Help with Finding Surrogate Mom

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.

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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!