10 Moving Quotes from Gestational Surrogates

Surrogacy is a beautiful journey for all involved. The women who choose to selflessly carry a child for someone else often have positive experiences that they carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Whether you’re interested in becoming a surrogate yourself, or interested in learning a bit more about the women who’ve chosen this path, the best way to start is by listening to those that have been through this journey.

Check out our list of moving, emotional quotes from gestational surrogates below:

1. “It was just a great experience, and I felt really proud of what I did. Even afterwards, when the baby came to visit me the next day [after delivery], I was very grateful to be part of this experience, and they were grateful for me having the child for them. You could see it in everyone’s faces… and there was a lot of joy and love in the room. It was a great thing to be a part of.”

Alicia, who became a surrogate through American Surrogacy

2. “She’s my best friend and I know she would have done the same for me. I really didn’t put much thought into becoming a surrogate at all. It just felt like the right thing to do.”

Jill, who carried twins for her twin sister

3. “From the time I was admitted to the hospital [the intended father, Nicholas,] was here with me and my husband. Seeing Nicholas see his child for the first time — it was amazing. A weight was almost lifted off of my shoulders, in a sense that he came out and he was healthy and that I was able to give [Nicholas] everything he had ever wanted.”

Nichole, who helped Nicholas become the father he always wanted to be

4. “I was pretty attached to my intended parents; their story just broke my heart, and I could see what a good mom she would be. They were in the delivery room, and she helped me get through my contractions. I could tell she was really uncomfortable with how much pain I was in. She was like, ‘Someone should punch me in the stomach!’ To watch her exclaim his name when they handed him to her — it was one of the most beautiful experiences of my whole life. You could just see this relief.”

Codi, who worked with American Surrogacy to help a couple become a family

5. “I matched immediately with two guys. I really wanted to do it for them, because we’re two women and without our sperm donor, we wouldn’t have our son; without me and the egg donor, they wouldn’t have their baby. So it felt like a good trade off.”

Alissandra, who carried for a gay couple

6. “What would you do for someone you love? You’d do anything. That’s part of being a loving parent.”

Tinina, who carried triplets for her daughter struggling with infertility

7. “Not that there would’ve been anything wrong with me never having done this… It’s not my genetics, so I didn’t leave my legacy or anything, but I feel like by helping those three families, I’ve made my mark on the world. One of those people could be President, and I grew them—who knows?”

Kristina, who has been a gestational surrogate three times

8. “You get your baby kisses and smooches, and I get to love on [my intended parents. I didn’t just have babies for somebody else; I gained an entire family through the whole process….It was the most rewarding thing in the entire world. I would do it all over again.”

Megan, who carried twins for her intended parents

9. “I just never hesitated. I was just so excited to be able to be part of this adventure with them. … It was just unconditional love.”

Cecile, who served as a gestational surrogate for her son and his husband

10. “The same parents want me to do another journey for them. I definitely want to do that. As much as your body changes, I actually got a lot of good self-esteem because of it. I love gifting people with things, and obviously, helping someone create a family is the ultimate gift.”

Kristine, who decided to become a surrogate after a long-held personal desire to do so

Does being a surrogate sounds like the right path for you? Call our surrogacy specialists at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) or contact us online today to get started.

Check our blog in a few days for a set of moving quotes from intended parents!

Are You Ready to Be a Surrogate Again?

5 Questions to Ask Yourself

For many women, being a surrogate is a beautiful journey that teaches them a great deal about love, family and themselves. Because of their positive experiences, many surrogates eventually decide that a second — or even third — surrogacy is in the cards for them.

But, how do you know when it’s the right time to start the surrogacy journey all over again?

The best person to talk to will always be your surrogacy specialist. She can discuss your previous surrogacy journey and your current situation to determine whether you are ready to become a gestational carrier again. If you’re considering this path, don’t hesitate to reach out to American Surrogacy’s team today.

In the meantime, you should start by asking yourself these questions:

1. Do you still meet our agency’s surrogacy requirements?

The first qualification to become a surrogate again is meeting American Surrogacy’s set of surrogacy requirements. Just because you have been a surrogate before doesn’t mean you will automatically get accepted into our program; your situation may have changed since your first journey, and you will need to undergo proper screening to ensure you are 100 percent prepared for another surrogacy process.

Your surrogacy specialist will always discuss our program’s requirements with you before you get started, as well as any exceptions that may be made for your application. As a reminder, here are the basic requirements you will need to meet:

  • Be between the ages of 21 and 38
  • Have a BMI between 19 and 32
  • Be currently raising a child
  • Have no more than five vaginal births and no more than four cesarean births
  • Have no major complications from previous pregnancies, including your gestational pregnancy
  • Be able to travel as needed
  • Not be on antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication for 12 months

See our agency’s full list of surrogate requirements here.

2. How long has it been since your last surrogacy journey?

Part of our requirements for surrogates is that there have been at least six months since your last vaginal or cesarean birth. That applies to gestational pregnancies, as well.

Pregnancy and childbirth can take a great toll on a woman’s body, and you will need time to recover before you can commit yourself to a year or more of medical tests and procedures and another pregnancy. When you can become a surrogate again will always be up to your personal physician and the fertility clinic with which you work; they will have the best idea of whether or not you are recovered enough for pregnancy.

You are welcome to call your specialist at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) any time after your first gestational pregnancy to express your interest in returning to our agency. Your specialist may be able to complete preliminary screenings while you wait for your six-month clearance. However, our surrogates’ safety is of the utmost importance, so our specialists will not allow you to get started until you are deemed healthy enough to do so.

3. How did your family feel about your last journey? How will they feel about this new journey?

When you become a surrogate, you’re not just committing yourself — you are also committing your family to a year or more of an intense journey. It’s not enough to ask whether you are ready to become a surrogate again. Is your family ready for you to take this journey again?

You should have an open and honest conversation with your entire family before you decide to be a gestational carrier again. They may feel differently about the surrogacy process having now been through it all and understanding exactly what it requires from them and from you. You should also consider your family’s current situation — Are your children older and will better comprehend what you are doing? Can your spouse still provide support in the way they did last time?

Don’t just assume that if your family was fine with surrogacy before, that they will be fine with surrogacy again. Make them an active part of your decision-making process.

4. What roles are your former intended parents playing in this decision?

Sometimes, gestational surrogates are inspired to do this journey again because of their intended parents. Your former intended parents may be interested in another surrogacy journey, and they may have asked you whether you are interested in carrying for them again.

Being a repeat surrogate for certain intended parents can seem like a dream come true. You already have an established relationship, and you know what the surrogacy journey will be like with them as your partners. However, it’s important that you’re not considering surrogacy again just because they’ve asked you to. There is no reason to feel pressured into being a gestational carrier again, especially if you’re not ready.

If this is your situation, try to take the intended parents out of the conversation. Would you still be willing to go through the challenges and rewards of surrogacy for other intended parents, too?

5. Is your lifestyle conducive to becoming a surrogate again?

If you have positive memories from your previous surrogacy journey, it’s only natural to want to replicate those with another journey. But, it’s important that you not let your emotions cloud your judgement. Becoming a surrogate again is a huge decision.

Think about everything that you considered before becoming a surrogate for the first time. You should think about all those things and more. Are you truly emotionally ready for surrogacy — especially a surrogacy that may not be as great as the first? Can you commit yourself physically and mentally to another surrogacy process, no matter what happens?

While this is an important conversation to have with yourself, it’s also an important one to have with your surrogacy specialist. Our team at American Surrogacy is always here to help our clients do what is best for them and their family. That includes helping you determine whether being a surrogate is the best choice for you at this time.

To learn more, please contact your surrogacy specialist online or at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) today.

What to Say — And What Not to Say — to the Surrogate in Your Life

Talking about surrogacy can be tough — especially if you’re still learning about the ins and outs of the process. If a loved one tells you about her plans to become a surrogate, you may not be sure of how to respond. What should you say to be as supportive as possible?

We know surrogacy can be a tricky conversation for some people. That’s why we’ve gathered this helpful guide to what to say — and what not to say — when someone tells you they’re becoming a surrogate. Proper language is so important in the surrogacy process, and it’s a good idea to have a base knowledge of surrogacy before your loved one begins their journey.

Below, check out some important things to know for talking about surrogacy with your loved one. Remember: American Surrogacy’s team of surrogacy specialists is always here to answer any of the questions you may have about the surrogacy process.

5 Things Not to Say to a Surrogate

First, let’s start with the things not to say to a gestational carrier. There are a lot of misconceptions about the surrogacy process, and a lot of them emerge as ignorant or insensitive questions to a gestational carrier.

Before you have a conversation with your loved one about her surrogacy journey, scratch these ones from your vocabulary:

1. “Aren’t you afraid that you’ll ‘get attached’ to the baby?”

Many people assume “surrogacy” still means “traditional surrogacy” — that the carrier is related to the baby. But, that’s not the truth. More than likely, your loved one is a gestational carrier, meaning she is just “the oven” for the intended parents’ baby.  It’s silly to ask her if she’ll get attached; she knows she’s just “babysitting,” and she will likely be excited to hand over the baby once he or she is born!

2. “How much are you getting paid?”

This is an absolute hands-off topic when you’re talking with gestational carriers. How much a woman is paid for her surrogacy services is her family’s and the intended parent’s business alone.

Know that if your loved one is receiving compensation for her services, it is a number that she and her intended parents agreed is fair to all parties. Avoid any conversation about money when talking to your friend or family member about her surrogacy journey.

3. “Why don’t the intended parents just adopt?”

This is one of the most common questions that intended parents get — and their surrogate will likely get the query, too. The fact is that adoption is not right for everyone. Every parent has the right to choose the family-building path that is right for them, and it’s no one’s business to question it.

Intended parents choose surrogacy for many reasons: They have remaining embryos, they want a genetic connection, or adoption may not be possible for them. Their reasons are not your surrogate’s story to tell, so stop asking!

4. “How will you tell your kids?”

While this question itself can be a well-meaning one, it can come off in another way. Often, the people who ask this question are implying that the surrogate’s children won’t be able to understand the surrogacy process, or that they will take it personally when their mother “gives away” the baby she is carrying.

Children understand more than adults give them credit for. It’s highly likely that your friend has already started to explain the surrogacy process to her children in a positive way — maybe even in a way not much different than how she explained surrogacy to you.

5. “Pregnancy is dangerous — are you sure about this?”

Most likely, by the time your friend is telling you about her plans to become a surrogate, she has already begun the process. She may have already matched with intended parents, she may be taking fertility medication, or she may even be pregnant!

Whatever stage she is at, she’s already made up her mind about this journey. Expressions of concern from her loved ones are not what she is looking for. A woman has to be fully informed of all the risks well before she starts the surrogacy process. So, she’s already evaluated those risks, and she won’t like to be reminded of them.

3 Things to Say to a Surrogate

While there are certain things that surrogates are tired of hearing, there are also some things that surrogates don’t hear often enough. If you’re discussing your friend’s surrogacy journey with her, here are some positive things that you can say:

1. “The intended parents must be so grateful!”

A surrogate knows that what she’s doing will help her intended parents reach their dreams of having a family. But, to hear someone else acknowledge her impact is a big deal.

Rather than focusing on what she gets out of the surrogacy process (ie. surrogate compensation), focus on what her decision will give to other people. It shows that you truly understand why she chose this path and, in turn, that you appreciate her, too.

2. “You are such a wonderful person for doing this!”

But, don’t just assume that your loved one knows you respect her decision — tell her to her face!

A surrogate may not always receive positive comments from all of her friends and family. It can be disheartening to be so excited about being a surrogate, only to have someone respond with judgement or disapproval (see comments above). Make it obvious that you respect her decision by congratulating her on it and clearly showing your pride in what she has chosen to do. After all, surrogacy is something that affects the whole world, not just her intended parents.

3. “How can I help?”

When your loved one becomes a surrogate, she gives up a great deal of her time and energy to grow a baby for someone else. She may be just as tired and overwhelmed as during her previous pregnancies, but she may not be receiving the same support from her friends and family because the baby isn’t hers.

So, when your friend tells you she’s being a surrogate, take the opportunity to offer your assistance. Tell her you’ll make dinner on a busy night or watch her kids when she has doctor’s appointments. She will certainly appreciate it in the next year or so to come.

Want more advice on talking to a surrogate about her journey? Contact our surrogacy team at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) for our tips and advice.

4 Times Surrogacy is Great (and 4 Times When It’s Not) for Surrogates

The surrogacy experience has plenty of emotional ups and downs for surrogates. Even though it all ends with you being able to help create a family, it takes a lot to get there. So, it’s good to be prepared before beginning.

Without further ado, here are some of the best (and worst) moments for gestational surrogates along the way:

4 of the Best Parts of Surrogacy for Surrogates

There’s plenty to love about being a gestational surrogate. These are four of the best feelings:

1. Feeling Like You’re Paying it Forward… with Parenthood

A requirement for surrogates with American Surrogacy, like most professionals, is that you must be already raising at least one child. That means you already know what it’s like to be a parent.

One reason that a lot of women cite as a motivator for becoming surrogates? To help people who have been waiting for a child become parents — and for them to know that same joy a surrogate has in her own lives.

Many women love being able to pass on the blessing of parenthood to those who have been hoping to experience it themselves.

2. Working Toward Financial Goals Using Surrogacy Compensation

Most surrogates choose to accept some amount of compensation in exchange for the time and effort they dedicate to their journey. And most surrogates choose to use that compensation toward important financial goals. Whether you’re paying off student loans or your car, putting the money toward your child’s college fund, or using it as a down payment on a home, compensation can be a genuine advantage for surrogates.

But, not just you, either — your whole family can benefit from something your heart felt called to do.

3. A Greater Appreciation for Your Body

A gestational surrogate is keenly aware that they’re physically able to do something that intended parents are unable to, no matter how much they wish they could. This is a loss that many intended parents have to grieve before they even begin to consider surrogacy. The ability to grow and protect a baby within your body is a gift, and becoming a surrogate is one way to use that gift and to pass it on to someone else.

The connection you share with the intended parents’ baby during that time and the connection you have to your own body during pregnancy are also special — pregnancy symptoms, pain and all.

4. The Moment When You Unite a Family

This is probably an obvious choice for “The Best Several Seconds of Surrogacy,” but placing a child into the arms of their parents for the first time is a pretty incredible experience. All the ups and downs are made worthwhile then. It’s the reason why women become surrogates in the first place!

4 of the Worst Parts of Surrogacy for Surrogates

Surrogacy is rewarding, yes. But it’s also tough. There are plenty of frustrations and low moments. These are some of the not-so-great aspects of the process for surrogates:

1. The Medications

The side effects that women experience while taking the required surrogacy medications vary widely, but most women experience at least some. Even if you don’t have any side effects, the process of carefully organizing, timing and administering fistfuls of pills, patches, creams, injections and more is anything but enjoyable!

Gestational surrogates and women who have undergone fertility treatments can commiserate about the general unpleasantness of this aspect of the medical process. Fortunately, it’s all for an important purpose.

2. The Differences in Pregnancy Experiences

Getting pregnant as a surrogate is so different than getting pregnant in the “old fashioned” way. It was likely easy for you to become pregnant in the past but, when you’re a surrogate, there are so many steps, tests, boxes to check and even just time spent waiting and hoping that the transfer worked this cycle.

When you’re in the middle of this comparatively complex process, it can be disheartening and leave you daydreaming of how simple your non-surrogacy pregnancies seemed without all the clinical fuss.

3. Juggling Responsibilities

Not only are gestational surrogates responsible for growing a tiny person — someone else’s child at that — they’re also expected to continue caring for their own children, keep up with their non-surrogacy-related responsibilities and, if they work outside of the home, maintain a career.

Surrogates are superheroes, surely. But there are only so many hours in a day, and the surrogacy process involves more appointments, coordination and time commitments than many people realize.

4. The Emotional Weight

This is both a benefit and a burden, in many ways. Although you know you’ve been entrusted with something amazingly unique, and you get to experience a lot of beautiful moments in your surrogacy journey, this intense responsibility can take a toll. Many gestational surrogates struggle with taking on the emotions of their intended parents, or they may feel personally responsible if an embryo transfer fails or there’s another kind of medical complication.

When you’re so invested in helping another family, it’s easy to become entangled in some of these feelings, even though your intended parents would never want you to. Surrogates also experience heightened emotions due to fertility medications and pregnancy hormones. Access to emotional support before, during and after a surrogate pregnancy will be important for your wellbeing.

American Surrogacy will always be there for you.

Surrogacy is Worth It — Highs and Lows and All

When all is said and done, you’ll probably walk away with more stretch marks than you had before, an alarming knowledge of human anatomy, a lifelong bond with a family you helped create — and an unparalleled sense of pride. It will all be worth it.

Ready to start your surrogacy journey? Contact American Surrogacy at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) to begin.

Do Surrogates Get Paid for Failed Transfers?

After the time you’ve invested as a surrogate, as well as the physical and emotional efforts you’ve put into your surrogacy journey so far, you might be worried about what happens if an embryo transfer fails. Gestational surrogates of the past have asked us a few questions about this topic: Do surrogates get paid if they miscarry? Does a surrogate get paid if F.E.T. does not work?

The answer to both: Yes.

Here’s why.

What Happens In the Event of a Miscarriage or Failed Transfer

Generally, most surrogates who accept compensation are paid per milestone.

When your contract is signed, you’ll receive payments for milestones such as the start of medications and the embryo transfer. You’ll also usually receive a monthly allowance, depending on your contract.

So, you would receive those types of payments up until the point that an unforeseen event (such as a miscarriage or failed transfer) occurs. Your surrogacy contract would dictate from there whether or not you and the intended parents will attempt another transfer.

That means if you miscarried at two months, you would get paid for those two months of pregnancy. It’s nobody’s fault when these things happen, and you put your time and effort into that pregnancy, so you’ll absolutely receive fair compensation for that time.

A miscarriage or failed transfer can be a significant emotional experience for both the gestational surrogate and her intended parents. Most people take some time to process the loss of a hoped-for pregnancy before pursuing any next steps. It’s not unusual for everyone in the surrogacy partnership to need time to recover before attempting another transfer.

Remember: Your individual surrogacy contract will determine what happens in the event of a miscarriage or failed transfer in your situation, so always refer to your contract in this situation.

If You Miscarry Again, or if Transfer Fails Again

This situation is rare, but it’s possible. If you experience a second miscarriage or failed embryo transfer, you would again look to your surrogacy contract first.

When you and your intended parents negotiated your contract, you determined how many embryo transfer attempts you would attempt. You probably also discussed what would happen if you experienced more than one medical setback.

That being said, there could certainly be instances where you would all agree to deviate from the original contract. For example, if you’ve now miscarried twice and your medical providers are concerned about your health, their recommendations would take precedence over any previous agreements you’d made in your contract. Your intended parents will understand.

Your physical and emotional health will always take first priority in situations of multiple miscarriages or embryo transfer failures.

Failed Transfers and Miscarriages in Surrogacy are Fortunately Rare

Miscarriages occur in about 1 in 4 recognized pregnancies. But, surrogacy professionals take certain steps to reduce those odds as much as possible with a gestational carrier.

Because gestational surrogates are carefully screened to ensure your chances of successfully carrying a pregnancy are high, and embryos are genetically tested to ensure their chances of successful implantation are high, the likelihood of you experiencing one of these medical setbacks is low.

However, it is still possible, which is why it’s important that you discuss these scenarios with your attorney and your intended parents when you create your surrogacy contract. That way, you’ll have a plan in place, just in case.

If you do experience a miscarriage or failed transfer, you would be compensated to that point as per your contract, so don’t worry about having to front any expenses related to the pregnancy.

If you have any more questions about surrogacy payment schedules, you can ask to review your contract with your attorney or your American Surrogacy specialist. You can also reach out to us at 1-800-875-BABY (2229).

7 Ways Being a Surrogate Can Change Your Life

Clearly, being a surrogate is something that can turn your life upside down for a year or more — in a good way! But, did you know that your decision to be a surrogate can change your life for months and even years after you hand the intended parents their little bundle of joy?

That’s right — being a surrogate is a life-changing journey for many women. It can be for you, too.

You can always learn more about becoming a surrogate when you contact our surrogacy specialists online or call 1-800-875-2229(BABY). In the meantime, find out seven ways your life can change when you make the leap into the surrogacy world:

1. You create parents where there weren’t any before.

The first big difference you’ll make as a gestational carrier? You will help a worthy individual or couple become the parents they’ve always dreamed of being.

It’s a knowledge that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. You helped make someone’s dreams come true — with something that probably comes easily to you. Who knew that your uterus could make such a difference in someone’s life? Knowing this can change your own perspective for many years to come.

2. You help bring a new life into the world.

On top of helping your intended parents reach their dream, you’ve changed the world. Now, it has one more beautiful baby in it — and it’s all because of you.

Without you, your intended parents’ baby would not exist. They would still be just a dream. But, because you choose to give the gift of surrogacy, you have brought a child into the world that wasn’t there before. This child will leave their own impact on their community as they grow up, and you will always have the knowledge that you were the one of the first people to make that happen.

3. You can make friendships that last a lifetime.

The relationship between surrogates and their intended parents is a special one. In many cases, it’s a relationship that continues long after the surrogacy process is complete.

When you become a gestational surrogate, you share an intimate journey with your intended parents that few get to experience. It’s a journey that will bond you together for life. You get to know each other better than anyone else, and you will both carry evidence of your partnership for life (for you, stretch marks; for them, a tiny bundle of joy).

The best surrogacy stories are the ones in which surrogates and intended parents have a genuine friendship with each other. Not only will this make the awkward parts of your surrogacy more manageable, but it will help both of you be more comfortable from start to finish. If you establish this kind of relationship, it’s only natural that it will continue for months and years to come!

4. You may become a better communicator.

Surrogacy is all about organization and communication. There are many moving parts involved, and it’s important that both parties are on top of their responsibilities to be as successful as possible.

Prior to surrogacy, you may have been a “c’est la vie” kind of woman. Surrogacy will force you to become more organized (think: medication schedule, doctor’s appointments, and more) and to stay in frequent contact with your intended parents. In your personal life, you may have fallen into the trap of taking weeks to return phone calls or texts — but being a gestational carrier will snap you out of that quickly.

In turn, when it comes time to end your surrogacy journey, you may find some of those habits hard to break — and your friends and family will likely thank you for your new sense of focus and organization.

5. You become more familiar with your body and health.

By the time your surrogacy is over, you will be an expert in all things pregnancy and reproductive health. It takes many complicated steps to become pregnant as a gestational carrier, and you’ll need to be in tune with your body’s needs and responses every step of the way. What before may have been a passing knowledge of how your body works will now be an intimate understanding of your unique body system.

Both during and after your surrogacy, you may find yourself picking up healthier habits than your life before surrogacy. You may feel better than you did even before this last pregnancy — and your gestational pregnancy itself might be a more enjoyable experience than your previous ones!

Overall, surrogacy allows carriers to learn to be more vocal about their medical needs and better recognize their own body’s health.

6. You can give yourself a new financial start.

When you become a surrogate, you have the right to receive surrogate base compensation. This compensation will depend upon your personal situation and your experience as a surrogate, as well as any compensation preferences you may have.

While surrogate base compensation is not necessarily a “life-changing” amount, it is often enough for a surrogate and her family to take a big financial step. She may be able to pay off the rest of her student loans or save money for her children’s college education. She may be able to put a down payment on a house or a new car for her family.

Money should not be the reason you pursue surrogacy, but compensation is certainly a benefit of this path. To learn more about our agency’s base compensation policy, please call our specialists at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).

7. You may be inspired to do surrogacy again — and again.

A single surrogacy journey can be life-changing for a gestational carrier — but it can also inspire her to keep doing surrogacy as long as she’s able.

It’s not uncommon for first-time gestational carriers to find out that they love every part of surrogacy. As soon as they are able to, they sign up again with their surrogacy agency and get ready to work with another set of intended parents. When they realize how much of a difference they can make doing something that comes so easily to them, they often want to do it all over again!

Ready to start your surrogacy journey today? Contact our specialists for more information.

What are Travel Restrictions All About in Surrogacy?

There’s a reason why surrogacy professionals encourage gestational carriers to clear their family calendars for the year or so of the surrogacy process. As part of your surrogacy requirements, you may be subject to a travel restriction during certain parts of your pregnancy.

On top of delaying any family vacations or travel plans, travel restrictions can seem like a bit of a nuisance — until you understand exactly why they’re a thing.

The best person to talk to about the restrictions of being a gestational carrier will always be a surrogacy professional. At American Surrogacy, our specialists are happy to answer all of your questions about the surrogacy process, including any you have about travel “do”s and “don’t”s. You can give them a call anytime at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).

In the meantime, you can learn about the basics of travel during a gestational pregnancy below.

Why Do Surrogacy Contracts Set Travel Restrictions?

You’ve been pregnant before, so you should be aware of the realities of traveling while pregnant. But, in case you need a refresher, here’s a recap:

In general, it’s safe to travel throughout your pregnancy, although many doctors will recommend you stay local once you reach 36 weeks. (There’s no telling when that baby will decide to come!) For most women, the safest time to travel is during the second trimester — after the morning sickness of your first trimester and before the fatigue that comes with your third trimester.

However, there are certain risks that come with traveling with pregnant, especially if you have a history of complicated pregnancies. Sitting for long periods in the area can increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis, a condition in which blood clots form in the legs or other areas of the body. Women who have a history of anemia, respiratory disease, or cardiac disease should be wary of traveling while pregnant. Pregnancy is hard enough on your body, and travel can only increase the physical stressors on your body during this time.

For this reason, many surrogacy lawyers and professionals will advise that a gestational carrier stop traveling once she reaches a certain point in pregnancy. After all, the baby she is carrying is not hers, so any additional risks she incurs will tend to make the intended parents nervous. Remember: The goal of gestational surrogacy is to maximize the chance that the intended parents will have the healthy baby they’ve been dreaming about — and that you will have as healthy a pregnancy as possible. For that reason, certain sacrifices must be made, including your ability to travel at a certain point.

Intended parents are giving up a great deal of control by choosing gestational surrogacy, and stipulations over your pregnancy are some of the only ways they can play a part in their unborn baby’s development.

What Should You Expect in Your Surrogacy Contract?

That said, every surrogacy is different — and so is every set of intended parents. That’s why the negotiating of your surrogacy contract will be a back-and-forth conversation. This will ensure you and the intended parents come up with terms that you are both comfortable with. Don’t forget that you will have a personal surrogacy attorney protecting your rights and interests during this negotiation.

When it comes to travel restrictions, most surrogacy contracts will leave the decision up to the surrogate’s obstetrician. After all, things can change drastically as a pregnancy progresses; unforeseen occurrences can make what seemed fine early on impossible in the third trimester. Most gestational carriers and intended parents will be comfortable with this kind of travel arrangement. After all, they only want what is best for the health of the baby.

On the other hand, some intended parents will have specific ideas about their surrogate’s travel during pregnancy. Some intended parents will specifically request that their surrogate not travel in her third trimester; others will be okay with travel, but only if it is within her state. The latter is for several reasons — states have different surrogacy laws (which can be an issue if a surrogate delivers unexpectedly) and a surrogate will be far away from her obstetrician. All of this can make an intended parent nervous, which is why they may suggest certain travel rules.

Other intended parents may be stricter in their travel desires. If an intended parent requests that you not travel at all during your pregnancy, you may not be comfortable with that kind of restriction. What happens if there’s a family emergency and you have to travel on short notice? The resentment you would feel toward them would likely harm your relationship.

This is why being honest and open about your surrogacy preferences is so important. If you match with intended parents who request a strict travel policy, and you don’t think it will work for you, you’ll need to bring that up before your final contract is signed. If need be, you can find another match with parents who better share your ideals for the surrogacy journey.

Travel restrictions in a surrogacy contract are a sensitive subject, which is why having a surrogacy professional by your side from day one is so important. Your specialist and attorney should speak with you at length about this topic, so you are fully informed before starting your surrogacy journey. Remember: Surrogacy is not right for every woman at every period in her life, and the possibility of travel restrictions may highlight that for you during this time in your life.

Want to learn more about surrogacy contracts and what is expected from you as a gestational carrier? Contact our specialists today at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).

Tips for Surviving a Failed Transfer: Surrogates

You’ve spent weeks preparing for your embryo transfer date. You’ve taken the pills, given yourself the shots, gone to the appointments and “thought sticky thoughts” at your transfer procedure. Now, you learn that this transfer failed.

Every gestational surrogate will have a different reaction to a failed embryo transfer. However, the following general tips may help you cope with this loss and begin to take the next steps in your journey as a surrogate:

Do:

Acknowledge your intended parents’ feelings.

If your intended parents struggled with infertility or pregnancy loss prior to pursuing surrogacy, this failed transfer may come as a serious emotional (and financial) blow to them. They may pull away for a while, or they may turn to you for support. Try to be aware of their needs, and acknowledge the importance of this loss for them. It can be tempting to want to “fix” this for them, but letting them know that you’re there for them will be more important.

Acknowledge your own feelings.

The intended parents aren’t the only ones who will need to grieve a failed transfer. Gestational surrogates often say they feel a sense of guilt or failure, in addition to sadness and disappointment. You put so much effort and hope into this transfer, and finding out that it failed is a loss for you, too. Talking through what you’re feeling can help you begin to process this. Talk to your loved ones, your surrogate specialist, a counselor or other gestational surrogates who have been in your shoes. You’re not alone!

Understand the many reasons why this happens.

An embryo’s failure to implant can happen for any number of reasons, but ultimately, this particular embryo would not have been able to survive a pregnancy. All of the conditions have to be absolutely perfect for a human being to be created — on a chemical level, within an embryo, within a woman’s body and more. This is nature’s way of trying to create only healthy babies. That doesn’t make this loss any less sad; it’s just important to remember that this was out of your hands.

Don’t:

Blame yourself.

Again, those feelings of guilt are not uncommon for surrogates (and women in general) who have experienced a failed transfer. You may feel as if you’ve let your intended parents down somehow. You might wonder, “Did I do something wrong? Could I have done something more carefully?” The answer is, emphatically: No.

You’ve done (and are doing) an amazing job! Failed transfers are not uncommon, and they’re not anyone’s fault. If you’re struggling with a sense of guilt, please reach out to your surrogate specialist and your support system. We’re always here for you!

Lose sight of the big picture.

After weeks of a careful routine, medications, preparation and excitement, only to be let down by a failed transfer, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and a little lost. In the emotions of a failed transfer, you can become caught up in second-guessing and questions like, “Is this worth it? Will this work?”

It’s not always easy in these low moments, but try to remember why you wanted to do this in the first place: to help your intended parents. Don’t forget that a failed transfer doesn’t mean a failed surrogacy journey.

Rush into another cycle if you’re not ready.

The preparation necessary for an embryo transfer is physically and emotionally taxing. You may still be recovering from the physical effects of the medication involved in the last cycle, and you may still be emotionally recovering from this failed transfer. Regardless, you might feel like you need some time before you try again.

This is something you’ll need to talk about with your intended parents, surrogate specialist and fertility clinic. That way, your next transfer attempt can be timed correctly with your cycle while still giving you space to rest.

Need to talk to someone after a failed embryo transfer? You can always contact a surrogate specialist at American Surrogacy by calling 1-800-875-BABY(2229).

What Can Surrogates Do to Make Their Intended Parents’ Journey Easier?

Everyone knows: Being a surrogate is hard work. But, between all of the focus on your health, pregnancy and well-being, intended parents can sometimes get lost. And that’s not fair!

While intended parents may not go through the same physical process as their gestational carrier, they go through an equally difficult emotional process. It’s hard to give up control of their baby’s development in utero, even to a woman that they trust deeply. For them, surrogacy is the last step in the long, hard journey they’ve taken to become parents — and this step can sometimes be the hardest yet.

If you’re a surrogate, you want to make your intended parents’ part of the surrogacy journey as easy as possible. That’s a very generous and selfless thing to do, and we commend you for it. But, how can you go above and beyond to help them during your pregnancy?

Below, find a few tips for doing exactly that. Remember, you can always speak with your surrogacy specialist for more advice on what is and is not appropriate in your surrogacy relationship.

1. Keep them informed of your pregnancy and the baby’s development.

The biggest thing you can do to ease your intended parents’ minds? Communicate, communicate, communicate.

Your intended parents are giving up a great deal of control by using the surrogacy process. Even though they trust you to carry their child safely, there are still a great deal of questions and concerns that will pop up before and during your pregnancy. When you’re a surrogate, the best way to help them out is by anticipating those needs. Share your pregnancy experience, and share often.

Frequent updates — such as how you’re feeling, whether the baby is starting to move and more — are extremely reassuring to your intended parents. Phone calls and texts are easy for you to do, but they will mean more to your intended parents than you could ever know.

2. Involve them in your medical appointments and important moments.

If possible, don’t just tell your intended parents about your baby’s development — let them be an active part in it.

Many intended parents are thrilled when invited to a surrogate’s medical appointments. Keep them up to date on your scheduled ultrasounds and other important appointments. That way, they can make the decision to attend if it is in their power.

On the same note, make sure to inform your intended parents about some of the smallest medical changes. If you see a different doctor at one appointment, tell them. If your doctor anticipates changes in your delivery plans, make sure to let your intended parents know. Even something as small as a minor illness should be known by your intended parents, especially if you have to take a prescription to clear it up.

Trust us: The last thing you want is for your intended parents to hear about your medical situation secondhand.

3. Share special experiences with them.

While telling your intended parents about the day-to-day details is important, you can also try to include them in special ways!

Remember that your intended mother (if applicable) would give anything to experience pregnancy the way you are. So, find a way to replicate those experiences for her. Have your obstetrician record your sonograms or the baby’s heartbeat, and you can create a sweet DVD gift for your intended parents to cherish. Try to capture their baby moving on film or, better yet, arrange a date with the intended parents when you anticipate the baby being particularly “active.” Giving them the opportunity to feel their baby move will be a priceless gift.

4. Stay open to their suggestions and wants.

While it’s important that you talk about your experiences with the intended parents, it’s equally important that you listen to them throughout the surrogacy journey. Even though they are not the ones carrying their child, their preferences and desires should be respected at every step along the way.

In most surrogacies, what your intended parents expect of you will be discussed as part of your surrogacy contract. But, it’s not uncommon for intended parents to think of something new they want during the pregnancy. You should make all efforts to abide by those wishes.

For example, even though it may require extra time and effort from you, be enthusiastic about playing recordings of music and their voices to the baby in utero. Read stories to their baby, if they desire, and try to incorporate their pregnancy preferences into your everyday routine — as long as it is safe for you to do so.

Remember: While this is your pregnancy, this is not your baby. Your intended parents will appreciate you having as close a pregnancy to their own desires as possible.

5. Be organized with your financial needs.

Finally, one of the most helpful things you can do for your intended parents involves a more sensitive topic: financial issues.

Your intended parents are responsible for all of your medical expenses during your surrogacy, whether they have set up an escrow service or will reimburse you for your expenses as they occur. Either way, organization is key. Having all of your expenses itemized will prevent headaches for your intended parents.

For example, when it comes to your fertility medication, it’s a good idea to keep an inventory of all the medication you are on, how much is left, when you’ll need a refill, and how much it costs. Similarly, when you start attending medical appointments, keep all of your itemized receipts in a clearly marked folder, organized by date. Your intended parents will thank you — and it will be less likely that you’ll have to pay for certain expenses out-of-pocket.

Remember that your surrogacy specialist will be by your side to support you through the entire journey, and that includes mediating complicated conversations about finances and compensation. But, the more organized you are, the easier these conversations will be!

Want more tips on maintaining a positive relationship with your intended parents? Speak with our surrogacy specialists at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) today.

Will Being a Surrogate Affect Your Job?

If you’re thinking about being a gestational surrogate, you’ve probably thought about a lot: how your pregnancy will affect your body and mind, how your family will feel, whether you’re ready for the challenges ahead.

But, have you thought about how being a surrogate may affect your job?

Just like being pregnant with your own child, being pregnant with an intended parent’s child will require a great deal of time and energy from you. As you focus on a healthy pregnancy and strong relationship with your intended parents, you will also need to focus on your everyday family and career responsibilities. It’s easy to forget how much pregnancy can affect your career, but it’s an important thing to think about before starting down this path.

We encourage you to talk in depth with your surrogacy specialist about how surrogacy may impact your job. Remember, we’re always available to talk at 1-800-875-2229(BABY). In the meantime, keep reading to prepare yourself for how surrogacy may affect your career.

The Challenges of Surrogate Pregnancy

As you know, pregnancy takes a great deal of energy and effort. Keeping yourself healthy during nine months — while simultaneously managing your everyday responsibilities — can quickly take a toll on your body and mind.

How much your career will be affected will depend on a few things. First, how much physical and mental energy does your job take? If you are in a position that requires a great deal of physical movement, you will have to cut back on your responsibilities while pregnant. This, in turn, may affect your work performance. While there are legal protections for working while pregnant, you should still think hard about how your pregnancy may affect your current and future pay — and whether your family can afford that while you are pregnant.

At the same time, you may be required to take time off work for important appointments and meetings. For example, you may need to travel to the intended parents’ clinic for your embryo transfer. That may require you to take a few days off work. Do you have the time off you need, or can you afford to take a hit to your paycheck for those few days?

Breaking the News to Your Boss

As you prepare to take time off of work, you’ll eventually need to speak with your supervisor. Not only will you need to take time off for the embryo transfer process, but you’ll also need to take maternity leave for your delivery and postpartum recovery. While there shouldn’t be any difference in time off for a gestational pregnancy or a pregnancy of your own, you’ll still need to keep your boss in the loop as early as possible.

How much detail you share with your supervisor will be up to you. It’s a good idea to explain that you are carrying a gestational pregnancy to avoid misinformation spreading around the office. This is also a good time to mention that you will likely be taking a shorter maternity leave because you won’t have a child to look after.

Before you meet with your supervisor, you might want to review your company policies or talk to your human resources manager. That way, you will be as informed as possible about your maternity leave policy and know what to expect in your conversation.

What to Say to Coworkers

If you plan to work through your pregnancy, you’ll also need to think about your conversations with your coworkers. You won’t be able to keep your pregnancy a secret but, if you keep secret the fact that the baby is not yours, you may find yourself facing some uncomfortable situations — congratulations or even a work baby shower.

As always, how much you decide to share about your surrogacy journey will always be up to you. When explaining your decision to be a surrogate, you might take this opportunity to answer your coworkers’ questions — or you might simply give only the information they need. It is your decision. But, if you feel comfortable doing so, telling your coworkers about your surrogacy allows you to educate others and clear up some of the misconceptions that still exist.

Of course, you will likely need to keep your coworkers updated about your plans for time off and maternity leave. This way, you will ensure that your responsibilities are covered while you are gone.

Maternity Leave

While you will likely take less time to recover from a gestational pregnancy than a pregnancy of your own (because you won’t be caring for a newborn at home), you will still need to take some time off after delivery. Fortunately, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects your ability to have 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave for the birth of a child.

However, before becoming a surrogate, think about how your maternity leave may affect your family’s financial situation. Can you afford to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave? Do you want to use your paid vacation for your recovery period? Will your surrogate base compensation provide enough to support your family during this time?

While it may not be something at the top of your mind when you first become a surrogate, your career should play a role in deciding whether this is the right time for this journey or not. If you’re not sure how your job will affect being a surrogate, or you want to learn more about the demands of surrogacy, don’t hesitate to contact our surrogacy specialists today at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).