The Miracle of Surrogacy

During Circle Surrogacy‘s recent trip to Australia, we had the privilege of informing intended parents about surrogacy and egg donation. On our panel (from left to right) was Stephen Page, family attorney, John Weltman, president and founder of Circle, Dr. Vicken Sahakian, PFCLA, and a father through Circle Surrogacy.

Luckily, we caught much of information session on film and can share it with other IPs from locations other than Down Under! For more videos, check out Circle’s You Tube Channel.


Egg Donor Stories: A Wonderful Connection

by Gina-Marie Mariano

known egg donationWhen I began my first egg donation in 2009, I was 23 years old. Between 2009 and 2012, I completed four egg donations for four different intended parents. Each match was unique in its own way.

For my first donation, I used an IVF clinic in Connecticut. After a few months, I was matched with a single intended father whom I’ll call “T”. T and I decided to proceed with a known match. We started out slowly by exchanging emails. After a few weeks of correspondence, we decided to have our first phone call. I was so excited and nervous that I think I talked 90 percent of the time!

[Read more…]

Surrogate Mother Stories: Working with Same-Sex Intended Parents

Surrogate Stories

I was given a profile for “my guys” in September of 2008. I had started the surrogate process in July, so this was kind of the moment I was waiting for, like Christmas. My husband and I sat down and sorted through 15 pages of the couple’s thoughtful answers about each other, their decade-and-a-half long relationship, their desire for children, and almost 30 pictures of them traveling around the world, celebrating holidays, and capturing candid moments. I instantly knew I wanted to be a part of their lives—a big part.

When I first signed on as a surrogate, I had a picture in my head of the typical couple I would work with: an older, heterosexual couple who had struggled with infertility for years. I just assumed that those were the people looking for surrogates. When I began working with my screening team, they informed me that gay couples made up the largest population of intended parents. I was shocked. I wasn’t aware of the baby-demand within this population, but quickly realized how much sense that made. [Read more…]

An Overview of a Surrogate Mother’s Pay

Surrogate Mother PayTo become a surrogate mother and help a couple or individual create a family is one of the greatest things a woman can do for another. And for your selfless journey— or 9-month, full-time job— you receive financial compensation.

There are many factors that determine the total amount that a surrogate is paid. To give you an overview without crunching numbers, we’ve broken down the general payments below.

Base Fee: In general, a base fee covers your nine months of pregnancy. The base fee is commonly paid in installments, including a sign-on fee and monthly payments. All of this is worked out in the surrogacy contract that is signed by both you and the intended parent(s). Two factors that have the greatest impact on a surrogate’s base fee are her experience and whether she’s insured or uninsured. [Read more…]

It’s Official! A Victory for France and Marriage Equality

France Gay Marriage “Love has won out over hate,” Helene Mandroux, mayor of the southern city of Montpellier, told Reuters.

After a long and contentious fight for marriage equality, France becomes the 14th nation to legalize gay marriage. On Friday, May 17, President Francois Hollande signed a law, which takes effect on May 29, 2013, allowing marriage for and adoption by same-sex couples in France.

This historic event comes after much controversy, debate, and protest (often violent), as thousands have taken to the streets. As such, opponents of gay marriage in France (mostly made up of right-wing organizations, religious groups, and the Union for a Popular Movement) are committed to continuing their campaign with a protest on May 26 in Paris. “There are homophobic, violent acts that are committed. The right to demonstrate is recognized and accepted by the French. But no event should degenerate, attack public property or people,” Hollande says in response to the homophobic violence.

Although surrogacy remains illegal in France, and is not part of this legislation, the law does allow gay parents through international surrogacy to adopt their child(ren). The adoption part of the law ensures that both the biological and non-biological mothers or fathers have parental rights recognized in France.

Join us in Brussels, Belgium, on June 22-23, 2013, for an information session and consultations on surrogacy and egg donation in the U.S. Sign up now.

photo credit: Guillaume Paumier via photopin cc

Ensuring a Healthy Surrogate Pregnancy

surrogate pregnancy by Stacey Antine, MS, RD

What an amazing opportunity it is to give the gift of life, especially for another person via surrogacy.  This gift comes with a lot of responsibility and expectation to create a healthy baby—and it all begins in pregnancy. During your surrogate pregnancy, you are  eating and living for two, so it’s important to get informed to make the best decisions for an optimal pregnancy. Here are my top wellness tips for being your best during the next exciting nine months of your journey as a surrogate. [Read more…]

Talking about Surrogacy: Advice for Gestational Carriers


“When are you due?”
“Not for another two months.”
“Have you picked out a name?”
“Not yet. The parents have a few in mind, though.”

Although you’re excited and confident about your decision to become a surrogate, some people, such as neighbors, community members, and/or acquaintances, may not feel the same way  or may have a lot of questions.

If you’re faced with resistance or judgment, which often stems from misconceptions or a lack of knowledge, take a deep breath. Equipped with the following pointers, you can gracefully discuss your choice to become a surrogate with anyone—even those who don’t understand.

[Read more…]

Brazilian Judicial Council Approves Gay Marriage

A judicial council in Brazil ruled today that government offices can no longer deny marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

“This is the equivalent of authorising homosexual marriage in Brazil,” according to Raquel Pereira de Castro Araujo, head of the human rights committee of the Brazilian bar association.


A different path to marriage equality

The decision could make Brazil one of 14 countries that allow gay marriage nationwide. But today’s ruling differs from approvals of gay marriage elsewhere in the world in the way in which it was issued.

In most countries and states where gay marriage is allowed, that right has been established via legislative action (recently in Minnesota and New Zealand) or by court decision (as in Massachusetts). By contrast, today’s ruling from Brazil comes from the country’s National Council of Justice, a panel responsible for overseeing the Brazilian justice system.

No need to wait for Congress

The Brazilian Congress has not approved a marriage equality law, but Supreme Court Chief Justice Joaquim Barbosa noted that there was no need to wait to extend marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples. The council’s decision today emphasizes the 2011 ruling of the Supreme Court that gay couples must have the same rights as heterosexual couples.

Fourteen Brazilian states had previously authorized gay marriage. Today’s ruling extends the right to all 27 states. It can be appealed before the Supreme Court.

Last week, the Federal Council of Medicine adjusted the wording of the Brazil’s assisted reproduction law to clarify that gay and lesbian couples must have access to in vitro fertilization and other reproductive technologies.

Minnesota Passes Gay Marriage

TWELVE STATES across the United States will have marriage equality when Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signs a new law tomorrow.

State senators voted 37 to 30 this afternoon to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. The state House of Representatives passed the bill last Thursday.

minnesota-gay-marriageGay and lesbian Minnesotans have been able to obtain second-parent adoptions in many counties across the state, although there is no statewide ruling on them. We hope the new law will encourage their availability across Minnesota.

The legislature’s vote comes just a few months after Minnesota voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have restricted marriage to heterosexual couples. It was the first time voters in any state had rejected such an initiative at the ballot box.

An encouraging sign

This month alone, legislatures approved marriage equality in Delaware and Rhode Island. There were also successful marriage equality votes this year in France, New Zealand, and Uruguay. A bill to allow gay marriage is currently in the Illinois legislature.

Gay marriage allows same-sex parents to tell their children that their families are just like everyone else’s, not just in society’s view, but also in the eyes of the law. The global movement towards marriage equality in recent months is an extremely encouraging sign of things to come.

Egg Donor Selection: Advice on Finding Your Perfect Match

You’re fully committed to becoming a parent through egg donation. You’ve chosen an  %egg-donor agency to work with and a program that best suits your needs. Great! But what happens when you’re at the point of selecting your donor? You know…the person whose genetic DNA will run through your child’s veins. Kind of a big decision! Luckily, there’s no right or wrong way to choose an egg donor. Every preference and/or request is determined by you (and your partner). But we do have some pointers to help guide you along the way.

Decide whether you want to work with a known donor or an anonymous donor. Known donation is becoming more popular. It allows communication between intended parents (IP) and donors. You can carry on the relationship to your agreed upon level of comfort, too. For example, you can meet and exchange information to be in touch in the future, if necessary, or form an ongoing friendship. In an anonymous donation, you would not have open contact or communication with your donor. The contracts would use only first names and all information would be exchanged through an agency. Getting to know the donor is considered to be beneficial for both you and your child. It helps the child to understand  where he/she came from, provides the child with a sense of identity, and allows you and your child to remain updated about his/her genetic parent’s medical history as it changes over time. [Read more…]