In my many travels I have the privilege of meeting some really nice people along the way who are involved in, work in, and are involved in the many unique facets of third party reproduction. Anna Lee Hicks, RN Director of Alternative Conceptions is one of those people.
Alternative Conceptions believes in the basic right of each individual to manage his or her own fertility, regardless of marital status, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, age, place of residence, or national origin. Through our service, we strive to contribute to an enhancement of strong family relations, population enhancement, and quality of life. We believe in preserving the privacy of our clients by utilizing the highest levels of discretion. Alternative Conceptions approaches all aspects of fertility with sensitivity, respect, and dignity and is committed to the success of our clients.
And I firmly believe this is how all agencies, clinics, and ART service providers should be. – Marna Gatlin, founder, PVED
Is Surrogacy for You?
People come to our agency from all walks of life, and they all have one thing in common – they want to be parents. For a variety of reasons, they have – so far – been unable to fulfill this dream. Many come to us after years of disappointing fertility treatments, numerous miscarriages and other stories of infertility and disappointment. They are desperate for a baby to join their family and to share their loving.
Their bodies have failed them in one way or another and their challenges range widely. From the woman in her 30s who developed an auto-immune disease which doesn’t allow her to escape the steroids she relies on to keep her alive for the 9 months of gestation required, give or take a few weeks, to carry a healthy newborn. To the couple who married later in life and want to start the family now that they have found the right partner. We get men, straight and gay, young and old, who have wanted to be fathers all their lives.
They ask questions – many, many questions. Will this work? How much will it cost? How do we know the surrogate won’t want to keep the baby herself? And then the questions they don’t ask – How am I going to explain this to my family? Will my baby love me? What if something happens to the surrogate? What if this doesn’t work? What if there are multiples? How can I ever thank/repay someone for doing this for me?
Is Surrogacy for you?
How will you know? Here are a few tips to help you clarify the answer for you.
- Research – ask around in your community, your circle of friends. Surrogacy is becoming much more common, which is the good news. You may very well know of someone who has used a surrogate or has been a surrogate. Ask them questions about their experience. Ask them for referrals. Reproductive endocrinologists/obstetricians often will refer their patients to trusted resources including reputable surrogacy agencies, attorneys who specialize in family formation law, psychologists, etc.
- Financial Commitment – honestly assess your financial situation. Put together numbers and budget out the cost. Is this a long term or a short term goal? While it may be tempting to allow your emotions to lead, it is best to take your time and plan. There may be hidden costs you aren’t aware of. A good agency can help you with the pricing and potential unexpected costs.
- Soul-Searching – speak with your spouse, your partner, or a trusted friend. Talk about your fears and hopes and explore all the possibilities. Speak with your doctor, your therapist, and let it all out. Grieve your other losses and look toward the future. Where do you see yourself in one year, two years? Do you have the willingness, strength and support necessary to go forward?
An Amazing Journey
Surrogacy is an amazing and beautiful journey. The surrogates I have worked with describe the experience of giving the gift of a child to another human being as one of the most precious experiences of their lives. The moment in the hospital when the new parents first set eyes on their newborn baby is the moment that makes the entire process worthwhile — beyond what the surrogate even imagined. And the new parents are often speechless. All the anticipation and fears and doubts melt away. What a gift to be given and to receive.
Is surrogacy for you?
Lean into it – start taking action and see what comes forward. There are many professional, experienced and caring people out there willing to support you in making this decision.