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Has anyone used a surrogate?
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Has anyone used a surrogate?

Hi everyone,
My husband and I are ready to start TTC again.  We are still considering FET where I would be the carrier, but, I've had some bleeding issues, and I have a small amount of endometriosis, and I'm just not sure if I'm going to be able to carry a baby or not.  I'll be going to different RE and get his/her opinion.  If we decide it wouldn't be a good idea for me to be the carrier, we are considering surrogacy.  I've looked up a few agencies online, and the average price is around 60 to 80k, which is just too expensive.  I also looked up one site that is basically a classifieds for women who want to be surrogates, and have asked a few questions there.  It seems like such an overwhelming task, and I'm trying to get a picture of what to expect costwise, and what I should find out from an intended surrogate, legal issues etc.  

Long story short, has anyone on this forum either used a surrogate or been a surrogate?  If so, maybe you could shed some light on the process.  We would be most likely using FET with the surrogate.  I'm not sure about using a surrogate where her own eggs are involved  - is that common?  Anyone who has any information, I would really appreciate your posting your story.  

Thanks so much!

babywish_
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For legal issues, you need to consult an attorney in your state because the laws differ greatly from state to state.

Do you have any close female friends or relatives that you would consider asking? When I was younger and a good surrogate candidate I was willing to be a surrogate for my brother and his wife to bear their child (they decided not to pursue having another child) and a few year after that my brother-in-law and his wife...but they could not afford the expense of the IVF, etc. I wasn't going to charge anything for my part because I don't feel right charging for what should be a gift.

I am just saying you may be able to find a surrogate closer than you think...

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Hi Christine, I understand the laws differ from state to state - Where I live is pretty surrogate friendly.  
Regarding the friends and family issue, I wish I had someone that I felt comfortable asking, but my friends are all close to me in age, and even though they're my friends, I'm pretty sure they don't want to go through pregnancy again.  I really haven't talked about it all that much with anyone except my husband.  I'm pretty shy about the whole thing.  Regarding my family, I'm the baby of the bunch!  And there really isn't anyone to ask there either.  Believe me, if I could find someone I knew or was related to, that would be ideal - even if they wanted  compensation for it - it would take the guesswork out of having to find someone.  

I really do appreciate your input though, so thanks!
bw_
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I once saw a show about surrogate mothers in India: much less expensive that in the US. There is actually a whole city (forgot the name) that was involved in this business for European and American couples. It seemed interesting, you may want to do research on it!
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377493_tn?1356505749
Ecologic, I saw that documentary.  For those women it's almost like a full time job.

I also like Christines thoughts.  The daughter of a friend of mine offered to do that for me when we were struggling so much, but the problem was with my eggs, so unless she was surrogate and egg donor, it wouldn't have worked for us.  And I wasn't comfortable with an egg donor being someone I knew, but for just a surrogate?  Yes, I would have considered it had I thought it would have helped.

I can't be a bit of help in terms of agencies or anything, but I do know that the legal agreement between you and a surrogate is very important.  There have been legal cases where the surrogate changed her mind and wanted to keep the baby, and it got sticky.  So that is very important.  I also know that if you are using someone not part of an actual agency, you probably want access to health records and to know history in terms of things like alcohol and drug use, that sort of thing.  I think there are waivers that can be signed to access that info.

There was a member here 2 or 3 years ago...her screen name was Carissa.  She had a gorgeous set of twins through surrogacy, and I know her surrogate was a co worker.  I'm going to post again on this thread with the link to her MH profile page.  Not sure if she still checks on, but let her know I sent you her way.  I have no doubt she would be a fabulous source of info.  She lives or lived in California.  Really nice person and super friendly, so don't be shy about reaching out to her.
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http://www.medhelp.org/personal_pages/user/183933?personal_page_id=3673

There you go.  It looks like she hasn't posted in over a year, but she may check in for pm's from time to time.  Give her a try.  She's great and it all worked out so well for her.
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I was a surrogate in 2006 thru an agency in Los Angeles, CA. I was pregnant with twins which I unfortunately lost at 19 weeks due to incompetent cervix. I have seen many message boards where women have ads seeking intended parents. Im sure there are plenty of places online you can research everything involved and get advice from other IP's. I know when I was going thru my surrogacy there were endless places and support groups I was able to get information from. There were quite a few yahoo groups as well with both surrogates and IP's discussing their experiences. Best of luck to you! :)
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Thanks so much for your input. @Ecologic, I remember seeing a short story on the morning news about India and surrogacy, but I missed the full length documentary - I'll have to look that up.  I  remember the interview was with the husband, and it was successful for them, but he could not believe the amount of hate mail he got for using a surrogate!  Women would criticize him/them (he and his wife) because they chose surrogacy instead of adoption (his wife was unable to conceive because of medical reasons).  These women, all with their own kids, felt they should have chosen adoption, that surrogacy was a selfish choice.  His response was basically that "if you feel so strongly about children in need, then why didn't you adopt, instead of having your own kids?"  Adgal, that's why I PM'd you before posting about surrogacy, because I just couldn't believe that some people really felt this way about someone helping to bring another life into the world.  

Also, thanks for posting the link, I will definitely look into it.  

@xrayz - I'm sorry that happened to you;  I imagine its just as hard losing a child of someone else's as it is your own.  To be honest, I'm not really a member of any social media group - my friends don't get why - I guess I'm a bit introverted. But ANY information you'd be willing to share either on this thread or you can PM me, that you think would be helpful, would be great.  I'm fairly well versed with the internet, but I guess unless I'm linked with certain groups, I may be cutting myself off from some valuable information.  

Thanks again all, your input is most appreciated!
babywish_
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For what it's worth, I don't think those people who would criticize a couple for choosing surrogacy rather than adoption have ever looked into what it takes to adopt!

@babywish I wish you all the best (((hug))) I hope you find a great surrogate!
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Thanks Christine and everyone else...and you're right - adoption is expensive as well, and can take years, depending on what choices you make.  I don't think anyone on this forum would feel negatively about surrogacy - it just surprises me every time the media talks about it;,that its this huge controversial issue, women selling their wombs, I've heard it all.  I'm beginning to think it's being sensationalized. It's such a positive thing, I just don't get the negativity surrounding it.  

Anyway, I've found alot of helpful information, and 2 possible surrogates.  One has done this before, and gave me a timeline along with all of the bases that need to be covered, from start to finish.  

My next step is seeing a doctor, getting a 2nd opinion about the possibility of my being able to be the carrier, and if not, then we will go the surrogacy route, and probably start by contacting a lawyer and various clinics regarding embryos.  I have to say I'm feeling a lot better just getting things underway, no matter which path we take.  I'm actually starting to feel truly hopeful that in a year we may have a child.  Very exciting stuff!  

Thanks to all of you for your responses....

babywish_
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1544019_tn?1318508126
Good luck!  We thought about surrogacy, but it is illegal in our state.

I didn't think I'd be able to carry a baby either.  I have a MYRIAD of health complications.  Lyme Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Thyroid problems, Endometriosis, Heart palpitations, etc.  But miracle of miracles, after two rounds of IVF, we DID get pregnant and now I'm 35 weeks along!!  Our fist attempt at IVF (with the fresh embryo) didn't work, but our FET took.  I know you're really looking into surrogacy, but do check with your RE again about you being the carrier.  I completely think it's possible!!

Lots of loce!
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I am so glad you are making progress toward having your baby! :) Best wishes for you and your family...whichever way you ultimately end up going about having your child :)
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Thanks to both of you for posting...its been interesting to put it mildly.  I'm not completely ruling out being the carrier myself, but just in case I've been looking at surrogates, which I thought would be the hardest part.  Until I started looking at embryo donation..WOW..it is SO overwhelming.  There are a # of different sites, and I've just started this, so I'm hoping that it becomes clearer over the next few weeks.  I know someone posted here about CA Conceptions, and she was doing FET, I just don't remember who it was.  I'm considering them as well as a few others, but it's hard to get a handle on the real # of available embryos out there, the total cost, etc.  

I'm just wading through alot of information right now.  If it werent for the added cost, I'd just use an egg donor at this point, but the only way we can do that is if I were the carrier.  Soooo, it's probably going to take longer than I would like before all of this takes place, but that's just the way it is.

@worththewait78, thanks so much for your post, I'm glad to hear it worked out for you.  I'm not sure what your age is, but I just turned 43 - which shouldnt matter so much if I'm not using my own eggs.  
@ChristineMP, I'm no longer seeing my original RE - would a regular obgyn be able to do the tests to determine if I could carry a child to term, or would I have to go to another RE?  I'm hesitant about another RE, because if I use a surro, I don't know if I need to add on all of the additional costs of an RE unless I'm going to be the carrier.  I hope that question made sense!.  

Thanks,
babywish_
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