Starting out, I didn’t know exactly what to expect— though I could imagine the possible effects. When I first found out I was pregnant with my daughter, it was a complete surprise, and I was initially in shock and did not know what to feel or think about being pregnant. I was only 19 after all and had no plans of getting pregnant for at least a few years. After a few days, I let that news sink in and ended up embracing the news. I remember for the majority of my pregnancy being very excited and happy. I just loved it. And from time to time, I would actually miss being pregnant (but with no desire to start over with a newborn no matter how adorable they are, lol).
The house was calm. I remember no fussing to clean the dishes, mop the floors, or make beds, and my husband relaxing on his favorite couch snuggling up with our kiddo on that cool November Sunday morning. So why did I feel anxious, excited, and maybe disappointed at the same time? It was a feeling of hope— could they have flown all the way from Belgium to surprise me?
I was fairly easygoing about the surrogacy process. I did not have a specific preference for race, marital status, or location of my intended parents (IPs). I simply wanted to be the gift of giving. When asked how I felt about working with IPs from Belgium, I welcomed the opportunity— and to be honest, for selfish reasons. I assumed the farther they were, the less needy and nosey they would be. I say this because as a pregnant woman, often uncomfortable and moody, the last thing we need is to feel as though we are being smothered. To my surprise, I have one of the greatest international surrogacy experiences of a lifetime. I often communicated with my new family daily and Skype once or sometimes twice a week. We send silly text messages, pictures of our families, inside jokes, and simply “coucou” to let each other know we are thinking of them.
In light of the recent story on Dolce & Gabbana comments on IVF and surrogacy, Circle’s president and founder, John Weltman, speaks up and out against the cruel words that have targeted families and children created through assisted reproduction.
“I am a gay father through surrogacy and from the same era as Dolce and Gabbana. When we grew up, gay men couldn’t have children unless they married a woman. Assisted reproduction wasn’t possible. For most gay men of my generation, accepting your sexuality meant accepting that you would never have children. Sadly, for some men of our era, the only way to accept this huge loss was to internalize the then societal perspective that children should only be had and raised by a man and a woman. As Elton John says, this is behind the times. Though Dolce and Gabbana may feel that they have missed the boat, to call children born to their peers (like Elton) “synthetic children” and the wonderful women who carry them “rented wombs” demonstrates the very right wing “fascism” of which they accuse Elton.
“Homophobia from gays is the worst. It is like anti-Semitism from Jews or racism from blacks. We all know it exists, but it sets back the cause of Civil Rights even further than prejudicial statements by the straight world. It gives the strongest support to the detractors of gay rights and fuels their homophobic campaigns. Condemning people’s choices from a segment of a population that prides, and to a certain degree defines, itself by its choices is the greatest error that any gay man can make.”
– John Weltman, Circle Surrogacy Founder and President
People often consider pursuing an independent surrogacy and going through the process without the help of an agency. But often intended parents realize that, in the end, pursuing surrogacy without the experience and assistance of experts can be a real headache and sometimes cost more than going it alone.
A full-service agency, like Circle, has everything under one roof, including:
•A legal team that can draft and negotiate contracts. Further, they make sure you’re abiding by the correct laws and procedures of the states and/or specific countries involved, help ensure you can bring your child(ren) home without issues, and make sure your parental rights are secure.
Continue reading “5 Questions to Ask When Becoming a Parent through Surrogacy” »
In Quebec, where surrogacy contracts are currently null and void, according to the Canadian province’s civil code, things may soon change. A committee of experts led by Alain Roy, a University of Montreal law professor, has been studying surrogacy cases and is tasked Continue reading “Quebec Committee Working on Law to Recognize Surrogacy Contracts” »
We hear a lot of questions from women who are considering becoming surrogate mothers. You can check out a list of them on our surrogate mother FAQs page. But now we’re asking you to turn the tables and ask yourself a few questions before beginning a surrogacy journey. We think that they will help you determine if you’re ready to start the adventure of surrogacy!
1. Do you have a thorough understanding of the surrogacy process?
Becoming a surrogate mother is a big commitment, but it can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your lifetime. We’ve found that many successful surrogate applicants have read a lot about surrogacy before beginning the application process. A good place to start is with one of our free surrogacy guides, or right here on the Circle Surrogacy blog!
2. What kind of experience are you looking for in your surrogacy journey?
There are hundreds of surrogacy agencies, so making sure you have found one that can provide you with the type of surrogacy experience you are looking for is an important first step in the process. Circle is a relationship-based agency – which means we encourage (and in fact, require) open and honest communication between everyone involved. Surrogates and intended parents who are a good fit for our program are typically those who are hoping to get to know each other and build a relationship during and after the journey is over!
3. Have you discussed surrogacy with your support network?
If you have a spouse or partner, he or she will need to be committed to a successful surrogacy journey, just like you. If you’re single, you will need to designate a friend or family member who can help you out during the experience. We’ll have a phone call with your support person during the screening process to make sure he or she is fully educated about what the process involves. So as you’re exploring the option of becoming a surrogate mother, it’s a good idea to start talking to your loved ones about your plans.
4. Do you meet the initial requirements to become a surrogate mother?
The initial surrogacy application helps us determine if you are a good fit for our program – but before you apply, it’s a good idea to check the surrogate mother requirements. These requirements are established by state laws and IVF clinic guidelines.
5. What are you looking for in your intended parent(s)?
Are you open to working with any type of family? Would you prefer to help a same-sex couple or a heterosexual couple who have gone through infertility? How do you feel about working with intended parents from outside the United States? Asking yourself these questions will help you fill out matching questionnaires, which allows us to match you with intended parents who are a good fit for you!
6. Are you ready?
Interested in learning more about becoming a surrogate? Click on our free guide below.
Circle is honored to work with incredible intended parents, surrogate mothers, and egg donors to help families grow. To hear their wonderful stories, and to learn about the wonderful connections that have been built over the years, brings us all the ultimate sense of accomplishment and joy. Here’s what some of our experienced surrogates have shared with us:
- This has been an amazing opportunity and experience that has changed my life and almost everyone’s around me. I now have a larger family which I have always wanted and I would do anything for them. - Misty
- I could not have been more blessed to help such an amazing couple build their family. I knew becoming a surrogate would be rewarding but not nearly as rewarding and amazing as it turned out to be. This journey was truly a life changing experience for me and for my family. A huge thanks goes out to the staff at Circle Surrogacy for doing such an amazing job. They helped make this experience one I will hold dear to my heart forever. I had such a great experience I plan on continuing to work with Circle in building more families. - Melissa
- There are no words to describe the amazing feeling I have right now. This has been a truly incredible experience. I am also excited to see updates as this beautiful family grows old together. I wish everyone the best as we slowly end this journey together. - Amy
- I can’t say enough positive things about you and your agency to this point. We are kind of stunned by how fast it has gone however it doesn’t feel rushed but organized and professional. We are really more excited than I think we thought we would be about this surrogacy journey at this point and I think a lot of that has to do with how much we really enjoyed meeting my IPs and their son, who was so cute and so good during our chat. We look forward to learning more about them and their lives. Again thank you so much for making this as stress free and enjoyable as
possible. - Heather
- I wanted to thank you for introducing me to [my IPs]. In so many ways and for so many reasons- I feel lucky to have them in my life. Since giving birth I have also realized how many people- especially kids- are effected by the surrogacy. It is very rewarding to think that in my little corner of the world there is a generation of kids who will not think twice about a mom carrying a baby for another family, or that a baby can have two dads. - Rachael
- I became a surrogate after a dear friend had done a journey and I saw the happiness and joy it brought both her and her IP’s. I have had the best experiences helping my wonderful IP’s become parents: TWICE! They got their little girl and their little boy and now their family is complete. I can’t believe how easy it was to match us. I guess Circle knew that our personalities were perfect for one another! I never thought I would do anything like this in my life, but it’s one of the most rewarding things I have ever done for another person. - Cheryll
To read more of the testimonials written by Circle surrogates, click here. Stay tuned! We’ll be featuring more of the testimonials we’ve received from previous Circle surrogates.
Ready to begin the application to become a surrogate?
Whether you are researching surrogacy agencies as a prospective surrogate mother or are an intended parent looking for the right agency to help your family grow, you’ve most likely come across location information listed on different agency websites. You may not know this, but you do not need to choose your agency based on its locale. Circle’s main office is located in Boston, Massachusetts. However, our surrogates and egg donors come from all across the country, and our intended parents are both domestic and international. The majority of the surrogates and intended parents we work with will never even visit our Boston office, although they are more than welcome to do so.
With our agency’s comprehensive, in-house framework, all of your needs are handled without requiring your physical presence. Circle is vigilant when it comes to screening our surrogates. We only work with surrogates who live in surrogate-friendly states. For a list of our surrogate requirements, click here.
How can you work with an agency in Boston, Mass., if you live in another state? Any traveling associated with being a surrogate at Circle would be to and from your intended parent’s clinic. All of the costs for medical travel would be covered by your intended parents. Other travel may include trips (all costs covered) to visit the intended parents. Depending on the nature of your agreed upon relationship with your IPs, this could happen once after you deliver or numerous times before and/or post- delivery.
What do the other locations listed on our website indicate? You may have noticed additional locations listed on our site. These are places in which some of our staff members live and work remotely. Again, there is never a need for you to travel to our offices, so these locations exist to provide you with a sense of just how global our agency is in terms of where our staff members live and work to keep Circle going and growing.
What if you are matched with intended parents who live in a different part of the country or world? Part of the beauty in the relationships formed between surrogates and intended parents lies in their lasting and durable qualities. While each surrogacy arrangement is unique, the opportunity for establishing and maintaining meaningful relationships is available to all surrogates and intended parents, regardless of their locations. With the aid of modern technology, our surrogates and intended parents can keep in touch and feel present both throughout the surrogacy journey and years after a child is born. Read one of our surrogate’s wonderful stories here.
Interested in learning more about becoming a surrogate? Click on our free guide below.
Feeling discouraged and questioning God’s purpose for my life, I had just graduated with my degree in Elementary Education and had absolutely no intention of becoming a teacher the following school year. I felt as though I wasted my family’s time, misused their trust and encouragement, and dug our family into a deep financial hole. But the truth was, I did not feel fit enough to run my own classroom. I struggled with low self-esteem and had little confidence in my abilities to guild children into becoming valuable members of society. I had several pity parties and full-on yelling matches with God, until a friend presented the idea of surrogacy. That day, my friend would have no idea how the small seed she planted would change my life in unexpected ways.
The Surrogacy Journey
I stepped into this journey a bit different than most, as I was at a wonky place in life and felt like I still did not know my purpose. When presented with the idea of surrogacy, I literally thought, “Well I know I can carry babies, let’s see how this turns out!” Little did I know that God had a much bigger plan for me than “just carrying another baby!”
Family. It’s a simple word—with a lot of different, sometimes complicated, meanings. People have many ways of defining just what constitutes a family, and what being a part of a family means to them. As such, Mary Hoffman decided to take a closer look at the many different kind of families, through a children’s lens. Enter: “Welcome to the Family” (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books).
The book’s vibrant illustrations depict a rainbow spectrum of families, including same-sex, blended, and single-parent. A green teddy bear serves as the book’s relatable narrator, thoughtfully guiding young readers through the brightly illustrated pages as they learn that there are many different configurations of the modern family—and that no one family is better or worse than any other. The hard-to-broach topics of adoption, IVF, and other ways a baby can become part of a family are explained by Hoffman in words that children can understand, starting an important conversation without wandering into heavy-handed or overbearing territory.
Among the many topics the book broaches are natural birth within a nuclear family, adoption, fostering and same-sex families. Moreover, it offers information to both parents and kids that is currently underrepresented among today’s literature on similar topics.
A charming, whimsically illustrated tale for children, with a positive message parents will be happy to impart, “Welcome to the Family” is a must-add to your particular family’s bedtime story roster.
To purchase a copy of the book, click here.