Surrogate Compensation vs. Reimbursement [An Intended Parent’s Guide to Understanding the Difference]

Women who desire to be surrogates, and those who already are gestational carriers, are special people who want to give a gift that will start or grow a family. Although there is monetary reimbursement involved and base compensation for carrying a pregnancy, surrogates aren’t in it for the money.

You may be wondering, “If not for the money then why do they do it?” Believe it or not there are several reasons that women choose to become surrogates:

  1. She wants to help intended parents, like you, start or grow your family.
  2. She enjoys being pregnant, but feels that her own family is complete.
  3. She wants to see you meet your baby for the first time.

Honestly, surrogates just want you to have the family that you deserve!

So, if surrogates aren’t in it for the money, then why do they get reimbursement and compensation? The answer is simple: a surrogate’s body and time deserve to be respected. Just because gestational carriers enjoy being pregnant doesn’t mean that the gestational surrogacy process is easy for them.

As you read this article, keep in mind that reimbursement and compensation are secondary (and likely even tertiary) thoughts for a surrogate. Her desire to give you a healthy baby is her top priority.

Codi, a surrogate through American Surrogacy, explained her thoughts on her responsibility as a surrogate.

“The hardest part for me about being a surrogate was the weight of carrying somebody else’s joy and happiness,” Codi said. “You carry your own, and you love them immensely, and you know that you would do the best things for them, but when you’re carrying somebody else’s you have all of those feelings, but you feel like you have to prove to someone, ‘I promise I’m taking care of him to the best of my ability.’”

To begin your journey as intended parents or as a gestational carrier, call American Surrogacy today at 1-800-875-BABY (2229). If you meet the requirements to become a surrogate and you’re ready to begin, contact us online at any time.

Surrogacy is a conscious choice and effort for a woman to help you have a baby, which brings us to the first myth about reimbursement and compensation — surrogacy is not a job.

“We’re Paying Her to Do a Job.” Here’s Why That’s Not Accurate.

When a woman voluntarily makes the conscious decision to carry your baby, she is doing this out of her desire to see you become a family.

That doesn’t sound like a job at all.

It’s actually a humanitarian effort. Surrogates may enjoy being pregnant, but they’re not choosing surrogacy just to be pregnant. They’re choosing surrogacy because they want to help you create the loving family that you deserve.

Delicia, a surrogate, talks about where her heart truly was when she made the decision to become a surrogate.

“I initially chose to become involved in surrogacy because I watched some very dear friends struggle with infertility. I knew they would be amazing parents and it broke my heart that they may not have the opportunity to have a family of their own”

Does that sound like she wanted to apply for the job position of gestational carrier? No.

If surrogates are looking for a job, they can certainly find a position that is less physically demanding on their bodies, doesn’t involve medications and regular trips to the doctor, and isn’t a 24/7 gig that takes 38 or more weeks of her time. She’s not looking for a job, she just wants you to start or grow your family by helping you have a baby.

Speaking of the physical demands and time constraints of pregnancy, before your surrogate can even become pregnant, she has to go through screenings and medical treatments. She should certainly be reimbursed for her efforts and the significant amount of time that the screening process will take.

What is Surrogacy Reimbursement and What Does it Include?

Prospective surrogates go through a rigorous round of medical evaluations, psychological evaluations, cycle medications, hormone treatments and more to prepare her mind and body for surrogacy.

Here is a list of a few common requirements that your prospective surrogate must complete:

  • Previous childbirth records review
  • In-home assessment
  • Background check
  • Emotional maturity evaluation
  • Personality test
  • Physical exam to include a pap smear
  • Blood and urine lab tests
  • Saline sonogram to evaluate the uterus
  • And more

This all happens before she is even approved for the embryo transfer!

Can you imagine going through this process without some form of reimbursement for the medical costs incurred? Your prospective surrogate isn’t receiving any base compensation during this process, but she is entitled to financial reimbursement for her time and efforts.

You may be wondering, “Does my surrogate still get reimbursed for a failed embryo transfer?” Yes, even though the embryo transfer may be unsuccessful, she will still receive reimbursement for any costs incurred during that process.

On the other hand, when the embryo transfer is successful, and your baby has a confirmed heartbeat, it’s time to move from reimbursement to base compensation. She is now officially your gestational carrier!

What is Base Compensation and How Does it Work?

Surrogates aren’t trying to get rich by helping you have a baby. Often gestational carriers don’t want compensation at all (yes, they’re really that selfless!), but it is important for you to understand that compensation is a very reasonable expectation for her and her family.

Base compensation is the set amount of funds that a surrogate will receive once pregnancy is confirmed. This amount is written into a contract between the surrogate and the intended parents before any attempts are made to move forward with the surrogacy process.

First, you should know that base compensation does not include medical, legal or travel expenses. Those expenses are paid outside of base compensation. The funds for base compensation are to be used by the surrogate in any way that she sees fit, unlike the reimbursements for very specific pregnancy — and surrogacy—related costs. For example, if she and her family want to make a down payment on a new home, she can use her base compensation in that way. She can save the base compensation payments for her child’s future college education, pay off her own student loans, go on vacation, etc.

Next, base compensation amount can increase depending on your surrogate’s level of experience (number of successful surrogate pregnancies), the cost of living in her state, and it even depends on the intended parent’s situation (if you are international intended parents, then your surrogate may earn additional compensation).

Finally, here’s a basic overview of how surrogacy base compensation works:

  1. Base compensation begins with confirmation of the baby’s heartbeat — around six weeks of pregnancy.
  2. An escrow account will be created to ensure that base compensation transactions are managed properly and match the agreed contract terms.
  3. Funds for base compensation are deposited into the escrow account in 10 equal installments throughout the pregnancy.

It is important to note that not all pregnancies are smooth sailing, so additional compensation is set aside for your surrogate in case of emergencies and/or unforeseen circumstances. If the pregnancy does go as planned, resulting in a healthy and happy baby and surrogate, then the use of emergency compensation is not necessary.

Codi, a surrogate through American Surrogacy, explains how she came to realize that compensation for her time and the physical demands of pregnancy was important.

“When I started the process I always thought, ‘I could probably do it without compensation, like I just really want to do this,’” Codi said. “However, I think it’s important now that I’ve gone through it, to say it was very valuable. The compensation made it feel like I was valued in that sense.”

Surrogates are valued beyond measure and, truthfully, their decision to carry your child for you is selfless, loving and priceless.

Alicia, a surrogate through American Surrogacy, talks about how compensation helped her reach her educational goals and created opportunities to spend time with her daughter.

“I did not know what I was going to do with the money ahead of time,” Alicia said. “The first time around I did know that I was going to go to nursing school with the money, which I did get to do that, and that was very helpful. The second time around…I used the money for expenses and also for my daughter. So, trips with her — we went on vacations a lot. I used a lot of the money for her…to show my appreciation for her being so understanding and just a great little helper while I was going through the process.”

Remember, when a prospective surrogate agrees to carry your child, she’s not doing it for the money. But, she certainly deserves the reimbursement and compensation that she receives. Although she truly desires to help you start or grow your family out of the kindness and love in her heart, her time and her body deserve respect. Your surrogate is choosing to help you in a special and intimate way. She receives 10 months of compensation while you receive the priceless gift of a new family member and a lifetime of love.

5 Things to Look for When Choosing an Egg or Sperm Donor [Beyond Physical Appearance and Health]

If you’re looking for a sperm or egg donor (or maybe even both) to help you complete your surrogacy process, you’re choosing more than a photo out of a pile – you’re choosing the person who will be 50% of your child’s biological origin. This is hugely significant not just for you and the donor, but for your child.

Whether you’re considering asking someone you know to be your donor, or you’re thinking about working with a professional donor clinic, there are 5 important things you always need to look for when choosing a gamete donor:

1. Someone Willing to Sign a Donor Contract

Even if your donor is your most trusted friend, legal protection through a donor contract is necessary for everyone involved. Having this important document will ensure that you, your donor, and your child are all protected from potential legal complications that could cost you no small amount of money, time, or tears.  

Many family law attorneys; in particular, attorneys who have experience with surrogacy and A.R.T. law will be able to create a donor contract for you. If you have any questions about donor contracts or if you need an attorney referral, your American Surrogacy specialist can help.

2. Someone Willing to Be Identified

If our roots in open adoption have taught us anything, it’s that children should know their history. While you will always be your child’s parent, your child’s donor still represents a very important part of their identity and history. Losing or even hiding that biological link would be detrimental to your child.

Instead of choosing an anonymous donor, we strongly encourage intended parents to consider working with a known donor or to choose an identified donor through a donor bank or clinic. Many donor clinics have exclusively moved toward working with donors who are willing to be identified, because in today’s world of at-home DNA tests and ancestry websites, there is no such thing as true anonymity.

Having a donor who is willing to answer your child’s questions someday can be invaluable.

3. Someone with an In-Depth Profile

Again, because donors today aren’t truly anonymous, it’s standard practice to provide a complete profile. When looking at a potential donor’s profile, it should include:

  • Their social and medical history.
  • Family medical history.
  • Details about their education and occupation.
  • Their interests and hobbies.
  • Their marital status.
  • Information about any children they’re raising, or any children conceived through their contributions as a donor.
  • Photos of themselves as an adult and a child.
  • Details about whether or not they’d be open to contact from donor-conceived children.
  • Details about whether or not they’d be open to helping families have biologically connected siblings.
  • And more.

Intended parents commonly focus on the physical appearance of the donor first. But remember that a child can inherit much more than looks from a donor. Personality, quirks and traits can also be genetically inherited, to a degree.

Nobody can precisely predict how their child will look or what their child will be like — regardless of whether that child is conceived “the old fashioned way” or via donor gametes. However, a donor’s profile can give some insight into 50% of your child’s genetic heritage.

4. Someone Who Understands the Responsibilities of Being a Donor

If a donor is willing to sign a legal contract, willing to be identified and is also willing to provide an in-depth profile full of information, they probably understand the responsibility of being a donor! Whether you’re looking for a donor through a clinic or you’re considering taking a friend up on their offer to be your donor, the right donor will understand that this is a big responsibility. Whenever you’re considering a potential donor, look for someone who understands:

  • Your child may one day have questions about their biological roots.
  • Their willingness to receive contact from you and/or your child if medical or personal questions ever arise can be incredibly beneficial.
  • They have no parental responsibilities ­­– legal, financial, emotional or otherwise, but they will still be an important aspect of this child’s history.
  • The importance of updating you and/or your child if they learn of any new medical concerns that could affect a donor-conceived child.

5. Consider If You Might Like Biologically Related Siblings Someday

Maybe you’re thinking about having more than one child with the assistance of a donor and/or gestational carrier, this is something you’ll want to specify in your search. Some intended parents like the idea of their children being either full- or half-biological siblings. This is an entirely personal decision, but some intended parents opt for this route because:

  • They don’t want to have to search for a donor more than once.
  • It may make medical updates or potential communication with the donor a bit easier.
  • They want their children to have a biological connection within the family.

Some donors only contribute to a clinic once, while others will donate many times. If genetically related siblings are something that you might want, you can specify this preference with a gamete bank. If you’re accepting a donated gamete from a personal acquaintance, you may first want to ask if they’d be willing to donate more than once.


Already found a donor? Ready to begin the surrogacy process? Then it’s time to find a gestational carrier. We can help. Contact us now to get more information.

5 Weird Tips to Improve Egg Quality

If you’re an intended parent, you probably have a lot of questions when it comes to IVF. One of them might be:

“Is there a way that I can improve my egg quality?”

Why Egg Quality Is Important in Surrogacy

While some intended parents will use a donor egg, other intended parents hope to use their own eggs in the gestational surrogacy process. Eggs can be surgically retrieved from an intended mother, and her fertility clinic can combine the most viable of those eggs with sperm from a donor or an intended father to create an embryo. That embryo can then be transferred to a gestational surrogate’s uterus.

But, egg quality is one factor that can directly impact whether or not the transfer will result in a pregnancy. So, some intended mothers will try to increase their chances of producing as many healthy eggs as possible leading up to their retrieval procedure.

It might sound surprising, but there are actually a few tricks that you can check out. To help make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a few of them into this guide. But if you’d like to talk to one of our specialists to learn more, you can fill out our free information form.

In the meantime, check out these surprising tips to improve egg quality.

1. Try Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years. But did you know that some intended moms also use this well-known method to improve IVF success rates?

It might sound surprising, but a number of women have attributed their success to this medical technique. Here are two ways that acupuncture may help improve egg quality and potentially increase egg production:

  • Improved Blood Flow: There are two big things that can lead to a decline in blood flow to the uterus and ovaries: stress and aging. But acupuncture can actually increase blood flow by slowing down (also known as de-regulating) the nervous system. This will cause your blood vessels to dilate, which means that they’ll start to widen. When this happens, your blood vessels may release more nutrients to the ovaries and uterus, which may help create healthy eggs.
  • Reduces Stress: Many people rely on acupuncture for stress relief. When needles are inserted into the skin at specific points, the body will release endorphins, also known as your natural pain-relief chemicals. These hormones produced by your brain and nervous system can lift you out of a bad mood and can help alleviate stress.

Most doctors recommend that you begin acupuncture sessions at least 3 months before going to your IVF cycle appointment. To learn more about whether or not acupuncture may help you, we recommended talking to your doctor!

2. Exercise

Exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are one of the most important tips you can follow when you’re going through IVF. While it’s generally a good idea to abstain from strenuous activities, studies have shown that having a healthy BMI is linked to positive IVF success. Activities like light to moderate weight lifting, walking, using an elliptical and light yoga are good options to choose from. 

3. Eat well

Eating healthy foods won’t just make you feel better; it will help your eggs stay healthy, too. Eating plenty of leafy greens, whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables should be part of your diet. And of course, you’ll want to avoid processed foods, fast food and too much sugar.

4. Manage your stress

You might know that overexerting yourself can quickly take a toll on your mental and physical health. But did you know that stress can affect your egg production, too? When you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed, try to take a step back and look for ways to reduce your stress. A good book, practicing yoga or meditation and light exercise can help take your mind off what’s worrying you.

5. Take Supplements

Taking your vitamins can actually be a good way to increase your egg quality. In one study, women who took DHEA fertility supplements were even able to produce more eggs. Coenzyme Q10 is another option that might help. In general, a good quality multi-vitamin that includes vitamins like A, zinc, magnesium, iron might help you see an improvement.  As always, consult your doctor before you take any new supplements or vitamins.

6. Consider Minimal Stimulation IVF

In some cases, egg retrieval following minimal stimulation produced better quality eggs. With this type of treatment, the goal is to grow fewer but higher-quality follicles. While this method produces fewer eggs, focusing on higher quality may help you get the most out of egg retrieval day. Ask your fertility specialist if this might be a good option for you.

The IVF process takes patience, and we know it can be tough – physically and emotionally. If you’d like to speak with your specialist about more tips to improve your egg quality as you begin the surrogacy process (or about surrogacy in general), you can reach out to us through our free information form to learn more.

How to Speed Up Your Surrogacy Matching Process [3 Tips for Intended Parents]

As an intended parent, it’s only natural to get excited about finally starting the matching process. You’ve spent a lot of time waiting and dreaming for the opportunity to start your family and we know that you can’t wait to get the ball rolling.

But, as you may have discovered by now, getting matched with a surrogate isn’t always the fastest process in the world. And if you’re like many intended families, it can be hard to stay patient while you wait for the perfect opportunity to come your way. When this happens, it’s only natural to ask:

“Is there any way we can speed up the matching process?”

The answer is yes. While every situation is different, there are a few tips that can help minimize your wait time. In this guide, we’ll go over everything you can do to get through the matching process quicker so that you can get one step closer to meeting the newest member of your family.

If you’d like to talk to one of our American Surrogacy specialists about steps you can take, you can reach out to us at any time by filling out our online form to get more information. You can even meet some of the women who are waiting to become surrogates through American Surrogacy here.

In the meantime, keep reading below to learn more about the tips you need to speed up the matching process.

1. Increase Your Openness to Opportunities in Other States

When you fill out your surrogacy plan as intended parents, you’ll be asked a series of questions about what you’re looking for in a gestational surrogate. This is done to help your surrogacy specialist find a match that meets your preferences. Of the many questions you’ll be asked, you’ll be asked to decide your surrogate’s location.

Right now, you’re probably thinking that you’re limited to the surrogates within your area. But luckily, this isn’t something you have to worry about. Because of American Surrogacy’s national reach, you’re not limited to the surrogates in your area. You can find the perfect surrogacy match in any state.

Pursuing a long-distance surrogacy relationship might sound intimidating. After all, as the intended parent, you’ll want to be there as much as you can for every step of the process. But with American Surrogacy, your specialist will be there to help you through any challenges you come across. With a consistent communication schedule and plenty of patience, a long-distance surrogacy relationship is more than possible. In fact, it’s very common!

2. Be Flexible

As you work through your intended parent surrogacy plan, you’ll notice that have a lot of control to make sure it’s a good fit. This means that you have a lot of freedom to find a surrogacy match that fits your preferences.  But as you begin to envision what the perfect gestational carrier looks like, it’s important to not be so specific that you close yourself off to other opportunities.

As an intended parent, being flexible is one of the best things that you can do. Rigidity in what you’ll accept in a gestational carrier can significantly increase your wait time. When you open yourself up to more surrogacy situations, your intended parent profile will be seen more often, and you’ll have a better chance of finding the perfect match. So, if you’re trying to speed up the process, you might consider opening your preferences. For instance, you can increase the amount of contact you’re open to after your surrogacy journey is over, as long as everyone is comfortable. You might also start out looking for surrogate who is married, but are open to a single mom. Being as flexible as possible will make it easier to find a match.

3. Being Open to Pay for Surrogates Insurance

There are many reasons why a woman might not have health insurance. And if she does, she might have a policy that lists a surrogacy exclusion. Matching with a surrogate in these circumstances will increase your budget. But being open to women in these circumstances can make it easier to find a match.

The Importance of Patience

As an intended parent, we know how anxious it feels when it comes to finding a match. But we also don’t want you to feel so impatient that you’ll take the first opportunity that comes your way. More than anything, it’s important to be honest with yourself. Don’t be afraid to say no if you feel like a match isn’t what you’re looking for.

Finding the perfect match will take time. Don’t feel like you have to rush through it. It’s important to properly take the time to get to know a prospective surrogacy partner before you make any serious commitments.

How Does the Surrogacy Matching Process Work?

If you haven’t started your surrogacy journey yet, but you’re worried about how to find a match, here’s what this process typically looks like: 

When you start your surrogacy journey, one of the first things you’ll do is fill out our unique Surrogacy Planning Questionnaire (SPQ). This document is the key to finding the perfect match. Here, you’ll include information about yourself, such as the amount of contact you’re open to with your surrogate, your assisted reproductive history, and your surrogacy budget. Additionally, you’ll also include what you’re looking for in a surrogate.

Right now, start thinking about whether:

  • You’re open to a surrogate in your state
  • You’re looking for a surrogate in another state
  • You’re looking for a married surrogate
  • You’re looking for a single surrogate
  • And more

Once you’ve determined what you’re looking for, your American Surrogacy specialist will start sending out your preferences to potential matches. If you and the other party express interest in one another, then your surrogacy specialist will set up a conference call. There, you can start to get to know one another and talk about your surrogacy goals in more detail. If everyone decides to move forward, then you’ll start the process of drafting your legal contract with your surrogacy attorney.


Right now, we bet that you’re eager to find the perfect match. To learn more about ways that you can help speed up the surrogacy matching process, don’t forget that you can contact us through our free online form to get more information. Or, you can meet some of the women who are waiting to become surrogates through American Surrogacy here.

10 Ways to Incorporate Your Surrogacy Story into the Holiday Season

The holiday season is finally here. We know that you’re more than a little excited to celebrate with your loved ones and the newest member of your family.

But when you’ve just bought your baby home through surrogacy, you might be unsure of how to incorporate your unique story into your annual holiday traditions.

Below are 10 ways that you can do just that.

1. Send a holiday greeting card.

If it’s been a bit since you’ve reached out to your surrogate or agency, you might think about sending them a nice holiday card. They would love to hear about how you’ve been since the end of your surrogacy journey and about your plans for the holidays. Don’t forget to include a picture of your beautiful family for them to see!

2. Show your appreciation during Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reach out to someone you’re thinking of — especially your surrogate.

There are a ton of ways that you can celebrate them during the busy Thanksgiving season. You might send them a card, spend some time together over a video chat or a phone call, or even just give thanks for them during your Thanksgiving dinner.

Let them know that you’re always thinking of them, and remind them of how much you appreciate their decision to help your family. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box if you’re looking for other ways to show your appreciation!

3. Look back on your surrogate baby book.

A memory book is a great way to keep track of the surrogacy journey. If you made one during the process, now would be an amazing time to look back on how far you’ve come. You might even add some new pictures to your book to remind you of the great times you had during this holiday season.

4. Add a sentimental ornament.

Surrogacy will impact your life many years to come. To commemorate this special journey, why not add a sentimental ornament to your Christmas tree? You might pick an ornament that has your child’s birth date on it or the date of their expected arrival. Take a look at Etsy and Pinterest for some really cool ideas.

5. Gift a book about surrogacy.

The best thing about Christmas and Hannukah is giving and receiving, and who doesn’t love getting books during the holiday? There are a ton of books available about that go in-depth about surrogacy for intended parents, surrogates, children and anyone else who may be curious about what the process is really like.

If you know someone who’s thinking about starting their own surrogacy journey, is in the middle of their journey or already has children through surrogacy, a book is a great holiday gift option.

6. Think about your favorite childhood traditions.

Of all the traditions you had as a child, was there anything that you especially loved? You can recreate them with your child’s surrogacy story in mind. For example, if you had a ton of fun making holiday cookies with your loved ones, you can do the same with your child. Make sure to send some of those goodies to your surrogate with a sweet note!

7. Honor the surrogacy journey.

The holidays are a perfect time to look at the past and feel grateful for everything that we have. Take a moment during this busy season to explain to your child how thankful you are for the surrogacy journey. Talk about how thankful you are that you and your child were brought together by surrogacy and remind your child of how special they are.

8. Plan a new holiday celebration together.

You may already have tons of holiday traditions, but what about something new that’s just focused on surrogacy? You could read a book about surrogacy together, or you could set aside some time during your holiday celebrations to talk with your surrogate or your surrogacy specialist.

9. Watch a positive movie about surrogacy.

We love relaxing on the couch and watching a movie with our family during the holiday season. Although not every surrogacy movie gets the process right, there are some that are worth checking out, like A Belly for Me, A Baby for You and The Guys Next Door.

10. Read a book together about surrogacy.

There are tons of books about the surrogacy process that you can read together with your child, even when they’re young. Some are told from the perspective of a child, so your child will have an age-appropriate explanation for what the surrogacy process is really like and an easier time connecting with the story.

If you’re looking for something geared toward adults, there are plenty of books that you might consider checking out.

How Will You Celebrate?

The holidays are some of the best times of the year. If you’ve been looking for some great ways to celebrate your surrogacy story, then we hope this blog gave you some new ideas.

Need some more? Reach out to your surrogacy specialist anytime for suggestions.

Recommended Reading While You’re Waiting During the Holidays

For many people, the holidays come with a lot of free time — which means this is the perfect opportunity for you to check out some of the best reading resources for intended parents and surrogates.

We know that the wait can be tough, but there are plenty of things that you can do to take your mind off the surrogacy process. Take the time now to sit down with these books and informational resources.

Whether you’ve been thinking about starting the surrogacy process over the long break, or you’re already in the middle of a journey, we hope that you can find something helpful here.

Recommended Reading for Intended Parents

Becoming an intended parent is an exciting journey. Because surrogacy is still fairly new, there is a lot to learn about this process. While you’re enjoying your holiday break, here is some of the best reading resources for intended parents.

Recommended Reading for Infertility

Coping with the loss of infertility is one of the hardest parts about starting the surrogacy journey and moving toward parenthood. If you’re looking for books about the infertility journey and blogs written by couples in your situation, start here:

Books for Explaining Surrogacy to Your Child

Surrogacy should be talked about openly and honestly. If you’re looking for ways to explain the process to your child or for books that you can read together during the holiday break, here are some great options to get started.

  • The Kangaroo Pouch: A Story About Surrogacy for Young Children: The Kangaroo Pouch is a simple, beautiful book that all families touched by surrogacy will love reading together. Told from the prospective of a young child, this story presents a step-by-step look of one family’s decision to grow through surrogacy and what life is like during the pregnancy and after.
  • I LoVe My Family: I LoVe My Family is a great way to explain surrogacy and assisted conception to young children. Filled with diverse pictures and inclusive language, this is the perfect tool to answer any of your child’s questions.
  • Grown in Another Garden: Grown in another Garden introduces the idea of surrogacy to young children. Told from the perspective of a surro-born child, this story helps explain why some couples choose surrogacy to grow their family.

Recommended Reading for Surrogates

There’s no such thing as too much information when it comes to surrogacy. Whether you’re in the middle of your surrogacy journey or thinking about becoming a surrogate, here are some informational books you should check out.

  • Everything Conceivable: This book has great information for intended parents and surrogates. It includes personal stories from everyone involved in surrogacy, along with an in-depth look at the entire surrogacy process.
  • Birthing a Mother: The Surrogate Body and the Pregnant Self: If you’re looking for a book that explores how intended mothers and surrogates relate to once another throughout the process, this is what you want.
  • Labor of Love: Gestational Surrogacy and the Work of Making Babies: This book includes a series of interviews from intended parents, gestational surrogates, and their family and friends. If you’re looking for a book that covers multiple perspectives, along with an in-depth look at the history of surrogacy, this is one to check out.
  • My Mom is a Surrogate: If you’re a surrogate, your children are going to be naturally curious about the process. This book follows a pair of siblings as they watch their mother become a surrogate. If you’re looking for a helpful way to explain the surrogacy process to your child, this book is a great way to get started.

Find Your New Favorite Book

The holidays are one of the best times of the year. It’s the perfect chance to look back and appreciate how far we’ve come, make our favorite resolutions for the new year and just unwind.

Whether it’s a book or a blog post, there always something to read during the holidays. Take the time to read something new as you get ready for the next part of your surrogacy journey.

Is there anything that you’re reading for your surrogacy and parenting journey? Let us know in the comments!

10 Holiday Gift Alternatives for Those Going Through Surrogacy

Are you gearing up for the holiday season? If you’re like most people, then you’re probably struggling with what to give your loved ones — especially if they’re an intended parent or a surrogate and you’re not sure about what is appropriate.

It’s easy to stick with the usual just to be safe: gift cards to their favorite restaurants or to a movie, clothes, holiday money. But we know that you’d rather get them something that’s a little more special. If you’ve having a hard time figuring out what to give them that will really blow them away, you’re not alone.

If you’re tired of pacing the aisles of Target to find the perfect gift, or if you’re looking for something a little out of the box, check out 10 gift ideas that will really impress your loved one going through the surrogacy process.

1. Sending Ready-Made Meals

Even those of us who absolutely love to cook could use a break sometimes. If your intended parent or surrogate’s idea of a good time is spending the evening in the kitchen, ordering a meal-kit delivery service is a great way to take the extra burden of meal-prepping off their shoulders. And, now that meal kits are more popular than ever, you have plenty of options to choose from.

These services are an easy way to ensure that the person you’re buying them for has healthy meals all week long without having to drive to the grocery store. Many of them also have options for specific diets   like vegan or vegetarian. Some, like Snap Kitchen and Fresh and Easy, even provide ready-made meals, which takes away the stress of getting dinner on the table ready. The options range in price, so you should be able to find one that fits perfectly in your budget.

A few favorites?

2. Meal-Prepping for Surrogates Who are Pregnant

There’s nothing better than having a meal made ahead of time. If you like the idea of meal-kit services, but you’d like to put your own spin on things, you might think about meal-prepping for your surrogate during her pregnancy.

Being pregnant isn’t easy, especially when carrying a child for someone else. With so much to worry about, it can be stressful to keep the fridge stocked and dinner on the table. During this holiday season, take the load off a surrogate’s shoulders by doing some of the heavy lifting for her. If you start early on Sunday morning, she’ll have plenty to enjoy throughout the week.

3. Donating to an Intended Parent’s Surrogacy Fund

Everyone loves getting gift cards during the holiday season. They’re simple, and you can find them just about anywhere. But this year, you might think about donating to something other than your local restaurant’s or movie theatre’s cash fund.

If your friend or loved one is pursing surrogacy, even just a little bit of your financial support goes a long way toward making a difference in their surrogacy expenses. Like adoption, surrogacy is an expensive endeavor. It takes a lot of time, money and resources to make intended parents’ dreams of building a family a reality. If you decide to donate to their surrogacy fund, you could take a financial burden off their shoulders.  burden off their shoulders.

4. Donating Your Time

The holidays are all about spending time together. It might seem like a small gift, but just your time can make a huge difference during someone’s surrogacy journey. Run their errands, offer babysitting services for their other children as they make their way to medical appointments, and more.

This can be a priceless gift for super busy people like your surrogate or intended parent. And having one stress-free day will make their surrogacy journey so much easier.

5. Giving Something Sentimental

The surrogacy journey will connect intended parents and surrogates together for years to come. If you are wondering what to give each other, it might be nice to either make or commission a gift that will remind you of your journey together. Consider a necklace that has the baby’s birthdate, a bracelet with the family’s initials, or some other personalized present.

6. Making a Homemade Treat

Over the last year, we’ve all had plenty of time to practice our baking and cooking skills. You’ve probably seen people on social media showing off their bread-making skills in the comfort of their own home. If you fall into that category, now is the time to show your loved ones how much you’ve learned.

Bring over some delicious bread, some handmade jam, or anything else that you think they might like.

7. Organizing a Personalized Gift Basket

You’ve probably seen gift baskets like Edible Arrangements, but you can also make your own gift basket for the special person in your life. Remember, it doesn’t need to be expensive or extravagant.

While you’re making your gift basket, think about where your loved one is at in their surrogacy journey. For example, if this is the intended parents’ first Christmas with their baby, they might want a few special items — like an ornament or figurine — that will help them commemorate this special day.

Likewise, think about where a surrogate is at in her pregnancy. If she’s just delivered, she might like something to commemorate the experience with the intended parents, as well as items for her postpartum recovery.

8. Putting Together a Memory Book

The surrogacy journey is full of ups and downs — just like any family-building experience. For this holiday season, you might decide to look back and create your own memory book of your surrogacy journey. Make a collection of your favorite pregnancy photos and or pictures of your child and put them in the book to share repeatedly.

Don’t forget a copy for your surrogacy partner!

9. Choosing Something for the Surrogate’s Family

If you’re the intended parent or the family of an intended parent, it could be nice to include a small gift for the surrogate and her family. Whether it’s something handmade or something you plan on buying, we’re sure you’ll find something special — like tickets to a local zoo or a movie night out.

10. Just Spending Time Together

Giving gifts is a wonderful part of the holidays. But it’s not the most important thing.

If you can, carve out some time to spend with the intended parents or the surrogate. Even if you choose to not spend any money, you can still have a great time with fun, family-friendly activities. Hold a talent show, a concert, or just watch a movie together from a distance.

It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday cheer and go all out with elaborate, expensive gifts. But the best gifts are the ones with the most thought put into them.

No matter what you decide to give your intended parents or surrogate, we know that they’ll appreciate it. If you put in the time and care to think about what they really want, you will make this holiday season one to remember.

Looking for more holiday gift ideas for your surrogacy partner? Contact your surrogacy specialist for suggestions!

The Importance of Grieving Infertility Before Pursuing Surrogacy

Becoming a parent is one of life’s greatest joys. As you start the surrogacy process, the last thing you want to think about is your infertility journey. After all, your dreams are finally coming true. Now that parenthood is your destination, you can put those painful memories in the rearview mirror and move forward. What is there to worry about?

A lot, actually.

Before you dive headfirst into the surrogacy process, you need to come to terms with and fully grieve your infertility journey. There’s just no way around it. Any unchecked feelings about your infertility journey will impact your mental health, your parenting experience and your relationship with your child. If you haven’t already accepted your infertility grief, it’s going to be hard to move forward from your loss and give the surrogacy experience your all.

Many intended parents have successful parenting experiences after infertility, but you do need to be aware of the challenges that arise when it comes to parenting after infertility.

Why Accepting Your Infertility is a Crucial First Step

The grief of infertility is a heavy burden to carry. It’s so heavy, in fact, that it will be easy for your child to pick up on any negative emotions that you’re trying to keep bottled up.

Even if you think that you’re doing a good job handling your grief and loss, any resentment you have toward not being able to carry your child yourself will affect your relationship with them and their self-esteem. And often, it can hurt your child for many years to come.

We know that you’re excited to become a parent and that you’re more than ready for this experience. However, becoming a parent when you’re not 100% emotionally ready is not fair to you or your child.

The way you feel about your surrogacy experience will shape how your child sees themselves and how they see the surrogacy process. If you continue to carry around resentment about the surrogacy process, or if you only see surrogacy as the second-best option, your child could start to feel like they’re like they’re the backup plan or like the way they came into this world wasn’t enough for you.

Of course, we know that you never want your child to feel this way. It’s OK if surrogacy wasn’t your first choice, but to prevent your child from ever feeling these painful emotions, you need to heal and fully accept your own fertility loss before moving forward.

You’ll never be able to fully embrace the idea of surrogacy when your heart is still yearning for that pregnancy experience. You might feel like you’re “giving up” by choosing surrogacy instead of sticking with IVF treatments. That’s absolutely not the truth. But, if you’re going to put so much time and energy into this family-building process, then you need to be 100% on board in order to become the best parents a child could ever ask for.

How to Cope with Infertility

Learning how to cope with infertility is the first step toward moving forward. On your journey to parenthood, there are a few ways that you can cope with and eventually accept your infertility.

  • Share your feelings: We know that it’s hard to talk about, but infertility affects more families than you know. If you’re one of the many couples coping with infertility, we know that it can be tough to talk about and be open about what you’re experiencing. But just know that you’re not alone. About 1 in 8 couples experience the devastating heartbreak of infertility. There are people ready to listen to what you’re going through. You can always reach out to an infertility counselor when you need advice.
  • Allow yourself to truly feel your emotions: Going through infertility is already hard enough, so don’t feel like you must keep everything bottled up. You’re not doing yourself or your partner any favors when you pretend that everything is OK when it’s not. Fully embracing each of the stages of grief is the key to moving forward.
  • Be honest with your partner: Your partner will be your closest source of support. What you’re going through right now is incredibly difficult, but it’s important that you don’t suppress feelings that can easily turn into resentment and frustration. Share your fears and worries, and work together to come up with a plan to address them.

Becoming the family you’ve always dreamed of is an incredible feeling. But know that parenting after infertility is not as easy as you might think — especially when you haven’t fully dealt with the loss.

Grieving this loss is often the hardest part about becoming a new family after infertility. It’s not uncommon to have lingering emotions of grief and loss long after infertility. Practice self-care and reach out to professionals to keep yourself as mentally healthy as possible. And, remember, there’s nothing wrong with waiting until you are ready to start your new dream as a family through surrogacy.

Your Child’s Differences Should Be Celebrated

Being born through surrogacy is not something that just happens every day. Your child is going to be curious about this process as they get older, and it is something that should be talked about openly.

Children who are born through surrogacy need to know that their unique story is something to be celebrated and embraced. They need to know their story, and they need to hear it from you.

As they learn more about surrogacy, they’re going to come to you with any questions they may have, and it’s up to you to answer them. It will be hard for you to talk about your struggles with infertility if you haven’t yet healed from that experience.

Start Your Parenting Journey

The grief of infertility is not something that will disappear overnight or when you become a parent. These emotions may come back when you least expect it. But, if you are doing the work that’s needed to cope with these feelings of grief and loss, then you should have no problem moving forward and becoming an amazing parent.

To learn more about how American Surrogacy can help you reach your parenthood goals, please contact our specialists today at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).

The Hardest Part of Bringing Home a Baby Born Via Surrogacy

Bringing your child home for the first time is a thrilling moment. But, like many intended parents before you, you probably have one big question on your mind: How will you bond with your baby when they’re born through surrogacy?

Everyone has something that they think is the hardest part about being a new parent. But for parents who weren’t able to carry their own child through pregnancy, fears about not being able to bond with baby right away can feel like the hardest part of bringing a baby born via surrogacy home.

But, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible or that it will never happen.

Here, we’ll focus on these bonding worries, as well as other difficult aspects of parenting every new parent should be prepared for.

Why Am I Not Bonding with My Baby?

Every intended parent dreams of the moment they hold their child for the first time. It’s been a long nine months, and the wait is finally over. But, when you haven’t been the one carrying your child, you might feel a bit of a disconnect and even guilt if you don’t feel that sense of overwhelming love right away.

It can be hard when your hopes don’t live up your expectations. But the truth is that many new parents — even those who carry their baby through pregnancy — can have trouble bonding after birth. This can happen for many reasons, but none of it is your fault.

No matter how a child comes into a family, having a baby is a big adjustment. It will take some time to get used to your new normal. If you don’t feel that instant connection that you’ve heard so much about, rest assured that you’re not alone. It does not in any way mean that you’re a bad parent, or that you’ll never be able to bond with them properly. It just means you’re having a hard time at the moment.

Try to be patient with yourself as you and baby get to know each other. Surrogacy means bonding with your child may take some more time and effort. But it will happen over time.

In the meantime, follow the tips and the suggestions from your specialist and pediatrician. Keep up skin-to-skin contact, frequently communicate, and pay attention to your baby’s needs. While you’re getting used to your new role, you might use this time to look at some more helpful tips for bonding with your baby as an intended parent.

If you’re worried about bonding with your baby after birth, don’t forget to check out some tips for bonding with them while they’re in utero to make the transition easier.

Other Things to Know About Bringing a New Baby Home

Bonding with a new baby will be tough, but there are some other important things that you should prepare for. Below are some more hard moments that many first-time parents go through as they begin their parenting journey.

This is all brand new to you.

For almost every new parent, taking care of a newborn can be downright exhausting. For the first time, you have a human being that is totally dependent on you. You will be responsible for absolutely everything, and that can be pretty scary at first. You might feel like you’re doing everything wrong or like you don’t have a clue about how to be a parent — even with all the work you’ve been doing.

Remember to be gentle on yourself. Every parent makes mistakes when they’re just starting out. It doesn’t mean that you’re doing a bad job at all. It just means that you’ve got some learning to do.

You’re running on empty.

Sleep deprivation is no joke. The lack of enough or quality sleep can make you feel like you’re barely holding it together. But at the same time, you’ve got this tiny little life who is dependent on you for everything. There’s no time to be exhausted when your baby needs you.

If you can, take power naps while your baby is sleeping. Just 10–20 minutes is all your body needs to get the benefits of napping so that you’re up and ready to go. If you have a partner, take turns napping so that both of you can get some much-needed rest.

You’re going to be on high alert.

If you’re already an anxious person, becoming a parent will make those feelings spike. The best thing you can do is be prepared ahead of time. If you’re worried or if you need someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a medical professional.

You could suffer from postpartum depression.

It might be surprising, but postpartum depression can happen to any new parent, even if you didn’t give birth to your own child.

A few important signs to watch out for are:

  • Mood swings
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Difficulty sleeping or eating

If you experience any of these signs, or if you’re struggling to bond with your child, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor.

Remember, being a first-time parent is difficult for everyone. You’re not alone if you feel overwhelmed.

If you’re struggling to adjust to life as a new parent, don’t hesitate to reach out to your surrogacy specialist for advice.

Do You Need to Purchase Newborn Insurance for Your Surrogacy?

Bringing your baby home is one of the most exciting parts about becoming a new parent. But figuring out your insurance details? Not so much.

While insurance is often a confusing process, surrogacy insurance is even trickier — especially if you’re an international intended parent. Every insurance company has their own polices about how they will cover a surrogate pregnancy, and every situation is different, which makes it hard to figure out what you need for your gestational surrogacy.

If you’re like most families, then you’ve probably got a lot of questions. We plan to answer them in this guide to newborn insurance for international intended parents and surrogacy insurance for domestic parents. However, please speak with your insurance provider for the most accurate and personal advice.

Do Domestic Intended Parents Need to Purchase Newborn Insurance?

This is often the first question intended parents ask about their insurance when they live in the United States. If you have to purchase an extra policy for your gestational surrogate, then it’s natural to wonder if you need to purchase newborn insurance for your baby, as well.

The good news is that, as a domestic intended parent pursuing surrogacy in the United States, you don’t need to worry about this extra step. The insurance you already have will cover your baby at birth, so you shouldn’t have to look elsewhere for your baby’s coverage.

The process of adding your child to your insurance may vary from provider to provider. We encourage you to reach out to your provider early on to ensure your child is adequately covered after they are born.

As a domestic intended parent, you may only have to worry about buying an extra policy for your gestational surrogate, if necessary. Your gestational carrier will usually have her own insurance separate from yours, and she may be able to get some coverage for her medical expenses. In the event that she can’t, surrogacy insurance is a separate policy intended to cover her medical costs.

Keep in mind that any out-of-pocket medical costs incurred will be your responsibility as the intended parent. Your gestational surrogate will never be financially responsible for any medical costs for your newborn baby.

Your surrogacy specialist will go over the ins and outs of your policy in more detail before you begin. Before you buy separate surrogacy insurance, reach out to your specialist first. They will assess your own insurance coverage and inform you of any additional required costs.

What About International Intended Parents?

Becoming an international intended parent is exciting, but figuring out insurance for another country can be confusing — especially in the United States.

Because international intended parents’ insurance won’t carry over to the United States, newborn insurance is typically purchased in these journeys. When you’re an international intended parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that your newborn has coverage in the U.S. from the moment of birth.

Newborn claims and expenses can be the most overwhelming part of the process for parents who do not have coverage in the United States. Insurance is already tricky enough for domestic parents, so you’re not alone if you’re confused.

After your child is born, you should be soaking up every minute with your little one — not on the phone dealing with hospitals and providers. Buying newborn insurance in advance takes some of the weight off your shoulders. Surrogacy is already expensive enough, so make sure that you have your insurance sorted out to save as much money as possible.

While American Surrogacy only works with domestic intended parents, there are many surrogacy agencies that work with international families. To learn more about newborn insurance for international surrogacy, please contact one of the following professionals.

Where Can I Find Newborn Insurance as an International Intended Parent?

When you travel to the United States, there are several options for purchasing newborn insurance before your baby is born. Because there are many different types, research your options to figure out which one is right for you. Below are a few that you might consider:

  • Expat insurance: If you’re already a U.S. citizen and living abroad, there are options that will cover you and your newborn when you return to the United States.
  • Travel insurance: If you’re traveling in the U.S., consider travel insurance for you and your baby. Some companies, like Allianz, require both parents be insured., require both parents be insured.
  • Newborn resource plan: If you’re only planning on insuring your newborn, you can use a newborn resource plan, such as the International Newborn Care Card. Be aware, however, that this is technically not insurance. This card only allows for significant discounts on any claims. There is no cap on the financial responsibility of the parent, and it is your responsibility to pay for any additional costs. This card also excludes any and all claims related to your surrogate. Another option for newborn insurance is a discounted hospital cash payment. An insurance broker can help you determine which option is less expensive.

It is important that you speak with an insurance representative to understand the specifics of each plan and to decide what is best for you.

Get the Protection You Need for Your Surrogacy Journey

We know that insurance can be confusing while you’re in another country or in the United States. But making sure that you have the right protection is imperative to making sure that your baby and your surrogate are covered during this journey. The last thing that you want to do is pay more than you have to.

If you have any questions at all about insurance as a domestic intended parent, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of your surrogacy specialists, your attorney or an insurance representative. They want to help you save as much as you can during this journey so that you can put it toward what’s important: your new family.