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!

How to Stay Safe While Celebrating the Holidays

With the holiday season in full swing, everyone is concerned about limiting the spread of COVID-19 while still finding ways to gather and celebrate with loved ones. Intended parents and gestational carriers have to be even more cautious — pregnant women and infants are considered are at high-risk for serious health complications caused by COVID-19.

Can intended parents and gestational surrogates still honor their holiday traditions in the midst of this ongoing pandemic? With some reasonable precautions, modifications and common sense — yes!

Here are 3 tips to help intended parents and surrogates celebrate safely this holiday season:

1. Know When to Say “No”

This has been tough for all of us this year. But for the health and safety of everyone, sometimes it’s best to say, “Sorry, we can’t come,” when invited to that gathering or event.

Any time you and your family are considering being around others this holiday season, whether you’re thinking about visiting family or hosting people in your own home, you’ll need to ask yourself some important questions:

  • Is this worth the risk of contracting COVID-19, or of accidentally exposing someone else?
  • Have you or anyone in attendance felt sick or experienced COVID symptoms?
  • Can it be done virtually?
  • Can we all practice social distancing and wear masks?
  • Can it be rescheduled?
  • Can we all quarantine before and after?

Nobody wants to be that person who turns down an invitation. But right now, for the safety of your family, it might be necessary. Someone else’s temporary disappointment is not worth the risking the lives of yourself, your family and potentially, an unborn baby.

2. Try Something Different This Year

Instead of trying to go about the holidays as usual, adapt to the current situation! Get creative. Skip the in-person get-togethers and consider:

  • Sending each of your friends or family members a handwritten letter. List all the reasons you’re thankful for them.
  • Swapping gifts long-distance through the mail.
  • Scheduling a regular virtual event throughout the season, like marathoning your way through cheesy Christmas movies together using a multi-viewer platform.
  • Skipping the huge, time-consuming holiday dinner this year and do something more fun. Make tacos, spaghetti, pizzas, or challenge each other to a bake-off.
  • Finding a way to make the holidays feel special when you can’t participate in your regular traditions, like having a Nutcracker dance-along in your living room instead of seeing it performed live.

3. Travel Safely

Although traveling is not recommended, if you do decide to travel for the holidays, make sure you’re traveling as safely as possible. That means:

  • Not traveling if you feel sick!
  • Driving instead of flying.
  • Taking the area’s number of COVID cases into account.
  • Wearing your mask — always!
  • Social distancing from other travelers.
  • Keeping hand sanitizer close by.
  • Quarantining before you leave and after you return (and encourage the people you’ll be around to do the same).
  • Keeping your get-together as small as possible.

Again, if you can, don’t travel at all! This year is the perfect excuse to cuddle up with your household family members, bake some cookies and binge your way through a TV series.

We know that not being able to participate in some of our favorite holiday traditions is disappointing. But, it’s more important for intended parents and surrogates to stay safe and healthy right now. Your family will understand. Hopefully, by this time next year you’ll be able to have a huge reunion. And, by next year, there will hopefully be a new baby celebrating the holidays with the intended family!