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August 16, 2018

Nate & Jeremiah: Surrogacy is a “Beautiful Experience”

Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent are trying to raise more awareness for surrogacy. “We don’t hear people talk about that as much as they could or should,” Berkus said in a recent interview. The stars of TLC’s “Nate & Jeremiah by Design” welcomed their second surro baby into the world just a few months ago and haven’t stopped beaming since.

Daughter Poppy is Joined by Baby Brother Oskar

“Yesterday, life cracked open in a way I didn’t think it could again with the birth of our son Oskar Brent-Berkus,” Brent gushed on Instagram. “Love multiplied. How can love continue to expand like this. Hand in hand our family is basking in the phenomenon of it all. We love you little Oskar. How thankful we are. How beautiful it all is.”

The couple waited until about a month before Oskar’s arrival to announce the pregnancy. The big reveal came when Berkus and Brent shared a video of three-year-old Poppy, also born via surrogacy, proudly announcing, “We’re going to have a baby brother!”

The Couple is Open, Yet Tight-Lipped About Details

Berkus and Brent share few details about their surrogacy experiences. In 2014, their announcement post read: “While we can’t share much, we can say that thanks to a surrogate and the support of those we love we will officially be a family in the spring of 2015!” So far, what we do know is that the California couple worked with different surrogates and egg donors to bring Poppy and Oskar into the world. While they gush about how special they believe their surrogates are, and how they’ve opted to maintain a relationship with both women, they don’t discuss the details of the pregnancies or surrogacies.

Instead, the pair focuses more on what being in the public eye means to them and how they’d like their story to help cultivate more acceptance for different lifestyles. With one dad Jewish and the other Buddhist, as well as the couple being openly-gay celebs, they’ve certainly had more than their fair share of challenges. When critics took to social media to bash their family, Berkus and Brent responded with class and love.

“My hope with having a show like #NandJByDesign on @TLC, where we go into people’s homes and welcome viewers into ours, is that we can start to break down barriers & normalize the way our family looks & the way our family loves,” they explained. Moreover, the pair has become spokespeople for a new line of customizable diapers by Huggies. It’s a brand “That knows every family doesn’t look the same,” Berkus explains. One “That celebrates individuality and customization and just that inclusion. That’s what this is all about,” adds Brent. The couple hopes that by putting their family out there, more people will realize this is what a “normal” family looks like and will celebrate families of all types.

Begin Your Surrogacy Journey with SPS

If you feel surrogacy is the right way to grow your family, Surrogate Parenting Services is here to help. With years of experience and hundreds of babies born, SPS understands that each situation is unique and all families deserve a positive start. We’re here for you from before a surrogate match is made until long after your baby is born, guiding you and your team through the process and ensuring it’s a beautiful experience for all. To learn more about the services we offer, call us at (949) 397-6855.

August 6, 2018

3 Painful Thoughts Women Have During the Surrogacy Process

Women embarking upon the surrogacy process sometimes have minds that won’t quiet. It’s perfectly understandable, considering most intended mothers would prefer to be carrying their own babies. That’s not to say they are ungrateful for their surrogates either. Rather, there’s a complex grouping of emotions at work which few beyond intended mothers can understand and identify with. On this page, we’ll be a bit brazen and unleash some of the most painful thoughts intended mothers have as they begin the surrogacy process, though with time, help, and healing, can all be overcome.

1) “I’m Less of a Woman”

Women who have struggled with infertility or medical issues sometimes feel as if not being able to carry a baby makes them less of a woman. Logically, you know this isn’t true. You’re so much more than the sum of your reproductive organs. If you find yourself feeling this way, imagine that the baby you’re bringing into the world is a little girl. And, imagine that one day she struggles with infertility too. Would she be less of a woman? Of course not. The thoughts you think will eventually become part of your story. If you think this enough, you may start to believe it. Be as kind to yourself as you would be to your unborn baby. You have many years of motherhood ahead of you; a role exclusively reserved for women.

2) “I Won’t Bond with My Baby”

It can be tough to know that another woman is feeling your baby’s kicks and that he or she is hearing the surrogate’s voice. While these things do prime the little one for life on the outside, they aren’t quite the same thing as bonding. It will be you getting up to feed the little one in the middle of the night, changing diapers, and singing lullabies. Those regular everyday activities will create a bond over time. It’s your love and care that develops the mother and child relationship and nothing will ever change that.

3) “Others are Judging Me”

People who don’t understand the surrogacy process can be judgmental. In this day and age, there are literally still people who think the surrogate has to have a romantic encounter with the biological father! You know that’s not how it goes because you’ve familiarized yourself with the process, but others may be hearing the facts for the very first time from you. Moreover, each person walks his or her own path. You’ve chosen this path because it felt right for you. Quite frankly, you owe nobody any explanations, but if you’re worried about how your family and friends will react, start with those most likely to be supportive. Their love will make all the difference in the world.

Begin the Surrogacy Process with SPS

It’s always a good idea to address these kinds of thoughts before you begin the surrogacy process. Moving away from painful thoughts, either on your own or with the help of a professional, will allow you to relax and enjoy the journey more. When you’re ready to start the surrogacy process, Surrogacy Parenting Services is here for you. Call (949) 397-6855 to learn more about or begin.

July 31, 2018

What Should You Call Your Surrogate?

The surrogacy process has a language of its own and knowing the right term for the type of surrogate you’re working with can avoid a lot of confusion. In addition to this, some people prefer to coin their own terms or choose something a little more personalized from the start, so it’s helpful to know which phrases might be appropriate to denote this unique and special bond.

What is a Surrogate?

A surrogate is a woman who carries a baby for someone else. These women come from all walks of life, but they do share a few common traits: they’re compassionate people who love being pregnant and delight in the idea of helping someone else grow their family. The term “surrogate” can be further broken down into two categories—traditional and gestational.

A traditional surrogate is related to the baby.

Historically, women who have been surrogates have been “traditional” surrogates. They not only carried the baby, but it was also their egg which was used to create the baby. This is largely because medicine simply wasn’t developed enough—intrauterine insemination (IUI) was the only option.

A gestational surrogate has no genetic relationship to the baby.

Modern surrogacy involves working with a gestational surrogate. In these cases, the surrogate’s egg is not used. Intended parents may use their own eggs or donor eggs and the surrogate becomes pregnant through in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment or similar. A woman who fills this role may also be referred to as a gestational carrier.

A surrogate mother can be either a gestational or traditional surrogate.

The term “surrogate mother” can refer to either a traditional or gestational surrogate, though because traditional surrogacy almost never occurs now, those with any familiarity of the process tend to automatically associate the term with gestational surrogacy.

*This should not be confused with the term “intended mother.”  Where surrogacy is concerned, the term “intended” (intended mother, intended father, intended parents) refers to the person or people who are growing their family and will be raising the child.

It’s Okay to Give Your Surrogate an Alternate Name

As you develop a relationship with your surrogate, you may want to select an alternate name for her that conveys a deeper relationship or more warmth. Intended parents who maintain relationships with their surrogates after the baby is born sometimes like to have a special name for the little one to call her that denotes she’s more like family than an acquaintance. Naturally, selecting a nickname or alternate name is something you’ll want to discuss with her as well. The process is akin to a father deciding if he wants to be “Daddy,” “Dad,” “Papa,” “Pops,” or some other variant. Some pick a word that’s meaningful, perhaps a special phrase in another language, while others simply assign her the title “aunt,” or something similar. Ultimately, it’s up to you what to call her, and there’s no wrong or right answer here.

Find Your Ideal Surrogate with SPS

SPS has a rigorous vetting process for surrogates. We go through an in-depth medical assessment before we start anything, making sure she’s healthy and has already had at least one healthy delivery. We also meet with our surrogates in their homes to get a good feel for what they’re really like, and then make sure they undergo a psychological evaluation and medical evaluation before going through with anything. When we feel like we’ve found a good match for you based on your wishes and values, we introduce you and give you both the opportunity to get to know one another before making a final decision. This is why so many of our pairings form lifelong bonds and it’s only the beginning. We’re here to support you through the whole process, so you can focus on your family and enjoy the journey. To learn more about the surrogacy in California services SPS offers or get started, call (949) 397-6855.

July 16, 2018

4 Ways to Celebrate Parents’ Day During Surrogacy

If you’re going through the surrogacy process this summer, this may be the first time you notice “Parents’ Day” on the calendar. As if Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, both celebrated around the same time, aren’t enough to contend with, you now have this somewhat unknown holiday pop up as well. This leaves a whole lot of surrogates and intended parents wondering where exactly this holiday comes from and what, if anything, they’re “supposed to” be doing about it. If you’re scratching your head looking at the calendar, here’s what you need to know.

Parents’ Day is a Real Legal Holiday

The calendar is packed with observances, some which seem like they may have been created by greeting card companies to make a buck. Parents’ Day could seem like that too, but it is a legal holiday. Signed into law in 1994 by President Clinton, the day is dedicated to “recognizing, uplifting, and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children,” and is celebrated the fourth Sunday each July. In other words, instead of honoring your mother, as you would on Mother’s Day, or showing gratitude to your father, as you would on Father’s Day, Parents’ Day is dedicated to recognizing all parents and people who play a parental role, as well as to celebrating the family unit as a whole, including the children.

4 Ways to Celebrate Parents’ Day During Surrogacy

1) Write Thank You Notes to Your Family

We don’t often stop and recognize the hard work our family members put in. Maybe your significant other puts in extra hours at work to support the family or keeps the home running smoothly. Perhaps your child takes on extra responsibilities around the home or shows great compassion. Write a short note to each of the special people who impacts your life in a positive way.

2) Work on a Project Together

If you have kids in the home already, today is a great day to work on a meaningful project with them. Some like to do arts and crafts projects, like drawing a family tree or making a scrapbook, while others may prefer to spend the day rearranging a room or painting a mural.

3) Have a Picnic

Gathering everyone together for a meal in the backyard or at a park can be a relaxing and fun way to reconnect. If you’ve developed a friendship with the other people on your surrogacy team (intended parents or surrogate), invite them along. If you love hosting social events, take it a step further and invite your extended family or neighbors.

4) Volunteer Together

Have a look around and see what opportunities suit your style. If you’re eco-conscious, round up the family and head to a park or the beach and do some clean up. If you like to bake, create some treats and deliver them to nursing home residents—just be sure to check with the facility in advance to make sure your arrival time is good and that your treat won’t trigger any allergies or cause issues. You may also find opportunities at shelters for the abused and/or homeless, the pound, soup kitchens/ food banks, and more. Giving back will bring your family closer together and will make you feel good too.

Start Your Surrogacy Journey with SPS

If you haven’t started your surrogacy journey and are looking into your options, let SPS be your partner. As one of California’s most trusted agencies, we’ve helped hundreds of families grow. We help surrogates and intended parents find their ideal matches, then make sure everything is seen to throughout the process, so you can relax and focus on celebrating the new life you’re bringing into the world. Women who want to become surrogates can begin by reading our guidelines and info, while intended parents should call (949) 397-6855 to get personalized information or begin.

July 2, 2018

Expecting Surrogates: Soft Ice Cream + 5 Other Foods To Avoid

Expecting surrogates have a lot of information to keep up with, but thankfully much of it is second-nature because they’ve all had at least one healthy pregnancy already. However, a brief refresher can always be helpful, whether this is your second pregnancy or fifth. Moreover, July is national ice cream month, and there’s a good chance a mouthwatering ice cream cone will, at some point, seem like the ideal treat to cool you down, but you’ll want to steer clear of soft serve. Unfortunately, it can become contaminated with listeria, which causes some nasty stomach issues in healthy people, but can spell out big trouble for surrogates and the babies they’re carrying. Traditional scoopable ice cream usually gets the green light though, so you thankfully do not have to give up the quintessential summer treat altogether.

Did you remember that nugget from your last pregnancy? If so, pat yourself on the back and test your knowledge using the rest of this list. If you missed it, now you know. Check the list to learn about other foods expecting surrogates should avoid for the next few months.

1) Expecting Surrogates Should Be Cautious With Deli Meat

The risk with deli meat is similar to soft serve ice cream—listeria. If you’re craving a sandwich and the deli meat is calling your name, experts say it’s okay to have some, but make sure it’s heated up enough to kill the listeria. Try microwaving or toasting your sandwich/ sub until the meat is steaming hot.

2) Expecting Surrogates Should Avoid Eating Raw or Rare Meat

Meat can contain toxoplasma gondii (which causes toxoplasmosis) as well as salmonella. The cooking process kills bacteria that can lead to infection, so it’s important that any meat you consume is cooked thoroughly. Particularly during the barbecue season, surrogates should be extra careful that the cook is following good practices that avoid cross-contamination and is using a thermometer to check the temperature of meat before serving it.

3) Expecting Surrogates Should Choose Fish Not High in Mercury

Fish contain a whole lot of things that are good for you and the baby, so the FDA now recommends that pregnant women include it in their diets. The caveat to this is that some types of fish are high in mercury, which is a health risk to surrogates and the babies they carry. Canned tuna is generally safe in moderation, but you’ll need to avoid things like tilefish, swordfish, shark, and king mackerel. If you’re a surrogate who plans to share breastmilk after, either giving it to the intended parents or donating to a milk bank, the rule on skipping these types of fish continues for as long as you’re sharing milk.

4) Expecting Surrogates Shouldn’t Eat Raw Eggs and Milk

Unpasteurized milk is often touted as a wonder food in certain circles, but it’s not without risk. Occasionally, unpasteurized milk contains things like listeria, which, again, can be dangerous if not deadly. You’d likely know if you were getting raw milk because it goes at premium prices; it’s not something people usually slip into foods. Raw eggs, which come with salmonella risk, can be a little more difficult to detect because they’re part of things like Caesar dressing, homemade ice cream and custard, mayo, and hollandaise sauce. If a recipe calls for raw eggs, make sure the cook is using pasteurized eggs.

5) Expecting Surrogates Should Refrain From Eating Soft Cheese

Listeria can be present in soft cheeses too. Although some are pasteurized and should be safe, experts say to skip over anything that is not clearly labeled as such.

  • Brie    
  • Camembert
  • Feta
  • Gorgonzola
  • Mexican (with unpasteurized queso blanco and queso fresco)
  • Roquefort

Surrogates: Start Your Journey with SPS

If you’re considering becoming a surrogate, SPS is the place to be. Founded by a surrogate, our agency has helped hundreds of families grow. We offer a warm and supportive environment for both expecting surrogates and intended parents and make sure the process is a smooth one for everyone involved. Although we do have rigorous requirements for all surrogates in order to ensure the health and safety of the little one, most women who are healthy and have had a healthy pregnancy qualify. You can read the requirements and surrogate info on our site, then begin the application process when you’re ready. We hope this list of foods to avoid for expecting surrogates was useful. For more tips for expecting surrogates or for more information about becoming a surrogate, check out our blog.

June 26, 2018

Surrogacy for LGBT Couples in California: How Cali Honors Gay Parents

Surrogacy in California is handled differently than it is in other states, especially when it comes to surrogacy for LGBT couples. If you’re part of the LGBT community, you may already have some familiarity with the state’s progressive and inclusive laws in general, but when it comes to protecting your reproductive rights and right to parent, it is absolutely the best state to be in by far. As we observe Gay Pride Month this June, we’d like to shed a little light on what makes surrogacy in California such a unique experience for the LGBT community and draw attention to a few bits of legislation that can make all the difference in the world for those hoping to grow their families.

California has a Rich History of Supporting the LGBT Community

The state made national news near the end of last year when the first set of textbooks highlighting LGBT contributions throughout history was approved. Of course, it wasn’t just the approval of the inclusive books that caused a stir. It was also the fact that the state mandated LGBT history be part of studies, especially at a time when no other states have similar laws. Some even go so far as to prohibit LGBT discussions. This isn’t the only time Cal’s colors have shown. The state is known for being home to the nation’s first gay rights group, which was founded in 1950, as well as the first lesbian-operated political and social organization, founded five years later. By 1961, José Sarria ran for a public office in San Francisco. He was the nation’s first openly-gay political candidate. When 1965 rolled around, Life Magazine dubbed the city the “Gay Capital of the US.” While there is always work to do, California has led the way in creating equal and inclusive language, spanning across every topic from marriage to respecting gender identity.

The LGBT Community is Protected when Choosing Surrogacy in California

Laws regarding surrogacy vary from state to state. Some areas outright prohibit it or prohibit commercial surrogacy (contracts with payment). Others make it impossible for parents to be listed on the birth certificate. Intended parents are forced to adopt their own children or, in some cases, cannot even be listed at all due to obscure clauses. This means that members of the LGBT community who cannot carry children or cannot create a biological child with their partner simply cannot have children at all or they must make the difficult decision of which parent to make “official.” Surrogacy in California is a wholly different experience. Individuals can become parents regardless of their marital status, orientation, or gender identity. The Uniform Parentage laws take it a step further and allow intended parents to establish their rights before the baby is born. In addition, the state also claims jurisdiction on virtually every surrogacy case that has anything to do with it, including times when the contract is signed in Cali, when the intended parents live in the state, or when the surrogate lives in the state. This means that the intended parents are not only protected by the progressive laws from within the state, but that they remain protected even if they come to the state solely for surrogacy or if their surrogate travels elsewhere. California is the only state that does this.

Choose SPS, a Dedicated California Surrogacy Agency That Offers Surrogacy for LGBT

We’re a California surrogacy agency that is proud to help with surrogacy for LGBT couples. The progressive laws the state has passed protect the rights of EVERY parent, and thus protects the children born as well. Whether you’re part of the LGBT community or not, these laws protect you and your child, and SPS is here to help guide the way. We match up intended parents with well-qualified surrogates who share similar values and attitudes, ensure everything from the legal details to medical needs are covered, and stand beside the teams we create from before conception until long after the baby is born. If you’d like the support of an established and trusted agency and are interested in Surrogacy for LGBT, call us at (949) 397-6855 to get started.

June 14, 2018

Is it Safe To Have Cats During Surrogacy?

If you’re headed down the surrogacy path, either as a gestational surrogate or intended parent, chances are your home has at least one animal in it too. Roughly 68% of households have pets, with dogs and cats being the most popular additions, each living in more than 30% of homes. Because June is National Adopt a Cat Month, you’re also likely to see lots of messages this month enticing you to bring one home. It’s a cause worth mentioning, as more than 3.4 million cats enter shelters every year and many never find a home at all, let alone a forever home. That said, you may have questions regarding the safety of cats during surrogacy, and we’ll address the most common issues below.

Will Keeping Cats During Surrogacy Cause Birth Defects?

Many people believe that the presence of a cat in the home with a baby on the way is a recipe for disaster. They point to an illness known as toxoplasmosis, which pregnant women can transmit to the babies they carry. Although this only happens in around 3,000 cases per year and only a handful ever have issues, there is the potential for miscarriage and birth defects. That said, most experts agree there’s no need to get rid of a cat due to toxoplasmosis worries, but to understand why, you need to understand the real root of toxoplasmosis and how it’s transmitted.

Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is an organism that can infect any mammal. It’s often carried by rodents and other pests. Cats sometimes eat infected critters and then subsequently become infected as well. When they do, their litter box business is also infectious until the cat’s immune system recovers. The box could be infectious starting 1-5 days after the cat is exposed, but most clear the infection within a week or two. It’s because of this that doctors sometimes suggest that women not clean litter boxes while pregnant. Failing that, it’s recommended that the box get a daily scoop to catch the material before it becomes an issue, to wear gloves, and to wash one’s hands well after scooping. This alone is enough to ensure the litter box is not a problem.

That said, most cases don’t come from cat boxes. They come from the individual eating undercooked infected meat or from doing tasks outdoors, like gardening, in soil that a cat has done his business in. This means that women who wash their hands after doing work outdoors and who cook their meat well have very little risk of contracting toxoplasmosis. In addition to this, people who have had toxoplasmosis have lifetime immunity afterward, so if you’re a surrogate who loves cats and has always had one, chances are you’re immune now. A physician can actually perform a test to see if you have the antibodies for it or can test the cat to see if it’s a concern.

Will Keeping Cats During Surrogacy Cause Breathing Problems for the Baby?

There are two main concerns people have when it comes to breathing and having cats during surrogacy. The first is that cats climb on top of babies and suffocate them. This obviously is not a concern in a surrogate’s home because the baby isn’t born yet, but intended parents bringing a little one home to a feline family member may take comfort in knowing that it’s an old wives’ tale. There aren’t any real recorded incidents where this has happened.

A second common concern is that babies who are exposed to pets in utero will later go on to develop asthma or allergies. Thankfully, the vast majority of studies indicate that this is untrue. In fact, current research suggests that, unless a baby is in a high-risk group (has a genetic link to pet allergies), he or she is less likely to develop allergies and asthma later in life if exposed to pets while in the womb. In other words, keeping a cat around could actually be good for the little one!

Begin Your Surrogacy Journey with SPS

At SPS, we understand your concerns. Not only was Surrogate Parenting Services founded by a surrogate, but we have helped hundreds of families grow since we opened our doors. We’ll answer your most pressing questions, ensure you’re matched with your ideal surrogate or intended parents, and guide you through each step along the way. If you’re considering becoming a surrogate, check out the info and guidelines, then complete the application when you’re ready. We also have volumes of information about our surrogacy services for intended parents available online, though if you’re considering growing your family with the help of an agency, you may also call us at (949) 397-6855 to learn more.

June 3, 2018

Intended Fathers: 4 Ways to Celebrate Father’s Day

As you move through your surrogacy journey, one major milestone you may come across is Father’s Day. While many intended fathers do go through the process more than once as they grow their families, for many, this is uncharted water and their very first Father’s Day. Deciding how to celebrate it, or whether to observe the holiday at all, is a personal decision. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. That said, if honoring the day is in your heart, either to commemorate it for yourself or to acknowledge the day for your significant other you can use the ideas below as inspiration to craft a day that’s befitting of your personal style.

1) Frame a Photo

If you’re giving your significant other a gift, things like framed ultrasound photos with mentions of “dad” tend to be appreciated. Some dads keep these at the office or somewhere special at home, while others add them to the nursery.

2) Start a Scrapbook or Journal

Crafty dads may enjoy working on or receiving a pregnancy scrapbook. These are great keepsakes for the little one to have as he or she grows up because it will answer some of the most pressing questions in a natural and sensitive way. Intended parents don’t generally have to work too hard to come up with something befitting; simply including a few phrases about how excited Dad is to meet the baby or what emotions he’s felt on the surrogacy journey is enough. For dads-to-be who aren’t into the crafting, journals are a fun idea. You can create one that covers the surrogacy only or purchase one with enough pages that you can add entries to it as your child grows.

3) Give Him a Dad-to-Be Kit

Those honoring intended fathers can create a kit that suits his personality. For the dad who likes to be comical, toss in things like a nose plug for diaper changes and a tool belt packed with changing supplies. A traditional dad might appreciate seeing a onesie with a message about him on it, while a sports enthusiast might love to see baby gear done up with team logos.

4) Celebrate Not-a-Dad-Day

Yes, you’ve more than planned for your baby if you’ve chosen surrogacy, and so the resulting pregnancy may well be one of the most exciting times of your life so far. You’re probably bursting with anticipation waiting to meet the little one. That said, if you’re a fan of Barney from “How I Met Your Mother” or the idea of having a night off before the sleepless nights with baby ensue, you’re welcomed to celebrate your very last “Not-a-Dad-Day.”

Intended Fathers: Start Your Surrogacy Journey with SPS

Have you found yourself browsing surrogacy info this Father’s Day wondering if it’s the right path for you and your family? Take all the time you need. Surrogate Parenting Services has been a trusted California Surrogacy Agency for many years and has helped hundreds of intended fathers and mothers fulfill their dreams. When you’re ready to move forward or if you have questions, we’d be honored to be your personal guide and make sure your journey is a smooth one. Call us at (949) 397-6855.

May 31, 2018

International Intended Parents: Quick Guide to Surrogacy in California

Many people have turned to surrogacy in California in recent years, resulting in an international baby boom of sorts. If you’ve been considering finding a surrogate mother in the United States, but aren’t quite sure what the process entails or what to look for, use this quick guide for International Intended Parents to get started.

Work with a Reputable Agency

There are only a few agencies with proven track records for helping parents (called intended parents) and surrogates alike. At Surrogate Parenting Services, we’ve helped hundreds of people on their journeys and do everything we can to ensure it’s a wonderful experience for everyone involved.

Gain Access to Top-Notch Medical Care

One of the best things about coming to the United States to hire a surrogate is the quality of medical care available. Both your surrogate and baby will have access to world-class services, ensuring more successful outcomes, healthy babies, and healthy surrogates. In fact, the area where SPS operates has some of the best fertility specialists in the country.

Choose Surrogacy in California

The laws regarding surrogates vary from one state to the next in America. California has the most laws in place to support intended parents and protect their rights. It’s actually the only state in which you can presently lock down your rights as a parent before the baby is born and ensure that, should any legal issues ever arise, they’ll be handled by California courts which protect intended parents.

Work with Your Choice of Donor and/or Surrogate

All our surrogates go through a rigorous qualification process to ensure they’re physically and emotionally ready to handle a pregnancy. We then match up intended parents with qualified surrogates based on their preferences and values. Once matched, you’ll have the opportunity to meet your potential surrogate and you’ll both make the decision to move forward together. Some of the pairings we make are so well-formed that they become lifelong friends. If you’ll also be requiring the assistance of an egg or sperm donor, we can help make sure you’re matched with your ideal counterparts there as well.

Be Assured of Privacy

The United States has very tough laws regarding patient privacy. Nobody will ever need to know that your baby was born via a surrogate unless you choose to tell them. California, being a very progressive state, is also ideal for sensitive surrogacies, as individuals on the surrogacy journey are free from personal judgments and societal stigmas.

International Intended Parents Choose SPS for Surrogacy in California

At SPS, we’re here to support you and ensure every detail is seen to throughout the entire surrogacy process. From your very first phone call to our office until long after your baby is born and in your arms, we’ll make sure that your journey is a smooth one. This includes screening candidates, matching you with medical and legal services, and putting you in touch with any necessary resources along the way. For more tips for international intended parents or to learn more about surrogacy in California, call us at (949) 397-6855.

May 18, 2018

13 Things Surrogate Mothers Should Toss in Their Hospital Bags

Although surrogate mothers have given birth to their own children before, it often feels like the first time when you bring a surro-baby into the world. Plus, there’s generally a few years between births, pregnancy comes with its own distractions, and some of what you’ll need to bring really is new, so it can be helpful to have a refresher course on what to bring along with you to the hospital when the little one is ready to make his or her debut. Although your list may be a little different, you can use the list below as a base and tailor it to your unique needs.

1) Legal Documents

Here in California, intended parents can establish their rights before the baby is born. Bring along copies of this, your surrogacy contract, and anything else that pertains to the legal agreements you have. Keep a copy of your ID with this if you have a spare or double-check that it’s in your purse ahead of time.

2) Insurance Info

It probably goes without saying, but you should have a copy of your insurance card or any other important insurance-related documents in the bag.

3) Two Copies of the Birth Plan

Intended parents, surrogate mothers, the delivering physician, and doula if one has been retained, should all come together in advance to create a birth plan if one is desired. When everything is hammered out, each party should have a copy for their records. You’ll want to bring along at least two copies for the hospital; one for you to have and one to give to the staff upon your arrival.

4) A List of Important Numbers

There’s no telling if/ when tech will fail you. Bring along a list of numbers for the intended parents, doctors, family members, or friends you may need to be in contact with.

5) Cell Phone Charger

Remembering the phone is easy; remembering to grab the charger while you’re in labor, not so much. If you have a spare, toss it in the bag.

6) Entertainment and Relaxation Gear

While most will bring along a phone with activities, movies, and music, but you may want to bring along non-techy stuff too, such as books or a knitting gear and other craft items if you’re into that, puzzle books, cards, and a paper and pencil or pen. Some also like to bring along their own pillows and/or blankets for the sake of comfort.

7) Comfy Clothes to Wear in the Hospital

If you’re the type who isn’t fond of hospital gowns, bring along a couple of gowns to wear during your stay. The hospital will likely insist upon gipped socks, so bring along your own or a pair of slippers with grips if you want something that’s more comfortable or suits you better.

8) Maternity Clothes to Wear Home

You won’t fit into your pre-baby clothes just yet, so make sure you’ve got an outfit that will comfortably fit you. Some suggest choosing an outfit that fit around 6-7 months, but it’s tough to predict sizing in advance.

9) Hygiene Items

The hospital will likely offer you some larger pads, though you can bring your own if you have a brand or style you prefer. Other items to include:

  • Hairbrush and styling products if desired
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Soap
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Makeup
  • Nursing pads (even if you’re not nursing, you’ll want them to catch overflow)
  • Lip balm

10) Snacks

Being along a few of your favorite snacks to have during labor and recovery. Although the hospital will provide meals, they’re rarely what you’d hope for and you may want snacks between meals.

11) Camera

If you’re using a traditional camera and not just your phone’s camera, pack it, some batteries, and extra film in the bag.

12) Door Sign

Every hospital has unique policies, but it’s quite common for hospitals to provide a room for the baby and intended parents, so they can stay together. If this is the case in your situation, you can plan ahead and bring a door sign that directs medical personnel to the other room for any baby-related questions.

13) Nursing Supplies

If you’ll be providing the baby with breastmilk or plan to donate your milk, bring along your favorite nursing bras, cream, pump, bottles, bags, and any gear you might need.

Surrogate Mothers: Begin Your Journey with SPS

If you’re considering being a surrogate and have not yet signed up with an agency, let SPS guide the way. We’ll help ensure you’re matched with intended parents who share your values and that your needs are seen to throughout the process. Visit our section for gestational surrogates to find out if you meet the guidelines for surrogate mothers and for more information on getting started.