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  • What is a Gestational Carrier/Surrogate?
    A Gestational Carrier/Surrogate uses her uterus to carry the fetus of another couple or individual to term. There is no genetic relationship to you or your partner. You do not use your own eggs to create embryos. The Intended Parents create their own embryos. You are in essence, babysitting for someone who is unable to carry a pregnancy for themselves.
  • As a Gestational Carrier, why should I work with Fertility Alternatives?
    Fertility Alternatives has been successfully facilitating surrogacy and egg donation arrangements for over 25 years. Longer than most other surrogacy agencies out there. As the owner and twice an experienced Gestational Carrier, I understand the process of surrogacy from firsthand experience. I believe in offering you full emotional and moral support throughout the processes. It is a personal, one-on-one experience. I put 100% of my attention into the Carriers in my program. I do not conduct my surrogacy program in an assembly line or impersonal fashion. You are never motivated to work with a couple or individual that isn’t in your best interest. You choose from potentially several intended parent profiles to make the best decision for you and your family. I believe in developing personal relationships with the Carriers in my program for a comfortable, relaxed, and fulfilling experience. The vast majority of my Intended Parent clientele are working with many of the best clinics in the country, so you can expect that you will be in good hands. You will work with some of the best attorneys in the industry to make sure you are fully represented. I personally oversee the Fund Management Account (Escrow) to be sure your compensation and expenses are paid in a timely manner. You can expect your payments and reimbursements on time, if not early. We will discuss your individual situation so that your industry standard reimbursements are fully addressed in your Surrogacy Contact. You are not required to save every expense receipt. This makes the process less stressful and time consuming during your pregnancy. Your travel arrangements will be pre-arranged and you will be provided with pre-payment of travel expenses in advance of your trip, avoiding out of pocket expenses when possible. Compensation is not offered an an "all-inclusive" model, so you can be assured that you receive reimbursements for all industry standard expenses regardless of outcome. I am here for you at every stage of the process. You are always free to call or text my personal cell phone or email me, any time. We offer references to answer any additional questions you may have about Fertility Alternatives or the process. Just ask.
  • What requirements must I fulfill in order to be accepted into the Gestational Carrier Program?
    Industry standard requirements for surrogacy can be very strict for medical and ethical reasons, but may vary slightly from agency to agency. With all programs, applicants will be required to submit/release pregnancy and delivery records for all available pregnancies to confirm initial medical requirements. A qualified Gestational Carrier in our program is a mother between the ages of 22-40 with minimal history of major health, psychological issues, or pregnancy complications (gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, recent preterm births, etc). All candidates must be healthy (physically and emotionally), drug & nicotine free, and must be at low risk for any and all infectious diseases or pregnancy complications. In addition, a potential Carrier must not be taking or need medications for depression, anxiety, or ADD/ADHD, or other medications that could affect the pregnancy or affect the overall mental health of the Carrier. Experienced or Jewish Carriers may be accepted until age 43. Candidates will need to be detail oriented, and have a strong desire to fulfill the necessary requirements. You will need to have a flexible schedule to attend a number of clinical visits throughout the process. You must be mature and able to follow through with the necessary requirements, meetings and medical instructions. Your commitment is of utmost importance. Candidates must have a stable home and/or family life and not be under financial duress or on government assistance other than a state provided health plan. Surrogacy compensation is supplemental and never to be considered reliable or long term income. Pregnancy results can vary, so applicants’ families should already have a regular and stable stream of income that provides for their needs. Candidates will live in a safe neighborhood, safe and healthy environment, have a healthy lifestyle, and have a good support system of family and/or friends. Your spouse/partner, if any, will be fully supportive as well. Candidates will live and give birth in their Surrogacy friendly state. Candidates who have recently applied tattoos or body piercings may need to wait one year before they can start the surrogacy medical process due to FDA requirements. Contact me to discuss your situation. Candidates must be height/weight proportionate, and have a healthy BMI (body-mass-index). An unhealthy BMI affects conception rates and is cause for higher risk pregnancies and therefore most IVF doctors require that gestational carriers’ BMI be under 30. BMI under 28 is preferred by the best IVF clinics and will significantly raise your chance of being matched. CHECK YOUR BMI HERE Candidates should have no more than 2 C-sections, due to the risks of uterine rupture with future pregnancies. This is a requirement of most IVF clinics. If you find a clinic willing to accept a candidate who has already had 3 C-section procedures, they are not considering your health and well-being and should be avoided. Candidates and their partners must not have any felonies and be willing to have a criminal background check, and psychological evaluation. Candidates must not have (or had sexual contact with anyone who has) traveled to any country on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s “active” Zika virus list within 6 months of the embryo transfer procedure, and must not travel to any of these countries while pregnant. Visit the CDC website for an updated list of countries affected by the Zika virus ZIKA TRAVEL INFORMATION. Covid vaccinations are not a requirement. The criteria above is the same for most legitimate surrogacy programs, and there is a medical or ethical reason for each of them.
  • I meet all the surrogacy qualifications. What is the ideal criteria?
    A number of Intended Parents and their clinics have especially strict requirements for their ideal gestational carrier. As a result, my clients may provide a special $5,000 bonus to applicants who meet most of the ideal criteria. Some of the ideal criteria for surrogacy applicants are: 1. Age 25-34. 2. BMI 19-28. 3. No more than 3 pregnancies (unless she is an experienced GC). 4. All full term, vaginal deliveries. 5. No questionable complications with prior pregnancies. 6. Married or full support of a significant other. 7. Live in California or other surrogate friendly western state. 8. Able and willing to travel. 9. All other industry standard qualifications must also be met.
  • Explain the Surrogacy application processes.
    As a Gestational Carrier candidate, you will submit a full application, personal bio and a few photos of you and your family. It is important that all the questions are answered thoughtfully, thoroughly and honestly to find your ideal match. We will also need to collect all of your pregnancy and delivery records. Once your full application, photos, and pregnancy/delivery records are received, and it is determined that you may be a good candidate, a phone or Zoom consultation will be arranged. In the interview, we will discuss: Benefits package, compensation, lost wages and other expenses that will be covered in a Surrogacy Contract for your individual case. Carrying multiples and associated risks. Pregnancy termination and selective reduction. Possible invasive procedures during pregnancy like amniocentesis. Your health, psychological, and pregnancy histories as well as health plan possibilities. Your emotional support system. (i.e. spouse, extended family, friends, etc.) Expectations, industry standards, and travel requirements. Relationship expectations with your potential Intended Parents. The acceptance process can take 2-4 months depending on how long it takes to receive the necessary medical records. You will also need to see your OBGYN for a well-woman exam and/or otherwise get a written letter confirming you are in good health and can serve as a gestational carrier.
  • How will I be matched with potential Intended Parents?
    My goal is to match you with a couple or individual who has the same ideals about pregnancy, childbirth and the relationship during and after pregnancy. It is important that you think about the different possibilities occurring from pregnancy, multiples, termination, selective reduction, amniocentesis, and possible health risks (Gestational Diabetes, C-Section surgery, preeclampsia, etc). Will you work with single parents-to-be or same-sex couples? Will you work with couples who do not speak English? Are you able/willing to travel? It is also important to consider the type of relationship you want with your Intended Parents. Some Carriers prefer a close relationship during and after pregnancy. The Intended Parents may attend some the OB appointments, ultrasounds, birth, etc. Otherwise, the Carrier can include the Intended Parent with the help of FaceTime and other mobile apps. Other Carriers prefer more personal independence. Communication is typically regular, however due to distance, language barrier, or a Carrier’s busy schedule with life and family, personal contact with her Intended Parents may be more limited. In some instances, certain Intended Parents require total anonymity. I do not work with these types of Intended Parents. I believe that Carriers should receive recognition for their gift, and the Intended Parents should be the ones to provide that. I also believe that establishing a relationship is very healthy for both sides. Your profile will be offered to potential Intended Parents with similar expectations. You will also be provided with Intended Parent profiles. If agreeable, I will arrange a meeting between you either by Skype/Zoom or in-person, depending on location of the Parties. Once the Parties agree they are a good fit, then we will arrange for screening and health plan, as needed. Unlike most surrogacy agencies, I will give you my honest opinion about any Intended Parent prospect so you can make a good decision for yourself. Many agencies, simply want to match a Carrier quickly with the first Intended Parent prospect they have available. If I believe any set of Intended Parent prospects have qualities that are not conducive to your lifestyle or what you are hoping to experience during this process, I will absolutely give you my opinion so you can decide. I typically have a number of Intended Parent profiles to choose from.
  • What will be expected of me during the surrogacy process?
    Because surrogacy is such a highly emotional and costly endeavor for infertile couples and individuals, Carriers are expected to be committed, and to conduct themselves in a responsible, reliable and mature manner from the moment they apply with the program. Because we are dealing with menstrual cycles and potential timing limitations, you may need to work quickly to complete screening, medical visits, and obtain medical records, as needed. Flexibility is very important to this process. It is important that all of the information in your profile is truthful and up-to-date and can be validated by your medical records. Medical appointments must be kept and doctors' orders followed exactly as instructed. Carriers will also be required to abstain from sexual intercourse for a short amount of time while attempting pregnancy. You should be prepared and willing to self-administer the necessary injectable medications, if you do not have someone available to assist. Carriers also need to be flexible, as this is such a time specific and sometimes unpredictable process.
  • Describe the Intended Parents candidates you typically work with.
    I work with married couples, unmarried couples, single moms and dads-to-be, same-sex couples, LGBTQ, and Intended parents from other countries. You choose the fit that you feel comfortable with.
  • How long will it take to match me with Intended Parents?
    It is common to take anywhere from 1 to 5 months. After your application is accepted, it can take approximately 1-2 months to collect and review your medical records for full acceptance in the program. The Carrier’s location, personal requirements of each Party, and, the IVF clinic requirements play factors in finding an ideal match. Some Carriers are matched immediately because of their favorable profile, pregnancy history, BMI, and location. Other applicants take longer to match is they have specific requirements that do not apply to the majority of Intended Parent candidates. You will be notified immediately if a couple expresses interest in your profile. You will then be offered their profile for review. We typically have a waiting list of Intended Parent clients hoping to find a well-qualified candidate. A match can usually occurs within 1-2 months after full acceptance into the program.
  • Where are the Surrogacy funds held, and when are payments made?"
    The estimated funds for your case will be held in an independent escrow account. Prior to an established pregnancy, you will receive expense reimbursements immediately via bank ACH. After a pregnancy is established you will receive monthly payments by the 1st of each month via ACH from escrow. ACH payments typically take 1-3 days to clear.
  • What is included in the Gestational Carrier’s Compensation Package?
    Our compensation package is highly competitive. We do not use the "All-Inclusive" model for compensation, so you can see what benefits you should be provided. Overall compensation will almost always be higher with a benefits package in lieu of the "All-inclusive" model. Based on the applicant, the average total benefits package will be between $55,000-$75,000+. Surrogacy base compensation for providing childcare to the fetus is below. Carriers in certain states are in high demand, which affects the average amount of base compensation. $60,000+1st time California GC $65,000+ Experienced California GC $55,000+1st time GC in other states. $60,000+ Experienced carrier in other states $60,000+ 1st time Jewish GC $65,000+ Experienced Jewish GC *You are given the opportunity to decide a reasonable compensation around the guidelines set above, keeping in mind, that amounts well above industry standard may hinder your ability to match. If you believe you have found an agency whom you believe offers a more competitive benefits package, we will be glad to match it after fully reviewing and comparing the packages to confirm its total value. Be wary of agencies, using the "All-Inclusive" model for compensation as it may not cover everything you need. Candidates who meet ideal surrogacy criteria may qualify for a special bonus added to her base compensation and is offered by specific Intended Parent clients. Insurance plan changes may affect the surrogacy compensation market. Compensation shown above is effective for Carriers with surrogacy contracts executed after Jan 1, 2024 and is subject to change. My goal is to match you at your requested compensation. 2. Compensation for twins. $7,000 3. Compensation for invasive procedures such as C-Sections, amniocentesis, mock cycles/mock transfers, uterine biopsies, etc. $500 each. 4. IVF cycle fee plus lost wages for every embryo transfer necessary to achieve pregnancy. $1000 5. Non-Accountable monthly expense allowance starting retroactively the month you pass your screening, until 3 months after birth. Approximately 15 months or more of coverage. $250 per month. 6. Maternity clothes allowance based on singleton or twin pregnancy. $600/$1000 7. Doctor ordered bed rest reimbursements that include coverage for child care, housekeeping, and net lost wages. 8. Pre/Postpartum Payments to cover net lost wages and other expenses just prior to and after birth, for preparation and recovery. 9. Post-pregnancy Mini-Vacation Package (for 2) OR Psychological support appointments. You choose. Many Carriers do not feel that psychological support is necessary or relevant to their personal situation. Intended Parents prefer to provide the gift of a short vacation of equal value in lieu of psychological support appointments if they are not needed. $2500 value 10. Health Plan for Carrier as needed*. *If you do not have a surrogacy friendly health plan, the Intended Parents will pay for the monthly premiums, pregnancy deductibles and co-payments after the Carrier has applied during open-enrollment, and been accepted by the insurance company. Payments will continue for 3 months after birth. If you already have a surrogacy friendly health plan, the Intended Parents will pay for the pregnancy deductibles and co-payments and the Carrier will typically receive a higher base compensation amount. 11. Term Life Insurance policy of approximately $350,000 or more based on your individual needs and payable to your family. 12. Travel expenses. 13. Carrier gift benefits. Intended Parents often provide gifts to their Carrier to express their gratitude outside of what is addressed in the Surrogacy Agreement.
  • Explain the Surrogacy screening process after I am matched.
    Your pregnancy, delivery records, and your Obgyn medical clearance note will be re-reviewed by the attending IVF physician to confirm you medically qualify. You will undergo a full medical and psychological evaluation. Your spouse/partner will also be required to undergo infectious disease screening and psychological evaluation. The medical evaluation may include drug, nicotine, infectious disease, Pap smear and vaginal cultures. You may also undergo a Hysterosalpingogram or hysteroscopy which are procedures performed to confirm your uterus is conducive to implantation. Neither procedure is painful, but typically performed around day 12 of your menstrual cycle. The psychological evaluation will take about 2 hours. You can expect to take a personality test called the MMPI or PAI. This test helps to determine whether or not you may be at higher risk for psychological issues or stresses in your life that may affect your eligibility as a Gestational Carrier. You will also have an interview with the psychologist, who will discuss the issues of surrogacy with you. Post Partum depression risks, expectations, commitment, support system, motivation, and stressors in your life will all be discussed. The Psychologist will want to see that you have a complete understanding of the process and what to expect. He/she will also discuss your motivations for surrogacy to confirm, you do not expect compensation to be a main source of income and that you are living in a financially stable environment. Your spouse or partner will be required to attend this interview. If you don’t already have a health plan, together we will start the application process for a PPO or other available individual health plan at open enrollment, to cover your pregnancy expenses. PPOs are the preferred plan as they provide coverage for the best doctors and medical care, but not all companies provide PPOs in your state.
  • I am a carrier of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) or Herpes. Can I still be a Gestational Carrier?
    Yes, for HPV you must have undergone a Colposcopy or cone biopsy of your cervix with your own personal physician and continue to have clean Pap smears. This is usually easy to arrange. Typically as a Herpes carrier, you will be prescribed anti-viral medication to suppress outbreaks, especially before birth.
  • Explain the medical procedures.
    Once you are medically cleared by the IVF clinic and the Surrogacy Agreement between yourself and your Intended Parents have been finalized, you will be able to start the medical process. You can expect to start birth control pills, if you are not already taking them. Birth control pills are meant to regulate your cycle in order to synchronize your menstrual cycle to more easily plan the date of the embryo transfer. procedure. After 2-3 weeks of birth control pills, you will then administer a small subcutaneous hormone injection into the skin for approximately 2-3 weeks to prevent the ovaries from ovulation. You will not be using your own eggs for fertilization, so this medication must suppress your ovaries, while your uterine lining grows for implantation. Because you are not releasing your own eggs, you will not have follicles in your ovaries that would normally release the hormone Estrogen needed to build the endometrial lining of your uterus. As a result, it is necessary for you to administer Estrogen and Progesterone injections to build your uterine lining and sustain a potential pregnancy. Some doctors will prescribe these hormones in pill or patch form, but many prefer injectable oils that contain Estrogen and Progesterone as they are more easily absorbed into the body. The IVF clinic and I will provide you with instructions and videos on injection techniques. I strongly recommend to all Carriers that they learn to administer their own injections as there may not always be someone available to administer for you. Self injecting is a little awkward at first, especially for intramuscular injections, but once you get the hang of it, it will be very easy. I will help you along the way and offer videos. I have plenty of tips, and practice makes perfect. You will be required to attend a number of clinical visits, on specific days, for vaginal ultrasounds and blood draws. Example: 1-2 for screening 1 prior to start of injectable medications 2-3 after the start of injectable medications 1 for the embryo transfer procedure. (plus 2-3 days bed rest at home/hotel) If the embryos are already created and frozen, your embryo transfer date will have already been planned in advance around your availability.
  • What can I expect during the embryo transfer procedure?
    The embryo transfer is a painless procedure. Typically the doctor may prescribe medication to relax you and your uterus. A thin catheter will be inserted through your cervix, into your uterus and embryo will be injected with a syringe through the catheter. You can go home/hotel within 1-2 hours after the procedure, and you may be asked to stay in bed for 1-3 days after. You will need a companion to drive you to and from the procedure. If you traveled long distance to the main clinic for your embryo transfer procedure, your companion will have been arranged to take you back to your hotel room.
  • I have work or school to attend. Can my appointments and the embryo transfer be scheduled on a weekend or holiday?
    Typically the embryo transfer procedure is scheduled on a weekday when IVF clinics are open. For a successful cycle to occur, you will need to have a flexible schedule as the process is very time specific. You will be required to attend a number (3-5) of clinical visits throughout the cycle on weekday mornings to make sure you are doing well on the medications. Your screening will also need to be completed in the morning Monday through Friday. You can typically arrange your appointments around 8am on average. In many cases, only labs are needed, and can be done locally and early. Most embryos are already created and frozen, and allow for the embryo transfer to be planned for exact dates. You can expect about 4-5 days of travel for the embryo transfer procedure and bedrest. If you have specific blackout dates for the embryo transfer to avoid, just let us know, so we can work around those. If you would like a medical note for the time you will be required to be away from work or school, we can arrange that for you.
  • My pregnancy test is positive! Now what?
    Congratulations!! Approximately 2 weeks after your embryo transfer you will have your first blood pregnancy HCG test. The second test will occur a few days later to confirm your HCG is rising appropriately. Approximately 3 weeks after your positive blood test, you will visit a local fertility clinic for a vaginal ultrasound to establish a fetal pole and a yolk sac. If more than one embryo was transferred, the doctor should be able to see two embryos growing if both embryos attached. You can expect to continue appointments with your local fertility doctor every two weeks or so for ultrasounds and blood testing, to monitor your progress. You will continue to take your Estrogen and Progesterone supplements until you are about 9-10 weeks pregnant, at which time you should have already scheduled your first appointment with an Obstetrician. You may choose the Obstetrician and hospital for your maternity and delivery care. However, ideally, you and your Intended Parents will have worked together to choose an Obstetrician and hospital or birthing center that everyone is comfortable with, and is “in-network” with your health plan. Unfortunately it is not uncommon for the pregnancy to be unviable. When this occurs, nature may take its course, or there might be a medical need for a D&C. A new IVF cycle can typically take place 1-2 months later.
  • I have had my tubes tied/I am using Birth control. Can I still be a Gestational Carrier?
    If you have had your tubes tied, you can still be a Gestational Carrier. Birth control pills: BC pills/patches/condoms are the preferred method of birth control for a prospective GC. The attending physician will provide instructions on the usage of birth control pills and patches. Injectable birth control/Norplant/Mirena/IUD (any long term hormonal birth control): These birth control methods will need to be cancelled or removed, and allow for 1-3 normal periods before you can start the medical screening process.
  • I just delivered a baby/I am currently nursing. When can I start the surrogacy process?
    Before you can get pregnant again, most IVF doctors medically advise a 9-12 month rest on your body. You may apply about 6 months after delivery, allowing time to find the right Intended Parent match and for your body to fully heal from your last pregnancy and delivery. If you are currently nursing, you can apply when you have completely weaned your baby. Your IVF cycle will begin at approximately 12 months post-delivery or after.
  • What is a Surrogacy Contract?
    A surrogacy contract is a necessity in a surrogacy journey. It is meant to offer protections, rights, obligations to the Gestational Carrier and the Intended Parents. You will be provided with potentially several independent, attorney referrals to choose from, to represent you, at no cost. In most cases the Intended Parents' attorney will draft the Surrogacy Contract, based on important terms and benefits provided by Fertility Alternatives and your personal needs. These terms include your compensation, when it is paid, and other industry standard expenses that are to be reimbursed to you, such as lost wages, compensation for multiples and invasive procedures, etc. It will also address your responsibilities as a gestational carrier, such as following medical protocols, taking excellent care of yourself, regular obstetrical appointments, etc. The draft of Surrogacy Contract will be forwarded to you and your attorney for review and discussion. Your attorney may request changes to the Agreement on your behalf. The Agreement also discusses parental rights and obligations of the Intended Parents, when their baby is born. Once the Agreement is finalized by the Parties, the fund management accounts will be funded, and the medication protocol can begin. When the Carrier is about 14 weeks pregnant, additional legal documents will be submitted to finalize the Pre-Birth Order that establishes parental rights to the Intended Parents before birth. This order will be provided to the birthing facility prior to birth. The attorneys will handle this officially with the courts.
  • As a Surrogate, am I required to do any traveling?
    Travel will likely be necessary in order to give you the largest selection of Intended Parent profiles to choose from. It is a huge advantage to your being matched. My program works with Intended Parents nationally and internationally, and IVF clinics, and Gestational Carriers all over the United States. Most Intended Parents have an ideal fertility clinic they have chosen to work with, and you will likely live in another city or state. Travel is typically up to about 4- 5 days for embryo transfer procedure and bed rest. In most cases, the clinic will require you to travel to them for screening, which is 1-2 days, depending on the location of the clinic in reference to where you live. If you are travelling, you will need to have a companion accompany you to your embryo transfer. No companion is necessary if you are travelling for screening unless the clinic requires it. Please have someone in mind (or a back up) who can potentially serve as your companion. They will need to accompany you at least for about 3-4 days as they must be available to take you to and from your Embryo Transfer procedure and potentially stay with you if you are prescribed bed rest. If you do not have a companion, I can often serve as your companion to take you to and from your embryo transfer procedure. You will need to make childcare arrangements for this time. I will make all of the travel arrangements and provide you with travel funds to cover your travel expenses, and lost wages per your Surrogacy Contract. Examples of expenses covered for travel are flights, meals, rental car or ride-share services to and from the clinic, comfortable hotel/lodging, airport shuttle/parking. 98% of the Carriers already in the program are willing and able to travel, with some advanced notice, and usually enjoy the trip.
  • Can you tell me about the surrogacy medications? What kind of side effects or discomfort can I expect?
    There are a number of different brands/types of medications a clinic may use for the cycle. Lupron (Leuprolide Acetate): This medication is used to keep you from ovulating and to help get your cycle in synch with the Intended Mother, egg donor, or simply to plan ahead. Lupron is very similar to the use of birth control pills but is administered by a small daily injection. Side effects are rare, but may include: 1. Vaginal Dryness 2. Headache 3. Moodiness 4. Hot flashes 5. You may feel emotionally spacey. 6. Irritation at the site of the injection. 7. You may feel no side effects of Lupron Estrogen (injectable oil, pill, vaginal gel, patch) This hormone is typically administered twice a week because you will not ovulate. When the follicles in your ovaries develop each month, they secrete Estrogen which in turn allows the uterine lining to grow, preparing for a fertilized egg. Because you are on birth control pills or taking Lupron, your ovaries will not be able to produce estrogen to grow an endometrial lining. This Hormone will supply you with what you need to grow your uterine lining. Common side effects that may or may not occur include: 1. A feeling of well being, happiness. 2. Sore or enlarged breasts 3. Pain, redness, and swelling at injection site 4. Slight nausea (similar to morning sickness) 5. Moodiness Progesterone (injectable oil, pill, vaginal gel) This hormone is administered daily about 1 week before your embryo transfer because you did not use your ovaries to become pregnant. After a woman ovulates she is left with a cyst called the Corpus Luteum which secretes high levels of Progesterone. This hormone helps to sustain the pregnancy before the placenta has had time to evolve and take over the job. Progesterone also plays a role in pregnancy and childbirth as it has a loosening effect on the skeleton and skeletal muscles preparing the body to stretch and carry a baby. This is taken with your estrogen. The most common symptoms are mostly associated with pregnancy, and may include: 1. Acne 2. Drowsiness; 3. Nausea 4. Pain, redness, and swelling at injection site 5. Trouble sleeping 6. Acid reflux 7. Loose feeling joint or muscles
  • What are the risks to my being a Gestational Carrier? Will this affect my ability to have children in the future?
    The risks of being a Gestational Carrier are virtually the same as if you were to become pregnant with your own child. Some of these risks include preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, bleeding, loss of reproductive organs, and in very rare cases, death. If both parties agree to transfer more than one embryo into your uterus, there is a chance you will get pregnant with multiples. This does offer a higher risk to the Gestational Carrier and the fetuses she is carrying. Though carrying twins is relatively safe, it is always recommended that a single embryo be transferred to avoid any additional unnecessary risks, except for very special circumstances. Like most low-risk pregnancies and births there is no reason why you can’t choose to have another baby for yourself. Because there are risks in every pregnancy it is recommended that you complete your family first. You are encouraged to consult with your partner regarding the risks to your future fertility to determine if the benefits outweigh the risks. Many Carriers go on to have more children for themselves or choose to be a Gestational Carrier again for another set of Intended Parents.
  • How can I expect to feel about carrying a baby for another family?
    Everyone processes the experience in their own way. If you have made the decision to be a gestational carrier with the clear understanding and intention that the baby you are growing inside your uterus is not genetically related to you or your partner, you are not interested in expanding your family at the moment, and you are providing generous “childcare services” for someone who is unable to do so for themselves, then you can rationally expect that you will not have an emotional attachment that extends beyond that if a person helping a friend in a unique way. You will be able to meet the baby you help create, and have closure over this amazing experience. In some cases a friendship continues with the Intended Parents. In others, the relationship with Intended Parents tapers over time. I am always happy to discuss my experiences with you. Just ask.
  • After I have given birth, what do I do about lactation?"
    You have several different options when you begin lactating. I recommend to all Intended Parents, that they receive the colostrum from your breasts to help develop the baby’s immune system. This can be done by breast pump. You can decide if you prefer to pump colostrum and breast milk for the Intended Parents or, stop lactation all together. It is completely your choice. Additional compensation is provided to the Carrier for pumping and providing breast milk. There are huge health benefits to the Carrier when pumping breast milk. It allows the uterus to contract back to pre-pregnancy size and also burns plenty of calories that can help the Carrier get back to her normal weight. If the Intended Parents choose not to use your breast milk, you can choose to donate the milk to a milk bank or stop lactation altogether.
  • Can I withdraw from the Surrogacy program at anytime?
    Yes, you are free to withdraw from the program at any time. However, I encourage you to learn as much as you can about the process, confirming you will have support from your partner and family, and know you will be committed to the process before applying with the program. If you have already legally contracted with Intended Parents, you can withdraw as it specifically addressed in your Surrogacy Contract with them. If you need to postpone due to an emergency, a postponement can be arranged. You are welcome to ask me any questions about the process if you do not have a clear understanding. It is reasonable and understandable to have some sort of hesitation, simply because it is an unknown. I have been a Gestational Carrier twice and have first hand information about what to expect. I also have other Carrier references you can contact about their experiences. If you are great at pregnancy, you will be great as a Gestational Carrier. If you haven't been matched with Intended Parents and you have decided that surrogacy is not for you, you may rescind your application. I understand the process itself can be very time consuming, uncomfortable and sometime stressful. I will help you along and provide any support you need.
  • Can I apply with other agencies or surrogacy programs?
    Applicants who apply with the program are expressing their availability. I will not be able to share your profile with Intended Parents if there is a risk you will not be available or committed to them. I strongly ask that you do not apply with other programs for a minimum of 6 months after you have been formally accepted into the program. Working with more than one agency is problematic for all agencies involved (and their clients) and does not allow you to match with Intended Parents any sooner. However, if you have not been matched within 6 months and you would like to apply with another program you are free to do so, keeping in mind there may be several reasons why it is taking longer to match you. Your age. After the age of 38, it becomes more difficult to match you. Your profile indicates requests or requirements that are not preferable to most Intended Parents. (no-termination, home-birth, etc.) Your inability to travel for screening and embryo transfer. Your limited availability due to work or school commitments. Your state laws require step-parent/second-parent adoption or similar, for surrogacy cases. Your medical history is questionable or your BMI exceeds many IVF clinic requirements. Your most recent delivery occurred over 7 years ago. You don’t have a health plan already in place, and the open-enrollment period is in the distant future. If I find, that I am having a difficult time matching you because of the reasons above, I will work with you to discuss ways that may allow you to be matched sooner or otherwise suggest the prospect of applying with another agency, noting that other agencies may have the same limitation in matching you.
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