7 Ways to Show Gratitude for Your Surrogacy Journey

If you’re at the end of or have completed your surrogacy journey, then you’ve probably experienced many of the ups and downs that come with this life-changing experience. No one said building a family or helping someone else build their own would be easy, and it can be hard to look around and feel thankful when you’re in the middle of the journey’s challenges.

But, with Thanksgiving just around the corner, we’d like to share some ways that you can show gratitude for the amazing experience your surrogacy has been. Whether you’re an intended parent or a surrogate, here are seven ways that you can show how thankful you are for this incredible journey.

1. Reach out to Your Former Surrogacy Partner

Surrogacy is a life-changing process that connects people for many years to come. The holidays are a perfect time to reach out to your surrogacy partner and tell them how much they mean to you, how this journey has changed your life, and anything else you want to share. You might even give them a thoughtful gift during this holiday season.  during this holiday season.

2. Send a Thank-You Note to Your Professionals

Surrogacy would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of the amazing specialists that work tirelessly every day to make your surrogacy dreams come true.

You can probably imagine just how much work they have on their plates. This Thanksgiving, take some time out of your day to write a thoughtful note letting your specialists know how much you appreciate them. Remind them that you’re thinking of them and let them know that their hard work has not gone unnoticed.  Remind them that you’re thinking of them and let them know that their hard work has not gone unnoticed.

You might decide to mail them a handwritten card or write them a nice email thanking them for all that they do. However, you decide to do it, it will mean more than you know.

Don’t forget your surrogacy attorney or reproductive endocrinologists, either!

3. Have a Virtual Get-together

There’s no better time than Thanksgiving to spend time together with your favorite people, and that includes your surrogate or your intended parent(s).

Over the last few months, we’ve had to rely on video-chatting to stay in touch with everyone, so you should be a pro at it by now. If it’s been a while since you’ve chatted with your surrogacy partner, take some time to set up a get-together when everyone is free.

There are all kinds of video platforms that you can use, like Zoom, Google Hangout, and FaceTime. And, in accordance with the Thanksgiving season, you might set up a time to chat when you can enjoy a (virtual) meal together.

4. Share Your Positive Story

It might be surprising, but surrogacy is still relatively new to many people. If you’ve been through the surrogacy process, you may have a lot of wisdom to share. Why not share it with others who are interested in hearing what you have to say?

If you’re comfortable with the idea, you might decide to make your own blog post or share your story on social media. The best way to promote gestational surrogacy is to spread awareness and educate those who are interested.

If you’d like to share your story for American Surrogacy’s website, we’d love to hear it! Email your specialist to get started.

5. Help Others Who are Preparing for Surrogacy

Surrogacy might be new, but there are many people who are interested in starting this assisted reproduction method.

It’s possible that, over the course of your journey, you’ve met someone who’s interested in becoming a surrogate or an intended parent. It’s also possible that you’re their first experience with surrogacy ever. If they’re interested, take some time today to walk them through your experience and share what you’ve learned and how it’s changed you. You might also serve as a reference for them once they’re ready to take the plunge.

6. Create a Gratitude Journal

Writing is a fantastic hobby, and starting your own gratitude journal can be a great way to remind yourself of everything you have to be thankful for right now. You might not be ready to share your experiences with others yet, and that’s OK. You can share it when your loved ones when you’re ready or just keep it for yourself.

Take the time to write down five things that you’re grateful for once a week or as often as you think of ideas. Look back on those lists in hard times to remind yourself of all the good things you have going.

7. Set Aside Time Every Day to Be Grateful

Even if you don’t make your own gratitude journal, try to carve some time out of your day to be thankful for all that you have because of surrogacy. You might do this every morning or before you go to bed as you reflect on the previous day.

It sounds small, but taking the time to recharge and recenter yourself will make a world of difference. Just close your eyes, relax, and think of five things that you’re grateful for today.

We know that the surrogacy journey can be challenging. But just taking a couple minutes each day to think about all that you’re grateful for can get you ready for tomorrow.

Don’t forget: It doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving for you to take stock of your gratitude.

What are You Thankful For?

Whether you’re an intended parent or a surrogate, this journey will touch your life in unimaginable ways. Even though this year has been full of unexpected challenges, there are still plenty of ways that you can show your gratefulness for the journey past and the journey that lies ahead of you.

Take some time today to consider everything that you’re grateful for, and you’ll thank yourself later.

10 Answers to Nosy Questions and Comments: Surrogates

Even in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, friends and families will be finding ways to come together this holiday season, whether virtually or in-person. And, if you’re a woman in the middle of a gestational surrogacy journey, that means you’ll likely be on the receiving end of a slew of questions and comments from the family members you haven’t seen in a while. Unfortunately, their curiosity and opinion on your status as a gestational surrogate can get a little grating, or can even be downright insensitive.

So, help you handle the holiday season (and the resulting inquiries) as a gestational surrogate, here are 10 things you might hear and some ways in which you can respond:

1.    “How much are you getting paid?”

It’s not considered polite to discuss financials in most situations. Most people wouldn’t casually ask each other how much they make in a year, or what their home cost.

It can also be frustrating that so many people focus on the compensation aspect of surrogacy, when it’s such a small part of your experience. Your motivations were altruistic and you want people to recognize that you’re doing this because you want to help a family.

Here are a few go-to responses:

  • “That’s confidential, per my surrogacy agreement.”
  • “I’m not actually doing it for the money.”
  • “That’s not your business.”

2.    “Who’s baby is it?”

People are often curious about who the baby is biologically related to. Whether the intended parents are both biologically related to the baby or gamete donation was involved, it’s against your surrogacy agreement to breach their privacy. That question is also just something you wouldn’t ask people, normally, so it’s a bit annoying.

End the discussion with:

  • “Does it matter?”
  • “It’s the intended parents’ baby, regardless of genetics.”
  • “That’s not your business.”

3.    “I could never carry a baby for 9 months and then give it up.”

This comment comes across as a little judgemental, self-centered and ignorant: All at once.

Feel free to answer with a firm:

  • “I’m just babysitting. Do you find it hard to give someone else’s kids back after babysitting?”
  • “Well, then, I guess that’s why you’re not a gestational surrogate and I am.”
  • “That’s not your business.”

4.    “So, do you breastfeed the baby?”

People always want to know about how some of the more intimate aspects of childbirth play out in surrogacy situations. And then, they sometimes want to place their own opinions on these matters, even though it doesn’t concern them in any way.

You can just succinctly say:

  • “The intended parents have a nutrition plan set in place.”
  • “No. I may decide to pump for a while if they ask me to, but that’s our decision.”
  • “That’s not your business.”

5.    “Can you keep the baby if you wanted to?”

Oh, boy.

Make sure you’re clear when you say:

  • “It’s not my baby. I’m giving it back, not ‘giving it away.’”
  • “No. It’s illegal and I wouldn’t want to, anyway.”
  • “That’s not your business.”

6.    “Isn’t it hard on your kids and husband? Do they understand?”

If your family wasn’t on board with your decision to be a gestational surrogate, you wouldn’t even be answering these questions. But, most people don’t know that the support of a surrogate’s children and spouse are required to even start the gestational surrogacy process.

So, briefly explain:

  • “They understand perfectly well, and support me.”
  • “Their support was required and given before I even signed on to become a surrogate.”
  • “That’s not your business.”

7.    “Why didn’t they just adopt?”

This question always betrays the person’s ignorance about the intricacies of the adoption process. Not to mention the fact that it seems to equate adoption with “saving” a child, which is a problematic attitude.

Break it down for them with a quick:

  • “It’s not as easy as ‘just adopting.’ Adoptive parents must meet a series of strict requirements before they can be approved to adopt a child.”
  • “Why don’t you ‘just adopt?’ Everyone has their reasons.”
  • “That’s not your business.

8.    “How did you get pregnant?”

Either they don’t understand how the science works, or they (horrifyingly) believe that gestational surrogates need to conceive the baby with the intended father in “the old fashioned way.”

Give them the short version with:

  • “Go research the IVF process.”
  • “Embryos are implanted with a lot of careful planning and the help of doctors.”
  • “That’s not your business.”

9.    “I don’t know why you’d want to go through pregnancy and childbirth if it’s not your kid.”

…Ok.

Shrug off that unsolicited opinion with:

  • “Good thing you’re not a gestational surrogate, then, huh?”
  • “I’m fine with being pregnant and giving birth if it helps someone else become a family.”
  • “That’s not your business.”

10. “I heard about this surrogate who….”

Honestly, a good eye-roll is probably enough to express how you feel about this type of comment.

Or, you can use your grown-up words, like:

  • “Cool story, bro.”
  • “Horror-story situations are the ultra-rare exception to the rule, and most occurred in situations of traditional surrogacy and usually happened before surrogacy contracts and agencies were a thing. This isn’t like that. At all.”
  • “That’s not your business.”

One More Time, with Feeling: “That’s. Not. Your. Business.”

As long as you’re respecting your surrogacy contract and the privacy of the intended parents, how much (or little) you disclose about your gestational surrogacy process is entirely up to you. If you’re feeling particularly patient, you can use these types of questions and comments as a teaching moment for your loved ones. But, if you don’t feel like being the ambassador to all-things-surrogate, there’s nothing wrong with telling them the tried-and-true, “That’s not your business.”


Not sure how to navigate the holiday season as a surrogate? Worried about staying safe and healthy? Reach out to your American Surrogacy specialist for information and support at any time.

5 Things to Expect During a Repeat Surrogacy Journey

When you began your first surrogacy journey, either as an intended parent or as a gestational surrogate, you didn’t fully know what to expect! That’s normal — no matter how much you research and prepare, there is so much about surrogacy that you can only understand once you’ve actually experienced it for yourself.

Now you’re considering doing it all again.

First of all, congratulations! This is always an exciting time. And now, you have firsthand knowledge and experience on your side.

Right now, you might be a little worried about what will differ from your last surrogacy experience. A lot will remain the same. But there are a few things that may change.

Here’s what you can expect as you begin your latest surrogacy journey through American Surrogacy:

1. It Won’t Be Exactly the Same as Last Time

No two surrogacy journeys are exactly alike. You may be working with different people, a different agency, different doctors, gamete donors, etc.

Even if all of that is exactly the same as your last surrogacy journey, no two pregnancies are alike! It may take more (or less) time for the surrogate to get pregnant, she may have more (or fewer) IVF and pregnancy side effects and the delivery may be different.

The surrogacy process always involves a few unknowns, even for veterans. Be ready to roll with whatever comes next!

2. The Process May Be Faster

This is particularly true if you’re working with the same agency. If you’re working with American Surrogacy again, we’ll have a lot of your information on file from last time, so you may be able to skip some of the paperwork you filled out for your first surrogacy journey — you’ll just need to make sure everything is up-to-date and still accurate.

The screening and matching process may also be sped up for repeat surrogates and intended parents. If you’ve already met the screening requirements before, you may be able to skip a couple steps. So, because you’re generally able to be re-approved faster this time around, you’ll head to the matching stage in less time.

If you’re going to be partnering with the same surrogate or intended parents as last time, you’ll be able to skip the wait to be matched altogether! If you’ll be partnering with someone new, you’ll still spend less time on this stage, because now you know what you’re looking for in a prospective surrogacy partner.

3. You May Not Be Partnered with the Same Intended Parents or Gestational Carrier

Many intended parents and surrogates who are interested in completing another surrogacy journey will approach one another for a repeat performance. This is a beneficial option if you already trust one another and enjoyed your last experience together.

However, your previous surrogacy partner may not be ready for another round! Or, you may just wish to work with someone new this time.

If you won’t be partnering with the same surrogate or intended parents as your last journey, don’t worry — your American Surrogacy specialist will help to match you with someone who fits what you’re looking for.

4. Repeat Surrogates Receive More Compensation than First-Timers

Women who have already completed at least one journey as a surrogate will receive a higher base compensation than women who haven’t been a surrogate before. This is because these women have proven themselves to be exceptional gestational carriers. Physically, mentally and emotionally, they have had a relatively easy time with surrogacy in the past.

American Surrogacy offers competitive surrogate compensation for first-time surrogates starts, and our experienced surrogates typically receive an additional sum per pregnancy on top of that.

5. It’ll Come More Easily Now You Know the Ropes

Surrogacy is never easy, for the intended parents or the surrogate. However, this time you have the benefit of personal experience and knowledge. You can apply that knowledge and experience as you move forward.

Your first surrogacy journey was likely full of first-time nerves and no small amount of confusion. It is, after all, a complicated process — even with an American Surrogacy specialist walking you through things. But now you have a stronger understanding of the medical process, insurance, financials, the emotions and all the details that newbies haven’t encountered. You’re coming back better than ever!


Ready to begin your next surrogacy journey? Reach out to an American Surrogacy specialist now to get started.

4 Things You Should Know about Gestational Diabetes This Month

November 14 is World Diabetes Day. In an effort to raise awareness, here are 4 things you should know about gestational diabetes, especially if you’re considering becoming a gestational surrogate.

November 14 is World Diabetes Day. In an effort to raise awareness and to prevent gestational diabetes your own pregnancies, here are 4 things you should know about gestational diabetes — especially if you’re considering becoming a gestational surrogate:

1.      What is Gestational Diabetes?

All types of diabetes affect how efficiently your cells convert sugar in your body — your blood sugar levels become too high, which can quickly become life-threatening. Gestational diabetes develops only during pregnancy. It affects up to 10% of pregnant women in the U.S. each year.

There are two types of gestational diabetes. Women with class A1 gestational diabetes can manage the condition with diet and exercise alone. Class A2, however, requires insulin or other medications in addition to the diet and exercise changes.

Although gestational diabetes goes away after you give birth, it can permanently affect the baby’s health as well as your own.

2.      Who is at Risk for Developing Gestational Diabetes?

Any pregnant woman can develop gestational diabetes. However, there are risk factors that you should keep an eye on if you’re planning on becoming pregnant as someone’s gestational carrier.

You may be at an increased risk for developing gestational diabetes if you:

  • Are over the age of 25.
  • Are not regularly physically active.
  • Have a BMI of 30 or higher.
  • Are of a nonwhite race.

In order to be accepted as a gestational surrogate, a woman must have no previous history of gestational diabetes or have any family history of diabetes. This helps reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes in the course of your surrogacy journey, and protects both you and the baby.

The physical requirements that a prospective surrogate must meet can seem a little excessive, but every requirement takes complications like gestational diabetes into account, so risk can be minimized at every possible opportunity. The safety of the surrogate and the baby are American Surrogacy’s first priority.

If you’re thinking about becoming a gestational carrier, your reproductive endocrinologist will assess your gestational diabetes risk factors, and will complete several screening processes.

3.      How Can it Affect the Surrogacy Process?

Gestational diabetes is clearly not just a nuisance, but a danger to the surrogate, the intended parents and their baby. It can result in health complications for the surrogate like:

  • High blood pressure and preeclampsia, which can be life-threatening to be the baby and yourself.
  • The need for a surgical delivery (C-section).
  • Increased likelihood of future diabetes — recurring gestational diabetes in future pregnancy, as well as an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later on.

Gestational diabetes complications for the intended parents’ baby can include:

  • Excessive birth weight, which makes the baby more likely to become wedged in the birth canal, sustain birth injuries or need a C-section birth.
  • Early (preterm) birth.
  • Serious breathing difficulties called respiratory distress syndrome.
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which can cause seizures.
  • An increased risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life.
  • And even stillbirth, if the gestational diabetes is not treated.

All this is pretty scary. That’s why it’s so important that you work with American Surrogacy to ensure that you are low-risk for developing gestational diabetes. But, there are also some additional measures you can take to avoid gestational diabetes:

4.      How Can You Avoid Developing Gestational Diabetes?

Even if you aren’t considered high-risk for developing gestational diabetes, surrogates are still encouraged to take steps that will not only help them to avoid gestational diabetes, but will also help them to have a healthy and safe pregnancy.

Both before and during your journey as a gestational carrier, be sure to:

  • Eat healthy foods, especially foods high in fiber and low in fat and calories. Watch your portion sizes, and eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Exercise, before and during the pregnancy. Aim for about 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week. Even daily walks, bike rides, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help.
  • Start pregnancy at a healthy weight. This is why surrogacy agencies like American Surrogacy require gestational surrogates to have a healthy BMI before they can be accepted into the surrogacy program — it lowers the health risks for you and for the baby.
  • Keep an eye on your weight throughout the IVF processes and pregnancy. All women will gain weight during pregnancy — this is normal and healthy. However, gaining too much too quickly can increase your risk for gestational diabetes and other health complications. Work with your doctor to stay within a healthy weight range throughout the surrogacy process and pregnancy.

Not sure if you might be at-risk for developing gestational diabetes? Talk to your doctor about your concerns. Thinking about becoming a surrogate? Start the American Surrogacy screening process, and we’ll work with you to assess your risk level for gestational diabetes.

Share this blog to raise awareness about gestational diabetes in honor of World Diabetes Day, and to help women learn how to prevent the condition whenever possible.

Our Tips for Choosing a Hospital for a Surrogacy Delivery

The surrogacy process is a unique experience in many ways. One example of this is making important medical decisions as a team. Working together, the surrogate and intended parents choose which doctors to see, the type of prenatal care to receive and, of course, the hospital for labor and delivery.

Finding the right hospital for labor and delivery can make this important and climatic step of the surrogacy process better for everyone. Your hospital should make you feel safe and have all of the available resources you could possibly need. Proximity to the surrogate’s home could be a big factor, as could other common concerns about hospitals.

If you’re preparing to begin the surrogacy process, this guide will give you the step-by-step process and information you need to make this important decision.

How to Choose a Hospital for Delivery

Choosing a hospital for delivery in the surrogacy process will follow a few steps:

Step 1: Start a Conversation

Choosing a hospital for delivery in surrogacy is a collaborative process. Coordinating with your surrogate and your agency, start talking about what you’re looking for in a hospital. Set your standards and make any non-negotiable items clear.

Step 2: Research Options

Now that you’re on the same page with your surrogate and agency, you can begin searching for hospitals that meet the criteria discussed in step one. Put a list together, starting with online research, and then talk over the list with your surrogate and agency.

Once you have it narrowed down to a few locations, schedule time for consultations with those hospitals to get a personal feel for the staff and ask specific questions. In some cases, the intended parents or surrogate (or both) may be able to take a tour of the maternity ward before making a choice.

Step 3: Choose Your Hospital

Once everyone has reached an agreement about the best location for labor and delivery, you can choose that hospital and move forward with the process.

Seems simple, right? While there may not be that many steps involved in choosing a hospital for surrogacy, the tricky part of this process is working collaboratively on an important and personal medical decision.

Working with Your Partner

Surrogates and intended parents are partners in this life-changing journey. Each has distinct desires and needs. For the best outcome, everyone involved should respect the desires and needs of everyone else involved.

Choosing a hospital is the type of thing that can become contentious if one person tries to take over. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. For the best hospital choice that makes everyone feel safe, supported and encouraged, make sure to do the following:

Listen First

Approach the conversation with the goal of understanding what the other person wants. Of course, you will always need to be clear about what you are looking for in a hospital for labor and delivery, too.

If both the surrogate and intended parents approach the conversation with this posture — eager to listen and also prepared to clearly state their needs — then you’ll be well on your way to making a good decision.

Remember the Goal

It can be common, in the midst of a close game, for a team’s two star players to get into a heated disagreement. This doesn’t happen because one wants her team to win and the other wants the opponent to win. They both want what is best for their team. The disagreement comes from passion, but the goal is the same.

This is how it is with surrogacy. When you’re in the middle of a conversation where you want different things, it can be easy to assume you are fighting for different outcomes — essentially playing for different teams. If you can’t come to an agreement, stop and remind yourself that everyone is playing for the same team and trying to reach the same goal. You all want what is best for the process.

This simple reminder — we’re all working toward the same goal — can help ease tension and resolve disagreement.

Turn to the Experts

Having a hard time with this choice? Your surrogacy specialist can help. Remember, you aren’t in this process alone. Your specialist has helped many other intended parents and surrogates make choices like this.

If you’re stuck between two hospitals or you can’t agree on what’s most important while making your choice, bring your specialist into the conversation. Their professional guidance can bring clarity to your choice.

Things to Consider in Prospective Hospitals

Now that we’ve covered the steps to choosing a hospital and the conversation tools needed to make this decision as a team, let’s take a look at the important practical considerations you’ll need to keep in mind when evaluating locations for labor and delivery.

Insurance

The intended parents cover the costs associated with the medical process of surrogacy, including the hospital stay for labor and delivery. You will want to make sure, as the intended parent, that your insurance offers assistance in cost coverage for any of the hospitals that you’re considering.

Capabilities of the NICU

You never want to believe that your child will spend extra time in the NICU, but it’s always a possibility. If there are complications around the birth, does the hospital have the staff and resources in the NICU to provide adequate care?

Location of the Hospital

Ideally, the hospital will be a short drive from the surrogate’s home. This may not be possible in some situations. In cases like this, you will want to come up with a travel plan so that the surrogate is able to get to the hospital as quickly as possible.

Comfort Level

Does the maternity ward and birthing suite make you feel comfortable and safe? An environment that increases comfort and decreases anxiety can lead to a better birthing experience. This is why it can be a good idea for the surrogate to request an in-person tour of a location before making a final choice.

Speak with a Surrogacy Specialist

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to choosing a hospital for surrogacy. Sometimes, it can be helpful to speak with a surrogacy professional if you have more specific questions about your own decision-making process.

You can contact us online or call 1-800-875-BABY (875-2229) at any time to speak with a specialist. This free consultation can provide the answers you are looking for about surrogacy and, if you’re ready, we’ll always be happy to help you get started with your own journey.

Should You Become an Intended Parent During COVID-19?

We’ve all felt the widespread effects of COVID-19 in different ways. For some, it has brought about job loss and economic hardship. Others have struggled with loneliness due to social distancing, and many have felt an increase in anxiety as they go about their daily life with all of the new health and safety precautions.

COVID-19 has caused massive change and disruption to nearly every area of life, and that includes the surrogacy process. Intended parents who were ready to begin the process, and even those already in it, may be confused about what to do next. Should you continue to pursue surrogacy during COVID-19?

This is a personal choice, so we can’t make it for you. However, we can give you helpful information that puts you in a better place to make the right decision. And that’s why we’ve created this guide.

This is Part Two in our series on surrogacy and COVID-19. If you are a potential surrogate asking the same question, make sure to check out our blog for surrogates.

In order to decide whether or not pursuing surrogacy during COVID-19 is the right choice for your family, it may be helpful to understand how the process could change because of the pandemic.

How COVID-19 Could Change the Surrogacy Process

Every journey toward building a family through surrogacy is unique. That means the specific ways COVID-19 changes your process will depend on the details of your situation.

Has someone close to you contracted the virus, or have you gotten sick? How prevalent is the spread of the virus in your community? Are you a high-risk individual?

These (and other) personal questions will play a big role in determining how things change in your surrogacy process. Along with these things to consider, there are some bigger changes that most processes are experiencing in the face of COVID-19.

Clinic Policies:

Each fertility clinic implements unique precautions to protect clients from COVID-19. You should expect your experience to change. Consultations may move online, and in-person visits may require mask-wearing and other social distancing measures. Consult your fertility clinic to learn more about the guidelines they have put in place during this time.

Travel Plans:

Will your surrogacy process involve travel? Not all processes do. If you do expect to travel, then you will feel the impact on COVID-19 on this aspect of your journey. Airlines have enacted stringent safety measures, and flying is a higher risk activity due to the confined airspace shared with many others for several hours. If you have the ability to drive to your destination, that may be a preferable mode of transportation.

Surrogacy Funds:

The financial impact of COVID-19 has been devastating for many. Whether this comes in the form of job loss, reduced hours, stock losses or something else, your surrogacy budget may have been reduced because of the virus. You’re not alone in dealing with this. Speak to your surrogacy specialist and be totally clear about what your budget looks like because of the pandemic.

The Family-Building Timeline:

It seems like one feature of life in a pandemic is that everything takes a bit longer. Many places of businesses are still catching up on backlogged appointments from the shutdowns, and others simply run at a slower pace in order to follow all the required safety measures. The family-building timeline of your surrogacy process could be extended due to COVID-19.

These are several significant changes to the surrogacy experience that any intended parent should take into account when considering whether or not to carry on with the process in light of COVID-19.

Evaluating Your Options

Taking these considerations into account, should you move forward with the surrogacy process as an intended parent? The answer depends on several factors, including your personal risk tolerance, ability to be flexible and the current situation around COVID-19 in your area.

It should be noted that the impact of COVID-19 could change rapidly. Some communities have already weathered the worst of the virus and are operating under more normal procedures, while others are on the brink of lockdown. Make sure to take your local situation into account.

You might want to move forward with the surrogacy process if:

  • You are prepared to be flexible.
  • You surrogacy funds are secure.
  • You are OK with an extended timeline.
  • You are aware of the health risks involved with clinic visits, travel and other parts of the process.

You might want to consider pressing pause on surrogacy if:

  • The changes to the process will make you anxious.
  • Your surrogacy funds have been reduced due to the pandemic.
  • The fluctuating timeline and delays will be a source of frustration.
  • You or someone you know is at a higher risk for severe presentation of COVID-19, making the health risks associated with certain steps of the process more dangerous.

There’s no “right” or “wrong” decision in this situation. We’re all going through a pandemic for the first time, and it’s OK to feel confused or unsure. Whatever you choose will be the best decision for your life.

If pressing pause on your surrogacy process is what’s best, then that is OK. You’re not on a deadline. American Surrogacy will still be here to assist you months or even years from now.

Even if you had already stepped into the early stages of the surrogacy process, it’s OK to press pause and pick things back up when life is better. It’s not ideal, and it may be disappointing or frustrating. But, it’s better to be patient (even when it’s hard!) then to try and force the process at the wrong time.

Speak with a Specialist

Many intended parents find clarity when they speak to a surrogacy professional. If you have more questions about your specific situation, you can contact us online at any time or call 1-800-875-BABY (875-229) to speak with a specialist. We’d be happy to answer your questions, fill you in on how we are keeping our clients safe during the pandemic, and help you decide what will be best for your family.

3 Things Surrogates Can Expect at Ultrasound Appointments

If you’re preparing to become a surrogate, you most likely know that this process is far from simple. There’s the intense screening before you get started, the exact timing of the embryo transfer, the relationship with the intended parents and 100 other things to consider.

In all of that, there may be one step that slips through the cracks: your ultrasound appointments. These appointments are obviously exciting. You’ve experienced this from ultrasounds for your own children, and maybe even previously as a surrogate. You know that ultrasounds are not very demanding, from a medical perspective.

What you may not know about are the unexpected and sometimes challenging emotions that may arise during the ultrasound appointments, both in yourself and in the intended parents. This step of the journey — as with the rest of the surrogacy process — is often more complex than it appears, but it is also so rewarding.

If you’re considering surrogacy or already in the midst of the process, here are three things you may not know about the ultrasound appointments.

1. You will probably feel excited and a bit nervous.

You’ve experienced an ultrasound before, and you know how amazing it can be. Seeing movement and the form of a baby taking shape, hearing the heartbeat — it can be a beautiful experience.

You may also be nervous. Doctor’s visits can make anyone nervous, even for the “routine” stuff. If the intended parents are there, that could add to your nerves, as well, since you want everything to go perfect for them. If you’re feeling nervous leading up to your ultrasound appointment, that’s completely normal.

Talk to your surrogacy specialist if your nerves are giving you trouble. They’ll understand and help you process your anxiety so that you can focus on the excitement. Or, if you’d like to hear what the experience was like for someone else in your position, you can ask a surrogate.

2. You may feel a confusing sense of sadness or jealousy.

Nervousness isn’t the only uncomfortable feeling that you could experience during your ultrasound appointment as a surrogate. Every experience is unique, but it’s common for surrogates to report feelings of sadness, confusion and even jealousy during the ultrasound.

What’s that all about?

Mentally, you know what you are doing. And you’re proud of it, as you should be! Biologically, it can be a bit more challenging to get your body to understand what’s happening — that you are carrying a baby that isn’t yours. This clash of biological mechanisms (like the hormones naturally released at the sight of a baby moving inside of you) and your cerebral understanding (this baby is not mine) can create an unexplainable sense of sadness. There could be jealousy toward the intended parents, too.

These are natural feelings. They are not bad; you do not need to feel ashamed if you have them. Be aware that this is a complex situation and you might feel sad, jealous or many other uncomfortable emotions. Rather than let these feelings make you feel defeated, you can prepare for coping with them.

3. There may be several awkward moments.

Ultrasounds when the intended parents are present can put the medical professionals in an awkward situation. Your doctor may lose track of who they should be talking to. They could look at you and tell you about “your baby,” or look at the intended parents when communicating medical information about your body.

Try to have some grace in these moments. Laugh them off instead of letting tension build. Everyone is on the same team, so it’s okay when these things happen. Be prepared for a couple awkward moments.

Understanding Intended Parents’ Feelings at the Ultrasound

Every intended parent has a unique experience at the ultrasound appointments. Oftentimes, they are experiencing a confusing mix of emotions, similar to the things you might feel. If things start to feel awkward during or after the ultrasound, it could be that the intended parents are trying to process what they feel.

Being aware of this can help you leave space for the intended parents to process their emotions, just as they create the space for you to process, too.

Speak With Your Specialist

Are you nervous about your ultrasound or confused about what to expect? Talk to your specialist. They can provide guidance and support for this, and every other, step of the process.

If you’re still considering surrogacy and don’t have a specialist yet, contact us today. You can reach out online or call 1-800-875-BABY(2229) to speak with a specialist, free of charge.

Can I Have a Child After Being a Surrogate?

Women from all walks of life can consider becoming a surrogate. There are plenty of reasons to choose this life-changing journey. Depending on your circumstances, you may be wondering if it is possible, or advisable, to start your own family after becoming a surrogate.

This is a good question to ask, and the most important thing for you to do is speak with your surrogacy specialist. Working through a decision like this takes care and experience, as well as professional guidance from someone well-versed in the surrogacy process.

While not a substitute for speaking directly with your specialist, we wanted to create this guide to address some of the biggest questions around having a child after surrogacy. There are risks to be aware of and several important things to consider.

Ultimately, this is a choice that should be made after consulting your partner and your surrogacy specialist.

Can I Have a Child After Surrogacy?

Yes, you can have a child after surrogacy. From a purely practical standpoint, surrogacy and the embryo transfer process do not take away your ability to bear children. However, when asking this question, you’re most likely looking for more than the baseline biological answer.

Rather than discussing the can, what’s really at stake here is should.

Should you have a child after being a surrogate? There are reasons for and against it. Many surrogacy professionals require that your family is already complete. It may be helpful to learn about some of the risks of having a child after surrogacy to understand why.

Risks of Pregnancy After Surrogacy

If you are considering becoming a surrogate, there’s a good chance your surrogacy professional will ask that your family be complete before beginning the process. This is a requirement, with rare exceptions, that American Surrogacy holds. There are practical, medical and personal reasons for this.

If you are considering surrogacy, but know that you’re not finished having children of your own, then these are the risks you should know about:

The Medical Risks

The surrogacy process isn’t dangerous, but it does carry the same risk as any other pregnancy would. This can include side effects like nausea, heartburn, weight gain, swelling and back pain. There is also the possibility of more serious (but rare) complications like hypertension or the loss of reproductive organs.

Additionally, the  preparation for the embryo transfer process can have some side effects, although they are often minor. This can include things like mild bruising at the fertility medication injection site or temporary allergic reaction, and some shots can be painful.

While these medical risks are not drastically different from any other pregnancy, there is always some level of risk involved in becoming pregnant. The chance that it should be your last pregnancy is also present. This should be taken into account if you hope to have another child in your own family.

The Emotional Risks

Surrogacy is an amazing experience. It can be beautiful and life-changing. It can also be emotionally challenging. When discussing the risks of surrogacy to future pregnancy, it’s important to consider the emotional experience alongside medical practicalities.

Any pregnancy can be overwhelming. When you are carrying a child of your own, you can use the rewarding connection at the end of pregnancy as a coping mechanism. But surrogacy, as you know, is different. Even though most surrogates feel a strong sense of pride and accomplishment, fluctuating hormones and postpartum depression are possible challenges.

Your specialist and American Surrogacy will provide all possible resources to work through these challenging feelings. Even still, the experience can make the idea of becoming pregnant again more difficult.

Take these emotional and medical risks into account when considering surrogacy before your family is complete. While having a child after surrogacy may be possible, it can also be more challenging.

Advantages of Completing Your Family Before Surrogacy

We support your dreams of starting and growing a family. When it comes to the timing of this in your life, there are several noted advantages to completing your family before becoming a surrogate.

The experience may make the surrogate pregnancy more manageable. You’ll know what to expect from prenatal care and other medical appointments, and understand the general flow of pregnancy and the impact it has on your body.

Additionally, knowing your family is complete is helpful while navigating the emotional complexities of surrogacy. Like we said, it can be a challenge to cope with the end of a pregnancy when the baby is not yours. The body, biologically, is not used to this. Returning home to your own, loving family can make this experience better.

Contact Us Today

Do you have more questions about becoming a surrogate? Let’s talk. Contact us online or call 1-800-875-BABY(2229) to speak with a specialist.

How to Find Patience in the Surrogacy Journey

Waiting is hard, especially when you know what you want. That’s why it can be so frustrating when steps of the surrogacy process seem to drag on and on. Why can’t things speed up, already?

If you’re preparing for the surrogacy process — as an intended parent or surrogate — you will need to find ways to develop patience. Unfortunate as it may be, there are aspects of this process that simply can’t be rushed. You might feel frustrated during those times, and that’s completely understandable. How you respond to that frustration will play a big part in your overall experience with the surrogacy process.

For the best experience on this life-changing journey, consider some of these tips and pointers on ways to find patience when things are moving slowly.

Finding Patience as an Intended Parent

You’ve likely been waiting for a long time when you’re an intended parent in the surrogacy process. The dream of parenthood has been in your sights for years, possibly many years, and now that you’re so close you just want it to be here now.

This is extremely understandable. It’s normal. In fact, it’s good. It’s a sign of your already deep love for your child and your desire to take on the responsibilities of parenthood. However, unchecked impatience can spoil the process.

Here are a few things to do and consider when you feel frustrated by the pace of the process:

Speak with your surrogacy specialist.

Your first and most important call is always to your specialist. An open, honest dialog with your specialist sets the foundation for a successful surrogacy process. Feeling impatient? Talk about it — and remember to be kind, because your specialist is working as hard as they can to support you during this journey.

Remind yourself what you’re waiting for.

One good way to do this is by writing it out. This forces your brain to consider the idea to the fullest extent. It may seem silly — of course you know what you’re waiting for.

But, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment when the process becomes frustrating. Taking time to re-examine your hopes and dreams of becoming a parent can reset your focus and help you find the necessary patience during a slow-moving step of the process.

Find something else to do.

The surrogacy process can feel all-consuming, but there are other parts of life that matter, too. Find something to take your mind off the process, if only for a moment. Nothing makes a wait feel longer than only thinking about the thing you’re waiting for. The clock will speed up if you begin investing your energy in other areas of life. This could be work, your relationships, or even something fun like a good book or movie. Give yourself a break — you deserve it.

Finding Patience as a Surrogate

Choosing to become a surrogate is amazing. It’s a brave, loving decision. If you’ve made it, then you’re probably eager to get started. You will play an essential role in the life of a family and experience something totally unique and life-changing for yourself, as well.

So, it’s completely understandable to become impatient when things aren’t moving as quickly as you’d like. There are things that take time — maybe a lot of time — for this process to be completed correctly.

About ready to pull your hair out waiting for the next step of the process? Here are several things to keep in mind when you feel impatient about a step of the process:

There’s a reason it takes a long time to find a match.

Your agency is hard at work looking for the perfect intended parents for you. The surrogacy process will be most rewarding with the right match. It may feel good in the moment for things to move faster, but that could lead to frustration later on if a match is forced.

All those legal documents are really important.

Sometimes the surrogacy contract can take weeks or more to draw up. Your attorney isn’t slacking — they are making sure that everything is covered. This contract protects everyone involved, and it needs to be airtight. It may take a long time, but it will protect you in the end.

Speak with your specialist.

Just like for intended parents, your surrogacy specialist should be your most trusted resource during this process. Feeling antsy about how long things are taking? Your specialist will understand. Give them a call.

Perspective: It Will Be Worth the Wait

Time is an illusory and subjective experience. Sometimes it flies; sometimes you could swear the clock is stuck. In the moment, it may feel like a step of the process is taking forever. But, try to remove yourself from the moment.

Looking back on your journey so far — during the surrogacy process and in your life before — doesn’t time always seem to fly by? Someday in the future, this process will be done. When you get there, these moments of impatience will fade away, and it will all be worth it. When that day comes, these long waits will, probably, seem like nothing.

Try to remind yourself of that when things become frustrating, when the process seems to moving slower than a snail. The wait will be worth it — we promise.

8 Books Every Surrogate Needs to Read

You can never find enough information and educational resources when it comes to surrogacy. When you’re a surrogate or considering becoming a surrogate, there’s a life-changing process ahead of you. And, if we’re being honest, it can be very confusing!

Our surrogacy specialists field all kinds of questions from surrogates and women considering surrogacy.

How does the process work? How will I be matched with a family? What are the emotional challenges of surrogacy that I should be aware of? How do other women feel after they’ve given birth and completed the surrogacy process?

These questions (and many more) are important. We want to help you find all the answers you’re looking for. Internet guides can be a helpful place to start, but sometimes you just need to dig into something a bit deeper. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of great books for surrogates and women considering surrogacy.

Ready to start reading?

Everything Conceivable

Often cited as one of the most important books on modern family-building options, Liza Mundy’s “Everything Conceivable” presents an in-depth look at assisted reproduction in America.

Mundy, a journalist and author, uses her journalistic background to construct a narrative using information, statistics, stories and first-person interviews. The outcome is a book that present a holistic picture of surrogacy, from the perspective of surrogates, doctors, intended parents, surrogacy specialists and more.

Buy the book today.

Surrogacy Was the Way: Twenty Intended Mothers Tell Their Stories

The relationship between the surrogate and intended parents is a unique and special element of this journey. You can prepare for this relationship by reading “Surrogacy Was the Way,” a book of personal stories from intended mothers.

The more you read this book, the bigger your heart grows. You’ll come to see the challenges these intended mothers have faced in their journey to parenthood and the deep love they carry for their families.

Buy the book today.

Labor of Love: Gestational Surrogacy and the Work of Making Babies

Experience is the best teacher. You probably don’t know that many people (or know anyone) who have personally been through this process as a surrogate. Books like “Labor of Love” are the best way to learn from the experiences of others.

Through a series of interviews, this book walks you through the surrogacy process from the perspective of everyone involved, as well as the family and friends of surrogates and intended parents. It’s a well-rounded view of the journey, with topics ranging from medical technologies, to the cultural perception of surrogacies, to the personal emotions of surrogates and intended parents at different stages of the process.

Buy the book today.

Birthing a Mother: The Surrogate Body and the Pregnant Self

If in-depth and high-concept works of research are your thing, this book is for you. Written from an anthropological perspective and with an eye on the global surrogacy landscape, this book explores how surrogates and intended mothers relate to each other throughout the process, forming a beautiful but complicated emotional bond. While not a beach read, “Birthing a Mother” offers a deeply researched perspective on the emotional bonds formed during the surrogacy process.

Buy the book today.

These books can be a great resource for anyone in the midst of the surrogacy process or anyone considering surrogacy. From personal stories to education guides, each of the books listed above will help you gain a better understanding of the process.

Books for Children About Surrogacy

You may be looking for resources to help your kids understand this complex process. Thankfully, there are several great children’s books that explain surrogacy at an age-appropriate level and help children form a positive understanding of this process.

Check out a few of these options:

Learn More

For more succinct information about what it means to become a surrogate, how the process works, and how you can get started, see our in-depth guides to every aspect of this journey.

If you have more specific and personal questions about becoming a surrogate, please contact us today. One of our surrogacy specialists would be happy to answer your questions and help you start your process.