The Truth About Finding a Surrogate on the Internet

With the advent of social media as a way for intended parents and surrogates — current and former — to connect with each other, it’s become more common for intended parents to try to bypass the extra costs of a surrogacy agency and instead find a surrogate on their own through the internet.

While this process may be successful for some, intended parents should proceed on this path with caution. As with every part of the surrogacy journey, it’s important to be as educated as possible about this choice to safely and successfully reach your surrogacy goals.

At American Surrogacy, we highly recommend all intended parents find a surrogate through our pre-screened, intense matching services, rather than on their own. However, if you are considering finding a match independently, there are a few things you should know.

The Pros of Finding a Surrogate on the Internet

For many intended parents, the reason they choose to find a surrogate independently through the internet is because of the possibility of saving money. When intended parents find a surrogate with an agency, they will need to pay agency matching and screening fees. While these fees are often well worth the safety and security an agency matching program provides, some intended parents choose to save that extra money and find a match on their own.

Finding a match independently also gives intended parents more control and responsibility over choosing a surrogate that’s perfect for them. While this may be a disadvantage for some intended parents, others find this fits their expectations much better, especially if they want to manage their personal surrogacy process. They may find more options for prospective surrogates and be able to complete a more detailed search than they would through an agency, looking for specific traits that an agency may not look for.

Intended parents who find a surrogate online may be able to develop a deeper relationship with a prospective surrogate before finalizing a match, and their surrogacy relationship may be more personal than one created through an agency matching program.

Finally, another advantage of finding a surrogate online is a wider variety of women open to being a traditional surrogate — as it’s rare for a surrogacy professional to complete this kind of surrogacy today.

The Cons of Finding a Surrogate on the Internet

As mentioned, one of the advantages of finding a surrogate online can also be a disadvantage. Independently finding a match requires an intended parent to take on more responsibility in determining their personal surrogate requirements, communicating with a total stranger and completing any initial screening. Any intended parents who are uncomfortable with this responsibility should consider using an agency’s matching services.

When an intended parent finds a surrogate through a source other than an agency, their surrogate has usually not undergone the necessary screening steps to ensure she is truly ready for the surrogacy journey. Therefore, intended parents will need to do initial screening themselves to see if a surrogate meets basic requirements and then pay for screening by a surrogacy agency or fertility clinic. If a surrogate does not meet the necessary requirements, intended parents will typically need to start from the beginning again — which can delay their surrogacy journey in the way a pre-screened agency opportunity would not.

Some surrogates found online may request to continue working without an agency, which can come with its own risks. Intended parents who wish to work with an agency for other aspects of the surrogacy journey may find themselves pressured into an independent surrogacy after finding the perfect match on their own — which can cause complications in meeting their personal surrogacy goals and preferences. Don’t forget that a fully independent surrogacy also comes with certain risks due to a lack of professional guidance.

Finally, remember that while the internet can be a vast resource, it also makes it easier for women to scam hopeful parents by pretending to be a surrogate or a prospective birth mother in adoption. Take caution when finding a surrogate over the internet, as there is unfortunately always the potential for fraud.

If you do find a surrogate on your own, remember that professionals like American Surrogacy can still offer agency services at a discounted price and complete all of the screening you need to safely start your surrogacy process. Any intended parent looking for a surrogate match online should make it clear from the beginning that they wish to work with a surrogacy agency to ensure they find the right match for them.

On the other hand, any intended parents who want professional guidance in finding a surrogate can contact the surrogacy specialists at American Surrogacy to start the pre-screened, matching process. Learn more today by calling 1-800-875-2229(BABY).

10 Signs that You’d Make a Great Surrogate

Surrogates are selfless, generous women who give their time, energy and body to someone else who desperately hopes to be a parent. It’s a great commitment — one a woman should only make when she’s sure it’s right for her.

But, if you’re considering surrogacy, how do really you know when you’re ready to be a surrogate? What are some signs that this is a good path for you?

Each woman is different, so it’s important that you speak with a surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy before committing to this process, so you can understand exactly what to expect.

However, there are a few characteristics that all great surrogates share. Find out what they are below and, if you think they describe you, contact American Surrogacy at 1-800-875-2229 today to start your surrogacy journey.

1. You’re healthy enough to be a surrogate.

All surrogates must meet certain health requirements to undergo an embryo transfer and successfully carry a surrogate pregnancy to term. This includes having a certain BMI, no previous pregnancy complications and no use of anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication. Talk to a surrogacy agency or a surrogacy clinic to find out whether you meet these surrogate health requirements.

2. You are currently raising a child.

All surrogates must have successfully carried one pregnancy already and be raising a child in their home. Having already been pregnant, you are better prepared for the emotional and medical challenges of pregnancy. You will also have a child to come home to in case you experience any emotional difficulties after the intended parents’ baby is born.

3. You and your spouse have completed your family.

While surrogacy professionals take every step to make sure your safety is accounted for, there are certain inherent medical risks of the surrogacy process. One of these is the loss of reproductive organs or the inability to get pregnant again. All surrogates should be comfortable with the size of their family before they start the process, just in case these losses occur.

4. You enjoy being pregnant.

Most surrogates truly love the pregnancy experience but don’t want to have any more children of their own. Therefore, surrogacy is the perfect solution. If you’re in this situation, surrogacy may be the right path for you.

5. You are ready to commit to the demands of surrogacy.

Surrogacy involves an extensive medical process and, often, the whole journey takes a year or longer. If you want to become a surrogate, you should be ready to work with intended parents for that long and understand that your own life may need to change in order for that to happen (for example, taking time off work or being unable to spend as much time with your family).

6. You are an organized person.

As mentioned, being a surrogate requires many different appointments, as well as medication, meetings with your surrogacy specialist, and more. A good surrogate can stay organized and on top of all of these requirements without becoming overwhelmed.

7. Your spouse supports your surrogacy decision.

While you are the one carrying someone else’s baby, your decision will directly affect your spouse, as well. You will be required to attend many appointments, and your spouse may need to take on additional responsibilities when you can’t perform your usual parental duties. Therefore, it’s critical that your spouse supports your decision and is ready for the challenges that may accompany it.

8. Your friends and family support you.

Just as your spouse will be required to take on additional responsibilities, you may find yourself leaning on friends and family members for help, too. Every surrogate should identify a surrogacy support system before beginning the process to ensure she has the assistance she may need for childcare, transportation, house-keeping, etc.

9. You are financially stable.

While being a surrogate does qualify you for surrogate compensation, the manner in which the compensation is dispensed means that you should be financially independent before starting the surrogacy journey. Women who are solely interested in surrogacy for the financial aspect usually won’t make great surrogates; instead, women who understand compensation is an added bonus to helping create a family will be ideal candidates.

10. You want to help create a family.

Above all else, the best quality for a prospective surrogate to have is the altruistic and generous desire to help create a family where there may not have been one before. Indeed, this desire is a requirement for becoming a surrogate, and many surrogacy professionals will ask about this if you’re considering becoming a surrogate. If you, like many surrogates, have wanted to help create families for a long time, surrogacy will be the perfect path for you.

While these are important signs that a woman will make a great surrogate, they are also just a few of the qualifications of surrogacy. To learn more about whether you will be a good surrogate with American Surrogacy, contact a surrogacy specialist to discuss the specifics of our surrogacy program.

33 Questions to Ask Intended Parents as a Surrogate

Prospective surrogates who are waiting for a match often ask, “What questions do I ask intended parents?”

As you prepare for your initial conversation with the intended parents, your surrogacy specialist will give you all the important details you need to know about them and their situation. She will also help you gather a list of questions, offering suggestions of both what to ask and what not to ask.

Ultimately, you’ll want to ask the questions that you are most interested in and that will help you determine whether these are the right intended parents for you. To help you out, we’ve listed a few of the important questions you might considering asking:

About the Intended Parents

  • What kind of things do you like to do? What are your interests?
  • What are your personality types? What do you like best about each other?
  • What do you do for a living?
  • What is your immediate and extended family like? Are they supportive of your surrogacy plans?
  • What are your values? What’s important to you?
  • If you’re speaking with a couple: How did you two meet? What is your “love story?”

About Their Surrogacy Goals

  • Why did you decide on surrogacy? Why do you think it’s the best choice for you?
  • How committed are you to the surrogacy process?
  • When did you start your surrogacy process?
  • What are you looking for in a relationship with a surrogate before, during and after the surrogacy process?
  • What do you want to know about me as a prospective surrogate?
  • How many embryo transfers do you think you will attempt? And how many embryos do you want to transfer at a time?
  • Are you using your own embryo, egg or sperm?
  • Are you willing to get to know my partner and children during the surrogacy process?
  • What are your thoughts on selective reduction and termination?
  • Do you have certain surrogacy, legal or medical professionals in mind for your surrogacy?
  • How do you plan to be involved during the surrogacy process?
  • Who do you want to be in the hospital room when I give birth?
  • Would you like me to pump breast milk for your baby after birth?

About Their Parenthood Plans

  • What kind of parents do you see yourselves being?
  • What do you plan to tell your child about their surrogacy?
  • What do you plan to tell your child about me if I am your surrogate?
  • How else will you incorporate surrogacy into your child’s life?
  • Do you want to have more children, or will this be your only child?
  • If this surrogacy is successful, would you consider completing another, or would you use another method to add to your family?
  • What are you most looking forward to about being parents?

A first conversation with intended parents need not include all of these questions, by any means. Prospective surrogates should choose the topics that are most important to them for an initial meeting, which many describe as similar to a first date.

You will have the chance for more conversations after, and a lot of the detailed, more complicated questions can be addressed during those and during your legal contract negotiation.

For more advice on how to prepare for this first conversation with possible intended parents, contact your surrogacy specialist today at 1-800-875-2229.

6 Things to Look for in a Gamete Donor

Like choosing a gestational surrogate, selecting the right gamete donor — whether you need an egg, sperm, or both — can be difficult. You might not be sure what to look for in a potential donor, but this person will contribute 50 percent of your child’s genetic makeup, so it’s important that you choose wisely!

If you’re beginning your search for an egg and/or sperm donor, this guide will help.

Anonymous vs. Identified Donors

First, you’ll need to decide whether you want to work with an anonymous donor or an identified donor.

An anonymous egg or sperm donor has a profile that usually includes basic, non-identifying information about the donor’s health, appearance and a bit more. It’s usually noted on each profile whether or not the donor is to remain anonymous or is willing to be identified if the need arises for more information in the future.

An identified egg or sperm donor, also called a known donor, is willing to provide their identifying information or exchange contact with the intended parents before or after the intended parents’ child is born. There is more information offered about these donors to intended parents through their profiles, and these donors are willing to talk to you and your child if contacted.

Identified donors can also be someone that you know, like a close friend.

Today, many professionals recommend using an identified donor whenever possible. Research on open adoption has shown that a child’s knowledge of his or her genetic history can be incredibly important, not only for medical purposes, but also for identity development and emotional well-being.

The 6 Things You Should Consider in a Potential Egg or Sperm Donor

The importance of each of these points will probably rank differently to everyone, but you should consider all of them when looking at a potential donor. In no particular order, here are the six things you should keep in mind for a donor:

1. Health

All egg and sperm donors must meet certain health requirements before they may donate. Check with your individual professional to learn more about their criteria for donors, as these requirements can vary. Generally, donors must prove that they’re in good health through a medical screening process, and must provide family history on both sides. Keep in mind that nobody’s family health history is spotless, including your own.

The surrogacy process also includes preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) and prenatal testing to look for, prevent or potentially treat any birth defects, disorders or diseases that could be present and genetically inheritable.

2. Blood Type

Having a child who shares your blood type can be helpful in an emergency, in the event that one of you needs to donate blood to the other. This is a lower priority for most intended parents, but if a donor you feel drawn to matches your blood type or your spouse’s, it can be an added benefit.

3. Appearance

For many intended parents, having a child that looks like them or their spouse is important. Identified donors are usually asked to provide current photos of themselves as well as a childhood photo so you can try to imagine what your child might look like if you work with a particular donor.

Remember that the appearance of your child is largely guesswork. For example, maybe both of your parents were very tall, and you’re barely five feet tall. Your fertility specialist can help you find donors that match what you’re looking for appearance-wise, but nature can still be unpredictable, so don’t get too caught up in finding someone who looks just right.

4. Intelligence

Similar to the health requirements, sometimes donors must meet minimum education requirements as a means to measure intelligence and drive. This may mean having at least an undergraduate degree, meeting minimum SAT scores or other educational accomplishments.

There are many different kinds of intelligence, and a person’s interests and upbringing can play into how they perform in certain fields academically. While your donor may affect your child’s intelligence to some extent, genetics are not the only determining factor in intelligence.

5. Personality

It can be difficult to feel as if you know someone through an online profile, but often, a donor’s personality shines through. Certain personality traits can be genetically influenced, in addition to being affected by a person’s environment and upbringing.

Perhaps you’re hoping for a child to share in your sense of humor, and you’d like to find a donor who also has that same personality trait in the hopes that it might be passed on to your child. Or maybe you admire a certain personality trait, like a special talent that a donor has, and you hope your child might receive that gift, too. Either way, personality may not always be inherited by a child, but it’s an important thing to consider in a potential donor nonetheless.

6. A Connection

This is likely the most important thing to look for in an egg or sperm donor. When you view a potential donor’s profile, you’ll hopefully feel a sense of connection with the right one. Many intended parents describe a sense of “rightness” or of having a thought of, “That’s the one.”

Nobody is absolutely perfect, so if a donor meets most of your preferred criteria but doesn’t check off all of your boxes, don’t worry — especially if you feel a connection with that donor.

The best advice for intended parents who are choosing an egg or sperm donor is surprisingly simplistic, but very effective — trust your gut. If you have any questions about using donor gametes in surrogacy, or if you’re ready to start the surrogacy process, call 1-800-875-BABY (1-800-875-2229) now.

Can You Choose the Gender of Your Baby with Surrogacy?

Often, when intended parents consider in vitro fertilization and surrogacy, they wonder, “Can you choose the gender of your baby?”

With celebrities like Chrissy Teigen and John Legend openly speaking about their own gender selection of their daughter, the question of choosing a boy or girl through the IVF process has historically been a bit ethically complicated. Medically, however, the answer is straightforward — those pursuing IVF can choose the gender of their baby.

Those pursuing in vitro fertilization will learn that there are many steps to this medical process, especially if it will be followed up with a surrogate pregnancy, and how to choose your baby’s gender as a part of this is equally as complicated.

In short, the IVF process itself doesn’t automatically allow for the creation of an embryo of a certain gender, so to say, but rather lends itself to gender selection before the embryo is transferred.

Why Gender “Selection” Isn’t What You Think

While intended parents may theoretically have the ability to “choose” the gender of their baby with IVF, the selection is a bit more complicated than just telling their doctor “boy” or “girl.”

Before an embryo can be cleared for transfer into a uterus (whether that’s an intended mother’s or a surrogate’s), most fertility clinics will complete preimplantation genetic screening. This screening takes a detailed look at an embryo’s chromosomal makeup to determine whether it is healthy enough for transfer and in-utero development. As part of this screening, medical professionals are also able to identify the sex of the embryo.

Intended parents should not prioritize the sex of an embryo in choosing an embryo to implant. Instead, a fertility professional will examine the results of the screening to determine which embryos appear to be the healthiest. From there, intended parents may be able to choose gender of their baby if they have two equally healthy embryos of different sexes.

The likelihood of this happening can be small; one doctor estimates that only about 15 to 20 percent of IVF cases result in equally healthy embryos of each sex. Of these, only about half of intended parents choose a specific gender.

Keep in mind: Most fertility doctors will encourage intended parents to transfer the embryo(s) of higher quality, regardless of its sex.

Ethical Considerations of Choosing the Gender of Your Baby

Being able to choose the gender of your baby, while only available to those who complete the IVF process, is more common than it used to be. In response, choosing baby genders has become a hot-button topic for many people.

However, even in these situations, gender selection is more a matter of personal preference than discrimination against one sex or the other. For example, intended parents who select a certain gender most often do so to bring a sense of balance to an existing family — like if they already have a boy and want a girl, or vice versa.

Some critics do argue about the “slippery slope” of choosing sex during the IVF process, claiming it will lead to genetic modification and other “unnatural” changes to the reproduction process. Unfortunately, there have always been critics of any medically assisted pregnancy — and these critics often offer the same arguments.

In response to this, it’s important to remember that embryo health and safety is the most important factor in selecting a viable embryo. Doctors will always encourage intended parents to do what is the most likely to result in a successful implantation, which usually involves choosing the healthier embryo (no matter which sex) and refraining from additional medical procedures that could make it more vulnerable to miscarriage.

If you are interested in whether it is possible to choose baby gender in your IVF process, discuss the topic with your doctor. They may or may not allow for sex selection when transferring embryos. If they do, they can explain what their specific requirements are for a healthy embryo and to what degree your own preferences will make a difference.

10 Steps for Proper Self-Care During the Surrogacy Process

Whether you’re waiting to become an intended parent or become a surrogate, this part of your surrogacy journey can be tough. In most cases, there is not much you can do and the work is left up to your professionals to get you approved and matched to start the process. And, even after this is done, there will be more waiting during the pregnancy part of the surrogacy process.

Wherever you are in the waiting periods of your surrogacy, it’s important that you take the necessary steps to care for yourself along the way. Surrogacy is an emotional journey and, if you don’t address your emotions and take the time for self-care early, these emotions can quickly become more difficult issues to overcome.

Remember, your surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy will always be available to talk you through whatever you may be feeling during your surrogacy experience and suggest any resources that may help.

You can always take time for yourself through some simple self-care routines, like:

1. Working out — or going for a simple walk.

Exercise boosts endorphins so, if you’re feeling blue or overwhelmed during your surrogacy journey, a breath of fresh air and getting your blood pumping can help put you back in a positive mindset.

2. Journaling your feelings.

Surrogacy involves a lot of complicated steps that come with complex emotions, no matter whether you’re a prospective surrogate or an intended parent. Sometimes, it can be difficult to verbalize these feelings, and you might find a release in writing your thoughts and feelings down in a journal just for yourself.

3. Talking to your partner or another close friend.

On the other hand, if you want someone to bounce your thoughts off (other than your surrogacy specialist), you may try talking with a close friend or family member. While they may not understand exactly what you are going through, they can usually offer empathy and sympathy and help you talk through your feelings.

4. Treating yourself to something special.

The surrogacy process can be a draining one that leaves many surrogates and intended parents stressed out. To counteract that, consider doing something nice for yourself — take a long bath, buy yourself your favorite meal, or see that movie you’ve always wanted to see. Your focus doesn’t need to be — and shouldn’t be — on surrogacy every minute of the day.

5. Reconnecting with your partner, if applicable.

Surrogacy can take a lot out of spouses and, to keep a healthy relationship, you’ll need to focus on something other than surrogacy for a bit. Whether it’s going on a fancy, romantic date night or doing a fun activity together, take some time to reconnect with your spouse and express your love and appreciation for each other.

6. Being unafraid to say “no.”

The surrogacy process will likely take a lot of your time and energy, and you shouldn’t feel bad about not being able to live the same life as before. If you are feeling stressed about attending events or doing certain things you used to before you started your surrogacy journey, don’t be. “No” can be one of the best words for someone to learn as part of their self-care routine.

7. Taking a break when you need it.

Even those who are not going through the surrogacy process can’t be perfect all the time — and you shouldn’t be, either. Whenever you need to take a break (for example: meditating silently or removing yourself from a certain situation), do it. Your mental health will thank you.

8. Eating and drinking well.

Your mental health isn’t the only thing self-care will help; you should also take steps to maintain your physical health as well. In addition to exercising, this means feeding your body the healthy food it craves and staying well hydrated. The better you feel physically, the clearer your mind and your emotions will be as you pursue the surrogacy process.

9. Getting the sleep you need.

On the same note, a full night’s sleep is integral to a healthy body and mind. A lack of sleep causes a lack of focus and a negative attitude. An appropriate amount of sleep, on the other hand, can help you avoid illness and give you a more positive outlook, even when things seem difficult.

10. Take it day by day.

By its very nature, surrogacy is a process that looks to the future, when intended parents finally have the baby they’ve been dreaming about and a surrogate has finally helped build another family. However, focusing on these long-term goals can be equally as draining as they are exciting. To stay positive, surrogacy specialists encourage intended parents and surrogates to focus on small, daily goals to make the process seem more achievable at various points in the process.

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Those Considering Surrogacy

As the beginning of a new year rolls around, people will be making all kinds of New Year’s resolutions. For those who are in the process of building their family, it can be a bittersweet time — another year without having the child they dream of but also a new year with new opportunities.

While it’s easy for intended parents in the middle of a family-building process (whether it’s surrogacy or another path) to focus on the things that haven’t yet happened, it’s also an opportunity to focus on the positive parts of the journey that await. During this time, it may be a good idea to reevaluate your family-building process and come up with a few positive resolutions for this new year.

Here are some suggestions to start:

1. Learn more about the surrogacy process and other family-building processes.

You may or may not have started your personal surrogacy journey yet as an intended parent but, even if you have, it’s never too late to learn more about this journey you are taking. To help alleviate some of the concerns you may have about this process of becoming a parent, you may commit yourself to doing more research about surrogacy and all of your other family-building options to have a better idea of what to expect moving forward. Education is the key to a successful family-building process and, if you feel stuck in your own journey, it may help you understand where to go from here.

2. Revisit your personal surrogacy goals.

Along the same lines, intended parents who haven’t found success yet may consider reevaluating their own surrogacy goals and preferences. While you should always pursue a process that you’re comfortable with, looking back over your personal surrogacy plan may bring up new and revised ideas now that you know a bit more about the process. Your surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy will always help you with this, whether you want to change something or just confirm your existing desires.

3. Understand and manage your finances.

Every intended parent knows that fertility treatments like surrogacy can be expensive. If you are in the midst of your surrogacy process, you may consider starting your new year with a renewed emphasis on budgeting and saving — even if you aren’t yet feeling the strain of your family-building expenses. This is also a good life habit for everyone to have.

4. Find an additional support system.

Waiting to find a surrogate or for your baby to be born can be a difficult time. If it’s been especially hard on you, you may start your new year by searching for others who can support you through this process. There are many intended parent support groups where you can talk with people who have been in the same situation and develop valuable friendships that will help you through this journey.

5. Reconnect with each other and with your family and friends.

The waiting period of the family-building process can take a lot out of intended parents, especially when they’ve already gone through extensive steps to be approved for and start the process in the first place. It’s not unusual for personal relationships to be put on pause during the initial stages of tackling infertility.

In this new year, you may refocus on these relationships. Your family and friends are an important part of your personal support system. They know just how much you want to be a parent, and they can be there to help you through the ups and downs of the family-building process. Reconnecting with these people can also provide a much-needed break from the trials of infertility, allowing you to focus on happier things. Remember, your infertility need not define your whole life, even when you desperately want to have a child.

A new year represents a new start — and, for intended parents, it is another opportunity to reach your parenthood dreams. A positive outlook and personalized New Year’s resolutions will help move you a step closer to the child you’ve always wanted.

The 7 Steps to Choosing the Right Fertility Clinic

Whether you are ready to start the surrogacy process or still exploring your infertility options, you will wonder at some point about how to choose a fertility clinic that’s right for you, if you haven’t done so already. With so many professionals available to you, it can be overwhelming to find the perfect professional to meet your parenthood goals and preferences.

The surrogacy specialists at American Surrogacy can always offer advice and referrals to trusted fertility and surrogacy clinics for your situation. Before you even begin pursuing the surrogacy process, it’s important that you have the correct medical information and options from an infertility expert at a fertility clinic.

Like with selecting any other family-building professional, intended parents should always do diligent research when choosing a fertility clinic. Only once you have done that can you move forward with your parenthood dreams.

Here are a few things to consider about choosing a fertility clinic:

1. Determine what kind of services you are interested in.

There are many different kinds of infertility treatments, and it’s okay not to know exactly which ones you want to pursue when you first contact a fertility clinic. If you are still exploring your options, you may want to choose a fertility clinic that focuses on less invasive infertility treatments. If you already know which path you wish to take (for example, starting surrogacy), you can research the more advanced treatment options at different fertility clinics.

2. Understand what treatment plan you’re comfortable with.

Some infertility doctors will be more aggressive than others in their treatment plans, and some may suggest treatments that you are uncomfortable with. Make sure that you understand all of the infertility options available to you and discuss them with a prospective fertility professional before committing to their program. Your personal goals and expectations will play a role in this discussion.

3. Find a clinic that specializes in your treatment plan.

As mentioned, it’s important to select a fertility specialist who offers the treatments you’re interested in — and it’s also a good idea that your chosen professional specializes in that treatment. For example, if you’re interested in pursuing surrogacy, you’ll want to work with a professional who focuses on completing surrogacies for people in situations like yours. Remember, if you need references for medical professionals that complete the surrogacy medical process, American Surrogacy can provide them.

4. Determine whether you need an egg, sperm or embryo donation.

If you will need a donor gamete during your infertility treatments, you may wish to seek out a fertility clinic that either has a donor bank in-house or works closely with a trusted donor bank. Many times, fertility clinics will have partnerships with certain donation banks, so intended parents should ask about this relationship if they think they may need an egg, sperm or embryo donation during their infertility or surrogacy process.

5. Understand how your doctor will adjust treatment as necessary.

Not all infertility treatments will work the first time, and intended parents may need to readjust their family-building process to obtain success. Before committing to a fertility clinic, you should speak with the doctor to learn more about how he or she will adjust your personal treatment plan if the original does not work. Unfortunately, not all doctors will automatically do this, so make sure you are working with a professional who will keep your faith throughout your family-building journey.

6. Know what your budget is.

Infertility treatments can be expensive, whether you are pursuing simple in vitro fertilization or a more involved process like surrogacy. As you continue your treatments, it’s not uncommon for the expenses to add up. Infertility treatments can leave many intended parents in financial distress, so it’s important that you select a fertility clinic that is within your budget. Because it can be hard to say “no” to treatments because of financial difficulties, all intended parents should also speak with a financial advisor to understand exactly what their budget allows for. From there, they can best determine which fertility professional meets both their budget and their family-building goals.

7. Above all else, pay attention to your comfort level.

While there are many aspects involved in selecting a fertility clinic, the most important is making sure that you are comfortable with your professional. Your fertility doctor will guide you through one of the most important times of your life, and you will work intimately with him or her throughout all the ups and downs of your treatment plan. If you do not completely trust your medical professional, you will likely not have a positive experience during this process.

Knowing how to choose a fertility clinic can seem overwhelming, but it will be one of the most important decisions of your family-building process. Before selecting a fertility clinic, consider speaking to your doctor or a fertility counselor to learn more about what options are available to you. The surrogacy specialists at American Surrogacy can also provide references when you contact them at 1-800-875-2229.

Happy Holidays from American Surrogacy!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all from the staff of American Surrogacy! We and our sister agency American Adoptions are honored to be a part of so many families’ lives in helping to make their dreams come true.

The holidays are a wonderful time to celebrate with family but, if you haven’t quite reached your family goals, you can always contact a surrogacy specialist at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) or an adoption specialist at 1-800-ADOPTION. We are here to help you make your parenthood dreams come true.

10 Things Surrogates Wished They Knew Before Starting

Becoming a surrogate is a big decision, especially for those who are first-timers with no idea of what to expect. While surrogacy professionals can provide a good idea of the process ahead of you, sometimes it’s best to learn about the process from those who have actually been through it — women just like you.

Your surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy can help connect you to former surrogates if you want to learn about the ins and outs from someone who’s been there, and you might choose to join surrogacy support groups to find out more about every little detail.

To help you with your surrogacy research, we’ve gathered 10 things that prospective surrogates wish they had really understood before they started the surrogacy process for the first time.

1. If you’re a first-time surrogate, a surrogacy agency can provide all the answers you need.

Surrogacy is a complicated process, and entering into an independent surrogacy for your first experience can be intimidating and stressful. A surrogacy agency, on the other hand, can provide all of the information you need to know as well as case management services to help you through every step of your surrogacy journey.

An independent surrogacy may work for some first-time surrogates, but we encourage you to at least speak to a surrogacy agency before making this decision.

2. You can wait as long as you need to for the right match.

Finding the right intended parents is a huge part of your surrogacy experience. After all, these are the people who you will intimately work with for the next year or more, and it’s important that you are comfortable with them. You should never feel rushed to match with intended parents before you’re ready. Don’t be afraid to take the time you need to find someone who meets your expectations.

3. There are a lot of medications you’ll need to take.

In order to prepare a woman’s body for an embryo transfer, a doctor will prescribe many different fertility medications — some of which are taken orally and others taken via shots. When you become a surrogate, you’ll need to commit to taking these medications, which usually only result in minor side effects like bruising. The fertility clinic can describe this process to you in more depth before you commit to being a surrogate.

4. There are a lot of doctor’s appointments — before and after transfer.

Make sure you’re comfortable with your fertility clinic and obstetrician — because you’ll be seeing them a lot throughout your surrogacy journey. Before transfer, your doctor will need to evaluate your hormone levels, and it’s not uncommon to go to the doctor at least twice a week before you’re even pregnant. Be prepared for rescheduling your day-to-day life so you can fit these visits in.

5. Your personal medical history will become common knowledge during your surrogacy process.

As you go through the surrogacy medical process, your surrogacy professionals and your intended parents will be intimately involved. This means that you will quickly become comfortable with sharing your medical information and procedures with them. Remember, they’re just focusing on helping create a successful pregnancy, and any embarrassment will be short-lived.

6. You will carry the intended parents’ emotions as well as your own.

Surrogacy is an emotionally complicated time, especially when you’re carrying the hopes — and fears — of the intended parents along your journey. This can be overwhelming, but remember that your surrogacy specialist will always be available to talk you through any difficult emotions you may have.

7. You will get insensitive comments or questions.

When you become a surrogate, you will receive questions and comments from those who are unfamiliar with the surrogacy process. In a way, you become an ambassador for surrogacy. You may be unsure of how to address these comments, but your surrogacy specialist can help you prepare for these conversations.

8. You must have a separate lawyer from the intended parents.

Even if you and intended parents already have a solid relationship, each of you must be represented by a separate lawyer during the surrogacy contract phase. This is to ensure that all of your rights and interests are protected, even ones that you may not consider to be a huge deal at the beginning. Remember, the costs of a lawyer will be completely free to you.

9. It may not always work out the first time.

While your surrogacy professionals will take every step to ensure a successful embryo transfer and pregnancy, sometimes things happen that require you to start over. This is not uncommon, and it may be disappointing to enter into the surrogacy process expecting everything to go perfectly. There may be some hiccups along the way, but your surrogacy specialist will help you recover from these as smoothly as possible.

10. Surrogacy will truly change your life.

Many women go into surrogacy wanting to help change intended parents’ lives and make their dreams come true, but they often don’t realize how much it will change their own life. Surrogates can develop a whole new perspective on life and leave the surrogacy process having created lifelong friendships. As difficult as parts of the surrogacy journey may be, it’s one that women positively remember for the rest of their lives.

What did you wish you knew before the surrogacy process, or what do you want to know before you start? Comment on this post or contact a surrogacy specialist today at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).