Failure of Frozen Embryo Storage — What’s the Next Step?

Like many in the assisted reproductive technology world, American Surrogacy was extremely shocked and saddened to hear about the recent failure of two embryo cryopreservation and fertility clinics this week — putting more than 500 families’ dreams of having biological children at risk.

The Associated Press reported that a clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, and a clinic in San Francisco — both of which were storing thousands of frozen embryos — experienced failures in their storage tanks on March 4. Low amounts of liquid nitrogen in certain tanks may have damaged the cryopreserved embryos and eggs inside, and officials from the clinics are still investigating. It’s being reported as a “bad, bad, bad coincidence.”

For the families affected by these damages, it’s more than just a loss of the thousands of dollars they’ve spent on the in vitro fertilization process — it’s the loss of their opportunities to have a biological child. Knowing their loss will implement new backup measures and safety procedures for other couples may not be much of a comfort.

So, what is left for these families after their frozen embryo storage fails, and all the work they’ve put into freezing their embryos or eggs is for naught?

Fortunately, there are a few alternative family-building options still available.

Surrogacy with a Donated Gamete

Infertility is a tricky issue. While two-thirds of cases can be traced to reproductive issues from either the man or the woman in a couple, one-third of cases are either a combination of factors or un-diagnosable.

Intended parents who go through IVF and freeze embryos due to one partner’s reproductive problems could conceivably still have a biological child if their frozen embryos are compromised. They can create fresh embryos with a donated gamete. If an intended mother cannot carry a pregnancy safely to term (or if there is no intended mother), an intended parent can pursue surrogacy with that fresh embryo.

While surrogacy with fresh embryos is rarer than surrogacy with frozen embryos, medical professionals can still complete this process for those in need — such as intended parents whose plans of pursuing IVF with frozen embryos are compromised. If an egg or sperm donor is needed, a fertility clinic or donor bank can be used, and medical professionals will guide intended parents through this process.

So, why should those moving forward from the failure of freezing embryos choose surrogacy with a donated gamete?

  • It allows one intended parent to be genetically related to the baby.
  • It allows LGBT intended parents to have a genetically related child.
  • It protects an intended mother who cannot carry a pregnancy to term safely.
  • It allows intended parents to be involved with the development of their unborn baby, such as being there for ultrasounds and the birth of their child.

If you are interested in pursuing a fresh cycle transfer surrogacy with an inability to use your cryopreserved embryos, please contact American Surrogacy today. Our surrogacy specialists can discuss your situation and your options in depth to help you find the path that is right for you. Recovering from losses due to improper embryo freezing can be a difficult emotional and financial time, but our specialists are here to support you through it.


Surrogacy is not the right family-building option for everyone, especially for intended parents who have spent thousands of dollars previously freezing embryos and are cautious about spending more on assisted reproductive technologies. It’s a valid concern. While our surrogacy program guarantees you will have a baby, there is unfortunately no guarantee as to how many rounds this at-times-tricky process can take before success is found.

However, failed freezing of embryos does not mean a couple cannot become parents. After all, parenting is less about biological connection than it is about genuine care and proper raising of a child. This is why so many great potential parents turn to adoption — knowing that love is what truly makes a family, not genetics.

Hopeful parents can either choose a foster care adoption, an international adoption, or a private domestic infant adoption to add to their family. Many who desire to adopt a baby end up choosing the last path, and our sister agency American Adoptions can guide them through this process.

Adoption involves a pregnant woman choosing an adoptive family for her baby and, typically, maintaining some kind of open adoption contact as the baby grows up.

So, why do hopeful parents choose adoption after failed embryo cryopreservation?

  • They are comfortable having no genetic connection to their child.
  • They do not wish to spend thousands more dollars on assisted reproductive technologies.
  • They want to give a child in need a loving home with their family.
  • They are comfortable with and excited to have a relationship with their baby’s birth mother.

Many adoptive families have gone through infertility struggles before deciding on adoption, and adoption specialists are trained to counsel these families through the grief of the infertility process. To talk to a specialist about whether adoption is right for you, call 1-800-ADOPTION today.

Moving forward from a loss of frozen embryos — such as in the two notable clinic failures listed above— can be an emotionally difficult thing to do. Remember, just because you don’t have any frozen embryos does not mean you can’t be a parent.

There is a family-building path out there for you. Let us help you find it.

Get to Know Program Director Angie for National Social Work Month

For those who don’t know, March is National Social Work Month, and we’re taking this chance to highlight the amazing work that our social workers do within American Surrogacy. Surrogacy is a practically and emotionally challenging process, and we are proud to count trained and certified social workers as some of the critical professionals that guide our intended parents and surrogates through this family-building process.

One of our most important social workers here at American Surrogacy is Angie Newkirk, who works with surrogates and intended parents through every step of their surrogacy journey. As program director, she oversees every surrogate and intended parent that comes through our agency and makes sure that their surrogacy process meets their personal surrogacy goals and needs.

Learn a little bit more about Angie below! And, to speak with her about American Surrogacy’s program, please call 1-800-875-2229(BABY).

Angie Newkirk, American Surrogacy Program Director

Professional Background:

LBSW-Licensed Bachelor of Social Work.

“I worked with American Surrogacy’s sister agency American Adoptions since 2000 and moved over to American Surrogacy in 2014.”

How I Got to Be with American Surrogacy:

“I live in Kansas City and, while with American Adoptions, worked with birth mothers placing their children for adoption. After five years of this, I began to work with adoptive families.  In 2014 I was asked to help build American Surrogacy. I was so excited for the opportunity to offer another way to create families.”

Why I Love Working with American Surrogacy:

“In this profession of adoption and surrogacy, you hear a lot of heartbreaking stories from people and their journey to become parents.  It astonishes me how far science has come and the opportunity available to families who choose to use a gestational carrier — whether with their own embryo or the use of an egg or sperm donor. By the time they get to me, they have had a long journey and just want to become parents; they don’t care how. While I have never experienced infertility, I have been in this field for over 15 years so I have seen and understand the struggle many people go through to become biological parents.

“Surrogates, like birth mothers, are completely unselfish. Each one I talk to loves being pregnant and almost always has a story of a family or friend who struggled to get pregnant. They want to be able to help people become parents or add to their family. I adore working with surrogates!”

A Little More About Me:

I have two kids who are 9 and 12.  Most of my time is spent watching their activities such as baseball, basketball and soccer. I am a huge Royals fan and enjoy watching them play! In my spare time I enjoy binge watching a good drama on HBO or Netflix or curling up with a good book. In 2015, we rescued a 6-year-old dog who was abused and dumped, and I have been an avid dog lover ever since. I am very passionate about animal rescue, and as my kids get older and take up less of my time, I will volunteer for local rescue organizations.”

We would like to thank Angie and all other social workers around the country, no matter what their field, for all of their hard work in helping people through difficult points in their lives and advocating for those who may not otherwise have a voice. American Surrogacy and our sister agency American Adoptions could not be possible without the loving assistance of these professionals.

5 Tips for Dealing with Unsupportive Family and Friends as a Surrogate

Hopefully, everyone you tell about your decision to become a surrogate responds with warmth and excitement. But, because surrogacy is still a relatively new and commonly misunderstood practice, that’s not always a realistic expectation.

Instead, you may find that certain friends and family members respond with blank stares, hesitation or even ignorant or insensitive questions and comments: “Why would you want to do that? Won’t you get attached to the baby? Are you sure you’ve thought this through?”

Dealing with a lack of support from friends and family members can be disheartening for a hopeful surrogate. After all, your surrogacy support system will be integral to a positive surrogacy experience. So, with that in mind, here are five tips for getting unsupportive friends and family members on board with your surrogacy plan:

1. Break the news gently.

If you haven’t already told your family about your surrogacy decision, there are some tips you might consider before having the talk. For example, you might try slowly introducing the topic of surrogacy in casual conversation before announcing your news, or write out what you want to say and practice the conversation ahead of time. Your surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy can always help you navigate that first conversation and anticipate common questions and concerns that friends or family members might raise.

2. Educate them.

Surrogacy is a complicated process, and if the concept of surrogacy is new to your family, it’s one they probably haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about. Oftentimes, a friend’s or relative’s lack of support for your surrogacy decision actually stems from a lack of understanding.

Take the time to explain how surrogacy actually works and address any concerns your friends or family might have about your safety, your relationship to the baby or other aspects of the surrogacy process. Share helpful articles and resources that address common misconceptions about surrogacy. The more your friends and family members know about the journey you’re taking, the more comfortable they will be with the idea.

3. Give them your reasons.

If you’re serious about making the big commitments required of a surrogate, you probably have some pretty compelling reasons why. Maybe you’ve dreamed for years of helping a couple who has struggled with infertility finally add to their family. Maybe you really want to experience pregnancy one last time, even though your own family is already complete — and, on top of that, maybe you know that your surrogate compensation would be a big step toward that down payment you’ve been saving for.

Whatever surrogacy means to you, make sure to let your friends and family members know. Once they better understand the benefits of surrogacy and how important this experience is to you, they’ll be more likely to support and respect your surrogacy decision.

4. Ask for their support.

It sounds simple, but letting your friends and family members know how much their support will mean to you can make a big difference. Be specific: Ask your mom if she would be willing to babysit during doctor’s appointments or if you can count on your siblings for a lunch date when you’re having a hard day. By proactively asking for support and involving them in the process, you can help friends and family members feel more a part of your surrogacy team.

5. Focus on what matters.

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, there will be certain friends and family members who just won’t understand or accept your surrogacy decision — and that’s okay. Your spouse’s support is critical to the surrogacy process, but in most cases, involving other friends and family members is optional.

If surrogacy is truly important to you, you may decide to move forward with the process even if there are a handful of people in your life who don’t love the idea. Who knows? Once they see the baby you help bring into the world and the difference you make in the lives of intended parents, they might just come around.

If you’re struggling with unsupportive friends or family members as a surrogate, you can always contact American Surrogacy at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) for additional support and advice.

3 Things to Know About Surrogacy Insurance

Insurance can be a tricky thing to navigate during any pregnancy — and surrogacy further complicates the issue. Whether you’re a surrogate or intended parent, you’re not alone if you’re wondering exactly how surrogacy insurance works.

Fortunately, the specialists at American Surrogacy are familiar with the intricacies of surrogacy insurance and can help answer your questions when you contact us at 1-800-875-2229(BABY). In the meantime, here are three things you need to know about insurance coverage for surrogate pregnancies.

1. Coverage varies from company to company.

As surrogacy has become increasingly common, insurance companies have become more selective regarding the types of pregnancies they will cover. Whether a surrogate’s pregnancy will be covered by her health insurance today depends entirely on her individual policy.

As part of our surrogate screening process, American Surrogacy will conduct an insurance review for every prospective surrogate who joins our agency. If her insurance includes a surrogacy exclusion (as many policies today do), the intended parents she is matched with may need to purchase a supplemental insurance policy to cover the costs of her pregnancy.

It’s important to note that if you are a surrogate, your pregnancy costs will always be covered for you, regardless of your insurance situation.

2. In vitro fertilization costs may be covered.

Even in cases where a surrogate’s medical expenses cannot be covered by insurance, some insurance companies will cover infertility treatments up to a certain amount. This means that for some intended parents, insurance will cover the costs of the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process to create embryos.

Intended parents should check with their insurance company to learn whether IVF treatments may be covered by their plan. In some states, this coverage is mandated — but only for employers with certain plans and of certain sizes.

If you live in a state where infertility coverage is not mandated, or if your state’s mandate doesn’t apply to your specific situation, whether IVF will be covered by your insurance depends entirely on your individual policy.

3. A supplemental plan may be necessary.

Because many insurance plans today do not cover surrogate pregnancies, it is common for intended parents to purchase a supplemental surrogacy insurance policy. Companies like ART Risk Financial and New Life Agency offer surrogacy insurance plans that can be purchased to cover a surrogate’s medical costs.

While these additional surrogacy insurance costs can be expensive, they can also offer great peace of mind throughout the medical process and pregnancy — both for surrogates and intended parents. Hopeful parents should carefully research surrogacy insurance (as well as other surrogacy financing options) so they can be fully prepared for the costs ahead.

For more information about surrogacy insurance, contact your insurance representative or a financial advisor. You can also learn more about how our program addresses surrogacy insurance issues by calling 1-800-875-2229(BABY) or contacting us online.

25 Books About Surrogacy for Read Across America Day

Today, March 2, is Read Across America Day — and, to get in the spirit, we’ve gathered some of the best surrogacy books available to put on your reading list now and for months to come.

Whether you’re looking for books to share with your children or informational books to help you learn more about the surrogacy process, celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday with some suggestions below.

Surrogacy Books for Children

Books can be a great way to introduce the idea of surrogacy to children in an age-appropriate way. Here are some you may consider:

Surrogacy Books for Adults

If you’re looking to learn more about the surrogacy process, either as an intended parent or a prospective surrogate, you may consider these titles:

Remember, if you ever want to learn more about surrogacy, you can talk to the specialists at American Surrogacy anytime. We can answer any questions you have about this family-building process and, when you’re ready, start you on a journey to meet your personal surrogacy goals.

Contact our agency today at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) or submit our online form here.

5 Places to Find Intended Parent Support Groups

Whether you’re waiting to be matched with the perfect surrogate, you’re dealing with the stress of screening processes and legal contracts, or you’re anxiously waiting for the next pregnancy update from the woman carrying your baby — it can sometimes feel like no one quite understands what you’re going through as an intended parent.

Even the most supportive friends and family members probably don’t have a lot of experience with surrogacy, and sometimes you just want to talk to someone who is (or has been) in the same position you’re in right now. Getting support from other intended parents can be extremely valuable — but finding that support isn’t always easy.

Fortunately, surrogacy is becoming an increasingly popular way for hopeful parents to add to their families, which means there is a growing community of intended parents worldwide. Thanks to the magic of the internet, you can connect with all of them online.

However, it’s important to use caution when joining an online support group. While these groups can have tremendous value, you can’t always trust everything you read online. Remember that some information posted in surrogacy support groups may be inaccurate or inapplicable to your personal surrogacy situation.

When in doubt, you can always talk to the specialists at American Surrogacy by calling 1-800-875-2229 (BABY). They can recommend good support resources for intended parents like you and can verify (or correct) the information you read online. Your surrogacy specialist is also always available to provide the counseling, support and accurate information you need.

In the meantime, here are a few places you can go to find intended parent support groups online:

1. All About Surrogacy

All About Surrogacy is an online community of intended parents, surrogates and egg donors where members can pose questions, share their personal experiences and connect with each other through surrogacy forums.

2. All Things Surrogacy

This private Facebook group gives intended parents, surrogates and egg donors the chance to connect with each other and swap stories and advice in a confidential way.

3. BabyCenter Community

There are several surrogacy-related groups within the BabyCenter Community, including groups specifically for intended parents seeking advice and support from other IPs.


RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, offers a directory of local, peer-led support groups for parents who have struggled with infertility. While many of these groups are not specific to surrogacy, intended parents may still find them helpful.


Intended parents may also be able to find in-person support through Meetups groups. In addition to intended-parent-specific Meetups, you may find a sense of community through general surrogacy, infertility and LGBT parenting groups.

Remember, you don’t have to go through the surrogacy process alone. If you need help finding intended parent support, contacting your surrogacy specialist is a great place to start. Call 1-800-875-2229(BABY) any time you need surrogacy information, counseling or help finding additional support resources.

Why Aren’t Surrogacy Agencies Regulated?

Often, intended parents and surrogates ask, “Why aren’t surrogacy agencies regulated?” Knowing that other family-building organizations like private infant adoption agencies and foster care agencies undergo annual review and scrutiny from official government organizations, they may be wary of the fact that surrogacy agencies don’t have this same certification process.

So, how do you know surrogacy agencies are safe if they don’t have this same certification? And why aren’t surrogacy agencies subject to the same scrutiny as other family-building professionals?

The most important thing to know is that just because a surrogacy agency isn’t regulated doesn’t mean it’s a poor choice for your family-building process. Before passing judgement on the lack of regulation, it’s important to recognize exactly why the surrogacy professional field is this way.

It’s Not Because They Don’t Want to Be

You may think that surrogacy agencies take advantage of the lack of regulation: charging whatever they like, offering as many (or as few) services as they deem acceptable, and generally looking out for themselves rather than their clients. And while this may be true with a few organizations, this could not be farther from the mark for most of the surrogacy agencies that exist today.

The best surrogacy agencies today are made up of professionals who have already made their living in the family-building process as trained social workers, medical professionals, lawyers and more. Coming from these fields, they are used to regulation and set internal standards for themselves and their agency. In fact, many of these professionals would welcome a universal regulation and certification process to add credibility to their organization and stand out from the rest. Some professionals today are even advocating for a regulation process for surrogacy agencies.

It’s Because Surrogacy is New and Rapidly Advancing

Unlike other family-building processes like adoption, surrogacy is still a fairly new way of bringing children into a family. Because surrogacy is so heavily based in science, rapid developments in how infertility is treated and the embryo transfer process itself has made it difficult to set standards. If they were to be set, they would have to be constantly updated to reflect the changes in the field.

However, the best surrogacy agencies (like American Surrogacy) stay up-to-date on these changes and reflect them in their programs and the professionals they choose. While national regulation at this point would be incredibly difficult due to these continual changes (not to mention vastly different state laws), the self-regulation that surrogacy agencies perform is an effective way of incorporating modern updates.

How You Can Choose a Professional You Can Trust

Just because a surrogacy agency is not regulated doesn’t mean there is no way of determining whether their program is professional and up-to-date. One of the best ways to determine a surrogacy agency can provide the professional guidance you need is by learning what kind of licensed services they do provide. When considering a surrogacy agency, look for the following:

Of course, it’s always a good idea to speak with former and current clients of a surrogacy agency for their opinion on whether the services offered by the professional meet your personal needs and preferences.

Here at American Surrogacy, our surrogacy specialists are licensed social workers and we only work with professional, licensed surrogacy attorneys and medical professionals. Contact us today to learn more about how we keep our surrogacy program up-to-date, safe and regulated in the best interest of our surrogates and intended parents.

10 Things Intended Parents Wish They Knew Before Their Surrogacy

If you’re an intended parent considering surrogacy, you have a big decision to make. Surrogacy can be complicated, and it’s important that you completely understand what you are signing up for when you commit to this kind of family-building process. While your surrogacy professional can always provide the information you need to start, it may be helpful to speak to other parents who have gone through the surrogacy process, as well.

When you contact the surrogacy specialists at American Surrogacy, they can help connect you to parents who are either in the surrogacy process or have already completed it. That way, you can learn the ins and outs of the process and know what to expect if you choose to pursue this path.

To help you better understand what your surrogacy may be like, here are 10 things that other intended parents wish they had known before they started the surrogacy process for the first time.

1. A surrogacy agency can be invaluable, especially if this is your first experience with surrogacy.

Surrogacy involves many different parts, legalities and professionals, and navigating that all on your own can be incredibly complicated. It’s a great idea to work with a surrogacy professional for at least your first surrogacy, as they can guide you through every step and let you focus on what’s really important — getting to know your surrogate and preparing to bring home your new baby.

Even if you think you may want to pursue an independent surrogacy, we encourage you to speak with a surrogacy agency before making this important decision.

2. Surrogacy laws vary widely by state and will determine what your surrogacy journey will look like.

When you’re researching surrogacy laws in the U.S., it can be frustrating to see that many states don’t have any surrogacy laws at all. However, even if a state has no surrogacy laws, you can often still complete your surrogacy there. You’ll need to work with a professional experienced in that state to make sure you’re following the proper legal and practical steps for a safe surrogacy journey. In many cases, the surrogacy laws where your surrogate lives will determine exactly how your surrogacy will proceed.

3. It can take a long time to find the perfect surrogate.

A surrogate who meets your expectations and who you feel comfortable with will determine the whole progress of your surrogacy. If you choose a surrogate that you don’t feel is 100 percent right for you, you likely will not have the positive, genuine relationship you need for a successful surrogacy.

When you’ve been waiting so long for a child, it can be tempting to choose the first surrogate that comes your way, in order to speed up the process. However, you should take the time to find the woman who is perfect for you to have the best surrogacy possible. You always have that right, and you can take as long as you need to find the perfect surrogate for your family.

4. You should have your finances in line before starting surrogacy.

It’s a well-known truth: Surrogacy is expensive. When you’re considering this family-building process, it’s important to think about how you will budget for and afford the various costs of surrogacy, especially for the miscellaneous, unexpected fees that may arise along the way.

Rather than save just enough to cover the surrogacy process, it’s a good idea to account for unexpected costs (and the ordinary costs of raising a child after birth) before you even begin your surrogacy. That way, rather than stressing about your finances, you can focus on building a relationship with your surrogate.

Your surrogacy specialist and a personal financial advisor can help you learn more about affording surrogacy.

5. You and your surrogate must have separate lawyers.

Even if you and your surrogate have a great personal relationship and agree on every aspect of your surrogacy, you both must hire separate lawyers for your surrogacy contract process. This better protects both parties’ interests and makes sure that every potential detail is accounted for in your legal contract. Remember, you will need to pay for your surrogate’s legal fees in addition to her pregnancy-related expenses.

6. It’s not unusual to have a failed embryo transfer or miscarriage the first time.

When you’ve been waiting for a child for so long, it can be devastating if the surrogacy medical process doesn’t work the first time. But this is completely normal, and many intended parents have to overcome this hurdle before they achieve a successful pregnancy. If this happens to you, it can be helpful to reach out to infertility support groups or other intended parents who have gone through this process for guidance and advice.

7. The difficult emotions don’t go away once your surrogate is pregnant.

Once your surrogate is pregnant, you may think that everything will be happy and easy until your child is born. And, while you will be relieved of the anxiety and disappointment of waiting for a successful pregnancy, your surrogate’s pregnancy will bring all kinds of new emotions. You may feel jealousy and a lack of control at not being involved in your unborn child’s development, and some of these feelings can be difficult. Fortunately, your surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy will always be there to discuss these emotions and help you obtain any additional counseling that may be necessary.

8. You will get insensitive comments or questions.

When you begin surrogacy, you will receive questions and comments from friends, family and even strangers about your family-building process. While most of these will be well-meaning, some may be insensitive or ignorant, leaving you to clear up misconceptions. You will always have the right to discuss your surrogacy in as much detail as you desire, but you can take advantage of this situation to spread awareness and education about the realities of the surrogacy process.

9. You will create a deep personal connection with your surrogate.

As an intended parent, you will know how important your surrogate is to your family-building process. What you may not expect, however, is just how close you will become with her throughout your year or more of the surrogacy process.

Surrogacy is a partnership, and many intended parents and surrogates create a genuine relationship during this time that extends long beyond the birth of the baby. You may even create a lifelong friendship with your surrogate. This is a totally normal — and wonderful — outcome of the surrogacy journey.

10. You may have to explain your surrogacy long after the process is complete.

Just because your child is born doesn’t mean that your surrogacy journey is over. Surrogacy is a lifelong process, and you will need to think about how you will explain your child’s birth story to them as they grow older, as well as how your surrogate may or may not be involved in their life.

Even long after your child is born, you may find yourself explaining their birth story to friends, family and strangers, or being asked questions that have to be explained with your surrogacy story. Having pride in this story is important; you can’t simply pretend your surrogacy didn’t happen once your baby is born. And who would want to?

If you’re an intended parent who is either in the middle of or has completed the surrogacy process, what do you wish you had known, or what do you still want to know? Comment on this post or contact a surrogacy specialist today at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) to learn more.

Taking Surrogacy Delivery Photos — What to Know

If you’re considering surrogacy as a way to build your family, you’ve probably come across beautiful photos of intended parents and surrogates sharing in the delivery experience together. Just as women giving birth to their own children hire photographers to capture this life-changing moment, intended parents whose child is being born via surrogate also use this method to commemorate the moment they’ve been waiting for forever.

But, you may wonder: What is the process of delivery photos like when the woman giving birth is not the mother, and how do you suggest this to your surrogate, who is already giving so much to help you reach your parenthood dreams?

Fortunately, most surrogates will be thrilled at the idea of having delivery photos taken. Having already had children themselves, they will understand how important this moment is and, more than likely, will be completely on board with this process.

Why Delivery Photos Can Be So Special

If you have not yet started the surrogacy process or been matched with a surrogate, the idea of taking photos of another woman giving birth to your child may seem odd and even intrusive. But surrogacy delivery photos are much more than that.

Photos taken during the time that your surrogate gives birth will capture everyone involved in the process — not only her but also you, your spouse (if applicable), your surrogate’s spouse and your doctor. Surrogacy is a partnership, and delivery photos of a surrogate pregnancy capture that relationship perfectly.

By the time your surrogate gives birth, she will not be a stranger. Instead, she will likely be a close friend who you have created a genuine relationship with. Therefore, the intimate photos taken during delivery will seem natural. They will capture that unique relationship you have and both your and your surrogate’s emotions while she is giving birth.

For many intended parents, these photos are priceless, no matter who is the one giving birth — you are all working toward the same end goal.

How to Broach This Idea to Your Surrogate

Whether you know you want delivery photos taken when you first start your surrogacy process, or whether it’s an idea that you have during your surrogate’s pregnancy, it’s important that you discuss this openly and honestly with your surrogate. After all, the photos will feature her as much as you, and she will need to be comfortable with this process before you start scheduling a photographer for her delivery.

If you know you want surrogacy delivery photos early on, this can be discussed in your contract when you initially match with a surrogate. However, if you are unsure of how to bring this topic up after you have been matched with a surrogate, your surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy can help mediate a discussion of this idea.

Your specialist can also offer suggestions on how to make the process as comfortable as possible for all involved. As intended parents, you will be responsible for the costs of hiring a photographer for the delivery, and you’ll need to speak with them and your surrogate to create a photography plan that everyone is comfortable with.

As mentioned before, most surrogates will be happy to have delivery photos taken — but taking the time to ask her about her preferences and her comfort level before moving forward will mean a lot to her. If your surrogate is uncomfortable with this idea, you should never try to pressure or force her into changing her mind.

A Note to Surrogates

If you are a surrogate who is interested in delivery photos at the hospital, your situation is a bit more unique than if an intended parent suggested this idea to you. While you will be included in any surrogacy delivery photos, you will need to be respectful in suggesting this idea to your intended parents — as they have just as much say in the decision as you.

If you have a good relationship with your intended parents, you may suggest this idea in a light-hearted and no-obligation way. If you are unsure of how to suggest this to your intended parents, your surrogacy specialist can always help mediate this conversation. You may even suggest splitting the fee of a photographer at the hospital if these photos are incredibly important to you.

As always, remember that both intended parents and surrogates have a say in this process, just like with shooting maternity photos. By respecting each other’s wishes and determining what you are both comfortable with, you can come up with a plan for photography at the hospital that produces photos you will cherish forever.

To learn more about how the delivery process works for a surrogate pregnancy, please contact our surrogacy specialists at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) today.

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Male Factor Infertility

When it comes to babies, family-building, adoption and surrogacy, the conversation tends to revolve around women. It’s easy to assume that because mothers are the ones carrying the pregnancy, they are also the ones who care most about having children — and, when efforts to conceive naturally fail, it’s easy to assume that women are the ones with the fertility problem.

But the truth is that male factor infertility plays a role in 30 to 50 percent of infertility cases, according to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and it can be just as emotionally challenging to overcome as female infertility.

If male infertility has played a role on your path to surrogacy, you’re not alone. To open up the conversation about male factor infertility, here are five important things everyone should know about the condition:

1. There are many different causes of male infertility.

There are many factors that can contribute to male factor infertility. According to RESOLVE, the national infertility association, some common causes include:

  • A blockage or other structural abnormality that affects the flow of sperm
  • Low sperm count or quality caused by a sperm production disorder
  • Ejaculatory issues that prevent the sperm from ever reaching the egg
  • Immunologic disorders that prevent fertilization
  • Azoospermia, a condition in which the testicles do not produce any sperm
  • Obstructive azoospermia, in which sperm is produced but blocked by an obstruction
  • And more

Some of these infertility issues are caused by underlying health problems, like hormonal imbalances. Prior surgeries and radiation from cancer treatments can also damage reproductive organs and sperm.

2. Seeing a doctor should always be your first step.

If you and your partner have been trying to conceive for one year without success, it’s time to see a doctor about possible infertility issues. Both partners should schedule a consult and have a workup done to determine the potential cause of their infertility (and identify any other underlying health issues). Of course, you should also always see a doctor if you notice any lumps, swelling, pain or other abnormalities affecting the groin area.

Some men are reluctant to take this step, but when it comes to your reproductive health, it’s important to be proactive. Seeing a doctor is the only way to get to the bottom of what’s causing your fertility problems — and to make a plan for how to move forward. Your doctor will assess your medical history and perform a semen analysis and other medical tests to diagnose your fertility problems.

3. There are options for overcoming male infertility.

With rapid advances in reproductive medicine and technology, there are now more options available to couples struggling with infertility than ever before. Depending on the type and cause of your infertility, there are several courses of treatment your doctor may recommend, from in vitro fertilization (IVF) to sperm washing and intrauterine insemination.

There are also more family-building options today than ever before. If fertility treatments aren’t right for you, you might consider other family-building options, like surrogacy or adoption. While it’s important to remember that these options are not “cures” for infertility, they will allow you to finally bring home the child that you’ve dreamed about for so long.

4. Male infertility can have emotional implications.

Just like for women, an infertility diagnosis and treatment can be an emotional rollercoaster for men — even if they’re not willing to admit it. Society often links manliness and fertility, which can lead men to experience shock, anger, sadness, guilt and low self-esteem following a male factor infertility diagnosis.

Talking about these feelings can be difficult, but it’s important to acknowledge the emotional pain of infertility in order to fully heal and move forward with your family-building journey. Infertility counseling may help you in coming to terms with your infertility diagnosis, communicating with your partner and deciding what steps to take next.

5. Infertility isn’t one partner’s problem.

Whether you’re dealing with male factor, female factor, unexplained or combined infertility issues, this condition doesn’t just affect one partner — it affects both of you. Pinpointing the cause of your issues to male factor infertility isn’t about “blaming” one partner; it’s about getting to the root of the problem so you can move forward with the family-building option that’s right for both of you.

Remember to communicate openly with your partner and support each other through this journey. It takes two (or more) to build a family, so you should both be on the same page when it comes to the next steps following an infertility diagnosis.

If you are considering surrogacy as a family-building option, or if you would like to learn more about moving from infertility to surrogacy, contact us today at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).