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).

5 Ways You Can Prepare for Your Baby as an Intended Parent

One of the most exciting times for an intended parent is when their surrogate’s pregnancy is confirmed by their fertility clinic. After all the waiting and hoping, the tangible proof of their parenthood dreams coming true is in front of them.

While intended parents are likely still cautious about putting too much hope into a pregnancy in its early stages, once a physician deems the pregnancy safe, you should be excited to move forward with your parenthood journey — which means preparing for the imminent arrival of your little bundle of joy.

Just like anyone who has a child in a traditional way, you are now expecting, and you can take this time during your surrogate’s pregnancy to prepare yourself for all the challenges and joys of parenthood.  To stay busy and productive during this waiting period, there are a few steps you can take.

1. Learn as much as you can about parenting.

No one is ever fully prepared for the unique challenges of parenting, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to make it a little easier. There are thousands of resources to help you learn more about becoming a parent and caring for a newborn baby. Consider:

Because there is so much information available, seeking it out can seem overwhelming. Choose a couple of methods that work best for you and topics that you are most interested in. No one knows everything about being a parent before they become one, so remember that there will be a learning curve as you adjust to your new lives as parents of a newborn.

2. Prepare your home for your baby’s arrival.

There are many important steps expectant parents need to take before they can bring a baby home into a safe environment. Most homes are not already baby-proofed, so parents need to make sure all dangerous items are locked away, and all outlets and sharp edges are covered. Find a baby-proofing checklist here.

You should also start gathering necessary supplies for your baby’s arrival, as well as decorating the nursery. Make sure you have the proper crib and stroller for your baby, as well as other supplies like nursing materials and baby clothes. Not only will this step physically prepare you to bring a child home, but it can play a key role in the “nesting” process and mentally prepare you for becoming a parent.

3. Identify your support system.

You know the phrase, “It takes a village?” It’s true — no parents are able to raise their children completely on their own.

It’s important to recognize that, even if you want to be the superhero parent, you will need extra helping hands at certain times in your parenthood journey. Whether you need to identify a local, trained babysitter or talk to your parents about being there in times of need, you should understand where you can turn to for parenting support after bringing your baby home. This may also include finding a local parent support group or taking advantage of resources your local hospital provides.

4. Prepare your hospital kit.

Speaking of hospitals: Even though intended parents are not giving birth themselves, they will still need to create a hospital kit for their baby’s delivery. Not only will this kit include materials for you but also important baby supplies like a going-home outfit and a car seat. Intended parents who are working with a long-distance surrogate will need to pack more supplies for a journey across state lines for their child’s birth.

Expectant parents will usually know whether or not their surrogate will be scheduled for an induction or a cesarean-section. Just in case, most professionals advise parents to pack a hospital bag starting at 35 weeks of pregnancy. As you pack, make sure to speak with your surrogate’s hospital to find out which supplies they already provide.

5. Understand what bonding steps you need to take.

When you are expecting via surrogacy, you will not have the same bonding experience as parents do in a traditional pregnancy. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t have any prenatal bonding at all.

There are many ways that an intended parent can still bond with their baby in utero, and your surrogacy specialist can provide some suggestions if you’re interested in this topic. Some of these may include:

  • Using Bellybuds or a similar speaker system
  • Providing a transitional item, like recordings of music you typically play around the house
  • Striving for as much skin-on-skin contact as possible soon after the baby is born

Your surrogacy professional can always provide more suggestions to help you prepare after your surrogate’s pregnancy has been confirmed. Consider throwing a baby shower or a similar event to help you share the good news with all of your family and friends. Just because you are not pregnant yourself doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the congratulations and attention — or that you should shirk the responsibilities of preparing to bring your baby home.

With proper preparation and mindset, the time you wait for your baby to be born will fly by before you even know it.

5 Holiday Gift Ideas for Surrogates and Intended Parents

Intended parents and surrogates are forever connected to each other when they complete a surrogacy process together, and it’s only natural to think of each other during family-focused times like the holidays. Like you would with any other loved one, you may wish to send them a little something to let them know you’re thinking of them during this time of the year.

But, what are appropriate holiday gifts for intended parents and surrogates?

The answer to this will likely depend on your individual relationship with each other. If an intended parent and surrogate are close, they may wish to send more personal, special gifts than an intended parent and surrogate who have not maintained a close relationship after the baby has been born. Remember, no intended parent or surrogate is ever obligated to send gifts to their surrogacy partner during the holiday season. For many, the gift of building a family is present enough.

However, if you are looking to send a little something during the holidays to your intended parents or surrogate, there are a couple of ideas to consider:

1. A Holiday Card and Family Update

One of the easiest and most personal things that you can do for your intended parent or surrogate is send them a holiday card at this time of year. Many people already create a holiday card and family update letter anyway, and choosing to add your surrogacy partner to the list of recipients will let them know you’ve been thinking about them. Surrogacy is a life-changing journey for both sides, and intended parents and surrogates wonder about the other’s lives and how they are doing. A holiday card is a great way for them to be updated on any family changes and important milestones and feel remembered and cherished.

2. A Personalized Gift Basket

Gift baskets don’t always have to be extravagant. Think about where your intended parents or surrogate is at in their life now, and try to create a personalized collection of items that they may enjoy. For example, brand-new intended parents might appreciate holiday items that commemorate “baby’s first Christmas.” A surrogate who has just completed her pregnancy may like a special photo frame commemorating her journey. If nothing else, a small basket of holiday treats is always appreciated.

3. A Sentimental Accessory

Because surrogacy is such a life-changing journey, intended parents and surrogates carry around their experience with them for the rest of their lives. They can also physically carry a memento of their surrogacy experience through a personalized accessory, like a necklace with the baby’s birthstone or a watch with the baby’s birthdate engraved. You can always speak to your surrogacy specialist to find out what kind of jewelry and accessories are appropriate and for ideas on how to personalize your holiday gift.

4. Flower or Edible Fruit Arrangements

Arrangements always bring happiness and brightness to a household, and this can be a great holiday gift idea for your surrogate or intended parent. Accompanied with a heartfelt note, these kinds of gifts are sure to bring a smile to your surrogate’s or intended parents’ faces.

5. Surrogacy-Specific Gifts

If a surrogate and intended parent are still in the midst of the surrogacy process during the holidays, they may choose to send each other small surrogacy-specific gifts. A surrogate may enjoy gifts that allude to her “superpower” as a surrogate, while intended parents may appreciate décor with surrogacy phrases or gifts for their baby, like an ornament with the baby’s sonogram picture. Etsy is a great resource for these kind of gifts. You can also find great ideas for surrogacy-specific gifts through surrogacy support groups and other intended parents and surrogates.

Whatever kind of holiday gift you choose to get your intended parents or surrogate, what matters is that you put thought and care into it. Don’t ever feel pressured to get an expensive, elaborate gift; oftentimes, it’s small things like pictures and emails that mean the most to surrogates and intended parents. After all, the holidays are all about love — and just knowing that you’re on the mind of your surrogacy partner will mean a lot.

What Does Religion Say About the Morality of Surrogacy?

Hopeful parents thinking about surrogacy have many things to consider before embarking on this life-changing journey. For those with a strong faith, they may need to consider how their religion will factor into their surrogacy process, as well.

Religion and any kind of assisted reproductive technology has always been a complicated issue. Many faiths emphasize the importance of a husband and wife conceiving naturally on their own, and involving anyone else in this process can be viewed as unholy.

However, as infertility and IVF become more everyday topics of conversation, many religious people have begun to change their views on what is acceptable within their faith — recognizing that it’s having a family that’s more important than the process behind it.

Religious Views on Surrogacy

Each faith is different and, therefore, what your faith may say about assisted reproductive technology and surrogacy may differ from what’s written below — based on your personal beliefs and that of your local congregation and religious leaders.

In general, here is how some major faiths view surrogacy:

  • Catholicism: While surrogacy is present in the Book of Genesis with the story of Sarah and Abraham, the Catholic Church does not advocate for surrogacy. Instead, the Church teaches that children are a gift from God, only to be conceived and carried naturally by a married husband and wife. Any addition of a third party to this process is considered immoral.
  • Protestantism: Because there are many different factions of Protestantism, views of the surrogacy practice will vary. However, these sects of Christianity are usually more liberal, and surrogacy and other assisted reproductive technology may be more accepted among certain religious groups.
  • Judaism: Like with other faiths, more conservative Jewish factions do not approve of surrogacy. In vitro fertilization can be completed under rabbinical supervision, but there is a complicated discussion regarding the heritage of a child born via egg donor (as Jewish heritage is matrilineal). More liberal religious thinkers may accept surrogacy as a way to ease the suffering of infertile couples.
  • Islam: Muslim views of surrogacy can be wide-varying. Some scholars argue that the process is akin to adultery and that the child has no legal lineage, while others claim that surrogacy is an integral part of the belief that humans have a responsibility to preserve the human species however they can. Some more modern Muslims believe that IVF and surrogacy is allowable as long as semen and ovum are from a married couple, while Sunni Muslims believe no third-party assistance should be permissible.
  • Buddhism: Surrogacy is completely accepted in Buddhism, mainly because procreation is not seen as a moral duty. Therefore, couples are under no obligation to have children and, when they do, they can do so through whatever way they deem fit.
  • Hinduism: Like many faiths, Hinduism and its views on surrogacy vary. In general, infertility treatments can be allowable, like through artificial insemination if the sperm is the husband’s. It’s important to note that surrogacy in India is a thriving industry, and many of the surrogates there are of Hindu faith.

Reconciling Surrogacy with Your Religious Beliefs

Because many religions were established thousands of years before IVF or gestational surrogacy could even be imagined, it can be difficult to determine whether surrogacy is really ethical for your religious beliefs.

Remember that all properly completed surrogacy processes protect the rights of both intended parents and surrogates in an ethical way, and both parties enter into the agreement together. It can be difficult to reconcile this positive process with something that many believe to be against their god’s will, especially if having children is so important to a certain religious culture.

If you are concerned about how your religious faith may play into your surrogacy process, we encourage you to speak to a trusted religious leader and other intended parents or surrogates who have been through the same process. They may be able to help you sort out your feelings and understand exactly what you feel is right and wrong about pursuing surrogacy with your religious convictions.

A surrogacy specialist can also speak to you about the American Surrogacy process so you can determine how it may affect your religious beliefs. There are also several faith-based surrogacy agencies specifically designed to address this family-building process from a religious standpoint.

Determining whether surrogacy is right for you is always a process that takes time, and considering your faith is an important part of this. We encourage intended parents and prospective surrogates to take the time they need to make the best decision for them and, if they have any questions, to contact us at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) today.

7 Things All Intended Parents Are Tired of Hearing

For many people, surrogacy is an exciting new family-building process that they don’t know a lot about. Intended parents going through the surrogacy process, therefore, find themselves in educator roles as their friends, family and acquaintances want to learn more about this family-building journey.

Unfortunately, some of the questions and comments from those unfamiliar with surrogacy can be insensitive or even rude and, as an intended parent, you’ve likely heard them more than once. We know these comments can be frustrating and annoying, so we’ve compiled them here for you to share with family and friends — and help them understand exactly what not to say to you and other hopeful parents in your situation.

1. “Aren’t you worried the surrogate will want to keep the baby?”

Because many people don’t understand how surrogacy works, intended parents get this question a lot. Surrogacy is not like adoption; it’s a legal contract that binds a surrogate and intended parents to certain expectations. If you’re in the midst of a surrogate pregnancy, your surrogate choosing to keep the baby isn’t even an option — and this question doesn’t even apply. You and your surrogate both know that she’s only “babysitting” your child for you, and she’s just as excited as you are to help create your family.

2. “You’re so lucky — you can keep your figure if you don’t get pregnant!”

Like many intended parents, you would give anything to be able to carry your child on your own. Missing out on the pregnancy experience isn’t a happy joke; it’s something that you wish you had every day. This comment can be the most hurtful of them all, as it usually comes from those who have never experienced infertility and don’t understand the feelings you’ve gone through before deciding on surrogacy.

3. “How much are you paying your surrogate?”

Finances are never anyone else’s business but for some reason, when you’re building a family in a non-traditional way, people feel like it’s okay to ask you about the cost involved. The only people who are privy to this information are you, your surrogate and your adoption professional — and people should know that.

4. “How do you know you can trust your surrogate?”

You and your surrogate have a special relationship; after all, this woman is sacrificing her time and body to help you become the parent you’ve always dreamed of being. For someone to tarnish that by questioning her should offend you. Never mind all of the physical and mental screening your surrogate went through before matching with you — you chose her and that should be enough of a seal of approval.

5. “Who is the baby’s real mother?”

For some reason, some people don’t put two and two together to realize that IVF is involved in surrogacy. Just because intended mothers aren’t the ones carrying their child doesn’t mean they’re any less of a mother to their baby.

In cases of egg donation with a male same-sex couple, people are also curious about whom the egg donor was. That’s only between the intended fathers and their child. Being our friend or family member doesn’t automatically obligate you to this information until we’re ready to share it.

6. “Whose sperm are you using?”

On the same note, when two gay men have a child via surrogacy together, people always want to know who the “real” father is. Why should it matter? Both fathers are going to love and support their child, no matter which one shares DNA with their baby. Unless we willingly share our baby’s genetic makeup with you, take a hint and don’t ask us about it.

7. “There are so many waiting children out there. Why didn’t you just adopt?”

People always have their thoughts on what kind of family-building process an infertile couple should pursue but — let’s say it again for those in the back — it’s none of their business. You could ask the same question of all those parents who easily had children naturally. The fact is not all family-building processes work for everyone, and you only decided on surrogacy once you were sure it was the right choice for your family.


As surrogacy continues to become a more popular way of building a family, it’s likely that more and more people will be educated about the intricacies and emotions of the process — but we can still bet there will be one or two people who ask the questions all intended parents are tired of hearing. Remember, if you’re having trouble addressing these comments or feel overwhelmed by the emotions they’re bringing up, you can always speak to your experienced surrogacy specialist or other intended parents who have been through the same thing.

What do you think: Have you heard all of these? Are there any we missed?  Comment below to let us know!