Circle Surrogacy’s Director of Legal Services on Turn the Page for a New Episode: Surrogacy as a Family Building Option – Legal Issues

Circle Surrogacy's Director of Legal Services on a Podcast

This is the last of a three-episode series featuring surrogacy as a parenting alternative. In the first episode, we discussed the surrogacy process, from screening and match to engaging necessary supports and cultivating the career-intended parent relationship.

During the second episode, an intended parent turned new Mom and former carrier who developed a career with a surrogacy agency, shared their realities, from the decisions that led to their surrogacy journeys through post delivery.

The final episode will dispel some of the rumors and address concerns that are associated with surrogacy from a legal perspective. You may have come across horror stories in news publications related to both carriers and intended parents, which speaks to the critical nature of securing sound legal guidance in this process.

International legal expert Dean Hutchison, Esq., of Circle Surrogacy (www.circlesurrogacy.com) will provide information about both international and domestic surrogacy laws.

Mark your calendar for June 24 and save this link.

Over 600,000 People Watched Elite Daily’s Short Documentary Surrogacy and the Modern Family

That’s 665,407 people to be exact. 2,464 shares. 5,100 likes.

The positive response to Elite Daily‘s short documentary, SURROGACY: Redefining the Modern Family has blown us away. We are deeply grateful that Elite Daily decided to interview an intended parent and surrogate who had worked with us!

The comments, all 268 of them, meant the world to us because even though surrogacy is a familiar concept in our everyday lives, we know we have work to do before everyone truly understands what surrogacy is and the great impact it has on so many people’s lives. While there is a good number of accurate stories available, there is a reason we wrote the blog post called 7 Things the Media Gets Wrong about Surrogacy in the United States.

The documentary put together by Elite Daily captured the beauty of surrogacy in a way we haven’t seen from other media outlets. So, when we read through the comments, we were delighted to see everyone’s kind words and support of surrogacy. Since you probably don’t have the time to filter through comments, we did it for you. Wednesday is a good day for a little warming of the heart.

Elite Daily documentary comments:

  • Wow! What an absolutely amazing group of people! It makes me so proud that there are such wonderful, unselfish humans in this world.
  • 🏼GS [gestational surrogate] of 5 here, LOVE this! It’s rare to see the beauty in surrogacy in the media! Surrogacy is profoundly indescribable. ❤️ 
  • You two are both beautiful people who deserve a beautiful family, and that’s exactly what you have! I’m so happy for you.
  • A true blessing all the way around. These babies are so blessed to have [Michael] as a parent. He’s one amazing guy!! 😊
  • This is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!
  • Brought tears to my eyes ! Beautiful is an understatement. 😍🙌🏼
  • If only we had a thousand Jennas in this world. So selfless. So beautiful!
  • I have so much respect for the women who act as a surrogate making so many people’s dreams of having children come true and giving life to the babies–that’s amazing!

We hope you enjoyed watching the documentary as much as we did. Thank you for sharing this video and being a part of our amazing community.

Circle Surrogacy’s Jen Rachman at CancerCon

CancerCon Surrogacy

Last week our Outreach Coordinator Jen Rachman traveled to Denver, Colo. for CancerCon—the premier oncology conference and social networking event for the young adult cancer movement.

This gathering is the largest of its kind. They bring together over 600 hundred survivors, caregivers and advocates to connect, get educated, and build community.

Jen’s presence was important to her personally and to the community for many reasons. Jen is an ovarian cancer survivor, a parent through surrogacy, and a social worker. Now in her role at Circle Surrogacy, she helps educate parents about the process of surrogacy as they make their decision to embark on the journey to have a child with Circle.

This is unlike many of the conferences we attend. Most of the other vendors at CancerCon are non-profits offering support and resources. Circle was the only surrogacy agency present for the event exhibiting.

Jen’s role at the conference was to let survivors know what is possible. This particular trip was even more eventful since the surrogate she worked with, Chantel, stopped by to sit with her and speak with attendees. And, attendees had a lot to share with Chantel—mostly it was awe and gratitude, but also she was an inspiration to attendees to know that there are people in the world willing to help those who can’t have children on their own.

CancerCon

Jen and Chantel.

Jen had many roles at the event, not the least of which being a panelist for “Parenthood After Cancer.” (Photo below).

CancerCon Surrogacy

On a personal level, Jen said the most rewarding aspect of the conference was hearing other people’s stories, insights, and experiences.

CancerCon exhibit photo

To get in touch with Jen, you can email her at jrachman@circlesurrogacy.com or you can follow her on twitter at @jen_rachman.

Recently she was interviewed by Elite Daily for a short documentary about surrogacy. Watch it here!

Video: Surrogacy – Redefining the Modern Family

In the fall, I received a call from Elite Daily asking for contacts to create a documentary about surrogacy from the perspective of surrogates. I asked some questions about the project wanting to be protective and knowing that sometimes surrogacy is misrepresented and misunderstood by the media.

The producer, Amanda, had all the right answers. Over the next few months, I worked to connect her with surrogates who were willing to be on camera. Understandably, not every person wants to be interviewed for a large pop culture publication–Elite Daily has over 3 million Facebook fans alone.

From there the producer set up interviews. Eventually, she came to me asking to speak with a social worker. I put her in touch with Jen Rachman, who works with intended parents at the beginning of their journey. She is also a cancer survivor, parent through surrogacy, and an articulate advocate for surrogacy.

We counted down the days until the piece was released. When we first saw the video in the office, a lot happened. For one, we wanted to watch it over and over again because Jen, Jenna (Circle surrogate who was featured in this Elite Daily documentary), and Michael (Circle intended parent who welcomed twins Rocco and Camilla) did such a beautiful job sharing their journey.

I hope you enjoy watching this video as much as we did. It explains many common misconceptions about surrogacy.

To learn more about becoming an intended parent through surrogacy, click here.
To learn more about becoming a surrogate, click here.

Surrogate, Parents and Baby! A Beautiful Journey

Join us in welcoming to the world Baby Jace.

With every new birth announcement emailed here at Circle, I start to wonder, “Can these photos of families be any cuter and more precious?” And every time I am answered with a resounding, “Yes, they can. Take a look at this.”

Parents Bo and Brent are wearing the most endearing t-shirts and smiles. We particularly love the photo of Bo, Brent, and Laura (Jace’s surrogate)–with Laura holding a snuggly Baby Jace.

surrogate and intended parents

Day2

 

We think long-term and encourage building meaningful relationships that will continue to exist throughout the life of the child. Our relationship-focused approach has led to almost every surrogate agreeing to return to their couple for a second journey. Our knowledgeable attorneys and social workers understand the importance of these relationships. And as parents through surrogacy, former surrogates, and egg donors, many of our staff members have firsthand experience with the emotional journey of surrogacy.

Learn more about Circle Surrogacy and the process of becoming either a surrogate or an intended parent by reading one of our free guides.

Surrogacy Documentary Coming Soon! The Guys Next Door

THE GUYS NEXT DOOR (Trailer)

The feature-length documentary The Guys Next Door follows Erik, Sandro and Rachel on a surrogacy journey. Filmmaker Amy Gellar read an article one day about an extraordinary woman, Rachel, who offered to be a gestational carrier for her friends, Erik and Sandro, a same-sex couple. With three children of her own, Rachel has carried both of Erik and Sandro’s daughters. This film, which spans three years in the life of Erik, Sandro and Rachel, offers audiences an opportunity to learn from their family portrait.

I spoke with one of the The Guys Next Door filmmakers, Allie Humenuk, who is also the film’s cinematographer, to learn more about the film and the process. Even better, I asked her how we can see it!

First things first, you can see a screening of the film on Sunday, May 1 at 2:15 pm at the Somerville Theatre as part of the Independent Film Festival Boston 2016. You can purchase tickets here. You can also catch the film at the Maine International Film Festival coming up in July.

They have been accepted into another festival, however, the announcement could not be made public yet. (Allie promised to keep me updated!) Part of being on the festival circuit involves looking for distribution, so outside of the festivals, we’ll all have to wait.

After speaking with Allie, I’m sure the wait will be well worth it.

When we spoke about the creative process she was very candid in saying that as filmmakers they weren’t sure where the story would take them. Quickly they found out they didn’t have to guide the story because observing the reality was interesting enough.

“There is no big lead up to some dramatic moment,” she said.

For some viewers, they may be surprised to see that having a family through surrogacy brings up the same questions that having a family the traditional way does. Allie mentioned that the thought-provoking film shows both Sandro and Erik sharing their childhood memories as well as their dreams, hopes and deep love for their children.

We’re thrilled that this will bring audiences a greater sense of awareness about surrogacy. While there is more coverage of surrogacy in the media now, the more people are given access to see the possibilities surrogacy provides to same-sex couples and couples with infertility struggles, the better it is for everyone.

“We had a young production assistant helping us on the film who is only 23. He told us he had a hard time coming out to his parents. And after one day of working on this film, he cried. Because he didn’t know having children through surrogacy was even a possibility for him,” Allie said.

Here at Circle, we look forward to following Allie and Amy’s journey to bring this film to as many people as possible. To receive more information about the film, *LIKE* their facebook page.

Lots of Twins this Month for Circle Surrogacy

Join us in welcoming the beautiful Camilla and Rocco to the world.

To our Circle community:

We hope this exciting news brings joy to your life. And, that you are able to smile in delight no matter where you are along your journey. Join us in wishing these two little beautiful bundles a long and wonderful life filled with laughter, love and so much joy.

baby born through surrogacy

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Circle Intended Parents on Alternative Parenting Panel in NYC: May 1

intended parents through surrogacy

Join Gabe Manzon & Tony D’Angelo (Circle intended parents to two beautiful daughters, Eliana and Sonia) for the Second Annual Panel Discussion with LGBTQ Parents and Families on Sunday, May 1 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Here is the write-up:

In celebration of International Family Equality Day, Rutgers Presbyterian Church will host a free panel discussion to explore issues surrounding LGBTQ adoption and surrogacy.

Stella Gilgur-Cook, LCSW, and Director of Spence-Chapin’s Modern Family Center will lead the discussion. The Modern Family Center is committed to building and strengthening today’s families. Their knowledgeable counselors offer culturally sensitive, bi-lingual, LGBTQ-affirming care in an accepting, nonjudgmental environment.

From Rutgers Presbyterian Church, Gabriel Manzon and Anthony D’Angelo will offer first-hand observations and perspectives and Ashley Birt, Director of Christian Education at Rutgers Presbyterian Church, will introduce the discussion.

Refreshments will be served beginning at 12:30pm and the panel discussion will be from 2:00pm – 3:30pm.

Childcare will be provided free upon request.

RSVP to Ashley@rutgerschurch.org if childcare is needed. For more information, click here.