One out of every eight couples has trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. Thousands are faced with the need to use advanced reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization (IVF) and seek out gestational surrogates as a way to build their families.
What is gestational surrogacy? A gestational surrogate carries the intended parents’ embryos that were created through IVF. She has no genetic relationship to the baby. A fertility clinic carefully monitors the cycle during which the surrogate takes medications to prepare her body to receive the embryos. At the appropriate time, the embryos are transferred via a tiny catheter, hopefully resulting in a healthy pregnancy.
In Hawaii there is a growing local need for surrogates. In the past decade, the number of surrogacy cases worldwide has risen by double-digits. We are seeing the same significant need here in Hawaii. Hawaii Surrogacy Center is the only local agency dedicated exclusively to gestational surrogacy. We have been coordinating surrogacy journeys for ten years now. Our surrogates come from across the islands with several surrogates calling Maui home.
What motivates a woman to become a surrogate? Agreeing to become a surrogate is an incredible commitment. The greatest motivation is love – loving helping others realize their dream of a family and loving being pregnant. Aundria is from Pukalani and started her surrogacy journey last year. “My mom had talked about being a surrogate for her dear friend when I was very young. I have had it in my heart ever since, so after I had my little guy, I knew it was something I had to do for someone else.” While Michelle writes;
“I decided to become a surrogate the moment I felt that real “mom” connection with my first born daughter. I vividly remember thinking to myself, “This is the most amazing and important feeling in the world, and if I can help others achieve this connection then that’s what I want to do.” I feel so honored and fortunate to have been able to give that to two families, and I whole-heartedly appreciate that those families continue to share that connection with me by keeping in touch and sending pictures every once in a while. I feel like I’ve helped put a little more love into the world, and that’s something I can always look back on and feel good about.” Michelle
There are several things to consider before becoming a surrogate. The surrogacy process occurs over 12 to 15 months, so a surrogate needs to discuss this long-term commitment with her family. She must be physically healthy with uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries. She must be willing to travel to Oahu during the transfer cycle. The decision to become a surrogate should not be taken lightly and women must educate themselves about the risks involved. There are a number of great online resources to consult, including RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association (www.resolve.org).
It is important to have an agency that will educate surrogates about the process, advocate for fair compensation, and be highly responsive to their needs.
To learn more, visit www.hawaiisurrogacy.com
Image Credit: www.hawaiisurrogacy.com