Posts Tagged ‘surrogacy’
September 18th, 2013
By: Tricia Turner, Manager of Surrogacy Case Management
The Surrogacy SOURCE http://www.thesurrogacySOURCE.com
A division of Fertility SOURCE Companies http://www.fertilitySOURCEcompanies.com
The Stork, a rainbow, “the Birds and the Bees”; these are a few stories used to answer “where do babies come from?” As adults, we understand where babies come from and the fact that sometimes, babies don’t come that way either. Adults are able to understand the struggles intended parents go through, for the chance to have their family. We understand, because we understand the Birds and The Bees. But, what happens when you have to stray form that story and add in the factor of surrogacy to make a baby for someone?
“What will you tell your children?” is a question asked most times when surrogate mothers and intended parents meet for the first time. Intended parents fear their may be a bond made between the child and the baby. Telling children about surrogacy may be a delicate situation. It is easy for us to reach out and want to help, but making sure the children understand is something to take into consideration. The “broken tummy” story seems to go over well with young children. “Ms. Jane’s tummy is broken. They put her baby in Mommy’s tummy to grow, and then we will give it back to Ms. Jane”. They seem to understand that their mommy is helping someone have a baby, and it is not going to be there brother or sister. They are proud to make the announcement to other Family members and Teachers that their Mommy is having a baby and it is not their Daddy’s. Further explanation from an adult at that time will be necessary of course.
Having the children meet the intended parents is also a good way to help them understand how their family is helping another Family. The children know how happy they are with their parents and siblings and want to know they are helping someone else to have that happiness. They will run up to the intended parents showing off their Mommy’s belly to make sure they know it is their baby that is in there. They will talk to the baby as Ms. Jane’s baby and not as their sibling.
Delivery can be a time for closure for the children of a surrogate mother. If they are able to come to the hospital and witness the reunion of Baby and Family, it is a great way for them to see what everyone has worked for all this time. They will understand that every step of the journey was to make a Family. They will see happy new parents leaving with their baby and they will get to take their Mommy home with them. If they are old enough to remember what their Mommy did for someone, they will continue to tell their story of how their Family helped create another Family
Please feel free to share your experiences!
July 18th, 2013
Surrogacy is expensive – incredibly expensive and it’s also complicated. That’s why it’s important to employ a professional surrogacy agency, a great IVF clinic and an excellent reproductive lawyer to help navigate through uncharted waters. However, it’s important to remember that during our quest to become parents we can feel extremely vulnerable, overwhelmed and sometimes downright desperate.
Here are a few tips of what not to do if you are going to create a gestational surrogacy arrangement on your own.
• Don’t ever enter into a surrogacy arrangement without a legal contract. That also means do not under any circumstance download a contract from the internet. Even if you are a lawyer yourself have someone else draft the contract.
• Don’t ever work with a potential gestational surrogate who’s never given birth to a child of her own. It’s important the GS have a child of her own, knows what it means to parent, and what pregnancy is like.
• In the same breath don’t work with a woman under 21. This is a big deal and a huge responsibility and many IVF clinics will tell you that they require any surrogate mother to be at least 21 years of age.
• If you are a single mother by choice – make sure you obtain sperm from a trusted source like a sperm bank. This isn’t a time to make nice with a former spouse, boyfriend or partner. It’s going to cause many headaches in the future and again regardless of who you obtain sperm from two words: LEGAL CONTRACT.
• Make sure the gestational carrier (surrogate mother) you work with lives in a state where surrogacy is not only legal but lives in a state where commercial surrogacy contracts are enforceable.
• For goodness sake please don’t ever do home inseminations with a turkey baster. Have all of your treatment conducted at a fertility clinic.
• You both need to undergo a visit with a reproductive psychologist. You to talk about any grief issues that you might not have addressed and how you are feeling about relying on another to carry your baby. And even more importantly your gestational surrogate needs to undergo a psychological evaluation which will consist of a test administered by a therapist and then the psychological interview. Listen to your therapist’s outcome.
• Regarding paying bills – pay them ALL ON TIME and always use an escrow service. Don’t pay them yourself.
• Spell it all out in your legal contract – from A to Z. That’s why it’s so incredibly important to hire a lawyer.
• Many say don’t ever have your gestational surrogate come live with you for more than ten days at a time.
From my point of view braving it on your own and creating your own surrogacy arrangement is crazy. This isn’t like buying a house, car or a boat. This is about becoming a parent using third party assisted reproduction, and there’s lots that goes into that and it can be really complicated. That’s why it’s important to hire professionals along the way to create a team for you, and to set you all up for success with a great outcome.
July 16th, 2013
One of the most selfless things one woman can do for another is to become a gestational surrogate. This isn’t a walk in the park, it’s not easy, and you are going to need a lot of support from friends and family. However, it’s going to rate right up there as one of the most fulfilling things you will ever embark on aside from having your own children. That’s why it’s incredibly important to remember that the support you receive from your friends and family are going to be what helps you those most in dealing with all of those crazy emotions you might feel during pregnancy.
Education is going to be your best tool when deciding to become a surrogate. Educating yourself, your husband (or partner), your folks, your siblings, your kids all about surrogacy will help as you go through the process.
So when should you tell?
We think the best time to tell your immediate family about your choice to become a surrogate mother is when you yourself have decided that this is something you really want to do and you’ve made a firm decision to become a surrogate. Write down your reasons so they are clear in your head so you can see in black and white the purpose of your choice and what made you decide to want to become a surrogate mother. Honesty is always the best policy always when talking to your family about your desire – because they all need to be on board for this to work the way it’s supposed to.
When you talk to your kids about your choice to become a surrogate mother teach them that its going to take time – 9 months most likely. It’s not something that’s going to happen overnight, next week, or even next month. Share with them that it took them 9 months to be born and that all great things take time to make and this is no exception. Like anything important when we talk to our kids we need to realize that it’s all in the presentation. If you don’t make it weird, if you treat is with sensitivity your kids will respond in kind. And whatever you do don’t just dump your decision on them the week before you have an embryo transfer. No one likes or appreciates information overload – and your kids are no different. Introduce the idea of you becoming a surrogate over a period of time. You might for instance what to have them meet the intended parents if that’s possible or maybe a Skype session with them. During this time both parties can talk about families and how all different kinds of families are made and how you are going to help this set of parents become a Mommy and Daddy like you and your partner letting your kids take the lead and ask the questions they need to ask to become comfortable.
Regarding your friends and family – there’s two schools of thought on this. One school of thought is to not let your choice be known to be a surrogate right away. Many say that it’s best to let your decision to carry a pregnancy for another come up in conversation naturally – be happy, at ease, and confident about your choice. Again, if you aren’t weird about it the reception of others around you won’t be either. If you are scared, or nervous about how they might react they are going to sense that and odds are they are going to worry about the effect this might have on you and question your decision.
The other school of thought is to begin sharing your desire to become a gestational surrogate right away with your family and close friends. That you can talk through your reasons and motivations in carrying a baby for another who can’t carry on their own. This way you can garner support early on and that these kinds of conversations are helpful and beneficial in the decision making process.
Now keep in mind that it’s possible that you might find some resistance – and some won’t accept or agree with your choice to become a surrogate mother. If this is something you are set on doing then don’t allow their opinions to sway your choice.
Will your surrogate pregnancy affect those around you who are closest to you? Of course it will and if you think it won’t you are fooling yourself. That’s why is really important for your friends and family to be educated, prepared and supportive of you. Their support is going to play a big factor in the success of the cycle and pregnancy.
What about the baby they might ask. It should be made clear and understood the baby you are having is for another family not your family. This baby will never be a member of your family. It’s not going to be a cousin, a brother, a sister, niece, nephew, or a grandchild. We can’t emphasize enough that your children need to realize clearly they aren’t going to get another baby sister or baby brother and what you are doing is for someone else that can’t have a baby on their own.
Lean on your surrogacy agency, your care provider, friends, family or therapist to help you with the explanation of some of this information – it can sometimes be complicated.
Being a gestational surrogate is going to be one of the most generous acts of kindness you will ever give to another. You will be creating new bonds during this time that will affect your entire family and support circle. It’s a time to rejoice that you are helping someone else become a mother or a father.
June 5th, 2013
As an intended parent one of the most important decisions you are going to be making as you embark upon gestational surrogacy is who will carry and deliver your baby. It can be a scary time. It can be a happy time as well as an overwhelming time – and many who have gone before you will tell you it’s truly an adventure of a life time!
Your partners in all of this are going to be your surrogacy agency, your lawyer, and most importantly your Reproductive Endocrinologist. Your doctor is going to look over and screen your potential gestational surrogate’s entire medical history. Your IVF doctor will be looking for anything that would suggest your gestational surrogate / gestational carrier (GS / GC) might be a risk for complications during pregnancy, miscarriage risks, or anything that would indicate that she wouldn’t be a good candidate for gestational surrogacy. Your doctor is going to want to know if the potential GS is able to carry twins. Would she have any sort of medical issues that would cause the pregnancy to be a risk. Things like that.
Next the potential GS will have a physical exam as well as other kinds of testing. Her uterus will be examined, she will undergo blood work. If she’s married or partnered her partner will have his or her own blood work for infectious disease screening. The GS will have her previous pregnancy history examined to look for things like miscarriage, premature delivery, gestational diabetes, how her delivery went, bleeding issues etc… The doctor will leave no stone unturned as he or she will review everything focusing on any sort of risk factors.
What’s the ideal gestational surrogate? A woman who’s had at least one successful pregnancy before that’s gone full term without any complications. It helps if the GS has carried for other parents and shown she can carry a baby healthily and safely with having no emotional issues with giving the baby(s) to you the intended parent and then move on with whatever relationship both parties have intended. The potential GS will also meet with a psychologist or therapist to talk about potential emotional issues and if the GS is emotionally prepared to take on the huge responsibility of carrying your baby, the ability to carry the baby safely and healthily and last but not least the ability to give your baby to you after delivery in a healthy way.
When we think of gestational surrogates we have this woman in mind that is height and weight appropriate – healthy, has easy pregnancies and even easier deliveries. Intended parents are looking for that “something” that’s going to tell them equivocally that this GS is “the one” someone who stands apart from everyone else they may have interviewed.
As you wade through profiles and finally move on to interviews you might want to keep this list handy and in the back of your mind when talking to potential gestational surrogates.
• Does this GS demonstrate that she’s committed 100000% to the cycle, pregnancy and the entire surrogacy process?
• How easily do you think or your agency think she will be to communicate with? For instance how easy is she to reach? Does she have more than one method of communication that as intended parents you can reach her by?
• This might seem elementary (no pun intended) but how well can the GS follow the directions given to her by her doctor? Or agency? Or yourself? How proactive is she to call her doctor if she has ANY questions or if there is ANYTHING she doesn’t understand?
• What does she tell you about her diet? Is she a person who eats good, healthy food? Drinks plenty of water and tries to stay away from fast-food, junk food, and stuff that’s not great for her?
• What’s her take about cigarette smoking and alcohol use during pregnancy? The answer should be “I am not a smoker and I do not drink any alcohol as well as limit my caffeine use during pregnancy” If she says anything other than that – pass.
• Will she put your needs and your babies needs first in front of her during the pregnancy? How does she feel about selective reduction or termination of a pregnancy?
• Does the GS like to be healthy, active, and exercise? Being in the best shape possible is incredibly important during pregnancy.
• What kind of family support does the GS have? Does she have a good support network besides yourself, the agency, and her doctor?
• It’s been said over and over a good gestational surrogate doesn’t need the money she is going to earn by carrying your baby. What’s your GS say about the money part of things. Is the extra money just for a rainy day or is the money she is depending upon. That’s something you want to iron out early before you commit.
• How educated is your GS about the whole process. How does she feel about talking to others about what she’s doing and educating them about what she’s doing?
The relationship you will have with your GS is going to last a lifetime. This will always be someone who will have a special place in your heart as well as your children’s life. That’s why it’s incredibly important that when you select a GS you choose wisely and choose a GS that’s going to be a great fit within your family.
Another way to look at this is selecting a GS is sort of like dating – Dating you say? Yes, dating, in that when we date another we are doing what? Gathering information about the other person. Discovering what we have in common. Are they a good fit? Do they mesh with my belief systems? Are they a good person? How many times in your life have you met someone you thought was amazing but shortly thereafter found they weren’t as amazing as you might have liked?
Granted you are not going to have a romantic relationship with your gestational surrogate – but you are going to be involved intimately in each other’s life – and when we say intimately we don’t mean again in any sort of romantic way we mean this person is going to be carrying your baby and there’s nothing more intimate than that –seriously.
There’s so much to talk about – How much involvement do you plan to have with your GS during the cycle, pregnancy and after your children are born? Are you going to want frequent interaction? Do you want regular updates? How hands-on are you going to want to be? The majority of gestational surrogates welcome, and encourage their intended parents to be hands-on. They love to share with their intended parent’s weekly progress – they love to be connected as much as possible. And why wouldn’t they? They are carrying precious cargo for YOU! After your baby(s) are born what kind of contact and/or relationship do you foresee having with your GS? Is she going to be a special Aunt? Or someone you connect with once a year. Will this person serve any role as your children grow through their childhood – through the teen years and beyond?
As you see – there is so much to think about when selecting a Gestational Surrogate. This means surround yourself with the best possible people beginning with your REI, the surrogacy agency, a great surrogacy consultant, a wonderful lawyer, a great therapist, a great OBGYN, and most importantly an amazing Gestational Surrogate.
April 17th, 2013
Regardless of whether you are carrying your own pregnancy or are a gestational surrogate being prepared for a baby should begin at least three months before conception occurs. It’s kind of like scouting – “Always be prepared!” The results are better for you and the baby – healthy you means healthy baby.
This means interview and visit the OBGYN that will be following you through your pregnancy. At this time you will discuss your personal health history, your families personal health history – like how were your mother’s pregnancies, how were her deliveries, did every female in your family deliver early, or require a C-section, or develop gestational diabetes or high blood pressure. This is also the time to make sure all your vaccines are up to date, especially rubella and chicken pox. These vaccines can’t be given during pregnancy and its bad news to contract these two diseases while pregnant. Your OBGYN might talk to you about things like – if you have a cat someone else will need to change the litter due to a bug in cat poop called toxoplasmosis. If you contract that during pregnancy it can be life-threatening to little developing babies – and because of that pregnant women are advised to wear gloves when we garden and not to eat meat that’s undercooked – it won’t kill you to eat medium well steak throughout your pregnancy – honest. You might talk about potential weight gain, receive a prescription for prenatal vitamins and be advised to see the dentist before conception – this makes sure your teeth are ship-shape.
Okay so the day has come and the pregnancy test is positive – now what?
Keep it simple, and keep your stress at bay. We hear about stress all the time – how much is too much? There’s good stress and bad stress. Deciding how much is too much is a hard call. We live in a world today that requires so much out of us – careers, family demands, going to school, navigating through infertility, it all adds up. And let’s face it those of us career gals – changing careers or leaving our career to have a baby can really do a number on our stress levels. Can I hear an Amen to that?
It’s going to seem like forever before you meet your baby – we have been working towards and waiting for this goal for a very long time. But there’s a reason we don’t conceive and have a child in 7 days. Our bodies AND minds need to prepare and get ready. Things like being anxious about something as elementary as being a parent – you have 9 months to work that out. And take it from me – it’s a never ending worry – so you might as well get used to it. If you are worried about pregnancy or childbirth, again, you have 9 months to work through those anxieties, and work it out. You have 9 months to think about your career, and the other adjustments you will have to make about becoming a parent.
Most importantly we also know that chronic stress weakens our immune systems, can cause low birth weight, and in some instances can cause premature labor – so create boundaries that will work for you, stay Zen, mediate, see a therapist, lean on family or friends, but the bottom line do what you need to do to make your pregnancy as stress free as possible.
Eating right and eating well
While pregnancy isn’t the time to diet – it’s not the time to go overboard and disregard healthy eating. You have a baby on board – and the thought to always remember – what you eat the baby eats. So if you reach for the pop, candy, chips, and junk, you are feeding your baby that directly.
A balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, protein and carbs will provide your baby with the nutrients they need to grow inside your belly. And don’t rely on just your prenatal vitamin to cover your nutritional needs – you need to combine your prenatal vitamin and a good diet to carry you through your pregnancy.
This means there are some no-no items that you should never ingest when you are pregnant. Anything that could possibly contain Listeria which is a bacteria that can cross the placenta and cause miscarriage. For instance any cheese that is NOT made from pasteurized milk don’t eat it. There are imported cheeses like brie, feta or camembert – if they are not pasteurized again don’t eat them. Read the package. Don’t eat raw eggs, raw milk, or any other kind of meat that’s raw. Steak tartar is a no-no. Leave the sashimi alone for 9 months, don’t eat homemade ice cream (raw eggs), and then there’s different kinds of fish and seafood which have high levels of mercury – you don’t eat those very often, and you read your labels.
This should be a no-brainer – do not drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes or use illegal or recreational drugs. When you smoke your baby smokes. When you drink your baby drinks. Now the jury’s out on coffee – we know that caffeine does go right to the baby’s blood stream lots of women continue to drink coffee throughout their pregnancy. Check with your doctor to learn what he or she thinks is an okay amount to drink.
Here is my PSA on water – 96 ounces of water a day keeps pre-term labor away. Dehydration is the leading cause of pre-term labor. Water is the body’s transportation system. It transports vitamins, nutrition and a whole bunch of other great things to your baby during pregnancy. So drink your water, eat water filled fruits and vegetables – watermelon, cucumbers, celery. Drink caffeine free herbal teas cleared by your doctor – and drink low fat milk. Just stay hydrated.
Let’s talk about over the counter meds for second
Before you start reaching for the Tylenol, allergy meds, or ibuprofen check with your doctor first. Again whatever you ingest goes right to the baby. I am sure you are wondering which medication is safe during pregnancy. Well here’s the deal – there’s no easy answer to all of this. The FDA labels the safety of prescription medication with the labels of A, B, C, D, or X. (Category A medications have not shown any risk to the fetus. Category B medications, which include ibuprofen, also are not believed to pose a risk to the fetus. Category C medications may cause complications for a baby in utero but haven’t really been studied in people. Category D medications, which include chemotherapy agents, present distinct health risks but may still be used in some instances. Category X drugs are known to cause birth defects and should never be used during pregnancy)
When in doubt call your OBGYN and ask.
Move that body of yours.
Once you get the green light from your doctor to exercise – like Nike says “Just do it” – not only is it safe it’s a fabulous idea! Why? Because 30 minutes of exercise each day really does help annoying things like constipation, backaches, it helps you sleep better, it improves your mood, and helps with fatigue. All of those common complaints of pregnancy. When we work out during pregnancy we are helping improve our strength and our muscle tone. This not only helps you with labor and delivery which is the equivalent of a half marathon it helps us pace ourselves, cope with the pain of the above and cuts our recovery time in half from delivery. In some cases exercise can help alleviate morning sickness.
Things like yoga, walking, and swimming help with blood pressure. Regardless of the kinds of exercise you choose to do whether you are a runner, or a weight lifter don’t overdo it – and check with your doctor.
Speaking of over doing it – we know when we are pregnant we don’t turn into these fragile flowers that will crumble the moment we break a sweat. But this isn’t the time to become “She-Ra” either. We know that just because we are pregnant life doesn’t just stop and say “Okay we will wait until morning sickness and fatigue are over” and many of us begin to make those “to do” lists and tackle those things we’ve been putting off. Regardless of what project you decide to take on, whether it be decorating a new nursery, cleaning out closets, reorganizing, or moving your house around learn to recognize when you are over doing it. For instance, if you being to feel faint or dizzy – STOP AND REST – HELLO? When that happens your body is telling you it needs more of that all-important oxygen rich blood because your body isn’t keeping up. Some of us get short of breath because the baby takes up space and our lungs squish – but if you have to catch your breath then you need to ease up on your activity level. The Mayo Clinic says don’t let your heart rate go above 140 beats per minute, and rest until it returns to normal.
And above all – STAY HYDRATED. If you are thirsty it’s your body’s way of saying “I am dehydrated!” So drink up.
Let’s talk about cravings
We all get them – they are a necessary evil of pregnancy! For a lot of pregnant women cravings of food that’s not wonderful for our body happens. You know the kind – stuff with lots of fat, rich foods, loads of sugar, high in carbs and salt? This isn’t a time to feel guilty – give in once in a while and indulge yourself with a treat. It’s really okay to have that chip, or cake, or macaroni and cheese –but make sure you are eating a well-balanced diet first.
When is a craving not a craving but something to talk to your doctor about? Sometimes women who crave ice cubes are really anemic. While ice cubes don’t do a thing for anemia many women who crave ice cubes are anemic. If you want salt it’s because your body is balancing the extra fluid it’s creating to host a pregnancy. If you crave non-food stuff like dirt, toothpaste, chalk or charcoal that’s something called “Pica”. This means that your body might be not getting enough of a specific vitamin or a mineral. Don’t give into those kinds of cravings – so don’t eat the above, talk to your doctor and see if you can troubleshoot the problem.
Get your Zzzzzz’s
The first trimester of pregnancy is infamous for exhaustion. We could easily sleep round the clock and then some. And rightly so – our body is going through so many changes, and let’s not forget about those pesky hormones. So sleep early and often – or when your body says to sleep, sleep.
During the second trimester we get a reprieve – albeit a small and brief one, but we do get a reprieve. While you may feel like you can conquer the world during this trimester, still bank on 8-9 hours of much needed sleep each night because by the time you hit the third trimester you are going to find that sleeping is harder to do especially during long stretches of time. For instance if you were a stomach sleeper, you can forget that. Now it’s on your right or left side – as sleeping on your back won’t work either because of the Vena Cava that runs down the underside of your uterus. Compressing that cuts off the blood supply to your baby and can make you feel dizzy or faint. Side sleeping is what you will need to do.
Insomnia is typical during pregnancy, our body is preparing to feed a new life every 2 hours. So Mother Nature was brilliant in designing our bodies to wake up frequently during the third trimester to prepare. That means you might be more tired and fatigued during the day. Rest anytime you can – nap during your lunch hour, or after work, or whenever – your body and mind will thank you later.
It’s okay to complain – no really it is.
It may have taken something short of a miracle to conceive but now that we are pregnant it doesn’t mean that we feel great all the time. It’s really feel thankful AND complain. The #1 ranking complaint – heartburn. This bad boy strikes any time during pregnancy but it will rear its ugly head as your belly gets bigger. Progesterone is a hormone that loosen the ligaments in our body to help our pelvis and uterus to expand to accommodate the baby. This also hormone also slows down digestion causing constipation, it also loosens the valve that keeps your stomach acids from coming back up through the esophagus causing GERD.
Keeping heartburn at bay we find that eating small meals during the day, sitting upright for an hour after a meal helps. Medications that your doctor says are okay help. If heartburn happens at night use extra pillows to prop your body up and allow you to sleep in a reclined position.
How about those leg cramps? Don’t you just love them – Not! These happen during the second and third trimesters the most. The reasons for leg cramps are vast – however, dehydration as well as the baby growing and putting pressure on our spine is the #1 cause. You can combat leg cramps with a preemptive strike — stretching, but don’t point your toes because that can cause a cramp. Walking helps, massaging your legs help, heating pads can help, so can a warm bath (but not too warm).
If your back hurts you – check out your foot wear. I know that high heels are cute, but get rid of them at least during your pregnancy. Wear a shoe that’s supportive. Now may also be the time to hit your partner up for a new bed. This would also be a great time to keep your posture in check, don’t sit at your desk for too long, stretch, walk around, move your body and circulate your blood.
During pregnancy we can be moody – with a capital “M”. We cry more easily, we are often anxious, overwhelmed and sometimes things just don’t make sense. This is the time when we need to be reaching out to friends, family, our care providers and those we trust for help.
Just remember – there are those before you who have gone through the same thing, and there will be those after you going through the same thing. You are not alone – you can do this – you are doing this – and whether you are a gestational surrogate or a first time mom – what you are experiencing is an amazing rite of passage – embrace it and savor it because you are amazing!
April 1st, 2013
The terms Surrogate Mother and Gestational Carrier are often intermixed and sometimes that’s confusing. They are both women who choose to carry a pregnancy for those who cannot carry a pregnancy to term without help. I am going to use the term “surrogate mother” for traditional surrogacy and the term “gestational carrier” for surrogacy where there is no genetic connection on the part of the surrogate for my blog post to keep the confusion at bay.
Did you know there are two kinds of surrogates?
There are traditional surrogates. These are women who use their own egg and are artificially inseminated by the intended fathers or donor sperm. The surrogate mother carries the baby, delivers that baby and then gives that baby to the parents to raise. The traditional surrogate mother is the baby’s biological mother because it’s her egg that was fertilized by the intended father’s sperm.
Now day’s gestational surrogacy is used for most of the surrogacy cycles in the USA. This is a woman who carries a baby that has been conceived using the egg of the intended mother, or an egg donor and sperm from the intended father or a sperm donor. A gestational surrogate mother has no genetic connection to the baby because it wasn’t the gestational surrogate’s egg that was used during the IVF cycle.
These cycles occur with the procedure called in vitro fertilization (IVF). A gestational surrogate is referred to as the birth mother because she carried the baby and in traditional surrogacy the surrogate mother is referred to as the biological mother because her egg was used.
In both situations the baby is carried to term and then the baby is released to the intended parents for them to raise as their child.
Everything you read now says that in the United States gestational surrogacy is not as complex legally, and while that might be true it’s still a complex process that requires lawyers and often a surrogacy agency to help intended parents navigate through uncharted waters.
Did you know about 1400 babies are born yearly through gestational surrogacy? Surrogacy is becoming more common for intended mothers who can’t carry a pregnancy herself due to uterine issues, or the intended mother may have undergone a hysterectomy, or other health issues that might make a pregnancy for the intended mother risky. Sometimes intended mothers use a surrogate when their infertility is unexplained, or they have endured several miscarriages and getting pregnant and carrying to term hasn’t been successful for them. Sometimes couples use a surrogate due to their ages, or their sexual orientation. Surrogates often help gay men create a family either through traditional surrogacy or gestational surrogacy. Sometimes, a single Intended Father will use a surrogate mother and an egg donor. The surrogate carries the baby, gives birth and releases the baby to the intended couple or father.
When gay men choose traditional surrogacy one of the men uses his sperm to fertilize the surrogate mothers egg through artificial insemination (AI). The surrogate mother then carries the baby to term, has the baby and releases the baby to the couple. If a gay couple chooses an egg donor, the donated egg is fertilized in a lab, the embryo(s) are transferred back into the gestational surrogate, and the surrogate carries the baby to term, has the baby and releases the baby to the intended couple.
Whew! Are you still with me?
All different kinds of women choose to be surrogate mothers or gestational carriers. Some women are family members (Mom’s sisters, Aunts, or cousins or in-laws), that are asked to be a surrogate for them. Other women are friends. Because these kinds of arrangements are typically altruistic (no money exchanged and not commercial) the industry views them as somewhat controversial. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) supports and accepts specific family ties that are acceptable for surrogates. However, ASRM doesn’t support surrogacy if the baby would carry the same genes as a child born of incest between first-degree relatives.
There are also women who are commercial surrogates, which means they carry a baby for intended parents for a fee. The majority of surrogates are found through surrogacy agencies. The majority of intended parents seek out a surrogacy agency because these agencies arranged gestational surrogacy. The agency is the liaison between the gestational surrogate and the intended parent. The agency helps the intended parents find the right gestational surrogate for them, they make all the necessary arrangements, collect the monies needed for the cycle, disperse those monies, and manage the surrogacy cycle making sure the surrogate complies with her contract, as well as making sure the surrogate’s needs are met during the pregnancy while keeping the intended parents informed and in the loop along the way.
As of date there are no legal regulations that state who can and can’t be a surrogate mother. The industry has established standards and all experts agree on specific criteria in regards to who should be and who should not be a surrogate.
All surrogate mothers should be the minimum age of 21 years old and have already given birth to at least one healthy baby, and has at least one child under the age of 18 still living in the household. This is so the surrogate understands what pregnancy and childbirth are about, what it means to have a baby, and be a parent.
The surrogate must be deemed healthy physically and mentally. Surrogates must always pass a psychological screening by a mental health professional. This is so the MHP can explore or uncover any sort of potential emotional issues the surrogate may have regarding releasing a baby to the intended parents after birth.
ASRM advocates that all surrogates have a complete medical evaluation as well as a pregnancy history to assess the likelihood of a healthy, full-term pregnancy. ASRM also recommends screening for infectious diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV, cytomegalovirus, and hepatitis B and C along with being screened for immunity to measles and rubella as well as the chicken pox. Potential surrogate mothers will also undergo a GYN exam to ensure the uterus is normal to make sure that the potential to carry a pregnancy and also the surrogate has her own OBGYN, not the same physician as the intended mother.
Please feel free to post your comments or questions. Or, just share your experience as a surrogate or intended parent.
Whether you are a woman looking to be a gestational surrogate mother, or an Intended Parent looking for more information on utilizing a surrogate mother with or with/out donor eggs…please visit our website at: http://www.TheSurrogacySOURCE.com and http://www.TheDonorSOURCE.com
March 22nd, 2013
There’s no real black and white answer to this question I don’t think. I think it depends on a lot of things. For instance if you have easy pregnancies and even easier deliveries you are going to have the ability to be a surrogate mother more times than if you have hard pregnancies and deliver children through caesarian section – or if your pregnancies result in multiples.
However, most physicians say no more than three (3) caesarian sections and no more than five (5) live births without C-section, especially multiples.
There are three basic requirements that most surrogacy agencies go by when they recruit a surrogate mother:
Surrogate mothers must be between the ages of 21-38 years old. A surrogate candidate who’s younger than 21 years old most likely won’t have the maturity required to deal with or understand what it means to be a surrogate. For instance they may not understand the how this might affect the surrogates own family. When we look at the other end up the spectrum the age of 38 is put out there for medical reasons. There’s a link between age and higher risk pregnancies and harder deliveries with complications.
Surrogate mothers must a child(ren) of their own, living in the house. The reason is simple – only a surrogate who’s had children understands what it means to be pregnant. To feel that baby move, to give birth and bond with their baby. Then and only then can a potential surrogate mother decide if this is something she can do. Most all surrogacy agencies require the surrogate mother be actively parenting their own child(ren). The reason surrogacy agencies want their surrogates to be actively raising children is that those surrogates who have experience parenting a child, get what it means to raise a child, what it takes to be a parent, and can choose to be a surrogate mother. For instance, those women who have placed children for adoption but have not raised a child don’t know what it’s like to parent a child and may not understand the dynamics of parenting. Whereas the surrogate mother who has raised a child understands that she alone raises her own children and in turn understands that the couple she is carrying for needs to be left alone to raise their own child.
Potential surrogate mothers must be financially secure. I know that this may be confusing but it needs to be said – Money should never be a major motivator when deciding to become a surrogate. Most agencies exclude those on welfare or who are receiving assistance from the state. It’s really important that potential surrogates meet with a psychologist to talk about their motivations for carrying – those that they voice and those that are unconscious motivators. It’s important the potential surrogate understand the responsibility she’s going to be undertaking and what she’s agreeing to, and how she’s going to explain to her own children and family that she’s not giving away a baby but helping another family who can’t have a baby without her help to achieve their dreams of being parents like herself. Most importantly, the potential surrogate herself needs to discover if this generous act of compassion will help her or harm her – because her well-being is most importantly at stake.
For more information on becoming a surrogate mother, including surrogate mother compensation, and surrogate mother requirements, please visit our website http://www.thesurrogacysource.com
February 18th, 2013
In a day of E-mail, Facebook, Pinterest, Blogging, and LinkedIn the lines of privacy are blurred. The reality is nothing and I mean nothing that is posted, sent, or shared over the Internet is private, safe, or secure.
What’s considered personal information when embarking upon a surrogacy cycle as an intended parent? Never ever give out social security numbers, your physical address, telephone numbers, places of work, release of medical information, to anyone but your attorney, IVF clinic, or your psychologist – especially before the legal contract is in place, signed, sealed and delivered between both parties.
You might be thinking “Well no kidding, everyone knows that!” However, you’d be surprised how naïve some can be on both sides of the party.
Unfortunately in the world of egg donation and especially surrogacy there are those who are unscrupulous who will attempt to scam intended parents as well as those who are posing as intended parents but in actuality are looking for a way to steal your identity. It happens every day.
This business is emotional – you are excited to finally get the ball rolling, begin your family, you are excited to be matched both as a surrogate mother and as an intended parent. But you need to remember that your safety comes first and you need to protect yourself and your family.
Like we tell our kids when they are online don’t give out your personal information. Intended parents don’t need to know your social security number, your driver’s license number, place of work, date of birth, or where you live. This goes the same for surrogate mothers – they don’t need to know this information either.
The IVF clinic and your attorney are the only parties who should have access to your personal identity information and who would have access to your medical records. Even your attorney would need a signed release from you releasing your medical records to him or her. The psychologist who will be hired during your surrogacy cycle will only have access to the information you allow him or her to have access to. It’s not just cart blanche for anyone to see.
This is all about being aware, learning about who you will be working with during your surrogacy cycle, how much you know about them and establishing a relationship of trust.
Your identity is incredibly important – don’t risk it for anyone.
If you have any words of wisdom for intended parents or surrogate mothers, please feel free to share, we’d love to hear from you!
January 31st, 2013
Eating While Pregnant…What CAN We Eat?
Eating while Pregnant….such a natural activity, a necessity even. You are expected to eat whether you are carrying one or two….or more babies. So this article hasn’t much to do with surrogacy BUT as a surrogate mother you may have the uncommon pressure of *people* asking you “what are you eating?” There is an entire grocery store of food now on the no-no list for pregnant women! I have no clue how WE, the baby boomers, the X generation, or the Y generation even made it through the entire 9 months in-utero high on mercury from our mothers over-dosing on canned tuna! What will the iGen’s do? Buy pre-formulated maternity diet packets from Amazon.com?
Read below the things that should be avoided now.
• Raw meat such as sushi, seafood, rare or uncooked beef, or poultry because of the risk of contamination with coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella.
• Raw eggs, or foods containing raw egg such as Caesars dressing, mayonnaise, homemade ice cream or custard, unpasteurized eggnog, or Hollandaise sauce because raw eggs may be contaminated with salmonella.
• Soft cheese such as blue cheese, feta, Brie, Camambert, and Latin-American soft white cheeses such as queso blanco and queso fresco because they may harbor harmful bacteria.
• Fish containing accumulated levels of mercury in their fatty tissues such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish.
• When a pregnant woman consumes large amounts of mercury, her baby may suffer brain damage resulting in developmental delays (for example, delays in learning to walk or talk).
• Fish containing high levels of an industrial pollutant called polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in their fatty tissues such as bluefish and striped bass, and freshwater fish such as salmon, pike, trout, walleye from contaminated lakes and rivers. According to the March of Dimes, consumption of large amounts of PCBs by pregnant women is linked to decreased attention, memory, and IQ in their babies. Check with your local Health Department to determine which fish in your area are safe to eat.
And this list keeps growing…. deli meat, liver, (well…I can live without this one!) and artificial sweeteners…where will it end? After reading this new and updated list, posted out there on the Internet by the March of Dimes and the FDA, the only thing left for pregnant women to eat seems to be FORMULA! Yuck.
Surrogate mothers… this is what your IP’s are reading…it doesn’t matter that you ate subs from the local deli when you were pregnant with YOUR children but when you are a surrogate, carrying for someone else THEY want you to eat like they think THEY would eat. No Egg Nog for you over the holidays (unless you cook it), no Caesars salads at the Red Lobster…oh and while at the Red Lobster no Bass or Swordfish and stay away from that shrimp! No colas and no Equal in your ice tea. Wait…doesn’t ice tea have caffeine? NO CAFFEINE! Seriously, there are plenty of healthy choices and eating right is in the best interest of everyone involved. But if your IP’s are questioning your diet or if YOU have questions its best to have a talk with your OB and see what the current guidelines are. Because, trust me, they change!
Please feel free to comment back with any pregnant eating no-no’s that you’ve been informed about by your OB or IVF doctor
November 6th, 2012
Yes, you read that right…go with your gut, go with your instincts, go with your feelings…Do NOT just push ahead without acknowledging that something has given you pause in your surrogacy journey!
Too many Intended Parents, desperate as most are when they reach the decision to move ahead with a surrogacy situation, IGNORE crucial facts and gut feelings that are staring them in the face. They have met their potential surrogate mother online or through a friend…BUT….its the BUT that needs to be explored. BUT the woman / surrogate mother is on medicaid, But she is 19, But she doesn’t have transportation, But her husband, boyfriend/significant other is against the arrangement OR pushing for more money, But she has put ALL 3 of her children up for adoption, But she is hard to contact, But she is slow to make appointments…it can go on and on…what is THAT telling YOU? It is telling you, Intended Parent, to move on! Surrogacy is not something to jump into, take lightly or think money will cure these issues. Make sure that you have a comfort level you can live with before you sign that contract.
A surrogacy agency might be the answer for you! Contact The Surrogacy SOURCE. They can offer expert guidance and advice. You may never be 100% comfortable but YOU can be reassured that moving in the same direction with the right agency will alleviate most of the”But” factors.
September 4th, 2012
Wouldn’t it be great to have a crystal ball and know what your future holds for you and your new potential Intended Parents?
It may seem easy once you make the decision to become a surrogate mother. You read profiles, letters and pick a likely candidate. You might exchange e-mails or talk on the phone. You hear stories of hopes, dreams, complications and confusion. You share your values and lifestyle. And then perhaps a date…lunch? Dinner? Ahhhh the glow, the euphoria of finding the “right” match. And then drip – drip – drip it starts to rain on the parade…just a drizzle at first. Nothing to stop the momentum, you can still see a slice of blue sky, but you get out the umbrella anyway. Perhaps this happens during contract negations. The IP’s who were once so grateful for finding you want you to lower your “fee”. (by 25% and Heavens! NO! they do not want to use an escrow agent!!) They want you to promise not to work during the pregnancy but they don’t want to pay you for lost wages either. They want you to use your insurance at the fertility clinic so that they don’t have to pay for the medications. (Thankfully most clinics won’t do this any longer.) They want you to go to Florida or Illinois for the transfer but don’t want to pay child care for YOUR KIDS while you are gone. Hummmmmm, If this pattern is starting now, during the contract phase, what’s to say that it will be any different when you are pregnant? Maybe it’s time to rethink this surrogacy match.
I know of many women who just WANT to be surrogate mothers SO BADLY they are willing to overlook a multitude of red flags. They start out on their own, in order to save their IP’s money. But when things start to go south, you can say no. You can back that train up and get OFF. Before you commit to medical testing (where the IP’s start to spend money on the relationship they are building with you), PLEASE make it clear what YOUR expectations are.
This is why a great agency would benefit you! Your first conversation with them would be where you stand on your base fees, benefits, selective reduction, abortion and everything that is near and dear to your heart. They would find Intended Parents who would be the right fit for you. A great agency like The Surrogacy Source would do your homework with you…supporting you every step of the way. Give us a call today and see how we can work together to make your dreams come true!
Toll free: 877-375-8888 or visit our website: http://www.thesurrogacysource.com
June 28th, 2012
Gay couples could lose surrogacy rights under move flagged by the Queensland government, despite Campbell Newman ruling out changes to the law before the election.
The Queensland government will ban single people and same-sex couples from having a child through surrogacy, in a bombshell move announced during a fiery overnight debate on watering down same-sex civil unions.
In a move that will further inflame the anger of Queensland’s LGBT community, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie announced about 10.20pm that the government would introduce in the future a bill to reshape the altruistic surrogacy law.
Mr Bleijie said the Newman government’s law would be similar to the one proposed by the Liberal National Party’s Lawrence Springborg several years ago, and would repeal Surrogacy Act provisions dealing with single people, same-sex couples, or any de facto couple that had been together for fewer than two years.
“That was a clear commitment many years ago when that debate originally took place,” Mr Bleijie said of the future surrogacy changes.
Altruistic surrogacy is the process by which a woman carries a baby for another person or couple, for no payment. The changes would restrict access to heterosexual couples only.
Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/gays-face-surrogacy-ban-as-lnp-pushes-civil-union-changes-20120621-20q9j.html#ixzz1z9W2XdTy
June 28th, 2012
You read right!
The Surrogate Mother’s Husband…or ‘YOUR’ surrogate Mother’s husband plays an important, if not understated, role in the entire surrogacy journey. From the start he must get his mind wrapped around the fact that HIS woman wants to carry another man’s child. The same woman who may have stated “That’s IT! We are NOT having any MORE CHILDREN!!” (this often happens when 2 children under the age of 4 are hanging on her legs screaming for a snack and the one in her arms is spitting up formula) Once he understands that her statement perhaps meant that she doesn’t want to raise any more children of her own but carrying one for 9 months is fine, then he may relax a little…until he finds out that HE needs to be psychologically tested…and tested for STD’s (how long IS that cotton swap for a Chlamydia test?) AND sign a contract agreeing to all sorts of things that he wouldn’t normally think about..(allowing Intended Parents (IP’s) to put HIS partner on life support if necessary?) He may not realize that although he agreed to support his wife/significant other in her quest to be a surrogate mother, that HE may have to step in when the IP’s call when she isn’t feeling well, that HE will have to take care of their children when she is on bed rest after her egg transfer, or at appointments, that HE will have to give multitude of shots loaded with hormones that turn HER into a Witch (whom he has to actually live with!), that HE will have to miss work when she is in the hospital giving birth, that HE will have to hold her when she is sick, tired, scared, crying, that he can’t have any sexual intercourse (for HOW long??)…all because of this surrogacy that SHE wanted to do! Ahhh the unsung heroes!
Intended parents out there….Intended DAD’s especially, should step up NOW and thank the God above for these men who are the main support of your wonderful surrogate mother. Without them, these surrogate mom’s may end up on YOUR door step at 2 am for ice cream and pickles and a foot rub….or just to complain!
If you have a story about a special surrogate Dad who rose to heights you never imagined during your surrogate journey, please share with us!
May 22nd, 2012
Israeli report recommends surrogate mothers for gay men
May 20, 2012
JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli Health Ministry committee has recommended that gay men be allowed to use a surrogate mother to have a child.
The report issued Sunday by the 12-member panel recommends that gay men and single women be allowed to conceive children with a surrogate mother and married women to be surrogates, Haaretz reported. It also permits non-anonymous sperm donation.
While gay men may gain the right to use a surrogate mother, the report only allows them to use a volunteer or altruistic surrogate, which will make finding a surrogate more difficult, according to Haaretz. Family members also will be allowed to serve as surrogates as long as they are not daughters, grandmothers or grandchildren.
Ethicists, doctors and social workers were among the members of the committee, which was appointed two years ago to make recommendations on fertility and birth policies.
May 22nd, 2012
this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Dr. Samuel Pang the Medical Director of the Reproductive Science Center of New England. A pioneer in helping lesbians and gay men become parents, RSC has been serving clients throughout the United States and Europe. Gay couples can become parents by the same assisted reproductive technologies that enable infertile heterosexual couples to have babies and the good news is that it is possible to have your own biological child. Dr. Pang and his husband have two sons through IVF with donor eggs and gestational surrogacy. We talked to Dr. Pang about these procedures and issues facing our LGBT community.
When asked how he became involved with reproductive services for gay and lesbian couples Dr. Pang stated, “I joined the practice in 1993 as the Associate Medical Director and in 1997 I was appointed to be the Medical Director of the Third Party Reproduction team which specializes in treating people who need either an egg donor or a gestational surrogate or both, to become parents. Now in 1997, all of the patients who required egg donation or surrogacy were heterosexual but in 1998 we were first approached by a male couple who sought to become parents through egg donation and gestational surrogacy. At that time no other fertility clinic in the area would agree to provide them with assisted reproduction services but we welcomed them immediately. Over the next five years we went on to help this couple have a total of three children through egg donation and gestational surrogacy. And in the past fifteen years, we have gone on to help many other male couples become parents through egg donation and gestational surrogacy. With a few rare exceptions, virtually all male couples who have gone through this process have been successful and some have even returned to have a second or third baby. Now getting back to the reproductive services for lesbians we have always provided donor insemination services for lesbians since our practice opened our doors in 1988. In the mid to late 1990’s I treated a few lesbian couples in which one of them wanted to conceive but was unable to do so because of ovarian failure so her partner would provide eggs for her to conceive with through a process that mimics egg donation. While most lesbians continue to use alternative insemination with donor sperm to have children, recently, some have opted to do what I have come to refer to as reciprocal IVF where one partner provides the eggs which are inseminated with donor sperm, and the other partner gestates the pregnancy. Now this is an interesting concept because these lesbian couples are not doing it because of medical necessity but electively by choice. Because this was a new concept which didn’t have a name, I coined the term “reciprocal IVF” to describe this elective IVF process. Reciprocal IVF allows both women in the relationship to be part of the process of having their child or children together.”
RSC is holding an LGBT Open House on June 13th. This is an opportunity to learn more about the assisted reproductive services provided for gay and lesbian couples in addition to fertility preservation consultations and services for transgender persons. Open House includes a facility tour and Q&A time with Dr. Pang. This event is free but registration is required. To RSVP….
For More Info: gayivf.com
May 15th, 2012
Q: I was wondering how many times is too many to be a surrogate mother? I have a friend who is going on her 5th time and I wonder if that’s healthy especially when she has already had 4 kids of her own!
A: This is a very good question but one for the IVF clinics rather than a surrogacy agency. Needless to say there are many factors to be taken into consideration. If a woman has a great track record of easy pregnancies and births, has not had more then 3 c-sections and is not over the age of 40 then she may still be a good candidate for surrogacy. We would certainly screen her as we do all of our surrogate mothers but we would leave the health issue up to the IVF doctors to decide. The surrogate mother’s health ALWAYS comes first and we would never do anything to jeopardize that! We keep in mind that our intended parents are spending a lot of money on the surrogacy process and we want the very best, healthiest and dedicated women for our IPs.
April 27th, 2012
Every Intended Parent wants the very best for their child as it grows from an embryo to a baby. They want the best uterus, (which might be why they needed a surrogate mother), the best eggs, the best sperm and the best doctors. However Intended Parents have little control over the diet of their growing baby. The best nutrition is very important to all parents but when one has no say in what their own baby is ‘eating’ it can be quite frustrating.
When interviewing surrogate mothers, some parents- right off the bat, ask about their diets and if they can change what they eat in some way. Some Jewish IPs want someone who will adhere to their strict dietary kosher guidelines while others want someone who will eat all organic and natural meats. Perhaps a vitamin regiment is also required above and beyond the prenatal supplements. OB’s often have a list of their own restrictions for all pregnant mothers to follow which limits the intake of caffeine, certain fish that contain mercury and luncheon meats that may cause listeria. Every contract states that a surrogate mother will follow medical guidelines given to her by her doctor so she is already following a certain dietary requirement. But when do diet requests go too far?
Surrogate mothers want to please their Intended Parents. However, one can only ask so much. When a surrogate Mother is in the early months of the pregnancy she may not be able to eat as well as she would normally. Some of the foods she would like to eat maybe the very foods that make her run to the bathroom. Just keeping down her vitamins maybe a monumental task! A surrogate mother who has agreed to eat all organic foods will have a higher grocery bill then if she were to keep with her regular shopping list. If an intended parent wants their surrogate to be on a special diet then they should offer to pay for that by supplementing her grocery bill. They will also have to keep in mind that the surrogate mother shops for her own family and she is not the only one who will be eating that free range chicken! She can’t feed her husband mac and cheese and eat her all natural organic meal in the living room so the entire family food budget needs to be taken into consideration.
If a surrogate mother agrees to stick to a certain diet she is then on the honor system as it can’t be demanded in the contract that she eat all of her vegetables. She needs to understand that this is just one more thing that she can do for her IPs and the baby she is carrying. They will be forever grateful to her for her dedication to having the healthiest baby possible.
Have you ever been asked to change your diet? How did that work for you and your IPs? What types of things were you asked to eat or to avoid? We would love to hear from you!
March 20th, 2012
When a woman first thinks about becoming a surrogate mother, often times the thing that comes to mind is how easy it was for HER to have become pregnant and given birth to her own child/ren. We often hear a woman state “my husband just has to look at me and I become pregnant” or “we just talked about adding to our family and the next thing we knew, we were expecting number 4!”. But we all know that is not how surrogacy works! (and if you don’t then just read on!)
First of all a surrogate mother’s husband is not involved in getting her pregnant! His sperm has nothing to do with the process so if the intended parents are having male factor issues, that right there could mean a long haul for everyone involved. For a Gestational Surrogate (also referred to as Gestational Carrier), her eggs are not being used in this process either so if egg quality is a factor that could mean failed transfers as well. For a woman, the new surrogate mother, who has never experienced failure when attempting to become pregnant, this could be an unwelcome experience!
Second, becoming pregnant via IVF is no picnic. As many intended mothers can tell you, the pills, shots, creams, blood draws and appointments can get old fast! It is a huge responsibility to agree to become a surrogate mother for someone else and agree to put your own life and, lets face it, physical comfort on hold while you attempt to become pregnant with someone else’s child.
Third, your family also is impacted by whatever happens during the surrogacy journey. No matter if the process goes relatively smoothly or if there are canceled transfers, chemical pregnancies, miscarriages or a rift in the relationship, families are always involved and effected.
All of these issues can be minimalized by having a great surrogacy agency by your side. The initial phone call should educate a woman who wants to become a surrogate mother to all of the responsibilities that she needs to be aware of within the surrogacy process. And these responsibilities will be repeated throughout the matching and contract phase of the program. No surrogate mother should have any question about what is expected of her or where she can turn for answers and support!
This is just the tip of the iceberg and we want to hear your comments!
What were your biggest surprises when you first looked into surrogacy? What are some of the things you wish you knew when you started the process of becoming a surrogate mother?
Please share your best advice! We want to hear from you!!
March 9th, 2012
Relationships are tricky no matter what type they are; marriage, co-workers, and family all have certain expectations when it comes to how a relationship should be between the people involved. Society may have one general expectation but each individual, race and religion also has their own thoughts and feelings on the subject as well. It’s very complicated when you really think about all of the different relationships out there. So let’s fold in surrogacy where one woman is carrying a baby for another person or couple. What is that relationship supposed to be like? How is it all ‘managed’?
Society still is having problems with their thinking on this subject! Just read the news where the focus is the ‘womb for rent’ or ‘selling body parts’ or the ‘exploitation of women’ when the subject of surrogacy arises. The reality is that there is a very real relationship between the Intended Parent(s) and the surrogate mother and her family. What needs to be acknowledged is the fact that the communication that happens is not between the growing fetus and the surrogate but between the Intended Parent(s) and their surrogate mother. This working together toward a shared goal, building a family, is a great foundation for a wonderful relationship between all parties…and not a superficial one either. An evolving relationship which will take some work, and guidance at times.
This is where a good agency can come into play. A surrogacy agency is the backbone of any great intended parent / surrogate mother relationship. The case manager knows all parties involved and works closely with everyone. From the first introduction, through the signing of the contracts and the embryo transfer, a good manager will be supporting the relationship between surrogate mother and intended parent(s) in every way she can. During the pregnancy, birth and even after the baby arrives safely home, the surrogacy agency is there to share, guide and lead, if necessary, the surrogate mother and intended parents through the process of building a relationship that could potentially last many years to come.
We will be touching on the subject of surrogacy and the relationships that come out of such an interesting pairing as our blog matures. We would love to hear how your surrogacy relationship came to be and any advice you would like to share.
All comments welcomed!
March 9th, 2012
We are so excited to share with you news and information from the fertility community as well as from within The Surrogacy SOURCE family! There is so much to know and experience and who better to write all about it other than the members of The Surrogacy SOURCE team?
We invite you to participate in any way you feel comfortable by sending in your questions, commenting on our articles or sharing your own surrogacy related issues and concerns. We will do our very best to answer you. Some of our upcoming posts will cover the topics of staying stress free during your surrogacy journey, emotions involved after the birth, insurance and surrogacy, plus the financial aspects Intended Parents can expect when starting on their own family building plan via gestational carrier surrogacy.
All of us at The Surrogacy SOURCE are so happy to be in the position to assist women who are called upon to give the greatest gift…The hope of a family. We are here to guide Intended parents who are looking for that special surrogate mother to help them and to support those surrogate mothers and Intended Parents through our very thorough and successful surrogate mother program.
We welcome you!