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Experienced surrogates and return journeys

Thinking about another surrogacy? Many surrogates come back to us for multiple surrogacies and we love working with our experienced carriers! There is a lot to consider when thinking about another journey and below you will find helpful information on what to think about, and information you'll need as you consider another surrogacy.

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 3 considerations for returning surrogates

3 considerations for returning surrogates

If you're considering a return surrogacy journey – congratulations, that's wonderful!

Now that you're an experienced surrogate, you know what to expect from the process, timeline, matching and expectations from your agency and intended parents.

There are, however, a few additional things to think about if you're ready to do another surrogacy journey.

Timing

Some surrogates are ready to move forward in another journey shortly after they have completed their first surrogacy, while others need more time before committing. Some women also want to take advantage of the freedom they have to take family trips or experience big life events within their immediate/extended family that may be restricted during a surrogacy/pregnancy. There’s no right or wrong answer here but it’s important to think about when the timing feels right for another journey!

Family and Support

A surrogacy is impossible without you but also your support network! Talk to your family, friends and children about doing another surrogacy journey. This will impact them too and we want to make sure that your core group of support people are on board and supportive of the plans.

Matching Preferences

Many surrogates return for a subsequent journey with their former intended parents for a sibling journey while other surrogates do another surrogacy with new intended parents. We encourage surrogates and intended parents to talk with each other about the possibility of a sibling journey if they feel comfortable doing so (or if you are unsure how to have that conversation, feel free to reach out to your former support social worker and they can guide you!). If you are hoping to move forward with new intended parents, we are also here to support you in this decision.
 3 next steps for return surrogates

3 next steps for return surrogates

If you're ready to do another journey, there are a few steps each gestational carrier should take as she moves towards a second (or third!) journey.

1. Speak with your OBGYN

Speak with your doctor about your desire to do another surrogacy to get their medical recommendations. They will likely also give you recommendations for when they suggest you do another transfer after your most recent delivery. We also ask that experienced surrogates get an OB approval letter as part of their re-screening process with Circle. You can email Kristi Johnson, or your support social worker for a copy of this form to bring to your appointment with your OBGYN or send to their office via fax/scan.

2. Speak with your family

It's also important to speak with your family before applying for a return journey because they are such a big part of your surrogacy. If you have a spouse, talk about what a 12-16 month surrogacy means for your family at that moment, and if your kids are old enough, talk to them as well. Having full support helps make a smoother journey!


3. Submit a new application

You'll need to fill out the surrogate application. We must make sure that we have your most up-to-date information in our system to best support you on your surrogacy and that starts with the application. After you click submit, a member of our surrogate outreach team will email you with the next steps.

 The Circle Surrogate Promise

The Circle Surrogate Promise

The Circle Surrogate Promise was created because we truly care about our carriers, and we want each of them to have the most successful and rewarding journey possible.

In the past, our carriers shared thoughts and improvements with their social workers, or during their exit interviews, and we took all of those conversations and suggestions to heart and improved on our offerings to our gestational carriers.

Guaranteed Pay, Security and Support

The Circle Surrogate Promise is a program exclusive to Circle Surrogates; no other agency can offer the same level of security and support.

Circle Surrogacy promises:

  1. Guaranteed Compensation. Circle Surrogacy financially backs their Intended Parents, so a surrogate’s escrow account is always funded to ensure she is always paid in full and on time.
  2. No medical bill liability. Circle Surrogacy takes on the liability of medical bills. We listened to our past surrogates and their frustrations with medical bills and we’ve made big changes. While we can never stop having you receive medical bills (since you are the “patient”), our new Fixed Cost programs for Intended Parents allow us to protect both the surrogates and the intended parents, and ensure all medical bills will be paid in a timely manner.
  3. $5,000 compensation, even if you leave the program. If you are accepted into our surrogate program and you are medically cleared and matched with intended parents – but you don’t achieve a pregnancy – we will compensate you for your time, energy and dedication thus far in your journey (up to $5,000 total).
  4. Empowerment in birth choices. Not every gestational carrier has the same desires when it comes to the birth of their surro baby. At Circle, our surrogates have choices for her preferred birth options, such as doula care, a hospital birth, or using a birth center with a midwife.
  5. Personalized, small agency feel, with the resources of a large agency. The first person you speak with at Circle will be an experienced carrier who guides you through the process until you are matched with intended parents, personally introducing you to your dedicated social worker and journey support team, all of whom are in house at Circle. You’ll always be supported by a Circle employee, who knows all the details about you and your journey (you’ll never have to worry about working with a third party who doesn’t even know your name!) Plus, with our expanded team, we are able to offer support groups, virtual events, one-on-one surrogate mentorship and more.

Return surrogate FAQs

If you're considering a return journey as an experienced surrogate, you may have some questions. We've gathered the most frequently asked questions from other surrogate mothers for you here.

Is compensation different for experienced carriers than first timers?

Yes! Experienced carriers usually request a higher base fee to acknowledge their experience and successful fulfillment of the requirements of a surrogacy in their first journey. Women will commonly request an additional $5,000 to their base fee per surrogacy journey but this is flexible. We want you to decide on a base fee that feels comfortable for you and we can explore the exact details with you to account for your specific situation. You will also have the opportunity to detail any other changes to your financial package during your screening process. Many experienced surrogates come to us wanting to make financial modifications from their first journey as they have a better understanding of their financial needs during the process than they did as first timers.

After my first surrogacy, when would I be eligible to transfer again?

This is ultimately dependent on the IVF clinic that you are matched with in another journey but most clinics allow a transfer to occur 9 to 12 months after a surrogate’s most recent vaginal delivery or 12 months after a c-section delivery.

When should I apply if I just delivered from my first surrogacy?

We encourage our surrogates to wait at least three months after they have delivered vaginally to apply. After a c-section delivery, we encourage women to apply six months post partum. We want our surrogates to have dedicated time to their post partum recovery and to focus on themselves and their family. However, you are free to apply when you feel the timing is right!

What is the screening process like for a second or third journey? Do I have to do everything over again?

No! The re-screening process with Circle for another surrogacy is typically much faster and much shorter. There are fewer documents to fill out, fewer medical records to collect (typically we only need to collect your most recent surrogacy/pregnancy and IVF records rather than all of your prenatal records), and the screening with the social worker for you and your primary support person is about half the length of your initial screening.

Is there anything different I need to do if I want to work with my same intended parents?

The process for a sibling journey looks very similar from an application and screening perspective. Typically the biggest issue that comes up for sibling journeys is the timeline. Many surrogates are hopeful to return for another surrogacy fairly quickly after their first journey is completed. Many intended parents are not in a place emotionally or financially to start a journey right away given they now have a newborn at home and have invested a lot of finances into their first journey. It’s helpful to discuss everyone’s expectations around timeline together so that everyone is on the same page. It may mean that both parties pursue their second journeys at different times or anticipate doing another journey after the surrogate has completed another surrogacy in the interim.

If my intended parents don't want to do a sibling journey, can I match with new intended parents?

Absolutely! While it's a special experience to do a sibling journey with your intended parents, that might not be something they are planning – or are ready for. You can absolutely be matched with a new set of intended parents. And because you're experienced, you can help show them the ropes!

 Reminder: surrogate requirements

Reminder: surrogate requirements

Even as an experienced carrier, you must meet our list of requirements, put forth by ASRM.

To be a Circle surrogate, you must meet the following requirements:

• Must have delivered a child of their own, and is currently parenting at least one child.
•Must have completed successful pregnancy and birth, without complications, as documented by medical records.
• Must be between 21-41 years of age.
• In most circumstances, must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of no higher than 33. Calculate My BMI.
• Must live in a surrogate-friendly state in the United States (we are very sorry but we cannot accept gestational carriers who reside in Nebraska, Louisiana or Michigan. We can begin accepting applications from New York starting at the end of 2020).
• Must have the support of her family. If married or partnered, the surrogate must have her partner’s support. Also, the surrogate and her partner/primary support person must agree to participate in a social work screening.
• Must be financially secure.
• Must lead a stable, responsible lifestyle.
• Must not use illegal drugs, smoke cigarettes, or abuse alcohol.

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Be a surrogate again