Ranking 6 TV Surrogacy Plots from Least to Most Realistic

Good television is all about escapism, entertainment and surprise. Our favorite TV shows ramp up drama and conflict to give us a more heightened story than occurs in our real, everyday lives. After all, nobody wants to watch a story about something that goes smoothly and uneventfully — it wouldn’t be very exciting! But, this means that real occurrences, like growing a family through surrogacy, are often dramatized and fictionalized beyond recognition in order to make a better TV plot twist. 

The problem? Surrogacy is still a relatively new and misunderstood concept in the eyes of many viewers. So, these fictional and sensationalized portrayals could be inadvertently fueling dangerous misconceptions about what surrogacy is really like. How do these shows measure up to the real surrogacy process

Meet the Contenders 

While surrogacy is no stranger to the small screen, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Roseanne,” “Superstore,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “The Nest,” and “Top of the Lake: China Girl,” have all recently had surrogacy storylines that garnered some buzz. Let’s rank those 6 depictions, from least accurate to most accurate: 

6“The Handmaid’s Tale” 

The winner of the least realistic portrayal of surrogacy, “The Handmaid’s Tale” takes place in a dystopian future, where fertile women are forced into becoming traditional surrogates via rape. Needless to say, it’s devastatingly far from the truth of real and legal gestational surrogacy. Read real stories of gestational carriers and parents here

5. “The Nest” 

A drinking, partying teenage surrogate who lives with the intended parents, a drug-dealing intended father, a swapped embryo, some murder, mystery and general mayhem ensue. This series takes place in the U.K., but this show flies in the face of the requirements of actual surrogacy professionals in the U.S. and the surrogacy contracts that real intended parents and surrogates establish with attorneys.  

4. “Top of the Lake: China Girl” 

Their portrayal of surrogacy is just one of many wildly inaccurate and dangerously dramatized plots throughout the series. The titular “China Girl,” a murdered sex worker and illegal surrogate for intended parents working outside the law in Australia, is one of many outlandish (and at times, offensive) aspects of the show. 

3. “Roseanne”  

Becky decides to pursue surrogacy purely for money — she’s promised a whopping and unrealistic $50,000. She also lies about her age and is faced with unreasonable demands from the intended parent. In real life, base compensation starts at about $35,000–$40,000 for a first-time surrogate like Becky, who also would have been carefully screened and background-checked prior to her acceptance into a gestational surrogacy program like American Surrogacy. Additionally, the wishes of intended parents and surrogates are talked about with their American Surrogacy specialist long before the process ever begins, to ensure everyone is on the same page and feels comfortable with how things move forward. 

2. “Superstore”  

Dina volunteers to be Glenn’s surrogate, although she’s never been pregnant or given birth before — a requirement for surrogates in real life. At different points, comedic misunderstandings are inserted into the plot, including disagreements about the contract (which would have been discussed with an attorney beforehand in real life), threats to have unprotected sex in the midst of the surrogacy process, shock over what childbirth is like and more. Unsurprisingly, none of this is a realistic depiction of the careful, legal contract between surrogates and intended parents. 

1. “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 

This is probably the most accurate of these portrayals, although it’s still not realistic by a long shot. After two unsuccessful rounds of IVF, Darryl runs out of the money he’d saved to conceive a child. He is successful once Rebecca donates her egg for free and Heather offers herself as a gestational carrier, also for free.  

But, who is covering the costs of Rebecca’s egg retrieval and Heather’s medical processes? Were the reimbursements of these costs discussed and established in a contract with a licensed attorney? Heather had never given birth before, which is a requirement for surrogates, so she wouldn’t have been a gestational surrogate in the first place.  It’s not a wildly inaccurate portrayal, but it’s not a very clear one, either. 

Red Flags in Fictional Surrogacy 

One common theme in these fictional portrayals: Many of the surrogates had never been pregnant before and they panicked midway through their pregnancies at the thought of childbirth, which they mysteriously had not considered up until that point. In real life, gestational carriers must have given birth at least once before, with no history of complications. Real surrogates have a history of smooth pregnancies and childbirth, and enjoy being pregnant. It’s what draws them to surrogacy in the first place. 

Another fairly common element in TV storylines is the presence of traditional surrogacy, which has been all but fully phased out in favor of gestational surrogacy. In fact, most professionals in the U.S., American Surrogacy included, won’t complete traditional surrogacy journeys. But, traditional surrogacy is more dramatic, so it makes for better television. 

There’s another red flag in most of these stories: Informal agreements without the guidance of a professional. Surrogacy professionals screen and background check the prospective gestational carrier as well as the intended parents. They educate the participants about the highs and lows of the surrogacy process, so everyone knows what to expect — no comedic surprises, unlike TV’s depiction of surrogacy in sitcoms. Professionals help intended parents and surrogate forge supportive, healthy relationships, which often turn into genuine friendships. So, none of the situations in the TV shows mentioned above would have ever happened under the guidance of an actual surrogacy professional. 

Instead of perpetuating myths about real surrogacy experiences, we encourage anyone and everyone to read the stories of our real-life gestational surrogates and families created through surrogacy. Their stories may not be shown on the small screen, but they’re far more meaningful! 

Are Women Getting Rich Off of Surrogacy?

If you want to skip the rest of this article, we’ll give you the answer to the question right now: No. Women aren’t getting rich by becoming surrogates. Here’s why:

Gestational Surrogate Compensation Compared to the Average Annual Income 

The average annual wage in 2019 in the U.S. was $51,916.27, and the average median wage was $34,248.45. Let’s compare that to what a gestational surrogate makes: 

The base compensation for a first-time surrogate usually starts around $35,000–$40,000. That amount increases based on a surrogate’s experience and other factors. Surrogates then receive additional payments at different points throughout the pregnancy, and they will be reimbursed for all pregnancy- and surrogacy-related expenses. 

That starting rate of surrogate compensation could hardly be called “getting rich,” since it’s less than what many Americans make in a year. 

Is That More or Less Than You Expected? 

If that base compensation seems like a lot, that’s probably because you don’t know much about the effort and sacrifices that gestational carriers take on. Pregnancy and childbirth aren’t exactly easy, and surrogacy adds additional steps to the process. We’ll examine that further below. 

Conversely, was that starting number less than you were expecting? That may be because you’ve heard of surrogacy agencies that claim to pay women up to $63,000. However, their promises are extremely misleading. Not every surrogacy agency is as transparent as American Surrogacy, so we urge you to use caution when researching base compensation for surrogates. 

The payment that surrogates receive isn’t enough to get rich. But, it’s still a reasonable and important way to compensate women for the physical risks they accept and the amount of time and effort they sacrifice. 

Time and Physical Effort Invested 

For most gestational surrogates, the surrogacy process will take about one year from start to finish. It typically takes a couple months for a surrogate to complete the screening and approval processes, and then she may wait a bit to be paired with the right intended parents. Add in the unknown amount of time that it will take for her to become pregnant — it can take a few cycles of IVF before an embryo successfully “sticks,” while some surrogates will have success on the first try. 

All told, surrogates will usually invest roughly a year of their life to help intended parents have a child. 

Let’s look at what a surrogate would be doing during that time: 

  • Completing screening and approval processes, which involve medical tests, interviews with the surrogacy professional, counseling, emotional assessments and more. 
  • Attending regular doctor’s appointments (more than she would for a standard pregnancy) to ensure prenatal health, neonatal checkups, fertility treatments, IVF and embryo transfers, ultrasounds and more. 
  • Self-administering daily fertility medications throughout the IVF process. 
  • Communicating with her American Surrogacy specialist and the intended parents about how she’s feeling and the status of the baby. 
  • Taking care of her own children, attending to her own household and her own work. 
  • Preparing for and experiencing childbirth. 

As you can see, it’s not just sitting around, being pregnant! Gestational surrogates invest a lot of their time, effort and love into the surrogacy process. It’s a major commitment, and it’s one that deserves fair compensation. 

Surrogacy Compensation is a Financial Boost, Not Enough to Be the Sole Source of Income 

Many gestational surrogates are stay-at-home moms, or only work outside of the home part-time. So, although they’re contributing vitally to their families, they aren’t always the sole breadwinner — their spouses usually work outside the home.  

By becoming a surrogate, these women can help provide a financial boost to their family’s normal income. In some ways, it’s not unlike taking on a temporary, part-time job. The compensation they receive as a gestational carrier often goes toward specific financial goals, like a down payment for a home or their child’s college fund. 

These women don’t view surrogacy as a way “get rich quick” (which isn’t accurate, anyway) — they simply see it as a way to help someone else to become a parent while they also provide for their own family. 

Surrogates Are Required to Be Financially Stable 

What’s more, most surrogacy agencies (American Surrogacy included) actually require a prospective gestational surrogate to be financially stable. Meaning, she can support herself and her family without surrogacy compensation. Why? If a woman is only becoming a surrogate for financial reasons, rather than because she genuinely wants to, surrogacy could easily enter a realm where low-income women are exploited or feel financially pressured to become surrogates in order to make ends meet. 

Professionals like American Surrogacy want to make sure that a woman is choosing to carry someone’s child not out of necessity, but because she genuinely wants to help a family, and because she enjoys being pregnant. Then, the payments she receives are a fair compensation for the time, effort and physical risk she is taking on. It’s just the cherry on top. 

Surrogates Experience More Meaningful Rewards 

These women aren’t looking to get rich. They simply have a history of easy, enjoyable pregnancies, and they know they can use that incredible ability to help another couple know the joy of parenthood. Surrogates aren’t in it for the money. They’re carrying someone else’s child because they know it’s the most important gift they can give to someone else. 

That’s not a gift that can ever be repaid. But, the families that a surrogate helps will offer a lifetime of gratitude, all the same. 

Have more questions about American Surrogacy’s compensation for gestational carriers? Interested in becoming a gestational surrogate yourself? Contact us now.  

Should You Get the COVID-19 Vaccine If You’re Pregnant?

On December 16, 2020, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) released a statement for people who are pregnant or who are planning to get pregnant regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. This has significant meaning for gestational surrogates and intended parents, who were previously in a wait-and-see holding pattern.

The statement says that pregnant people, and anyone planning to get pregnant, cango ahead and get vaccinated — as long as your health provider gives you the OK to do so.

Ultimately, you’re free to choose whether or not you get vaccinated. It’s a discussion that intended parents and gestational surrogates should have, along with their American Surrogacy specialist.

If you’re (understandably) nervous about COVID or about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, this guide will help gestational surrogates and intended parents to make a decision on what’s best for them, and for the baby. Please note: You should still talk to your doctor first! They can offer you medical advice based on your individual situation.

COVID-19 Vaccine Basics

Here’s a brief introductory lesson on the COVID-19 vaccine, and some considerations for surrogates and intended parents:

  • As you probably know, pregnant women are at a greater risk for becoming seriously sick as a result of COVID-19.
  • Two different pharmaceutical companies, Moderna and Pfizer, have produced COVID-19 vaccines — both are about 95% effective. You probably won’t be able to choose which one you receive.
  • More vaccines are on the way, and they will also probably be safe for pregnant women.
  • The vaccine requires two doses, administered 21-28 days apart, depending on which vaccine you receive.
  • You will need to receive both doses of the vaccine in order for it to be effective.
  • The first shot is a primer and then the second is a booster shot.
  • The vaccine does not contain the live virus itself, and cannot give you COVID-19.
  • You will need to continue wearing your mask, practicing good hand-washing and hygiene habits and social distancing even after you’ve received both doses of the vaccine.
  • Common side effects include injection site pain, fatigue, headache, muscle and join pain. A handful of people have experienced fevers or allergic reactions. You may want to consider taking a day off to rest up after receiving the booster dose — some recipients say they feel a bit tired and achy for a day or two.
  • Vaccine side effects are a sign that your immune system is working as it should, not a sign that a vaccine isn’t working or that something is wrong. However, monitor how you feel after receiving the vaccine, and call your doctor if you’re worried.
  • If you’ve had a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine in the past, you should check with your doctor before getting the COVID vaccine.
  • Pregnant people were not included in the testing groups for the vaccine, which was why health organizations were initially wary to conclusively state that the vaccine was safe for pregnant women. However, so far there have been no harmful effects for pregnant women or for fetuses, and these organizations have concluded that the likely benefits outweigh the unlikely risks. Because the vaccine does not include the live virus, experts have little reason to believe that the vaccine would be harmful to pregnant women or to unborn babies. But, we understand the lack of data may be too great a worry for you.
  • There are still some unknowns, like how long the vaccine protects you, whether it can protect you against an asymptomatic infection, or if you can transmit the virus if you do become infected and are asymptomatic.

Ultimately, when weighing the potential pros and cons, experts say that it’s fine to get the vaccine when it’s available to you. That being said, you should always consult with your doctor before getting vaccinated, especially if you are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant as a gestational surrogate!

Gestational surrogates and intended parents should also talk about the choice to get vaccinated with their American Surrogacy specialist. It’s important for you all to be on the same page.

What the ASRM Says About Pregnancy and the Vaccine

In the statement released December 16 of 2020, the American Society for Reproductive had this to say to anyone who is pregnant (or plans to become pregnant):

  • “The Task Force does not recommend withholding the vaccine from patients who are planning to conceive, who are currently pregnant, or who are lactating. These recommendations are in line with those of the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM).”

What that means for you: The general consensus among professionals who are responsible for the health of pregnant women and fetuses is that the vaccine can be administered to surrogates.

  • “Patients undergoing fertility treatment and pregnant patients should be encouraged to receive vaccination based on eligibility criteria. Since the vaccine is not a live virus, there is no reason to delay pregnancy attempts because of vaccination administration or to defer treatment until the second dose has been administered.”

What that means for you: Getting vaccinated is still likely safe for surrogates who are currently undergoing, or are planning to undergo fertility treatments, IVF, embryo transfers and pregnancy. It’s also probably safe for intended parents planning to harvest their gametes for the surrogacy journey. Wherever you’re at in your surrogacy journey, that journey will not be affected or delayed if you choose to receive a COVID vaccine.

  • “Recent studies have suggested that pregnancy is a risk factor for severe COVID-19 disease. Furthermore, many women who are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy have additional risk factors such as obesity, hypertension or diabetes which may further increase the chance of severe disease from COVID-19 infection. These considerations should be included in decisions regarding vaccination.”

What that means for you: As you probably know, pregnant women have a higher risk of experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms. This will be a factor in the conversation with your doctor about getting vaccinated.

  • “Because COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are not composed of live virus, they are not thought to cause an increased risk of infertility, first or second trimester loss, stillbirth, or congenital anomalies. It should be noted that pregnant and lactating women were excluded from the initial phase III trials of these two vaccines, so specific safety data in these populations are not yet available and further studies are planned. However, the mechanism of action of mRNA vaccines and existing safety data provide reassurance regarding the safety of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines during pregnancy. The FDA EUA letter permits the vaccination of pregnant and breastfeeding individuals with a requirement that the company engage in post-authorization observational studies in pregnancy.”

What that means for you: Even though pregnant women weren’t included in the original trials of the vaccine, this type of vaccine has been extensively studied and is generally considered safe for pregnant women and for the pregnancy itself. However, we understand the lack of data may give you pause.

  • “While COVID-19 vaccination can cause fever in some patients (up to 16% of those vaccinated and mostly after the second dose), this risk should not be a concern when deciding whether to vaccinate a pregnant individual or a patient desiring pregnancy. While fever in pregnancy (particularly the 1st trimester) has been associated with an increased risk of neural tube defects, a recent study demonstrated the association no longer remained significant if the patient is taking >400 mcg of folic acid daily. Another large Danish cohort study did not demonstrate any increased risk of congenital anomalies of those who reported fever in the first trimester. Additionally, the most common symptom of COVID-19 infection itself is fever (83-99% of affected patients). Patients who experience fever following vaccination should take an antipyretic medication, like acetaminophen.”

What that means for you: Even if a gestational surrogate experiences vaccine side effects like a fever, it shouldn’t harm the surrogate or the pregnancy, especially if you’re taking your recommended folic acid.

  • “Patients who conceive in the window between the first and second dose of the vaccine should be offered the second dose of the vaccine at the appropriate interval.”

What that means for you: It’s OK if you become pregnant in between your first and second dose. Go ahead and get your second vaccine dose as scheduled.

  • “Physicians should promote vaccination to patients, their communities, and to the public. Preliminary data suggests that those populations at greatest risk of severe disease from COVID-19 may also be the most hesitant to be vaccinated, and specific efforts to increase vaccine uptake in these communities should be undertaken.”

What that means for you: We know you’re worried about the health and safety of this pregnancy, as well as your own safety. But, after checking in with your doctor, you’re free to schedule your COVID vaccine as soon as it’s available to you. The benefits may outweigh the risks.

What American Surrogacy Recommends

We know that if you’re a gestational surrogate or an intended parent, or if you’re thinking about starting your surrogacy journey as a surrogate or parent, you’re probably worried about how COVID-19 affects your surrogacy journey. During a surrogacy journey, the gestational surrogate and intended parents worry about everything that goes into the surrogate’s body — everyone’s priority is the health and safety of the surrogate and baby.

With that top priority in mind, and with the recommendations of trusted health organizations, American Surrogacy joins in recommending that gestational surrogates can receive the COVID-19 vaccine, as long as the surrogate, the intended parents and the surrogate’s doctor are all comfortable with this. However, a COVID-19 vaccine is not currently required for our surrogates — the decision to receive the vaccine is still at the discretion of the surrogate, the intended parents and the surrogate’s doctor.

Wherever you’re currently at in your surrogacy journey, we suggest speaking to your doctor about getting vaccinated. Ask your doctor when a COVID-19 vaccine might be available to you, and ask if they think you might have any health conditions or risk factors that would make the vaccine inadvisable in your situation.

As long as your doctor and your surrogacy partners agree with this choice, you’re free to get the vaccine when it’s available to you. But, when in doubt, consult your American Surrogacy specialist!

A Year in Review: The Biggest Surrogacy News from 2020

Surrogacy is an ever-changing field. Each year, legislation is changed, laws are fine-tuned and most important, families are made. However, more than ever, this year shook the surrogacy world. 

As all of us navigated the COVID-19 crisis, we watched as every aspect of our lives was impacted, including surrogacy. Here are some of the biggest developments that 2020 brought to the world of surrogacy:

IVF Procedures Were Temporarily Halted

This spring, fertility treatments and IVF procedures were temporarily suspended in response to the worsening outbreak of COVID-19. This was devastating news to the intended parents and surrogates who were about to undertake this next step in their journey.

Since then, fertility clinics have reopened with additional health and safety measures. Intended parents and surrogates have been able to resume the process and move forward.

Families Created through Surrogacy Faced Uncertainty and Separation

One of the scariest parts of the year for intended parents and surrogates was the inability to travel. As countries around the world instituted travel bans and in-country quarantines, surrogates and intended parents who were pursuing international surrogacy were separated.

Intended parents and surrogates who were pursuing domestic surrogacy were largely unaffected, but some international matches are still struggling with COVID-related travel bans.

International Surrogacy Became Too Great a Risk

In many ways, 2020 signaled the end of international surrogacy. While this type of surrogacy has always held greater risk than domestic surrogacy, the tragic separation of international intended parents and surrogates forced the world to reexamine this common path to parenthood.

Now, more than ever, intended parents and surrogates are urged to complete their surrogacy journeys domestically with agencies like American Surrogacy.

Gestational Carriers Stepped Up Even Further

In the worst-case-scenarios that many international surrogacy matches had to face this year, gestational carriers once again proved themselves to be fearlessly compassionate and giving. 

Devastated international intended parents were unable to be with their surrogate for her delivery and the arrival of their child. But many of these gestational surrogates bravely took on the task of caring for the intended parents child until they could be reunited. They adapted to the challenges at hand and rose above and beyond what they were originally asked to do.

As a result, international intended parents have since been able to reunite with their babies with peace of mind, knowing that their child was cared for in their absence.

American Surrogacy Keeps Making Families

Through this rollercoaster of a year, American Surrogacy has continued to help create families. We’re so proud of our specialists, who expertly navigated our intended parents and gestational surrogates through the unknowns of 2020. 

As we move into 2021, American Surrogacy will continue to be a safe and supportive place to grow your family. Intended parents and gestational surrogates who were originally considering an international agency have now turned to domestic agencies like American Surrogacy to help them pursue their surrogacy dreams. 

Despite all the challenges and uncertainties of 2020, American Surrogacy continued to grow families through the gift of surrogacy. We’ll continue to do the same in the coming year, and we’re honored to be a part of your surrogacy journey in 2021!

7 Ways Gestational Surrogacy is a Gift

The holiday season encourages us to reflect on the gifts we give and are given. And we’re not just talking about presents under the tree!

There are gifts in the world that are truly special, and can never be repaid. Gestational surrogacy is such a gift. Here are 7 ways gestational surrogacy reminds us of these special gifts:

1. The ability to carry and deliver a baby is a gift.

So many people assume this ability is a given — until they learn that they don’t possess this gift. Gestational surrogates recognize that their ability to carry and deliver a baby is a gift that can be shared with others. 

It takes an incredible person to be willing to share this gift with someone else. Gestational surrogates honor and celebrate the gift that their bodies can give in the most amazing way possible.

One of the most beautiful aspects of surrogacy is that none of the people involved will ever take this gift for granted again.

2. Gamete donors give families a gift, too.

The men and women who choose to donate their genetics and help families in their IVF journeys are contributing more than just the building blocks of a life. They’re giving an important gift.

These donors understand that they have something that so many others desperately wish for: The ability to help create a life. They choose to give this gift to hopeful parents (who are sometimes complete strangers) and in doing so, they give the gift of life. 

3. Surrogates give their time, effort and love.

Beyond the natural gift that their bodies possess, gestational surrogates give so much. Carrying and caring for someone else’s child requires an intense amount of physical effort, time, patience and love.

They endure uncomfortable medical procedures, stick themselves with needles, take medications, keep themselves in top health and ultimately, go through childbirth. All while still caring for their own family and handling their personal and career responsibilities. Gestational carriers give all of this to the intended family because they know how much parenthood means to them.

4. Intended parents give their surrogate their trust, love and a place in their family.

In turn, the intended parents give back to their surrogate. They give her the gift of their complete trust — trusting someone else to carry and care for your child is no small gift, and surrogates understand this.

Intended parents welcome their gestational surrogate as an important part of their lives and in their child’s story. They give her the gift of their love and gratitude, forever.

5. The families of the surrogate and intended parents give them their love and support.

While they may seem “behind the scenes,” there are so many people who are giving the surrogate and intended parents any gifts they can. Without them, no surrogacy journey would be possible.

The friends, families and loved ones of the gestational carrier and the intended parents are there to give their love, encouragement and support. Whether through a kind word, a hand around the house or a hug, these people give everything that surrogates and intended parents need throughout their surrogacy journey.

6. Modern science gives the gift of parenthood to so many.

None of this would be possible without the gift of modern science. The medical professionals involved in every surrogacy journey give the gift of their knowledge and talent.

The IVF process, fertility specialists, lab technicians and everyone whose research contributed to these advancements all give an amazing gift to the world. Thanks to the gift of science, families can be created where they would otherwise not be able to have children.

7. This child will be a gift to so many people throughout his or her life.

Most of all, surrogacy gives the gift of a new life to the entire world. It’s humbling to think of all the people whose lives will be better by knowing the person who is being created.

This child will have family, friends, coworkers, peers and more who can all benefit from knowing him or her. The ripple effect that surrogacy creates is truly a gift.


How are you grateful for surrogacy this year? Let us know in the comments!

Should You Pursue Surrogacy in 2021?

2020 affected us all — including gestational surrogates and intended parents. As a result of all this uncertainty, many people are now asking themselves, “Should I still move forward with surrogacy in 2021?”

It’s important to note that international surrogacy should not be attempted in 2021, due to the continued travel restrictions related to COVID-19. Below, we’ll only cover domestic surrogacy (surrogacy within the U.S.).

You may not want to wait to complete your family, or to achieve your dream of helping others experience parenthood. We completely understand. Even though things feel less certain, you still have an overwhelming desire to pursue surrogacy. If you’re ready, we’ll help you do it.

How can you know if you’re ready to begin a surrogacy journey in the coming year? Here are 5 questions that you should ask yourself before pursuing surrogacy in 2021:

1. Are you financially stable enough for surrogacy?

Did your savings take a hit as a result of the economic fallout of the ongoing pandemic? If so, you may want to revisit surrogacy once you’ve built your emergency reserves back up. But, if you feel that you’re still financially able to pursue surrogacy, 2021 may be your year.

Talking with an American Surrogacy specialist can help you to assess whether or not you’re financially ready to begin a surrogacy journey. We may be able to offer some advice to help intended parents to afford their surrogacy expenses.

2. Are you emotionally ready for surrogacy?

2020 has been an emotional year for us all. Are you feeling up to the emotions of surrogacy right now?

The surrogacy process is often very emotional, for both the gestational carrier and the intended parents. Again, talk to an American Surrogacy specialist about what to expect. That way, you’ll be ready to face the ups and downs ahead. Remember that we’re always here to support you!

3. Are you physically ready for surrogacy?

Women who are considering becoming a gestational surrogate have to meet a series of important physical health requirements to ensure that surrogacy is safe for them. Intended parents also need to be physically ready for surrogacy, but in a different way. They need to have a home and family that is truly ready for a new addition.

On top of these requirements, COVID-19 is going to continue to be a physical concern for surrogates and intended parents in 2021. We’ll touch more on that later.

But for now, if you’re unsure about the physical requirements of surrogacy, reach out to an American Surrogacy specialist. They’ll be able to provide you with more information and talk to you about the preliminary screening processes.

4. Do you have a support system?

This year, we’ve all been separated from friends and family — the people we usually lean on for support. Now, more than ever, it’s important for you to have a strong support system. Even if they’re cheering you on from a distance!

Intended parents: Do you have people you can turn to for emotional support and encouragement as you begin the surrogacy process in 2021? When you need to be with your surrogate, or when it’s time to welcome your baby, do you have someone who can house-sit/pet-sit/babysit?

Surrogates: Likewise, do you have people you can rely on for emotional support and encouragement? When you need to attend doctor appointments, when you advance in your pregnancy and when it’s time to deliver, do you have someone who can watch your kids and help you around the home?

Remember that your American Surrogacy specialist will always be here to support you in any way she can!

5. Would you feel more comfortable waiting until there’s a vaccine?

This is something that every prospective surrogate and intended parent will need to decide for themselves. We all hoped that there would be an effective and widely-available COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2020. But as we go into 2021, you’ll have to decide if you’re willing to put your surrogacy journey on hold until that vaccine is globally distributed, or if you’re going to move forward.

Pregnant women and newborns are in the “high-risk” category for COVID-related health complications. This is a scary thought for surrogates and intended parents. And while many people have had successful surrogacy journeys in the midst of the pandemic, you’ll have to decide for yourself if you feel comfortable moving forward.

It’s also worth noting that the early stages of surrogacy take some time — there wouldn’t be a pregnancy right away! First, you’ll need to complete the screening processes. Perhaps you feel comfortable starting those preliminary processes right now, knowing that it’ll be some time before you’re ready to move forward with an actual pregnancy. Again, that’s all up to you and your individual comfort level.


American Surrogacy has been successfully guiding our gestational surrogates and intended parents through the COVID-19 crisis, just like we’ve helped every family who has partnered with our agency. We’re committed to your safety, and to the safety of the children at the heart of surrogacy. So, if you’re ready, we’ll be here to help you safely pursue surrogacy in 2021!

Want to take the first steps toward this dream? Contact us now, and we’ll help you to achieve your surrogacy goals in the coming year.

10 Ways to Incorporate Your Surrogacy Story into the Holiday Season

The holiday season is finally here. We know that you’re more than a little excited to celebrate with your loved ones and the newest member of your family.

But when you’ve just bought your baby home through surrogacy, you might be unsure of how to incorporate your unique story into your annual holiday traditions.

Below are 10 ways that you can do just that.

1. Send a holiday greeting card.

If it’s been a bit since you’ve reached out to your surrogate or agency, you might think about sending them a nice holiday card. They would love to hear about how you’ve been since the end of your surrogacy journey and about your plans for the holidays. Don’t forget to include a picture of your beautiful family for them to see!

2. Show your appreciation during Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reach out to someone you’re thinking of — especially your surrogate.

There are a ton of ways that you can celebrate them during the busy Thanksgiving season. You might send them a card, spend some time together over a video chat or a phone call, or even just give thanks for them during your Thanksgiving dinner.

Let them know that you’re always thinking of them, and remind them of how much you appreciate their decision to help your family. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box if you’re looking for other ways to show your appreciation!

3. Look back on your surrogate baby book.

A memory book is a great way to keep track of the surrogacy journey. If you made one during the process, now would be an amazing time to look back on how far you’ve come. You might even add some new pictures to your book to remind you of the great times you had during this holiday season.

4. Add a sentimental ornament.

Surrogacy will impact your life many years to come. To commemorate this special journey, why not add a sentimental ornament to your Christmas tree? You might pick an ornament that has your child’s birth date on it or the date of their expected arrival. Take a look at Etsy and Pinterest for some really cool ideas.

5. Gift a book about surrogacy.

The best thing about Christmas and Hannukah is giving and receiving, and who doesn’t love getting books during the holiday? There are a ton of books available about that go in-depth about surrogacy for intended parents, surrogates, children and anyone else who may be curious about what the process is really like.

If you know someone who’s thinking about starting their own surrogacy journey, is in the middle of their journey or already has children through surrogacy, a book is a great holiday gift option.

6. Think about your favorite childhood traditions.

Of all the traditions you had as a child, was there anything that you especially loved? You can recreate them with your child’s surrogacy story in mind. For example, if you had a ton of fun making holiday cookies with your loved ones, you can do the same with your child. Make sure to send some of those goodies to your surrogate with a sweet note!

7. Honor the surrogacy journey.

The holidays are a perfect time to look at the past and feel grateful for everything that we have. Take a moment during this busy season to explain to your child how thankful you are for the surrogacy journey. Talk about how thankful you are that you and your child were brought together by surrogacy and remind your child of how special they are.

8. Plan a new holiday celebration together.

You may already have tons of holiday traditions, but what about something new that’s just focused on surrogacy? You could read a book about surrogacy together, or you could set aside some time during your holiday celebrations to talk with your surrogate or your surrogacy specialist.

9. Watch a positive movie about surrogacy.

We love relaxing on the couch and watching a movie with our family during the holiday season. Although not every surrogacy movie gets the process right, there are some that are worth checking out, like A Belly for Me, A Baby for You and The Guys Next Door.

10. Read a book together about surrogacy.

There are tons of books about the surrogacy process that you can read together with your child, even when they’re young. Some are told from the perspective of a child, so your child will have an age-appropriate explanation for what the surrogacy process is really like and an easier time connecting with the story.

If you’re looking for something geared toward adults, there are plenty of books that you might consider checking out.

How Will You Celebrate?

The holidays are some of the best times of the year. If you’ve been looking for some great ways to celebrate your surrogacy story, then we hope this blog gave you some new ideas.

Need some more? Reach out to your surrogacy specialist anytime for suggestions.

Recommended Reading While You’re Waiting During the Holidays

For many people, the holidays come with a lot of free time — which means this is the perfect opportunity for you to check out some of the best reading resources for intended parents and surrogates.

We know that the wait can be tough, but there are plenty of things that you can do to take your mind off the surrogacy process. Take the time now to sit down with these books and informational resources.

Whether you’ve been thinking about starting the surrogacy process over the long break, or you’re already in the middle of a journey, we hope that you can find something helpful here.

Recommended Reading for Intended Parents

Becoming an intended parent is an exciting journey. Because surrogacy is still fairly new, there is a lot to learn about this process. While you’re enjoying your holiday break, here is some of the best reading resources for intended parents.

Recommended Reading for Infertility

Coping with the loss of infertility is one of the hardest parts about starting the surrogacy journey and moving toward parenthood. If you’re looking for books about the infertility journey and blogs written by couples in your situation, start here:

Books for Explaining Surrogacy to Your Child

Surrogacy should be talked about openly and honestly. If you’re looking for ways to explain the process to your child or for books that you can read together during the holiday break, here are some great options to get started.

  • The Kangaroo Pouch: A Story About Surrogacy for Young Children: The Kangaroo Pouch is a simple, beautiful book that all families touched by surrogacy will love reading together. Told from the prospective of a young child, this story presents a step-by-step look of one family’s decision to grow through surrogacy and what life is like during the pregnancy and after.
  • I LoVe My Family: I LoVe My Family is a great way to explain surrogacy and assisted conception to young children. Filled with diverse pictures and inclusive language, this is the perfect tool to answer any of your child’s questions.
  • Grown in Another Garden: Grown in another Garden introduces the idea of surrogacy to young children. Told from the perspective of a surro-born child, this story helps explain why some couples choose surrogacy to grow their family.

Recommended Reading for Surrogates

There’s no such thing as too much information when it comes to surrogacy. Whether you’re in the middle of your surrogacy journey or thinking about becoming a surrogate, here are some informational books you should check out.

  • Everything Conceivable: This book has great information for intended parents and surrogates. It includes personal stories from everyone involved in surrogacy, along with an in-depth look at the entire surrogacy process.
  • Birthing a Mother: The Surrogate Body and the Pregnant Self: If you’re looking for a book that explores how intended mothers and surrogates relate to once another throughout the process, this is what you want.
  • Labor of Love: Gestational Surrogacy and the Work of Making Babies: This book includes a series of interviews from intended parents, gestational surrogates, and their family and friends. If you’re looking for a book that covers multiple perspectives, along with an in-depth look at the history of surrogacy, this is one to check out.
  • My Mom is a Surrogate: If you’re a surrogate, your children are going to be naturally curious about the process. This book follows a pair of siblings as they watch their mother become a surrogate. If you’re looking for a helpful way to explain the surrogacy process to your child, this book is a great way to get started.

Find Your New Favorite Book

The holidays are one of the best times of the year. It’s the perfect chance to look back and appreciate how far we’ve come, make our favorite resolutions for the new year and just unwind.

Whether it’s a book or a blog post, there always something to read during the holidays. Take the time to read something new as you get ready for the next part of your surrogacy journey.

Is there anything that you’re reading for your surrogacy and parenting journey? Let us know in the comments!

10 Holiday Gift Alternatives for Those Going Through Surrogacy

Are you gearing up for the holiday season? If you’re like most people, then you’re probably struggling with what to give your loved ones — especially if they’re an intended parent or a surrogate and you’re not sure about what is appropriate.

It’s easy to stick with the usual just to be safe: gift cards to their favorite restaurants or to a movie, clothes, holiday money. But we know that you’d rather get them something that’s a little more special. If you’ve having a hard time figuring out what to give them that will really blow them away, you’re not alone.

If you’re tired of pacing the aisles of Target to find the perfect gift, or if you’re looking for something a little out of the box, check out 10 gift ideas that will really impress your loved one going through the surrogacy process.

1. Sending Ready-Made Meals

Even those of us who absolutely love to cook could use a break sometimes. If your intended parent or surrogate’s idea of a good time is spending the evening in the kitchen, ordering a meal-kit delivery service is a great way to take the extra burden of meal-prepping off their shoulders. And, now that meal kits are more popular than ever, you have plenty of options to choose from.

These services are an easy way to ensure that the person you’re buying them for has healthy meals all week long without having to drive to the grocery store. Many of them also have options for specific diets   like vegan or vegetarian. Some, like Snap Kitchen and Fresh and Easy, even provide ready-made meals, which takes away the stress of getting dinner on the table ready. The options range in price, so you should be able to find one that fits perfectly in your budget.

A few favorites?

2. Meal-Prepping for Surrogates Who are Pregnant

There’s nothing better than having a meal made ahead of time. If you like the idea of meal-kit services, but you’d like to put your own spin on things, you might think about meal-prepping for your surrogate during her pregnancy.

Being pregnant isn’t easy, especially when carrying a child for someone else. With so much to worry about, it can be stressful to keep the fridge stocked and dinner on the table. During this holiday season, take the load off a surrogate’s shoulders by doing some of the heavy lifting for her. If you start early on Sunday morning, she’ll have plenty to enjoy throughout the week.

3. Donating to an Intended Parent’s Surrogacy Fund

Everyone loves getting gift cards during the holiday season. They’re simple, and you can find them just about anywhere. But this year, you might think about donating to something other than your local restaurant’s or movie theatre’s cash fund.

If your friend or loved one is pursing surrogacy, even just a little bit of your financial support goes a long way toward making a difference in their surrogacy expenses. Like adoption, surrogacy is an expensive endeavor. It takes a lot of time, money and resources to make intended parents’ dreams of building a family a reality. If you decide to donate to their surrogacy fund, you could take a financial burden off their shoulders.  burden off their shoulders.

4. Donating Your Time

The holidays are all about spending time together. It might seem like a small gift, but just your time can make a huge difference during someone’s surrogacy journey. Run their errands, offer babysitting services for their other children as they make their way to medical appointments, and more.

This can be a priceless gift for super busy people like your surrogate or intended parent. And having one stress-free day will make their surrogacy journey so much easier.

5. Giving Something Sentimental

The surrogacy journey will connect intended parents and surrogates together for years to come. If you are wondering what to give each other, it might be nice to either make or commission a gift that will remind you of your journey together. Consider a necklace that has the baby’s birthdate, a bracelet with the family’s initials, or some other personalized present.

6. Making a Homemade Treat

Over the last year, we’ve all had plenty of time to practice our baking and cooking skills. You’ve probably seen people on social media showing off their bread-making skills in the comfort of their own home. If you fall into that category, now is the time to show your loved ones how much you’ve learned.

Bring over some delicious bread, some handmade jam, or anything else that you think they might like.

7. Organizing a Personalized Gift Basket

You’ve probably seen gift baskets like Edible Arrangements, but you can also make your own gift basket for the special person in your life. Remember, it doesn’t need to be expensive or extravagant.

While you’re making your gift basket, think about where your loved one is at in their surrogacy journey. For example, if this is the intended parents’ first Christmas with their baby, they might want a few special items — like an ornament or figurine — that will help them commemorate this special day.

Likewise, think about where a surrogate is at in her pregnancy. If she’s just delivered, she might like something to commemorate the experience with the intended parents, as well as items for her postpartum recovery.

8. Putting Together a Memory Book

The surrogacy journey is full of ups and downs — just like any family-building experience. For this holiday season, you might decide to look back and create your own memory book of your surrogacy journey. Make a collection of your favorite pregnancy photos and or pictures of your child and put them in the book to share repeatedly.

Don’t forget a copy for your surrogacy partner!

9. Choosing Something for the Surrogate’s Family

If you’re the intended parent or the family of an intended parent, it could be nice to include a small gift for the surrogate and her family. Whether it’s something handmade or something you plan on buying, we’re sure you’ll find something special — like tickets to a local zoo or a movie night out.

10. Just Spending Time Together

Giving gifts is a wonderful part of the holidays. But it’s not the most important thing.

If you can, carve out some time to spend with the intended parents or the surrogate. Even if you choose to not spend any money, you can still have a great time with fun, family-friendly activities. Hold a talent show, a concert, or just watch a movie together from a distance.

It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday cheer and go all out with elaborate, expensive gifts. But the best gifts are the ones with the most thought put into them.

No matter what you decide to give your intended parents or surrogate, we know that they’ll appreciate it. If you put in the time and care to think about what they really want, you will make this holiday season one to remember.

Looking for more holiday gift ideas for your surrogacy partner? Contact your surrogacy specialist for suggestions!

The Importance of Grieving Infertility Before Pursuing Surrogacy

Becoming a parent is one of life’s greatest joys. As you start the surrogacy process, the last thing you want to think about is your infertility journey. After all, your dreams are finally coming true. Now that parenthood is your destination, you can put those painful memories in the rearview mirror and move forward. What is there to worry about?

A lot, actually.

Before you dive headfirst into the surrogacy process, you need to come to terms with and fully grieve your infertility journey. There’s just no way around it. Any unchecked feelings about your infertility journey will impact your mental health, your parenting experience and your relationship with your child. If you haven’t already accepted your infertility grief, it’s going to be hard to move forward from your loss and give the surrogacy experience your all.

Many intended parents have successful parenting experiences after infertility, but you do need to be aware of the challenges that arise when it comes to parenting after infertility.

Why Accepting Your Infertility is a Crucial First Step

The grief of infertility is a heavy burden to carry. It’s so heavy, in fact, that it will be easy for your child to pick up on any negative emotions that you’re trying to keep bottled up.

Even if you think that you’re doing a good job handling your grief and loss, any resentment you have toward not being able to carry your child yourself will affect your relationship with them and their self-esteem. And often, it can hurt your child for many years to come.

We know that you’re excited to become a parent and that you’re more than ready for this experience. However, becoming a parent when you’re not 100% emotionally ready is not fair to you or your child.

The way you feel about your surrogacy experience will shape how your child sees themselves and how they see the surrogacy process. If you continue to carry around resentment about the surrogacy process, or if you only see surrogacy as the second-best option, your child could start to feel like they’re like they’re the backup plan or like the way they came into this world wasn’t enough for you.

Of course, we know that you never want your child to feel this way. It’s OK if surrogacy wasn’t your first choice, but to prevent your child from ever feeling these painful emotions, you need to heal and fully accept your own fertility loss before moving forward.

You’ll never be able to fully embrace the idea of surrogacy when your heart is still yearning for that pregnancy experience. You might feel like you’re “giving up” by choosing surrogacy instead of sticking with IVF treatments. That’s absolutely not the truth. But, if you’re going to put so much time and energy into this family-building process, then you need to be 100% on board in order to become the best parents a child could ever ask for.

How to Cope with Infertility

Learning how to cope with infertility is the first step toward moving forward. On your journey to parenthood, there are a few ways that you can cope with and eventually accept your infertility.

  • Share your feelings: We know that it’s hard to talk about, but infertility affects more families than you know. If you’re one of the many couples coping with infertility, we know that it can be tough to talk about and be open about what you’re experiencing. But just know that you’re not alone. About 1 in 8 couples experience the devastating heartbreak of infertility. There are people ready to listen to what you’re going through. You can always reach out to an infertility counselor when you need advice.
  • Allow yourself to truly feel your emotions: Going through infertility is already hard enough, so don’t feel like you must keep everything bottled up. You’re not doing yourself or your partner any favors when you pretend that everything is OK when it’s not. Fully embracing each of the stages of grief is the key to moving forward.
  • Be honest with your partner: Your partner will be your closest source of support. What you’re going through right now is incredibly difficult, but it’s important that you don’t suppress feelings that can easily turn into resentment and frustration. Share your fears and worries, and work together to come up with a plan to address them.

Becoming the family you’ve always dreamed of is an incredible feeling. But know that parenting after infertility is not as easy as you might think — especially when you haven’t fully dealt with the loss.

Grieving this loss is often the hardest part about becoming a new family after infertility. It’s not uncommon to have lingering emotions of grief and loss long after infertility. Practice self-care and reach out to professionals to keep yourself as mentally healthy as possible. And, remember, there’s nothing wrong with waiting until you are ready to start your new dream as a family through surrogacy.

Your Child’s Differences Should Be Celebrated

Being born through surrogacy is not something that just happens every day. Your child is going to be curious about this process as they get older, and it is something that should be talked about openly.

Children who are born through surrogacy need to know that their unique story is something to be celebrated and embraced. They need to know their story, and they need to hear it from you.

As they learn more about surrogacy, they’re going to come to you with any questions they may have, and it’s up to you to answer them. It will be hard for you to talk about your struggles with infertility if you haven’t yet healed from that experience.

Start Your Parenting Journey

The grief of infertility is not something that will disappear overnight or when you become a parent. These emotions may come back when you least expect it. But, if you are doing the work that’s needed to cope with these feelings of grief and loss, then you should have no problem moving forward and becoming an amazing parent.

To learn more about how American Surrogacy can help you reach your parenthood goals, please contact our specialists today at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).