Surrogate Pregnancy

Parent Q&A

  • Help with Finding Surrogate Mom

    (2 replies)

    We are a professional couple with one child who was conceived naturally and birthed without complications followed by many lost pregnancies when we tried to have our second baby. Now that it has been five years without success despite IVF and perfect tested embryos, we’d like to move on to finding a surrogate to carry and give birth to our baby.  We’d really love to find someone in the Bay Area or Sacramento so that we can be involved with the birth mom, go to milestone appointments, and be close for the birth and even the postpartum period to transition and obtain breast milk for the baby. We would love to find a match independently, which means that we handle the coordination with doctors and legal, etc., ourselves, so that we can focus our financial resources on compensating the birth mother rather than having expensive middlemen in the form of agencies.  Can anyone share about your experiences with surrogacy?  Are there support groups for families in our position? We’ve gone through so much in our journey for baby number two that we could use some guidance from those who’ve been there.

    Hi Daisy, I'm sorry to hear the past five years have been so difficult. As both a lawyer and a parent who worked with a surrogate (due to medical reasons, it was not safe for me to carry a baby), I strongly recommend that you use a lawyer and a reputable agency. Have a clear contract and a court order at the time of birth (making you the legal parents the instant the baby is born) is well worth the money. It also is well worth the money to have appropriate screening measures in place to ensure that a potential surrogate is financially and emotionally stable, and is not being exploited. I recommend Family Formation Law Offices (familyformation.com). We had an excellent experience with them. Their selection criteria for surrogates is rigorous and they have all of the potential contingencies covered so that everyone is on the same page during the pregnancy. The fee we paid was worth every penny. Good luck!

    I’m sorry to hear about your fertility challenges. It sounds very hard. I’ve replied to a few recent surrogacy posts recently. I’m a two time surrogate. Both times I worked with an agency and it was a few years ago, so I’m not up to date on the current resources. When I was an active surrogate there was an online group that was a wonderful resource. However, I believe it’s moved to a Facebook group. There was also an up an coming group on Baby Center. Not sure if that’s continued to grow. With a bit of searching I’m sure you’ll find online groups that provide support and the information you are looking for. Now here’s the harder news. Matching with a surrogate is similar to dating. Sometimes you find the right person right away. Sometimes it takes longer than we want.  That’s part of the advantage of working with an agency. They do all the prescreening and present you with the best possible match. They have lots of experience connecting people. With that said, there are women who go “Indy” (independent of an agency). Often it’s women who have used an agency for their first surrogacy and feel prepared to do another surrogacy on their own. I will prepare you that some surrogates prefer to work with intended parents that don’t have children. Because you already have a bio child, that may reduce the number of surrogates willing to work with you. I don’t mean to be negative. That was just my observation from the surro chats about matching with IPs (intended parents). My other word of caution is to protect yourself legally and emotionally. Surrogacy can be wonderful, but it takes a lot of research and preparation, tons of communication, and a willingness to trust. Agencies are expensive, but they provide expertise. It is possible to have successful independent surrogacies, but it’s a lot of work, during an already emotional and challenging time. Be sure you consider more than just money when making a decision. Good luck to you and your family!

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  • Gestational carrier agency recommendation

    (1 reply)

    I am seeking recommendations for an excellent gestational surrogacy agency for a friend and his wife from UK. Thank you.

    I replied to your previous inquiry about surrogacy. There are lots of agencies out there to choose from. Your friends should research the options and find an agency that works best for their needs and wants. Personally, I wanted to work with same sex couples and went with Growing Generations, an agency that specializes in surrogacy for same sex couples. They are also experienced with international families, so your friends may want to consider them as an option. Growing Generations has a stellar reputation, many years of experience, and have helped many, many families become parents. With that said, they are based out of LA and also work with many celebrities. Between their location, their experience, and their clients, they are considered a high end agency. That’s my way of saying, they aren’t cheap. But if your friends can afford it, I highly recommend them. I wish your friends well as they begin their surrougacy journey!

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  • Gestational surrogacy?

    (2 replies)

    I would love to hear from you if you have had any kind of experience with gestational surrogacy (either as the surrogate or intended parent). A close friend living in the UK is looking into possibly coming to the US to try to start a family using a gestational surrogate. Thank you.

    RE: Gestational surrogacy? ()

    I am a two time surrogate for an international couple. Personally, it was a wonderful experience for me and my family. Surrogacy was a wonderful way for me to role model to my son my values and use my easy and enjoyable pregnancies to help others create a family. I did opt to work with a highly rated and experienced agency so that I had support, both legally and emotionally. I also made sure to communicate my needs and wants for the experience and made sure the intended parents (IP) and I were on the same page for what we were both looking for. For example, it's important to agree abut communication - both styles and frequency, lifestyle (how much say do IP's have in the surrogates diet and daily routine), and bigger topics like selective reduction and what happens if testing reveals problems - would they abort for medical issues?). With the right match, it can be a wonderful experience for everyone involved. Finding the right match is so important - and felt a lot like online dating! I did offer advice to a friend of a friend regarding surrogacy, which later turned into a conversation about whether or not I'd be her surrogate. In that instance, we were not on the same page for a lot of things and my gut was screaming at me to say no. I did turn her down and want to emphasize trusting your instincts and doing research about surrogacy. While the horror stories are very rare (but sensationalized), not every experience is a positive as mine was. It's important to be informed, be legally protected, and to build trust and open communication. One question I'm often asked is if it was hard for me to give up the baby. And my answer is not at all. If anything, at the birth, I felt nothing but pure joy for the IPs. For me, surrogacy felt a lot like babysitting in utero. My connection to the babies was much different than with my son's pregnancy. I felt like the babies cheerleader during the pregnancies, encouraging their healthy development and celebrating their milestones. Like I said, birth day was a joy, filled with lots of celebration.

    RE: Gestational surrogacy? ()

    Okay that last story, about the woman who has been a surrogate twice, was AMAZING. I'm terrible at being pregnant but I am so touched at this story, I wish I could do it now. 

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Archived Q&A and Reviews


Questions

Becoming a surrogate for my brother?

April 2007

My brother and his wife have been undergoing fertility treatments for a couple of years, and it looks like surrogacy may be the last option for them to have their own biological child. I had an easy pregnancy with my daughter, who is now 8 months old, and enjoyed being pregnant. I'm 35, and want another baby but not right away. Should I carry their child in the meantime? My brother and I are very close and this experience would probably bring us closer, but my relationship with my sister-in-law has been up and down. Right now it is up, but I wonder about the emotional complexity of a surrogate relationship. Has anyone out there been a surrogate for a family member? Or had a family member as a surrogate? What advice can you give me? Potential surrogate


I just wanted to put some things out there for you to think about. You are 35 yrs old and want another child eventually. Your own fertility will drop significantly after age 35 and the risks for birth defects goes up considerably. I got pregnant right away with my first child. For the second preganancy (after age 35) we had to resort to ferility treatments. It is very common to have a hard time getting pregnant the second time around. So, do the math. You will have to go through tests and hormones before getting pregnant, then 9 months of carrying their baby, then recovery. You won't want to get pregnant really soon after giving birth. So you will be a much older woman after giving birth to your brother's baby and then may face your own fertility challenges.

Secondly, I know someone who was a surrogate. There were a lot of hormones, etc. that she had to take and it made her the biggest space cadet and affected her physically. So if I were you I'd find out more about what exactly is involved and if you want to go through all of that while taking care of a toddler. With IVF there is a greater chance of post partum depression because of all the hormones you take. So overall, being a surrogate is not the same pregnancy as you went through with your first.

And that leads me to my third point. Taking care of a toddler while pregnant can be very draining. I hope you make a decision that is right for not only you and your brother, but the whole family as well. anon


I wouldn't do it, and I have given it a lot of thought. Only in my situation my sister-in-law wanted my husband to donate sperm to her girlfriend. A serious consideration is would you ever really be able to let go and have no say in the raising of your genetic child? What if you didn't like the way the child was being raised? What if you change your mind when the baby is born? What if the child had some serious medical problem -- you may be asked to contribute to medical care. A part of your heart will always be in that child, but you won't be able to make any major decisions in his/her care. Surrogacy is fine as a business arrangement, but when it's in your own family I don't think you have enough distance to really let go. All sorts of disagreements could come up, but when the stakes are that high it could tear your family apart. By helping your brother you may ultimately damage your relationship with him. Please don't enter into this lightly. Write down every possible contingency and discuss with your family how you would feel about each possiblity, and how it would be handled. Remember, even if you have an attorney write up what you think is an airtight contract, a judge can always render it invalid when circumstances indicate that following it would not be in the ''best interests of the child.'' Considered it and said no


Have you checked with your brother's fertility clinic that you're a viable surrogate? At 35, you're too old for many clinics. -your heart's in the right place


I didn't see the original post, only the responses, but I wanted to encourage you to research it a bit more and talk to women who've been gestational surrogates before you decide no. Our twin boys were born 4 months ago and carried by an amazing woman that we are so grateful decided to do this for us. Yes, there are hormones, similar to part of those you'd take in an IVF cycle, but I really don't think that they have an effect on post-partum depression as one reply stated. Of course you should take into consideration if you are finished having your own children, not only because of your age, but also because any pregnancy is risky and there can be unintended consequences.

Most (if not all) clinics will consider a gestational carrier over 35 (ours was 38 when she carried for us) --the age of the ''womb'' matters much less than the age of the eggs! If you talked to our surrogate, I think she would tell you that the connection she felt with our babies was very different than the connection with her own children --I don't believe it was a struggle for her to say goodbye when they were born. We all talk about it now as a journey that was not easy at all times, but very, very worthwhile for all of us in different ways.

One place you might start your research is by going to a website such as www.allaboutsurrogacy.com or www.surromomsonline.com to see what other surrogates or women considering doing this have to say,

Good luck with your decision! Mom of three


Finding a Surrogate Mother

April 2006

Good friends of ours--who would make great parents--are trying to find a surrogate mother after some heartbreaking attempts at IVF. If anyone can recommend how to find a surrogate mother, please post. They would prefer not to go through an agency.


My husband and I found our angel of a surrogate through a website called surromomsonline.com. We also did not want to go through an agency. There are many other surrogacy websites out there but this is the only one I can recommend from personal experience. There are hundreds of ads on the site from potential surrogates. Your friends can also place a 'looking for a surrogate' ad, too - this is how we found our surrogate; she responded to our ad. There is also a ton of other useful information about types of surrogacy, legal issues, success stories, etc. Best of luck to your friends - we now have a beautiful son, and finding that website was our first step. If it could happen for us, I have no doubt it can happen for them! Mommy at last