What was your experience finding a gestational surrogate with Abundant Beginnings?
Overall the process to find a GC was very smooth. We first wrote our family profile and shared it with Abundant Beginnings Company, and shared some general guidelines about the kind of GC we were looking for. After that we were shown a few profiles, which were close to what we were looking for, but had one or two points that ultimately made us decide to go with someone else. After a couple of months (which was much faster than we expected), we were matched with our current GC. I appreciated that ABC did not pressure us with the earlier GCs, and facilitated the meeting with our current GC.
How has the surrogacy agency supported you throughout your journey, so far?
ABC has been immensely supportive throughout the journey. First, the big things – they screened the GC, made sure she was an eligible and good match for us, and kept us involved throughout the entire journey. They also helped with the finer details – making sure the medicine was prescribed, organizing the hotel stay and flights for when she visited our local doctor, and overall just making sure that both the GC and we felt supported and that things were being taken care of.
But probably the most important point came when our GC was told some concerning medical information, and was not sure whether to continue to be a GC. ABC spoke to the GC and validated her concerns, while at the same time bringing in multiple doctors for second opinions (including the GC’s personal doctor). The GC’s concerns were greatly alleviated, which was immensely significant both in that she decided she wanted to continue to be a GC, and that the GC was comfortable and confident in her own health and wellbeing.
Tell us about your relationship with your surrogate?
We have been blessed to have a GC that clicks with us – outside of this journey, we could picture us as friends. We communicate once to a handful of times a week, though without any kind of set schedule – just “How are you doing”, sending pictures of our snowfall, telling a funny story that happened in the day, or things like that. We also are in touch around doctor’s appointments, and have videoed in for the ones we wanted to see live. We would advise other intended parents to feel out the relationship and see what feels more natural and comfortable for both of you. Going into this journey, we did not have a plan on the frequency of communication, but it developed to the point where this was ideal for both us and the GC. Others may find that this amount of communication is too little (“we would like a small update every few days”), too much (“we want to just hear about doctor appointments”), or anything else. But we’d advise potential IP’s to be ready to adjust based on how the journey is going. This kind of communication has been significant in our smooth relationship, but sending over gifts in the winter, or candy when she reached the second trimester, also showed her in a more concrete way that we are thinking of her.
Now that you are more than 1/2 way through your surrogacy journey, what have you learned about surrogacy that you would like others to know?
Frankly, surrogacy is a long, involved process. It involves talking to agencies, doctors, lawyers, filling out a ton of paperwork, going through the draining process of finding a GC…and then simply waiting. Yet at the same time, surrogacy is a gift, a process that allows us to have the child we so so strongly are dreaming of. The emotional cost is high, but the payoff is absolutely worth it (to the extent that we’re exploring doing it again!) So we would advise incoming IP’s to go into the process knowing that it’s rightfully called a “journey” and not a “party”, and that it is not at all an easy process, but that holding a baby will make it all worthwhile.
How did you choose Abundant Beginnings when looking for an agency?
There were two major factors that led us to Abundant Beginnings Company. First, we heard fantastic reviews from friends and acquaintances who used them. Nothing can really replace a personal recommendation, and getting that from multiple sources was a clear indicator of quality. Second, they do not charge until after a potential match is agreed on, meaning that there was no monetary risk in putting our names in as potential IP’s. Between the fantastic reviews and the pay schedule, it was clear that ABC was the perfect agency to choose.