4 Ways to Be a Great Surrogate Mother

surrogate mother “What makes a great surrogate mother?”

We often get this question from surrogates (and intended parents). Unfortunately, there’s no clear cut answer. However, there are several qualities and factors that play into a successful journey as a surrogate mother.

Beyond meeting the requirements and passing screening, a strong surrogate should have a love of pregnancy, an understanding of the time and commitment involved, and an overall sense of compassion. Want to know more? Here are additional things to consider to enhance your time as a surrogate.

1. Be consistent with communication. As we are a relationship-based agency, it is important you remain available to your intended parents. We encourage communication at least once a week between surrogates and intended parents. Have fun with it, too. You’re getting to know people who often become extended family.

2. Share your story with others. Becoming an advocate for surrogacy and showcasing your support for the process is one of the best things a surrogate can do. While the acceptance of surrogacy has grown tremendously, there are some people who still feel it’s wrong. And it’s usually because of inexperience with it or an unawareness of the process. With surrogate mothers sharing their experiences, more and more people can open their minds to the wonderful thing it is.

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New York Surrogacy Law: A Look at the Child-Parent Security Act Bill

new york surrogacy laws

Following Washington D.C.’s lead from earlier this month, the state of New York is reevaluating its ban on surrogacy arrangements by re-filing the Child-Parent Security Act bill for further consideration. Currently, the state’s statute declares any surrogacy contracts to be void, requiring New York residents to pursue surrogacy counsel in other states.

The bill would allow New York intended parents to establish secure parentage of children born through surrogacy, which would be recognized under New York’s state laws. This would eliminate many of the hurdles associated with pursuing surrogacy in other states. Further, the bill would grant gestational surrogates in the state of New York the rights to receive compensation, which is currently punishable by law.

This concept of “intended parentage” is not far-fetched, but reflects the ever-changing dynamic of the modern American family. New York is one of seven states in which surrogacy is illegal, including the state of Washington, Louisiana, Nebraska, Michigan, New Jersey, and Washington D.C., which may soon change.

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Surrogacy for Cancer Survivors: Video for intended parents

Circle Surrogacy and Stupid Cancer teamed up to educate cancer survivors about family-building during Surrogacy for Survivors. The Google Hangout on Air was held earlier this month, but is continuously available on our YouTube page.

Jen Rachman led the informal information session and group discussion. Jen is an outreach coordinator at Circle, a cancer survivor, and parent through the process. Viewers received an overview of the surrogacy and egg donation processes and were able to ask questions after the presentation. Below is a list of some of the questions intended parents had for Jen.

 

 

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Google Hangout on Air: Surrogate Chat with Jamie!

JAMIE GIRTON-0515

Thanks to our recent collaboration with 5th Street East, Circle is launching its first digital video on surrogacy on February 2, 2015. Visit www.circlesurrogacy.com/surrogates at 6pm to be one of the first to view it.

To celebrate, we are also hosting a Google Hangout on Air with panelists Jamie, experienced surrogate who is featured in the video, and Kelly Chandler, LICSW and manager of surrogate screening and matching. Originally scheduled for February 2, the Hangout is postponed due to inclimate weather. The new air date is February 9, 6pm EST.

During the Google Hangout on Air, Jamie will discuss her experience as a surrogate and what it was like to film. Kelly is also available to take questions from viewers pertaining to the surrogate screening and matching processes.

CLICK HERE TO RSVP

Surrogacy in the U.S.: Options for Intended Parents

Circle Surrogacy recently hosted a free online information session on surrogacy options in the United States for intended parents. It provides an overview of the process of becoming a parent through surrogacy, including:

  • Screening and matching egg donors and surrogates,
  • Securing your parental rights,
  • Costs,
  • In vitro fertilization, and
  • Personal stories and expert advice for couples and individuals, straight and gay.

Click to watch!




Surrogacy Law in D.C. May Soon Change

D.C. Surrogacy LawCurrently, intended parents cannot pursue surrogacy arrangement in Washington, D.C. But hope floats as 11 sitting members of the D.C. Council unanimously introduced a new bill last week.

The Collaborative Reproduction Amendment Act of 2015 seeks to put in place a legal framework for intended parents looking to pursue surrogacy. The bill also aims to establish a legal relationship between a surrogate-born child and his or her intended parents regardless of marital status or biological relation to the child. Further, it ensures that a surrogate and her spouse or partner do not have any parental rights to the child.

“Compared to the 50 states, District law is among the most restrictive with regard to surrogacy agreements, which is out of step with our commitment as a city to equality and family,” Councilmember Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) said in a statement after introducing the bill. “I believe surrogacy should be an option for District residents who wish to have children.”

The bill, which would require surrogates to undergo medical and psychological screenings and intended parents to have a join consultation with a mental health professional, reflects input from various community groups, including LGBT advocacy organizations such as the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance (GLAA), the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the Family Equality Council, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). Intended parents would also be required to pay the surrogate mother all reasonable expenses related to carry the child to term. If passed, the law would also implement safeguards for the child, surrogate, and intended parents, including a “character” provision prohibiting people with felonies and misdemeanors from pursuing such arrangements.

To learn more about the surrogacy process and laws you in your state, set up a free consultation.







photo credit: Phil Romans via photopin cc

LGBT Parents through Surrogacy? Participate in This Survey!

COLAGE, an organization that supports people with LGBTQ parents, is collecting data to create an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Guide. COLAGE describes the guide as:

kids through assisted reproduction “an informal publication for youth and young adults struggling with the many questions of growing up in an LGBTQ family built with the help of assisted reproductive technologies. The ART guide will be available on the COLAGE website in electronic format and will include all ART methods that LGBTQ families are using to create families. It will offer testimonials of youth and young adults in order to answer the questions and address the concerns of other ART-conceived youth. The guide will discuss how these youth and their families define the relationship they share with their donor or surrogate. It will address the struggles youth face when talking about their method of conception with their peers and having to explain their family.”

 

The survey can be filled out by children ages 10 and up. Younger children can fill out the questionnaire with a parent in order to translate questions into more understandable terms.

The link for the survey is: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/colageart.

Surrogacy Information and Upcoming Events 2015

We are excited for a new year of helping couples and individuals start their families. And that means more cities to visit and new people to meet. While we are based in Boston, Circle works hard to reach intended parents in various locations of the world. Check out where we are headed in the next few months as well as our online information sessions.

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Helpful Tips from One Parent to Another: Buying for baby

newborn-baby-must-haves Your little one is soon to arrive. You are SO excited because it seems like the waiting has been so long. However, reality is now setting in…“Do I have what I need for a newborn!?” As a mother of two (a 6-year-old boy and an 11-month-old girl), I know too well that feeling of wondering if I have everything I need to raise my babies, especially being a new parent. There are so many things on the market these days, which can be very overwhelming to someone just starting out in the world of parenthood.

I remember when my son was born and that feeling of “do I have the best and safest things on the market for my baby?”  We, after all, don’t settle for anything but the best for our child(ren), right? In this parent-to-parent section, I will discuss some of my favorite items available for babies that I used for my children. I have found, for myself anyway, that the best advice comes from other parents. Again, this is based on what worked for my children…every baby is different.

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