Here at Surrogate Parenting Services (SPS), we pride ourselves on the exceptional support we provide surrogates and intended parents—and we couldn’t do this without our incredible team.
Surrogate Parenting Services was established in 1990 when our founder and president, Cristie Montgomery, was inspired to share her surrogacy story with others. Michelle Montgomery, our marketing director—and Cristie’s daughter—had the unique experience of growing up around surrogacy and the surrogacy business.
We spoke to Michelle about what this was like, what inspired her to start working for SPS, and what makes SPS so special. Here is Michelle’s story!
How old were you when your mom became a surrogate? What inspired her to do so?
I was five years old when my mom decided to become a surrogate. Of course, I didn’t understand at all what that meant. All she explained was that she was helping out a friend to have a baby. She spoke about it very matter-of-factly, and it was never strange or weird to my sister and me that she was doing this.
Later on in life, I learned the reason why she decided to become a surrogate was because she was told at a very young age that she would have trouble having babies. But when it ended up being very easy for her, she felt she needed to “pay it forward” for her good fortune and help someone who is less fortunate.
How did you and your sister feel about this at the time?
I would say that my sister and I were proud of my mom. Of course, being so young, it was just something my mom did. And we accepted that. I don’t have any memories of being confused, or anything negative about it at all. Everything that surrounded it was positive.
I specifically remember when we were at a grocery store once, somebody asked my mom when her baby was due. My sister, with a prideful and smarty tone, said to the stranger, “This is not her baby. This is Bill and Beth’s baby!” Haha. That really sums up how we felt about it. It was just something very obvious that my mom was doing, and it was to help another couple.
How did your mom decide to start Surrogate Parenting Services?
Although her journey ended up very positive, and she still has a wonderful relationship with the couple that she helped, the experience my mom had with the surrogacy agency that she worked with wasn’t as positive as she expected. She felt she was treated more like a commodity than an actual human being. After going through that process, she really felt like it could be done better. That, along with her desire to help others, is what inspired her to start Surrogate Parenting Services. She really strives to make every surrogate and client feel seen and heard, and she designed the program to have a very personal and warm touch.
What was it like to grow up in the surrogacy world?
For a very long time, it was difficult to describe to people what my mom did. I would have to start every conversation with “Do you know what a surrogate is?” And nine times out of 10, nobody knew what that was. Once I described it, people seemed to understand a bit, and then I explained what her agency does.
As time went on and surrogacy became more widely accepted, the explanation wasn’t necessary anymore. And almost always I get a very positive reaction from people when I explain to them what my mom does. She truly is an industry leader and a badass. Saying I’m proud of my mom is a huge understatement. She is a trailblazer and she created something that is so unique and special. I feel so fortunate to be a part of it!
What inspired you to work for SPS?
I would say that my sister and I have always been semi-involved with the business. My mom is a workaholic, and the business was always around us. I started by just wanting to learn more, but that grew into a bigger desire to help her out. I worked in the office in the same role as Katie (our office manager) for several years. I was also a case manager for several very specific cases. I now help run the marketing department with Heather (our administrative assistant) and Katie.
Having been involved in the surrogacy world for so long, what do you think sets SPS apart from other surrogacy agencies?
It is easy to say that we are the best agency out there. But that is something that I do not say lightly. Having literally watched this industry grow from its infancy, and witnessed all the transformation that has occurred, I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that we are the best agency out there.
So many agencies have come and gone over the years, and so many exist without a moral compass. As part of my marketing role at SPS, I see the variety of agencies out there and how they are represented. My mom is the heart and soul of Surrogate Parenting Services. The high standards that she has and the fact that she leads with her heart has molded this agency and all of its employees. Her positive influence and inspiration has trickled down, and I am extremely proud of every single member of this company, what this agency represents, and the mark it is leaving on this world.
Thank you so much for sharing your story, Michelle!
Learn More About Becoming a Surrogate with Surrogate Parenting Services
Surrogate Parenting Services is proud to celebrate over 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.
Learn more about our Surrogacy Program online or by calling (949) 363-9525.