Starting your first surrogacy journey is both thrilling and nerve-wracking. You have so many questions about the experience, and who better to answer those questions than someone who has had four surrogacy journeys?
This week, we’re so excited to have Kelly, a former surrogate with SPS, shed some light on this incredible experience for you. Kelly answers some of the most commonly asked questions by first-time surrogates and provides valuable tips to help make your first surrogacy journey as smooth and rewarding as possible.
How did you know that you wanted to become a surrogate?
My younger sister struggled to become pregnant. Watching her go through five years of trying, then having to go through infertility treatments, and seeing how her infertility affected my whole family made me want to help others that were in my sister’s shoes.
How do you talk to your spouse or partner about wanting to be a surrogate?
I would start by explaining what surrogacy is and telling your partner why you would like to help. Make sure you explain what you know about surrogacy, and lastly, give them time to think about it. This can be confusing at first, and it’s normal to have questions.
What is the best way to explain surrogacy to your kids?
When I became a surrogate, my kids were 5, 3, and 2, so I told them that mom was helping another woman whose tummy was broken, and that mommy’s belly was going to grow their baby, and when the baby was big enough the doctor would take it out and give the baby to its mommy and daddy.
What are the most important things to look for in a surrogacy agency?
- They’re honest with you.
- They aren’t trying to sell you on becoming a surrogate.
- They’re giving the good, the bad, and the ugly.
- They’ve been in business for a long time. This shows they aren’t a fly-by-night agency.
- And lastly, make sure the agency has good reviews overall, from both IPs and surrogates.
How do you recommend responding to friends and family who might not fully understand your decision to pursue surrogacy?
I tell people that it’s not my egg and it’s not my husband’s sperm. That’s the couple’s egg and sperm and I am just growing the baby in my uterus like an oven.
What should I know about the screening process?
The screening process can take time. The agency has to get your medical records and review them, do background checks, and you have to go through the interview process. A good agency will take their time to get to know you and understand what you are looking for in your IPs.
How can I best prepare for my medical appointments?
You will have quite a few medical appointments during your fertility journey. Some are very quick and others can be a bit longer. Ask questions; there is no such thing as a silly question. Knowledge is power.
How can I emotionally prepare for my surrogacy journey?
Surrogacy is not always butterflies and rainbows. You don’t always get pregnant right away. Have a strong support system around you. Be ready to meet a new family and be open to them becoming friends and being in each other’s lives. A good relationship with the couple equals a good surrogacy journey overall.
What should I expect for the days and weeks after I give birth?
When you leave the hospital you will feel like Superwoman. You just helped give the gift of a baby to an amazing family. Your recovery will be the same as it was with your kids, but you will get more rest because you don’t have a baby keeping you up. Yes, it will be different leaving the hospital without a baby, but knowing what you have just done will make up for that.
What’s the biggest misconception about surrogacy?
Most people think that you’re giving up your baby for money. I’ve had to explain that it’s not *my* baby; I’m just the oven, and that I’m not doing this for money. I’m financially stable and I’m a surrogate because I love to be pregnant and I love to help others in need.
What do you wish you knew before your first journey?
I wish I had known that picking that right agency for you is very important and it can really make a difference in whether you enjoy your surrogacy.
Thanks so much for your valuable insight, Kelly! We hope this information answers some of your questions — and that you have a happy and healthy journey.
Learn More About Becoming a Surrogate with Surrogate Parenting Services
Surrogate Parenting Services is proud to celebrate 30 Years of helping to bring dreams to life! Founded in 1990, Surrogate Parenting Services (SPS) is a full-service surrogacy program that offers both parties an exceptionally supportive environment throughout the surrogacy relationship. We’re passionate about creating ideal matches between surrogates and intended parents, so the journey is fulfilling for both sides and the future child is brought into this world in the best possible circumstances.