The Importance of Compromise in Surrogacy

Becoming an intended parent or a surrogate is an exciting journey unlike any other. Before you know it, all the hard work, patience and care that you’ve put into this process will finally pay off.

But before you get to that exciting step, you’ll need to focus on your relationship between one another. Surrogacy is not a solo activity, and it’s important to deepen the bond that will last throughout this entire process.

With that being said, you may be in a situation where you’re having trouble compromising with your surrogacy partner. When one party wants the surrogacy process to go a certain way but the other can’t let go of their plans, what should you do?

This a tough question to answer, but it’s not impossible. We understand that everyone wants to have their individual needs met during this important journey.

At the end of the day, however, surrogacy is a partnership. And, just like in any relationship, it’s all about compromise. You may not get everything you want, but what you will get is an life-changing journey made possible by flexibility and mutual respect.

If you’re feeling frustrated during your surrogacy journey, it’s important to look at the situation from the other perspective and to communicate your needs. To help both parties come to an understanding, here are some things that everyone should know about compromise in surrogacy.

What Intended Parents Should Know

When you’re an intended parent, there are a lot of decisions that will be out of your control. This may be the hardest part about the journey altogether. It’s up to you to accept this and move forward for a successful surrogacy process.

Have faith that your surrogate knows what she’s doing and that she understands how important this process is. At the end of the day, you’re not the one carrying your child — so you’ll need to trust your surrogacy partner and her desires.

Please remember that it takes so much to become a surrogate. Helping hopeful parents grow their family takes considerable time and energy, and it comes with its own potential risks. Every pregnancy can take a physical toll on a body, and a surrogate pregnancy is no different.

When it comes to things like birth plans, prenatal care expectations and the timeline of the process, you may need make some sacrifices and lower your expectations. We know that you want to be involved in everything, but at the end of the day, you will need to take a step back and let your surrogate handle a few aspects of the process on her own.

Try to keep yourself busy and focus on your favorite things during her pregnancy. Use your free time to get reacquainted with some of your favorite hobbies and hang out with dear friends and family. The more time you spend thinking about things you enjoy, the less time you’ll be stressed out the pregnancy and how your baby is doing.

You should also take this time to focus on building and maintaining a relationship with your surrogate. Try to connect with her feelings; spend some time researching what it really takes to become a surrogate and everything that comes with this selfless decision. Putting yourself in her shoes will make your relationship that much stronger.

What Surrogates Should Know

It’s not easy being a surrogate, but you should always keep in mind the intended parents’ perspective, especially if they want to be involved in every little detail.

The countless questions might feel a little nosy, but try to understand where they’re coming from. For an intended parent, there is just so much out of their control. More likely than not, they’ve already been through several IVF treatments before deciding to pursue surrogacy. For them, this has been a lifelong dream in the making, and it can be tough to put their hopes and dreams in someone else’s hands.

Intended parents are thrilled that their dreams of having a baby are finally coming true. But, on the other hand, they’re probably feeling helpless, out of control, and left out of the loop. They may have different expectations for pregnancy and prenatal care than you, and that can be frustrating. However, remember that this baby you’re carrying is not yours — and you may have to compromise to put the intended parents at ease.

The intended parents may request that you take a variety of prenatal pills and get more exercise than you have in previous pregnancies. Your hospital preferences may not match up initially, either. Maybe you’ve only had natural, at-home births for your previous pregnancies, but the intended parents are much more comfortable with a hospital delivery. Remember that surrogacy is a partnership; you’ll need to find a compromise that everyone is comfortable with.

The important thing is to be flexible. Communicate with the intended parents to figure out what works for everyone. If something isn’t working for you, it’s important to be honest.

It may help to maintain boundaries in your relationship with the intended parents. Let them know they need to take a step back if you feel overwhelmed at their involvement. If it gets to be too much, you can always ask your surrogacy specialist for advice and support.

The Journey Ahead

We know that it won’t be easy to make some sacrifices along the way. But we promise all of your hard work will be worth it in the end.

If you can’t understand where your surrogacy partner is coming from, you can always ask your surrogacy specialist to help mediate. After all, that’s what they’re there for — to ensure a positive and respectful surrogacy partnership and journey.

Top 5 Pregnancy Apps for Intended Parents

When you’re an intended parent, making sure your baby is healthy is your top concern. But if you’re not the one carrying your child, you might be wondering how you can stay involved and not feel left out of this important process.

Enter pregnancy apps.

These tools are some of the best and easiest ways to keep everyone in the loop on the baby’s development and the surrogate’s experience. On top of being able to track the actual pregnancy, these apps also offer educational resources for parents before, during and after the big arrival.

Simply put: They’re perfect for any new parent, even those having a child via gestational surrogacy.

Is a Pregnancy App Right for Me?

Before we get into our suggested list, we should talk about when to use a pregnancy app.

As we mentioned earlier, these apps can be extremely helpful for involving intended parents in the pregnancy experience. They’re also one of the best ways to understand how your surrogate is feeling as the baby develops. And while many of them aren’t geared specifically toward surrogacy, they’re still a great way to feel connected to your baby, even if you’re not the one carrying him or her.

Keep in mind, however, that not all intended parents like using pregnancy apps — which is completely understandable. If you’re not carrying your child, you may not want to be reminded of the pregnancy milestones you’re missing out on. If you’d like to try it out, you can download a few; if they’re not what you’re looking for, there’s no harm in deleting them.

Ultimately, the decision to use a pregnancy app or not is entirely up to you. And, before you decide to use one, it might be helpful to make sure everyone is on board.

5 Pregnancy Apps to Consider

If you’ve been on the app store recently, you’ve probably noticed how many pregnancy apps there are to choose from. It’s a little overwhelming, to say the least.

To make your decision a little easier, we’ve listed five of the best pregnancy apps for intended parents to download.

1. Ovia Pregnancy Tracker

If you’re looking for an app that has a little bit of everything, from pregnancy to parenthood, this is a great one to check out!

There are tons of pregnancy articles to read through, along with tips for your gestational surrogate. The app also tells you about your surrogate’s body changes, the baby’s developments and fun baby tidbits. It also includes a quick pregnancy health assessment, so that you and your surrogate can be reassured that everything is going as planned.

Ovia also offers another app called Ovia Parenting: Baby Tracker, Breastfeeding Timer that may prove useful to new parents once the big day arrives.

2. BabyCenter: Pregnancy Tracker + Countdown to Baby Due Date

If you’ve been looking for pregnancy apps for a while, then you’ve probably come across the website BabyCenter.

A great resource for gestational surrogates and intended parents, this website offers personalized recommendations to help track your baby’s development. It also has a thriving community where you can find answers to some of the most important topics on pregnancy and the baby’s health.

Naturally, their app has some great information, as well. Like the name implies, the BabyCenter app counts down until your baby’s due date. Similar to the Ovia Parenting app, it’s filled with tips and videos for each stage of your gestational surrogate’s pregnancy. It also offers daily parenting advice, and you can keep track of all your baby’s firsts through the daily calendar.

3. What to Expect: Pregnancy & Baby Tracker

One of the most helpful book series for parents-to-be — “What to Expect When You’re Expecting — now has a fantastic and convenient app to go with it.

Stuffed with helpful information, this app offers everything from daily reads to keep you informed to health tips as your surrogate progresses through the pregnancy. And, if you’ve already bought the book, this app is a great companion to keep on your phone and on the go.

4. The Bump Pregnancy Countdown

This app offers daily updates for pregnancy, along with updates for after the baby arrives. You can also find baby coupons and other savings in the perks section. There are also tons of helpful articles and product reviews, along with tools and resources for your gestational surrogate during the pregnancy.

Unlike other apps on this list, The Bump Pregnancy Countdown offers a 3D visualization of the baby’s growth, which is pretty cool to see if you’re curious.

5. ProDaddy

If you’re an intended father, then you’re probably looking for apps that have you in mind. The ProDaddy app, a pregnancy app just for dads, is just that.

With bite-sized weekly tips, Daddy Deep Dives about complex topics, and Products for ProDads, this tool is great for just about every new dad. Each article is a quick read, so it should only take you a few minutes to get through each one.

Did you find any apps on this list that you’re interested in trying out? Remember, there are plenty of pregnancy apps to choose from. Do some research to find one that works best for you and your gestational surrogate, and enjoy the experience ahead!

7 Things Grandparents Need to Know About Surrogacy

Happy (early) Grandparents Day! The role a grandparent plays in the life of their children and grandchildren is indispensible. Comfort, joy, security, and peace — these are all things a grandparent can provide in a unique way.

And for this year’s Grandparents Day on Sunday, we want to specifically speak to those with grandchildren who became a part of the family through the surrogacy process, or who will soon be a part of the family through this journey.

We know — surrogacy can be a bit confusing. You’re probably wondering how it all works, and if there’s anything different you need to do to be the best grandparent possible.

We’re sure you are going to be a great grandparent, especially once you have an even better understanding of surrogacy. So, without further ado, here are seven things every grandparent needs to know about surrogacy.

Your children considered all their options.

Is your child in the process of becoming a parent through surrogacy? It may seem like an odd choice. You may not really “get it.” What about adoption? Or foster care?

It’s completely understandable to have questions. However, you should be aware that asking could sound like an accusation or disapproval.

Anyone starting the surrogacy process has thoroughly considered all of their options. If this is what your child has chosen, then they did it intentionally. Rather than question (even with good intentions), it’s best to stick to support and encouragement.

There’s a difference between questioning the process and asking questions about the process.

With that said, we don’t want to stifle your curiosity! It’s expected that you’d have questions about how surrogacy works. This is different than questioning the method itself.

It’s okay to ask about the process. This shows your interest and makes it clear that you are going to be invested.

Your grandchild could be biologically related to you.

There are two types of surrogacy: traditional and gestational. The vast majority of modern surrogacies are gestational. That means both the egg and sperm are combined through IVF, and the surrogate’s eggs are not used in the process. The surrogate is not biologically related to the child.

Some intended parents turn to donors for viable sperm and eggs. Others are able to use their own. This means that in a gestational surrogacy, your grandchild could have a biological connection to you. Either way, though, they are still your grandchild!

The surrogacy process can be challenging.

Intended parents have to work through a lot of complicated emotions and endure long periods of waiting during the process. It can be difficult. Reach out and check on them — offer to make dinners, host a movie night, or really anything that could pick them up.

The surrogate is an important piece of the journey, both then and now.

The surrogate is on the other side of the surrogacy process from the intended parents. It may be an awkward relationship to think about, but she is an important piece of the process and could remain a part of the family’s life moving forward. Consider how you can be kind and welcoming to her during (and after) this process.

Your grandchild should hear their surrogacy story.

You know those old tropes about keeping adoption secret, like it’s something to be ashamed of? You’ve probably seen it in movies and TV shows. Well, it’s completely wrong. And just like adoption stories, surrogacy stories are something to be shared early and often.

The parents take on the primary responsibility of teaching their child about their surrogacy story. When you are grandparents of a child via surrogacy, ask the parents how you can help. They may have good books to read at bedtime when the kids stay over, or helpful answers for questions they’ve been asking lately. Try to familiarize yourself with talking about surrogacy, especially at age-appropriate levels.

You have a lot to be proud of.

Your children made a brave decision to pursue surrogacy. They chose the best route for them to fulfill their dreams of becoming parents. It took dedication and strength, as they faced plenty of frustrations and challenges along the way.

Whether you are grandparents already or grandparents-to-be, you have a lot to be proud of. That’s something to be thankful for on this Grandparents Day.

3 Things Surrogates Can Expect at Ultrasound Appointments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s that all about?

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

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

3. There may be several awkward moments.

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

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

Understanding Intended Parents’ Feelings at the Ultrasound

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

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

Speak With Your Specialist

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

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

What You Should Know About Ultrasound Appointments: Intended Parent

The surrogacy process can sometimes feel like an out-of-body experience for intended parents. You walk through all the steps of a pregnancy, witness the ups and downs of the trimesters, follow along with prenatal care, prepare for delivery and everything else — except it’s not your body.

Yet, intended parents can still feel the emotions as if it is their pregnancy, or something close to it. Along with this, there’s a confusing mix of emotions that are distinct to this unique position as an intended parent in the surrogacy process.

Perhaps no step of the journey will illustrate this emotional cocktail better than the ultrasound appointments. A big moment in any pregnancy and in your surrogacy process, these appointments can usher in a confusing wave of emotions.

If you are considering surrogacy as an intended parent or already part of the process, here’s what you need to know about ultrasound appointments, as well as a few tips for enjoying this beautiful part of your journey.

Preparing for Ultrasound Appointments

There are plenty of steps in the process before you get to the ultrasound — too many to cover in-depth here. Instead, we’ll skip to the beginning of the medical process.

As an intended parent, you’ll work together with the surrogate (according to the parameters in your surrogacy contract) to pick a medical provider for these steps of the process.

The surrogate will go through intensive screening, a mock cycle, preparation for the embryonic transfer, the embryonic transfer and a confirmation of pregnancy before the six-week ultrasound. If that sounds like a lot, well, it is! Don’t worry; your surrogacy specialist will be working as hard as possible to make sure everything goes according to plan.

Once the pregnancy is confirmed, it’ll be time to schedule the six-week ultrasound with the fertility clinic. Depending on your fertility clinic, there may be a second ultrasound appointment at 12 weeks before prenatal care fully transfers to the OBGYN. Once in the care of the OBGYN, there will be several more ultrasound appointments.

It will be up to you how many of the ultrasound appointments to attend. If your surrogate lives close by, this will be easier to plan. If you have to travel, then you will need to decide what the cost and time is worth.

What to Expect During Ultrasound Appointments

The practical preparation for ultrasound appointments is relatively straightforward. The emotional work you’ll need to do before, during and after can be more challenging.

When you’re an intended parent, these are some of the strong emotions you should expect to feel when you’re present at ultrasound appointments:

Joy

That’s your child! Take this moment in. You’re getting a glimpse at the future of your family thanks to the wonders of modern medical technology. It’s a beautiful sight.

Jealousy

That’s quite a swing, isn’t it? We hate the feeling of jealousy. It makes us uncomfortable. But it’s actually a fairly common emotion for intended parents who, in many cases, spent years dreaming of this moment for themselves. Be aware that this feeling may come on unexpectedly and with force during the ultrasound appointments.

Confusion

Medical professionals are not always sure how to address a room with both the surrogate and intended parents present. Who to look at and speak to can be confusing, and it can create a tense dynamic. The doctor may address the surrogate when you feel they should be addressing you, or vice versa.

Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Ultrasound Appointments

These emotions and more are common. Not only that — they are normal and should be expected. Nothing you feel during the ultrasound appointments is inherently bad. The good or bad of the situation depends on your response.

It won’t be easy to process all of that on the fly. Here are a few things you can do to prepare yourself and get the most out of the ultrasound appointments:

Stay in close contact with your surrogacy specialist.

Your specialist is there to guide you through the process. From practical help preparing for appointments to emotional counseling during difficult times, call your specialist.

Have honest conversations with your partner (if applicable).

If you have a spouse or partner, are you on the same page with them? Unity and an understanding of the other’s mental state make it easier to support each other. Don’t hide some of the more uncomfortable emotions from your partner. Speak openly and often about how you’re feeling, especially before and after ultrasound appointments.

Prepare for uncomfortable feelings.

You are, in a sense, already doing this. By reading this article, you’re becoming aware of some of the challenging things to expect at ultrasound appointments. That means you can be prepared rather than caught off guard. Develop plans for how you’ll respond to feeling of sadness or jealousy to minimize the impact those emotions have on your experience.

Find ways to focus on the good feelings.

This is not to say that you should ignore or deny the more frustrating emotions. Instead, find ways to focus on the good ones that are also present in the moment.

Some people find practices like daily journaling or mindfulness practices helpful, or you can find breathing exercises to bring your emotions back under control in the moment. Anything that helps you is a good practice to develop.

Speak With Your Specialist

Your surrogacy specialist should be your most trusted resource during your process, and a complex step like the ultrasound appointments is a perfect example of why. Our specialists have experience guiding other intended parents through these challenging emotions, and they can help you, too.

Feeling nervous about your ultrasound appointments as an intended parent? Call your specialist today. Still considering surrogacy as a family-building option? Contact us online now to learn more, or call 1-800-875-BABY(2229).

Can I Have a Child After Being a Surrogate?

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

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

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

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

Can I Have a Child After Surrogacy?

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

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

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

Risks of Pregnancy After Surrogacy

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

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

The Medical Risks

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

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

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

The Emotional Risks

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

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

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

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

Advantages of Completing Your Family Before Surrogacy

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

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

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

Contact Us Today

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

How to Find Patience in the Surrogacy Journey

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

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

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

Finding Patience as an Intended Parent

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

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

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

Speak with your surrogacy specialist.

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

Remind yourself what you’re waiting for.

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

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

Find something else to do.

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

Finding Patience as a Surrogate

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

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

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

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

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

All those legal documents are really important.

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

Speak with your specialist.

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

Perspective: It Will Be Worth the Wait

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

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

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

8 Books Every Surrogate Needs to Read

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

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

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

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

Ready to start reading?

Everything Conceivable

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

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

Buy the book today.

Surrogacy Was the Way: Twenty Intended Mothers Tell Their Stories

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

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

Buy the book today.

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

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

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

Buy the book today.

Birthing a Mother: The Surrogate Body and the Pregnant Self

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

Buy the book today.

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

Books for Children About Surrogacy

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

Check out a few of these options:

Learn More

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

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

8 Books Every Intended Parent Needs to Read

Becoming an intended parent is a thrilling journey. It can also be complicated, especially if you are just getting started. There’s a lot to learn.

How does the surrogacy process work? How can you find a good surrogacy agency? What about attorneys? Oh, and how do you find a surrogate?

These questions and many more are likely dominating your mental space — as they should. They’re all important questions. In your search for answers, you can find plenty of great guides online to many aspects of surrogacy, the IVF process, parenting and more. But sometimes, it helps to go a bit deeper than articles online.

If you’re looking for more in-depth guides to all things surrogacy, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled this list of the best 8 books that any intended parent should consider reading.

Like what you see, or think we missed an important resource? Let us know in the comments, or contact us today.

Books About the Surrogacy Process

Surrogacy is growing in popularity as a family-building option in the U.S., but it’s still a path relatively few other parents have traveled. That means it can be difficult to find educational material about the process and everything that’s involved. These books help explain how surrogacy works, which can help you feel more confident and prepared for your own process.

Books for Parenting

Parenting is a joy and a challenge. Becoming a parent through the surrogacy process puts you in a unique position. You’ll encounter some of the classic parenting obstacles that everyone faces, and you’ll also have many unique conversations related to your child’s birth through surrogacy. Here are a few helpful books to prepare.

Books for the Surrogacy Relationship

Relationships can be complicated, and your relationship with your surrogate is no different. In fact, it can be even more challenging, since there’s no existing model or experience to rely on. How is this relationship supposed to go, and how can you make it a deep, meaningful friendship? We have one especially good book to recommend.

Books for Kids

It’s important to prepare for the ways you will teach your child about their birth via surrogacy. Thankfully, there are some great books that can help. Many intended parents have found these books to be useful tools in explaining surrogacy in an age-appropriate, positive way to young children.

Speak with a Specialist Today

Books and other educational guides are an important resource, but there’s nothing quite as helpful as speaking with a specialist. If you’re considering surrogacy and have questions about the process, let’s talk.

Contact us today to be connected with an experienced surrogacy specialist. We’d be happy to answer your questions and explain what it takes to begin the process.

7 Things People Never Tell You About Surrogacy

Gestational surrogacy can be a wonderful thing — but it’s also a process that can be full of surprises, especially for those who have never taken this journey. Whether you’re a gestational surrogate or intended parent, there’s a lot you need to know before you get started.

Knowing the basics is important before any surrogacy journey, but some nuances don’t always make it into the introductory packets. Every surrogacy is unique, but in our experience, there are a few key things that our clients are surprised to find out as they get started.

Our surrogacy specialists are always available to talk about these when you call us at 1-800-875-BABY(2229). In the meantime, read more about them below.

1. You’ll Gain Some New Family

Surrogacy involves a partnership between intended parents and gestational carriers. We match up our clients based on mutual preferences and desires for the surrogacy process and, for many of them, this is the basis for a healthy, trusting relationship. For those who embrace it, this partnership becomes a lot more.

More than likely, the surrogate or intended parent you work with will become your genuine friend. Because surrogacy is an intimate journey, you will learn a great deal about each other. You’ll lean on each other in the hard times and celebrate your successes. Even long after your surrogacy is complete, you may stay in regular touch with your partner and see them as a part of your extended family.

Take it from one of our former surrogates, Megan:

“I didn’t just have babies for somebody else; I gained an entire family through the whole process… It was the most rewarding thing in the entire world. I would do it all over again.”

2. You Might Have a Hard Time Bonding

If you’re an intended parent, you’ve been dreaming of the moment you first hold your child for a long time. But, when you have a child via surrogacy, it may not be exactly how you picture it — and your child’s first few months might be an adjustment, too.

Becoming a new parent is hard enough but, when you haven’t carried your own child for the last nine months, you may feel a bit of a disconnect. You may not have felt the overwhelming “true love” emotion after seeing your baby for the first time, and that’s completely normal.

Bonding with your baby may take more time and effort than you originally imagined. This doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent; it just means you took a unique journey to get where you are, and you need some time to adjust. Remember, your surrogacy specialist will always be there to answer your questions after surrogacy, too!

3. Not Everyone “Gets” Surrogacy

Because surrogacy is still a fairly new family-building option, there are a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings about it. You may be surprised to find out that your friends and family don’t completely understand the path you’re taking (and why you’re taking it). Don’t be shocked if you have to educate a few of your loved ones along the way.

Even with education, some people simply don’t “get” surrogacy and don’t support it. This can be hard to hear, but remember why you’re pursuing it and why this choice is important to you. At the end of the day, the only opinions that matter are yours and your surrogacy partner’s.

4. It’s Not Available Everywhere

Surrogacy is regulated by state in the U.S., so every state has different legislation on the process. Some states (like California and New York) are very surrogacy-friendly, with laws protecting all parties. Other states have loosely defined or no surrogacy laws at all, but surrogacy is still possible there.

Before you assume you can begin surrogacy in your state, talk to a professional like American Surrogacy or a local attorney. They can explain why surrogacy will look like where you live and what you can expect moving forward.

5. It’s Not an Easy Choice

Surrogacy isn’t simple. There are many moving parts, and all parties have to meet requirements before they can begin. Just like parents can’t “just adopt,” they can’t “just choose surrogacy.”

Intended parents often have to save for years to afford IVF and surrogacy costs, and they have to grieve their dreams of pregnancy before they can work with a surrogate. A gestational carrier must be medically approved to carry an intended parent’s child, and she must accept all the risks of pregnancy and surrogacy before deciding it’s right for her.

Simply put, there’s a lot involved in the choice to pursue surrogacy.

6. Every Journey is Different

You can read tons of articles about people’s surrogacy journeys, and we encourage you to! But the fact is that your surrogacy journey will be unique — and the only way to know what to expect is by speaking with a professional.

An intended parent’s or gestational carrier’s surrogacy plan is based on their own needs, preferences and goals. It involves the coordination of a reproductive endocrinologist, surrogacy lawyer and case manager. There’s no “one size fits all” in surrogacy. While stories from former intended parents and gestational carriers can be helpful, don’t trust that your journey will look exactly the same.

7. It’s a Lifelong Experience

Surrogacy is more than just the year or so you put into preparation and pregnancy. Surrogacy is a lifelong journey for all involved.

When you have a child via surrogacy, you will need to explain their surrogacy story honestly and proudly to them as they grow up. And, when you become a surrogate, you will likely think about the intended parents and their child for years to come. Many surrogacy partners even maintain lifelong friendships after their journey is complete.

So, before you pursue surrogacy, recognize how it will forever change your life — in a good way! Be prepared for what’s ahead, and you’ll be that much more likely to have a successful journey.

Want to learn more about surrogacy with our agency? Contact us online today.