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.

A Letter to Hopeful Mothers on Mother’s Day

Dear Intended Mothers,

For many of you, today is a hard day. While many of your loved ones will be celebrating their Mother’s Day surrounded by children, you may be spending another Mother’s Day with only your dreams of motherhood. It’s an incredibly tough time. It’s hard to celebrate or look forward to something that has brought you so much pain in the past.

You may or may not have your own mother to celebrate with on this day. As comforting as her presence can be, it may not fill the hole in your heart. It’s still waiting for a little bundle of joy.

While you may not feel like it, today is about you, too. Hopeful mothers deserve just as much celebration as those who already have a child in their lives. Goodness knows you’ve put as much (or more) effort into getting pregnant as any other woman.

On this emotionally complicated day, however, it’s important to put yourself first. You’ve been through a lot to get to this point, and there is no requirement that you put on a brave face for your friends and family. Cry, if you need to. Treat yourself to something special. Get as far away from mothers and children as possible. Do what you need to do to keep yourself happy.

We know how tough this day can be for intended mothers. As you go through your Mother’s Day weekend, remember this:

  • You are still a mother if you didn’t give birth to your child.
  • You are still a mother if you have no biological relationship with your child.
  • You are a strong beautiful woman, and infertility can’t take that away from you.
  • You will be a wonderful mother, whether you have a child next year or years from now.
  • You are still a worthwhile person, even if you never end up having children.

Mother’s Day is a day fraught with emotions — good and bad. You don’t need to be happy about this day if you can’t find it in you. Remember: You are not alone. 1 in 8 American couples cope with infertility struggles. There are millions of other women across the country — and across the globe — who are feeling the same thing as you. If you can, take solace and strength from that knowledge.

American Surrogacy and our surrogacy specialists understand the complicated emotions that come with Mother’s Day. We are always here to answer any of your questions about surrogacy or to be a shoulder to lean on whenever you need us. Don’t hesitate to reach out online or call 1-800-875-2229(BABY) anytime.

Whatever your Mother’s Day brings you, know that you are special, you are loved, and we are here for you.

-The Team at American Surrogacy

Uncover the Financial Truth About Family-Building During National Infertility Awareness Week

Infertility is a struggle that affects millions of Americans. But, despite how common it is, it is still very much a taboo subject for many people — but National Infertility Awareness Week is here to change that.

Each year, RESOLVE chooses a theme to address during National Infertility Awareness Week. This year, we’re focusing on the significant lack of access to affordable family-building options and emotional support for the men and women struggling with infertility every day. As much as family-building options have expanded over the last few decades, there’s still a long way to go for making assisted reproduction and other non-traditional family-building methods affordable for every single person.

American Surrogacy is proud to help educate as part of National Infertility Awareness Week. Anyone struggling with infertility and considering gestational surrogacy can always talk to our specialists for free at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).

In the meantime, here’s what you need to know for this important week:

Infertility Treatments Often Break the Bank

Coping with infertility struggles is a difficult emotional journey. But it can also be an extremely stressful financial journey for those who wish to become parents.

When a couple can’t conceive in a traditional manner, they often go through a long series of tests to determine their infertility issues. These tests often include physical exams, semen analyses, blood tests and other special procedures. Before a person even starts alternative family-building treatments, they have often sunk thousands of dollars into finding out what is “wrong.” Even more unfortunate? Sometimes these tests don’t reveal a cause of their infertility struggles.

Whether or not a “cause” of infertility is discovered, hopeful parents often move onto assisted reproduction methods next. These can be as simple as intrauterine insemination or as complicated as in vitro fertilization. Donor gametes may be involved, and intended mothers may go through several rounds of failed implementation and/or miscarriage before a successful pregnancy — if they get pregnant at all. And, with the average cost of a single IVF cycle at $12,000, intended parents often spend tens of thousands of dollars on treatment before getting pregnant or deciding on another family-building method.

When Infertility Treatments Don’t Work

If pregnancy is not achieved through basic assisted reproduction, hopeful parents are often left with one decision: surrogacy or adoption. Most parents who choose private domestic infant adoption or gestational surrogacy will spend at least $30,000 more on building their family. If they’ve previously gone through several rounds of IVF, the costs can become overbearing — forcing the parents to take out loans and be otherwise burdened during what should be the happiest time of their lives.

While many parents will tell you that it is all worth it when they bring their little ones home for the first time, there’s no denying just how expensive alternative family-building paths are. Getting pregnant is not simple for those struggling with infertility — and it’s not cheap, either.

Financing Options for Hopeful Parents

For this year’s National Infertility Awareness Week, we want everyone to be aware of the financial burden of alternative family-building today. But, in response, there is also an increasing demand for affordable family-building options — and more and more businesses are taking note.

One of the easiest ways to make alternative family-building more affordable is through employer support. Insurance coverage of infertility tests and treatments can be a lifesaver for hopeful parents. While more than 400 companies in the U.S. offer benefits for fertility treatments, the range of benefits from company to company vary greatly. Unfortunately, the majority of IVF patients still have to pay for all or some of their treatment out-of-pocket.

With infertility affecting 1 in 8 American couples, many family-building professionals wholeheartedly believe that infertility coverage should be included in modern insurance plans. Whether you’re a hopeful parent yourself or a supporter of these parents, speak with your employer about adding infertility coverage to your company policy. Advocate for those who may not be able to do so themselves for this year’s National Infertility Awareness Week.

Even with some degree of insurance coverage, many hopeful parents find themselves financially burdened during this family-building process. After all, they are trying to save up for the expenses of a new child at the same time they are paying a great deal to bring that child into their life! To aid these parents, many financial companies have started offering specific loans and grants to those looking to build their families.

Many intended parents also look to family and friends for personal, low-interest loans to make their family-building journey possible. If you can afford to, consider offering loans to your family and friends struggling with infertility or donating to a project that offers loans to intended parents.

There are many ways you can support hopeful parents during National Infertility Awareness Week. In addition to the methods mentioned above, you can get involved by sharing your story, hosting or participating in awareness walks, and fundraising for infertility research. Although it can be a silent struggle, infertility is an issue that affects all of us in one way or another. That’s why American Surrogacy supports intended parents during this week and throughout the year as they determine the best path forward for their family.

Want to learn more about our gestational surrogacy program? Contact our surrogacy specialists today at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).

4 Things to Consider About Surrogacy After Adoption

You love your adopted child, more than anything in the world. In fact, you don’t even think of them as “adopted” — they’re your child as much as any biological child is, and you wouldn’t change the way they came into your life for anything in the world.

Perhaps you’ve pondered the idea of adding another child to your family for a while. And, at this point in your life, adoption may not be the right answer. Perhaps, this time, you’re ready to try surrogacy as an alternative family-building method. You’re probably pretty excited — but you probably also have a few concerns about adding a surrogacy-born, biological child to your family after already adopting.

We know how complicated this situation can be. Choosing a way to build your family is never easy, and we know that both surrogacy and adoption come with their own pros and cons. Fortunately, here at American Surrogacy, our specialists have experience with both family-building methods, and we’re happy to help you decide which path is best for you.

You can always call our specialists at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) to discuss these options and what they will mean for your family. In the meantime, learn a little bit more about pursuing surrogacy after adoption below.

What to Consider Before Choosing Surrogacy After Adoption

The desire to have a biological child is one that many people share. Even if you’ve initially grieved the loss of having a biological child in order to adopt, you may still be curious about what having a biological child would be like. So, now that surrogacy is an option for your family, you may be considering it.

It’s 100 percent normal to have conflicting emotions when pursuing surrogacy after adoption. Like all nontraditional family-building processes, it’s not always an easy path — but being prepared can go a long way in making sure your journey is as positive as possible.

Here are some things you should think about before you even begin:

1. Your Reasons for Choosing Surrogacy

For many people, gestational surrogacy is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If you are at a point in your life where this path is right for your family, you may think you “have” to take it, because when else will you get the chance? However, surrogacy is a complicated emotional process (just like adoption), and it’s not something that your family should rush into without thinking hard about the pros and cons.

It’s no secret that one of the biggest reasons for pursuing gestational surrogacy is a biological connection to a child. But, if you’ve already adopted a child, you should have properly grieved that dream. If you haven’t, and you pursue surrogacy because of a long-buried desire to have a biological child, it may cause problems in your future relationships with your children — biological and adopted.

It’s a good idea to speak to a surrogacy specialist before starting to make sure your reasons are good ones for pursuing surrogacy after adoption. Other reasons intended parents choose to follow this path are:

  • Legal uncertainty with the adoption process in their area
  • A desire to be involved in their child’s development from conception
  • Upcoming life changes (such as moving or birthdays) that can make adoption difficult
  • Remaining embryos and the desire to give their child a sibling

Often, there are a few factors that lead to intended parents pursuing surrogacy after adoption — and that’s okay. It’s just important that you are aware of these motivators and exactly what they reveal about your family’s current state.

2. Explaining Your Choice to Your Child

When you have an adopted child, you have to commit to celebrating where they came from.  Even though they are not biologically related to you, you love them just as much as you would any other biological child.

When you decide to have a child via surrogacy, it can seem contradictory to what you’ve told your child all their life — that genetics don’t matter. Depending on the age of your child, they may have a negative reaction to the news that you are having a biological child. They may be worried that you will prefer your biological child, that they were simply a “placeholder” until the biological child came along, etc. Without proper preparation, this conversation can quickly go south.

Your surrogacy specialist can always offer tips on how to handle this conversation, but you must be prepared for some difficult conversations now and in the future. It may take time for your child to warm up to the idea of a new sibling and gestational surrogacy, and you will need to be patient with them. Don’t just assume that your older children will be automatically well-adjusted when you pursue surrogacy after adoption.

3. Celebrating All of Your Children Equally

Similarly, when your surrogate is pregnant, a lot of your time and attention will go to her and your developing child. This can be stressful for any older child but especially for children who are adopted. Because they weren’t able to see how excited you were while waiting for them to come into your life, they may think your excitement about your biological child is greater — and that they are not important.

Whether adopted or not, children can have difficulties adjusting to younger siblings. You’ll need to expect those difficulties and consider the nuances of having a biological and an adopted child in the same household. Make sure to focus time on your older child during pregnancy and after the new baby is home; continue to celebrate their adoption and emphasize the fact that you will love both them and their sibling equally, no matter where they came from.

4. Other People’s Responses

While you’ll need to pay close attention to your own household’s conversations, you will likely also experience some insensitive comments when you announce you are pursuing surrogacy after adoption. You can anticipate that many people will question you about the genetic makeup of the child you’re trying to have via surrogacy. Unfortunately, this will often result in the question, “Will it be your ‘real’/‘own’ child?”

This is incredibly harmful language, and it may even be used in front of your adopted child. It’s important to be ready with your own responses that nullify their implications (that adoption is not a “real” family-building method) and celebrate your older child’s adoption story.

At the same time, you may get judgmental comments from those who see you pursuing surrogacy as a way to “make up for” choosing adoption for your older child. They may shame you for your family-building choice, asking you why you didn’t “just adopt” again.

It can be hard to feel like you’re “darned if you do, darned if you don’t” when it comes to choosing between adoption and surrogacy to bring another child into your home. If you feel comfortable doing so, take this as an opportunity to educate about gestational surrogacy and adoption — and why certain parents may choose one option over another. But, remember that you don’t owe anyone outside of your immediate family an explanation as to why you chose the path you chose. The only thing that matters is what is right for your family.

How to Get Excited About a Surrogate Pregnancy

When you’re an intended parent, the confirmation that your surrogate is pregnant should be exciting news. This is, after all, your baby — the ultimate goal of the whole process. You may, however, find it difficult to fully take joy in the pregnancy. Sometimes it can be difficult to identify why you’re having a hard time getting excited about such an exciting thing.

Here are four steps to getting you on the path to greater emotional investment in your surrogate pregnancy and to being able to enjoy the experience:

Step 1: Address Infertility-Related Grief

If you’ve experienced infertility, miscarriage, or pregnancy loss, you’ll need to fully grieve those losses before starting your family-building process. Even then, those old emotions can pop back up throughout your surrogate pregnancy, making it hard for you to get excited. Some of the common grief-related experiences that you may have include:

  • Wanting to emotionally distance yourself from your surrogate or the pregnancy for fear of the pain of another pregnancy loss
  • Constantly worrying about what your surrogate is doing that could trigger a miscarriage or other harmful development
  • Re-experiencing grief that you were physically unable to conceive or carry your baby as you watch your surrogate’s pregnancy progress
  • Fearing that you won’t love a surrogacy-born baby as much as a baby you carried yourself

Grief is never easy to shake, and we tend to re-experience it when we least want to. If your emotions about infertility or pregnancy loss are standing in the way of you enjoying your surrogate pregnancy, you owe it to yourself and your surrogate to try to address those emotions so you can experience the excitement you deserve. Talking to a counselor or therapist, your spouse, religious advisor and/or surrogacy professional may help.

Step 2: Let Go of the Need to Control

When so much is out of your hands, feeling in control of even small things can bring a sense of comfort. The feeling of a lack of control can make it hard for you to get excited about a surrogate pregnancy. Some common experiences that waiting parents have are:

  • Worrying about what their surrogate is eating, what medications she’s taking or other factors beyond their control instead of enjoying their surrogate’s pregnancy
  • Trying to micromanage their surrogacy professionals rather than connecting with their surrogate and getting excited about their baby
  • Overburdening themselves with planning baby showers, designing the nursery, or throwing themselves into work instead of acknowledging the emotional realities of the pregnancy

Sometimes it can be helpful to control whatever small things we can, especially when major things are not under our control. In other situations, trying to control details can be harmful. For example, micromanaging your surrogate or your surrogacy professional won’t help anyone, and it’ll only emotionally distance yourself from truly enjoying the experience of a surrogate pregnancy.

Do your best to relax and to embrace the unknown as much as you can. Talking to former intended parents may help soothe some of your anxieties about this.

Step 3: Connect with Your Surrogate

There are a lot of emotions at play that can leave you feeling a little reluctant or nervous to talk to your surrogate about her pregnancy. Some common irritations that intended parents have that may hinder excitement about the pregnancy include:

  • Jealousy toward the surrogate for being able to carry their baby
  • Not being able to experience her physical sensations of pregnancy and feeling a sense of disconnect
  • Physical distance in a long-distance surrogacy match that makes it hard for them to feel emotionally connected to their surrogate and their baby
  • Fearing that they’re bothering their surrogate

It’s important to prioritize your relationship with your surrogate. Not every surrogate and her intended parents are going to be best friends, and that’s perfectly fine. But getting to know your surrogate as a person and not just as “your surrogate” will help you feel more invested if you’re feeling a little disconnected right now.

Try to spend some time together, when she’s available. Even if you have a long-distance surrogacy match, try to talk on the phone or video chat. Talking to her about her pregnancy is a great way to build your own excitement about her experiences, but talking to her about her family, her interests and more will help you to build an overall stronger connection.

Step 4: Spend Time with Your Loved Ones

The surrogacy process is time-consuming and can be emotionally exhausting. Sometimes relationships can feel the strain of this. But the people you’re closest to aren’t just your best source of emotional support — they’ll also help you to get excited about your surrogate pregnancy.

Some of these common feelings that waiting parents experience might make it hard for you to get excited about the pregnancy:

  • Feeling out-of-sync with your spouse or partner, who may be more (or less) excited than you are about the pregnancy
  • Frustrations with friends or family who have very different emotional responses to the pregnancy than your own current feelings
  • Emotional exhaustion from talking about the pregnancy and surrogacy process so often with well-meaning friends, family or coworkers

This can be a great opportunity to spend some quality time with your spouse or partner, as well as your older kids, if you have children. After all, these are the last few months you’ll have together before the welcome chaos of a new family member. Take some time to go on a small weekend trip together, go to the movies, or even just spend time doing the normal, non-surrogacy-related things you love doing.

The surrogacy experience can be an emotional time, and spouses can process their feelings in different ways. Spending time together to talk, reconnect and focus on your relationship will benefit everyone, and you can get one another more excited about your baby’s upcoming arrival in the process.

If you’re having a hard time getting excited about your surrogate pregnancy, try not to feel frustrated. Instead, try to identify why you might be struggling to enjoy the pregnancy and work to build an emotional connection to the experience. Pregnancy is an exciting time, and surrogacy is uniquely wonderful. You deserve to enjoy all the emotions that come with it.

Should You Use Embryo Donation & Surrogacy to Build Your Family?

Oftentimes, when intended parents pursue surrogacy, it’s because they desire a genetic connection that other family-building options like adoption can’t provide. But, choosing surrogacy isn’t always about having a biological child. For some intended parents, it’s about a degree of control that adoption can’t provide. For these intended parents, surrogacy provides the perfect solution to their family-building desires.

Combining embryo adoption with gestational surrogacy is becoming a more and more popular option for intended parents looking to grow their families. Here at American Surrogacy, we are happy to guide intended parents through this kind of assisted reproductive technology, as well as the unique considerations this path requires.

So, how do you know if embryo donation and gestational surrogacy are right for you?

1. You don’t need to have a biologically related child.

For many intended parents, gestational surrogacy is the only way they can bring a genetically related child into the world. For others, genetics aren’t as important. Instead, some intended parents are simply interested in having as healthy a pregnancy as possible, which surrogacy can provide.

Some intended parents have genetic conditions they don’t wish to pass down to their children. This is a very common reason for intended parents choosing gestational surrogacy with donated embryos. By adopting embryos, intended parents can choose the medical history of the biological parents to ensure their child has the best chance for health during their in-utero development and as they grow up in the years to come.

2. You want a degree of control you can’t find through adoption.

In adoption, hopeful parents always have the right to select what kind of history they are comfortable with their child and their child’s birth mother having. However, there are certain things parents have little control over: a birth mother’s desire for post-placement contact, how she takes care of herself during pregnancy, and her ultimate ability to choose whether or not adoption is right for her.

Gestational surrogacy, on the other hand, allows intended parents to choose the woman who will carry their child and to play a role in their child’s development in utero. There is no risk of a gestational surrogate changing her mind and “keeping the baby”; legal processes ensure that the intended parents are the legal parents of the child at birth, even if a donated embryo is used. When you pursue gestational surrogacy, your surrogacy specialist and your surrogacy attorney will ensure you have the degree of control you desire in your surrogacy plan.

3. You can’t carry a child on your own.

Embryo adoption isn’t just used for women who can carry pregnancies but don’t have healthy gametes; it’s also used for women who cannot carry pregnancies to term and single men who have low-quality sperm.

Many intended parents find out that a donated embryo is the only way to have a healthy child, due to the quality of their gametes. During their infertility treatment, they find that carrying a child (whether biological or not) can lead to complications they didn’t previously know about. In this case, they may choose to have another woman carry those donated gametes for them — through gestational surrogacy.

If you have adopted embryos with the intention of carrying them yourself, but your pregnancies have not been successful, you may turn to gestational surrogacy to give yourself a second chance with any remaining embryos you have. Similarly, if you are a single intended father pursuing surrogacy who needs a sperm donation, you may find that an embryo donation is an easier way to complete the necessary step.

4. You are looking for a way to cut down on surrogacy costs.

If you do not already have embryos created, you may be interested in embryo adoption as a way to cut down on your overall surrogacy costs. On average, one round of IVF costs $12,000 — and there’s no guarantee that a viable embryo will be created. That’s not including the cost for any donated gametes that you may need. On the other hand, adopting an existing high-quality embryo can cost about $12,000 to $15,000 — once. Donated embryos can be thawed and transferred to a carrier’s uterus when she is ready, rather than having to wait for an egg donor or intended mother’s cycle to match up.

If gestational surrogacy seems to be too expensive with the added cost of IVF, embryo adoption might be a good option for your family.

5. You have spoken to your reproductive endocrinologist about your options.

The best person to tell you whether embryo adoption and gestational surrogacy is right for you will always be your reproductive endocrinologist. They know the most about your infertility struggles and have access to necessary information to determine which options are available to you. If your reproductive endocrinologist is not optimistic about the quality of embryos created from your and your spouse’s gametes or your ability to carry a pregnancy safely, they may recommend embryo adoption and gestational surrogacy.

If you are exploring all of your infertility options, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor about this option — which, unknown to you, may end up being the best option to grow your family.

If you are interested in embryo donation, we recommend you reach out to these organizations:

For more information about gestational surrogacy, please contact our surrogacy specialists today at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).