Surrogacy experts and trusted partners of Fertility Help Hub, Extraordinary Conceptions, have written for us about surrogacy abroad.
Hilary Smith, who deals with International Client Relations at Extraordinary Conceptions, discusses the important topic of surrogacy abroad and how Extraordinary Conceptions helps to work with both parties involved, to ensure that you are matched with trustworthy and pre-screened surrogate applications, to help with your dream of having a child.
Words by Hilary Smith, Extraordinary Conceptions – Surrogacy and Egg Donation Agency
www.extraconceptions.com | @extraordinaryconceptions
Many intended parents who live in the UK or other European countries may not be able to pursue surrogacy where they live, due to the unfavourable surrogacy laws, or lack of available women who are qualified to carry their child. We get many questions on what it’s like to pursue surrogacy abroad and how a relationship between a surrogate and her intended parents would work, when both parties are in different parts of the world, and in many cases, speak different languages. For some, it seems like it would be a really difficult venture to pursue. I mean – can a relationship really form across such great divides? Can you really trust someone you don’t know and that you may never get a chance to meet in person, to carry your baby?
These sorts of questions are valid but are also exactly why working with a trusted and reputable surrogacy agency is especially important when pursuing surrogacy abroad. When working with us at Extraordinary Conceptions, surrogate applicants are always pre-screened thoroughly and have to meet several specific criteria before they are made eligible for matching. When working with an experienced surrogacy agency you can be reassured that you will be matched with a qualified surrogate who is trustworthy, loving and genuinely wants to help you achieve your dream of having a child. Read on for surrogate Emily’s personal story and feelings about being a surrogate internationally.
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Recently we spoke with one of our ‘Extraordinary Surrogates’ Emily, who lives in the U.S. – an incredibly selfless woman who carried twins for a couple living in Europe. We wanted to dig deeper into her experience and find out what it was like to carry for intended parents that she was not able to meet in person before being matched, and whose native language was different from hers. We felt that by discussing the experience directly with a surrogate who had been through it, this could better answer some of the questions we often get on what a surrogacy journey abroad is like for surrogates and intended parents.
Before Becoming a Surrogate
Emily always wanted to be a mom and appreciates how lucky she was to become pregnant with her first child quite easily. Around the time she started trying for a baby, she had a close friend who was struggling to conceive, which Emily explained was hard for her to see her friend go through. Emily remembers seeing the pain in her friend’s eyes when she told her friend she was pregnant. It was so easy for Emily to get pregnant, yet so hard for her friend. How unfair is that? Before seeing her friend’s struggle with infertility, Emily had never thought about how it may not be easy for others to reach their dreams of parenthood as easily as she had, and she didn’t know much about infertility. She went on to have two more children and it was when her youngest child was a year old that she started thinking about and inquiring into becoming a surrogate. By that time, she already
knew multiple people who had struggled with infertility and also had several gay friends who were considering surrogacy as an option to build their family. Knowing what her friends were going through was actually her inspiration finally to take the plunge. This motivated her to help other people start their own families through surrogacy.
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Joining Extraordinary Conceptions
Shortly after Emily signed on with Extraordinary Conceptions Surrogacy and Egg Donor Agency, she was introduced to same-sex male intended parents from Germany. From the first “meeting”, everyone had hit it off immediately, deciding almost instantly that they were going to be a great match and wanting to pursue the journey together. Once all screenings were complete and legal contracts signed, Emily became pregnant after the first embryo transfer — with twins! Overjoyed for her intended parents, Emily made sure to take photos and videos each week, updating them through each milestone and doctor appointment via video calls, WhatsApp conversations and telephone. She was so surprised at how easy it was to stay in touch and continue to feel close throughout the process, even though she and the parents were so far apart. Although the distance between them was far, their relationship became really close: “They were like a second family to me and I never once felt the distance was a negative part of the process. I always felt supported by my agency and nothing but love and thankfulness from my intended parents. It couldn’t have been a more positive experience.”
Her Experience as a Surrogate
In October 2019, Emily delivered a healthy set of twins for her elated intended parents: “The way I felt when I introduced the babies to their parents was indescribable… I had never seen someone as happy as they were in that moment. The fact that I helped bring them such happiness, that I had helped them to feel the same joy I did as a parent, made every moment throughout my surrogacy journey worth it. “The parents stayed a few weeks after the birth, and until they were able to travel back to Germany with their babies. Both families bonded so much during this time that they still connect regularly, like real families do. Emily enjoyed the experience so much that she is currently pursuing a second surrogacy journey for another international couple through Extraordinary Conceptions: “Being a mom is the greatest feeling in the world and everyone deserves to feel that love, but parenthood doesn’t come easy for everyone and so surrogacy has just been a way that I can help others, who can’t do it on their own, to experience the amazing joy of parenthood”.
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