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.

10 Surrogacy Social Media Accounts to Follow Today

Whether you’re considering surrogacy as an intended parent or a prospective surrogate, it’s important to be up-to-date on all the latest surrogacy news and information you need to know. But, with so much information out there, how do you find the stuff that’s relevant to you?

Thankfully, there are many surrogacy social media accounts out there that curate all of the constantly emerging surrogacy information. When you choose to follow them, you’ll receive all this information straight in your social media feeds, rather than attempting to gather it all yourself.

Keep in mind that because there is a lot of information on the internet about surrogacy, not all of it is accurate or helpful. Therefore, surrogacy social media accounts are a great way to receive only the information that is credible, accurate and useful. You can find social media accounts that are informational and objective or personal accounts of someone’s experience with surrogacy. Whatever you’re looking for, it’s likely that you can find it.

This is just a small sampling of the social media accounts available to you, but some of the ones that American Surrogacy recommends the most, both for surrogacy and general pregnancy health information:

  1. American Surrogacy, Twitter: @US_Surrogacy
  2. All Things Surrogacy, Twitter: @AllThingsSurro, Instagram: @allthingssurrogacy
  3. RESOLVE: The National Infertility Assocation, Twitter: @resolveorg
  4. Fertility Smarts, Twitter:@fertilitysmarts, Instagram: @fertilitysmarts
  5. The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, Twitter: @AWHONN, Instagram: @awhonn
  6. Surrogate Mothers Online, LLC, Twitter: @surromomsonline
  7. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Twitter: @NICHD_NIH
  8. American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Twitter: @ReprodMed
  9. Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys, Twitter: @ReproLawAcademy
  10. Surrogacy By Design, Twitter: @SurrogacySusan

Remember, these are only a few of the social media accounts about surrogacy and infertility that you can follow. Keep an eye out for posts from other helpful organizations, and drop us a line when you find one you think we should add!

3 Must-Know Tips for Financing Your Surrogacy

When it comes to financing surrogacy, you may be overwhelmed with the costs presented to you as an intended parent. Where are the affordable surrogacy options? What are the options for how to pay for surrogacy?

While it is true that surrogacy can seem an expensive process at the beginning, it’s not as unachievable as it may have seemed to intended parents years ago. There are many surrogacy financing options available to you today to make your surrogacy and parenthood dreams come true — and American Surrogacy will always work with you to help find the financing you need to successfully become parents via surrogacy.

Surrogacy financing may take some foresight and preparation, but when you take the time to locate proper resources, you can and will become parents in a way that doesn’t bankrupt your family.

To learn more about how American Surrogacy can help you with surrogacy financing, please contact our surrogacy specialists at 1-800-875-2229. In the meantime, here are some of the more popular ways of how to pay for surrogacy in an affordable manner:

1. Surrogacy Grants

Surrogacy grants are a key resource for many families who are looking for affordable surrogacy options. By providing funds that don’t have to be paid back, surrogacy grants can make a huge difference for intended parents who are wondering how to pay for surrogacy without breaking the bank.

These grants are usually available for families going through the surrogacy process and other infertility treatments and, like other grants, are awarded based on many different qualifications. Some organizations may have different requirements than others, so it’s important to do your research to find out which grants you’re eligible for based on your individual situation. The last thing you need is to apply to a grant program which you’re ineligible for.

Your surrogacy specialist can always provide examples of grants you can apply for, but here are some of the most common organizations:

  • Journey To Parenthood: This organization offers grants to families going through advanced infertility treatments as well as adoption. Any U.S. citizen living in the U.S. and being treated by a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist may apply. Grant amounts vary.
  • Tinina Q. Cade Foundation Family Building: This organization offers up to $10,000 per funded family to help with infertility and adoption costs.
  • Pay It Forward Fertility: Grants are available for U.S. citizens who do not have insurance coverage for IVF and are awarded several times a year in varying amounts.
  • Life Grants: The Life Foundation offers grants to individuals and couples to help with the cost of infertility treatment, adoption or third party reproduction.
  • Family Formation Charitable Trust: The Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys offers grants for families who can benefit from assistance with adoption and ART methods, as well as financial aid to help children who are in need of placement with a forever family.
  • Baby Quest Foundation: Grants are provided to those who cannot afford the high cost of infertility treatments like IVF, surrogacy, gamete donation, egg freezing and more.

It’s important to recognize that many of these grants and organizations rely on donations, so if you or someone you know has been affected by infertility and is able to give back, we encourage donations to help other intended parents achieve their dreams, too.

2. Surrogacy Loans

Another popular surrogacy financing option is surrogacy loans. Like traditional lines of credits, these loans must be paid back with interest, so it’s important to find the most affordable surrogacy loans that will work for you and your family.

We encourage you to speak to a financial advisor before you take out any surrogacy loans to pay for your infertility treatments to discover what options are available for you.

Traditional loan options include:

  • Home equity loans
  • 401(k) plans
  • Credit cards
  • Loans from family members

In addition, there are financial organizations that specifically provide surrogacy financing for those going through the infertility process:

Many surrogacy professionals may also create a specific payment plan for you based on your financial situation. Talk to your surrogacy specialist today to find out what options are available to you.

3. Surrogacy Fundraising

Finally, another surrogacy financing option is raising money for your surrogacy expenses yourself. There are many ways you and your family can raise your own funds for your infertility treatments, either with simple methods or more creative ones that extend beyond your own community.

Here are some examples to help you start your fundraising process:

  • Use an online fundraiser like YouCaring.com or GoFundMe.com to reach out to friends and family for donations.
  • Ask for donations to your surrogacy fund rather than gifts for holidays.
  • Use your skills to sell handmade products (like your crafts on Etsy).
  • Host a garage sale.
  • Partner with a direct sales consultant to see if they would donate their commission from a party you host.
  • Organize a fundraising event like a car wash or silent auction.

In addition to these surrogacy financing tips, it’s important that you start saving for your surrogacy as soon as you start considering it as an option for your family. Again, speak to a financial advisor to determine the best ways allocate your funds to create an affordable surrogacy process for your family. Ask other intended parents for saving and fundraising tips, and don’t be afraid to use all of the options available to you during this fundraising process.

Surrogacy may seem like a daunting process when it comes to the costs involved, but with proper surrogacy financing, it can be an option for you. To learn more about American Surrogacy’s cost schedule and how we may help you find affordable surrogacy for you, please contact us today

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!

14 Books and Movies that Got Surrogacy Right

When it comes to surrogacy, there is never enough representation of this beautiful family-building process out there for people to find. Unfortunately, when it comes to representation of surrogacy in pop culture today, many of the references are ignorant, outdated and negative — definitely not representing the truth of the matter.

At American Surrogacy, we understand how important it is to have positive examples of the surrogacy process in the media not only for the children born via surrogacy, but also for intended parents, surrogates and everyone else in the world. Some of the easiest ways to find these representations are through surrogacy movies and surrogacy books, which can help you explain the process and spread more awareness of the beauty of surrogacy today.

There’s still a long way to go when it comes to having a prolific number of books on surrogacy and surrogacy movies available to use, so it’s important that everyone pushes for more options on their own. In the meantime, however, here are some of the positive representatives of surrogacy that you can turn to:

Books on Surrogacy

Many of the surrogacy books available today are targeted toward younger children as a way to explain to them their birth via surrogacy. Many intended parents and surrogates use these surrogacy books to introduce and normalize the idea of surrogacy from as early on as possible. By using relatable, fun characters, these books teach children to be excited about their birth story. They’re also great sources for explaining surrogacy to a child’s siblings and peers.

Here are some books on surrogacy that we recommend:

In addition to surrogacy books for children, there are many informational resources available to help adults learn more about the surrogacy process. Whether it’s for an intended parent or surrogate considering surrogacy, or for curious family members or friends, these books on surrogacy allow people to understand better this popular family-building option:

Surrogacy Movies

Unfortunately, much of surrogacy film today portrays negative images of women who choose to become surrogates — with them becoming obsessive, overprotective and unwilling to complete their end of the process and let intended parents take their baby home. However, as we all know, these portrayals couldn’t be farther from the truth of who surrogates really are.

When it comes to finding surrogacy movies, your best bet is likely documentaries and similar films that follow real-life families on their surrogacy journey. These can be great ways to educate others about the surrogacy process and show how beneficial it really is for all involved.

Some surrogacy films to consider are:

As the popularity of surrogacy continues to grow, we can expect more books on surrogacy and surrogacy movies to come about in response. Keep an eye out for these resources and share this blog post to spread more awareness about the importance of learning the realities of the surrogacy process.

13 Celebrities Who’ve Used Surrogacy to Build Their Family

Surrogacy is a rapidly advancing field that more and more parents are using to help create the family they’ve always dreamed of. Notably, several celebrities have opened up about this using this family-building process, sharing their stories and helping to spread awareness of the struggles of infertility and the joys of the surrogacy process.

Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban

While actress Kidman has two adopted children with her ex-husband Tom Cruise, she also has one naturally conceived biological child with country singer Urban. In 2012, the parents also welcomed a baby girl Faith with the assistance of a gestational carrier.

“Children are the joy of my life,” Kidman told the Daily Mail in 2017. “‘After so many years of trying, it was so against the odds. We went through a surrogacy with my second daughter because we wanted another child so much that it hurt. I felt my chances of conceiving again were slimmer and slimmer. And then we got Faith.”

It was actually Kidman’s non-traditional way of becoming a mother that helped her connect to adoptive mother Sue Brierley in the Oscar-nominated film “Lion.”

“Motherhood is not a finite thing; there are many ways to be a mother,” she said. “To be a mother is basically to be able to give unconditional love.”

Sarah Jessica Parker & Matthew Broderick

In 2009, the actor couple welcomed twins via a gestational surrogate after the two tried to conceive naturally. They had one son conceived naturally before the twins were born.

“We tried and tried and tried and tried to get pregnant,” Parker told “Vogue” magazine. “It was just not to be. I would give birth…if I could.”

After considering adoption and surrogacy, the couple decided the latter route was best for them.

“Meeting your children rather than giving birth to them, it’s as if, um, it’s — suspended animation,” she said. “The gestational experience is gone. It’s as if everything else disappears for a moment, and the world goes silent and — I can’t explain it except to say that nothing else existed.”

Kim Kardashian West & Kanye West

After Kardashian West suffered from placenta accrete during her last pregnancy, the celebrity couple decided to hire a gestational surrogate to bring their third child into the world. It had been a discussion ever since her doctors told her it would unsafe to carry another pregnancy. While she underwent a medical procedure to hopefully reverse the dangers of carrying another child, it unfortunately failed.

Kardashian West described her and her husband’s journey to surrogacy on her reality show, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”

“I can’t carry any more kids … it’s the worst,” she said. “I’ve come to the conclusion in my mind that I can’t carry another one. So now I want to explore surrogacy.”

The couple hired a surrogate in the summer of 2017, and reports have emerged that their surrogate is successfully pregnant.

Easter 2017

A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

Neil Patrick Harris & David Burtka

Harris and Burtka welcomed twins Harper and Gideon in 2010 via gestational surrogate. The fraternal twins were created from one of Harris’ embryos and one of Burtka’s — but neither of them knows which child is biologically theirs, nor do they care.

“I have no interest in [finding out]. We are their parents and I love them implicitly,” Harris said, although he admitted they have suspicions based on the children’s personalities.

The couple used an egg donor to create the embryos, as well as hired a surrogate they were familiar with.

“We really, really wanted kids,” Harris told Oprah Winfrey on her show. “We really had thought it through financially, emotionally, relationship-wise. We didn’t just accidentally get pregnant and decide that now we need to make this work. These kids come into our world with nothing but love.”

Elizabeth Banks

After trying to naturally conceive and realizing that embryos would not implant in her uterus, actress Banks and her husband Max Handelman turned to surrogacy to have a biological child. Their son Felix was born in 2011.

“It’s a big leap, inviting this person into your life to do this amazing, important thing for you,” she told Lucky magazine. “But our surrogate is so extraordinary, and she’s still in our lives. She’s like an auntie.”

I'm so proud to be mom to these awesome guys. Happy Mother's Day. Hugs for all.

A post shared by Elizabeth Banks (@elizabethbanks) on

Ellen Pompeo

The “Grey’s Anatomy” actress and husband Chris Ivery welcomed baby girl Sienna in 2014 via surrogate.

Sienna May Ivery welcome to the world. We love you more than words can say

A post shared by Ellen Pompeo (@ellenpompeo) on

“I felt an obligation to keep the surrogate’s privacy — that was of the utmost importance to me,” she told Jimmy Kimmel. “This is an incredible thing to do with your life, to give the gift of carrying someone’s child, so I am forever grateful and feel very blessed.”

Ricky Martin

Latin singer Martin welcomed two twin boys in 2008 via gestational surrogacy. While he had considered adoption, he finally settled on surrogacy to bring children into his life.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVxjqJUFSm4/?taken-by=ricky_martin

“Adoption was one option, but it’s complicated and can take a long time,” he told People magazine. “Surrogacy was an intriguing and faster option. I thought, ‘I’m going to jump into this with no fear.’’

Now that he’s engaged to fiancé Jwan Yosef, he’s considering having more children via the surrogacy process — specifically, a baby girl.

“I want a big family,” Martin said. “Daddy’s little girl has to come.”

Jimmy Fallon

In 2013, Fallon and his wife Nancy Fallon welcomed daughter Winnie Rose through a gestational carrier after five years of infertility struggles.

“We tried for a long time, for five years. I know people have tried much longer, but if there’s anyone out there who is trying and they’re just losing hope . . . just hang in there,” he said. “Try every avenue; try anything you can do, ’cause you’ll get there. You’ll end up with a family, and it’s so worth it. It is the most ‘worth it’ thing. I’m just so happy right now. I’m freaking out.”

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.

To start finding surrogate support groups near you, please contact our specialist today at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).

7 Tips for Creating an Intended Parent Profile

When you work with American Surrogacy or another surrogacy agency, you’ll usually be asked to make an intended parent profile as part of your search for a prospective surrogate. But what exactly is an intended parent profile, and how do you make one?

An intended parent profile is an important part of finding the perfect surrogate for your family. It’s a way for prospective surrogates to learn more about you before you even have your first conversation, giving a woman a chance to feel more connected to you and help her determine which intended parents might be best for her. Just like you’ll be required to make an intended parent profile, all prospective surrogates will create a surrogate profile that you can view as well.

Your surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy will always be available to help you through the process of making an intended parent profile, offering suggestions and answering any questions you may have. Here are some of the tips we recommend to intended parents going through this process:

1. Include important information about who you are.

An intended parent profile is designed as a way for a prospective surrogate to get a little peak into a prospective family’s life and personality to gauge whether they might be a good fit for her. Therefore, it’s important that you include information and photos in your profile that accurately describe who you are. American Surrogacy will work to protect your personal information; all of our profile information is kept within our company.

While every profile is unique depending on what certain intended parents wish to communicate about themselves, a good intended parent profile includes:

  • A written introduction of you and your family
  • Information about your home, neighborhood and community
  • A personal letter to prospective surrogates explaining why you’re pursuing surrogacy
  • Photos of your everyday life, including you, your family, your home and your hobbies and interests
  • Any other information you think makes your family unique

2. Be descriptive with your profile.

When a surrogate is looking at your profile, she wants to learn more about exactly who you are and why you might be a good fit for her. Therefore, the more detail you can include, the better she can determine if you might be a good partner for the next year or more. A vague intended parent profile may not be enough for a prospective surrogate to feel a connection with and show interest in you.

3. Share your emotions.

For many intended parents, it’s been an emotional journey toward the surrogacy process. It’s these emotions that motivate prospective surrogates to help families like you, so you shouldn’t shy away from including them in your intended parent profile. Be honest about how you got to your surrogacy decision, and use your letter to a prospective surrogate to express just how much her consideration means to you. The more honest you are with your emotions, the more likely that a surrogate will feel a connection with you.

4. Choose photos carefully and include captions.

An important part of your profile is the pictures that you choose. Pictures are perhaps the best way to connect with prospective surrogates, so you should choose a variety of photos that show off you, your family and your lifestyle. They should be high-quality, recent photos that represent what your family and your life is like.

5. Always edit.

Whether you’re making a profile on your own or through American Surrogacy’s media specialists, always take the extra time to edit your profile for written errors and design flaws. While surrogates are interested in who your family is, a clean and polished profile makes it easier for them to view and stay engaged with your information.

6. Ask for help if you need it.

When you work with American Surrogacy, you will have a media specialist who will help you create this profile. Your surrogacy specialist will also be there to offer suggestions and support through this process. If you have questions or concerns, don’t be afraid to reach out; these professionals have experience crafting these profiles and can give you experienced advice about what kind of photos and text to use.

7. Always be honest and be yourself.

There is no “right” way to make an intended parent profile; they are all so different based on what each family wants to share. Therefore, there is no benefit for anything but honesty. Trying to make your family look better by omitting or altering facts is not only unethical but also unnecessary. Surrogates show interest in families for many different reasons, and it’s impossible to say exactly why a surrogate will choose intended parents. If you’re making your profile, it’s important to just focus on accurately representing yourself and your life, and you will find the perfect prospective surrogate for you.

To start the process of making your intended parent profile today, please contact our surrogacy specialists at 1-800-875-2229(BABY). Our 20-year experience in crafting profiles like this can help you find the perfect prospective surrogate for you.

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.

3 Differences Between Gestational and Traditional Surrogacy

Whether you’re a prospective surrogate or an intended parent, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether you’ll pursue a gestational or traditional surrogacy. There’s a lot of buzz and controversy surrounding these two types of surrogacy, so it’s important that you know the truth about them before moving forward with your surrogacy journey.

There are many nuanced differences between gestational and traditional surrogacy, and the best way to learn about each in more detail is by talking with one of our surrogacy specialists. In the meantime, here are three important differences to know about traditional vs. gestational surrogacy.

1. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate is not genetically related to the child she carries. In traditional surrogacy, her eggs are used to create the embryo for the intended parents.

Gestational and traditional surrogacy are deemed separate surrogacy processes because of the way the intended parent’ embryos are created — a decision that impacts the rest of the surrogacy process. In gestational surrogacy (the most common form of surrogacy today), intended parents create embryos with their own sperm and egg, or using a sperm or egg from a gamete donor. However, in traditional surrogacy, a surrogate uses her own eggs to create an embryo for the intended parents, either through the in vitro fertilization process or through an artificial insemination. Therefore, a traditional surrogate is the biological mother of the baby that she carries, while a gestational surrogate is not at all related to the baby.

This important difference between traditional surrogacy vs. gestational surrogacy informs the rest of the surrogacy process — from the medical procedures involved to the legal process required. As you’ll read below, traditional surrogacies are much more complicated due to this genetic relationship. 

2. The legal process is much more complicated in a traditional surrogacy than in a gestational surrogacy.

When a woman is carrying a baby for other people, the legal process is already complicated. Necessary steps must be taken to draw up a contract that protects both the intended parents’ and the surrogate’s rights, and a lawyer must ensure that the intended parents’ parental rights are established as early as possible in the pregnancy or after the child is born, usually through a pre-birth or post-birth parentage order.

However, when the surrogate is genetically related to the baby that she’s carrying, establishing parental rights can be a bit more complicated. That’s because, unlike a gestational surrogate, a traditional surrogate has inherent parental rights because of her genetic connection. Therefore, there is the possibility that she decides to enact those parental rights, creating more risk for the surrogacy process in general.

3. It’s much easier to find a surrogacy professional that will help you complete a gestational surrogacy than one who will assist with a traditional surrogacy.

Because of the legal risks and additional considerations needed for traditional surrogacy, it’s rare for surrogacy professionals to assist prospective surrogates and intended parents who wish to complete this process. Because gestational surrogacy is much safer, it’s a much more common process for intended parents and surrogates, and there are plenty of surrogacy professionals like American Surrogacy who will help you reach your surrogacy goals in this manner.

If you’re looking to complete a traditional surrogacy, recognize that you may have a harder time finding a professional who is willing to work with you through this process. After you find an intended parent or surrogate who has the same surrogacy goals (which can be just a difficult), you may need to complete an independent surrogacy out of necessity — which places far more responsibility on both parties in the surrogacy. In most cases, those who complete traditional surrogacies are single men, gay male couples or heterosexual couples who use a female relative to have a genetic connection when they can’t both share their genes with their child. American Surrogacy, like many surrogacy agencies, cannot work with those hoping to complete a traditional surrogacy.

These are by no means all of the important things that intended parents and prospective surrogates should know about gestational and traditional surrogacy, but they’re often some of the biggest deciding factors for those who are choosing between the two surrogacy paths. For more information, we advise you speak to your fertility specialist or our surrogacy specialists at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) to learn more about which surrogacy process — traditional surrogacy vs. gestational surrogacy — might be right for you.