2014’s Most Popular Baby Names

most popular baby names of 2014 The polls have closed and the results are in! BabyCenter’s annual list of the most popular baby names has hit the web. While some parents strayed from the pack with what Baby Center deems “unusual and surprising baby names,” which include: Moon; Rhythm; Yolo (someone was bound to do it); Saffron; Wolf; Denim; and Heavenleigh, there aren’t any major surprises topping the popularity charts for 2014.

Here’s a roundup of BabyCenter’s top 10 most popular baby names for both boys and girls in 2014.


GIRLS:                                                                          BOYS:

  1. Sophia
  2. Emma
  3. Olivia
  4. Ava
  5. Isabella
  6. Mia
  7. Zoe
  8. Lily
  9. Emily
  10. Madelyn
  1. Jackson
  2. Aiden
  3. Liam
  4. Lucas
  5. Noah
  6. Mason
  7. Ethan
  8. Caden
  9. Jacob
  10. Logan


top baby names of 2014




Sophia and Jackson can add another notch into their belts for coming in first. Last year, both baby names came in on top, too. Sophia is familiar with the position, keeping the crown for the fifth straight year. Will she make it to six titles after 2015?

If you’re in the market for good baby name suggestions, have no fear. BabyCenter has compiled a list of the top 100 names for both genders, which you can refer back to for input. Study up! Happy choosing, and here’s to a happy and healthy 2015!

photo credit: Wondermonkey2k via photopin cc
photo credit: hayleesherwood via photopin cc

Year in Review: The Top Surrogacy Stories from Every Month in 2014

Year in Review From the wave of marriage equality sweeping the United States and the heartbreaking stories out of Thailand, to a European court decision paving the way for less restrictive policies across the continent, it has been a very busy year in the surrogacy world. As the number of intended parents choosing surrogacy has grown, we’ve seen legal barriers to the practice fall down, as countries recognize that children should be protected regardless of how they are brought into the world. We have also seen the need for more conversations, more regulation, and more screening to make sure that we not only continue to help childless parents create families, but that we do so while protecting the best interests of their children or future children.

Here’s a look at some of the biggest stories we saw in 2014.

January: Kansas Lawmaker Drops Bill Banning Surrogacy
After asking the Kansas Senate Public Health Committee to consider a bill that would ban surrogacy and mirror the outdated legislation of the District of Columbia (where surrogacy is illegal), a state senator dropped her plans to criminalize the practice after facing backlash.

[Read more…]

Top 8 Circle Surrogacy Blog Posts of 2014

It’s been a wonderful year for Circle Surrogacy. We have been privileged to help bring more than 150 babies into the world this year. To wrap up 2014, we’ve compiled a list of blog posts that have helped spread the word about surrogacy and have attributed to our growth in readership. Without further ado, here are the eight most-read blog posts of 2014.

1. Circle Attends OMG! Cancer Summit for Young Adults

The “OMG! Cancer Summit for Young Adults” is the only conference of its kind to address the needs of young adult cancer survivors under age 40. The seventh annual event brought together survivors, caregivers, and advocates to address common quality-of-life issues that affect this age group, such as body image, dating, employment, and cancer-related infertility. Over three days in Las Vegas, Nevada, the conference (presented by Stupid Cancer) highlighted speakers, had breakout sessions, and gave attendees the opportunity to network, professionally and socially. Read More



surrogacy planning

2. 7 Don’ts of Planning a Surrogacy for Intended Parents

If you’re reading this, you most likely are researching surrogacy and all that it entails. And while you’re probably still learning the ins and outs of the process, there are some things you should know that may not pop up in your next Google search.

As we want you to be fully informed as intended parents, we’ve gathered a list of the top things to avoid when planning a surrogacy. Read More

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Our Relationship with Our Surrogate: A Very Special Bond

Surrogate and intended mother

Brittani and me at her 20-week ultrasound.

The day we met Brittani and her husband, I had stood in front of my closet for a long time. What exactly do you wear to meet the woman who might carry your baby?

I felt like we were going out on the most important blind date of our lives. Circle had played matchmaker, and we were getting ready to meet their results. Sure, we had Skyped with Brittani and her husband before our official match, but this was different.

This was in person.

I can’t remember what we spoke about during our lunch. The funny thing about meeting a surrogate for the first time is that we already knew so much about her. We both had filled out very long questionnaires for Circle about

surrogate and intended mother

Brittani and me at her 36-week ultrasound (Max was born just 4 days later!).

everything, from our personal lives to and our parenting styles, to our views on selective reduction. I knew more intimate details about Brittani than I did about some of my friends.

Our friendship started slowly, mostly updates on medications and doctor’s appointments. That soon morphed into sharing our weekend plans and daily activities. Good lord what did intended parents (IPs) and surrogates do before texting! We would text each other a few times a week, checking in on how things were going.

[Read more…]

What Circle Loves About the Holidays

It’s official. The holiday season is underway! With that in mind, we wanted to share our staff’s favorite holiday traditions – new and old! Some employees even offered up their favorite songs. Enjoy them with our Spotify Staff Holiday Picks playlist!

noah and grandma

Jennifer’s grandmother and son.

Jennifer Skarinka, Executive Assistant/Events and Marketing Coordinator
Favorite Tradition: My favorite tradition would be my family’s Italian Christmas Eve, which consist of recipes passed down from generation to generation and spending time with our extended family. The food at our Christmas Eve is certainly at the top of the list, but the best part, for me anyway, is spending time with my grandma, whom is 102 and still going strong. She is the matriarch of our family and a beautiful person inside and out. I remember as a kid looking forward to this day every year and still do to this day (now married with two children). Here is a photo of my grandma, Theresa Spagone, and my son, Noah, a couple of years ago.
Favorite Song: “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby. It’s a beautiful song that immediately takes me back to my childhood at Christmas whenever I hear it.

Gina-Marie Mariano Madow, Attorney
Favorite Tradition: Christmas shopping and baking cookies with my mom!
Favorite Song: “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey

Kelly Chandler, LICSW, Manager of Surrogate Screening and Matching

Favorite Tradition: Gathering around the fireplace, drinking hot cocoa, eating homemade pie with family and friends. Decorating the tree and stuffing stockings!

[Read more…]

Becoming a Surrogate: Top Questions in the Early Stages (Part 1)

becoming a surrogate top questions Women interested in becoming surrogates typically have a laundry list of questions before completing the surrogate application. To help ease any uncertainty, we’ve provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from potential surrogates.

What are the steps involved in becoming a surrogate? Before you apply to become a surrogate, it’s important you ask the right questions, research different agencies, familiarize yourself with the process, and discuss your feelings with your support system. The Internet is a great resource for women interested in applying to become surrogates. There are forums, Facebook groups, blogs, and videos available to anyone with web access. Take advantage of these options and ask questions, create pros and cons lists, and educate yourself. For a list of free, downloadable guides on surrogacy and becoming a surrogate, visit the selection of downloads available on our site or visit our blog to learn more and find answers to some of your questions.

After you’ve decided to apply to become a surrogate, one of Circle’s team members will be in touch to guide you through the next steps. For an overview of the entire surrogate process, take a look at this page.

Review the list of requirements for women interested in becoming surrogates at Circle. Note: These requirements can vary between different agencies so be sure to take a look!

requirements for surrogates

How much do surrogates get paid? Compensation for surrogates varies depending on where you live, whether or not you have been a surrogate before, your insurance coverage, and other factors. Your eventual total compensation reflects the sum of your base fee and any additional fees that may have been negotiated in your Carrier Agreement. Additional fees may include compensation for travel allowance, maternity clothing, transfer fees, and signing bonuses among other things. Base fees for first-time surrogates are as follows:

  • $30,000- approved applicants from California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Surrogates from these states are the most requested by intended parents due to favorable surrogacy laws.
  • $30,000- approved applicants from other states with approved maternity and dependent insurance coverage.
  • $27,500- approved applicants from other states with approved maternity insurance coverage.
  • $25,000- all other approved applicants. Please note: because of the nature of surrogacy laws within their states, Circle cannot work with surrogates from Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Washington, and/or Washington D.C.

For a detailed overview of surrogate compensation, click here.

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French Council of State Allows Citizenship for Children Born Through Surrogacy

Friday marked a positive development for French parents through surrogacy. The country’s Conseil d’état, which serves as the highest court for administrative law, issued a ruling dismissing challenges to a Justice Department memorandum requiring citizenship documents for children born to French parents, even if the children are suspected of being born through surrogacy.

1920px-Conseil_d'Etat_Paris_WASurrogacy is illegal in France but French intended parents, like other Europeans, have turned to surrogacy in countries like the United States, where it is legal. The subject has been in the news frequently over the past year, as rightwing and anti-gay groups in France have challenged the practice.

In January 2013, the country’s Justice Minister issued a circulaire (memorandum) requiring French authorities to issue Certificats de Nationalité Français (CNFs), citizenship documents, to children even if they are suspected of having been born through surrogacy. Opponents countered that the government was allowing parents to circumvent the country’s anti-surrogacy law, and that the Justice Minister overstepped her authority. They filed challenges, which were presented to the Conseil d’ état, and culminated in Friday’s decision.

The Council’s decision reaffirms the circulaire. It is excellent news for French intended parents who are pursuing surrogacy abroad. The Council also invoked the June 2014 decision of the European Court of Human Rights (CEDH) when it condemned France for refusing to grant citizenship to children, stating that doing so was a violation of the children’s human rights.

We are thrilled that the Council has recognized that children should not be treated differently just by virtue of how they came into the world. We will continue to analyze the Council’s decision and its effects, and will provide advice and guidance to all our French intended parents with respect to the getting their children home safely.

Read more (in French) about the decision here.

Giving Birth during the Holidays? 5 Surefire Ways to Cope

Delivering during holidays

With Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s around the corner, there’s plenty to keep you occupied—attending social engagements, shopping for presents, hosting dinners. But if you are nearing the end of your surrogate pregnancy and are due this month or next, the holiday season may be tad more stressful than usual.

To help get you through it, we’ve listed 5 ways to make it through the season unscathed.

1. Make sure you are comfortable with your plan to get to the hospital. It’s essential to have your route to the hospital planned out if you’re celebrating the holidays some place other than home. And take the weather into consideration if you live in an area where winter weather is a factor.

[Read more…]

Becoming a Surrogate – The Screening Process [Webinar]

Want to know what happens after you fill out the surrogate application? If so, watch our new webinar: Becoming a Surrogate – The Screening Process. Circle’s Alicia Abdella, LCSW, and Dr. Susanne Haskell, Massachusetts Board Licensed Psychologist, discuss the:

  • pre-screening process;
  • phone interview with a social worker;
  • psychological testing; and
  • next steps.