What You Need to Know about Known Donors

Anonymity in surrogacy is changing. So, as an intended parent, here’s what you need to know about known donors.

Just like anything in life, the field of surrogacy changes over time. In recent years, one of the most significant changes in surrogacy has been its anonymity.

With the rise of popular genealogy companies like 23andMe and Ancestry, complete anonymity in surrogacy is becoming rarer by the minute. It’s becoming more difficult to remain anonymous because children and intended parents are finding genetic links through these platforms. So, what exactly does this mean for you as an intended parent?

That’s what this article will help you out with. You’ll learn all that you need to know about known donors and anonymity in this detailed guide. You can also get more free information now when you contact us online. We’re happy to help you in whatever way we can.

What You Need to Know about Known Donors

With known donors becoming much more common in the world of surrogacy, some agencies these days are more open about the benefits of a known gamete donor. At-home DNA kits and genealogy websites have rendered anonymity unrealistic. Before then, anonymity was fairly ordinary. But that’s not quite the case anymore.

Today, some children conceived through anonymous surrogacy contact these donors, often without their consent. Because of this, plenty of donor clinics work exclusively with known gamete donors. Although you might be worried about working with a known donor, there are some things you should know that may ease your mind.

Benefits of Working with a Known Donor

To put any potential worries to rest, it could be helpful to outline some of the benefits of known donors. Family lineage remains a popular hobby for people, but it can also play a really important role in the surrogacy world. It provides a crucial piece of the larger puzzle for several reasons.

As a result, working with a known donor has a handful of benefits that you should be aware of:

  • You have better access to your child’s medical history
  • You already know the donor and feel comfortable with them
  • Your child can develop a stronger sense of identity

When you use a known gamete donor, it can be much easier for your child to ask questions and get the answers they need. For instance, they might be able to trace their genetic connections to half-siblings or cousins and build a relationship with them. Or, they could be curious to learn more about their biological history and surrogacy story.

Working with an anonymous donor will make it significantly more difficult for your child to get the direct answers they’re looking for. It’s similar to how scientific research underlies the benefits of open adoption for adoptees, whereas closed adoptions lead to plenty of unknowns and potential insecurities.

That same idea applies to surrogacy, too. Your child will likely have many questions about who they’re biologically related to, especially as they grow older. Working with a known donor can guarantee easier access to the information your child will understandably be curious about.

Understanding Donor Contracts with a Known Donor

One fear some intended parents have is that a donor will change their mind. They’re afraid that the donor will end up wanting to parent the child themselves. But there’s no need to worry. Whether the donor is known or unknown, they will have already signed a donor contract with their clinic.

In the case of using a known gamete donor, they will sign the donor contract with your surrogacy attorney. Your attorney will guarantee that the entire process is fair, legal and ethical. Keep in mind that surrogacy laws will vary depending on what state you live in. So, be sure to do some research beforehand and make sure your attorney understands your local laws like the back of their hand.


Surrogacy can be a confusing, technical process, so we understand if you have some more questions about using known donors. That’s why our trusted staff is here to help you at any time.

To get more surrogacy information now, you can fill out our online contact form today. We would be more than happy to help you out!

3 Reasons Why Now is a Great Time to Become a Surrogate

By becoming a surrogate, you have the opportunity to change someone’s life in the most amazing, generous, selfless way imaginable.

If you’re like many women considering surrogacy, you’ve known for a long time that this is something you want to do. But deciding when to actually start this process is an incredibly personal decision. If you are wondering, “When is the best time to become a surrogate?” The answer is always, “Whenever you feel ready!”

That being said, if you have been thinking about becoming a gestational surrogate, now may be the perfect time for you to join American Surrogacy.

Here are just a few of the reasons why:

1. The process has returned to “normal”

COVID-19 completely upended life as we knew it. Through it all, American Surrogacy was still here, helping our clients through the process and adapting to every change and challenge along the way. But, certain steps of the surrogacy process were also affected.

Fortunately, as more and more people are vaccinated and restrictions continue to loosen, the surrogacy process has more or less returned to normal — meaning clinics are back to doing embryo transfers, travel is much more convenient for surrogates and intended parents, and hospital policies are making it easier for intended parents to be present for the birth of their child.

And, if you’re concerned that your COVID vaccination status will impact your ability to be a surrogate, don’t worry. Whether you choose to get vaccinated or not, we will help you find families who are comfortable with that!

2. We just increased our surrogate compensation

At American Surrogacy, we know how much you and your family will sacrifice to help another person realize their ultimate goal of becoming a parent — and we feel strongly that you deserve to be compensated fairly in return. That’s why we offer a competitive compensation package for all of our surrogates.

The amount of base compensation you receive will vary depending on your personal situation and experience with surrogacy, but we recently increased our guaranteed base compensation to the highest amount ever offered by our agency!

3. You’ll still have months before you actually get pregnant

We know that summer is a busy time of year for many of our prospective surrogates. School is out, which means you may be busy with additional childcare responsibilities, vacation plans or just spending extra time with your kids. Often, women are hesitant to start the process at this time of year because they know that it is not a good time for them to be pregnant.

This concern is completely understandable. But, it’s important to remember that even if you start the surrogacy process today, there are a number of steps you will need to take before ever becoming pregnant, including:

  • Submitting an application
  • Scheduling a consultation with our surrogacy specialists
  • Completing the screening process
  • Gathering medical records
  • Matching with intended parents
  • Signing legal contracts

Many of these steps can take weeks or even months to complete. So, even if you are not ready to be pregnant right now, that doesn’t mean you can’t get started with the application and screening process!

This can be a time-consuming step for our specialists as we work to gather and review your medical records, sometimes taking up to three months before we are really ready to get started. If you are hoping to be pregnant in the fall or winter, when your kids are back in school, now is actually the perfect time to take your first steps toward becoming a surrogate.

Surrogacy is a gift unlike any other and one that only a woman like you is able to give to hopeful parents. If you are thinking about becoming a gestational surrogate, or if you know other women considering surrogacy, now is an opportune time to join our agency.

To learn more, or to get started today, contact us online or call 1-800-875-BABY(2229). We can’t wait to work with you on this life-changing journey!

International Midwives Day: The Role They Play in Surrogacy

Surrogacy is a life-changing journey. But, like any family-building experience, it wouldn’t be possible without the help of some very important people.

Today, we’d like to highlight and celebrate the essential work that midwives and doulas do to provide care to intended mothers and their newborns, as well as gestational carriers. May 5 happens to be International Midwives Day, and the theme for this year is Midwives with Women.

If you’re a surrogate or intended parent, then you might have thought about using a midwife or a doula at some point. Both of these professionals are great resources, but how do you know which one is right for you? Should you use both or neither? We’ll share a little information about your options to help you get started.

What’s the Difference Between a Midwife and a Doula?

Both a midwife and a doula can be extremely helpful during childbirth — especially for women who are looking for the kind of specialized care an obstetrician can’t offer. But, not a lot of people know what kind of services they can provide or how they differ.

Here’s what you can expect from each one:

  • Midwives: A midwife is a trained health care professional who supports women during labor, delivery and the postpartum period. She’s also able to provide care to newborns. Midwives aren’t doctors, but they have completed a graduate program in midwifery. There are also several types of midwives, but the most common is a Certified Nurse Midwife, or CNM for short. Although they’re registered nurses, they can’t perform certain deliveries, like a c-section. Because of their restrictions, they’re best used for women with low-risk pregnancies.
  • Doulas: A doula is very similar to a midwife. These professionals provide the emotional and educational support that women often need during pregnancy and the difficult postpartum period. However, a doula is not a maternity care provider. This means that you can’t use one to replace a midwife or your doctor. Still, their experiences as a birth coach are invaluable for both intended parents and surrogates.

If you’re using a midwife, you should be prepared for the chance that they’ve never delivered a baby via surrogacy before. In that case, you’ll want to prepare them for the unique surrogacy experience. Here are a few tips, if they need some background knowledge:

  • Make sure to explain what the surrogacy process.
  • Provide an outline of your birth plan.
  • Make sure they know they can contact your specialist if they have any questions.
  • Communicate your feelings.

Why You Should Consider Using a Doula or a Midwife

If you’re a surrogate, using a doula or a midwife can be a great help during childbirth. Pregnancy is already stressful enough, and it can be extremely helpful to have another experienced professional on your side. For surrogates, these birth coaches can offer:

  • Prenatal support and education
  • Birth planning
  • Support and education
  • Counseling postpartum

Doulas and midwives are also a great resource for intended parents, too. Some of their services include:

  • Childcare education
  • Newborn support
  • Support for you as a new parent
  • And more

While a doula or a midwife can be a great resource for both parties, they’re not for everyone. Before you choose one, please make sure you’ve done plenty of research to make sure you’ve found a great professional.

Sharing Your Plan with Your Specialist

If you’re thinking about using a doula or a midwife, let your specialist know. There are a lot of choices that you’ll have to make in your birth plan, and this is one of the most important. Using either one can be advantageous, and your specialist can help you decide which one is right for you.

This decision must be made by both the surrogate and the intended parents, so it’s crucial that everyone is on the same page. Your specialist can help mediate the conversation until you can come to a decision that’s right for both parties.

If you need help finding a midwife or a doula, your surrogacy specialist may refer you to local professionals in your area. The OBGYN or hospital might also have some resources available to help you get started. For additional resources, check out these websites:

If you have any other questions about using a midwife or a doula, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your surrogacy specialist for more information. And, if you plan on using either, let your specialist know as soon as possible. Finding the right doula or midwife takes plenty of time and research, so don’t rush yourself when it comes to choosing the right one for you.

New York Legalizes Gestational Surrogacy

After a long back-and-forth battle in the state legislature, the Child-Parent Security Act was finally passed as part of the 2020 New York State Budget on April 2, 2020. The Act now legalizes gestational surrogacy in New York State, allowing intended parents and gestational carriers to join in enforceable compensated gestational surrogacy contracts.

Protecting Modern Families Coalition has been working with New York lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to push for the Act’s legalization over the last 10 years. The Act now brings New York into the modern age of surrogacy, allowing intended parents’ rights to be recognized from the moment of their child’s birth.

The Act also allows for:

  • Compensated gestational surrogacy arrangements
  • Legal protections for gestational surrogates, including:
    • The right to make all health and welfare decisions regarding themselves and their pregnancy, including whether to terminate or continue the pregnancy
    • Independent legal counsel of their choosing, paid for by the intended parents
    • Access to a comprehensive health insurance policy paid for by the intended parents
    • Access to counseling and life insurance
  • Simplified process of securing parenthood for non-biological parents
  • Single women to legally and successfully use a sperm donor to build their family

New York, like its neighbor New Jersey, has a history of anti-surrogacy policies, stemming from the infamous “Baby M” case in the 1980s. For decades, intended parents in New York had to travel to another state to bring a child into their family — often thousands of miles to the surrogacy capitol of the U.S., California. Their stories and the tireless work of family advocates and lawyers like those at Rumbold & Seidelman brings those family-building processes closer to home.

“The Child-Parent Security Act will serve as a national model for forming and protecting families as well as the surrogates who want to help them,” said Rev. Stan J. Sloan, CEO of Family Equality (the organization spearheading the Protecting Modern Families Coalition). “New York has a proud tradition of progressive leadership, and today we add to the legacy of Seneca Falls and Stonewall by saying loudly and clearly that love makes a family.”

American Surrogacy applauds these protections to New York surrogacy legislation and stands ready to help intended parents and prospective surrogates in the Empire State reach their surrogacy dreams. For more information about working with our agency, please call 1-800-875-BABY(2229) or contact us online.

A COVID-19 Update From American Surrogacy

With the rapidly changing national and global COVID-19 situation, American Surrogacy is, as always, dedicated to keeping our intended parents and gestational surrogates safe. We know the coronavirus pandemic is causing concern for everyone — but especially so for our clients in the middle of their surrogacy journeys.

We’ve received several calls from our clients about how coronavirus may impact their surrogacy process. So, we’ve provided some answers to the most commonly asked questions below. If you have a more specific question regarding how COVID-19 may impact your surrogacy journey, please reach out to your surrogacy specialist.

Please note: We are not medical experts, and none of the information below is intended to be used as medical advice. Please stay up-to-date with the latest information from the CDC and the World Health Organization. If you start feeling unwell, please contact your medical professional.

How could the coronavirus pandemic affect my surrogacy journey?

Intended parents and gestational surrogates who are still in the pre-screening and embryo-transfer phases of their surrogacy journey could very likely experience delays for the foreseeable future. While there are currently no domestic travel restrictions, gestational surrogates who are under self-quarantine or concerned about passing the virus to an immunocompromised family member may choose to delay their screenings, fertility treatments and embryo transfers. Intended parents may choose to do the same.

We encourage all intended parents and gestational carriers to contact their fertility clinics to see how their pre-surrogacy journey may change. American Surrogacy advises our clients to be prepared for a delay in these processes as the healthcare industry turns its focus to COVID-19.

How could the coronavirus affect my ability to travel for my surrogate’s birth?

As of right now, there are no domestic travel restrictions. However, because of health concerns and “social distancing” recommendations from the CDC, airlines have already starting reducing flights across the U.S. If you anticipate traveling to your surrogate’s state for delivery to be difficult, please reach out to your airline for more information and let your surrogacy specialist know right away.

During this time, it may also be more difficult to obtain a doctor’s clearance for your newborn to fly. Intended parents should be prepared to drive home with their baby after delivery, just in case. Make sure you are consulting with your doctor prior to and after your child’s birth for the best medical advice. We advise intended parents to also speak with their airline for policies on traveling with a newborn during the coronavirus outbreak and the potential for cancellation and/or refunds.

If you are unable to travel to your surrogate’s state for birth — because of imposed travel restrictions, quarantine or medical fragility — please let your surrogacy specialist know right away.

How could coronavirus impact our hospital experience?

So far, few hospitals have been overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases. Most intended parents and gestational surrogates have been able to proceed with their hospital stay as planned. However, because circumstances are changing quickly, it’s important that you and your surrogacy partner are on the same page, should you need to make major changes to that plan.

It is possible that hospital visit policies will be updated in the coming weeks — potential limitations on visitors allowed, reduced visiting times or restrictions on visitors in certain parts of the hospital. American Surrogacy will not be aware of these policies until our clients experience them, so please keep your surrogacy specialist informed as you and your surrogacy partner prepare for delivery.

We will work closely with hospitals and assist our clients in updating their delivery plans, if necessary.

Will coronavirus impact the gestational pregnancy?

Both intended parents and gestational carriers may be worried about the health of the unborn baby, but there is no current evidence that the virus is passed to the baby during pregnancy. However, according to the CDC, pregnant women may be more susceptible to viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19.

A healthy pregnancy is always important for gestational carriers, but even more so with the current risk posed by the coronavirus. American Surrogacy encourages all of our gestational carriers to follow CDC guidelines — social distancing, washing hands, etc. — to minimize their risk of contracting the virus. Additionally, we encourage all surrogates to stay in close contact with their medical providers during this time.

Intended parents and surrogates concerned about the risks COVID-19 poses to an unborn baby should speak with their appropriate medical professionals.

What if I or my surrogacy partner start showing symptoms or is diagnosed with coronavirus?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, tiredness and a dry cough. Some individuals may experience aches, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea (although these symptoms are rare, according to the WHO). If you are experiencing any signs of a respiratory illness, out of caution, the CDC recommends you stay home to prevent the potential spread of your illness. Please contact your healthcare provider if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 to determine the next steps of treatment.

If any party in a gestational surrogacy arrangement begins showing symptoms or is infected with coronavirus, our specialists will inform everyone involved and adjust the surrogacy plan as necessary. This may include: taking additional precautions while traveling (like wearing a mask); making custody arrangements if intended parents are under quarantine; and more.

What else should we know at this time?

American Surrogacy will work diligently with our gestational carriers and intended parents, according to CDC guidelines and protocol. We urge you to do the same to protect yourself and reduce the spread of the virus. Please communicate with us immediately any developments in your health that may affect your surrogacy journey.

We understand how much anxiety and concern this outbreak has caused for many of our clients, and we are committed to doing all we can to protect our intended parents and gestational surrogates during this time. We appreciate your patience and understanding as the situation continues to develop. Your surrogacy specialist will always be available to answer any additional questions you have during this time.

Israel Supreme Court Confirms LGBTQ, Single Parents’ Right to Surrogacy

Single parents and LGBTQ intended parents in Israel can now pursue gestational surrogacy, thanks to a ruling by Israel’s Supreme Court this week.

For years, only heterosexual, married parents could add to their families through gestational surrogacy in Israel. In 2018, a new law allowed for single women or those unable to bear children to pursue this path. Same-sex couples or single men were excluded, prompting the Association of Israeli Gay Fathers to challenge the law in court.

Now, gestational surrogacy is available to all intended parents in Israel who wish to utilize it.

The recent ruling from the court orders Israel’s parliament to “put an end to the discrimination against same-sex couples and single men” within the next 12 months.

“We have won! It’s an emotional day when Israel has finally taken a step towards the advanced countries in the world on rights for LGBT people,” Julien Bahloul, spokesperson for the Association of Israeli Gay Fathers, said in a statement.

Now, Israeli single and LGBTQ intended parents can choose the advantages of domestic surrogacy, rather than face the risks and costs of pursuing surrogacy in another country. But many intended parents in other countries around the world cannot. Fortunately, surrogacy in the United States offers a safe and clear path for becoming parents.

Want to learn more about surrogacy in the United States? While American Surrogacy does not work with international parents, we always welcome intended parents who currently live in the U.S. Request free information online here.

How are Rare Disease Day and Surrogacy Connected?

Tomorrow, Feb.  29, is Rare Disease Day. If you’re living with a rare disease that’s led to infertility or made pregnancy extremely risky, then we’d like to take some time to talk about what this day means for intended parents just like you. If you’ve been living with infertility, then you know these struggles all too well.

Whether you’re an intended parent, about to become one, or a friend or family member of one, here is everything you need to know about Rare Disease Day.

So, What is Rare Disease Day?

Rare Disease Day takes place on the last day of February every year. That means, this year, it just so happens to fall on Feb. 29.

The main goal of today is to help spread awareness about rare diseases and those who live with them. Over 300 million are currently living with some form of rare disease around the world. Some of these rare diseases can actually cause infertility or make pregnancy extremely dangerous for hopeful parents, which is why many of our intended parents have turned to surrogacy. And according to RESOLVE, about 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility on the road to building their family.

If you’re still coming to terms with infertility, remember that it’s not your fault. Keep in mind that you can always reach out to a surrogacy specialist or a trained counselor at any time if you’re having trouble coping.  It might feel impossible, but there are techniques that can help you cope with the stress of living with infertility.

Reaching Out

Living with a rare disease can be exhausting, and there might be only so much that you can do. Similarly, many intended parents cope with infertility alone, afraid to reach out to those closest to them.

If you take away anything from Rare Disease Day, it’s that you’re never alone. Many families have been in your exact shoes and know just what you’re feeling. As such, this is a perfect opportunity to reach out to other families who are hoping to make their parenting dreams come true through surrogacy. There are support groups online and in-person for people like you. If you’re looking for some more direction, contact a surrogacy specialist today.

Getting Involved

There are plenty of ways that you can get involved today. These are just some of the few ideas, but don’t be afraid to check out rarediseaseday.org for some more tips on how you can get involved. For more inspiration, reach out here.

  • Spread the word on social media: One of the best places to spread awareness is through social media. Shout your support through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or whichever platform you use. Use #RareDiseaseDay on your posts and use the official Facebook frame for your profile picture!
  • Share your story: There are more people that have been impacted by a rare disease than you think. Share your story of living with a rare disease and send it to rarediseaseday.org to help someone else who’s in your shoes. Don’t forget to include a picture in your post! We know that you might be nervous, but you never know who you might inspire with your words and pictures.
  • Donate: If you’d like to make a financial statement of awareness, you can always donate toward Rare Disease Day. Any amount, no matter how small, will always make a difference. Learn more about donating here.
  • Host your own fundraiser: To get even more involved, you might even think about starting your own fundraiser in honor of today, too. This is also a great way to share the importance of Rare Disease Day with your community. Plan a bake sale, a raffle or a silent auction. There are tons of ways to get started, so don’t be afraid to try something new.

We want you to know that you can still participate in Rare Disease Day, even if you choose not to share it with your community. Coping with infertility is extremely personal, so it’s more than understandable to not want to share it with everyone you know. If you’d like to make today just for you and your partner, that’s fine, too! Just reading this article already makes a difference, so it’s okay if you plan on just taking time for yourself.

Thinking of You

We know that the road to coping with infertility is exhausting. You’ve faced many obstacles to get to this point and you feel unsure of your next steps. Don’t forget that American Surrogacy is always here to support intended parents in their family-building journey. No matter what day it is, we can help make your parenthood dreams come true.

South Dakota Introduces Bill Banning Commercial Surrogacy

South Dakota House of Representatives lawmakers have introduced a bill that would ban commercial surrogacy and penalize anyone entering into a paid surrogacy contract.

House Bill 1096 — introduced by Rep. Jon Hansen (R-Dell Rapids) — hit the House floor on Sunday, Jan. 26. The bill would criminalize the actions of “any broker who knowingly engages in, advertises services for, offers payment of money or other consideration for, profits from, solicits a woman for, or otherwise assists or participates in commercial surrogacy,” penalizing them with a Class One misdemeanor.

Rep. Hansen told Forum News Service that the bill is meant to “prohibit the commercialization of children.” He was a co-sponsor on a previous bill to ban surrogacy, introduced back in 2012.

“It’s an issue that’s been on my radar for a long time. Back then there were no commercial surrogacy brokerages in this state. That has changed,” he said. “You can say ‘I want to buy a baby’ and a little over nine months later a baby will be delivered.”

The proposed bill would make an exception allowing couples to pay for the medical expenses of their surrogate. Altruistic surrogacy contracts would remain legal and enforceable.

South Dakota currently has no state laws regulating the gestational surrogacy industry. However, professionals there have developed processes to protect all parties, including strict legal contracts outlining all parties’ involvement in the journey.

If you live in South Dakota, let your state representatives know your thoughts on this bill by contacting them today.

National Birth Defects Prevention Month: Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

When you become a surrogate, you’re tasked with one of the most important jobs of all: carrying someone else’s unborn baby. This is a weighty responsibility, and you’re probably wondering about everything there is to know. As January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month, this year, we’d like to put our focus on everything a surrogate needs to know for a healthy pregnancy.

First, here’s what you need to know about potential factors that cause birth defects.

What Causes Birth Defects?

A birth defect can either be very mild or severe.  While the causes of one can vary, some of the most common risk factors are:

  • Genetic or hereditary traits
  • Lifestyle choices
  • Untreated infections during pregnancy
  • Being over the age of 35
  • A pre-existing medical condition
  • Exposure to certain chemicals

Finding out that the baby you’re carrying has a birth defect can be scary and overwhelming. But, if this were to happen, your surrogacy specialist will be there for you every step of the way. Your legal contract will also detail what happens moving forward if this unfortunate situation should occur. Remember: As long as you’ve followed your contract, this situation will never be your fault.

Thankfully, there are ways to reduce the likelihood of potential birth defects. Below are some tips to keep in mind during your gestational pregnancy.

7 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

1. Eat Right

It’s hard to make time for a healthy meal in the middle of your busy schedule. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a priority. Watching what you eat is one of the most important ways to ensure a healthy pregnancy. It’s also great for you, too! Make sure your plate is full of fresh fruits and veggies, and watch out for some of the most unsafe foods to eat during your pregnancy.

2. Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking enough water isn’t just good for you; it’s also essential for the baby. Water helps carry nutrients, flushes out toxins, and more. Not drinking enough water is also one of the leading causes of premature labor. Generally, you should drink about eight glasses of water a day. If you’re having trouble remembering to drink enough, try setting a reminder on your phone to stay hydrated.

3. Get the right amount of sleep

Your body needs sleep more than you think. You should try to get eight hours of sleep, but it’s okay if you need to take more. After the first trimester, you’ll probably need to start sleeping on your side. It’s common to have sleep problems during your pregnancy, in which case there are some suggestions on how to overcome them.  If you have any other questions, don’t forget that you can always reach out to your doctor.

4. Exercise

If you can, try to get at least 30 minutes of activity in a day. We know it’s hard to keep moving, and exercising is probably the last thing you want to do right now, but staying active will help you sleep better and keep your stress levels low. It can also help ease your pregnancy symptoms and make pregnancy and delivery easier on your body. If you can, try to get at a healthy weight before your pregnancy. Some good ideas include walking, swimming and jogging. As long as you don’t overdo your workout, you should be perfectly safe.

5. Vitamins

Prenatal vitamins ensure that you and the baby are getting all of the nutrients you need. Don’t forget that these vitamins need to be taken alongside a meal, not as a substitute. We know that taking your vitamins can be hard to remember, so try setting an alarm on your phone at the same time every day so that you don’t forget. (Don’t forget: All of your medical costs will be covered by the intended parents.)

6. Stay away from harmful substances

There are a few substances that every pregnant woman should know to avoid. Drinking, drugs, and smoking should never be consumed while pregnant, as outlined in your surrogacy contract.  There are also a few medications and chemicals that pregnant women need to avoid. Remember to talk to your doctor first before trying any new medication, as it could affect you and the baby.

7. Keep your stress low

With some much going on, and with your body changing in new, unexpected ways, it’s hard to stay positive. An important part of keeping the baby healthy is prioritizing your own mental and emotional health. If you find yourself struggling, remember that you can reach out to a surrogacy specialist or a counselor if you need someone to talk to. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, remember that there people here to help.

These tips are essential for any pregnancy, but they’re especially important when you’re a surrogate. By following just a few steps, you can ensure that your pregnancy will be a safe, healthy experience for you and the baby.

Following these guidelines are extremely important to have a healthy pregnancy. Most of the rules and suggestions will be outlined in your legal contract, too, but please don’t hesitate to reach out to a surrogacy specialist today.

A Year in Review: The Biggest Surrogacy News From 2019

And, just like that, another year is gone. Here at American Surrogacy, we celebrated many achievements during 2019, and we look forward to those that 2020 will bring, too.

As is our tradition, we take this chance now to look back on what 2019 brought to us and to gestational carriers and intended parents across the U.S. Catch up on what you missed or remind yourself of all the good things that happened here!

At American Surrogacy…

Our surrogacy specialists have been hard at work all year helping intended parents and gestational carriers prepare for the surrogacy process. Since January, they have guided many of our clients through the steps of this journey, from screening to matching to delivery. In fact, we have many gestational carriers and intended parents at different steps in this process as we close out the year.

We are also happy to announce that American Surrogacy helped to bring more babies into the world in 2019 than we did in 2018 — and we are on track to do the same in 2020!

In U.S. Legislation…

As gestational surrogacy becomes more popular across the country, state legislatures continue to update outdated laws to make the family-building process more accessible to all kinds of parents. Here are just a few of the major changes:

  • Washington State Implements New Legislation: The new year started off with a positive note when Washington state enacted new legislation that: made compensated surrogacy legal and enforceable; set standards for enforceable gestational surrogacy contracts; protected intended parents’ rights to their children; added new requirements for traditional surrogacy; and gave new protections to any child born of the assisted reproduction process. Way to go, Washington!
  • Nevada Prohibits Surrogacy Discrimination: In response to insurance companies setting coverage exemptions for surrogate pregnancies, Nevada’s State Assembly and Senate passed a law in June that prohibited insurance providers from “denying certain coverage for maternity care because the insured acts as a gestational carrier.”
  • Virginia Makes Surrogacy Law Gender-Neutral: After a gay couple in Virginia went through a custody battle for their surrogacy-born son, their story inspired a state delegate to file legislation for “Jacob’s Law,” which would protect parental rights of same-sex couples and single parents who used a surrogate in the state. The governor signed the bill into law in June.
  • Utah Supreme Court Protects LGBT Parents’ Rights: A ruling by the Utah Supreme Court in August made it clear that, just because LGBT intended parents may not have an intended mother in their surrogacy agreement, they can still pursue this family-building process.
    The ruling struck the language referring to an intended mother being “unable to bear a child” from legal statute. Now, Utah intended parent couples who do not include intended mothers are afforded all the same protections under marital law as any heterosexual couple.

In other important worldwide news, India officially passed long-in-the-works legislation that bans commercial surrogacy and sets strict requirements for any Indian nationals that want to build their family in this way.

In Pop Culture…

While there are thousands of intended parents and gestational carriers going through this process every day, the most visible journeys are often those completed by people in the public eye.

Here are just a few of the celebrities who used gestational surrogacy to add to their families this year:

  • Michelle Buteau: The comedian and actress welcomed twins in January. Seven months later, she wrote candidly about her experience with infertility, IVF and gestational surrogacy for Glamour.
  • Andy Cohen: Bravo host Andy Cohen welcomed his first child — son Benjamin Allen — via surrogate on Feb. 4. He thanked the wonderful surrogate who was “carrying [his] future.”
  • Kim Kardashian and Kanye West: The parents welcomed their fourth child, Psalm, via gestational surrogate on May 9. Psalm is their second child born via surrogacy; their daughter Chicago was born via surrogate in 2018.
  • Ricky Martin: The singer and his husband Jwan Yosef welcomed their fourth child, born via gestational surrogacy in October. Martin already has a set of twin boys born via surrogacy in 2011 and a daughter also born via surrogacy earlier this year.
  • Kandi Buress: The “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star and her husband Todd Tucker welcomed their second child together via surrogacy on Nov. 22. Her journey with surrogacy had been documented on the Bravo reality show, and she stated on her Instagram that she felt like she “gained a new friend” with her gestational carrier.

PBS Independent Lens also took an in-depth look into the gestational surrogacy industry with “Made in Boise,” a documentary following four gestational carriers living in Boise, Idaho, and their intended parents. It’s an interesting look at the ups and downs of the surrogacy process in the “unofficial” surrogacy capital of the U.S.

As we wrap up 2019, our team at American Surrogacy wishes everyone a happy New Year and only the best in the surrogacy journeys to come in 2020!

Is starting your surrogacy journey your New Year’s resolution? Contact our surrogacy specialists today to get started.