5 Holiday Gift Ideas for Surrogates and Intended Parents

Intended parents and surrogates are forever connected to each other when they complete a surrogacy process together, and it’s only natural to think of each other during family-focused times like the holidays. Like you would with any other loved one, you may wish to send them a little something to let them know you’re thinking of them during this time of the year.

But, what are appropriate holiday gifts for intended parents and surrogates?

The answer to this will likely depend on your individual relationship with each other. If an intended parent and surrogate are close, they may wish to send more personal, special gifts than an intended parent and surrogate who have not maintained a close relationship after the baby has been born. Remember, no intended parent or surrogate is ever obligated to send gifts to their surrogacy partner during the holiday season. For many, the gift of building a family is present enough.

However, if you are looking to send a little something during the holidays to your intended parents or surrogate, there are a couple of ideas to consider:

1. A Holiday Card and Family Update

One of the easiest and most personal things that you can do for your intended parent or surrogate is send them a holiday card at this time of year. Many people already create a holiday card and family update letter anyway, and choosing to add your surrogacy partner to the list of recipients will let them know you’ve been thinking about them. Surrogacy is a life-changing journey for both sides, and intended parents and surrogates wonder about the other’s lives and how they are doing. A holiday card is a great way for them to be updated on any family changes and important milestones and feel remembered and cherished.

2. A Personalized Gift Basket

Gift baskets don’t always have to be extravagant. Think about where your intended parents or surrogate is at in their life now, and try to create a personalized collection of items that they may enjoy. For example, brand-new intended parents might appreciate holiday items that commemorate “baby’s first Christmas.” A surrogate who has just completed her pregnancy may like a special photo frame commemorating her journey. If nothing else, a small basket of holiday treats is always appreciated.

3. A Sentimental Accessory

Because surrogacy is such a life-changing journey, intended parents and surrogates carry around their experience with them for the rest of their lives. They can also physically carry a memento of their surrogacy experience through a personalized accessory, like a necklace with the baby’s birthstone or a watch with the baby’s birthdate engraved. You can always speak to your surrogacy specialist to find out what kind of jewelry and accessories are appropriate and for ideas on how to personalize your holiday gift.

4. Flower or Edible Fruit Arrangements

Arrangements always bring happiness and brightness to a household, and this can be a great holiday gift idea for your surrogate or intended parent. Accompanied with a heartfelt note, these kinds of gifts are sure to bring a smile to your surrogate’s or intended parents’ faces.

5. Surrogacy-Specific Gifts

If a surrogate and intended parent are still in the midst of the surrogacy process during the holidays, they may choose to send each other small surrogacy-specific gifts. A surrogate may enjoy gifts that allude to her “superpower” as a surrogate, while intended parents may appreciate décor with surrogacy phrases or gifts for their baby, like an ornament with the baby’s sonogram picture. Etsy is a great resource for these kind of gifts. You can also find great ideas for surrogacy-specific gifts through surrogacy support groups and other intended parents and surrogates.

Whatever kind of holiday gift you choose to get your intended parents or surrogate, what matters is that you put thought and care into it. Don’t ever feel pressured to get an expensive, elaborate gift; oftentimes, it’s small things like pictures and emails that mean the most to surrogates and intended parents. After all, the holidays are all about love — and just knowing that you’re on the mind of your surrogacy partner will mean a lot.

What Does Religion Say About the Morality of Surrogacy?

Hopeful parents thinking about surrogacy have many things to consider before embarking on this life-changing journey. For those with a strong faith, they may need to consider how their religion will factor into their surrogacy process, as well.

Religion and any kind of assisted reproductive technology has always been a complicated issue. Many faiths emphasize the importance of a husband and wife conceiving naturally on their own, and involving anyone else in this process can be viewed as unholy.

However, as infertility and IVF become more everyday topics of conversation, many religious people have begun to change their views on what is acceptable within their faith — recognizing that it’s having a family that’s more important than the process behind it.

Religious Views on Surrogacy

Each faith is different and, therefore, what your faith may say about assisted reproductive technology and surrogacy may differ from what’s written below — based on your personal beliefs and that of your local congregation and religious leaders.

In general, here is how some major faiths view surrogacy:

  • Catholicism: While surrogacy is present in the Book of Genesis with the story of Sarah and Abraham, the Catholic Church does not advocate for surrogacy. Instead, the Church teaches that children are a gift from God, only to be conceived and carried naturally by a married husband and wife. Any addition of a third party to this process is considered immoral.
  • Protestantism: Because there are many different factions of Protestantism, views of the surrogacy practice will vary. However, these sects of Christianity are usually more liberal, and surrogacy and other assisted reproductive technology may be more accepted among certain religious groups.
  • Judaism: Like with other faiths, more conservative Jewish factions do not approve of surrogacy. In vitro fertilization can be completed under rabbinical supervision, but there is a complicated discussion regarding the heritage of a child born via egg donor (as Jewish heritage is matrilineal). More liberal religious thinkers may accept surrogacy as a way to ease the suffering of infertile couples.
  • Islam: Muslim views of surrogacy can be wide-varying. Some scholars argue that the process is akin to adultery and that the child has no legal lineage, while others claim that surrogacy is an integral part of the belief that humans have a responsibility to preserve the human species however they can. Some more modern Muslims believe that IVF and surrogacy is allowable as long as semen and ovum are from a married couple, while Sunni Muslims believe no third-party assistance should be permissible.
  • Buddhism: Surrogacy is completely accepted in Buddhism, mainly because procreation is not seen as a moral duty. Therefore, couples are under no obligation to have children and, when they do, they can do so through whatever way they deem fit.
  • Hinduism: Like many faiths, Hinduism and its views on surrogacy vary. In general, infertility treatments can be allowable, like through artificial insemination if the sperm is the husband’s. It’s important to note that surrogacy in India is a thriving industry, and many of the surrogates there are of Hindu faith.

Reconciling Surrogacy with Your Religious Beliefs

Because many religions were established thousands of years before IVF or gestational surrogacy could even be imagined, it can be difficult to determine whether surrogacy is really ethical for your religious beliefs.

Remember that all properly completed surrogacy processes protect the rights of both intended parents and surrogates in an ethical way, and both parties enter into the agreement together. It can be difficult to reconcile this positive process with something that many believe to be against their god’s will, especially if having children is so important to a certain religious culture.

If you are concerned about how your religious faith may play into your surrogacy process, we encourage you to speak to a trusted religious leader and other intended parents or surrogates who have been through the same process. They may be able to help you sort out your feelings and understand exactly what you feel is right and wrong about pursuing surrogacy with your religious convictions.

A surrogacy specialist can also speak to you about the American Surrogacy process so you can determine how it may affect your religious beliefs. There are also several faith-based surrogacy agencies specifically designed to address this family-building process from a religious standpoint.

Determining whether surrogacy is right for you is always a process that takes time, and considering your faith is an important part of this. We encourage intended parents and prospective surrogates to take the time they need to make the best decision for them and, if they have any questions, to contact us at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) today.

How Your Surrogacy Journey Will Affect Your Spouse

When you become a surrogate, you’re making one of the greatest commitments you can possibly make. But, as much as you will dedicate your time and energy to helping create another family, it’s also important to recognize that your decision will also impact your own family, especially your spouse.

Women today are required to be raising their own children before pursuing this process, and many also have a partner who will be intimately involved in the journey, as well. Therefore, if you’re considering becoming a surrogate, you’ll need to take extra steps to involve your spouse and children to make sure they’re comfortable and understand exactly what your surrogacy decision will mean for them. For many women, surrogacy is not a choice they make solely on their own — but with their spouse’s help.

What Surrogacy Will Mean for Your Spouse

As mentioned, being a surrogate is a huge commitment, and it will greatly impact the lives of all your family members. When you’re raising children with your partner, necessary work and responsibilities will have to be rebalanced — which is why your spouse should be on board with your surrogacy decision from the start.

Like many pregnant women, you will likely have days where you don’t have as much energy or feel as well as you normally do. Activities that you usually take care of or share with your spouse, like cleaning and watching the children, may seem impossible. Your spouse will need to take on those extra responsibilities during that time. In addition, if you are placed on bed rest or required to miss a great deal of work, this can add to the practical and financial responsibilities for your spouse.

You may also have doctor-mandated restrictions on intimacy, especially when you are preparing for your embryo transfer process. Because you will have heightened fertility, any sexual intercourse with your spouse will be more likely to lead to pregnancy — but not the kind you want. If you’re part of a lesbian couple, talk to your doctor about what intimacy restrictions you may need to adhere to. In addition, just like any pregnant woman, your energy and libido may take a hit during this process, which may mean you’re less interested in physical intimacy. This can very easily drive a wedge between couples, so make sure to address this with proper communication.

Keeping Your Relationship Strong

Your spouse is likely your go-to support system in all other areas of your life, and it should be the same during the surrogacy process. However, because surrogacy is such an emotional journey, it may be difficult to keep the same relationship you’ve always had during potential hard and stressful times. This is why it’s so important that you keep your partner involved, so they feel a real part of the process.

To keep a strong relationship with your spouse, try to follow these tips:

  • Ask him or her to come to doctor’s appointments with you, meet the intended parents and be there for the baby’s birth.
  • Talk with your partner throughout the surrogacy process, even when things get tough.
  • Speak with a counselor if you’re struggling to communicate effectively.
  • Focus on the positives, like the surrogate compensation you may be using for a large financial gain, like a down payment on a house.
  • Remember that your surrogacy journey is only temporary; maybe plan a special trip or event after you are recovered from your pregnancy.
  • Lean on others, like friends and family and other surrogate couples, for support and assistance.

Perhaps most important is something you do before you even begin the surrogacy process — discussing its possibility with your spouse and making sure they support you from the very beginning. Without this support, your surrogacy process will become complicated and could have lasting effects on your relationship. If you are having difficulties explaining the process and your decision to your spouse, you can always contact your surrogacy specialist. She will be happy to help you through this conversation and answer any other questions that your partner may have.

Remember, the most successful surrogates go through the surrogacy process with the full support of their spouse, who is just as excited to be part of such a beautiful, family-building journey. With the proper communication, preparation and dedication, you and your spouse will create a life-changing memory of doing something good that you’ll cherish forever.

21 Surrogacy Quotes to Share Today

Surrogacy is an emotional journey, full of ups and downs on the way to creating a family. Perhaps the best way to capture these feelings is through surrogacy quotes.

Many times, these surrogacy quotes and phrases capture exactly what intended parents and surrogates are feeling but can’t quite articulate themselves. They’re also easy to share — a way for you to express your own feelings about the beauty of surrogacy and what the process means to you.

To find surrogacy quotes, all you need to do is search for them on any social media site you can imagine. We’ve gathered a few of our favorites here for you to read and share.

For Surrogates

“You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
“If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that.”

“It is more blessed to give than receive.” — Acts 20:35
“The greatest good is what we do for one another.” — Mother Teresa

For Intended Parents

“Life has a funny way of working out just when you start believing it never will.”
“If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.”

“However motherhood comes to you, it’s a miracle.”
“How your baby came into the world is far less important than the fact that she’s here.”

For Everyone

“Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about.”
“Even miracles take a little time.”

“Take it all one day at a time and enjoy the journey.”
“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”

What are some of your favorite surrogacy quotes? Let us know in the comments, and feel free to share our photo quotes!

5 Tips for Telling Your Family You’re Going to be a Surrogate

When you choose to become a gestational surrogate, you will have the support of your surrogacy professional and your intended parents every step of the way. However, it’s also important to create your own surrogacy support system of family and friends so you have someone outside of the process to lean on, as well.

But, how do you tell your family that you’ve made such a monumental decision, especially if they’re not completely comfortable with the idea?

It can be difficult to know exactly how to explain your surrogacy decision to those in your family who don’t approve of or don’t understand the process that you’re going through. Fortunately, there are several tips you can use to gently introduce this idea and have them support you. After all, surrogacy without any support system will be an incredibly lonely journey, and we encourage you to find support and community in your family from the very beginning of the process.

Your surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy will always be there to help you navigate these conversations, which have the potential to get complicated and emotionally heated. Because we understand the importance to having a family support system while you’re a surrogate, we’ve given a couple of tips when it comes to telling your family about your surrogacy decision:

Start slow with the introduction of the surrogacy process.

It may not always be best to just come out with your announcement out of the blue. Instead, when you’re talking to family, casually bring up the idea of surrogacy and how cool you think it is. The more that the topic of surrogacy become normal with your family in a theoretical way, the more prepared they will be for when you eventually give them the news.

Logically explain what your reasons are for choosing this path.

When you are ready to tell your family about your decision, don’t just mention you have decided to be a surrogate and end the conversation. Surrogacy is an intense commitment, and your family will want to know why you’re giving up your time, energy and body to help complete strangers become parents. To combat these concerns, make sure you write down your reasons for choosing surrogacy before beginning the conversation, as well as anything else you want to communicate with your family. That way, in case the conversation gets off track or you become overwhelmed, you can look back at your notes to remember what’s really important and what you really wish to communicate to your family.

Take the chance to inform and educate about the realities of surrogacy.

Depending on how much prior knowledge they have, your family members will likely have different understandings of exactly what surrogacy is and how the process is completed.  It’s usually outdated and inaccurate knowledge that leads many family members to object to someone’s decision to be a surrogate, so take this conversation as an opportunity to explain how the process really works. For example, tell them you will not be having sex with the intended father, the baby you carry will not be related to you, and your interests will be protected by your surrogacy specialist every step of the way.

The more that your family understands the surrogacy process and how it’s beneficial for all involved, the more likely they will accept your decision and support you throughout your upcoming surrogacy journey.

Allow your family time to process and ask any questions they may have.

Even when you present your family with the reasoning for your decision and the realities of the process, they can still be confused, overwhelmed or shocked at your decision. Try not to force them to accept your decision right away; give them time to consider what you’ve told them and let them come around to your decision. Be available should they ever ask any questions or have concerns, and try not to take any of the questions too personally. Just as you had to go through a lengthy process to decide if surrogacy was right for you, your family will need time to consider and accept your decision. When you give them this chance, they’ll be more likely to actively support you.

Think about who really needs to know about your decision.

Before you go telling your whole family about your surrogacy decision, it’s important to consider who really needs to know. While it’s great that you want to spread your happiness over your decision with as many people as possible, think about the difficult conversations you may have in doing so. Usually, the only critical people that you’ll need to tell about your surrogacy process are those who you want in your support group.

After you have told these people, if you want to tell more family members and friends, feel free to! Just remember that these conversations do take time and may come with some misunderstandings and confusion. You may decide to not tell as many people as planned once your first conversations take place. Whatever you decide to do, remember that it’s your right as a surrogate to tell who you want when you want about your decision.

If you’re having trouble talking to your family members about your surrogacy decision, please reach out to your surrogacy specialist for more help. We know that these conversations can be difficult, which is why we’re here to offer whatever support and advice we can. To learn more today, contact us at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).

Can You Use Surrogacy to Pay for College?

Being a surrogate is a life-changing experience. As a surrogate, you will be able to say you left a huge impact on someone’s life by helping them create their family. The process will also leave a large impact on your own life — not just physically but financially.

While many surrogates enter the surrogacy process because of an altruistic desire to help another family, there is also the added bonus of surrogate compensation to consider. For some women, that compensation is a bigger factor than for others. In fact, some may even think about pursuing the process to reach a large financial goal — for example, choosing surrogacy to pay for college.

No matter what your financial goals for pursuing surrogacy, it’s tremendously important that those aren’t the only reasons you’re choosing to be a surrogate. The process involves a lot of sacrifice, time and effort — so it’s highly recommended that you have an altruistic desire to complete this process as well.

Our surrogacy specialists are happy to talk to you about being a surrogate mother to pay for college and whether you’re eligible to work with our agency. However, before you pursue surrogacy to pay for grad school or college, you should ask yourself these questions:

1. Have you had a successful pregnancy and are you raising a child?

All surrogates must have successfully carried a pregnancy to term and currently be raising a child to be eligible to work with our program. For most women who are choosing surrogacy to pay for grad school or college later in life, this is a requirement they do meet. However, if you are a more traditional undergraduate student who has not had a child and is just looking for another way to finance your education, know that you cannot become a surrogate having never been pregnant before.

2. Are you finished adding children to your family?

Ideally, all surrogates are content with the number of children they have when they decide to pursue the surrogacy process. Even though surrogacy is a well-regulated medical process, there is always the risk that the medical treatments you undergo could impact your ability to conceive later on. If you are turning to surrogacy as a way to finance your education but will consider having more children later on, this may not be the right process for you.

3. Can you fit the time requirement of surrogacy into your schedule?

If you’re considering using surrogacy to pay for college classes that you’re currently enrolled in, you’ll need to think about exactly how busy your schedule is before moving forward. Surrogacy requires many doctors’ visits, both before and during your pregnancy, to make sure everything is proceeding properly. This means potentially missing important classes and obligations because of your responsibility as a surrogate. You may even be confined to bed rest at some point during the end of your pregnancy. For most students or those planning to enter college soon, the time demands of surrogacy do not work well with the obligations and responsibilities of their school, work and family schedules.

4. What are your priorities at this point in your life?

Before you decide to be a surrogate mother to pay for college, we encourage you to evaluate what’s important to you at this point in your life. When you become a surrogate, it should be one of your top priorities. Many times, this does not work well with the priority of getting a higher education and having a family — both things that may be at the top of your list. If you have a healthy uterus, you can likely be a surrogate even when you’re in your 40s, which should give you the time to achieve these other priorities before committing to the surrogacy process.

5. Are you using surrogacy to pay for college now or later in the future?

Obviously, one of the biggest questions surrogacy professionals will have about those looking to use surrogacy to pay for grad school or other higher education is when exactly they’ll be completing their education. If you are currently in college and looking to be a surrogate, it may be difficult for you to balance the demands of surrogacy with your coursework. However, if you’re looking at surrogacy as way to pay off student loans or finance future education, surrogacy may be a better choice for you.

As with all situations involving debt, it’s important to think long and hard about the solutions you’re looking into and whether they’re worth the challenges. Surrogacy is a hard and complicated journey, even with all its rewards. Usually, if a woman is feeling pressured into this process because of debt, it will cause even more complications through the process. Instead, it should be a commitment that you’re entering into freely and with a complete understanding of what the process entails.

If you’re thinking about becoming a surrogate mother to pay for college, we encourage you to reach out to our surrogacy specialists at 1-800-875-2229(BABY). Not only will we help you determine if you are eligible to be a surrogate, but we can also answer any questions and address any concerns you have about the surrogacy process in general.

7 Things All Surrogates Are Tired of Hearing

Surrogacy is still a new and advancing field and, while it’s a beautiful way to build a family, a lot of people don’t know as much as they should about it. When you’re a surrogate, you’re carrying around the proof of the surrogacy process, which can invite some interesting comments. Sometimes, people may ask inappropriate questions — either not aware of the ignorance in their statements or not really caring.

We’ve all been there, sister.

Here, we’ve compiled some of the most annoying comments that surrogates receive. Tell us if we’ve missed any that bother you the most!

1. “You’ve carried the baby for nine months; won’t it be hard to give them up?”

When you babysit a child, do you feel like you’re “giving them up” when their parents come home? Of course not!

Surrogates know the baby they’re carrying isn’t theirs, so they have no feeling of “giving it away.” Instead, they’re just taking care of the baby in their own womb until they’ve grown strong enough to meet their long-waiting parents in person. It’s just like babysitting someone else’s child — just for a nine-month period.

2. “So, did you and the dad ‘do it?’’

Even though in vitro fertilization is a common way to build families today, lots of people don’t put two-and-two together — and assume that a surrogate must have gotten pregnant the old fashioned way. First, gross; and second, even “traditional” surrogacies don’t work that way. You got pregnant in a lab with bright lights and multiple doctors — nothing quite that scandalous.

3. “Who are the intended parents? Do I know them?”

For some reason, people assume that only celebrities complete the surrogacy process. When you tell them you’re a surrogate, they may ask who the parents are, hoping you’re carrying the next baby for Kim Kardashian West or Neil Patrick Harris.

Not only is this clearly a violation of privacy but also none of their business. Did they honestly think you’d spill all the intended parents’ personal information?

4. “Wow, the parents must be rich. How much are they paying you?”

On the same note, why do people think surrogate compensation is in any way their business? You could be a surrogate for compensation or not; either way, you’re still completing a beautiful, selfless service. While surrogate compensation is certainly helpful, you’re not out to be a money-making, baby-carrying machine. People don’t go around asking about each other salaries; why is surrogacy any different?

5. “Why don’t they just adopt?”

People always have opinions about other people’s families and family-building processes. Couples struggling with infertility also apparently can do no good, whichever method they choose.

In addition to you not being able to discuss the intended parents’ personal details (see No. 3), why should it matter how they choose to build their family? Why didn’t the person asking you pursue adoption instead of having biological kids? Right — because everyone has a choice in how they create their family!

6. “Yikes — I can’t believe you’re suffering through pregnancy for someone else!”

Obviously, you don’t think being pregnant is suffering, otherwise you wouldn’t have decided to become a surrogate. Are some side effects of surrogacy difficult? Sure. But do they debilitate you? No! You enjoy being pregnant and doing so to help create another family is not a struggle for you.

7. “I could never be a surrogate.”

Well, that’s good to know — that’s why they leave the family-making to fabulous women like us.

Handling these comments and questions may take time and experience but, luckily, you have a surrogacy specialist available for any questions or concerns you may have about comments you receive from strangers, family and friends.  Don’t forget to reach out to fellow surrogates to help get you through these annoying conversations!

How to Find Surrogate Support Groups

Whether you’re a woman considering becoming a surrogate or one who has already started the process, it’s important that you find a community to support you during your journey. While you will always have the support of your intended parents, your surrogacy professional and your friends and family, many women seek out others who are going through the same process they are. This way, they have a support system of people who really understand what they’re going through in a way that other friends and family cannot.

Fortunately, there are many surrogate support groups available to you that can provide those benefits. Whether it’s a group online or a group that you meet in-person, having a number of women who are experiencing the ups and downs of the surrogacy journey at the same time you are is an invaluable resource.

Online Support Groups

The most common and accessible support groups for surrogates are those online. While it may be difficult to find a surrogate who lives near you, finding other surrogates online gives you a better opportunity to connect with many women who are in various stages of the surrogacy process — so you have friends who are not only going through the same processes at the same time as you but also so you have women who you can look to for advice moving forward.

Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms for surrogacy support groups like this. You can find groups for surrogates alone, surrogates and surrogacy professionals, and groups that include surrogates, professionals, intended parents and anyone else interested in surrogacy. Some groups are private, so you’ll need to explain your situation before you are accepted into them.

You can find groups based on your location, but some of the bigger, more general Facebook groups include:

In addition to social media groups, there are several forums on the internet where you can share your experience and ask questions as a surrogate. These include:

While internet support groups can allow you to connect with a wide variety of women who are surrogates or considering the process, you should always take caution with these online groups. Because anyone with any degree of experience with surrogacy can join these groups, not all information posted will be accurate or helpful. If you ever have any questions about legal or medical processes, it’s best to talk to your surrogacy specialist, fertility clinic or lawyer rather than ask strangers on the internet.

In-Person Support Groups

In other cases, you may be interested in speaking with fellow surrogates in-person. This way, you can create tangible friendships with local women that you can spend time with and lean on for support whenever you need it.

Your surrogacy specialist and fertility clinic may be able to help you connect with other women, who may become your “cycle buddies,” or women who going through the process at the same time as you.

In addition, you may look for other surrogates by searching for local groups through:

Again, don’t hesitate to reach out to your surrogacy professional to help find local surrogates with whom to share your experience and questions. Your professional is likely the best way to find these local women and start your own informal surrogate support “group” or relationship. After all, no one should have to go through the process of surrogacy alone.

3 Tips for Teachers Explaining Surrogacy to their Students

It’s October, which means that the school year is finally in full swing. Teachers and students have adjusted to their new relationships in the classroom and are finally ready to get down to work.

As a teacher, you spend a majority of your time with these students and have likely grown to love them as your own. However, if you’re expecting a baby via surrogacy or will be carrying a baby for another family, another child will soon become a part of your classroom (whether physically or not), and it’s important to address this with your students and their families.

Surrogacy is a beautiful way to build families and should be something that you’re proud announcing to anyone who’s interested. But, when the tiny humans you’re telling about your surrogacy may not comprehend the logistics involved, it can be a tricky situation.

No matter whether you’re an intended parent or a prospective surrogate, there are some steps you can take as a teacher to help share your exciting news:

1. First, address the topic with your students’ parents.

Every student is at a different point in their understanding of how the human reproductive system works, and it’s usually not your responsibility as a teacher to give them all the details. This will be up to their parents — which means they should be the ones that you share your announcement with first.

You may choose to write a letter explaining your situation to your students’ parents and then leave it up to them to address the topic with their children. You can use this letter to explain how surrogacy works and how parents can talk to their children about this topic, as well as suggest books and other resources to learn more about the surrogacy process. Make yourself available to parents who might have questions and, if you’re planning on announcing your surrogacy to your students in class, let them know what you’re planning to say.

The specialists at American Surrogacy are happy to provide you a letter like this to share with your students’ parents.

2. Be prepared for questions, and answer them age-appropriately.

If you decide to address your surrogacy with your classroom, your surrogacy specialist can help you create a list of talking points that are appropriate and should answer most of your students’ questions. Again, the detail and information you give will be determined by your students’ ages; what first-graders and what seventh-graders need to know about surrogacy are completely different.

You’ll also need to recognize that when you announce your surrogacy to your students, you will open yourself up to questions from curious minds. Be prepared to answer these questions in an age-appropriate manner, and try to make your surrogacy just a normal part of your classroom. Your students will eventually move on past the topic of your surrogacy as they find more interesting and new things to talk about.

3. Make surrogacy information readily available in your classroom.

While surrogacy may not be a constant topic of discussion, you can still take steps to provide more surrogacy information for your students to normalize the process. You can choose to include books about surrogacy in your classroom library, like:

If you have an older group of students, you might provide books about in vitro fertilization and surrogacy in your science resource section instead. If a student ever approaches you and wants to learn more about your surrogacy, you can refer them to more informational resources, too. Typically, any information you find about “telling your children about surrogacy” can be tweaked for conversations with your students.

As with every other part of your surrogacy journey, your surrogacy specialist will also be available to help you prepare for and navigate this conversation with your students and their parents. It’s natural to be excited and want to share your parenthood journey with those who are most important in your life — and just because you’re involved in the surrogacy process doesn’t make it any different.

Considering a Non-Traditional Birth in Surrogacy? What to Know

While the majority of women choose to give birth in a traditional hospital setting, there are also women who choose to give birth in a non-traditional way. This may include a home birth, a birthing center or birthing rooms in a hospital — and studies show that more and more women are choosing this option when they give birth.

The option of a non-traditional birth is not limited to women giving birth to their biological children, however; today, non-traditional births are also available for those involved in a surrogacy process. Whether a non-traditional birth is suggested by a surrogate or an intended parent, it is a suggestion that must be accompanied by a detailed discussion to make sure it’s in the best interest of all involved.

The Different Kinds of Non-Traditional Births

Usually, when a woman gives birth, she elects to have the process overseen by her OB/GYN in a hospital setting. She will likely have a vaginal birth or a Cesarean section depending on her individual health situation.

However, some women can choose to have a non-traditional birthing experience, which can include:

  • Home Births: A woman gives birth in familiar surroundings at home, without drugs or episiotomies. A midwife attends the birth to assist and to transfer the woman to the hospital in case of emergency.
  • Freestanding Birthing Centers: Women who want a more natural birth without being at home may choose a birthing center. These centers promote natural births without induction or stimulation to start labor and utilize no C-sections or drugs. However, they are equipped with medical equipment just in case. Freestanding birth centers offer prenatal care throughout the pregnancy and postpartum checkups, eliminating the need for a hospital.
  • InHospital Birthing Centers: Birthing centers within hospitals offer the same natural birth experience, although prenatal visits will probably be conducted at your caregiver’s office. These centers are usually available to any midwife or doctor with admitting privileges to the hospital.

Within these general settings for a non-traditional birth, women may choose methods like water births, hypnobirthing and other alternative methods for a more natural, drug-free birth.

These non-traditional birthing methods are not for everyone, so it’s important that a woman meets specific health requirements before she can be cleared to give birth in a more natural way with less access to medical intervention. If you have questions about whether you can complete a non-traditional birth, it’s best to speak with your OB/GYN and your surrogacy professional.

If You Want a Non-Traditional Birth

Whether you’re an intended parent or a prospective surrogate, you have the right to suggest a nontraditional birthing experience. However, it’s important to recognize that your desire for a nontraditional birth may impact how long you wait for a match in the surrogacy process.

At American Surrogacy, we make matches between intended parents and surrogates based on mutual desires — which includes the manner in which the surrogate will give birth. Therefore, this is decided before the medical procedures even start. Your surrogacy contract will include the method of birth, so if you’re interested in the idea of a non-traditional birth, this is something you’ll need to make known from the start.

There certainly are surrogates and intended parents who are comfortable with and excited about the idea of a non-traditional birth, but the number is definitely lower than those who desire a traditional hospital birth. Be prepared for a longer wait before you are matched with the perfect prospective surrogate or intended parent. Remember, there always is a perfect match for you, and we will help you find them.

To learn more about American Surrogacy’s matching process and how you can find the perfect intended parent or surrogate for your surrogacy goals, please contact our surrogacy specialists today.