Fertility

Surrogacy – Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Ask a Surrogate

Eloise Edington  |   28 Dec 2019


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The laws on surrogacy vary between different countries, and in the USA also differ from state to state.

The following article and surrogacy interview is from a contributor, and therefore her answers apply to her state laws. Please check the surrogacy situation in your own state or country.

Sometimes the route to becoming a parent looks a bit different to what we might have expected – your trying to conceive journey could include a surrogate. Whether or not to consider surrogacy might be a confusing decision. You might just want to know how surrogacy works and why surrogates become surrogates? When looking at IVF and fertility blogs online, the information can be a bit opaque and overwhelming. So, here at Fertility Help Hub, we got in touch with Californian surrogate, Sonia Valdivia, to hear her perspective…

Over to Sonia Valdivia…

@_thegiftofgiving

Could you tell us a little bit about you, and where you’re from?

Hello! My name is Sonia, I’m 27 years old and currently live in California. I’m a mother of two girls, aged five and ten.

What made you want to become a surrogate?

My sister was a surrogate twice before me and, watching her experience it, I thought it was an amazing thing to do, and that’s where my curiosity started to grow. I wanted to help those trying to conceive and struggling, or those who had experienced baby loss.

How did you go about it?

My sister actually connected me with the family, as she had been a surrogate for them twice already, and they wanted one more child. I heard they were looking for someone and I interviewed with the intended parents. Due to the fact that my sister had been an amazing surrogate for them, they were immediately excited, and we started the process from there.

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How many times have you done it?

This is my first time.

How do you cope with carrying a baby, and then handing it over to the parents?

Well, I personally don’t want any more children, so that was an important factor for me. Also, since the beginning, it’s something I’ve thought long and hard about, as it’s a big deal. I personally don’t think I will have a hard time handing over the child, because it’s not my child. It’s a different type of connection with this pregnancy.

Related Interview – Egg Donation & Surrogacy – Meet the Founders of Extraordinary Conceptions and The Surrogacy Law Center – Making the Impossible Possible

What’s the toughest part?

The toughest part in phase one was the long drives, visits to the fertility clinic and balancing being a full-time working mother with the initial process of the surrogacy. In phase two, it’s been the shots and fertility medications. You take the medications differently, and they have an impact on your mood and the way you feel. The progesterone shots did get difficult after week three – I became sore, and lumps started building up in my buttocks after ten weeks.

What’s the best part?

The best part, for me, is the knowledge that I’m able to help complete a family’s hopes and dreams.

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Do you get paid?

This is something I’m being compensated for, yes.

Podcast – Surrogacy Cost and Process with Extraordinary Conceptions

What do family and friends feel about you being a surrogate?

My close family has been extremely supportive and has helped when I’ve needed them throughout the surrogacy process. My children have seen this before in our family, so it was almost normal for them. I kept it a secret until fifteen weeks, to make sure my first trimester was smooth sailing. Then, when I started telling friends, they all thought it was great, and amazing to be able to help a family.

Will you keep in touch with the family afterwards?

I do plan to keep in touch with the family after, as much as I’m able to. We have grown close.

What are the legalities around surrogacy?

A lawyer’s guidance is definitely necessary; to go over the contract and to explain the many things I didn’t understand. I was lucky enough to have an awesome attorney, who answered all my questions and changed the few things I didn’t like in my contract, until the IPs (Intended Parents) and I were happy with our agreement. Even though the Intended Parents were obligated to pay for my lawyer, everything between my lawyer and myself was kept confidential. Some of the interesting areas in the contract were: how much I am being compensated; where I can travel to; in case of a fatality with the Intended Parents, who the child would go to; a lot of important things that I didn’t think of initially.

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