Perspectives: 7 Families Share Their Surrogacy Journey

Journey to surrogacy

Christian Alzate / Verywell

For our Perspectives series, we are interviewing diverse people around the country about their journey to having children with a gestational carrier.

While the number of children born each year in the U.S. via surrogacy is a small percentage of the total, the number of families turning to this practice has risen sharply in the last 20 years. According to a study in the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, the percentage of surrogate births out of all assisted births tripled between 1999 and 2014, while the number of infants born annually via surrogate doubled between 2004 and 2008.

Even so, there is still a shroud of secrecy and confusion around the practice and the legality of surrogacy varies greatly from one state to another. To help demystify the process, we asked a diverse group of parents to share their reasons for pursuing surrogacy, what their experience was like, and the misconceptions that exist about the process.

One of the biggest ones: The definition of the word surrogacy, which many of the families here found themselves explaining to friends and loved ones. In most cases, as many of the parents explain, "surrogate" typically refers to a gestational carrier or a woman who becomes pregnant through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and is not genetically related to the child she is carrying.

Ahead, more of the questions families field and their experiences having children via surrogacy.

Gestational Carrier vs. Surrogate

"Gestational carrier" is a mindful alternative to the word "surrogate." "Surrogates traditionally were genetically related to the baby, while the term gestational carrier indicates no genetic connection to the baby," says Rachel Gurevich, RN, a fertility advocate and member of the Verywell Family Review Board.

Traditionally, surrogates are genetically related to the baby they are carrying, oftentimes artificially inseminated by the baby's father. The term gestational carrier acknowledges the possibility of a donated embryo from the intended parents, in which the gestational carrier has no relation to the fetus.

Randy Rowe and Kyle Keigan

Randy Rowe and Kyle Keigan

Christian Alzate / Verywell

Randy Rowe and Kyle Keigan

Ages: 34 and 30

Location: Cincinnati, OH

Occupations: Assistant professor of Russian at the University of Cincinnati and art director at Steel City Brand (respectively)

Son's age: 4 Months

Why Did You Decide to Use a Surrogate?

We are a same-sex couple, and so our options for growing our family are limited to adoption or surrogacy. Given the hostile political climate that LGBTQ+ parents have faced with regard to marriage and children, we opted to use a surrogate rather than pursue adoption.

Many states have differing laws with regard to LGBTQ+ adoptions. Moreover, many adoption agencies are religiously affiliated. Under so-called “religious freedom,” these agencies are free to discriminate against same-sex couples seeking to adopt.

We chose to use genetic material from Kyle and my [Randy’s] sister to make embryos. We then found a wonderful gestational carrier who carried and delivered Oskar. We chose to use our genetic material, as well as our family’s in order to ensure that our parentage or legal relationship to the child could not be challenged because of the make-up of our family. This may seem paranoid, but we have seen this happen in places like Russia, and [we wanted to be sure].

How Did You Find Your Surrogate?

Our amazing gestational carrier lives in Colorado, and we would have never found her without the help of our incredible agency, ConceiveAbilities. We chose them as our agency mostly because of their “all-in” package, which made the logistical and financial aspects of our journey very easy and stress-free.

Furthermore, we wanted access to a large and well-vetted pool of potential carriers. We needed to have a carrier in a state that is legally friendly to surrogacy, and moreover, a state with established precedence for legal parentage procedures for same-sex families.

It turns out Colorado was an ideal state for us, and so we were introduced to our carrier through our agency. ConceiveAbilities has thoroughly vetted their carriers and surrogates with regard to health, mental, financial, and social stabilities. They also spend much time getting to know the surrogates/carriers, so that they can make a perfect match.

After spending a month getting to know me and Kyle, our match manager suggested that we meet our carrier and her husband. We met. We all loved each other. We all decided to go on this journey together within 24 hours.

What Was Your Role In the Birth?

Well, obviously, our carrier did all the hard work! We were lucky enough to have a carrier who has tremendous support from her family.

This is something that ConceiveAbilities requires of their candidates, but we didn’t know just how wonderful it would be for our carrier to have such a patient and loving partner. She and him did all of the hard work during the pregnancy, labor, and birth.

We actually had an induced birth, so the time from induction to birth was about 24 hours (Friday, 5/21/21 at 9:30 p.m. to Saturday, 5/22/21 at 9:30 p.m.). Kyle and I were in close contact with our carrier and her partner from the minute they arrived at the hospital for the induction.

We had taken a flight from Cincinnati to Denver two days prior and were at a hotel nervously awaiting any progress reports. Our carrier was relaxed and wanted to try to sleep after the initial administration of the induction medication, so we remained at the hotel the night of May 21, and we decided we would come first thing in the morning of May 22.

Randy Rowe

It was wonderful having almost 12 hours with our carrier. For the most part of the induction, she was not in a terrible amount of pain, so we were able to have many conversations and bond.

— Randy Rowe

When we arrived there was still not much progress, so we settled in for the day in the room with our carrier and her partner. It was wonderful having almost 12 hours with our carrier. For the most part of the induction, she was not in a terrible amount of pain, so we were able to have many conversations and bond.

We didn’t have the opportunity to meet our carrier in person until the birth because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We sat and talked, laughed, listened to music, watched cheesy horror films on TV, and overall we cemented our little team. Team Oskar, if you will.

We, of course, offered our support in any way that we could. We brought her everything she asked for, and tried to anticipate her every need. Thank goodness for her partner! He was so wonderful in anticipating her needs. (He had done this with her three times prior.)

While we were offering all of the help we could think of, and her partner was there by her side, she was handling the labor and delivery with grace, confidence, and the mysterious strength of a woman giving birth. She was phenomenal beyond what we thought possible of a human being.

What Is a Misconception About Surrogacy And How Did Your Experience Contradict It?

Many peoples’ concern was that surrogacy and/or using a gestational carrier is somehow a shady business. That is to say that we fielded a lot of questions like, “Well, what if she doesn’t give you your baby?” or “What if she takes the payment and there is no baby?”

These questions are likely due to the stigma that still exists in talking about surrogacy. This is not something that is done in the shadows, and if more people felt comfortable being open about the process, then I think there would be greater understanding and a larger belief in the legitimacy of surrogacy.

Our agency and carrier were the utmost professionals. We had mounds of legal paperwork that were expertly handled by our agency-connected attorneys, and we had all of our finances handled by a professional escrow management firm.

When it came down to it, ConceiveAbilities ensured the professional handling of our journey’s logistics and finances, both of which were agreed to and contracted well before Team Oskar assembled officially. This made our relationship with our carrier stress-free and allowed all of us to focus solely on our soon-to-be baby boy, Oskar.

Josephine Atluri and husband Mode

Josephine Atluri and family

Christian Alzate / Verywell

Josephine Atluri and husband Mode

Ages: 43 and 45

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Occupation: meditation and mindfulness coach for infertility and parenting

Children's ages: 14 (international adoption), 12 and 12 (IVF carried by Josephine), 5 and 5 (twins via surrogacy), 4 months and 4 months (twins via surrogacy)

Why Did You Decide to Use a Surrogate?

Our path to parenthood proved to be very challenging. Due to an illness, we knew we would have to start with in-vitro fertilization (IVF) to conceive a child. After a few years of back-to-back IVF cycles, we finally became pregnant with twins only to lose them in the second trimester.

It was after this loss and during our time of grief that we pivoted to international adoption because I knew that I did not have the physical, mental, and emotional strength to do another IVF cycle.

After adopting our son we decided to try IVF one last time. We went to CCRM Fertility, instead of our previous provider. Since they did not know what caused our previous loss, a lot of precautions had to be taken during this pregnancy. I successfully gave birth to twins. After that difficult pregnancy and the emotional toll the entire IVF process took on me, we knew that I could no longer try for another pregnancy.

Josephine Atluri

Anyone who has gone through assisted reproductive technology (ART) knows the blood, sweat, and tears that go into creating these em-babies.

— Josephine Atluri

However, after that last round at CCRM, we had a number of great quality embryos frozen. Anyone who has gone through assisted reproductive technology (ART) knows the blood, sweat, and tears that go into creating these em-babies. It was always in the back of our minds as to what to do with them, especially when we would get our annual letter from the storage facility. 

We had always wanted to have a big family and wanted to give our embryos a chance. It was definitely a tough decision because it involved asking someone we didn’t know to help us in such an intimate capacity. It required a lot of trust and release of control on our part, which was not foreign to us given our experiences with international adoption and IVF on our own.

Granted, each experience was unique and came with its own challenges to navigate. But I would have to say that surrogacy was probably the hardest because it was like a combination of IVF and international adoption. It involved a lot of legal paperwork plus the medical aspect of a frozen transfer and working with someone to carry your child. 

How Did You Find Your Surrogate?

Initially, surrogacy was too expensive for us to pursue so we saved up for five years. Coupled with a great benefit from my husband’s job, we found a surrogacy company recommended by CCRM, [our fertility company]. We asked Dr. Schoolcraft for a recommendation because we wanted to work with them again for the next attempt as we had such a pleasant and seamless experience with them for the last pregnancy.

The company they recommended was very professional and so helpful in guiding us on all the steps from start to finish. After a wait time of about half a year, we interviewed a few potential surrogates and found a great match. 

We pursued the surrogacy option one more time recently, as we had a few more frozen embryos remaining. We went with a different surrogacy agency, also recommended by CCRM, but with a lower cost point.

Josephine Atluri

The path to parenthood is tough enough. The more ways you can reduce the challenges in the journey, the easier it is for your mental wellness.

— Josephine Atluri

As we knew the fertility center and doctor we wanted to work with, it was very important to us that they had a good working relationship with a surrogacy agency to make it an easier process. The path to parenthood is tough enough. The more ways you can reduce the challenges in the journey, the easier it is for your mental wellness.

Our second time with surrogacy was a slightly different experience but not by much. Once again, we were so lucky to find an amazing partner after only reviewing a few surrogate applicants. It is always hard to go through the applications and say no because you feel like you are losing your place in line and might have said no to someone who could have been a great match.

However, due to the time sensitivity, as others are waiting in line after you to receive surrogate referrals, you do have to trust your gut instincts as this is someone who will be carrying and caring for your child.

What Was Your Role In the Birth?

During the first time with surrogacy, our surrogate was in another state so we had a long-distance relationship which initially made it difficult to navigate. And for our second surrogacy experience, it was a little easier to connect as we lived in the same state, but because of COVID-19 we still didn’t get to see one another as much.

The surrogate and intended parent relationship is also inherently challenging because there are no social norms for how one should act. It is a very unique partnership that you never learn how to handle. With both surrogates, we had to get to know one another via phone, text, and Facetime. It was almost like creating a new friendship but with so much more at stake.

Initially, during the testing period and the medication cycle prior to the frozen transfer, it was challenging to talk and give updates because there wasn’t a child to connect over yet. So instead when we would talk, we went over updates on side effects and appointments. It definitely felt more formal in the beginning.

After the transfer, and especially once we had confirmation of a positive pregnancy, the relationship shifted as we now had a life that bonded us together to discuss. In both cases, I could not attend weekly appointments with her, so I would get updates from the nurses and doctors.

More recently, as the COVID-19 pandemic led to doctors’ offices being more flexible, they allowed video calls during monitoring appointments so I could see the ultrasound in real-time. I was able to attend two doctor’s appointments for both of our surrogates during the bigger 20-month screen and then one more prior to birth. 

For the actual birth, it was important for us to work with our surrogate on a birth plan that met both of our needs and made each of us feel comfortable. As we were long distance for the first one, the moment our surrogate felt like she was having contractions, my husband hopped on a plane and made it just in time to welcome our twin boys after their birth.

For our second surrogacy experience, it was a scheduled C-section so we were both able to drive over to the hospital and wait in a labor and delivery room while our surrogate gave birth to our twin girls.

What Is a Misconception About Surrogacy And How Did Your Experience Contradict It?

I get a lot of questions about surrogacy pertaining to cost, the process, and the relationship. I feel like a lot of people think that we just pay a lot of money upfront and then nine months later the “mother” delivers the baby and hands her over to us.

One misconception is that it is purely a monetary transactional process. Yes, money is involved and it is a service at its core. However, what I found with both of our surrogates and what I have heard from so many other fertility mindfulness clients that I work with, is that surrogates are also doing this because they enjoy being able to care for a child. They enjoy positively impacting a family’s life in so many ways. Their sacrifice is the ultimate gift of kindness.

Josephine Atluri

Surrogates are doing this because they enjoy being able to care for a child. They enjoy positively impacting a family’s life in so many ways. Their sacrifice is the ultimate gift of kindness.

— Josephine Atluri

Another misconception that exists about surrogacy is that the gestational carrier is the “mother” and we don’t have any relationship outside of receiving a child from her at the very end.  As I explained earlier, we chose to have a very involved partnership with both of our surrogates as it was important for us to form a bond with the woman carrying our children.

Everyone can choose the level of connection and the type of relationship that they want to have. It is up to you both to decide what feels right for your families and what you are actually able to do.

And let’s also use the right terminology if we’re talking about misconceptions. The woman carrying the child is the gestational carrier or surrogate, who typically does not have any genetic relation to the child being carried. The intended parents are the mothers and fathers. After going through such a long and arduous path to parenthood, it was always a sore point to be asked who was the real mother.

After partnering with two different surrogates to create our two sets of twins, I feel really lucky to have had this opportunity and to have worked with such amazing women. Whenever I look at my twin boys and my twin girls, I always think about them and their strength and generosity.

Crystal Patel and Kunal Mody

Crystal Patel and Kunal Mody

Christian Alzate / Verywell

Crystal Patel and Kunal Mody

Ages: 38 and 39

Location: Chicago, IL

Occupations: Client development specialist at ConceiveAbilities and hospitality developer (respectively)

Daughter's age: 6 months

Why Did You Decide to Use a Surrogate?

It was a difficult decision, but ultimately became one of the last options we had available. I suffer from fibroids (over 100 to be exact). There isn't enough room in my uterus for a baby to grow and develop.

After a miscarriage in 2019, we consulted with a radiologist to see if I was a candidate for uterine fibroid embolization surgery. This surgery carries a 10% risk of ovarian failure, therefore it was recommended I freeze my eggs in case the worst were to happen.

Come to find out through this process we learned that I also had very low egg quality, which made it difficult to create healthy genetically tested embryos. After four rounds of IVF, we were able to create one embryo.

We knew the odds of success were not on our side due to the state of my uterus which is why we decided to pursue surrogacy. We wanted to give our one miracle embryo the very best chance of life.

How Did You Find Your Surrogate?

We found our surrogate through our agency ConceiveAbilities. After struggling with infertility over the last four years, my journey to surrogacy led me to make a career change. In October of 2020, I joined my agency as an employee while I was also a client. I wanted to help other intended parents such as myself and Kunal.

What Was Your Role In the Birth?

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, initially the hospital took a hard stance that we would not be able to be present for the birth of our child. The plan was once Zahra was born, she would be transported to our hospital room which was located right next to our surrogate.

Our labor and delivery nurses were the kindest people! Once we checked into the hospital the morning of induction and they learned our story they said there was absolutely no way we would miss the birth of our child.

Crystal Patel

[Our surrogate] has always been our biggest advocate and was no different at that moment.

— Crystal Patel

We both went to grab a coffee and before we could take a sip, the nurse walked in and asked if we were ready to meet our daughter. We sped next door and my husband and I were next to our surrogate as she labored. Ten minutes and three pushes later our daughter had entered the world! My husband was able to cut the umbilical cord and then she was given to my husband and I for skin-to-skin contact. 

Our surrogate was amazing! Even as she was pushing she was reminding the OB/GYN to hand Zahra to me immediately, yelling at her husband to make sure and get pictures of everything so we could be in the moment. She has always been our biggest advocate and was no different at that moment.

What Is a Misconception About Surrogacy And How Did Your Experience Contradict It?

I think our biggest fear was how can I trust that [our surrogate] was taking care of herself every day. Was she eating healthy foods? Was she making decisions throughout the day to protect our child that we worked so hard to create? One of the most difficult things to come to terms with is that no one will carry this pregnancy exactly like you. With time you will come to learn that it is OK.

Crystal Patel

One of the most difficult things to come to terms with is that no one will carry this pregnancy exactly like you. With time you will come to learn that it is OK.

— Crystal Patel

Our journey looked quite different than I had hoped due to COVID-19, but technology was such a gift through the process. Our surrogate always video chatted me during all of her appointments if and when the obstetrician allowed it. She emailed the medical summary after every appointment once it has been uploaded electronically into her chart, even if I was there virtually for the appointment.

She took it upon herself to purchase Belly Buds, which allowed Kunal and I to read to Zahra. Then she played the audio for Zahara so she could learn our voices. As she progressed along in the pregnancy and could begin to feel Zahara move, she always texted to let us know if she was active that day. Or, she would warn us that Zahara was up at all hours of the night so we might have a party animal on our hands.

Ironically, a majority of the time when we were texting one another, we weren't even talking about the baby. I think she knew on some level that I needed to know that she and Zahra were safe. We would talk about the sports that her children were participating in, or talk about work, or what crazy ideas we were coming up with next to convince our husbands to partake in.

There are multiple ways to be connected throughout the process and it will look different for each family. I would encourage intended parents to be honest from the beginning of what their expectations are. This way your surrogate can help you feel connected throughout the process based on your preference.

Crystal Patel

Don’t let your mind travel to a dark place if [your surrogate] doesn’t text or call back immediately. She is also living her life as a mother, spouse, and support system. 

— Crystal Patel

A piece of advice: Remember that your surrogate has a child of her own, maybe a career, or spouse as well that she is tending to. Don’t let your mind travel to a dark place if she doesn’t text or call back immediately. She is also living her life as a mother, spouse, and support system. 

Celebrate your victories—big and small. Put one foot in front of the other every day, and then repeat. You very much have control over what this will look like, but understand your surrogate is on your team. Her goal is to help you create or complete your family. 

Daniel Levine

Daniel Levine

Christian Alzate / Verywell

Daniel Levine

Age: 42

Location: Waltham, MA

Occupation: Vice president of operations at a tech company

Child's age: 7 months

Why Did You Decide to Use a Surrogate?

I had always wanted to be dad and to be a very involved parent. After a long-term relationship did not work out, I decided I would go it alone. This removed the worry that I could miss my chance to have children or end up making a bad decision and rushing a relationship (which could end divorce) to have children.

How Did You Find Your Surrogate?

My surrogate is an extraordinary woman, and I am very lucky to have been matched with her, but I think the better question would be how I found my agency.

Surrogacy is certainly something you don’t want to cut corners on. I selected three different agencies, each considered one of the best. I interviewed each of them, and then I hired an independent surrogacy attorney that specialized in performing independent agency reviews, including the contracts. I had a great feeling about Circle Surrogacy, and my independent attorney agreed that Circle Surrogacy was the best [for me].

What Was Your Role In the Birth?

I was highly involved in the events leading up to the birth. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic and that it was a high risk pregnancy, I was in the waiting room while my daughter was delivered via C-Section.

What Is a Misconception About Surrogacy And How Did Your Experience Contradict It?

That you have no idea when you start the journey what hurdles may be ahead—to some degree nobody does!

Daniel Levine

You have no idea when you start the journey what hurdles may be ahead—to some degree nobody does!

— Daniel Levine

Robin and Sam Garcia

Robin and Sam Garcia

Christian Alzate / Verywell

Robin and Sam Garcia

Ages: 43 and 40

Location: Marshfield, MA

Occupations: Accountant and artist (respectively)

Child's age: 2

Why Did You Decide to Use a Surrogate?

To make a long story short, we had five years of failed fertility treatments.  We went through six IVF cycles, 12 transfers, and seven losses. We had three embryos left so we were faced with the decision of what gave us the best chance of success.

How Did You Find Your Surrogate?

Through a very small local agency.

What Was Your Role In the Birth?

We were very involved as the surrogate lived 30 minutes away. We went to all the appointments and kept in touch with her daily.

What Is a Misconception About Surrogacy And How Did Your Experience Contradict It?

For me [Robin], it was wondering if since you aren’t carrying the child (or if you used a donor and the child isn’t genetically yours) if you will feel the same love. The second the baby is there and in your arms, any and every question you had is gone.   

For Sam, the biggest misconception is that the child is genetically the surrogate's, meaning the surrogate's egg was used. Many surrogates are what is called a “gestational carrier” which means the couple using the surrogate has the embryos already and the surrogate is carrying the baby for them. 

Joseph and Juan Fobbs-Hernandez

Joseph and Juan Fobbs-Hernandez

Christian Alzate / Verywell

Joseph and Juan Fobbs-Hernandez

Ages: 33 and 29

Location: Houston, TX

Occupations: Critical care nurse and emergency room administrator

Children's ages: 8 months

Why Did You Decide to Use a Surrogate?

We explored many options when it came to having kids, but I think deep down we both wanted to try and have children that were genetically ours first.

Adoption was always and still is on the table, but I had heard so many horror stories regarding the process and placement. We both have friends that have successfully adopted, but there was a lot of struggle and heartbreak involved. Ultimately, we just didn't want to get our hopes up or have our hearts broken.

So, I did some research and came across an organization called "Men Having Babies" that created a network for gay men looking to have children. I attended one of their conferences in Austin, TX, and was pleased with all the information they provided. However, I was overwhelmed with all of the numbers and potential costs.

After months of deliberation, we decided to just pick a place based on success factors and set up and consultation with them. This led us to Houston Fertility Institute. The team there was super kind and compassionate. They ran through the process and quoted some costs to us and we were extremely relieved at how much more realistic and doable everything would be and that is what solidified our decision. 

How Did You Find Your Surrogate?

I think we were just lucky and blessed to have caring people in our lives. We have been together for 11 years. Children have always been a topic of discussion, not just privately to each other but among our family and friends. We have always had a ton of female friends volunteering to "carry" for us if we ever decided to have children.

However, I [Joseph] was blessed with a twin sister, Jessica, who is selfless and compassionate. When she heard that we had actually scheduled the consultation and were going to start the process she stated, "Okay, let me know what is next and what I have to do." To which I replied, "What do you mean?"

That sparked a conversation and flashback to high school, shortly after I had just come out, when we had talked about us each wanting to have kids. She reminded me that she had already agreed years ago to help if and when I was ready.

I think her willingness to be a part of this journey made it extremely easy for us. Deep down inside, I don't think I would have wanted to go through this with a stranger if I didn't actually have to. Our surrogacy journey brought us closer than we already were. I could not have imagined doing it with anyone else.

What Was Your Role In the Birth?

My sister is very outspoken and made sure that we were a part of every single piece of the pregnancy. Our birth plan was a little complicated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, though. A lot of hospitals had changed their policies regarding the birthing process and who was allowed to be in the room or even visit.

I had gotten in touch with the director of women's services where our twins were to be born months prior to their birth. Our team was extremely accommodating. While surrogate pregnancies are becoming more common for LGBTQ+ individuals and others with reproductive complications, most hospitals do not have policies in place specifically addressing surrogate births.

Joseph Fobbs-Hernandez

After weeks of planning and talking to the staff, we came up with a plan that allowed both Juan and me to be present. Our twins were born via C-section, so I was in the operating room while Juan waited for the twins to be brought out.

— Joseph Fobbs-Hernandez

At the time, the hospital's COVID-19 policy dictated only one person allowed to be present during the birth, which put us at a disadvantage—one of us would miss this birth. However, after weeks of planning and talking to the staff, we came up with a plan that allowed both Juan and me to be present.

Our twins were born via C-section, so I was in the operating room while Juan waited for the twins to be brought out. It was like this perfect dance. Everyone knew where to be and what to do. 

What Is a Misconception About Surrogacy And How Did Your Experience Contradict It?

I believe one of the biggest misconceptions about surrogacy is genetics. Most people are just not familiar with the science. There isn't a need to be in tune with the process unless you're a healthcare provider working in this specialty or are actually involved from a patient perspective.  So, we get a lot questions like: Is your sister their mother? Who is the "real" dad?

As I mentioned before, my sister is very outspoken. She made sure everyone knew that she was their aunt and was just "helping out." She didn't want us to feel alienated from the pregnancy. Anytime someone had a question about the babies she would point them in our direction stating, "Ask their dads." 

As far as paternal genetics we opted not to know. We answer, "They are both our kids," and that tends to shut the conversation down. We both feel that it is important for others not to separate them based on who their biological dad is considering that they are both being raised in the same home by the same people.

Joseph Fobbs-Hernandez

We both feel that it is important for others not to separate them based on who their biological dad is considering that they are both being raised in the same home by the same people.

— Joseph Fobbs-Hernandez

For the most part, people are respectful. However, I believe that going into this process you have to be prepared to educate others. It is just something that comes with the territory.

Chris and Joshua Metz

Chis and Joshua Metz

Christian Alzate / Verywell

Chris and Joshua Metz

Ages: 33 and 34

Location: Alexandria, VA

Child's age: 7 months

Why Did You Decide to Use a Surrogate?

We always knew we wanted kids, but never knew if it would be a realistic possibility. We took the "Maybe Baby" class offered by Rainbow Families in the DC area to learn as much as we could about all the options available for us to expand our family—adoption, surrogacy, etc. It helped us feel comfortable with what to expect and able to plan more realistically. Ultimately, we decided that surrogacy was the right choice for us and our family.

How Did You Find Your Surrogate?

Our good friends recommended Circle Surrogacy to us. Circle helped match us with our surrogate with who we have developed an amazing, close relationship.

What Was Your Role In the Birth?

Our surrogacy journey happened during the pre-vaccine COVID-19 pandemic. Much of our journey occurred via Zoom. We were able to quarantine and visit our surrogate and her family once prior to birth. She and her husband were able to visit us once to meet our family as well.

When the time came we drove (overnight!) to Alabama just in time for the birth. We were able to be in the delivery room (a big deal given the pandemic!) to experience every second of our child being born. We are so grateful we were able to be right by our surrogate’s side to cheer her on and to be able to cut the cord and do skin-to-skin with our little one right after birth.

What Is a Misconception About Surrogacy And How Did Your Experience Contradict It?

While we can’t speak for most people’s preconceived notions of what surrogacy is or isn’t, one thing we didn’t quite anticipate was how close we would be with our surrogate. We knew we wanted to form a relationship, but what grew out of an awkward first connection over a Zoom call was more than we could have ever hoped for. It may just be who we are as people, but it has been wonderful.

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  1. Birenbaum-Carmeli D, Montebruno P. Incidence of surrogacy in the USA and Israel and implications on women's health: a quantitative comparison. J Assist Reprod Genet. 2019;36(12):2459-2469. doi:10.1007/s10815-019-01612-9

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