrogates and intended parents. Whether you choose to read surrogacy agency websites, objective and informational sources like Surrogate.com, or forums and support groups filled with other surrogates and parents, the information you find on these sites can be invaluable. It can give you a better understanding of exactly what surrogacy entails before you begin this life-changing journey.

Keep in mind, not all of the information that you find online is true. That’s why it’s so important to have a wealth of resources to turn to when making your surrogacy decision — to ensure you are moving forward properly comprehending the steps ahead.

2. Surrogacy Professionals

Where informational websites may fail or be unclear, surrogacy professionals can help. Every intended parent and surrogate will need to work with a surrogacy attorney during their journey, and many choose to work with a surrogacy specialist through an agency, as well.

These professionals can offer the best education and information about the surrogacy process as it relates to your situation. They can answer your personal questions and suggest the best individual path for you and your family. You must work with a surrogacy professional during your surrogacy process; otherwise, you open yourself up to legal and practical risks and complications.

3. Medical Professionals

Another important resource for both surrogates and intended parents is a medical professional, including a fertility specialist and an obstetrician. These professionals will guide both parties through the complicated medical process of surrogacy, such as screening, embryo transfer, prenatal care and childbirth.

A surrogate pregnancy is very different from a naturally conceived pregnancy, and working with a medical professional experienced in this process is crucial. Because every body and medical situation is different, personalized attention from this medical resource keeps all parties in the process safe.

All intended parents should speak at length with a fertility specialist before deciding surrogacy is right for them. Likewise, all surrogates should be screened by a surrogacy medical professional to ensure they are medically capable of this unique journey before moving forward.

4. Support System of Friends and Family

Surrogacy demands a great deal from intended parents and surrogates. Many participants in this process find that a support system of trusted friends and family members is crucial to surviving this period. Friends and family can help watch older children, complete housework and even provide a shoulder to lean on during this practically and emotionally demanding time.

While your friends and family may not know a lot about surrogacy, they can be a valuable resource during times when you want a break from the demands of the process. Your spouse shouldn’t be the only one that you turn to; cultivate relationships with a few other trusted people to get the support that you need during this time.

5. Strong Surrogacy Partner

Although your spouse shouldn’t be the only one who supports you during this surrogacy process, they often play a huge role as they take this journey with you. A supportive, understanding spouse is a great resource during your surrogacy. Whether you are an intended parent or a prospective surrogate, your spouse will take this journey with you, and they should be involved from the beginning to the end of the process.

Before you even consider surrogacy, make sure your spouse is on the same page as you. Starting this journey as a united team will go a long way to ensuring as positive a surrogacy journey as possible. A surrogacy specialist or infertility counselor can help you reach an agreement and provide the building blocks for moving forward together.

Looking for more surrogacy information and more surrogacy resources? Please reach out to our surrogacy specialists at 1-800-875-BABY(2229)for answers to your questions and to start your surrogacy journey today.

How to Create a Lasting Friendship During Your Surrogacy

As part of today’s International Day of Friendship, we want to take the moment to appreciate some of the most important relationships out there — those between intended parents and surrogates.

The most successful surrogacies are those in which both surrogacy partners have a genuine, respecting relationship. Surrogacy involves a great deal of trust for intended parents and surrogates, which is why finding the perfect match from the beginning goes a long way in forming this positive, long-lasting relationship. It’s actually not that uncommon for intended parents and surrogates to maintain their friendships after the surrogacy journey is over, as well.

Take it from a few of our former surrogacy clients:

  • “You’re not doing it to have a relationship for the rest of your life (but) the more we talked, he was the one who said, ‘I want you guys to be in Julian’s life. I want Julian to know how he came about and what you guys sacrificed to give him his life.’ Nicholas told our children that Julian is their cousin from Miami… It’s amazing to me that we have such a great relationship.” Nichole, surrogate for intended father Nicholas
  • “I never thought that it would go from complete stranger to best friend and a relationship that will always be there, so that’s pretty neat.” Lindsey, intended mother
  • “I don’t know if anyone could top Lindsey and Shiloh. I hold them on such a high pedestal that I don’t know if I could ever get the same family again. I have such a wonderful relationship with them that I would want that again.” Megan, surrogate for intended mother Lindsay

If you’re new to the surrogacy journey, you may wonder how you can find the same kind of lasting friendship that many other intended parents and surrogates have. Choosing to work with American Surrogacy can be the first step.

Our surrogacy specialists will discuss in detail with you your preferences for the surrogacy process. We’ll use your surrogacy goals and needs to help you find the perfect match for your surrogacy — a huge step to creating a long-lasting, genuine relationship with your surrogacy partner. Our specialists will be there to mediate your first conversations with your surrogacy match, as well as provide suggestions and advice to help you maintain a strong friendship throughout your surrogacy journey.

But, what exactly are some tips to finding that perfect match and creating the surrogacy friendships you’ve heard all about?

1. Know Your Surrogacy Preferences.

The best way to ensure a positive surrogacy relationship is by working with someone who values and wants the same things that you do in your surrogacy journey. That way, you can be in tune throughout your surrogacy journey. However, to do so, you must first recognize your own surrogacy desires.

If you are considering surrogacy for the first time, it can be difficult to know exactly what you want — especially when you’re still learning about the intricacies of the surrogacy process. This is where a surrogacy professional like American Surrogacy can come in handy. Surrogacy specialists can discuss your surrogacy journey in depth to help create a list of preferences moving forward. That way, you can better find a surrogate or intended parent who shares the same goals and preferences.

2. Wait for the Perfect Match.

When you’ve been waiting to start your surrogacy journey, it’s tempting to take the first match you’re presented with, just so you can begin. However, finding the patience to make sure a potential match is perfect for you will be instrumental in creating a positive relationship later on. Sometimes, it may take months to find the perfect match — and that’s okay. When you find the perfect match, you’ll know. It will be worth it to have a genuine friendship based on shared surrogacy desires.

3. Follow the Golden Rule.

Like any other relationships, relationships created during the surrogacy process should be treated with respect and kindness. While the relationship between intended parents and surrogates is certainly a unique one, all of the same rules with everyday relationships apply. Because surrogacy can be a journey filled with emotional ups and downs, it’s important that you continue to respect each other and maintain any boundaries you may have set in your surrogacy contract.

If you ever have complications in establishing and maintaining a positive surrogacy relationship, know that the specialists at American Surrogacy are here for you. To learn more about finding your perfect surrogacy match, please contact our agency at 1-800-875-BABY(2229).