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).

5 Ways to Respond to “When Are You Having a Baby?”

The holiday season — a time full of love, joy, and reconnecting with family. But, family doesn’t always mean love and joy, especially for those going through the infertility process. Instead, it can sometimes mean endless questions about a subject you’d rather not let be the focus of your holiday season.

For many relatives, close and extended, the holiday season is a time to catch up with family about the big updates of the year and those yet to come. Often, those questions involve discussions of family-building and future bundles of joy. While these questions may seem harmless to the asker, they can quickly take their toll on couples and singles at every stage in their family-building process.

We know that the holidays can be a tough time for intended parents, even if their families are sensitive about discussing their family-building process. That’s why your surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy will always be here to support you during this time, whether you need more information about your personal surrogacy journey or connections to trusted local infertility counselors.

If you’re like many intended parents, no amount of preparation can stave off the inevitable question: “When are you having kids?” If you wish to spend time with family during the holidays, there are a few different ways you can approach this invasive question:

1. Explain your situation ahead of time.

If you know a big family gathering is coming — such as Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner — take the initiative to tell your family members about any news (or lack of) in your family-building process ahead of time. Consider sending a mass text or email to tell your extended family (who may be unaware of your recent life changes) about your current status in your infertility treatments. Whether you are still undergoing traditional treatments, have taken a break or are pursuing surrogacy or adoption, share that news with them ahead of time. That way, they can process any emotions they have and ask you questions in a less emotionally charged way than you would experience at a family gathering.

2. Redirect with a joke or lighthearted comment.

If you do get the dreaded questions during your family gathering, you have a few options in how you respond. If you don’t wish to go into depth about the personal details of your family-building process, you can respond in a lighthearted way. Often, family members and friends will pick up on your comment and redirect the conversation elsewhere. If they don’t, take that initiative yourself.

If someone asks you, “When are you having children?” you could respond with answers such as:

  • “My dog/cat is enough of a child for me right now!”
  • “That’s a good question! I have one for you, too” (and then change to another subject).
  • “When I hit all the countries and cities on my bucket list!”
  • “Well, we’re just doing a lot of practice right now!”
  • “I don’t know, but we’ll give it a go tonight!”
  • “Not sure yet — what about you?”
  • “When people stop asking us all the time, so probably not for a while.”

Obviously, some of these responses will go over better than others, depending on who you are speaking to. Use your own judgement, and the right response will usually lead to the asker quickly changing the subject.

3. Answer honestly — and take this chance to educate.

If you’re dealing with infertility, you may have been keeping this a secret from your family and friends. However, infertility is more common than you may think — 1 in 8 American couples struggle to get pregnant — and you can spread awareness by being honest about your situation. If you feel up for it, explain to the asker that you have been having troubles getting pregnant and are looking into your options. You can also take this opportunity to explain why asking this question can be so harmful to people, and that advice from anyone other than your doctor won’t make you feel any better.

If you mention that you are pursuing surrogacy or adoption, you may receive misguided and misinformed comments from your family and friends. If you are comfortable doing so, take this opportunity to shed the light on the reality of these family-building methods. Not only will you help spread awareness about these beautiful methods of creating a family, you will also help your family and friends get as excited as you are about your future plans.

4. Make your discomfort known.

You don’t have to explain your situation if you don’t feel comfortable doing so. Remember, news about your family-building process is always personal, and it’s no one’s business but your own. If you don’t feel like answering the question, “When are you having kids?” with a long response, use something simple:

“That’s a really personal question that I’m really not comfortable answering.”

While it may be awkward when you start using this response, it can be incredibly effective at shutting down the conversation about your family-building plans and will often prevent your friend or family member from asking the same question again in the future.

5. Make any discussion about family-building off-limits.

If all else fails, you may need to use more forceful language when speaking with your friends and family. Subtle responses like the one above may not stop a nosy relative, so be prepared to shut down the conversation if you have to.  As uncomfortable as it may be, tell the asker that this is not a topic for discussion during your family gathering, that you wish to focus on the family that is already here to celebrate, and that you do not want for them to ask again. It may cause tension in the family for a little bit, but it is always worth it when it comes to your emotional well-being.

The holidays can often be stressful enough without feeling like you have to fend off intrusive questions from your loved ones about your personal life. If you need to, don’t be afraid to take some space for yourself during these gatherings or even avoid certain get-togethers completely. It is important for you to keep yourself emotionally healthy, especially if you are in the middle of surrogacy, adoption or another family-building path. Remember, your family’s journey is only your own business; you do not owe anyone an explanation.

For more guidance about discussing surrogacy and infertility with your family and friends, don’t hesitate to reach out to your surrogacy specialist at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).

Join Us in Honoring Those Lost Too Soon: Pregnancy, Infant Loss and Miscarriage Month

While Oct. 15 may be Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, those who have suffered the loss of a pregnancy or baby take time throughout the entire month of October to remember their lost children and to spread awareness.

Many hopeful parents who turn to American Surrogacy have experienced a miscarriage or infant loss prior to pursuing surrogacy. All of us at American Surrogacy offer our support to those who are remembering a lost pregnancy or infant this month. Remember, your surrogacy specialist is always there for you. She is also happy to connect you with an infertility counselor, should you need a little extra support during this time of the year.

However, one of the best ways to help others during this month is to educate yourself and to spread your new knowledge. There may be a lot about Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month that you don’t know about. Here’s your chance to learn and share:

Who Observes Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day?

The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Wales, Norway, Kenya and Italy all honor lost pregnancies and babies on Oct. 15. The day culminates in the Lights of Love International Wave of Light, where candles are lit for an hour in remembrance at 7 p.m. local time across the globe.

Anyone who has ever felt the pain of a lost pregnancy from miscarriage, or the loss of an infant due to illness, stillbirth, SIDS and more spend the month of October honoring that loss. Parents and families of the children who have passed away are those who most commonly observe this month, but their cause is often shared among friends and loved ones.

How Many People Are Affected by Miscarriages or Infant Deaths?

The number of people who have experienced the loss of a pregnancy or baby may come as a surprise to you. If you yourself have never experienced this, then it’s likely that at least one person in your life has, whether you know it or not. Even if you think you’ve never been affected by this kind of tragedy, someone close to you probably has.

Here are some of the statistics behind pregnancy and infant loss:

  • An estimated 15 to 20 percent of confirmed pregnancies will end in miscarriage.
  • In 2016, there were 23,161 infant deaths in the U.S.
  • The global infant mortality rate has dramatically decreased from 1990 to 2016, going from about 64.8 deaths per 1,000 live births, to 30.5 deaths per 1,000 live births.
  • The top three leading causes of death for infants in the U.S. are chromosomal abnormalities and various types of congenital malformations, low birth weight or premature birth-related problems, and SIDS.
  • Most infant deaths in the United States occur within the first 27 days of life.
  • A lack of health care access is one of the highest contributors to infant death, so poorer rural areas are most affected, most commonly among minority ethnic groups.
  • Mississippi is the U.S. state with the highest infant mortality rate, while New Hampshire has the lowest rate.

Ways You Can Participate in Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Whether you’re a grieving parent or you simply want to show your support to those who have been affected by pregnancy and infant loss, there are several ways you can take part in Pregnancy, Infant Loss and Miscarriage Month:

  • Spread awareness and share stories through social media using the hashtag #PregnancyAndInfantLossRemembranceDay.
  • Join or organize a local gathering for the Lights of Love International Wave of Light and use the hashtag #WaveOfLight.
  • Do something kind for someone who is grieving, like making them a meal or offering to listen or babysit their older children so they can have a night out.
  • Join a pregnancy or infant loss support group, either online or in your area.
  • Wear the pink and blue ribbons that signify Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day to raise awareness.
  • Contact your representatives about initiatives that can improve maternity and infant healthcare access and education, so that those who are most at-risk (mothers in the first trimester and babies in their first year of life) have better access to life-saving medical care.
  • Share simple pregnancy and baby care information (about preventing SIDS, prenatal health, etc.) through social media to reach mothers who might not otherwise have access to reliable and accurate healthcare information.
  • Offer your support, and never judge anyone who has lost a child for any reason.

Tragically, even with the best medical care, children can leave us just as soon as they come into our lives. A parent’s grief can last a long time, even if their child’s life was a short one. But your stories and shared experiences may help others who are going through similar emotions. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone.

There are many people who are remembering lost pregnancies and babies this October. American Surrogacy joins those who are hurting in honoring those who were gone too soon, and we offer our condolences.

What are you doing this October to help raise awareness about Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month? Let us know in the comments below.

Managing the Grief of Infertility: Tips for Intended Parents

An estimated 1 in 8 couples will be diagnosed with infertility. So, if you’re grieving after your diagnosis, you’re not alone.

Grief is the most common reaction to infertility. Some people grieve their original dream of having biological children, or they grieve their body’s inability to become pregnant or carry a child. Others may also be grieving pregnancy loss. There is often the feeling of loss of control and identity when a person is diagnosed with infertility, and the grieving process is an essential part of rediscovering yourself after infertility.

Wherever you are in your current family-building journey, here a few things to keep in mind and to help you through the infertility grieving process:

Everyone Grieves Differently

If you’re dealing with infertility alongside a partner, it can be difficult if they grieve differently than you do, or if they process their feelings at a different pace. Your friends and family may also grieve for you in their own way.

Be patient with them and with yourself.

It can be frustrating or lonely when everyone is hurting, but try to stay compassionate with one another. Continue to communicate how you’re feeling and what you need from others.

Responses to infertility can manifest in different ways for different people, including:

  • Anger or blame
  • Feelings of guilt or shame
  • Sadness or depression
  • Numbness or emotional detachment
  • Disbelief or denial through seeking help from many different health professionals
  • Hyper-focusing on your infertility and having an inability to concentrate on anything else
  • Trying to ignore your infertility by focusing on everything else

After learning of their infertility, one partner may tend to bury themselves in their infertility diagnosis, while the other may avoid it as much as possible. Grieving differently can make a painful time even harder, but try to continue to support one another as you deal with your emotions on your own terms.

Ways to Help Heal from Infertility Grief

Not sure how to start making peace with what you’re feeling? Here are a few methods that can help you begin processing your infertility grief:

  • Create a representative space to honor lost pregnancies or lost dreams of having a child in the way you’d initially hoped for. This could be a space on a shelf where you put items you purchased for a child, or a garden that you plant and care for.
  • Write about your thoughts and feelings. Putting pen to paper through journaling or through letters to a lost child or a future baby can help you look at your emotional progress and see hope for a different path to parenthood someday.
  • Use creative outlets or hobbies to keep from falling into depression or hyper-focusing on your diagnosis. Keep hiking, running, making jewelry or whatever you like to do to help get back to feeling like yourself.
  • Talk to others. Join a local infertility support group, talk to your partner, friends or family members that you feel will listen the best. Consider talking to an infertility counselor.
  • Plan for things you can look forward to, such as concerts, taking a trip, visiting friends, or taking classes of something you’ve always been interested in, whether that’s cooking or boxing. This can help if you’ve felt like you’re not in control lately, and it also gives you a few fun things in the future to look forward to.

There’s no right or wrong way to tackle your infertility grief. As long as you’re acknowledging that grief and giving yourself the time you need to begin feeling at peace, then you’re doing great.

Move Forward When You’re Ready

Moving forward means that you may need to let go of painful things that can hold you back from living a full and happy life. That may be letting go of your dreams of having a child who is biologically related to you or carrying a pregnancy yourself, or letting go of miscarriages or children you’ve lost. This doesn’t mean that you’ll forget what you’ve experienced, but it does mean that you’re ready to take the next step in your life. Moving forward is a necessary step after the grieving process, and it looks different for everyone.

When you feel like you’re ready to move forward after experiencing infertility grief, there are different paths your life can take:

There is no right or wrong way to move on from infertility. There’s also no timeline for reaching the point where you feel ready to move forward. People reach that point at their own pace, so be patient with yourself and with loved ones. This is a process that’s personal and unique to everyone.

Some important things to remember:

  • You’re not alone — many people come to terms with infertility and understand what it’s like to grieve.
  • You’ll be happy again, and you’ll find a new path for your life and you can be a parent if you want to, even if it’s not in the way you’d originally planned.
  • Be kind with yourself and others, and don’t be afraid to seek infertility grief counseling if you need to.

Infertility grief is difficult but it is manageable with some work, and you will heal. Until then, take care of yourself. When you are ready to start discussing your family-building options, know that American Surrogacy is here to help.