The Organization of Parents Through Surrogacy

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P.O. Box 611
Gurnee, IL 60031



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Why We Chose Surrogacy

After being married 6 years and 5 of those years on the infertility roller coaster, we decided on surrogacy as an option to have a baby. I was 34 and my husband was 36. We had no kids and no pregnancies. I wanted to pursue gestational surrogacy sooner than my husband- I felt hopeful that this was what would work. A friend in our local Resolve chapter had already explored surrogacy by checking out the surrogacy folder from our Resolve library. After researching the different agencies, she and her husband then pursued gestational surrogacy successfully and had a 3 year old. Her story was similar to ours in the fact that we both had immunolgical problems leading to our infertility, reasonably good results in the IVF lab with embryos, but no pregnancies! Of course my husband was scared of surrogacy and wanted to continue in treatment with some meds we had not tried. Well even though I was at my "wits end" with fertility treatment and we had "been there and done that" I knew we both had to be comfortable with all aspects of gestational surrogacy. We spent 1 more year doing intra-uterine inseminations and IVF and I used the time to learn about gestational surrogacy, (agencies, fees, statistics, etc.. ) figuring that this information would educate my husband so he could feel comfortable with it too.

The "last ditch effort" for us was our last IVF with me in January 1998--we had 11 eggs all mature, most of which fertilized, and 6 went on to excellent quality 8-cell embryos. It was a typical result for us but since we had done IVF before and had #'s of embryos transferred with no pregnancies ever, we put all 6 back, hoping 1 or 2 would take. When it didn't work we were not surprised.

Although we had info on at least 2 agencies we scheduled a consultation with the surrogacy agency that our friend in RESOLVE had used because we felt it was the best and most inclusive with regard to all the services. My husband felt more comfortable with the option after meeting with the director, coordinator,psychologist, trust administrator, lawyer, and a surrogate that had we had seen on tv who had carried twins for an infertile couple. My husband was more comfortable after meeting with everyone, knowing that the agency would handle all the medical, legal, emotional, financial aspects involved. We signed a contract that covered every aspect imaginable and a trust fund was established in which we would receive a monthly ledger detailing the gestational surrogacy expenses. We felt $50,000 was worth it for all the services they provide. We figured by the time all is said and done and if we have multiples and a expensive stay in intensive care it would be about $100,000 and they basically agreed.

We told a few close friends both fertile and infertile that we were exploring the option of surrogacy. They asked would it be your eggs and sperm? How do they do this? And what do you do--go out there to CA? Why do the women want to do this? And do you mind me asking how much do they get? Only 1 friend mentioned Mary Beth Whitehead!

We also told the prospective grandmothers and I think they were concerned at first but once we explained how everything worked they felt good about it.

Over the course of the next 6 months (6-8 months was a quoted wait on the brochure) we received 2 profiles of women we chose not to go with because of their medical/pregnancy history. We were discouraged because the psychologist we interviewed with said we wouldn't have to wait because there were a lot of surrogate mothers who, like us, didn't want selective reduction. Well the pyschologist was wrong (we later learned from the coordinator) and I think we were in the minority on our views! They try to match couples and surrogates on all aspects: personality, beliefs, lifestyle, hobbies, etc.. We expected the surrogates would typically all be married and have at least 2 kids and no miscarriages but that was not the case. Some were young ummarried mothers with only 1 child and some had miscarriages. The basic guidelines for the surrogates were: had to be between ages of 21-37, have at least 1 child, secure in job,home life, & pscyh. being, good medical profile, and have not be motivated to be a SM for the wrong reasons. Most important to us was a shared belief on no selective reduction and a very good medical and pregnancy history.

A suitable profile came in January 1999--the 3rd profile was the charm--she was everything we had hoped for in a gestational surrogate. We met her, her husband and their five kids and instantly clicked! We synchronized in February and did the IVF/egg retrieval, embryo transfer in March. And in Apri e learned we were pregnant with twins! It was definitely "whirlwind" but as you know our elation was short lived because our surrogate miscarried at @7 weeks! We are discouraged of course but will pursue surrogacy for the next year. We are both wondering if something is wrong with the embryos that the Drs just aren't aware of yet but at the same time we are hopeful that we just need 1 or 2 more tries with our amazing surrogate and it will work! If it doesn't we will pursue adoption.

Miche & Fred :) :)
IP's "2 B someday"


2007 OPTS - The Organization of Parents Through Surrogacy