When we started to tell our friends about our plans to have a baby via surrogacy, we were met with a gazillion questions. Is a family member going to carry your baby? How will you find someone to do that for you? Which one of you will be the dad? Why does it cost so much? Why don't you just adopt? How involved do you want the mom to be? Some of these are much more complicated to answer then others.
We decided to start our gestational surrogacy journey for two main reasons: we really want to have a genetic connection to our kiddo, and we want to experience our baby's life through the entire process, starting at conception. We have witnessed many of our friends grow and change because of their pregnancy story and this has been a source of inspiration for us.
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) has been around since the late 1970's. There are two types of surrogacy, traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is also the egg donor and has a genetic connection to the baby. This type of surrogacy was very common in previous years. However, gestational surrogacy seems to be more common today. This is when an embryo is created with sperm from one of us and a donor egg (in our case) and then implanted into a surrogate, who agrees to carry the resulting child to term. The gestational surrogate is not related to the baby.
The choice to become a surrogate is obviously life changing. Finding a surrogate can be tricky though. The emotional impact that it could have on an existing friendship was too much to ask of someone in our own community. We want to develop a unique relationship with whomever our surrogate is. We still aren't sure how we will find her, but we are interviewing several agencies that specialize in matching and supporting surrogates and intended parents through the entire process.