7 Things People Never Tell You About Surrogacy

Gestational surrogacy can be a wonderful thing — but it’s also a process that can be full of surprises, especially for those who have never taken this journey. Whether you’re a gestational surrogate or intended parent, there’s a lot you need to know before you get started.

Knowing the basics is important before any surrogacy journey, but some nuances don’t always make it into the introductory packets. Every surrogacy is unique, but in our experience, there are a few key things that our clients are surprised to find out as they get started.

Our surrogacy specialists are always available to talk about these when you call us at 1-800-875-BABY(2229). In the meantime, read more about them below.

1. You’ll Gain Some New Family

Surrogacy involves a partnership between intended parents and gestational carriers. We match up our clients based on mutual preferences and desires for the surrogacy process and, for many of them, this is the basis for a healthy, trusting relationship. For those who embrace it, this partnership becomes a lot more.

More than likely, the surrogate or intended parent you work with will become your genuine friend. Because surrogacy is an intimate journey, you will learn a great deal about each other. You’ll lean on each other in the hard times and celebrate your successes. Even long after your surrogacy is complete, you may stay in regular touch with your partner and see them as a part of your extended family.

Take it from one of our former surrogates, Megan:

“I didn’t just have babies for somebody else; I gained an entire family through the whole process… It was the most rewarding thing in the entire world. I would do it all over again.”

2. You Might Have a Hard Time Bonding

If you’re an intended parent, you’ve been dreaming of the moment you first hold your child for a long time. But, when you have a child via surrogacy, it may not be exactly how you picture it — and your child’s first few months might be an adjustment, too.

Becoming a new parent is hard enough but, when you haven’t carried your own child for the last nine months, you may feel a bit of a disconnect. You may not have felt the overwhelming “true love” emotion after seeing your baby for the first time, and that’s completely normal.

Bonding with your baby may take more time and effort than you originally imagined. This doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent; it just means you took a unique journey to get where you are, and you need some time to adjust. Remember, your surrogacy specialist will always be there to answer your questions after surrogacy, too!

3. Not Everyone “Gets” Surrogacy

Because surrogacy is still a fairly new family-building option, there are a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings about it. You may be surprised to find out that your friends and family don’t completely understand the path you’re taking (and why you’re taking it). Don’t be shocked if you have to educate a few of your loved ones along the way.

Even with education, some people simply don’t “get” surrogacy and don’t support it. This can be hard to hear, but remember why you’re pursuing it and why this choice is important to you. At the end of the day, the only opinions that matter are yours and your surrogacy partner’s.

4. It’s Not Available Everywhere

Surrogacy is regulated by state in the U.S., so every state has different legislation on the process. Some states (like California and New York) are very surrogacy-friendly, with laws protecting all parties. Other states have loosely defined or no surrogacy laws at all, but surrogacy is still possible there.

Before you assume you can begin surrogacy in your state, talk to a professional like American Surrogacy or a local attorney. They can explain why surrogacy will look like where you live and what you can expect moving forward.

5. It’s Not an Easy Choice

Surrogacy isn’t simple. There are many moving parts, and all parties have to meet requirements before they can begin. Just like parents can’t “just adopt,” they can’t “just choose surrogacy.”

Intended parents often have to save for years to afford IVF and surrogacy costs, and they have to grieve their dreams of pregnancy before they can work with a surrogate. A gestational carrier must be medically approved to carry an intended parent’s child, and she must accept all the risks of pregnancy and surrogacy before deciding it’s right for her.

Simply put, there’s a lot involved in the choice to pursue surrogacy.

6. Every Journey is Different

You can read tons of articles about people’s surrogacy journeys, and we encourage you to! But the fact is that your surrogacy journey will be unique — and the only way to know what to expect is by speaking with a professional.

An intended parent’s or gestational carrier’s surrogacy plan is based on their own needs, preferences and goals. It involves the coordination of a reproductive endocrinologist, surrogacy lawyer and case manager. There’s no “one size fits all” in surrogacy. While stories from former intended parents and gestational carriers can be helpful, don’t trust that your journey will look exactly the same.

7. It’s a Lifelong Experience

Surrogacy is more than just the year or so you put into preparation and pregnancy. Surrogacy is a lifelong journey for all involved.

When you have a child via surrogacy, you will need to explain their surrogacy story honestly and proudly to them as they grow up. And, when you become a surrogate, you will likely think about the intended parents and their child for years to come. Many surrogacy partners even maintain lifelong friendships after their journey is complete.

So, before you pursue surrogacy, recognize how it will forever change your life — in a good way! Be prepared for what’s ahead, and you’ll be that much more likely to have a successful journey.

Want to learn more about surrogacy with our agency? Contact us online today.

How Will Moving Affect Your Surrogacy Journey?

Moving is certainly a hassle — but, sometimes, you just can’t help it. Job changes, family emergencies and other unique circumstances may force you and your family to pack up your things when you least expect it.

When you’re in the middle of a surrogacy journey, moving will add a few wrinkles to your plan. In fact, depending on where and when you move, your experience may completely change. That’s why your first step should always be to let your surrogacy specialist know if moving may be in your family’s future — whether you’re just starting your journey or are already in the middle of it.

From there, your specialist will work with your attorney to determine what steps should be taken. Below, find just a few examples of how moving may affect your surrogacy plans:

The Applicable Laws May Change

If you (or your surrogacy partner) move states, it’s likely that the laws governing your process will change. While many states have legislation that is friendly to surrogacy (or simply don’t regulate the process at all), the nuances between each state’s legislation can cause hiccups.

Your attorney will research what laws will regulate the process in your new state. They may update your existing contract or, if necessary, create a whole new contract applying the laws in your new location.

Unfortunately, there are a few states in the U.S. where surrogacy is prohibited. If a surrogate moves to one of these states, it may endanger the legal agreement completely.

Again, keeping your specialist informed about any moves ahead of time will reduce complications and help them best assist you as your family navigates this new step.

You May Need a New Attorney

On the same note, when you move states, your old attorney may not be able to represent your interests anymore. Instead, you may be required to hire a new (or additional) attorney who better understands the laws of your new state and can best advocate for you. If additional steps like rewriting a contract are needed, your surrogacy journey may last longer than anticipated.

If you are considering moving states, let your surrogacy attorney know early, too. That way, they can refer you to any additional professionals you need in that state (or within the same state, if your attorney only works in one regional area).

You May Need to Redo Your In-Home Assessment

American Surrogacy reserves the right to complete in-home assessments for gestational carriers. If your family and house underwent one prior to starting the surrogacy journey, you may need to complete another one upon moving into your new residence.

As a reminder, these assessments are simply intended to confirm you can provide a safe environment for a pregnancy. A licensed social worker will sit down with you and your family to discuss your feelings on surrogacy and ensure all family members are supportive of this journey.

For more information about in-home assessments (and whether moving will require you to complete another), reach out to your surrogacy specialist.

We’ll Say It Again: If Moving, Notify Your Surrogacy Specialist Right Away

Whether you’re seriously considering moving or it’s just a blip on your radar right now, make sure to keep your surrogacy specialist updated on your plans. Starting to move without telling American Surrogacy can jeopardize your journey, whether you’re an intended parent or gestational carrier. But, when your specialist is aware of your family situation, they can stay on top of any changing requirements or steps needed to keep you and your surrogacy partner safe.

Remember: Your surrogacy specialist is always here to help you. Whatever big changes happen in your life during your surrogacy journey — moving, relationship changes, family deaths or additions — she will be here to support you and make any necessary adjustments. Keep your surrogacy specialist informed, and your experience with American Surrogacy will go much smoother!

How COVID-19 Has Impacted International Surrogacy

It’s Time to Shift to Domestic Surrogacy

Despite the availability of surrogacy situations within the United States, many intended parents turn to other countries in search of a gestational surrogate. Now, as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, intended parents and surrogates around the world are experiencing the fallout.

Now and in the future, domestic surrogacy is the safest option for all involved.

Here are a few of the situations that international intended parents and surrogates have found themselves facing as a result of the ongoing pandemic:

Babies have been stuck in foreign makeshift nurseries.

Hundreds of children are in quarantine limbo, thousands of miles from their parents, who have yet to meet their baby. Nurses are caring for these stranded babies in temporary nurseries set up in hotels.

Many of these babies have been stuck for months while countries are restricting or banning international travel, and it’s still unknown when they’ll be able to go home.

Intended parents have been unable to travel to their surrogate or meet their newborn baby.

On the rare occasion when international travel has been permitted, intended parents have still been met with countless legal and financial hurdles. Intended parents who are immunocompromised may not be able to travel due to the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

New precautions by countries and airlines regarding intercountry travel have delayed or halted travel plans for intended parents, so many were too late for their baby’s birth, if they were able to arrive at all. Some are still waiting to meet their child, months after delivery.

Intended parents have become stuck in their surrogate’s country.

Some intended parents who scrambled to beat the oncoming travel bans arrived in their surrogate’s country to get their newborn baby, only to find that they were not allowed to return home. Many are still quarantining in hotels within their surrogate’s country, waiting for it to become possible to leave.

This has become financially straining for many families, and they’ve had to find ways to care for their newborn in a foreign country.

Surrogates have had to care for the intended parents’ baby.

Some gestational surrogates for international families have had to assume responsibility for the baby during the COVID-19 outbreak. But these women were not prepared to care for a newborn — they don’t have cribs, carriers, diapers or the essentials.

They also were not expecting or wanting to care for a baby, let alone someone else’s. Most of these women are also raising children of their own, so providing for another is a serious burden.

Fortunately, women have risen to the occasion with compassion, even though it’s not part of their job description.

6 Reasons Why Intended Parents and Surrogates Should Choose Matches Within Their Own Countries

If the horror stories of intended parents, surrogates and babies being stranded thousands of miles apart from one another due to COVID-19 weren’t enough to convince you that it’s time to look within our own countries for surrogacy situations, these six reasons for choosing domestic surrogacy will.

1. Fewer ethical concerns

Eliminating the exploitation of women in developing countries is always a concern. Surrogates within the United States are required to be financially stable without the assistance of surrogacy-related compensation they accept, so you know they’re doing this because they want to and not because they need to.

There will always be a group of people who do not feel comfortable with the concept of surrogacy as a whole, but knowing that their gestational surrogate is in a stable and positive situation in her life will put the minds of many intended parents at ease.

2. Improved opportunities for strong surrogate-intended parent relationships

Intended parents and gestational surrogates who were separated by countries and continents typically had little to no interaction with one another even before COVID-19. This experience creates less of a shared, emotionally-centered experience, and is more akin to a transaction.

The most commonly cited reason why U.S. women want to become surrogates is because they have a desire to help intended parents know the joys of parenthood. So getting to know the family they will be carrying for is an exciting and rewarding part of the experience.

Not only do intended parents and surrogates benefit when they forge a genuine connection, the child will one day have the opportunity to know a bit more about the woman who helped bring them to their parents.

3. Less traveling with vulnerable newborns

A newborn baby’s immune system is especially vulnerable. Traveling transcontinentally is stressful for a newborn, and a lengthy travel will increase the risk for exposure to illnesses, including COVID-19.

Intended parents who partner with surrogates within their own countries often have the option to return home by car after the birth of the baby, or at the very least will have a much shorter journey.

4. No language barriers

Intended parents must communicate with their surrogacy agency and relevant professionals in addition to communication with their surrogate. If there are language or cultural barriers standing in the way of any of these communications, it can have a number of concerning effects on the surrogacy process, including but not limited to:

  • Legal misunderstandings
  • Financial miscommunication
  • Travel complications
  • A less emotionally connected experience
  • A lack of information or confusion with updates regarding the baby and pregnancy
  • A lack of support for the intended parents and/or surrogate

5. Fewer legal concerns

International surrogacy has far more legal steps than a domestic surrogacy situation, similar to international adoption. Visas and passports must be obtained, agencies and professionals will need to jump through hoops in both the sending and receiving country and there may be legal citizenship issues now or in the future. Changes within a country’s policies on the matter can occur rapidly, leaving intended parents out of money and options in the middle of the process.

Although states within the U.S. are each going to have their own set of surrogacy laws, surrogacy within the U.S. is still much better regulated than it is in foreign countries. In such an important experience, the legal protection of everyone involved in the surrogacy process (especially the baby) is a primary concern.

6. Reduced cost

Without the high costs of international travel and lodging, intended parents will save money by choosing surrogacy situations within their own countries. Additionally, there are often more hidden costs in international surrogacy than the parents were aware of. Surrogacy can already be a costly process — adding international travel to the total is unnecessary when there are surrogacy situations available domestically, perhaps even nearby.

American Surrogacy exclusively works with U.S. intended parents and surrogates in an effort to avoid the aforementioned concerns. Want to learn more about domestic surrogacy within the United States? Contact American Surrogacy now, or start by viewing our available surrogate situations of waiting women located within the U.S.

What if the Intended Parents Miss Their Baby’s Birth?

Intended parents are usually able to get to the hospital with plenty of time to spare, so they can welcome their baby alongside their surrogate. But it’s always a fear in the back of the mind of gestational surrogates and intended parents, especially in long-distance matches — what if the intended parents don’t make it in time? 

What if they miss their baby’s birth? Who would be responsible for the baby’s care and for making any necessary medical decisions until the intended parents arrive? 

While this is extremely rare (it’s never happened with American Surrogacy so far!) it’s certainly possible for an unavoidable impediment like unexpected/emergency labor, a travel ban or flight delay to prevent the intended parents from being present at the time of the baby’s birth.

Here’s what surrogates and intended parents should know:

Always Stay Calm

In the unlikely event that this happens in your surrogacy journey, both parties will be understandably upset that things aren’t going according to plan. The arrival of the baby is an important moment, and you all want to be together for that event. 

However, if something unexpected and unavoidable occurs, all that really matters is the health and safety of the baby and surrogate. No matter what, the baby will be born and the families will be united — even if it’s not as soon as everyone would prefer. Until then, stay calm and trust that each party (along with your American Surrogacy specialist) will take care of their end of things. 

The Baby Would Be Cared for By the Nurses

If the parents are significantly delayed for some reason, the gestational surrogate cannot care for the baby in the interim because she’s not the parent and has no legal rights to the child. That will be the hospital’s policy, even if the intended parents give permission for her to temporarily take over for them until they arrive. 

The hospital’s pediatric staff would assume care of the baby until the parents arrive.

Talk to Your Attorney

Your surrogacy attorneys may be able to work a clause into your contracts that outlines what would happen in this situation, including some advanced medical directives. Ask them what’s possible in your situation, and coordinate with your surrogacy partner as well as your specialist to make sure any relevant legal information is provided to hospital staff in advance.

Talking to your attorney will be especially important if you’re stationed overseas and need to travel back to the United States mainland to be with your U.S. surrogate. Ask your attorney and hospital if there are any exceptions that can be made in your situation, or if you can make some decisions regarding your newborn’s care in advance.

Keep Phones Close at Hand

Some of the medical and newborn care decisions that need to be made by the parents may be done over the phone. This can be tricky if the parents are mid-flight or are traveling through an area with spotty reception. However, surrogates and intended parents can try to keep an open line of communication before, during and after the baby’s birth for important updates, so we always recommend having that phone fully charged, close at hand and with the ringer on.

This will also be important in case your surrogacy specialist tries to get ahold of either of you for updates or important information!

You’ll Have the Rest of Your Lives to Make Up for One Missed Moment

If, as an intended parent, you can’t imagine missing your baby’s first breaths, try to keep things in perspective. Missing your child’s birth would be incredibly difficult. But you’ll have a lifetime together ahead of you!

Surrogates: If you’re comfortable doing so, and you know that the intended parents are about to miss their baby’s birth, consider asking your spouse or a nurse to video or photograph your labor and delivery. Being able to see their baby come into the world (even after the fact) may mean a lot to the parents. 

Your Surrogacy Specialist Will Be Ready

Whether you’re an intended parent or a surrogate, remember that your American Surrogacy specialist will be watching over your journey and making sure that things are going smoothly. Even if something unexpected and unavoidable happens, like the intended parents being delayed on their way to the hospital, your specialist will be ready. 

She will be communicating with hospital staff, your attorneys and both parties as often as possible to keep everyone in the know. We understand that sometimes things unexpectedly happen and throw a wrench in our carefully-made plans! But we’ll be ready to help everyone deal with whatever comes your way and make sure the baby is safe, happy and healthy until he or she is placed into the parents’ arms.

A Day in the Life of a Surrogacy Specialist

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

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

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

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

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

7 a.m. — Family First

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

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

8 a.m. — Time for Some Emails

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

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

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

9 a.m. — Assisting Active Cases

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

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

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

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

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

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

11 a.m. — Team Meeting

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

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

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

1 p.m. – Intended Parent Calls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 p.m. – Wrapping up loose ends

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

 5 p.m. – An Evening Full of Family

Once again, we’re back to life.

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

The Heart of Surrogacy

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

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

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

The Legal and Emotional Risks of Traditional Surrogacy

When choosing between the two types of surrogacy, traditional surrogacy may be an appealing option to many hopeful parents.

Traditional surrogacy — in which an intended parent’s or donor’s sperm is paired with the surrogate’s  egg — can appear to be an easier route, at least at first, due to its lower cost. While this is a completely understandable advantage, a deeper dive into the legal and emotional risks of traditional surrogacy reveals it to be a troubling choice for many.

The other option for intended parents pursuing surrogacy is gestational surrogacy. This type of surrogacy — when sperm and egg from the intended parents or donors create an embryo carried by the surrogate — has many safeguards in place that traditional surrogacy does not, which is why it is the preferred surrogacy option of nearly all professionals today.

If you are considering surrogacy as a family-building option, here’s what you need to know about the legal and emotional risks of traditional surrogacy.

The Legal Risks of Traditional Surrogacy

Starting a family is an emotional process. It holds the potential of your hopes and dreams. It’s easy, and totally natural, to get lost in the feelings of it all. But when you are considering something like surrogacy, you have to realize that starting a family is also a legal process.

And, when considering the legal process of traditional vs. gestational surrogacy, there are clear risks in the former.

The foremost concern that legal professionals have with traditional surrogacy is that, because of how the process works, the surrogate is the biological mother of the child. Since it is her egg that is used in the fertilization process, the child is technically her baby until consent is signed over to the intended parents. This leaves the door wide open for potential disruptions. It also adds another legal step, as intended parents sometimes need to complete a post-birth adoption once the surrogate has signed away her parental rights to the baby.

Should the surrogate become attached the baby she is carrying, the traditional surrogacy process leaves the legal option on the table for her to keep the baby. This is a serious risk.

A secondary concern, which is rooted in the same issue of biological relationship between surrogate and baby, is that the surrogate has much more power to make medical decisions during the surrogacy process without consulting the intended parents. Ideally, this is a cooperative partnership. However, traditional surrogacy allows the surrogate to go in her own direction, if she chooses to do so.

Additionally, you should know that because of these factors and others, some states have outlawed traditional surrogacy. Many surrogacy professionals will not perform traditional surrogacy, even if it is legal in their state.

The Emotional Risks of Traditional Surrogacy

The legal process does not erase the emotional aspects of family building. The two run side-by-side. After considering the legal risks of traditional surrogacy, it’s important to be aware of some emotional risks, too.

As stated above, the most concerning legal risk in traditional surrogacy is the surrogate’s biological relationship with the child. The most volatile emotional risk stems from the same fact.

If you’re an intended mother, you will be working through a lot of feelings during the surrogacy process. Jealousy is often one of those feelings — and traditional surrogacy can make it much worse.

It is fairly common for intended mothers to struggle with feelings of jealousy when the surrogate has a biological connection to the baby, while the intended mother does not. These feelings can sour the intended-parent-surrogate relationship, which can in turn be detrimental to the entire process. A good surrogacy involves a solid relationship, and traditional surrogacy can make that more difficult.

The emotional risks for the surrogate are also increased in traditional surrogacy. Anyone who offers to be a surrogate is doing something wonderful and does not have any intention of keeping the baby. However, by maintaining a biological connection to the baby, the surrogate is at a much higher risk of struggling with feelings of strong attachment. Of course, this is natural when you are carrying a child who is biologically yours.

Gestational surrogacy mitigates this emotional risk, while traditional surrogacy amplifies it.

How Gestational Surrogacy Can Reduce Risks

Gestational surrogacy is the preferred option for nearly all professionals. In some states, it is the only legal option. There are several distinctions that make the gestational surrogacy process safer for everyone involved, from a legal and emotional perspective.

In gestational surrogacy, the egg used for fertilization is either given by the intended mother or an egg donor. The potential downside to this is that it is more costly, and it can take more time. However, the benefits far outweigh the costs. Gestational surrogacy gives the intended mother the opportunity to be biologically connected to her baby — a connection many mothers cherish.

Because of this process, there is no biological connection between a gestational surrogate and the baby. Gestational surrogacy mitigates the risk of the surrogate changing her mind and wanting to keep the baby. Since the surrogate has no biological connection, there are no parental rights to argue over.

Additionally, removing this risky aspect of traditional surrogacy creates a better environment for the intended parents and surrogate to develop a healthy relationship — unburdened by complicated emotions.

For these reasons, among others, American Surrogacy only offers services for gestational surrogacy. It is our belief, and the overwhelming belief of all surrogacy professionals, that gestational surrogacy offers the safest path both emotionally and legally for everyone involved.

Contact American Surrogacy Today

American Surrogacy can be your partner in the gestational surrogacy process. We would be honored to support you as you fulfill your dream of becoming parents.

Contact us today or call 1-800-875-BABY(2229) for more information and to start your gestational surrogacy process.

The Best Insurance Options for Gestational Carriers

It’s no secret: Pregnancy is expensive. And, when you add in the additional medical costs of gestational surrogacy, those numbers can seem astronomical.

Fortunately, medical insurance exists to mitigate those expenses.

But, what if your surrogate’s personal policy excludes a gestational pregnancy?

This is becoming more and more common for insurance policies, and we’ve seen it happen often with our clients. Fortunately, your specialist will always help you find additional coverage for your gestational carrier — to protect her and the baby in the months ahead.

Often, the first step is searching the Affordable Care Act marketplace. Open enrollment takes place Nov. 1 to Dec. 15 each year, and you will have a variety of plans to choose from. Policies can run anywhere from $200–$700 a month (plus application fees), based on the level of coverage you choose. Your surrogate’s coverage will begin Jan. 1 of the next year.

Whether your surrogate’s policy excludes gestational surrogacy or they lose coverage through a job loss during pregnancy, your specialist will always be available to guide you through this process. We also recommend every intended parent purchase back-up insurance. To learn more, call your specialist anytime at 1-800-875-BABY(2229).

In the meantime, here are some options for surrogacy-friendly insurance.

1. ART Risk Solutions

American Surrogacy frequently recommends ART Risk Solutions to intended parents looking for a surrogate insurance policy. Whether as a stand-alone insurance policy or a back-up policy, ART Risk Solutions can provide the coverage you are looking for at a fair price.

ART Risk is an insurance provider that exists solely to serve those pursuing assisted reproduction technology methods. They partner with other insurance companies to provide customer service and financial risk and case management to patients and medical professionals. The company works with more than 150 agencies and law firms across the globe, including many of American Surrogacy’s clients.

When you contact ART Risk Solutions, you’ll speak with an agent who will evaluate your personal situation and determine which coverage options are right for your surrogate. While your specialist will not directly interact with your insurance agent, they will be happy to provide any paperwork ART Risk Solutions may need to create your personal policy.

2. New Life Agency

Like ART Risk, New Life Agency is an insurance provider that works solely with clients pursuing assisted reproduction. They provide policies for fertility patients, intended parents, surrogates, egg donors and professionals in the ART industry.

New Life also offers fertility financing to assist intended parents through their family-building journeys.

3. SurroPlans

Another option for insurance is SurroPlans. This company provides both backup medical and full-coverage medical policies. Whether or not your surrogate currently has insurance, SurroPlans can provide services to protect you financially, just in case.

This provider also offers emergency medical planning and assistance with taxes and visas for international intended parents.

4. ArcLight

ArcLight is another surrogacy-insurance provider; however, it only operates in nine states. These agents will review your surrogate’s health insurance and search for a surrogacy-friendly option in her state, if necessary.  They will manage every step of the application and deductible process.

ArcLight also offers surrogate life insurance and disability insurance options, both of which will be required as part of your legal surrogacy contract.

We know surrogacy insurance can be a complicated subject, so remember that your specialist is always here to answer your questions and provide guidance as you go through this process. Don’t hesitate to email or call your specialist at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) for professional advice.

The Fascination with the ‘Surrogacy Gone Wrong’ Narrative

You’ve heard it before in the news, on TV shows and from acquaintances who “heard about this one surrogate who…” The surrogacy horror stories are louder and spread farther than the countless positive stories.

There are stories of surrogates accidentally becoming pregnant with their own biological baby, of “doctors” who used their own gametes instead of donors’ and of surrogates who decide to keep the baby. So, with instances of such unimaginable outcomes for everyone involved, why would anyone want to pursue surrogacy?

Because: There are actually laws and very thorough safety measures specifically in place to prevent all of those situations. But only reputable agencies like American Surrogacy enforce those safety measures. It’s only when the intended parents and surrogates work outside of the laws and the professionals that a surrogacy situation can “go wrong.”

What the “Surrogacy Gone Wrong” Situations All Had in Common

Those extremely rare nightmare surrogacy situations consistently had the same factors in common:

Likewise, the intended parents and surrogates who have overwhelmingly positive experiences have these factors in common:

  • They are gestational surrogacy situations — meaning the surrogate is not the biological mother of the child.
  • The surrogate and intended parents are carefully screened by a surrogacy agency to ensure that they are all physically, mentally and emotionally ready for surrogacy.
  • The surrogate and intended parents create a formal, legal contract with the help of a licensed Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) attorney.
  • They partner with reputable professionals, like American Surrogacy.

If you’ve considered surrogacy, either as a potential gestational surrogate or as hopeful parents, we understand if you’ve been put off by those horrifying negative surrogacy stories. But, we’re here to explain that, unless you’re considering a traditional surrogacy within your family or surrogacy without a professional, your experience will likely be incredibly positive as well as life-changing in all the best ways.

Avoiding a “Surrogacy Gone Wrong” Scenario is Surprisingly Simple

There are always some risks involved in surrogacy — primarily the physical risks that are always associated with pregnancy, and the financial risk of the IVF process requiring several cycles. Any professional who tells you otherwise is not being transparent with you.

However, there are simple, but incredibly important, ways you can all but prevent becoming a “surrogacy horror story”:

  • Do not attempt to “DIY” your surrogacy journey. Always work with experienced and reputable professionals like American Surrogacy from start to finish!
  • Do not attempt to find a surrogate or intended parents online or without the help of a professional who can screen your surrogacy match. Intended parents and surrogates trust American Surrogacy to find them a safe and positive match.
  • Avoid traditional surrogacy. Most professionals (American Surrogacy included) will not even complete traditional surrogacies.
  • Even if the intended parents and surrogate already know and trust one another, they must still work with a licensed professional like American Surrogacy.
  • Establish a legally binding contract with a surrogacy attorney! When you create that contract together, intended parents and surrogates talk about a wide range of “what if” scenarios and ensure that everyone is in agreement on important aspects of the surrogacy journey.

The #1 Way to Prevent a Surrogacy Horror Story

Work with a surrogacy agency that has a track record of success.

In surrogacy, “success” means a number of things. We define “success” by:

  • Our high numbers of intended parents who have successfully welcomed a child by working with our agency.
  • Our surrogates and intended parents who sing our praises, feel safe and comfortable throughout the journey, form genuine friendships and report nothing but positive, happy experiences.
  • The healthy and happy children, who have been brought into the world by incredible surrogates and who are raised by amazing intended parents.

If a gestational surrogate and intended parents look back on their surrogacy journey and feel that it was a positive experience in their lives, and perhaps even want to repeat that experience with us, we consider that a success.

To ensure success and safety for our surrogates and intended parents, American Surrogacy:

  • Screens the prospective surrogate and intended parents to ensure that everyone is physically, mentally and emotionally ready and committed.
  • Educates the prospective surrogate and intended parents, so they know what to expect and to ensure they understand and are truly ready for the surrogacy process.
  • Counsels and supports the surrogate and intended parents throughout the process.
  • Connects the surrogate and intended parents to licensed, experienced and reputable doctors and attorneys to help with the legal and medical steps of the process.
  • Provides financial and legal protection to the intended parents and surrogates.
  • Makes sure that the entire process is legal, ethical, smooth and is a positive experience for everyone involved.

As a result, none of our intended parents or gestational surrogates has ever had to worry about the “surrogacy gone wrong” fears that are given center stage in the media. When a surrogacy journey is completed correctly and legally with the help of a professional like American Surrogacy, there’s no need to worry about your surrogacy experience “going wrong.” Our goal is to fill the world with positive surrogacy stories so that the narrative can be shifted toward all the ways in which surrogacy has benefitted people’s lives.


Want to learn more about becoming a gestational surrogate with American Surrogacy? Considering growing your family through surrogacy? Contact us now for more information.

Match Disruptions: Why They Happen and How to Avoid Them

In most surrogacies, the matching process goes smoothly: A surrogate and intended parent choose to work together based on mutual goals and preferences, and their partnership develops naturally, ending with the birth of a healthy child at the end of it all.

However, that’s not always the case. Although it’s rare, a match disruption can occur — and it can be a scary situation for surrogates and intended parents.

Here at American Surrogacy, our specialists work hard to reduce the risks of match disruptions and promote healthy partnerships from the very beginning. We also recognize the importance of informing our clients about all aspects of surrogacy. So, here we tackle this rare but complicated situation. What kind of situations cause a match disruption, and what can you do to prevent one from happening?

Good questions. Find the answers below.

Why a Surrogacy Match Disrupts

There is no “one” reason why a surrogacy match disrupts. Life is unpredictable, so the reasons behind a match falling apart are unpredictable, too. But, in our agency’s experience, there are a few major reasons why intended parents and gestational carriers may choose to go their separate ways.

Intended Parents and Gestational Carrier Have Irreconcilable Differences in Opinion

There are many decisions to make when planning a surrogacy journey, and some are more sensitive than others. Everyone has the right to their own opinion about topics such as contact, selective reduction and termination, and other subjects.

Before a surrogate and an intended parent are matched, they must share the same opinion on these topics. Otherwise, a match can quickly fall apart. In most cases, a surrogate and intended parent end their partnership because one party was not fully honest about their thoughts on sensitive topics, or they changed their mind at some point during the pre-surrogacy process. For example, if you have intended parents who would terminate a pregnancy if the child is not expected to survive outside the womb and a surrogate who is wholly against termination in any situation, that partnership is simply not going to work out.

Unexpected Life Changes

It’s possible that both a surrogate and her intended parents are 100 percent in agreement and on board with the surrogacy process, but something completely unexpected can throw the process off. Small life changes can easily be dealt with, but circumstances such as divorce, death, serious relationship issues, and medical malpractice with embryos can stop a surrogacy in its tracks. These situations are no one’s fault but, if it’s too emotionally stressful to move forward, partners may choose to end a surrogacy match in the best interest of all involved.

Unrealistic Expectations

While our surrogacy professionals explain in great detail what surrogates and intended parents can expect from surrogacy, it can be hard to fully comprehend the process until you’re in it. And, unfortunately, some people find out too late that it is more than they can handle.

That’s why our team of specialists works so hard to explain the process and what you can expect before you begin. Surrogacy is not an easy journey, but it is worth it in the end. If you are struggling during your surrogacy journey, remember that your specialist will always be there to support you and get you the help you need to keep your partnership strong.

How to Avoid a Match Disruption

No one wants a surrogacy match to fall apart. Fortunately, there are a few simple and easy steps you can take to strengthen your match and reduce the risk of a disruption occurring:

  • Be honest about your needs and opinions: The most important part of a successful partnership is shared preferences and goals. Therefore, you must always be honest about your own surrogacy preferences from the very beginning. Don’t try to convince yourself you want something different to try to impress a surrogate or intended parent or speed up your matching process. Whatever your personal goals, you will eventually find someone who shares them. But the only way your specialist can ensure this happens if you are honest about what you want out of surrogacy.
  • Communicate throughout the surrogacy process: Sometimes, as a person learns more about and actually experiences the surrogacy process, their opinions on certain aspects change. That’s okay — but you must share those changes in opinion with your specialist and your surrogacy partner. If you are uncomfortable at any point during the journey, express those concerns. Only that way can you and your partner work through any issues before they become major roadblocks.
  • Keep your surrogacy specialist informed: Finally, remember that your specialist is always here for you. They understand the stress and tension you will be under during your journey, and they are happy to provide you with the resources you need. By letting them know right away if something changes, they can help mediate a conversation with your surrogacy partner and hopefully prevent a match disruption from occurring.

For more information on finding a surrogate or intended parent, and how American Surrogacy can help you find the perfect partner, give us a call at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) or contact us online today.

7 Things People Still Get Wrong About Surrogacy — and the Truth Behind Them

At one point, we’ve all probably believed some pretty ridiculous things. Then, you listen, you learn, and your worldview opens up a little more.

It’s time to stop believing (and spreading) a few ridiculous things about surrogacy. Now is your opportunity to learn something new or to share your information with someone else!

Here are 7 things people still get wrong about surrogacy:

1. Women get rich by becoming surrogates.

Base compensation for surrogates starts around $30,000–$40,000 for an approximately year-long journey. Does that seem like a lot? Consider what a surrogate goes through:

She’s expected to submit to a series of tests and screening processes, take an intense regimen of fertility medications, complete more tests and medical procedures, carry a pregnancy and have a relationship with the intended parents. That’s all in addition to caring for her own children and managing her career, if she works outside the home.

The surrogacy process usually takes more than a year of a woman’s time, effort, dedication and physical work. She takes on risks and responsibility. Accepting some amount of compensation for that is reasonable.

That’s all after one important fact: Surrogates aren’t in this for any money they receive. Time and again, women say that the reason they became surrogates is because they wanted to help intended parents.

2. Surrogacy is illegal.

Well, yes and no.

Each state sets its own regulations for the surrogacy process. They often fall under one of these categories:

  • Prohibit surrogacy
  • Have no laws on surrogacy, which makes the process legal — but the process must be completed with experienced professionals to do so safely
  • Outlaw certain types of surrogacy and are very welcoming of other types
  • Have detailed surrogacy regulations, which keeps the process safer for everyone involved and makes the legal steps involved easier and more streamlined

The misconception lies in the belief that there is a blanket ban on surrogacy in the U.S., which simply isn’t true. While there are some states that are more surrogacy-friendly than others, experienced national agencies like American Surrogacy work to guide intended parents and gestational surrogates throughout the country safely through this process.

It’s always important to work with a surrogacy professional that’s able to navigate the variations in state laws. American Surrogacy can help.

3. Surrogates might keep the baby.

A gestational surrogate can’t legally keep the baby she carries — and she wouldn’t want to in the first place! The baby isn’t hers, in more ways than one.

In most states, a gestational surrogate doesn’t have legal parental rights, because the baby isn’t biologically hers. Laws vary by state, but in states where the woman who gives birth to the baby is presumed to be the mother, intended parents can often officially confirm their legal parental rights with documentation before the baby is even born. Additionally, in every surrogacy contract, intended parents legally agree that they must assume all parental rights and responsibilities of the baby after he or she is born, no matter what. So, before a surrogate is even pregnant, custody is usually locked in.

On to the second point: A surrogate isn’t interested in keeping the baby. She has her own children to care for, so she isn’t “after” the intended parents’! She understands what surrogacy is, and she’s only interested in “babysitting” the intended parents’ child in order to help them have the family they’ve been longing for. Remember: Every surrogate is psychologically screened beforehand to confirm that she shares this mindset.

4. Women should carry babies for their friends or family members.

When friends or family members enter into a surrogacy arrangement together, this is called “identified surrogacy.” This type of surrogacy can work out great in many situations, but it can also pose unique emotional challenges that are less likely to occur in a matched partnership.

As long as everyone involved is fully aware of potential hurdles before they begin, and each party has separate legal representation for the creation of their surrogacy contract — an absolute must, no matter how much you love and trust one another — then identified surrogacy can be a mutually positive experience.

However, identified surrogacy is not necessarily the preferred method over a matched partnership. It all depends on the preferences of the surrogate and the intended parents involved.

5. Surrogacy involves intercourse between the surrogate and the intended father.

Ok, here’s how this works:

An embryo is created through IVF in a lab using egg and sperm from the intended parents or donors. That embryo will eventually be transferred to the gestational carrier’s uterus in a fertility clinic with a doctor.

That’s how surrogates become pregnant — not in the “traditional” way.

6. Intended parents choose surrogacy to avoid being pregnant.

Most intended parents would give anything to be able to carry their child themselves. Choosing surrogacy often comes after a long grieving process, letting go of some old dreams and experiencing a lot of pain ­— sometimes physical as well as emotional.

Don’t ever believe that intended parents are just “getting out” of pregnancy. You don’t know what they’ve gone through to get where they are now.

7. Parents can’t bond with children born via surrogacy.

If parents need to give birth to their children in order to love and bond with them, then do you believe that families formed through adoption are also unable to establish these bonds? This is an absurd assumption that people make because they’ve never experienced anything other than traditional, genetic family connections.

Forming bonds with babies born via surrogacy, like adopted infants, can take some time and special care for some families. For others, the connection is instant. Either way, those bonds will form — no less strong or “real” than those of any other family.

You can learn more about the surrogacy process and receive information about becoming a gestational surrogate or intended parent by contacting American Surrogacy online or at 1-800-875-BABY
(2229).