Gestational Carrier Amanda’s story and Texas Surrogacy
What do you do for work? How did you get into this? You were a surrogate?!? These questions, and many more, are things that I hear daily.
I knew at a young age, even before I had my own kids, that I would probably be a surrogate. Why? How in the world could you know that? My sister, due to health complications at a young age, was unlikely to be able to carry her own children. I often thought about it growing up; I knew if she wanted a family and I could help her I would! In the end I was not a surrogate for my sister (it was their choice not to pursue this option), but it worked out that I was able to help a friend of mine. Yes, I was a surrogate. We were independently matched because they were friends of mine, which meant no agency, and the little girl I carried turns 3 in November! I can’t say that process or the experience were always easy, but the joy of creating a life and a family was worth it in the end.
Another great outcome, other than creating a family, was meeting Ellen Trachman! She was a life saver toward the end of the journey and did far more than a lawyer typically would do. A few months after the delivery I reached out to Ellen, wanting to do more in the surrogacy world, and help others through this process. She told me about an agency she and her sister just started (What?!? There are agencies?!? Having gone independent I didn’t know there was another way.) and wondered if I wanted to do some admin work for them. Shortly after I was hired and working away. I have learned a lot, especially as I was independent and did not have the help of an agency for my personal journey. Here are some items I believe are need to know for anyone going through surrogacy.
● Each party, both IPs and GC, must have their own attorney (one of the attorneys must be in the state in which the baby will be born) – A good lawyer would NEVER allow eitherparty to not have their own representation
● Baby needs to be born in a state in whichIPs can legally be named the parents (preferably through a pre-birth order, but some state have post birth order processes that are also legal). There are many surrogacy friendly states, but always check to make sure yours is for you and your specific circumstances: Texas has a statute, and generally is surrogacy friendly when granting parentage orders.
● Escrow/expense account should be established for any cost reimbursements. The surrogate should never have to ask or wait for money; most lawyers will require this.
● Health insurance review – the surrogate’s insurance should be surrogacy friendly and not have a lien or exclusionary clause. Professional reviews can be done to verify coverage.
The surrogacy industry is ever growing and education is key! The huge question everyone still asks me: How could you give up the baby? I was a gestational carrier, or gestational surrogate, not a traditional (or genetic) surrogate. The egg was not mine and there was no genetic relation to the baby. I was merely the oven, the long-term babysitter, a generous caregiver that gave her back to her parents when she was born. The baby was never mine; I never had any intention or thoughts of keeping her, just like when your child goes to school, someone else cares for your child during the day but are more than happy to give them back at the end. Being a gestational carrier just takes a little longer ;-). You enter this process with the mindset that the baby is not yours; you are helping someone else’s dreams come true and baby will be going home with the parents, which was not me! Not only is great to see the joy you helped create, so is going home and sleeping through the night!
I love talking about my story and have written blogs and even been on a podcast about it! One of the best parts of working in this area is the ability to work with other people that are passionate about surrogacy, many of which have also been gestational carriers. Jennifer and Ellen, two sisters who worked in the industry and saw a need for a local agency with a passion for helping people; hiring others with the same passion. Suzie, a wonderful woman who not only raised 4 children of her own but was a traditional and gestational surrogate twice, once with twins! Callie, super sweet, who has created a great bond with a couple after being their gestational carrier of their twins! Amber, who is strong beyond compare; she has shown her great strength being a gestational carrier twice! Patience, a doula with a heart of gold, who transferred 3 times, unfortunately a surrogacy pregnancy was not successful. Ashley, always wanting to help others, had twins for a Chinese couple! Marsha, doula and person extraordinaire, created a beautiful baby for a single IP. We are so lucky that Marsha is now the intake coordinator for Texas Surrogacy! We all have different stories with a common goal to give a gift that would otherwise not be possible. Some of us can no longer be surrogates so we use our special powers now working for an agency!
We are so excited to have expanded into Texas and to have Marsha on the ground for local support! Don’t be surprised if you see me from time to time too as I have family in Texas and love to visit (by visit, of course, I mean work and see Marsha ;-)). We are ready and willing to answer any questions you may have - email us at email@example.com. If you think you are ready to be an Intended Parent please set up for a free consult to get started. Or if you think you are ready to be a Gestational Carrier and give the greatest gift, fill out our intake form and Marsha will be in touch with you very soon! We look forward to hearing from you.