Join Faces of Surrogacy

faces-of-surrogacy

You’ve been through the surrogacy journey as intended parents, a surrogate, or egg donor. With that in mind, we want to honor you! Faces of Surrogacy will let us do just that! Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Send your photo to kmossien@circlesurrogacy.com. We are asking parents through surrogacy, surrogates, and egg donors to send us pics of journey. Surrogates: show us what you looked like during your pregnancy. Egg donors: Submit a snapshot of your pretty face or of you and your intended parents hanging out. Intended parents and parents: send pics of your brood.

Step 2: Share your thoughts. Why did you choose surrogacy or egg donation? What was the most memorable part of your journey? Send us a few sentences about your experience.

We’ll share your contributions on Facebook and Twitter @circlesurrogacy and @circleeggs via #facesofsurrogacy. We can’t wait to receive your pictures!

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Surrogacy Medications Explained

Women applying to become surrogates often are not fully aware of the details of the process. In particular they often wonder if a surrogate pregnancy differs from a personal pregnancy.

The fact that surrogacy pregnancies are not conceived naturally explains the need for hormone supplementation in order to prepare the uterus. Gestational surrogacy involves a process known as in vitro fertilization. Eggs are harvested from the intended parent or an egg donor. The eggs are fertilized in the laboratory and the resulting embryo(s) are then gently placed in the uterus of the surrogate.

surrogate medication

Surrogates are required to take medications in order to:

  1. Coordinate the menstrual cycle of the egg donor with that of the surrogate. This ensures that the surrogate’s uterus is primed and ready to accept the embryos.
  2. Prepare the surrogate’s uterus for pregnancy by providing two important hormones, estrogen and progesterone. Taken in sequence, these two hormones are meant to simulate the surrogate’s natural cycle and make sure that she is fully prepared. This maximizes the chances of pregnancy and helps to prevent a miscarriage.

[Read more…]

What You Need To Know About Today’s Supreme Court Decisions

It has been a great day for gay and lesbian Americans and for LGBT families.

In two historic rulings, the Supreme Court has: 1) effectively allowed same-sex marriage in California, and 2) granted federal benefits to married same-sex couples in states where gay marriage is legal. We break down what each ruling means below.

United States v. Windsor (The DOMA case)

This case concerns Section 3 of The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a federal law that defined marriage as the “legal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife.”

gay-marriage

As a result of this law, same-sex couples who were legally married at the state level were unable to receive federal benefits.

The case arose after a New York woman sued for the recovery of federal estate tax payments following the death of her wife. Surviving spouses can claim a federal estate tax exemption. Because of the federal definition of marriage in DOMA, however, the IRS forces the woman to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in estate taxes.

The Court ruled today that Section 3 of DOMA is “unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.” It noted that DOMA’s principal intent and effect was to take a set of marriages and make them unequal. The Court pointed to the history of marriage as a matter for the states and called DOMA an “unusual deviation from the usual tradition.” [Read more…]

Egg Donor Stories: Known Egg Donation

egg donor stories

During my first match with T, I was contacted by an egg donor agency in Massachusetts where I had previously applied. The agency told me that there were intended parents interested in matching with me. At the time, I was in the middle of my cycle for T. So I told the agency that I was willing to pursue another donation, but only if this first one went well.

The agency informed me that the intended parents liked me so much they were willing to wait for me until after my current egg donation. I was really excited at the possibility of a second donation and I was not even through with my first! [Read more…]

Embryoscope Gains Traction

EmbryoscopeFor intended parents via surrogacy and/or egg donation, the field of assisted reproduction has been reaping the benefits of advancing technologies. One such example is the recently rolled-out embryoscope, which is revolutionizing in vitro fertilization (IVF).

IVF involves fertilizing and cultivating embryos in a lab. The embryos are then implanted in the uterine lining of an intended mother or surrogate mother. Doctors choose the best of the bunch after a 72 hour monitoring/growth period. However, not all embryos mature at the same rate. This is why the embryoscope is so helpful. It monitors progress minute by minute via time-lapse photography, potentially leading to higher success rates for transfers. [Read more…]

The Initial Consultation for Intended Parents

Surrogacy consultationYou have researched surrogacy and feel it may be a fit for you and your partner. But if you’re on the fence about it, how can you feel confident about moving forward with the surrogacy process? The answer is a consultation, which can be done in person or via Skype.

All intended parents start surrogacy and/or egg donation with a free consultation. It’s private and usually lasts around two and a half hours. During this time, you’ll sit down with our consultation team. One of our staff members explains how the process works, asks you questions about your plans to have children, and reviews our program. Then you’ll meet with one of our attorneys, who will go over legal procedures, insurance, and costs. [Read more…]

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Surrogacy or Egg Donation Agency

Whether you’re an intended parent or a prospective surrogate or egg donor, make sure you’re in good hands when you’re choosing an agency. Keep in mind that, while the decision can be daunting, a few key factors can help you make an informed choice.

Remember, your final decision will affect you throughout your experience. So don’t be afraid to take some time when doing your initial research. Here are 5 important factors to help guide you in your search:

1.  Agency experience. A surrogacy and egg donation agency’s history is one of the more important factors to consider. As more and more intended parents have turned to gestational surrogacy to create their families, new surrogate parenting agencies have appeared all over the world. Make sure your agency has a track Choosing a surrogacy agencyrecord of successful journeys. Finding an agency with staff members who have personal connections to surrogacy and/or egg donation can provide a sense of comfort as they can identify with every step of the journey and help guide you through the process. [Read more…]

Does a surrogate pregnancy differ from a personal pregnancy?

Personal Pregnancy vs. Surrogate Pregnancy

Heartburn. Check.
Waddle. Check, check.
Frequent trips to the ladies’ room. Check, check, check.

My surrogate pregnancy was similar to my personal pregnancies. However, there were definitely a few (rather large) ways that it differed from the pregnancies I’d had with my own children.

In Vitro Fertilization
In the weeks leading up to the scheduled embryo transfer, my body was prepared to become pregnant thanks to the medications commonly used in IVF. I attended monitoring appointments at an IVF clinic to make sure that my body was responding properly to the various medications. A short time later, during a quick and painless procedure, the embryo transfer took place with the intended parents at my side. I continued with my medications and monitoring appointments until we were about 10 weeks pregnant, at which time I was weaned from the medication and released to my own OBGYN. The IVF process was by far the greatest physical difference that existed between my personal pregnancies and surrogate pregnancy. [Read more…]

The Program Coordinator’s Role

program coordinators If you frequent our blog or have read any one of our numerous downloads (Surrogacy Cost Information, Surrogacy for Gay Couples, Intended ParentsEgg Donor, and Surrogate), you’ve likely heard the term Program Coordinator (PC). And for those of you who don’t know what a Program Coordinator’s role is at our agency, we’ve got you covered.

Essentially, a PC acts as the liaison between intended parents (IPs) and surrogate and/or egg donor during each stage of the surrogacy process: matching, contracts and screening, transfer, and pregnancy. Here we break down what the program coordinator does for you during each of these stages.

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6 Ways to Prepare for Your Surrogate Pregnancy

Surrogate Pregnancy Delivering a healthy baby often depends on the physical and mental well-being of the woman carrying the child. In addition to your medical screening and social worker interview with the agency, there are number of ways to keep in tip top shape to ensure a healthy surrogate pregnancy. (Please keep in mind these are suggestions and that you should always talk to your doctor for medical advice.)

1. Consume healthy foods and maintain a healthy weight. Don’t use the excuse: I’m eating for two. Although there is some merit to this adage, it doesn’t give you license to eat as much as you want. The amount of weight a surrogate gains can affect the baby’s health. Therefore, you, your physician, and the intended parents should research pregnancy weight gain guidelines, which are typically based on BMI. The foods you eat also play a role in weight management. Eat clean foods that play a role in strengthening your immune system and balancing your body’s blood sugar levels.

[Read more…]