Preparing Your Child for Surrogacy: Part 1

Surrogate mother The best approach in telling your kids you’re about to become a surrogate is to be open, honest, and straightforward. Start the discussion as soon as you begin the process. Be sure to keep their ages in mind so you can present the information in a way they can understand.

We encourage our surrogates to tell their kids before or around the time of the match. While not a requirement, disclosure at this stage can strengthen a surrogate’s profile. Many intended parents find comfort in knowing that their surrogate’s entire family is fully aware of the situation. Sometimes surrogates even include their children on the first Skype interview with the intended parents. This allows your children to meet the family you’re helping.

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Packing Tips for Delivery Day

Your surrogate’s due date is just around the corner, and you and your partner are preparing for your baby’s arrival. During the days leading up to your child’s birth, you’ll want to have gathered all the essentials you’ll need when heading to the hospital. If you’re living outside the United States, you may want to pack these suggested belongings a bit more in advance.

For the Hospital

Packing for Delivery Day

a. Your birth plan, prepared with the surrogate and her OBGYN
b. Your ID (driver’s license for domestic parents, passport for international parents)
c. Your insurance information (if the baby will be placed immediately on your insurance after birth)
d. Your home pediatrician’s contact information
e. Any hospital or legal paperwork that you have been instructed to bring
f. DNA Diagnostic Center contact information for the DNA test
g. Cash for parking and change for vending machines
h. List of important contact numbers
i. Going-home outfit for the baby (or babies)
j. Receiving blanket

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Surrogate Stories: What is Surrogacy to Me?

Absolutely incredible in every way – that’s what being a surrogate was for me. When I applied to become a surrogate, I knew it was something that I could do…something that I really wanted to do for someone. What I did not know at that time was how surrogacy would change my life.

My name is Jeni, and I was blessed to be matched with amazing Intended Parents who welcomed me and my family with open arms from the very beginning. I am extremely proud to be the woman who helped bring their twins into this world. Over the course of our journey, my Intended Parents became very much a part of our family. We all thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent together during our pregnancy, and our family is thrilled that we continue to have a strong relationship with their family, receiving adorable pictures and videos of the twins as they grow up. As a surrogate, my belly had room for two, but my heart grew by four during this special time that we shared together.


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The Circle surrogate, the Baptist, and the DNA test….

Surrogate mother I am expecting a surrogate baby with two international IFs. Our delivery is set for two weeks from now so we are tying up many loose ends before delivery. My IFs kindly asked if I would pop down to the local Walgreens to pick up two paternity test kits and have them in my hospital bag so that right after delivery we can swab the baby and send off for the results. This is a requirement of their home country.

Soooo, yesterday, I hauled my huge bottom (and I mean HUGE) out of bed and went down to Walgreens in search of these said paternity test kits. After searching the baby aisle, the feminine aisle, and every other aisle, I had no luck in locating them. I timidly approached the pharmacy counter and asked the pharmacist where they would be located. She reached behind her and pulled ONE dusty box off the shelf and handed it to me. I then asked this lovely lady (who had to be at least 70 with the deepest Southern accent I’ve ever heard in Colorado) if I could please have another test, as I would actually be in need of two.

At this point her eyes began to well, and you could tell that she just felt pity for me. She then went on to say that they’d need to order more, or perhaps I could order online and have it shipped to my home. As I was leaving, she invited me to attend a “mothers in crisis” meeting at her church that evening. She said I would find the support I needed there since clearly neither of “my baby’s possible fathers were offering the support I so desperately needed.”

I pondered for a moment deciding if I should tell her the whole surrogacy story or not, but then I figured I’d spare her the heart attack and spare myself the unneeded lecture I just knew I’d receive from this ole’ Southern belle. I politely gathered my DNA test kit, receipt, and change….then giggled all the way home.

 

10 Questions to Ask Your Surrogate’s Hospital

Hospital for SurrogacyTouring the delivery section of your surrogate’s hospital before the baby is born is a wonderful opportunity for you to acquaint yourself with the staff and location. While not all intended parents can arrange a visit, many try to schedule time around the 20 week ultrasound or in the week before the delivery.

Many hospitals offer free tours during which time you can obtain helpful information and a visual of the unit. We suggest that you and your surrogate explore the hospital together and ask some of the following suggested questions.

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Surrogacy Expectations: Pregnancy

During your surrogacy, you’ll go through six stages: matching, contracts and screening, waiting to cycle, transferring, pregnancy, and post delivery. This six-part blog series defines what each stage entails; helps you set reasonable expectations; and offers important things to consider.

pregnancy test
The beta test is positive, and the ultrasound confirms a heartbeat… Your surrogate is pregnant! Welcome to the fifth stage of surrogacy.

What’s next?
Your IVF clinic will monitor your surrogate’s pregnancy up to the tenth week of gestation. At that point, she is released to her own OBGYN. (Your surrogate is responsible for scheduling her medical appointments.) At the same time, you’ll receive a pregnancy packet from your surrogacy agency that offers information and guidance for this stage of your surrogacy.

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What is a Gestational Surrogate?

what is a gestational surrogateLately, there has been a significant uptick in media coverage of infertility and surrogacy. This might have you considering, “Could I become a surrogate?” After all, you can’t imagine life without your own kids — you wouldn’t want others to be deprived of that joy. Still, one question remains unanswered: What exactly is a gestational surrogate?

A gestational surrogate is…

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Infertility Coverage for LGBT in California

gay rightsIn April 2013, California State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano filed assembly bill no. 460, which would guarantee same-sex couples infertility coverage under medical insurance. Fast-forward six months: California Governor Jerry Brown has signed the bill, officially removing a huge financial and emotional barrier that gay couples trying to start family previously faced.

The bill was introduced to change the way health insurance coverage works in California. Up until now (well, technically until January when the law goes into effect), same-sex couples and infertile individuals have been denied coverage because of their sexual orientation and marital status. Thanks to AB 460, that’s now a thing of the past.

“Reproductive medicine is for everybody’s benefit,” Ammiano said in a statement. “To restrict fertility coverage solely to heterosexual married couples violates California’s non-discrimination laws. I wrote this bill to correct that.”







photo credit: Steve Rhodes via photopin cc

Negotiating Your Surrogacy Contract

Surrogacy Contract
It’s a wonderful thing when intended parents match with a surrogate. Their journey together commences and they develop a relationship like no other. However, the possibility of not seeing eye to eye on everything exists. And that is why a surrogacy contract, or what Circle calls a Carrier Agreement, is put into place.

There are certain topics intended parents and surrogates shouldn’t discuss without the presence of legal representation. Lawyers handle such matters, creating agreements on a range of issues, such as recovery period, the number of children to be had, maternity clothing, etc.


As you’ll want to give close consideration to your Carrier Agreement, here is a list of the most commonly negotiated topics.

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Surrogacy Studies: Take Part in Scientific Research

We’re proud to help make families for same-sex couples, single fathers and mothers, and heterosexual couples who are experiencing infertility or are otherwise unable to bring a child into the world through natural pregnancy.

But building families through surrogacy is only the first step. We at Circle feel strongly about supporting families following the birth of their children. This commitment is reflected in our support for organizations like Parents Via Egg Donation, Family Equality Council, and Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders.

surrogacy-studies

In addition to supporting organizations that advocate on behalf of our families, we try to help advance the study of LGBT families and families through surrogacy. In the past, studies have helped show that children of gay and lesbian parents fare just as well as children of heterosexual parents.

Research can guide legislators and policymakers as they bring laws up to date with the realities of nontraditional families and alternate paths to parenthood. They can help identify issues and challenges that affect these populations and provide a deeper understanding of any differences. To that end, we occasionally pass on opportunities for our intended parents to participate in scientific research.

Here is a list of several studies our IPs and parents have joined. You can find more information, including how to sign up, by clicking on the links below.

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