5 Signs Surrogacy After IVF is Right for You

Building a family is a lifelong dream for many people, one that can be years in the making. But, if you’ve been struggling with unsuccessful IVF attempts for some time, you might be unsure of what your other options are to make your dreams come true.

It’s common for hopeful parents to turn to gestational surrogacy after IVF and infertility treatments. However, it can be hard to know when it’s the right time to move forward or if it’s worth giving this process one last shot — especially if you are hoping that your dreams of becoming pregnant will eventually come true.

Naturally, this will be a decision that you’ll want to put a lot thought into. Changing your family-building plans will be a big adjustment, so it’s okay to take your time as you decide what works best for you. If you’re struggling at all while you try to figure out what to do next, remember that you can always talk to your infertility counselor.

In the meantime, here are five signs to look out for that might mean surrogacy is the right option for you.

1. You’re Ready to Move on from IVF Treatments

This one seems obvious, but it may take a lot of soul-searching before you can truly say yes.

Many people who are moving to surrogacy after IVF have already gone through several rounds of treatment — which means a lot of time and, sadly, disappointment. At this point, you’re probably feeling exhausted, disappointed and heartbroken. And no one can blame you.

For many people who have been pursuing IVF for months or years, it can be extremely difficult to let go of the dream of finally becoming pregnant.

It would be a great disservice to yourself to pursue surrogacy before you’re truly ready. Surrogacy is a long process with its own emotional ups and downs. Before you decide to move forward with it, you should research all family-building methods to confirm you’re making the right decision.

2. You’re More Interested in Parenting than Pregnancy

If you’re interested in surrogacy, you need to be prepared for the fact that someone else will be carrying your baby. Obviously, this process will not be like the pregnancy process you spent so much time envisioning. While it will be difficult, you must let go of your dreams of becoming pregnant in order to have a smooth journey during the surrogacy process.

If you have come to terms with this fact, you may also have realized that, for you, becoming parents is more rewarding than the pregnancy process itself. At the end of the day, that’s what this process really comes down to.

If you’re having doubts about the surrogacy process, or if you’re not ready to let go of your dreams of carrying your child, it would be better to wait until you are truly 100% ready to move forward.

3. You’re Worried About the Cost of Continuing IVF

As you likely already know, IVF treatments aren’t cheap.

It can be extremely frustrating and disheartening to watch your savings dwindle as you attempt cycle after cycle. Instead, many families choose to put their money toward a process with a higher chance of success. While this could mean they decide on surrogacy, they might even think about adoption, which has even greater chance of success.

While it may not be what you hoped for when you set off on your family-building journey, surrogacy can still be a great, fulfilling journey — that leaves you with more funds to give your child the opportunities they deserve.

4. You Only Have a Few Embryos Left

If an intended parent only has a few embryos left, they may start to look at other options — like surrogacy. When faced with this situation, the last thing that many families want to do is to put all their hopes into the traditional IVF process only to be let down once more.

If you’re unsure what to do and you want to protect your last embryos, it may be time to look into surrogacy, especially if you’re looking for an option with a higher success rate. Naturally, you will want to talk to a surrogacy specialist if you’re considering this path.

5. You’ve Done Your Research

For many people, surrogacy is still relatively new. Before you really get going, do as much research as possible about this process to make sure that it’s the best alternative for you.

Like IVF treatments, surrogacy can be a lengthy and expensive process. It is not something that just anyone can jump into, and it is certainly not right for everyone.

Please make sure that you’re ready emotionally, mentally and physically before you get started. Remember that moving on from IVF treatments doesn’t mean that you have to let go of your dreams of parenthood. We know that this is a big adjustment, and it will be an incredibly difficult decision to make as you consider your options for building a family.

If you think that you’re ready to learn more about the surrogacy process, please contact our surrogacy specialists at 1-800-875-2229(BABY). You are under no obligation to start the process, but they will give you plenty of information to help you learn more about this option.

How COVID-19 May Impact Your IVF Journey

6 Questions Intended Parents Should Ask Themselves Before Resuming Surrogacy

As IVF and surrogacy procedures slowly resume with new precautions and policies, intended parents are more nervous than ever about restarting their journey to parenthood. There are new physical, emotional and financial concerns to consider.

Whether you’re eager to get back on track as soon as possible or you’re unsure if now is the time to start the IVF and surrogacy process, you’ll need to ask yourself some important questions. When considering how COVID-19 might affect your IVF and surrogacy journey and deciding whether or not you’re ready to resume it, you should ask yourself these six questions:

1. Are your fertility savings still stable?

Aside from the devastating health toll COVID-19 has taken throughout the world, it’s also had an economic impact. If you or your spouse lost your job, or if you took a financial hit as a result of coronavirus, then you may not be as financially ready to begin IVF and surrogacy as you were before.

Your total costs of IVF and surrogacy are going to be fluid, due to medical factors. You may find that your embryos are not viable, it may take several rounds of IVF to produce a viable embryo, or your surrogate may need several rounds of embryo transfers before a successful implantation. All this may mean that you’ll spend more or less than you anticipated.

You’ll need to examine how your IVF and surrogacy savings have been affected by the pandemic and then decide if you’re able to move forward right now, given any financial changes you may have experienced. Has your budget for IVF and surrogacy remained the same?

2. What are your fertility clinic’s policies regarding COVID-19?

In the early days of the pandemic, fertility clinics ceased operations in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. IVF procedures were temporarily suspended. Now, clinics are opening back up and resuming IVF — but with new policies in place to keep everyone (including your embryos) safe.

Each hospital, doctor’s office and fertility clinic will have their own COVID-19 policies. What are the policies at your clinic? How will those policies affect you and your surrogate?

Work with your American Surrogacy specialist to learn about your clinics’ policies before you move forward. Make sure that you feel comfortable with the precautions that they are taking.

3. What happens if someone within your surrogacy partnership contracts COVID-19 mid-cycle?

The health of those involved in this surrogacy journey always comes first. So if you, your spouse, your surrogate, or an immediate member of either or your families were to contract COVID-19 during the process, what happens? Would you still move forward once that person had recovered? Can you wait that long?

This is something that you’ll all need to discuss with your American Surrogacy specialist. In this changing world, it’s important to talk about this scenario together and create a concrete plan of how you will want to proceed.

4. Are you comfortable having a woman become pregnant with your child right now?

It always takes some faith when allowing someone else to carry your baby. Are you prepared to trust someone in protecting themselves (and your baby) against COVID-19?

The woman who will be carrying your child will need to spend a good amount of time in doctor’s offices and hospitals throughout the surrogacy process and pregnancy. Even though all surrogates take the health and safety of themselves and the baby very seriously, and yours will be taking all the prescribed precautions to avoid exposure to illnesses, she’ll still need to have quite a few in-person visits at medical facilities.

Whenever possible, telemedicine appointments may take place. However, there are some doctor’s visits that will, of course, need to occur in the office.

Additionally, you’ll need to consider if you’ll be comfortable with a number of scenarios:

  • What if she’s an essential worker?
  • What if her children or spouse are back to school or work?
  • What if she lives in a coronavirus “hotspot”?
  • What if she and her family need to travel?

Your surrogate will do her utmost to protect herself, and by proxy, your baby from COVID-19. But there will always be moments when all of us must go out into the world to function.

Would you be able to accept that and trust her to protect herself, her family and your baby?

5. Are you prepared to miss some important moments with your surrogate and baby?

In an effort to maintain social distance and prevent the spread of the virus, you probably won’t see your surrogate in person as much as you would before COVID-19.

Additionally, hospital and medical clinic policies may prevent one or both of you from being with your surrogate during milestones like embryo transfers, sonograms, or possibly even labor and delivery.

For some intended parents, surrogacy is a chance to experience pregnancy alongside their surrogate. You’ll need to decide if you’re willing to miss out on some of these moments in favor of growing your family more quickly.

6. How do you think your emotional and mental health will handle egg retrieval and/or IVF at the moment?

Right now, everyone is under more stress than usual. The early stages of surrogacy’s medical process are always stressful for everyone involved, but in the midst of a global pandemic, it’s understandably even more so.

Consider how you’ll feel during your contributions to the IVF process and as you await the results of your surrogate’s embryo transfer. With the added stressors of COVID-19, you’ll want to make sure that you’re emotionally ready to move forward — so that you can be the best support person for your surrogate.

If you have any questions or concerns about resuming the IVF and surrogacy process, contact American Surrogacy now. Your specialist will help you consider your readiness and can walk you through how COVID-19 will and won’t affect your journey.

When One Spouse Isn’t Ready for Surrogacy: Intended Parents

Embarking on a surrogacy journey will alter the course of your life.

Not only is it a road to fulfilling your dreams of parenthood, it is also a unique path that relatively few have walked. Your experience — the joys and hardships, victories and challenges — will be unlike most other roads to parenthood.

That’s why it is important — vital, even — for both partners to be completely committed to the process. A unity of mind in your relationship should be considered a requirement to begin the surrogacy process.

But, what do you do when one partner isn’t so sure?

Any disagreement within a relationship can create tension. This particular disagreement can be like a ticking time bomb if it is handled the wrong way.

Do you give in and give up on surrogacy? Do you plow ahead and start the process? Is there a middle road?

Each relationship is unique. We can’t give you an exact blueprint to navigate out of this disagreement. However, we have worked with many couples that started where you are. Here’s what we’ve learned about the best ways to respond to a partner who is not totally on board with surrogacy.

Evaluate Your Emotional Readiness

Everyone responds to grief in different ways. Grieving, accepting, and then healing after infertility is never easy, and it may take a long time. Finding alternative family-building options like surrogacy may bring hope back into your world. Your dreams of becoming a parent are very much possible.

But, that doesn’t mean you are ready, or that your partner is ready to move on from infertility. Take stock of your mental state. Ask questions like:

  • Are you ready to move on from any current infertility treatments?
  • Can you come to terms with parenthood without pregnancy?
  • Does it bother you that someone else will carry your baby to term?
  • Have you spent enough time processing your grief from infertility?
  • Are you and your partner ready to commit completely to surrogacy?

There are no wrong answers. Be honest with yourself and within your relationship. The surrogacy journey won’t be right for you until each person is truly ready for it.

Consider Counseling

Infertility ushers in a confusing flood of emotions. There’s anger, grief, shame, anxiety, sadness and more. Additionally, there’s confusion about where to go next. That’s why infertility counseling is always worth considering.

Reaching out for professional help may be a foreign idea, but you are in uncharted waters. There are several different stages of counseling, and you can start and stop depending on what you feel is best. While it may be uncomfortable at first, counseling can be very helpful and is highly recommended.

Research Options Together

Are you working with an unacknowledged informational imbalance? If you have been doing your research on surrogacy, you likely understand the process. This may have given you an eagerness to get started. But, remember, there’s no reason to expect your partner to share your enthusiasm if you’ve been doing all of the research on your own.

Don’t assume that your partner knows what you know. Intentionally research your alternative family-building options together. This way, you’re working from a level playing field. These conversations will go much better when each of you is equipped with the same level of understanding.

And, while you’re at it, this is a good time to consider all options that could be available to you in pursuit of starting a family. For example, our sister agency, American Adoptions, has been providing nationwide domestic infant adoption services for more than 25 years. If surrogacy isn’t sitting quite right, have you considered adoption?

There are many amazing ways to start a family, and we support whichever option is best for you and your partner.

Don’t Rush

Processing grief, working through disagreements, researching complex family-building options — these things take time. The most important thing is that you experience the best long-term outcome. Move toward that goal at the pace you are both comfortable with. If that means taking weeks, months or even more than a year to step into your surrogacy journey, that’s okay.

Speak with One of Our Surrogacy Specialists

Of course, you can always call 1-800-875-BABY (2229) or contact us online at any time to speak with a surrogacy specialist. Your partner may have questions you can’t answer, and a conference call with a specialist may be just the thing to clear things up.

American Surrogacy will never pressure you into the process. We believe that each family requires a different approach. You’ll get honest, unbiased information from our specialists that will help you make the best choice.

Being out of step with your partner about issues like this can be difficult. With these things in mind, and the guidance of professionals, you can plot a course forward.

We look forward to hearing from you.

6 Ways to Honor Loss During National Infertility Awareness Week

Wherever you’re at in your experience with infertility — whether you’ve recently received a diagnosis of infertility, or it’s been years since then and you’ve created a family through surrogacy or adoption — it’s alright to take a moment to honor loss this National Infertility Awareness Week.

Here are some ways you can acknowledge loss this week while still looking to the future:

1. Take Some Time for Yourself

Anniversaries that remind you of things like pregnancy losses, the feeling that everyone around you is getting pregnant, or National Infertility Awareness Week itself can all open old wounds. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, give yourself permission to take care of yourself this week. 

Everyone’s version of self-care will look different, but consider:

  • Taking a break from social media
  • Spending some quality alone-time with your spouse on a date night
  • Treating yourself to a long bath or even a trip to the spa
  • Taking 10 minutes to practice some breathing exercises 
  • Taking a weekend or day-trip alone with your spouse for a short getaway
  • Going on a long walk somewhere quiet and bringing a journal
  • Reading a book that inspires you

2. Share Your Story

You’ve never obligated to share your story, nor should you share more than you’re comfortable with — but talking about your personality fertility struggles can help you and others.

Infertility affects 1 in 8 couples in the U.S. By sharing your personal story with others, you’ll likely provide comfort and information to someone else who is, or will be, affected by infertility. Connecting with others who have experienced infertility can be mutually beneficial — feeling supported and heard is instrumental in healing from fertility losses.

Sharing your story can also be important for acknowledging the losses you’ve experienced. Some people have also experienced pregnancy loss and need others to acknowledge that those pregnancies are not simply “replaced” or something to just “get over,” even when moving from infertility to surrogacy.

If you’re ready, you can share your story on social media, on an infertility blog, speak at a local National Infertility Awareness Week event, or even just open up to a friend or family member.

3. Share Information

A simple, quick and easy way to raise awareness and to help others who are struggling with infertility is to share the facts. Resolve is a great resource to get you started, as is the National Infertility Awareness Week website if you’d like to share a link or graphic on your social media or in an email.

The whole point of National Infertility Awareness Week is to raise awareness! What better way to honor your own personal losses and journey than to call widespread attention to this common struggle. 

4. Start a Tradition

One way to deal with grief is create a tradition that allows you a special time to honor your losses. This way, you can continue to move forward with your life throughout the rest of the year but never forget where you’ve been. 

Feeling as if you’re “moving on” can be bittersweet. You deserve to be happy again, but it can be hard to let go of grief. Having a tradition that allows you to honor that grief in a special way at a special time can help you to do both. 

Consider incorporating a tradition for National Infertility Awareness Week like:

  • Lighting a candle
  • Planting a flower in a memory garden
  • Writing a letter to yourself
  • Saying a special prayer
  • Putting a wish into a box

5. Honor the Things You’re Grateful For

When you look back on your infertility journey, you might be surprised to find that you gained things that you didn’t have before, despite the losses you may have experienced. Take a moment to honor the things that you’re grateful for, in addition to honoring the things you’ve lost.

This will be different for everyone, but did you…

  • Become closer to your spouse, a friend, or a family member?
  • Turn to someone for support in a difficult moment and were met with love and comfort?
  • Find a newfound support group?
  • Discover something about yourself?
  • Experience a spiritual strengthening? 

Even though you and your relationships were likely tested in unimaginable ways, you also likely discovered something that you’re grateful for. Take a moment to write down everything in your life that you’re grateful for at this point.

Maybe you even chose to have a child through surrogacy or adoption — that would certainly be something important that you’ve gained.

6. Get Involved with National Infertility Awareness Week

One way to honor your own loss is to help others with their own losses and to help raise public awareness about infertility. Find a way to get involved with National Infertility Awareness Week, big or small. You can:

How do you plan on recognizing National Infertility Awareness Week? Let us know in the comments.

Grief and Loss: A Common Thread for Alternatively Created Families

When it comes to adding a child to a family, many hopeful parents look forward to the day when they see that positive pregnancy test. They dream about going through every up and down of the pregnancy process and being a part of the beautiful delivery journey bringing their little one into the world.

But, for many hopeful parents, having a child is not that easy. They may find themselves dealing with unknown fertility issues — a hard journey full of medications, doctors and schedules. After months or years of this, many hopeful parents choose another, alternative way to build their families.

It’s often not the path that intended parents originally wanted but, for many, it’s the only way they can build their family.

Here at American Surrogacy, we’re very familiar with the grief and loss that many intended parents go through before coming to our agency. Choosing an alternative family-building method can be an emotionally exhausting journey. Fortunately, our specialists are knowledgeable of both the gestational surrogacy and adoption processes (thanks to our sister agency, American Adoptions), but we know that it can still be a tough decision for many.

That’s why we’re here to support you every day. We know infertility loss is an experience that stays with hopeful parents forever, even after they’ve successfully created their families.

We recognize that there are many kinds of pregnancy and infant loss that affect parents all over the world. In this blog post, we’ll specifically tackle the experiences that many families created through surrogacy and adoption go through.

The Prevalence of Infertility

Infertility and pregnancy loss is surprisingly still a taboo subject for many to discuss, but these are topics that affect more people than you may know.

You are not alone in experiencing infertility or pregnancy or infant loss. In fact, 1 in 8 couples (or 12 percent of married women) have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. This leads to 11.9 percent of women receiving infertility services during their lifetime.

Although it is rarely discussed, pregnancy loss is common, too. About 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. It’s a common experience, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

The Isolating Effects of Infertility and Pregnancy Loss

Even though these situations are so common, they are still isolating experiences. For many reasons, they continue to be taboo topics — circumstances to be borne quietly and on your own.

Many intended parents feel ashamed of their pregnancy loss and infertility, even though it’s not their fault. With so many of their family and friends (seemingly) getting pregnant with no troubles, they often feel like no one understands the struggles they go through. This can dissuade them from sharing their experience with others. And, thus, begins the self-fulfilling prophecy: No one talks about infertility, so those who experience it are less likely to share their experience, and on it goes.

Even when a family chooses an alternative method to build their family, the isolation and sense of “difference” doesn’t go away. While adoption and surrogacy are wonderful ways to bring a child into a family, they are still viewed as “alternative” ways to build their family. The processes invite questions from friends and family members, and many intended parents are made to feel like their family is not “normal” because of these paths.

Infertility loss leading to adoption or surrogacy is not something that just affects parents; it affects children, too. Adoptees and children born through surrogacy are also subjected to questions and comments from friends, family members and peers about the way they came to be with their parents. Even when children are instilled with a sense of pride in their birth story, it can be tough to answer the same insensitive questions and be made to feel “other” because they were not brought into a family in a traditional way.

Ways to Cope with Emotions of Infertility and Pregnancy Loss

While infertility and pregnancy loss can be a lifetime journey, it’s not one that you have to suffer through alone. There are many ways that you can cope with the emotions you have, but it’s up to you to determine which methods are best for you and your spouse.

To help you through this Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, here are a few options to consider:

  • Talking with an infertility counselor: If you haven’t already, talking with an infertility counselor can help you and your spouse move forward from your experiences in a positive way. An infertility counselor can help you choose an alternative family-building method and prepare you for the ups and downs of the path that you choose.
  • Sharing your experiences with others: While your friends and family may not understand what you are going through, there are plenty of others who do. See if your fertility clinic or infertility counselor can connect you with local infertility support groups. There, you can share your emotions with those who have been in your shoes.
  • Taking time for yourself: Infertility and pregnancy loss emotions can be overwhelming. Sometimes, it’s best to try to forget about them for a bit by indulging in some self-care. Take yourself and your spouse out on a date night, go for a walk or run in nature, or simply watch that movie you’ve been dying to see. Remember: You are more than just your infertility struggles.
  • Talking with your surrogacy specialist: If you are pursuing the surrogacy process with our agency, our specialists will always be here to support you. Whether that’s answering questions about the next steps in your journey or simply needing a shoulder to lean on, we are here to help. Don’t hesitate to call us anytime at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) to get the support you need.

One Embryo Left: Is Surrogacy Right for You?

There are a lot of questions intended parents have to ask themselves when they’re considering gestational surrogacy. If you’ve spent months or years on other fertility treatments, you may have already exhausted a great store of your family-building savings along the way.

You might also have depleted another store — that of your previously created embryos.

If other infertility treatments have not worked for you and you have one embryo left, you may be considering surrogacy as your best chance of success. Transferring a healthy embryo into a woman who has proven her ability to carry pregnancies to term may be the last opportunity you have for a biological child.

However, there are a few things to consider before starting the surrogacy process. It’s a long journey, and it will require a great deal from you, your spouse (if applicable) and the surrogate you work with.

While gestational surrogacy with one embryo is certainly possible, certain aspects can also make it more difficult. We encourage any intended parent considering this path to call our specialists for free at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) for answers to all of your questions.

In the meantime, it’s a good idea to think about the following:

The Time (and Expense) That Pre-Surrogacy Screening Takes

Surrogacy is not an easy process. It requires a long application journey, filled with background screening, medical and psychological screening, and matching with the perfect surrogacy candidate. It can take several months to get all of this done — and that’s before you even start the surrogacy medical process.

When most intended parents begin gestational surrogacy, they are committed to more than one embryo transfer. But, when you only have one embryo remaining, you may be limited to one transfer. This can make your surrogacy experience less economical; you will pay the same amount of fees and expenses as other intended parents but your journey may be a great deal shorter.

Here at American Surrogacy, a certain amount of our agency fees last as long as our partnership. You won’t need to pay those expenses again if your first embryo transfer fails; we will honor your payments until you are able to bring a healthy child home. It’s part of our commitment to an affordable surrogacy process.

If you are an intended parent with only one embryo, however, you will need to evaluate whether these expenses (and the pre-surrogacy time commitment) are worth it for you. If you only plan to complete one embryo transfer process, are you prepared for the commitment this process requires?

What happens if the embryo transfer fails? That will be time and money you cannot get back.

Wait Time for Appropriate Surrogates

Intended parents aren’t the only ones that go through a long approval process to start surrogacy; gestational carriers must undergo screening, too.

The women who choose to become surrogates are dedicated to helping someone else become a parent, whatever it takes. They want to create a genuine relationship with the intended parents they carry for, and they are committed to a long journey with those intended parents. Just like you, they want to make sure all the pre-screening and matching steps they go through are worth their time and effort.

That’s why many surrogates will only work with intended parents who are willing to complete two or more embryo transfers. If a surrogate partners with someone who only wants one embryo transfer, and that transfer fails, she will need to go through the screening and matching process all over again.

For this reason, you might expect a longer wait for a match if you are only interested in one embryo transfer. Your surrogacy specialist will do all she can to find you the perfect surrogate, but it must be a candidate who is comfortable with your anticipated timeline.

Your Plan if the Transfer Fails

Optimism is important in any fertility treatment. When you start the surrogacy process, you have to believe that your last embryo will take, and your surrogate will have a successful pregnancy.

But, what if this isn’t the case? What are your next steps?

Before you begin surrogacy with one embryo, you and your spouse (if applicable) need to think long and hard about your next steps. For women under 35, the success rate of an embryo transfer is only 53.9 percent. That means your transfer is just as likely to fail as it is to succeed — and you need to plan for what happens if a pregnancy does not occur.

You have a few options:

  • Create more embryos: If you wish to continue with surrogacy, you will need more embryos. You can either create these from donated egg and sperm, or complete the in vitro fertilization process with your own gametes. Both of these paths can take some time, so you may have to pause your surrogacy journey and eventually find another surrogate once your embryos are complete. Talk to your surrogacy specialist before starting to see what how this choice may impact your journey.
  • Pursue adoption: If your last embryo transfer fails, and you don’t want to create any more, you can always become a parent through adoption. There are several types of adoption to choose from, and you will need to research each to determine which is right for you. Our team can always connect you to our sister agency, American Adoptions, for more information on this process.

Having a set plan in case of a failed embryo transfer is crucial. That way, you won’t waste precious time trying to figure out your next steps when you could be actively working toward bringing a child into your family.

If you’re unsure of how to proceed with only one embryo, you can always contact a surrogacy specialist at 1-800-875-BABY(2229). They can talk to you about your options for gestational surrogacy with our agency and help you make the best decision for your family, whatever it might be.

When You and Your Spouse Aren’t on the Same Page About Surrogacy

Choosing a family-building option is no easy decision. If you and your spouse have been considering your infertility options, you’ve probably had a lot of hard conversations to get you to where you are now — seriously considering gestational surrogacy.

But, what if you know that you and your spouse aren’t quite on the same page when it comes to moving forward?

First, remember this: Everyone takes their own time to grieve their infertility, and that’s entirely their right. Trying to rush your spouse into a decision they are not ready for will only backfire. You want your parenting journey together to start off on the right foot, don’t you?

If you and your spouse are in a deadlock about your next steps in the family-building process, there are some important things left for you to do. One of them is to speak with a specialist at American Surrogacy. Our team is always here to answer your questions and address your concerns about the surrogacy process. Ultimately, we want to help you make the best choice for your family, whatever that may be. Give us a call at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) to get started.

In the meantime, to help get you and your spouse on the right page, we suggest you proceed with these steps:

1. Consider Infertility Counseling.

If you haven’t already done so, you and your spouse should think about speaking with an infertility counselor. This is a professional who is well-versed in all of your infertility options and will walk you through the pros and cons of each. They will also help you and your spouse come to terms with any remaining emotions you have about your infertility process. That way, they can help you move forward with the path that is best for you.

If you have previously worked with a fertility clinic, those professionals will likely have a list of trusted infertility counselors that you might choose from. It’s important that you and your spouse are comfortable with the counselor of your choice; only then can you be honest enough to have a productive conversation about your options moving forward. Remember: Speaking with a counselor is not a sign of weakness but a sign that you and your spouse are dedicated to your future together as a family.

2. Do Your Research — Together.

When one partner isn’t as enthusiastic as another, it shows. You may be frustrated that your spouse is not committing as much time to the research and interview process as you, and you may be tempted to  blame them for dragging their feet because they haven’t done the work. However, remember that building a family is something you will do together. That will include researching and learning more about your options.

Rather than get irritated at your partner for their lack of interest, try to meet them halfway. Is there a particular option in which they are more interested than any other? Would it be more enjoyable to talk to other parents who have gone through a certain process than search through dozens of articles online? You might consider setting a plan; you’ll research gestational surrogacy, while they’ll research infant adoption. Schedule interviews with family-building professionals at a time when you are both free, and come up with a list of questions that each of you will be responsible for asking.

Little steps can play a big role in motivating your partner to get excited about any family-building options. You may find that involving an infertility counselor (see above) in this step can be helpful, too.

3. Be Honest About Your Wants and Needs.

If you are the enthusiastic partner in the relationship, it can be tempting to do anything to get your spouse on board with your plan. But, if you end up compromising too much, you may find that the things you wanted in the first place from gestational surrogacy aren’t present anymore.

Before you have your open and honest discussion with your spouse, you should both take the time to write down what is most important to you in your family-building process. This can include:

  • Genetic connection
  • Involvement in pregnancy
  • Knowledge of your child’s personal background
  • Cost
  • Timeline
  • Professionals involved
  • And more

Once you and your spouse have created two honest lists of what you want in your family-building journey, you should compare them. Without judgement or questioning, consider what you have in common, where you can compromise, and what you are uncomfortable giving up. That may bring you one step closer to finding the right family-building path for you.

4. Take Time to Reevaluate.

At the end of the day, choosing a family-building path is not a decision to be made lightly. As much as you prepare and discuss your options, it may simply take time for you and your spouse to grieve your infertility struggles and truly be open to a nontraditional family-building method such as gestational surrogacy. That’s completely okay.

Many intended parents feel rushed when contemplating their family-building options, especially if they have already spent years on unsuccessful infertility treatments and want a child as soon as possible. However, we encourage intended parents to take a deep breath and, if necessary, take a small break from their family-building journey if they need to. Sometimes, you are able to see much clearer when you’re not in the midst of the emotions that come with infertility and family-building. This time may also help your spouse reevaluate their opinions. They may even come to a realization during this time that gestational surrogacy is right for your family after all!

Wherever you and your spouse are at in your family-building journey, remember that American Surrogacy’s team will always be here for you. If you are interested in gestational surrogacy, but your spouse isn’t yet on board, we are happy to provide educational materials about our program to help them learn more. We can also provide references to trusted infertility counselors, should you need them.

5 Losses to Be Prepared for in the Surrogacy Process

Deciding to start the surrogacy process is an exciting step. You’re closer to having a child than you ever have been, and it’s easy to look forward to the positive experiences awaiting you as you take this journey with a gestational carrier.

However, it’s also important to remember that surrogacy is not all rainbows and butterflies. While there are exciting moments in this journey to become a parent, there may be hard moments, too. Before you decide to start the gestational surrogacy process, you’ll need to prepare yourself for the good and the bad.

Fortunately, your specialist at American Surrogacy will be there to support you every step of the way. Wherever you are in your journey, she can answer your questions and address your concerns – making sure that you are comfortable and confident throughout.

Before you start your surrogacy journey, you’ll need to talk with our surrogacy specialists about your expectations. Here’s what we encourage all intended parents prepare themselves for before moving forward:

1. Infertility Grief and Loss

Most intended parents come to gestational surrogacy after months and years of infertility treatment. It can be a sensitive and raw subject, but infertility losses are something that all intended parents should cope with prior to starting the surrogacy journey. Only then can they fully commit themselves to the challenges and rewards of gestational surrogacy.

That said, there may be moments in your surrogacy journey where you are reminded of your previous infertility grief and losses. Infertility memories can pop up when you least expect it, even when you think you’ve fully accepted the situation you are in. Some of the most exciting moments of surrogacy — finding out your carrier is pregnant, being there for your child’s birth — can bring up these old emotions. So, every intended parent should be ready for these moments and prepared for how to handle them in a positive manner.

2. Loss of the Pregnancy Experience

One of the biggest losses for intended parents (especially intended mothers) is the ability to be directly involved in their child’s development in utero. When you choose gestational surrogacy, you are trusting someone else to carry your child for you. That can be a tough thing to reconcile, especially if you’ve had dreams of being pregnant.

Remember: While you may not be carrying your child yourself, you can still be actively involved in your surrogate’s pregnancy. You can be included in important doctor’s appointments, and your surrogate will keep you updated on her pregnancy every step of the way.

It’s important that every intended parent has grieved their loss of the pregnancy experience in order to show the excitement that their gestational surrogate will desire during their journey together.

3. Failed Transfers or Miscarriages

In an ideal surrogacy journey, the first embryo transfer takes and results in a healthy child. However, this isn’t always the case.

Failed transfers and miscarriages are more common than intended parents think, and it can be incredibly disheartening to experience one on your way to becoming a parent. Remember this: There are no dramatic differences in miscarriage rates when it comes to in vitro fertilization, and a miscarriage is no one’s fault. Your surrogacy specialist will be there to support you and your surrogate during this unfortunate situation. When you’re ready to try again, they will help you through the next steps – with no additional fees from our agency.

4. Loss of the Childbirth Experience

Although you won’t be the one physically giving birth to your child, you will still be involved in the childbirth process. Your experience will just be different when you’re an intended parent.

You and your surrogate will create a delivery plan together, which will detail things like:

  • Where she will give birth
  • Who will hold the baby first
  • Whether you will have a room at the hospital
  • Whether you will breastfeed your child (if you are an intended mother)
  • What kind of medical procedures you have planned for your child
  • And more

You will always be treated as the parent during your child’s birth, but it can be tough to create a delivery plan if you have unresolved grief and loss surrounding this experience. Intended parents should cope with these emotions as much as possible prior to starting surrogacy. That way, their child’s birth will be an exciting and joyful process — not an emotionally complicated one.

5. Loss of a “Traditional” Birth Story

Before coming to gestational surrogacy, many intended parents dream about the story they’ll have of bringing their little one into the world. But, when plans change and surrogacy is their only option, they may be initially ashamed or way or sharing their child’s surrogacy story with the world.

Remember this: Surrogacy or any lack of genetic connection does not make you any less of a parent to your child. The prospect of telling your child, friends and family about their surrogacy story may sadden you at first — but it’s actually something to celebrate! Surrogacy is a beautiful and unique way to bring a child into the world, and it’s a story that you and your family should be proud to tell to the world.

If you are not sure of how to explain surrogacy to your child or to your loved ones, your surrogacy specialist will always be here to help.

Coping with the losses of the surrogacy journey can be tough, but any intended parent will tell you that it will be all worth it in the end. If you are having difficulty accepting the losses associated with surrogacy, either before you begin or during your journey, you can call your surrogacy specialist at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) anytime. American Surrogacy will always be here for you.

Spending Father’s Day as a Hopeful Parent in the Surrogacy Process

If you’re an intended father in the middle of the surrogacy process, Father’s Day can be a hard reminder that you’re still waiting for your baby. If you’re experiencing some mixed emotions today, you’re not alone.

To help you through it, here are a few different ways you can spend the day, as well as some important reminders for the waiting dads of surrogacy:

Check In With Your Surrogate

Checking in with your surrogacy partner can be reassuring, especially if you’re feeling a little adrift today. Do what feels right depending on the type of relationship you share with your gestational surrogate, but here are a few suggestions:

  • Ask how she’s feeling and how things are going on her side of things.
  • Schedule a time to meet for lunch and catch up, if you live in the same area.
  • Get her a small gift to commemorate your journey together and show your appreciation, if you think it’s appropriate.

Take a Self-Care Day

The surrogacy process can wear on everyone, including intended fathers. Take a break for the day. If you need to distance yourself from all mentions of surrogacy, Father’s Day and babies (all of which can be painful reminders that you’re not a dad yet), then do so. Treat yourself to dinner and a movie, a massage, or even just a day on the couch. The physical, mental and emotional well-being of intended parents needs to be looked after, too.

Do Something for Your Future Child

Letting go of so much control in the surrogacy process is hard for intended parents. Actively doing something, even something small, can be comforting.

How about meaningful preparations for your future baby? You could:

  • Write your future baby a letter on this Father’s Day without them, letting them know how excited you are to meet them and the promises you’d like to make to them as a father.
  • Start a journal or baby book to document the journey that your family and your surrogate are experiencing, which you can share with your child.
  • Frame a photo of an ultrasound, of you and your surrogate, or of you and your spouse. You can add it to the nursery or your desk at work.
  • Work on the nursery, or purchase something meaningful for your surrogate or child. For example, you could give your surrogate a special stuffed animal to sleep with to later give to your baby as an emotional transfer object.

Celebrate With a Not-a-Father’s-Day

This may seem a little counterintuitive when becoming a parent has been the focus for a long time, but consider: This may be your last Father’s Day of “freedom.” A freedom you’ll gladly relinquish, yes, but that freedom allows you to stay out late without a sitter, sleep in, bask in a toy-free living room, and more. When you’re a dad, those little pleasures will be harder to come by, so enjoy them while you can!

If You’re Struggling with Father’s Day, Don’t Forget These Important Things

In case you needed to hear them, here are a few important reminders for today (and every day of your wait):

  • You will be your child’s dad, regardless of whether or not you’re biologically related to him or her.
  • If you’re going to be a single father through surrogacy, remind yourself that you’re not the only person who’s chosen to parent solo; there’s a small-but-growing community (as well as your surrogacy specialist) you can always talk to.
  • If you’re a member of an LGBT couple and one of you will be genetically related to your baby, remember that you are both equally your child’s fathers.
  • If you struggled with infertility or pregnancy loss, take a moment to acknowledge what those losses meant to you today.
  • Even though you’re not the one going through the physical experiences of fertility treatments or pregnancy, you’re still equally emotionally affected by your journey to parenthood and the struggles you’ve faced. Your feelings deserve recognition, too.
  • You will be a dad, even if it sometimes feels like it’ll “never happen!”

Your American Surrogacy specialist is always here for you if you need to talk this Father’s Day, or any day. Contact us at 1-800-875-BABY (2229) anytime.

5 Steps to Take Before Pursuing Surrogacy to Build Your Family

Considering surrogacy as a way to build your family is a gigantic decision. It’s not one to rush into overnight — but how do you know that surrogacy is really right for you?

Every intended parent’s journey to surrogacy will be different, but there are a few general steps that our surrogacy specialists recommend every hopeful parent take beforehand. In our experience, those who are best prepared for the surrogacy process have usually completed these steps:

Step 1: Explore all of your family-building options.

Surrogacy is a complicated process, and it’s not one that an intended parent jumps to right away. Those struggling with infertility have many other assisted reproduction methods before gestational surrogacy, and it’s likely that a reproductive endocrinologist will recommend some of the less invasive and cheaper options first. These could include IUI, IVF and more.

On the other hands, LGBT intended parents considering gestational surrogacy should also consider adoption. Both are very different processes, but they are viable options for those looking to add to their family.

In order to know what is best for your family, you must fully understand all of the options available to you. Fortunately, the specialists at American Surrogacy are well-experienced in both the gestational surrogacy and adoption processes. You can call them at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) to learn more about the pros and cons of each.

Step 2: Be honest with your partner.

As you explore your family-building options, you need to ask yourself hard questions — and be honest with your partner when it comes to how you’re feeling.

If you’ve struggled with infertility, it’s important that you have completed grieved your dreams of a pregnancy experience before starting gestational surrogacy. Intended parents who start the surrogacy process without doing so often have to face their complicated emotions later on — which can negatively impact their relationship with their gestational carrier.

If you’re not ready to move on from infertility treatments — or if you’re uncomfortable with the surrogacy process — you need to tell your spouse. Entering into such a complicated process without being fully committed is a bad idea, and it will come back to hurt you in the end. If you’re coping with infertility, you may feel like your time to have a biological child is slipping away, but you should never rush into the surrogacy process until you and your spouse are 100 percent emotionally ready.

Step 3: Do your research.

If you think gestational surrogacy may be right for your family, research is your next step. There are a lot of options in a surrogacy journey — genetic relationship, cost, location and more — and intended parents should have a general idea of what they want before getting started.

Speak with surrogacy professionals and your reproductive endocrinologist to determine what this process may look like for you. Check out information from sites such as Surrogate.com to learn more about every aspect of the process.

At the end of your research, you should be able to answer these questions with some confidence:

  • Do you want to pursue gestational or traditional surrogacy?
  • Do you want to work with a surrogacy agency or complete an independent surrogacy?
  • Do you have a carrier in mind, or do you still need to find one?
  • What kind of program can you afford?
  • What are you looking for in a surrogate?
  • What surrogacy options are available in your state? Do you need to go out-of-state for a safe and ethical surrogacy?

Step 4: Get your funding in place.

One of the biggest hurdles for intended parents is the cost of gestational surrogacy. It’s no secret: Surrogacy is expensive. But it’s for good reason — there are a lot of complicated moving parts that require expertise and professional assistance.

As you research your surrogacy options, research your estimated surrogacy costs, too. Being aware of your financial situation beforehand will come in handy when it comes to paying your surrogacy expenses later on. When you know how much you can expect to pay, you can start fundraising and exploring your other financing options.

Learn more about affording surrogacy here.

Step 5: Interview surrogacy professionals.

If you’ve decided that gestational surrogacy is right for your family, you only have one more step before you officially get started! Finding the right surrogacy professionals for your surrogacy goals is the final thing to do.

There are a lot of choices when it comes to surrogacy professionals. You can choose to complete an independent surrogacy with only a lawyer and a fertility clinic, or you can work with an experienced surrogacy agency every step of the way. Which you choose will be up to you. How much responsibility do you wish to take during your surrogacy process? How comfortable are you with the requirements of the process?

We encourage all intended parents — whether they’re considering an independent surrogacy or an agency-assisted surrogacy — to speak with a surrogacy agency such as American Surrogacy. That way, you can learn more about the services an agency can offer and what steps you would need to take without professional assistance. Only then can you can make the best choice for your family.

Get answers to all of your questions about surrogacy by contacting our specialists today. We are here to give you all the information you need, whatever decision you end up making for you and your spouse.