Congratulations! Lucy Liu Welcomed First Child Via Surrogate

Lucy Liu is a mom! The actress welcomed her first child, son Rockwell Lloyd Liu, via surrogate Thursday, August 27, and shared the news on Instagram and Twitter with the caption: “Introducing the new little man in my life, my son Rockwell Lloyd Liu. In love!”

Lucy Liu and her

Lucy Liu and her newborn baby, Rockwell Lloyd Liu

Circle did not work with Ms. Liu but we love to see celebrities share their surrogacy journey proudly with the world. It helps all of our surrogates and parents through surrogacy grow their community in a positive way.

To learn more about becoming a surrogate: Read our guide here. Or fill out application to see if you qualify to help your family financially, while helping another family become complete.

SPAR: Information for Surrogates

 

 

spar-surrogates-2 Being a surrogate you get the chance to change lives, especially for those who may have never expected to be parents, like people living with HIV.

Because of SPAR, HIV+ men are able to have biological children without transferring the virus to the surrogate or the baby. SPAR started as a support group in 1994 for HIV+ people and in 1999 the first SPAR baby was born!

The medical process involves the semen from the IP being collected and screened. Any samples containing the HIV virus or any other significant pathogen are discarded. The healthy sperm is “washed” for added protection, and then frozen for transportation and preservation at a participating clinic where the IVF process takes place. Since the program was created there has not been a single instance of the virus being conveyed to anyone.

During the screening process, surrogates will have access to a welcome packet further detailing the SPAR program. Many of our surrogates (and egg donors) are interested in learning more or working with SPAR intended parents. Surrogates interested in working with the SPAR program need to have a consultation with Dr. Kiessling, the founder of the Bedford Research Foundation, before making a final decision.

Working with Circle Surrogacy and the Bedford Research Foundation’s SPAR program gives surrogates the most supportive program in the country. With our experienced program coordinators and social workers, combined with doctors and fertility clinics who are SPAR experts, surrogates get the guidance and support they need throughout their entire journey.

Want to learn more about the SPAR program? Download our guide!

spar-surrogates

Embarking on a Surrogacy Journey in the United States

First a bit of background. Matt and I have been married for eight years. We started trying for a family straight away and after a long, and crazy, IVF journey we were blessed with a son four years later.

He is four now and we love him A LOT. A LOT. A LOT. However, we are both from a family where we have brothers. We felt incomplete since we were unable to give him a sibling. Our desperation to have another child outweighed all the fear of trying every which way to get a baby.

So, after several miscarriages and failed attempts with my eggs in a U.K. surrogate, we met with Circle Surrogacy and here Bo’s journey begins.

Baby

Surrogacy seemed like such a huge feat to surmount. With all the scary legal chat and admin, it felt impossible at first. And the money. It seemed like gambling your life away. But we did it. Once the decision was made and most of the information was processed, we signed on the dotted line and didn’t look back.

Coming to surrogacy after years of miscarriages and problems is hugely frustrating. There are so many twists and turns. Circle helped us immensely. They guided us through all of the bumps and steered us in the right direction.

The wonderful thing for us, after all our experiences in the U.K., was actually having guides the whole way. Circle holds your hand through everything. And the thing is, the challenges are worth it because you end up with a baby. Nothing can prepare you for the joy and happiness you feel when you finally meet your baby.

If you come from an infertility background, pregnancy is full of angst and apprehension. At times, it becomes impossible to imagine a happy outcome.

When I was pregnant with my son, my dad told me holding him in my arms would make all the pain, suffering and loss disappear. It didn’t. Of course I was completely in love with my son. That wasn’t the issue. Deep down, I was not complete. I knew my fertility journey was not over.

When I was lucky enough to watch my daughter come into the world and hold her for the first time in my arms, that’s when the loss went away. And then to see my son meet his long-wanted sister, there could simply be no pain or grief left in my body. Joy, happiness, and unimaginable peace entered our lives.

Baby

So you see, once you have begun to process all that information, embarking on surrogacy with Circle is not a gamble. It is a pathway to make your dreams come true. However long it takes and whatever bumps you encounter along the way—it is beyond worth it.

I type all of this whilst watching my beautiful daughter sleeping and life is pretty much perfect.

Come meet me in person on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at the Alternative Parenting Show. Hope to see you there!

Circle will offer in-person consultations while in London. Register here.

An Infertile Woman in a Pregnant World

As a woman, it feels like biologically you have a given right to carry a baby. When this basic right is taken away from you it is pretty devastating. It somehow feels so much more personal than having a dodgy leg or a dysfunctional thyroid.

That said, having another lady carry a baby for you takes a bit of effort to wrap your head around. Actually tackling the psychology of this is important because it will make a difference to your journey.

Trying to let go and not take it personally is a good start.

Knowing that the only way to get the baby is for that baby to grow in another womb is actually liberating once you can accept it.

Working alongside your surrogate is a healthy beginning. You have the option to embrace her into your life and enjoy the new friendship that can exist rather than seeing her as someone taking away a role you wish you had. I was blessed with a lovely, kind, warm, and inclusive surrogate.

In our situation we also decided it was time to take my eggs out of the equation. This was a big deal, what with DNA, nature vs. nurture, and already having had the right to carry my baby taken from me.

One of my biggest worries was, “Will I love this baby as much as I love my son whom I gave birth to from my own body?” We all look for ourselves in our children. It is a weird selfish thing to do but the real fear is that we won’t recognize our child.

Baby Bo

Choosing the egg donor was another huge reason for going to Circle Surrogacy. I felt passionately that I wanted to see the person who was donating her eggs. Circle is one of few agencies that will arrange open egg donation so you can have some contact with the egg donor before the donation, and potentially a little bit after as well, depending on your arrangement.

Circle not only has their own egg donor list but they also work alongside many different egg donor companies, which makes the selection pool very diverse.

I wanted to feel some connection and see some sort of family resemblance so our child would not feel disconnected. We chose a woman who looked so much like my son as a child that it was actually uncanny.

The second I saw the picture of our egg donor I knew she was the one and I felt so happy to know she existed in the universe.

When my wonderful surrogate gave birth to our daughter, I felt like I had known her forever. She craned her head to hear my voice from the moment she was born, and always found her comfort in me. It’s like she cosmically knew she had been without me for nine months.

Baby

In some ways she seemed more familiar to me than my son. Possibly because she is a girl or possibly because she is the second baby. She truly felt so familiar like she was the baby I waited my entire life to meet.

As someone who was lucky enough to carry my own child and then carried the fear about having a child in a very different way, I can safely say these feelings of grief and trepidation are again blown to the wind once you meet your little person.

So much sense and overwhelming love is there from the moment that little person is born. Any old resentments and insecurities dissolve, and all that is left is love.

Come meet me in person on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at the Alternative Parenting Show. Hope to see you there!

Circle will offer in-person consultations while in London. Register here.

Why Do You Need to Have a Successful Pregnancy to Become a Surrogate?

pregnant flower One of the requirements for becoming a surrogate is a “successful term pregnancy”. What this means is that to be a surrogate you need to have had given birth before. Many women want to help complete another family even if they do not meet this requirement, but we must include it for several reasons.

Deciding to become a surrogate can be a life changing decision, but it’s important to know the entire process before committing. One of the first things prospective surrogates will look up are the basic surrogate requirements before applying. Some of these are set by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. ASRM is an organization that ensures ethical standards are upheld through the practice and advancement of reproductive medicines. In order to be approved by this organization, Circle must uphold their requirements, one of which is that a woman must have had a successful term pregnancy prior to being a surrogate.

While surrogacy is often described as a journey, pregnancy is a journey in itself. Some women find a love for pregnancy, having an easy time adapting to their changing body and having little trouble with delivery. While some meet challenges, battling hormonal differences and dealing with aches and discomfort throughout the process. What it comes down to is that you don’t know what your experience will be like until it happens, and to be a qualified surrogate, we need women who know first-hand what pregnancy, labor, and delivery entails.

[Read more…]

August Consultations in Los Angeles and San Francisco

Circle Surrogacy travels to different destinations around the world offering in-person consultations. This gives prospective parents a convenient opportunity to meet face-to-face with members of our team.  On our upcoming trip, Circle will be traveling West to hold consultations in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Consultations will be held in Los Angeles on August 28th – 29th and in San Francisco on August 30th– 31st. Space is limited.

san francisco consultation

los angeles consultation


What is the difference between a private consultation and an information session? Our consultations are geared to those who have done some initial research and are ready to start their surrogacy journey within the next 12-18 months. Circle’s consultations are also more focused on the individual’s or couple’s needs and questions, whereas the information session covers a broader range of topics— they are designed for those in the early stages of discovery (gathering information). At the end there’s time dedicated to a question and answer session.

[Read more…]

Surrogacy Infographic: Surrogacy 101

 

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Click the image below for a larger view.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September, 2013 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Meet Kelly, Our Social Work Manager of Surrogate Screening!

KELLY CHANDLER Kelly grew up in southeastern Massachusetts and is a licensed independent clinical social worker. She has been with Circle since 2011 and currently manages the team of social workers within the Surrogate Screening Department. Her team conducts assessments on gestational surrogate applicants, assists in the matching process with intended parents, and provides clinical support to surrogates along their surrogacy journey.

Kelly obtained her Master’s degree from Smith College School for Social work and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UMass Amherst. Her clinical training is in the field of OBGYN social work and she has experience working with pregnant women and mothers in a hospital setting as well as children and families via inpatient and outpatient treatment settings. She has also worked with youth in foster care as well as public school settings.

As a social justice and human rights advocate, Kelly is very passionate about people’s rights to family creation. Additionally, Kelly enjoys working with people who are going through the life stages of pregnancy and parenthood. Kelly loves helping families grow through surrogacy.

Outside of work, Kelly enjoys spending time outdoors with her own family as well as her beloved dog, Chloe.

For more information about Kelly and the rest of our employees, visit our staff page!

9 Steps of The Surrogacy Process

international intended parents Are you ready to embark on your surrogacy journey? To give you a clearer picture of what the process entails, we’ve compiled the 9 steps of the surrogacy journey for intended parents. Over 1000 babies have been born through the following process:

1. Initial Consultation. Most intended parents start their journey with a free consultation that lasts an average of 2.5 hours depending on the agency. At Circle, you’ll meet with our staff by Skype or in person and learn about the programs and options available, the detailed process of matching with a surrogate, the legal process, any insurance issues, the financial implications, and basic medical information. Prior to your consultation, you’ll complete a basic questionnaire and submit photographs that assist our team in tailoring our services to meet your needs.

2. Officially Becoming an Intended Parent. To officially join a surrogacy program, you’ll sign a contract. At Circle, this is called an Agreement for Services. Following that, you are asked to transmit a portion of the fees. Next, you are introduced to your program coordination (PC) team that will guide you through every phase of your journey.

3. Screening and Selection Process for an Egg Donor. Egg donors are young, healthy women between the ages of 21 and 29 who live across the United States. They have had their medical records reviewed by a licensed reproductive endocrinologist and have participated in an intensive social work assessment by a licensed clinician. You can browse our egg donor database, or your program coordinator team can help you to complete an egg donor request form and send you egg donor profiles that match your preferences. Once chosen, your egg donor undergoes psychological testing. Some intended parents choose to bring their own egg donors, who might be family members or friends. [Read more…]

Send Us Your Photos!

surrogate mother pregnacny The surrogacy journey is packed with unforgettable moments along the way. Whether it is the IP-Surrogate meetings, pregnancy stages, the birth, or post-birth moments, surrogacy is a special process. Here at Circle, we cherish each and every step of the journey, and we would love to see pictures from our surrogates and IPs!

Surrogates, send us pregnancy photos! We want to keep up with your progress and share it with other surrogates, IPs, and friends.

Intended Parents, send us your baby photos! We want to see those cute family photos you have taken over the course of your journey.

We love to not only see the happiness and joy that surrogacy brings to our surrogates and IP, but also to share it with the world through our social media accounts.

If you would like to have your photos featured on our blog, Facebook, or Instagram, please send your snapshots to bmanning@circlesurrogacy.com, and be sure to follow us on social media to see other beautiful surrogacy journeys!