10 Holiday Gift Ideas for Surrogates

The holiday season is a wonderful time to show your loved ones that you care. If you have a friend or family member who is or has been a surrogate, you may be wondering what unique present you can get her this year. If you’re the intended parent, the pressure to find the perfect gift can be even more pressing.

Remember: Gifts aren’t the point of the holiday season, so don’t stress out too much. The surrogate in your life will probably be just as happy to simply spend time with you. Taking the time to catch up with her may be one of the best gifts she can receive.

But, if you’re still looking for that perfect gift for your friend who is a surrogate, American Surrogacy is here to help. Our specialists can always offer appropriate suggestions based on your relationship with the surrogate in your life.

Whether you are the intended parents working with a surrogate or simply a friend or family member of a surrogate, keep these gift suggestions in mind this holiday season:

1. A Personalized Care Package

You know your friend best — which means you likely know exactly what they most enjoy. Are they a stay-at-home, movie-and-popcorn kind of person? Or do they like to have a high-spirited sports night with their friends and family?

Whatever their hobbies, consider making them a personalized care package. If they’re currently pregnant, you can include self-care items like bath bubbles and cozy socks to keep them comfortable. If they’re not, you could send them a basket of their favorite goodies and wine for a lazy night at home. The good part about this kind of gift? It’s all up to you!

2. A Spa Visit

Whether she’s pregnant or not, any surrogate will appreciate the calm of a free spa day. Surrogacy can be an emotionally draining process, and many surrogates handle the responsibilities of their surrogacy and their everyday life. Allowing someone else to care for them can be a big relief.

3. A Ready-Made Meal or Restaurant Gift Card

On the same note, many surrogates split household responsibilities with their spouse — but it can get harder to put their full 50 percent in when they’re also dealing with the responsibilities of surrogacy. Take one responsibility off of your surrogate’s plate, literally. Services like Send a Meal allow you to gift the surrogate and her family a prepared meal at home, or you can send her a gift card to take her family out to dinner for the night.

4. Something for Her Kids

Sometimes, surrogates don’t need anything for themselves, but they’ll greatly appreciate you giving their children a thought during the holiday season. Remember, their mother’s surrogacy journey affects them, too. They may not have as much time with her as usual, and she may not be able to serve the roles she usually does in their lives when she is pregnant. Consider giving them a new movie or video game to keep them entertained — and to give Mom some “me time.”

5. A Sentimental Accessory

Surrogacy is a journey that will affect a surrogate’s life forever, so you can always get her a gift that will keep those memories close to her heart. Something as simple as a necklace with the baby’s birthstone or a locket with the baby’s birthdate engraved can be a beautiful way to honor her decision.

Any kind of sentimental accessory like this should come from her intended parents only. If you are considering this gift, make sure to speak with your surrogacy specialist to determine which kinds of jewelry and accessories are appropriate.

6. Flower or Edible Fruit Arrangements

Everyone likes a good arrangement — whether it’s made of beautiful flowers or delicious fruits and candies. These are an easy way to show you care and are thinking of a surrogate during the holidays without putting too much time and effort into the choice. Just don’t forget a personalized note!

7. Surrogacy-Specific Gifts

Despite its growing popularity, surrogacy is still an uncommon way for people to build their families. As proud as she may be of her own journey, a surrogate may not have an easy way to celebrate it daily. So, help her out with something that shows your own pride in her! There are plenty of gifts that allude to a woman’s “superpower” as a surrogate; Etsy is a good place to start. These gifts can help her show her pride in her surrogacy journey.

8. A Night on the Town

A surrogate has a lot of responsibility in her life, both during and after the surrogacy process. Give her a break with a night out for her and her spouse. Send them a movie-and-restaurant gift card package, or buy two tickets to a local show. Odds are, she’s dying for a night away from her responsibilities but just needs the right motivation to make that decision!

9. A Memory from Your Journey

If you are the intended parents a surrogate is carrying for, you will go through a lot together. If you plan far enough ahead, you can find a way to save these memories forever.

Consider putting together a surrogacy memory book with photos of the surrogate during her pregnancy and photos of you and the baby after he or she is born. It can be a great way for a surrogate to catch up on your life since your surrogacy journey ended and allow her to show off her surrogacy experience in an easy way to friends and family members.

Something even simpler — such as a framed photo from delivery — can be just as heartfelt.

10. A Holiday Card and Family Update

Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you have to go overboard.  Depending on your relationship with a surrogate and how long it’s been since she completed her surrogacy journey, a holiday card and family update can be enough to say you’re thinking about her and hope she’s doing well.  Whether you’re her intended parent or just a loved one, she’ll smile when she sees that you care.

Want more suggestions on appropriate holiday gifts for gestational carriers? Contact our surrogacy specialists anytime.

10 Holiday Gift Ideas for Intended Parents

When the holiday time rolls around, it’s a period full of family, fun and festivities — not to mention gifts.

Finding the perfect gift for anyone can be a challenge. When there are intended parents in your life, you may be unsure of what to give them during their surrogacy journey. Despite its growing popularity, gestational surrogacy is still new to many people. And, if you’re in that boat, you may be unsure of what is even an appropriate gift to give intended parents during the holidays.

Don’t worry — American Surrogacy is here to help. We’ve gathered 10 great gift ideas for intended parents here. Our specialists are always happy to give you more advice when you call us at 1-800-875-BABY(2229).

In the meantime, get started with these suggestions:

1. A Personalized Care Package

The best presents aren’t the most extravagant — they are the ones with the most heart. So, instead of rushing out to buy the fancy new coat or pair of shoes for your friend, go a little more personalized. Create a care package with all of the small goodies they like. Maybe throw together a movie-night basket with popcorn, wine and the biggest new flick, or add some Gatorade and new headphones for the exercise aficionado.

However big or small, your personal touch shows that you care enough to think about them during the busy holiday season.

2. Something to Help Them Prepare

If the intended parents are in the middle of the surrogacy process, they are probably freaking out a bit at the upcoming changes in their lives. You can help reassure some of their worries by aiding them through the preparation process.

Send them a package of outlet covers or another baby-proofing device. Consider buying them a set of parenting classes to ease their nerves. While intended parents may have more energy to prepare than an expectant parent carrying their child, that doesn’t mean they are any less nervous or know better what to do. Offer to step in and give them a hand during the busy holiday season.

3. Baby Supplies

On the same note, a parent-to-be can never have too many baby supplies! Their loved ones will likely be excited to buy all of the cute baby onesies and toys on their wish list but, at the end of the day, intended parents will be much more grateful of gifts such as diapers, formula, baby wipes and more.

It may not seem like the most exciting holiday gift, but the intended parents will be thankful for it.

4. Something for the Baby

That doesn’t mean you can’t buy something fun for the baby! Whether or not they are already here, if you find the perfect little stuffed animal or holiday decoration for the baby, don’t be afraid to get it.

This gift can be even more meaningful if you are the surrogate carrying the baby for the intended parents. It can be a keepsake that helps them explain their child’s surrogacy story in the years to come.

5. A Night Out on the Town

Intended parents spend a lot of time worrying and waiting during the surrogacy process. You can help them take their mind off of those worries for a bit by gifting them a date night. Consider buying a movie and restaurant gift card to give them a night on the town. After all, time together won’t be easy to come by once the baby is born. It can be just the thing they need to escape from the surrogacy and holiday stress this time of the year.

6. A Sentimental Accessory

If you are the surrogate carrying for the intended parents, you might want to give them something special that commemorates your journey together. That could include anything from paying for a photographer to be there during delivery to nicely framing an existing photo you have of all of you together. You might even choose to write a letter to the baby you’re carrying or gather other important mementos for the intended parents to add to the baby’s surrogacy memory book.

7. A Home-Cooked Meal

If the intended parents have already welcomed their little one home, they’re probably going through all the motions of new parenthood — and finding out they have little time for themselves.  A home-cooked meal may be exactly what they need. Put together a tried-and-true casserole yourself, or use a service like Send a Meal to deliver a fully cooked meal right to their doorstep. It can be the perfect way to say, “I’m thinking of you, and I know how you’re feeling,” without pressuring them to find a babysitter for a dinner out.

8. Surrogacy-Specific Gifts

Despite the support intended parents receive from their surrogacy specialist and their family and friends, surrogacy can be an isolating journey. While the family-building process is growing in popularity, your friends may be the only ones they know who have taken this route.

So, find a holiday gift that shows pride in their family-building process. Websites such as Etsy are great places to find décor with surrogacy phrases or other keepsakes commemorating their surrogacy journey.

9. Something Handmade

Maybe you have a special hobby. If so, consider making the intended parents a personalized gift. Their baby will love a soft handmade blanket or beanie, and the intended parents might appreciate a one-of-a-kind painting with which to decorate their child’s nursery.

It will certainly be a gift unlike any other they receive!

10. A Holiday Card and Family Update

Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you have to go overboard when it comes to gifts and presents. The act of gift-giving is all about showing someone you care, and the smallest card and letter can be all an intended parent needs to know you were thinking of them. This can be especially heartwarming from their former surrogate; they are forever bonded to her, and they want to know how her family is doing, even years after the surrogacy process is complete.

If you’re a surrogate struggling over what to get your intended parents during the holidays, don’t be afraid to go simple. Just knowing you were thinking about them will make the intended parents smile.

Want more guidance on picking out a holiday gift for intended parents? Contact our specialists today.

How Long Do You Have to Wait After Giving Birth to Be a Surrogate?

If you’re a fan of being pregnant, it’s often not long after your last delivery that you start thinking about doing it again. But, while you can get pregnant naturally as soon after childbirth as your body allows, the same rules don’t apply when it comes to gestational surrogacy.

If you want to become pregnant right away again as a gestational carrier, you’re going to have to wait.

Surrogacy professionals, including American Surrogacy, want to ensure all surrogates and intended parents are protected during the surrogacy journey. That starts with giving a woman ample time to recover postpartum before becoming pregnant again.

To learn more about pregnancy gap requirements at our agency, we encourage you to call our specialists anytime at 1-800-875-BABY(2229). In the meantime, learn a bit more about this topic below.

Why Most Professionals Require a 12-Month Gap

Before jumping into surrogacy, a woman should always be 100 percent physically and mentally ready for the challenges of the process. Postpartum recovery can delay that significantly.

A woman’s body naturally slows the return to fertility after she gives birth. It makes sense; she is typically giving a great deal of her time and energy to the care of a baby and, to best do that, she should give her full attention to that child only. Breastfeeding is one factor in this; the act of producing breastmilk during your baby’s first six months of life often prevents you from becoming pregnant.

Your body goes through a lot during the pregnancy and childbirth process. You may have stitches or other tears from delivery that need to heal, and your body needs to build up its supply of nutrients that were depleted during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The microbiome of your birth canal needs to be reset, and your body overall needs to heal from inflammation and potential infections. Jumping into pregnancy right away is simply not advised.

That’s why many medical professionals advise women to wait at least 12 months after delivery to get pregnant again. The World Health Organization even recommends a minimum of 18 months.

Therefore, to ensure a surrogate has the best chance of success in passing her medical screening and eventually getting pregnant, surrogacy professionals follow these same recommendations. While they may be frustrating at first, remember that these rules are created with your safety in mind.

American Surrogacy’s Policies on Pregnancy Gaps

So, if most medical professionals recommend a 12-month gap between pregnancies, why does American Surrogacy allow prospective surrogates to start the process at only six months postpartum?

That’s a good question. Here at American Surrogacy, we are just as dedicated to your safety as any other surrogacy professional. However, we recognize that your time is precious — which is why we maximize it as much as possible.

The surrogacy process can take a year or more to complete. The preliminary screening and matching stages by themselves can take a few months; therefore, we allow our surrogate candidates to apply six months postpartum to start tackling these ahead of time.

When the time comes around that a candidate is 12 months postpartum, she’ll be ready to start the medical process right away — having already completed the preliminary logistical steps and screenings. She can jump right back into trying to get pregnant again, and our specialists already have the knowledge to support her through this journey.

For more information on our pregnancy gap policies, please contact our specialists today. They can answer your questions and help you decide when you are eligible to start the surrogacy process.

What to Consider Before Becoming Pregnant Again

It’s one thing to adhere to a professional recommendation about time between pregnancies — but it’s even more important to evaluate your personal situation. You may be excited at the possibility of being pregnant and helping to bring a child into the world, but have you really thought about what this process will demand from you?

Pregnancy and childbirth is a major medical experience, and it’s not something that you can get up and walk away from the day after. You’ll feel the effects of pregnancy and delivery for months after. You may feel like your body is not your own, and you may struggle to get back to the physical condition you were in prior to your last pregnancy. This is totally normal.

Whether you are six months postpartum or later in your recovery process, you should ask yourself whether you are really ready to become pregnant again. Start with these questions:

  • Are you ready to stop breastfeeding? Because breastfeeding delays a woman’s return to fertility, prospective surrogates must stop breastfeeding before they can begin the medical process. They must resume their regular menstrual cycle, which can take a few months after breastfeeding stops. Are you ready to wean your child in order to become a gestational carrier?
  • Can you care for a newborn on top of your surrogacy responsibilities? Being a surrogate is no joke — and neither is being a new parent. They both require discipline, time and energy. Handling both together is not impossible, but it can be difficult. Think about your current schedule and everyday routine; can you handle the added responsibilities of being pregnant and maintaining a relationship with your intended parents? There’s no shame in waiting until your child is a bit older to start the surrogacy process.
  • How emotionally ready do you really feel? You may feel like you have to put on a brave face after pregnancy, saying how everything is OK — but your postpartum time will be an extremely emotional one. And don’t forget the risk of postpartum depression. You need to be 100 percent honest with yourself about how emotionally ready you are for another pregnancy and the commitment of surrogacy. All prospective surrogates must undergo a mental health evaluation prior to approval, but it’s a good idea for you to see a professional on your own after pregnancy. That way, you can honestly evaluate your emotional state before you get started.

Ultimately, you are the only one who can decide when the best time to start the surrogacy process will be. If you are excited and prepared for being a surrogate six months after delivery, great — our team will be happy to help you get started!

Whatever you do, don’t rush yourself into a decision you’re not ready for. American Surrogacy will always be here for you, no matter how long it takes.

Contact our specialists today to learn more about becoming a surrogate with our agency.

5 Things Every Surrogate Needs from Her Friends

If your friend has told you she’s becoming a surrogate, you’re likely thrilled for her. She’s probably wanted this journey for a while now, and you’re excited to watch her achieve her dreams of helping to create a family.

But, if you’re unfamiliar with the surrogacy process, you may be unsure of how to help her during the journey to come. What’s appropriate and what’s not? How do you know the best things to say and do to support her through fertility medication, pregnancy and postpartum recovery?

Don’t worry — American Surrogacy is here to help. We’ve gathered a few things every surrogate can benefit from during her surrogacy journey.

Friends and family, listen up: Here’s where you can start.

1. A Listening Ear

While surrogacy can certainly be a complicated practical process, it can also be draining on a woman’s emotions and mental health, too. Even when surrogates are 100 percent ready for the ups and downs of being a surrogate, it can be overwhelming to balance their everyday lives and intended parent relationships with the wild emotions of pregnancy hormones.

Your friend will be emotionally committed to the surrogacy process through every step — but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some hard times along the way. A surrogate may not feel comfortable sharing her stress with her intended parents, so you should be there to serve that role. Be her shoulder to cry on, if she needs it, and empathize with the emotions she’s feeling during this time.

Pay close attention to your friend, too. Like any pregnant woman, she will have the chance of developing antepartum depression. If she seems like she’s reaching out for help instead of just venting, help her get the professional assistance she needs.

2. Practical Support — Like Childcare

Emotional support won’t be the only help your friend needs. Managing her surrogacy responsibilities and her everyday responsibilities as a mother can be difficult. Your help will be much appreciated.

You can step in by providing childcare when she has to attend medical appointments or appointments with the intended parents. Offer to take her and her family out for dinner, or cook them a meal they can eat during the week.

Don’t wait to be asked — think about what you or other loved ones wanted most during their pregnancy. Take the initiative to offer those to your friend who’s a surrogate. The last thing she wants to do is make a list of things you can help her with, but it’s unlikely she’ll refuse when the specific help is right in front of her.

3. A Welcome Distraction

For a year or more, surrogacy will be the most important part of your friend’s life. She’ll be paying close attention to her fertility medication, pregnancy, and intended parents’ wishes. Sometimes, she’ll just want a break.

Be there for her in this situation. The next time she seems overwhelmed, offer to take her out for the evening. Go to your favorite dinner spot and then see the movie you’ve both been dying to see. Take her on a spa day to get a pedicure, especially if she can no longer reach (or see) her toes.

While her surrogate pregnancy is certainly something she is proud of, your friend probably doesn’t want to talk about it all the time. Give her a mental break, and she’ll feel more refreshed — and ready to dive back into the day-to-day of being a surrogate.

4. Interest and Understanding

When your friend becomes a surrogate, she becomes an automatic ambassador for the process. She’s going to receive the same questions and comments over and over again — but don’t let them come from you.

One of the best things you can do for your friend is to research surrogacy and understand exactly what the process is like. Not only will this show her you’re interested in this important part of her life, but it will save her from having to explain the basics to you every time you discuss her journey.

You can even go the extra step and start educating others — your family, your group of friends — about gestational surrogacy. That way, there will be fewer questions from your friends’ circle of loved ones. She’ll feel more supported knowing they took the time to learn about something that is so important to her.

5. Postpartum Care

While a surrogate will not bring home the child she delivers, she will still need time to recover from pregnancy and childbirth. As her friend, you can step in to make the recovery easier.

Your friend will appreciate many of the same services that you might give to a new parent. A home-cooked meal can help feed her and her family when she’s too tired to cook. Offering to watch her children can give her the rest she needs to recuperate. And, of course, don’t forget the importance of emotional support — even though surrogates don’t raise the children they deliver, they can still develop postpartum depression. Keep a close eye on your friend’s moods and emotions, and help her get the assistance she needs if you feel like she is reaching out.

Yes, a surrogate’s postpartum recovery period is typically much shorter than any other new mother’s is (because she’s not caring for a newborn), but that doesn’t exclude her from emotional and practical support during this time. Again, don’t wait for her to ask for it; offer your assistance as early and as frequently as possible to ensure her mental and physical recovery.

Supporting a friend through surrogacy can be complicated, especially if you have no experience with the surrogacy process. But, by following these steps, you can make sure she receives the support she needs.

For more information on the surrogacy process and suggestions for helping your friend through her journey, contact our surrogacy specialists anytime.

5 Things Every Intended Parent Needs from Their Friends

It can be hard to be an intended parent. In many cases, these hopeful parents have gone through a lot to even get to the surrogacy process — and, once they’ve started it, they still have a long and complicated journey to go. Sometimes, they just want to feel like any other expectant mom or dad.

If you’re a friend or family member of an intended parent, you can take certain steps to help them feel “normal” during their family-building journey. Just like any parent creating their family through adoption, intended parents deserve all the same love as someone who has conceived naturally.

Not sure what you can do to help? We’ve gathered a few simple tips that you can use to support the intended parent in your life:

1. A Baby Shower

Just because your loved one isn’t giving birth to their child doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a baby shower! It’s common for intended parents to be left out of the baby-shower fun because they are not the ones who are pregnant. But they deserve to be showered just as much any other parent.

Take the initiative to throw a baby shower for your loved one (they probably won’t do it themselves). It may be the first time they truly feel like an expectant parent, and a baby shower can help them experience some of the parent “firsts” they’ve been longing for.

Check out our tips for throwing a baby shower for surrogacy here.

2. A Distraction from the Wait

During much of their surrogate’s pregnancy, an intended parent can feel like they are just sitting around, wasting time. There’s not much they can do to contribute to their child’s development in utero, and the wait to meet their baby can be a difficult experience.

So, take it upon yourself to distract them from the tough emotions they’re feeling. Suggest a night out with a nice dinner and a movie, or invite them to your next big gathering (avoid anything with too many children and babies). Sometimes, even the smallest things — like a drink at your local bar — will be enough to alleviate the stress they’re feeling.

3. An Inclusive Conversation

It’s easy for intended parents to feel left out of conversations about parenting with their friends who have had children. So, the next time you talk about parenthood and include the intended parents, focus on what makes the journey exciting for them. Ask about their surrogate and her pregnancy, and talk about their plans for parenting after the baby is born. While you don’t have to completely avoid topics such as pregnancy and labor-and-delivery stories, be mindful of how your loved ones’ experiences will differ from your own.

4. Emotional Support

It’s no secret that surrogacy is an emotionally trying experience. It’s likely that your friends are going through this process for the very first time; they have to cope with all the novelty of their situation while simultaneously grieving the infertility path that likely brought them here. Like any expectant parent, sometimes they just need a shoulder to cry on.

Be there for them. Don’t try to solve all of their problems or connect with everything they’re saying; unless you’ve been through surrogacy yourself, you can’t comprehend the situation they’re in. Show them some empathy during the hard times and, if you think they are crying out for help, help them get the assistance they need. Postpartum depression is possible among intended parents, too, so make sure to keep a close eye on your friend.

5. Practical Support — Like a Home-Cooked Meal

Emotional support won’t be the only kind of support your loved one needs. Once their new baby is born and brought home, your friend will be dealing with all the normal demands of parenthood. You can be a huge help during this time.

Don’t wait for an intended parent to ask you for help; step in to provide the practical support they need at this time in their life. Ask if you can watch the baby while they take care of important details such as calls with their surrogacy lawyer, surrogacy professional or insurance company. Bring them over a home-cooked meal; they’ll probably be too tired to cook themselves.

If nothing else, just be there for them. Be the first one to volunteer if they look like they need help, and don’t take no for an answer. Just because they didn’t give birth doesn’t mean they’re more prepared for the parenthood journey. If they’re going through it for the first time, every exciting new step has a learning curve.

Don’t forget — your loved one needs just as much support during and after the surrogacy process as any other new parent. Step in and be the friend they need during this time. They’ll be forever grateful.

If you’re an intended parent struggling with the emotions of the surrogacy process, remember that you can always look to your American Surrogacy specialist for advice and support. Call us at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) any time.

10 Ways for Intended Parents to “Nest” During Their Surrogate’s Pregnancy

Waiting for your baby to be born is a stressful activity for any parent. But, when you’re an intended parent whose baby is being carried by someone else, it can be even harder. It’s normal to feel like you’re missing out on crucial bonding time in-utero — but that doesn’t mean your prep to be a parent starts the moment your surrogate goes into labor.

As an intended parent, you may find you have just as much of an urge to “nest,” or prepare for your baby’s arrival, as any other expectant parent. And don’t ignore it! This urge is a biological instinct that helps expectant parents prepare a safe and secure place for their baby to live after birth. Of course, you don’t have the dangers of the wild to prepare for — just the ups and downs of your future parenthood journey.

If you’re feeling a bit stuck when it comes to your “nesting” instinct, don’t worry. We’ve gathered some helpful suggestions here to help you get started. Whether you feel the urge to nest or not, following these steps can help you feel more bonded to your parenting experience and your future child.

When your little one does arrive, you’ll feel that much more prepared.

1. Clean your house!

Want a clean slate to start preparing for your baby? Embrace the urge to scrub down every last surface, replace old bedding and clothing, and clean everything within an inch of its life.

It’s all a natural part of the process. During the nesting period, expectant parents want their living space to look and feel like home for their upcoming baby. It can help you take control during a time in your life where you have little of it (intended parents waiting for the call from their surrogate can certainly relate).

2. Baby-proof everything.

If you haven’t already, check off that baby-proof list. Babies are notoriously curious; if you don’t take the proper precautions, they can find themselves in dangerous spots around the house before you even know they’re gone.

Baby-proofing your space can give you a peace of mind you may be lacking during the last few weeks of your surrogate’s pregnancy. While there’s not much you can do during your baby’s development in utero, you can certainly ensure they will be safe and taken care of when you bring them home.

3. Set up the nursery.

Haven’t set up the nursery yet? What are you waiting for?

This can be one of the most exciting nesting activities for intended parents. The room is physical proof that, after all this time, you are finally going to have a baby. Go crazy with your decorating, and make sure you purchase all of the supplies you’ll need for your newborn, too.

4. Take parenting classes.

Parenting classes are never a bad idea, especially when you include important information such as baby CPR and first aid basics. You may be worried about what kind of parent you’ll be (as most new parents do), and a parenting class can help you feel more prepared ahead of your baby’s birth. Sure, parenting will always have a learning curve, but these classes are a great place to start.

5. Spend time with your partner (if applicable).

Surrogacy can be a stressful process and, if you’re not careful, it can alienate you from your loved ones. If you’re going through this journey with a spouse, don’t forget to lean on each other and enjoy your last few months as a couple. Try to plan a few date nights and spend some quality time with each other. They will be much harder to come by when you have a newborn demanding your attention 24/7.

6.  Create a surrogacy memory book.

Another good way to spend your surrogate’s last trimester? Creating a surrogacy memory book! This can look however you want it to, but many intended parents choose to include photos of and letters from a gestational surrogate, as well as typical baby milestones such as a first ultrasound, footprints and more.

Making a baby book will not only keep you busy, but it will give you a head start on explaining your child’s birth story to them. As they grow up, you can refer back to this surrogacy memory book to normalize and explain your family’s surrogacy journey.

7. Talk with your gestational carrier.

We don’t think you will, but we have to make sure you don’t forget one of the stars of the show — your gestational carrier!

If you’re struggling to create a bond with your unborn child, your surrogate should be able to help. She can give you all the details you want to know about her pregnancy and how the baby is developing. She can share with you pictures and ultrasounds and, if convenient, you can plan dates to catch up and try to feel the child moving in her stomach.

Staying in touch with your gestational carrier is also practical; it gives you updated information on when you can expect your baby to be born, so you’re not completely unprepared when you get the call that she’s heading to the hospital.

8. Research childcare options.

If you haven’t already, you should make a plan for what you will do in the months after the baby is born. It’s normal to get caught up in the immediate post-birth planning, but don’t forget that you (or your spouse) will likely need to return to work at some point — and someone will need to watch your child when you do.

There are a lot of good options for childcare today, but it takes time to find the right fit for your family. Don’t procrastinate on this important step.

9. Pack your hospital bag.

When your surrogate tells you it’s time, the last thing you want to be doing is frantically running around the house, throwing together your hospital bag. So, as soon as your surrogate enters her third trimester, put together a bag for the hospital stay. Include necessities such as a going-home outfit, diapers and toiletries for you, too. Don’t forget to keep your surrogacy birth plan in mind, and pack accordingly.

10. Lean on your surrogacy specialist.

Nesting can be an emotional process, but remember that your surrogacy specialist will always be here to help.

At American Surrogacy, we understand how involved the surrogacy process can be. We know you might also experience complicated emotions along the way. That’s why our specialists are happy to talk to you anytime when you call us at 1-800-875-BABY(2229). They can always answer your questions and offer suggestions to help you feel more connected to your surrogacy journey. Anything you need, they’ll be there.

Want to learn more about becoming a parent through gestational surrogacy? Contact our specialists today.

Can You Be a Surrogate if You Are Absolutely Against Termination?

If you didn’t already know, gestational surrogacy often involves complicated medical procedures. Selective reduction and termination of embryos can frequently be a part of the medical process.

But, what if you are wholeheartedly against the termination of embryos? Can you still be a surrogate and help create a family?

It’s a bit complicated. We encourage any prospective surrogate in this situation to call our specialists at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) for more information. They will discuss with you the possibilities of surrogacy without these procedures and help you determine whether it’s really the right path for you.

In the meantime, learn more about the basics of this kind of journey below.

Can You Be a Surrogate if You are Against Termination and Selective Reduction?

While selective reduction and termination is possible in any given gestational surrogacy journey, these procedures aren’t necessarily completed in every medical process. So, if you are considering being a surrogate — but you’re completely against any kind of termination or selective reduction — there may be a path ahead for you.

The majority of intended parents want a pregnancy with the best chance of success. That often includes accepting the possibility of selective reduction or termination, especially if a fetus develops abnormally or has a condition that makes life outside of the womb impossible. To have the best chance at a healthy child, these intended parents determine exactly in which situations they are comfortable using these procedures.

If you’re a surrogate, you’ll have a say in these situations, as well. If you know you will never be comfortable with termination or selective reduction in any situation, it’s a good idea to speak with a surrogacy professional soon. They can determine whether or not there is a path available for you.

How Your Views May Affect Your Wait for a Match

The good news is that there are intended parents out there who share your views — who are totally against selective reduction and termination, no matter what.

The bad news? It will likely take you much longer to match with intended parents with these views, as they are rare to find.

As mentioned above, many intended parents recognize the important purpose that selective reduction and termination can play in the surrogacy process. While they may be open to creating a contract that details situations in which neither of these procedures may be used, they may be more hesitant to match with a surrogate who is dead-set against both procedures, no matter the circumstances — just in case of the worst.

If you are 100 percent against selective reduction and termination, regardless of the circumstances, it’s important to be honest with your surrogacy professional (and intended parents) from the start. Only that way will you find a partner who shares your views. Your surrogacy professional might have to expand the search beyond their network, or you may find better luck searching for intended parents independently.

Therefore, talking to a surrogacy professional is the best way to learn what to expect from this kind of journey.

How to Protect Your Beliefs and Rights During the Process

Remember: As a surrogate, you are an active participant in the surrogacy process. You should never feel forced into a journey you are uncomfortable with, which means you should clearly identify all of your needs and preferences — not just your thoughts on selective reduction and termination.

However, your opinions on these procedures can make a big difference in the journey ahead of you.

There are two main ways you can ensure your beliefs and rights are respected when you become a surrogate:

  1. Be honest about your desires. The last thing any intended parent or surrogate wants is to enter a surrogacy agreement under pretense. You may feel that agreeing to these procedures in certain circumstances is fine; you may doubt that situation ever comes to be, and your beliefs won’t be tested. But, this is a terrible thing to do. What would you do if that situation were to occur? You would need to adhere to your contract, which means following through with a procedure you believe to be wrong. Save yourself and the intended parents the heartache by being honest about your desires from the beginning — even if it means you’ll wait longer for a match.
  2. Don’t let a professional force you into a decision you’re uncomfortable with. As a surrogate, you always have the right to work with the professional you feel is right for you. So, don’t let a professional try to change your mind on selective reduction or termination if you have strong contrary beliefs. They may try to sway you with shorter wait times or try to convince you that you will never find a match with these requirements, but stand strong. After all, is it worth pursuing a surrogacy journey that you will be unhappy with and ashamed of?

We know selective reduction and termination can be a sensitive topic in any surrogacy journey. That’s why we encourage you to contact our specialists anytime for more information. They can help you understand the logistics of your decision and choose the path that is best for your desires moving forward.

5 Tips for Talking to Family About Surrogacy: Surrogates

When it comes to the holiday season, nothing can be as fun as catching up with loved ones you haven’t seen in a while. But, when you’ve recently made the decision to become a surrogate, these family gatherings can hold another purpose — telling your family about your upcoming surrogacy journey.

But, how do you casually drop into conversation that you’re going to become a gestational carrier?

American Surrogacy is always here to help. When you work with our agency, you can always prepare for these conversations with the help of your surrogacy specialist. In the meantime, check out some tips to prepare yourself below.

1. Clear up misconceptions about surrogacy.

First, you should remember that not everyone is as well-versed in the surrogacy process as you are. You’ve likely spent a great deal of time researching gestational surrogacy before you applied with an agency. Remember the confusion and misconceptions you had before? Your loved ones probably have similar thoughts.

If you are planning to share your news with family, you should be prepared to educate them about the process. Don’t just drop your news casually into your conversation; follow it up with a basic explanation of what this journey will mean for you. Explain that you and the intended parents were fully screened before starting, that you will be compensated for your services, and that the baby you will carry will not be related to you.

A basic understanding of the process will go a long way to helping your loved ones get excited about your announcement.

2. Explain your reasoning for becoming a surrogate.

Many times, when surrogates share their news with family members, they are met with the same response: “Why didn’t you tell us you were financially struggling? We could have helped!”

Unfortunately, many people unfamiliar with the surrogacy process believe women choose this path only for the compensation. It’s a myth that persists, despite education otherwise. You can play an important role in teaching your loved ones about the reality of your situation.

Be confident in explaining your reasoning for this path. Talk about your love of motherhood and how you want to help someone else experience that. Mention how much you love being pregnant and how you want to use your healthy uterus to aid someone who can’t have a child on their own.

3. Give your loved ones a chance to ask questions.

When you share your surrogacy announcement at a family get-together, you’ll be able to answer many of our loved ones’ questions at the same time. It can save you from having to answer the same questions over and over again if you tell everyone individually.

However, keep in mind that you may receive some insensitive and ignorant comments and questions during this conversation. It will be likely be stuff that you’ve heard before and will continue to hear, so prepare yourself by doing your research.

Your surrogacy specialist can help by listing some of the most common responses you may get. She can also provide answers that you have ready-to-go when these questions inevitably come up.

4. Protect your intended parents’ privacy.

Some of the questions you get from your family and friends will likely be about the intended parents you’re carrying for. They are naturally curious about the family you are helping to create; in a way, they may seem like extended family to your loved ones.

While their interest is a sweet sentiment, your intended parents’ privacy should always come first. We encourage surrogates to talk with their intended parents prior to sharing news with family members. That way, they can both come up with a list of details they are comfortable telling others. The last thing you want is to break your intended parents’ trust by sharing private information with others.

Don’t be afraid to lean on the old “My surrogacy contract doesn’t let me talk about that” line if your family members won’t stop asking about details you’re uncomfortable sharing.

5. Share only what you’re comfortable with.

And, on that note, think hard about this conversation with family before you have it. What are you willing to tell them? Which details do they need not know?

What you decide to share during this conversation is entirely up to you. Surrogacy is an exciting journey but it is also an intimate one. While you may want to share your announcement with family members, you may not want to share every detail – and that’s OK. Your loved ones should understand and support you, no matter what.

We know the holiday season can heighten family relationships and get-togethers. So, whether you’re dreading or looking forward to this conversation about surrogacy, know that your surrogacy specialist is here to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out today to prepare for sharing your surrogacy news.

5 Tips for Talking to Your Family About Surrogacy: Intended Parents

The holiday season — a time of family reunions, good food, and catching up after months or years apart.

As much as we love our families there’s one thing we can agree upon — sometimes, they can be a bit nosy. It makes sense; they haven’t seen you in a while, and they want to know what’s going on in your life. But, when you’re an intended parent, you often can’t easily just drop “surrogacy” into a conversation and move onto the next topic.

You may be a bit overwhelmed about the potential surrogacy conversations awaiting you during the holidays. How can you share your surrogacy news without having to answer the same questions and address the same comments over and over again?

Your surrogacy specialist can always help you prepare for these conversations when you call them at 1-800-875-BABY(2229). In the meantime, we’ve created this guide to help you make the most of your family gatherings this holiday season.

1. Only share what you are comfortable sharing.

The first rule of talking about surrogacy with family members? That you are always in charge of the amount of information you want to share.

Surrogacy is an exciting journey, to be sure, but it can also be a very private one. You and your surrogate are taking a path together that few people do. It’s a journey that you will both remember for the rest of your life. It also requires trust in each other, as you will participate in intimate procedures together.

The exact details of your surrogacy journey may be something you want to keep in between you and your surrogate — or, you may be excited to share them with family and friends. The decision will always be up to you. Consider talking to your surrogate prior to the holidays to create a plan of what you will both share with loved ones.

Don’t let any family members or friends try to pressure you into sharing information you’re not comfortable with. If all else fails, falling back on the old “I’ve signed a privacy contract and can’t discuss anything more” should put a pause on your loved ones’ questions.

2. Keep your cool.

Surrogacy can be a complicated topic for many people, especially those who have no experience in or prior knowledge of how it works. When you choose to share details of your family-building journey with your loved ones, you may or may not get the reaction you are hoping for. Either way, you should be prepared for the next steps.

If your family members react negatively to your news, take a deep breath. Remind yourself that this is not their choice to make and that the only one you need to answer to will be your future child. You have to do what is right for you.

Think about what you’ll do if someone questions your decision or responds negatively. Do you have a way to change the topic quickly? Are you comfortable saying something like, “I appreciate your concern, but we’ve already made our decision, and nothing you say will change it”? Talk to your surrogacy specialist for more tips for unsupportive family and friends.

3. Show your pride in your decision.

In many cases, your friends and family will mirror your own emotions about surrogacy. So, if they see you are excited and proud of this path you are taking, they will likely feel the same way. They may have their misgivings about the surrogacy process, but when they see you are so thrilled about this family-building process, they will be excited for you.

While friends and family may be saddened about your path to this decision, especially if you’ve dealt with infertility, try to put a brave face on and tell them everything happens for a reason. Yes, your infertility journey was difficult, but if you can look at it with a positive view, they might, too.

4. Be prepared to answer questions and explain your decision.

Not everyone will be as well-versed in the surrogacy process as you. So, when you announce you are following this path, you should be ready to explain exactly what surrogacy is and how it will work. You’ll likely want to clear up any misconceptions about the process. Explain that your surrogate is heavily screened before being approved, that she will get compensated for her services, and that your baby will not be genetically related to her.

It’s a good idea to research the commonly asked questions about surrogacy so you are prepared with the right answers before this conversation.

5. Set expectations and boundaries early on.

It can be a good idea to prime your loved ones on your surrogacy decision before you even meet in person. That way, you can let them know what aspects of the journey you are comfortable talking about – and save yourself from being bombarded as soon as you walk through the door.

Consider sending out a mass email or text: “Hi, everyone! We’re excited to see you at dinner, and we have some exciting news: We’re pursuing surrogacy! We’re happy to answer your questions when we see you, but please keep in mind we cannot talk about (our surrogate/compensation and finances/etc.) per our surrogacy agreement. We look forward to seeing you!”

Not only will this heads-up help your loved ones process your news, but it gives them time to look into surrogacy and complete some basic research, if they so desire.

Want more tips on sharing your news with your loved ones? Contact your surrogacy specialist today.

Can You Be a Surrogate if You Have a Family Member with Disabilities?

Surrogates come from all different types of life circumstances — and why shouldn’t they? The desire to help another person become a parent is one that transcends all demographics, and it’s an admirable choice for every woman who follows this path.

If you are thinking of becoming a surrogate, you probably have a lot of questions about your eligibility. And, if you’ve come to this article, you are probably asking a big one: Can I be a surrogate if my spouse or child has mental or physical disabilities?

There are some important considerations to make with this kind of situation, but it’s not an automatic disqualifier for your surrogacy dreams. We’d encourage you to contact our surrogacy specialists at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) for more information. Our team will be happy to evaluate your situation and answer your questions to help you make the best decision for your family.

In the meantime, if your spouse or child has disabilities, here are a few things you’ll want to consider before moving forward with the surrogacy process:

The Amount of Care Your Family Member Needs

As you probably know, there is a lot of variation when it comes to the severity of disabilities. Ultimately, your ability to become a surrogate will depend on the severity your family is affected by your family member’s special needs.

Being a surrogate requires a lot of time and energy. You will need to attend regular doctor’s appointments and maintain a relationship with your intended parents. And don’t forget how difficult pregnancy can be — you should be prepared to be more physically exhausted than normal during those nine months.

So, how will your family member’s disabilities impact your pregnancy?

It all depends on how much your family member relies on you in their day-to-day life. If their disabilities are minimal, and they can mostly take care of themselves independently, their condition likely won’t cause problems in your surrogacy journey. However, if your daily routine involves 24/7 care (including physically moving or restraining your family member), pregnancy will make those responsibilities much harder.

In general, the more severe your family member’s disabilities, the less likely you will be able to become a surrogate. While your desire to help another family is generous, your own family must always come first.

How Intended Parents May Feel About Your Situation

As you consider the surrogacy journey, remember that intended parents have a say, too. Intended parents are able to choose the surrogate candidate they are comfortable with, and that includes a home environment where their unborn baby will be safe and well cared for.

Understandably, a surrogate whose family member has disabilities may give them pause. They may be concerned about the safety of a surrogate’s pregnancy if she is physically and emotionally caring for her child 24/7. They might also worry about the stability of the household; for example, abrupt changes in a chronic medical condition can put a lot of financial and emotional stress on a family. To have this happen during a surrogate pregnancy would be overwhelming for all involved.

If you are eligible to be a surrogate but care for a child or spouse with special needs, your surrogacy specialist will always be honest about your situation with prospective intended parents. You should be prepared to answer questions from the intended parents about your plans for family care during your journey (more on that below) and how you plan to commit yourself to the surrogacy process with your other obligations.

Finding intended parents to work with may take a little longer but, if you are approved through our agency, our surrogacy specialists will work with you to find the perfect match, however long it takes.

What Preparations You’ll Need to Make

If you are eligible for the surrogacy process and understand the extra requirements of choosing this path with a disabled family member, your surrogacy specialist will be there to help. Before you can be matched with intended parents and create a legal surrogacy contract, you will need to make a plan for your upcoming surrogacy journey.

Because of your unique situation, you will need to consider how your spouse or child with disabilities will get the care they need during your pregnancy. As a surrogate, you will need to be committed to the partnership with intended parents; you can’t be solely focusing on your family member when you’re carrying someone else’s baby.

So, before you get started, you and your surrogacy specialist will make a plan based on these questions:

  • Who will care for your spouse or child when you attend doctor’s appointments?
  • What will happen if you are placed on bedrest during the last few months of your pregnancy?
  • Who will care for your family member if you have to travel overnight to the intended parents’ fertility clinic?
  • What steps will you take if your family member has a health scare during your surrogacy journey?
  • Who will take over your personal responsibilities when pregnancy makes it difficult or dangerous to carry them out?
  • Who will be your support system should you need last-minute assistance?

Just because your family member has certain disabilities doesn’t mean you are automatically disqualified from surrogacy. To find out if gestational surrogacy is right for, please reach out to our specialists today.