Posts Tagged ‘surrogate agency’

How Many Times is Too Many to be a Surrogate Mother?

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

What Is a Surrogate Mother or a Gestational Carrier?

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

The Surrogacy SOURCE Grants It’s 200th Wish!

August 15th, 2013

Another bundle of joy is delivered into the world with a little help from the team at The Surrogacy SOURCE.

(PRWEB) August 13, 2013

After just seven years of making the dreams of hopeful parents come true, The Surrogacy SOURCE has helped deliver its 200th baby. This momentous feat signals the rapid growth of one of the nation’s leading surrogacy agencies, and more importantly, brings extraordinary joy to yet another happy family.

The Surrogacy SOURCE, a division of Fertility SOURCE Companies, is a surrogacy agency headquartered in Irvine, California. Together with The Donor SOURCE, the company now operates from seven locations around the United States. Recent growth at the company has led to several international partnerships, including initiatives in Israel and China. With a staff dedicated to giving hope and life to many would-be parents, The Surrogacy SOURCE’s partnerships in this country and in others have helped mothers and fathers know happiness in a way they never thought possible.

For full story click here: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/8/prweb11019949.htm

God and the Surrogate Mother

August 3rd, 2012

How many times have you heard, as a surrogate, that “you are playing God!”? The common phrase here is “Basically if God wanted intended parents to have children they would get pregnant on their own. If that wasn’t a possibility then they should adopt.” ‘Surrogacy’ was preventing them from looking at adoption as an option by offering a healthy body to carry their child. Some child out there would be homeless because of surrogacy! A stunning conclusion, I know. Comments like that may make you think…but often it will not change minds.

So here are some personal views on the GOD issue. Surrogate mothers are not playing God. Egg donors are not preventing adoptions from taking place. Reproductive endocrinologists and embryologists are NOT pretending to be God (although some may act God-like).

We are all using the gifts that God gave us. We are using our brains and our bodies to make and give life. If you are really, REALLY, religious then are we not making another follower of God? A Catholic? Baptist? Jew? Methodist? Add your religion here_______! What about all the other medical marvels happening in the world? Heart transplants? Kidney donations? Bone marrow donations? How about blood transfusions? Are these not prolonging life; enhancing life? Doesn’t a new human being, a very much wanted baby, make a life complete for those parents who desire to enhance THEIR own existence?

One last thought…would any God really allow anyone to take the credit for our own creation? I think not!

These are just personal views of the writer, and are not by any means meant to offend anyone with different views.

Please feel free to comment on this blog post with your own views.

Surrogacy and Social Media: Who is reading your Facebook Page?

May 2nd, 2012

Facebook and other social media outlets are truly a marvelous invention…until it gets in the way of your relationship with your surrogate mother or intended parents. We are often reminded to watch what you post because you don’t know who may be reading your blog, timeline, or tweets. Employers are often vetting applicants by Googgling them and reading the latest activity or looking at the newest photos. Even if your privacy setting is on the most restrictive there are ways to get around all of that!

When you are sharing so much information out in the cyber world you have to take into consideration what others (Intended Parents (IP), case managers, surrogate mothers) may think of your cartoons, announcements and status updates. If you have an unusual ritual that may flip out even your closest family member just think of what an IP may think especially if you are already pregnant with their child. Perhaps you are an intended parent struggling to quit your smoking habit and are posting that online. If your surrogate mother doesn’t know of this issue at the start of your relationship she may ask herself what else has been hidden from her. If a surrogate mother, who has agreed to cut back on her caffeine, posts that she has already had 3 cups of coffee and it’s not even 9 am she may have a concerned phone call from her IP’s.

 This is not about hiding facts or holding back but more about watch what you post or tweet because the reactions on both sides could be filled with misunderstandings.

PARENTS and INTENDED PARENTS – WE NEED YOUR FEEDBACK

April 3rd, 2012

PARENTS and INTENDED PARENTS – Please take a moment to fill out this brief survey on your experience with your Egg Donor and/or Surrogacy Agency. Your feedback will help us improve our programs for parents and parents to be:

Copy and paste this link into your browser to take the 3 minute survey: http://www.menhavingbabies.org/surveys/

Surrogacy: Not for the Faint Hearted! A True Commitment is Needed!

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!!