Originally written and posted for momdot.com.  Check out their amazing new community!

Surrogacy has been in the news a lot lately.  Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick are awaiting the arrival of twins with the help of a surrogate.  Ricky Martin, Dennis Quaid and Katey Sagal all welcomed their children with the miracle of surrogacy.  So while it seems to be gaining some acceptance into the mainstream, there is still a lot that people don’t understand.  And while I am not an “expert,” I am a surrogate, and I’m here to give you a little glimpse into my world.

There are two types of surrogate.  A Traditional Surrogate (TS) acts as the egg donor as well as the carrier.  She will have a biological link to the child.  There are stories of traditional surrogates that date back to the Bible.  Generally a TS is used when the intended mother (IM) can not produce eggs of her own.  A Gestational Surrogate (GS) is the carrier only.  She acts as the host and incubator to a couple’s already fertilized embryo(s).  She has no biological link to the child at all.  I am a gestational surrogate and I delivered triplets in 2007.

Once you decide on what kind of surrogate you want to be, you need to start researching.  There is so much information out there about surrogacy, good and bad.  I recommend becoming part of an active surrogacy community.  You can get a lot of information from a forum type environment.  Research agencies, doctors, procedures and fees.  Ask lots of questions.  Learn what legal rights you have in your State.  Every State is different, some don’t even allow surrogacy.  So check.  Contact your medical insurance to see if they will cover a surrogate pregnancy.  Some don’t.

Decide if you want to be matched through an agency.  A lot of potential surrogates and intended parents like the “security” of an agency.  Well, I have seen many people scammed by fake agencies.  So don’t assume that if someone is through an agency that they are reputable.  These are questions you can ask on a forum.  Take the time to research.  I can’t say it enough!

Let’s talk a little bit about fee’s.  So much misconception is out there that surrogates do this for the money.  Honestly, I am sure there are a few that have dollar signs in their eyes…but it’s not the norm.  And if you think a surrogate should just do this for free, think about this:  A woman devotes a year (or more) to a family.  She submits to invasive procedures, daily (big ass) injections, steroids and labor.  What if (God forbid) something goes wrong?  Then perhaps she is on bed rest or admitted to the hospital.  Pregnancy can be dangerous, what if she dies?  All of this to ensure another families answered dreams.  I personally don’t think you can put a price on that.  Do you?

So join me here as  I document my latest surrogacy journey.  I think I have found a great family and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you.