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When a pregnancy ends in miscarriage or loss, the grief can be heartbreaking. Surrogacy loss is particularly devastating for intended parents, who may have already experienced difficulties with pregnancy and conception. Of course, it’s not just parents who grieve the loss of a child. Surrogates are also deeply affected. While many organizations are dedicated to helping parents after a loss, few exist for surrogates. When Camila Vintimilla, a first-time surrogate, experienced a pregnancy loss, she decided to create an organization to support surrogates. She partnered with Kristin McQuaid, intended mother of the child Camila was carrying, and together, the two women founded London is the Reason, named in honor of London Quinn Dixon, who was born on July 14th, 2021 at 7:42 a.m. and was stillborn. We interviewed Camila about the organization’s goals and her own surrogacy journey. While Newborn Advantage was not the surrogacy agency that worked with Camila, we do support London is the Reason and the mission they represent.

Why did you choose to become a surrogate?

I had a friend who had been unable to conceive, and I began researching surrogacy to help her find resources. I located a surrogacy agency and filled out an application—not intending to actually become a surrogate myself, but just to get more information. As I read about surrogacy, I was so impressed by the generosity of the women who become surrogates, and I wondered if it was something I could ever do. Miraculously, my friend got pregnant. Meanwhile, I got a call from the surrogacy agency, who wanted me to meet a couple. I talked about it with my husband and we decided to at least have a conversation with them. What would be the harm? We ended up having the couple for dinner, and we knew right away that it was the right family for us. We just clicked.

In the beginning, how did the surrogacy journey go?

At first, everything seemed perfect. The medical testing and transfer were successful, and I became pregnant in four days. Everything went smoothly the first trimester, and I never had a day of morning sickness. The rest of the pregnancy went as expected. Throughout the process, I communicated regularly with the intended parents, and we had a great relationship. 

What happened leading up to the loss?

Since I already have two children who were born via C-section, we scheduled a C-section for July 14th, at 39 weeks. That morning, I went in for the operation, and when they went to put the heart monitor on the baby, they couldn’t find a heartbeat. Everyone and everything became silent. I had just listened to her heartbeat the day before on my home doppler, and everything seemed fine. Just five days prior, I had visited my OB, and all had been well. We were all devasted. London was stillborn. We proceeded with the C-section with broken hearts and left the hospital the next day with zero answers. Zero explanations to anything. It was at that moment that I realized something had to change.

How did the medical staff respond? Did you feel supported?

The doctors and nurses were very upset and told us they cried for days. The hospital dressed the baby in a white gown donated by an organization that supports parents after the loss of a child, and they had some resources for Kristen, but there was nothing for me. I went home empty-handed. It seemed like no one knew what to say for a surrogate who loses a baby, because it’s not our baby. But for most surrogates, we still love that baby as if it was our own, and we are just as devastated by the loss.

What advice would you have for doctors, nurses, and hospitals about how to better support surrogates after a loss?

I would recommend that they consider the surrogate’s feelings, and show compassion. In my case, the doctors and nurses were clearly emotionally affected by what happened, and while their empathy was touching, it is the person closest to the grief who needs the most support. When I came in for my follow-up visit, I was so upset and anxious about the appointment, I had to talk myself through what I was going to say, practice it out loud, and coach myself not to cry. When I came in, the first thing my doctor said was, “I was so nervous about this appointment today, and worried that I was going to cry.” I was sad that she felt that way, but I was the one who had lost a child. It doesn’t seem fair to ask a grieving person to comfort you; it means they have to suppress their own grief. It would have been nice to have been asked how I felt, or referred to a grief counselor.

Did a counselor or therapist come to see you at the hospital at all?

No. No one from the hospital came to comfort me. Fortunately, my intended parents were there and were very kind and supportive. The surrogacy agency did refer me to a therapist, and she was helpful, but she admitted that she did not have any experience working with surrogates. Providing an on-demand counselor for surrogates who experience loss is a goal that we hope to accomplish with London is the Reason in the future. We are actually working on that now.

What else could hospitals, caregivers, and surrogacy agencies do to better support surrogates through loss?

It would be helpful to let surrogates know that the loss is not their fault and to share with them that they are not alone. I asked my doctor, “Does this happen often?” and she replied, “No, this almost never happens.” Thankfully, the intended father, who is a doctor himself, was there, and he shared with me that miscarriages and pregnancy losses are actually very common—and they are even more common with IVF. About 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, according to the Mayo Clinic. Stillbirth affects about 1 in 160 births, according to the CDC, and each year about 24,000 babies are stillborn in the United States. 

Information like this is helpful after losing a pregnancy. If you hear that losses are rare, you begin to blame yourself. When you look at the actual numbers, you know that you’re not the only one.

It sounds like your intended parents were very supportive. How did they help you get through the grief?

They were amazing. Kristin and I talked on the phone for hours, and we text each other all the time. We comforted each other. Steve, the intended father, was very supportive, too. Right after it happened, he sat with me, looked me in the eyes, and told me he knew that this was not my fault, and there was nothing I did that caused this to happen. It was so encouraging to know that he did not blame me because I did feel so guilty about what had happened.

Why do surrogates sometimes feel guilt after a pregnancy loss? What would you say to encourage a surrogate who is feeling this way?

Most surrogates have had successful pregnancies. We are “good” at pregnancy, and that is part of the reason why we chose to be surrogates. So it is very surprising and shocking to us when a pregnancy does not go well. Also, we understand how much intended parents go through, and we have formed a strong relationship with them prior to the baby being born. We know how much they want this baby, how much they love this baby, and how much they have invested into it. Because of that, we almost can’t help but feel guilty if we lose a pregnancy, knowing how much it is going to hurt the intended parents. We worry about the costs, and we worry that they are going to blame us. So, we may start to blame ourselves. I would tell anyone who loses a pregnancy that it is not your fault. Surrogates are such giving and selfless people, and you have already gone through so much to become pregnant, and given up so much to carry someone else’s baby. Some pregnancies do end in miscarriage or loss, and it is not always preventable. There is no reason to feel guilty—and you are definitely not alone. 

Where can surrogates experiencing loss get support?

Our website,, has many resources for surrogates. We have stories from other surrogates who have experienced loss, we have a support group that meets monthly via Zoom, and we also have a list of websites, links, and resources for other organizations that can help. In the future, we hope to have a therapist available 24/7 via phone, text, or chat. We are also reaching out to surrogacy agencies across the U.S. to connect and share information. We would like to be able to provide more resources for surrogates, such as brochures and Boxes of Healing for intended parents.

Tell us more about the Box of Healing.

The Box of Healing is one of our most important projects. We donate boxes to hospitals for intended parents and gestational surrogates who experience infant loss. Each box contains a book, a devotional journal, letters from other surrogates or intended parents who have gone through a loss, a necklace or bracelet, and helpful information and resources. Surrogates’ boxes are a bit different from intended parents’ boxes, ensuring that each recipient receives items customized to their experience. So far, we have donated 500 boxes to Baylor Scott & White, which is where I delivered London. We have plans to donate boxes to hospitals across the country.

Have you met and connected with other surrogates who have been through similar experiences? Is it helpful?

Absolutely. I have met many surrogates who have experienced infant loss, and we help each other get through it. We talk on the phone, text each other, and encourage one another. Our website can be a good resource to help surrogates connect. 

What advice would you have for intended parents who are wondering what to do after a surrogacy loss?

Intended parents need support and encouragement through their grief. A surrogacy loss is different from a normal pregnancy loss, and at London is the Reason, we believe that they deserve access to resources created just for them. Since the intended mother does not carry the baby herself, she will not experience the physical and hormonal changes that a surrogate will. However, intended parents have planned for their baby’s arrival, built up their hopes and expectations, and felt love for their child. Their grief is real, and they should take time to process it and heal.

I would also suggest that intended parents think about their surrogate’s feelings, and act with compassion. I was lucky to have amazing, supportive IPs, but I know that is not always the case. I have talked to surrogates who dealt with anger or blame from their IPs, and that was devastating for them. IPs should understand that surrogates connect with the babies they are carrying, and we love them, too. Please don’t blame the surrogate, or send hurtful texts or emails.

Of course, it is understandable for IPs to be concerned about expenses and legal matters, in addition to the loss. They have spent so much time and invested so much in preparing for the arrival of their baby. The surrogate understands and feels that loss, and it tends to add to the guilt of losing the baby. It is crushing. One surrogate shared with us that she was at the hospital, about to give birth to a stillborn child, and IPs were texting her legal documents and copies of the contract with highlighted portions. She just couldn’t deal with it at that time and referred them to the agency. Even though she was heartbroken for the IPs, they never spoke again. I would ask IPs to please remember that this is a loss for the surrogate too, and like you, she is grieving. The surrogacy agency is your point of contact for legal and financial matters.

What can surrogates and IPs do to prepare for the potential of pregnancy loss? Would it be helpful to have information on the topic prior to the surrogacy process?

Yes, I think it would be helpful for IPs and surrogates to have information on surrogacy loss — especially how to prevent it. Not all miscarriages and infant losses can be prevented, but a significant portion of these losses are preventable. For example, sleeping on your back instead of your side, especially during the last trimester, is connected with a higher rate of pregnancy success. With some pregnancies, there are problems with the placenta that can cause infant loss. Identifying these problems early could save a baby’s life. At London is the Reason, we are working with other organizations to create brochures, flyers, and other resources to share this information. We are also working with lawmakers to advocate for increased testing.

How can we support your organization and its good work?

To learn more about surrogacy loss, access resources, or donate to our organization, visit 

Newborn Advantage is proud to support London is the Reason.

We believe every surrogate is amazing, and every surrogacy journey is meaningful. We encourage you to visit to access resources, donate, and share the website with others. 

The holiday season is supposed to be a time of joy—but if you’re struggling with infertility, seeing happy families and children celebrating may bring unexpected feelings of sadness or isolation. When your own dreams of becoming a parent seem elusive, it can be difficult to attend family events, open holiday cards or even scroll past social media posts without feeling a little blue. Fortunately, there are positive ways to cope with these feelings, for a happier holiday season. Here are our Top 10 Holiday Triggers for people experiencing infertility, along with simple strategies to deal with each one.

1. Holiday Cards

Beautiful, smiling couples with cherub-faced children gathered around a Christmas tree are intended to spark joy—but if you’ve been unable to conceive, these images may remind you of the child you wish you had. To improve your mood, why not create your own holiday photo? You could get professional photos taken with your significant other or even a pet, reminding you that your family is already complete. Or, take a selfie dressed in your holiday best, or your funniest Ugly Christmas Sweater. Even better? Find a matching sweater for your pet. It’s hard to feel sad when you’re smiling.

2. Friends with Kids

Holiday gatherings can be a strong emotional trigger, especially when friends or family members bring their children. This year, with COVID-19 limiting gatherings, you may not have to worry about seeing little ones—and if you prefer to avoid these situations, it’s easier than ever to opt out. If you will be around children, one way to cope with potential sadness is to focus on the children you encounter as unique individuals, instead of reminders that you don’t have children. Look for ways to connect with these little people, and you may be surprised how rewarding it can be. Kids love attention, and are usually delighted when an adult takes time to play with them. Whether it’s a game of peek-a-boo with a baby, or an UNO game played over Zoom, spending a little time with a child might brighten your day as much as it does theirs.

3. Holiday Traditions

Photos with Santa, ice skating, or decorating gingerbread houses may seem like holiday traditions made just for families—but there’s no reason you can’t create your own holiday traditions. Schedule a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride through the snow with your significant other. Sip hot cocoa and watch a Hallmark movie. Or drive through your neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. Whatever it is that brings you joy in the holiday season, just do it—and allow yourself to enjoy the moment.

4. Social Media Posts

We’ve all seen those perfect Instagram photos of newborn babies snuggled in fur, families building snowmen, or toddlers reaching milestones. It’s normal to feel envy when witnessing someone else’s life, especially when it’s presented with such polish and flair— but if you find yourself comparing your own life to others’ social media profiles, take a moment to reflect on the reality behind these shots. Few people’s lives are as ideal as they are presented online. By all means, we should be happy for our friends—but we should also remember to take social media profiles with a grain of salt. The easiest way to ease negative feelings from social media is simply to take a break. Delete the app from your phone for a while, or limit your time to just a few minutes per day. You can also hide posts from people who “trigger” you. They’ll never know—and you’ll spare yourself some emotional turmoil.

5. Oversharing

Speaking of social media, it’s not always about what others post—your posts can trigger stress and anxiety, too. Some people enjoy using Facebook and Instagram to share details of their fertility journey, express their feelings, and read friendly comments. For others, posting too much information can invite unwanted questions and advice, doing more harm than good. Remember that it is up to you what you choose to share with others. Posting less may be wiser in the long run.

6. Nosy Questions

Are you pregnant yet? When are you having a baby? Is there something you want to tell us? Even the most well-meaning friends and family members may ask questions about your fertility that are none of their business, and can leave you feeling anxious or sad. The good news? You can answer them any way you like. It’s OK to tell a nosy questioner that you would prefer not to be asked that question again. Or, if you prefer, it’s OK to give them a vague answer, or tell them why the question bothers you. If you prepare yourself for these questions in advance, and remind yourself that the questioner probably doesn’t realize the hurtful feelings they are causing, it can be easier to deal with them.

7. Feelings of Loneliness

Many people feel alone during the Holiday season—which means, by definition, you aren’t alone at all. This year, even people with large families may feel lonely if they are unable to gather. (Or, conversely, after being in lockdown with the same people for months, they may be desperate for solitude!) If you are feeling lonely, consider joining an infertility support group. There are many such groups online, accessible through social media groups, or your local fertility center. It can be comforting to discuss your feelings with others who are facing the same challenges.

8. General Feelings of Sadness

Sometimes, you don’t need a trigger to feel sad—your feelings alone are enough. If you find yourself unable to focus on the positive, try focusing on someone else instead. This time of year, many people are suffering from loneliness, financial hardship or even hunger. Donate to a local food bank, volunteer at a food pantry, give to an animal shelter, or make virtual visits to nursing home residents. Sometimes doing something kind for someone else can make you feel better, too.

9. Thinking About the Future

If thinking about the future is causing you anxiety, it can be helpful to focus on what you can control—and create a game plan to move forward. Today, there are many options for people struggling with infertility, including adoption, in vitro fertilization, and gestational surrogacy. It’s always a good idea to talk with a fertility specialist, who can help you explore options and create a Plan A, Plan B and Plan C to realize your dreams of building a family.

Make your New Year bright.

If you’re interested in surrogacy, call Newborn Advantage to discuss options and start planning your journey. We are always happy to answer any questions you may have. Happy Holidays!

Chances are, you know someone who has breast cancer. One in eight women (13%) will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in their lifetime—and one in 39 women (3%) will die from breast cancer. Fortunately, early diagnosis and treatment can save lives. From 1989 to 2017, about 375,900 breast cancer deaths were averted in the U.S., thanks to improvements in treatment and earlier detection.1 Many people who advocate for breast cancer awareness do so in honor of someone they care about—and at Newborn Advantage, we do, too.

Newborn Advantage Founder, Mindy Berkson, has a heart for breast cancer patients, and has helped many women explore surrogacy options after battling breast cancer.

“I have had many clients who had breast cancer in their 30s, and their cancer treatments stripped them of their fertility,” Berkson says. “Surrogacy can be a great option for people who want to have children after cancer.”

While breast cancer is rare for women in their 30s (it accounts for less than 5 percent of all cases), it does happen—and it’s also the most common cancer for women in this age range.2

When breast cancer affects women in their childbearing years, their fertility may be affected, but there are still many options to explore. Women who have not yet begun cancer treatments may be able to preserve their biological fertility by freezing an egg or embryo. If this is not possible, another option is egg donation. Through gestational surrogacy, using a woman’s own previously frozen egg, or a donated egg, women who lost their fertility to breast cancer can still become mothers.

“When breast cancer is diagnosed and treated early, many women are able to overcome it, and go on to live long, healthy lives,” Berkson says. “Surrogacy gives them back something that cancer could have taken away—the ability to become a mother. It’s very rewarding to see that dream come true through a successful surrogacy journey.”

As part of her advocacy for breast cancer awareness and research, Berkson serves on the board of the American Cancer Society’s Dallas Chapter. Her son, Jason Berkson, is a top fundraiser for the cause and an active member of American Cancer Society’s Real Women Wear Pink initiative. Last year, his fundraiser was the organization’s second-highest fundraiser in Dallas—and this year, with your support, it could be the first. Click here to visit Jason’s fundraising page and donate to this important cause.

“Every day, the American Cancer Society is saving more lives from breast cancer than ever before,” Jason says. “They’re helping people take steps to reduce their risk of breast cancer or find it early, when it’s easier to treat. They fund groundbreaking breast cancer research and they’re working to ensure access to mammograms for women who need them. By raising money and awareness through Real Men Wear Pink, I’m helping to save more lives from breast cancer.”

In addition to his online fundraiser, Jason is also selling T-shirts made by Puppymelons, a nonprofit organization created to raise funds for The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). Proceed from this exclusive design will support the American Cancer Society and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Donations to the American Cancer Society are always welcome—but Jason’s fundraiser ends on October 31, so give today, if you can.

“Your donation will help women across the U.S. get access to life-saving breast cancer screening and treatments—and it will also help advance research to improve the treatments currently available,” Mindy says. “This cause, like surrogacy, is dear to my heart—and I hope you’ll join us in supporting breast cancer awareness and research.”

1American Cancer Society. Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2019-2020. Atlanta: American Cancer Society, Inc. 2019., accessed 15 Oct. 2020.

2 Healthline. Everything You Should Know About Breast Cancer in Your 20s and 30s. Healthline, 2020., accessed 15 Oct. 2020.

There are many reasons to become a surrogate. Becoming a surrogate mother is a generous act, giving the gift of life to a child, and giving intended parents the opportunity to build a family. Surrogate compensation can bring new opportunities to your life, too, such as the ability to stay home with your children, enroll in college courses, or make a down payment on a new home. Becoming a surrogate can also be very emotionally rewarding. Surrogates often form long-lasting relationships with intended parents and their children. If you’re curious about how to become a surrogate, this blog will help you understand the surrogacy process, surrogacy requirements, and how to get started.

What are the requirements to be a surrogate?

Surrogacy requirements differ from one agency to another, but in the U.S., they generally are based on the recommendations of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. At Newborn Advantage, our surrogates must meet the following requirements:

• Be between 20 and 42 years of age (depending on your state laws—some require you to be 21)
• Height and weight in proportion (BMI 30 or below)
• Healthy physical condition
• Non-smoker
• Have demonstrated uncomplicated pregnancy(ies) and delivery(ies)
• Free of sexually transmitted diseases
• Not dependent on government assistance
• Must pass criminal background verifications

How much do surrogates get paid?

Surrogate compensation varies from state to state, and by region, but on average, Newborn Advantage surrogates earn renumeration starting at $30,000. Surrogates who have prior experience can earn more than first-time surrogates. (As with any career, experience counts.)

How does the surrogacy process work?

The surrogacy process will vary from one surrogacy agency to the next, but the general process of becoming a surrogate includes the following steps:

1. Find a reputable surrogacy agency.

When choosing a surrogacy agency, look for one with an established history in the industry, positive reviews from both surrogates and intended parents, and a caring, personal staff. Don’t be afraid to call a surrogacy agency and ask to speak to someone. In addition, it is important to make sure an escrow account will be set up for you to ensure that funds are available for your payments over the course of the pregnancy and can be made in a timely fashion.

2. Review the surrogacy agency’s requirements to see if you qualify.

Most surrogacy agencies will have their surrogacy requirements listed on their website. If they don’t, call and ask.

3. Complete an application and submit it to the surrogacy agency.

4. Provide your medical history and social history information.

This step usually takes place after your application has been reviewed. Some
surrogacy agencies use an automated system to qualify candidates. While this
may reduce costs to the agency, we take a more personal approach at Newborn
Advantage. We walk each accepted applicant through a detailed profile,
asking questions about your goals for becoming a carrier, and making sure to set
realistic expectations. We want to make sure you’re comfortable with surrogacy,
and with us. There is never any obligation to proceed if you don’t feel we are the
right agency for you.

5. Complete a physical evaluation.

The physical evaluation will ensure your body is healthy enough for pregnancy. This helps protect you, and increases the chance of a successful pregnancy.

6. Complete a mental health evaluation.

Surrogacy is an emotionally intense experience, for surrogates and intended
parents. This evaluation will ensure you are prepared for the challenges of becoming a surrogate. You may also be asked to meet with a social worker for an in-home assessment.

7. Pass a background check.

8. Match with intended parents.

If you pass all of the required checks and screenings, your surrogacy agency will recommend you to intended parents. Your surrogacy goals, personality and preferences will all be taken into account, to find the best match. You will have the opportunity to meet with intended parents either in person or via videoconference, to get to know one another better and decide whether or not to move forward.

9. Complete a surrogacy contract.

When intended parents and surrogates are successfully matched, your surrogacy agency will help facilitate the creation of a legal surrogacy contract. This document will specify the terms of the arrangement, including surrogate compensation. All parties must sign the surrogacy contract.

10. Undergo fertility treatments.

To prepare for in vitro fertilization (IVF), you will be required to undergo fertility treatments. This will include blood testing, prescription medications, injections, and ultrasounds.

11. Transfer the embryo.

With gestational surrogacy, the intended father’s sperm (or donor sperm) is used to fertilize the intended mother’s egg (or a donor egg) in a laboratory. The fertilized embryo is then transferred into your uterus for implantation. The procedure is painless and no medication is required, although you may be asked to rest at the fertility clinic for a few hours, and avoid heavy activity for a few days.

12. Receive prenatal care, and visit your doctor regularly.

You will be required to visit your doctor for scheduled check ups throughout the pregnancy. The costs of doctor visits will be fully covered through your surrogacy agreement.

13. Deliver the baby, and relinquish it to the intended parents.

The completion of your surrogacy journey can feel very rewarding, as your pregnancy ends and the intended parents finally get to welcome a new baby into their home. Many surrogates keep in touch with intended parents after the surrogacy journey is complete, and enjoy seeing photos of the babies they carried as they grow with their new families.

How do I Become a Surrogate?

If you’re interested in becoming a surrogate, please contact Newborn Advantage today to receive an application. If you have any questions, or would like to learn more, feel free to contact us by completing the form below or calling 847-989-8628. We look forward to hearing from you.

Our team has listed the top five blog posts for 2019 from Newborn Advantage. Each post has a great meaning and value to each aspect of surrogacy with Newborn Advantage, from different tips for helping men out in their surrogacy journey to the legalities involving surrogacy in your area. Our founder Mindy Berkson strives to create a comfortable experience for both the family and the surrogate. We included a blog about how much our surrogates love to work with us and the families they bring a child to.  


Fertility for Men: 3 Ways to Help You Become a Dad, Faster

Dads teach us so many life lessons starting from birth; from the typical dad joke to exploring the world and encouraging us to grow and learn. We are very happy to help a man become a father when he otherwise could not. In this post our team addresses different reasoning behind most male infertility and why surrogacy is a great way for single aspiring dads, and gay couples to become fathers.

Link to Full Blog Post

Fertility Planning for Men and Women

Fertility Planning for Men and Women

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are very special holidays to most but can be very sad and heart wrenching to those families that cannot have a child or have continuously tried and were unsuccessful. For families of the same sex we understand it can be a tough experience not being able to conceive a child and we love to help bring that possibility to life. In this blog we discuss infertility for men and women, and this post addresses different reasons behind infertility. Our team hopes to build a family for those who have almost lost hope.

Link to Full Blog Post

Understanding Surrogacy Laws

This post is all about the legalities and different laws involved in surrogacy. Surrogacy has many different laws in different states and countries. Couples of the same sex go through many more different legal issues throughout the process, Newborn Advantage is here to make this a simple stress-free process. Our team is here to address certain questions and how we can make it work for everyone’s circumstances. Our founder Mindy Berkson spoke with Richard B. Vaughn, Esq., Founding Partner of the International Fertility Law Group about the different laws involving surrogacy. He answers some very valuable questions pertaining to our specific audience. Mindy wants you to be completely knowledgeable on the process and this post has successfully hit on major legal issues. 

Link to Full Blog Post

The Safer Way to Conceive Twins

Tips on using two surrogates.

Having twins is a goal for most same sex families to expand their family at once. This is a main goal for most using surrogacy, IVF, and ART. Newborn Advantage recommends using two surrogates versus a multiple pregnancy because it reduces the risks for low birth rate, and developmental issues. Using two surrogates also lowers the cost of insurance versus a multiple pregnancy. Our team strives to match each family with a match of a surrogate in a very timely manner. Our founder, Mindy Berkson understands the struggle of wanting a family fast and not being able to conceive on your own, our team is here to address all your concerns and help build your family.  

Link to Full Blog Post

What is it like to be a surrogate mother?

Testimonials from surrogates at Newborn Advantage, and how they love what they do. 

In this blog post our team showcases some testimonials from our surrogates. Each one has an amazing story expressing how much they enjoyed their experience working with Newborn and how much they loved being able to help out our families. They all expressed how comfortable the process was for them and majority became lifelong friends with the families they helped. Our surrogates all have a love for helping people and enjoyed the experience of bringing a child to a family of the same sex who without help can otherwise not conceive on their own.

Link to Full Blog Post

It’s almost Thanksgiving—and here at Newborn Advantage, we have a lot to be grateful for, including our wonderful clients and the incredible surrogates who work with us. If you’re looking for ways to show appreciation to your surrogate for making parenthood possible, we have some great ideas. Why thank your surrogate? Expressing gratitude and support can strengthen the relationship and show her you appreciate all she has done to help you achieve your dream of parenthood. Of course, intended parents are under no obligation to buy gifts, as you have already invested a lot into the surrogacy arrangement. However, there are many ways to show appreciation that don’t cost a thing—like writing a card, making a phone call, or just saying, “thank you.”

Here are 10 ways to say “Thanks for being our Surrogate.”

1. Be present during the process.
If you live in another city, state or country than your surrogate, you may not be able to travel often for meetings or appointments. However, if your surrogate is nearby, make it a point to be there for major appointments, like the embryo transfer and heartbeat ultrasound. Being present shows your surrogate that you care, and makes the relationship more personal.

2. Give empathy.
Medications and pregnancy can take a toll on the body. Be understanding and empathetic, and
check in on your surrogate from time to time to see how she’s doing. Surrogates should also be empathetic toward intended parents, understanding that the surrogacy journey can be stressful and emotional.

3. Say thanks.
Sometimes a simple “thank you” goes a long way. Surrogates give so much of their time and their bodies, and gratitude is always appreciated.

4. Send a card.
Handwritten cards can be very meaningful—and in today’s digital age, they are more rare than ever. When you have a few moments, send a Thank You card, whether it’s before, during, or after the surrogacy process is complete. If you have other children, ask them to sign the card, or even draw a picture. It just might make your surrogate’s day.

5. Remember birthdays and holidays.
Birthday cards and holiday cards are always well received. Sending a holiday card to your surrogate is a kind gesture—and a birthday card is an even more personal one.

6. Send a Surrogate Care Package.
Everyone sends gifts for the baby—but what about the surrogate? Fill a gift basket or box with maternity items like lotion or oil, a cute maternity top, and healthy snacks. You can also add fun and unique items like books, CDs or DVDs, warm socks, foot soak, or a massager.

7. Give a Gift Card.
If you really want to make her smile, tuck a gift card inside a Thank You card. A nice dinners, healthy salad, cup of decaf coffee, or frozen yogurt is a welcome treat that can make pregnancy more pleasant.

8. Share a Quote.
Do you have a favorite mantra? Ever share inspiring quotes on social media? Every now and then, send an uplifting quote or a funny meme with your surrogate, to brighten her day.

9. Remember the Partners.
Is there a partner in your surrogate’s Life? Remember to recognize and acknowledge the man or woman who stands by her. Although they don’t play a direct role in bringing your new baby into the world, they do provide invaluable support for the woman who will.

10. Give Yourself Grace.
Remember to be kind to yourself throughout this journey as well. As an intended parent, you’re about to have the most rewarding (and challenging) job of your life—so recognize your own commitment and courage, and give yourself a little “me time,” while you still can. You’ll thank yourself later!

Interested in learning more about surrogacy?

At Newborn Advantage, we are grateful to each and every one of our clients—and we look forward to the opportunity to serve you. Give us a call or email us with any questions you may have.

You’ve survived breast cancer—that’s amazing! As you get ready for the next chapter of your life, you may be wondering about pregnancy after breast cancer. Here’s the good news: you can have a baby after breast cancer, and there are many options available to do so. You may be able to get pregnant naturally, with in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments, or via gestational surrogacy. Adoption is also an option. Here are a few common questions we hear from women who have had breast cancer, and are curious about pregnancy after cancer treatment.

Can I get pregnant after breast cancer?

Many women who have had breast cancer are able to get pregnant naturally, and recent studies have shown that having a child after breast cancer treatment does not seem to lower your chances for long-term survival. In fact, it may even increase survival rates.

Fertility after chemotherapy depends on your age, as well as the types and dosages of chemo medicine you received.

Generally, the younger you are, the greater your chances of becoming pregnant without IVF. Women who are under 30 have the highest fertility rates after breast cancer, and those who are closer to menopause, which usually starts around age 51, have the lowest fertility rates after cancer.

Women with lower doses of chemotherapy are also more likely to get pregnant after cancer treatment than those who received higher doses. Certain chemotherapy drugs, like Cytoxan, Platinol, and Adriamycin can increase risk of losing fertility. Other drugs, like methotrexate, fluorouracil and vincristine are less likely to cause infertility. For some newer drugs, like Taxol, Taxotere, and Abraxane, the effects on fertility are unknown.

I haven’t started cancer treatment yet. Is there anything I can do now to preserve my fertility?

For women who want to have children after breast cancer, there are several ways to preserve fertility before your treatments begin. Talk with your doctor, as well as a fertility specialist, before making treatment plans. Ask what your options are to increase fertility. You may choose to freeze an egg, store embryos before cancer treatment begins, or take medication to protect your ovaries from damage. The sooner you speak with a fertility specialist, the greater your chances are of preserving your fertility after cancer.

How long should I wait to get pregnant after cancer treatment?

If you get pregnant during your cancer treatment, or too soon afterward, the drugs in your system could harm the fetus. Chemotherapy patients are advised to wait at least six months before attempting to get pregnant. Depending on your treatment and the drugs you are taking, your doctor’s recommendations may vary, so it’s best to check with your doctor first.

Should I use IVF to increase my chances of getting pregnant?

IFV is an option for many women after breast cancer, but check with your doctor to make sure it is safe for you to take fertility medicine. If you have had hormone-sensitive cancer, there are medications you can take to reduce the amount of estrogen in your body during your fertility treatment. The costs of IVF should be considered, too. Your health insurance provider may be able to cover some of these expenses.

What if I can’t get pregnant after cancer treatment?

Women who are unable to get pregnant after cancer may wish to consider gestational surrogacy. With gestational surrogacy, an embryo is created via IVF, using the eggs and sperm of the intended parents or donors, and then transferred to a surrogate. The surrogate mother is not biologically related to the child she carries—but you, and/or your partner, may be, if you choose to donate your own eggs and/or sperm.

With gestational surrogacy, you may use your own eggs, or donor eggs, which can be fertilized with your partner’s sperm, or donor sperm. Gestational surrogacy is a great option for women who have frozen an egg or an embryo prior to their cancer treatment, or women who are able to get pregnant, but unable to carry the baby to term.

Interested in learning more about surrogacy for women with breast cancer?

At Newborn Advantage, we’re committed to helping clients achieve success in pregnancy after cancer treatment. We recognize and respect that your journey to motherhood may be different than someone else’s. But that doesn’t make it any less beautiful. If you’re interested in learning more about gestational surgery, give us a call or email us today to schedule a consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.

While 47 states allow for surrogacy, New York continues to ban the practice. New York law currently forces infertile heterosexual couples and singles, and LGBTQ couples and singles to leave the state in order to enter into legal contracts that support surrogacy.

This current issue inspired our founder, Mindy Berkson, to elaborate on the surrogacy ban in New York. In Newborn Advantage’s latest podcast, Mindy dives into those affected by the ban, those who would benefit from the ban being lifted, and the actions she believes New York should take in light of the growing field of Assisted Reproduction and evolving family expectations.

If you’re considering surrogacy, you’ve probably spent a lot of time thinking about how to find the right surrogate—someone with good health, a great personality, and a heart for helping others. One of the best ways to find a high-quality surrogate is to work with a surrogacy agency, and that makes choosing a surrogacy agency as important as choosing a surrogate. The best surrogacy agencies are experienced, professional, friendly, quality-focused and well-connected. They should be willing to answer your questions and happy to guide you through the surrogacy process. Here are a few things look for when choosing a surrogacy agency:

How are surrogates selected and screened?

You want to give your newborn an advantage in life—so it’s important to choose a surrogate with the best genetics available. When interviewing agencies, ask about their surrogate selection and screening process. Surrogates should be screened for physical and psychological health—and they should also have a personality that meshes well with yours.

How long does it take to be matched with a surrogate?

The sooner you are matched with a surrogate, the sooner you will be able to welcome a new baby into your home. While some surrogacy agencies can take up to eight months to match you with a qualified surrogate, the best surrogacy agencies are well-connected to a large group of surrogates—which means they can match you much faster. Newborn Advantage can place you with an ideal gestational surrogate within just two weeks.

Does the agency offer a surrogate guarantee?

What happens if you’re matched with a surrogate, but she is not able to go through with the pregnancy? Look for surrogacy agencies that provide a surrogate guarantee. With Newborn Advantage, if your candidate does not pass your doctor’s medical clearance, you will be re-matched with another qualified candidate, at no additional cost.

Will the agency guide you through the surrogacy process?

The surrogacy process is about more than pregnancy and birth. There are legal, financial and health-related aspects to surrogacy as well. Look for a surrogacy agency that will guide you through the surrogacy process and provide you with professional referrals to

physicians, attorneys, financial and estate planners, and mental health professionals, if needed.

How much experience does the surrogacy agency have?

The best surrogacy agencies earn their reputations through experience. Look for surrogacy agencies who have been in business for ten or more years, if possible. People who have worked in surrogacy for many years will understand the nuances of the surrogacy process, and can help you avoid problems they may have seen in the past. Experienced surrogacy agencies are also more likely to have professional relationships with doctors, attorneys, financial service providers, and of course, surrogates.

What is the surrogacy cost?

Surrogacy is expensive, but as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Surrogacy costs include surrogate compensation, medical costs, surrogacy insurance, surrogacy agency fees, and other expenses. Ask for a detailed breakdown of surrogacy costs, or a sample gestational surrogacy contract. If the surrogacy agency is not transparent about pricing, this may be a cause for concern.

How are their people skills?

When choosing a surrogacy agency, look for one with friendly and helpful people. When you call the agency, is the phone answered by someone who is kind? When you ask questions, do they help you find the answers you need? If a surrogacy agency isn’t easy to work with at the beginning, you may run into more problems down the line.

What is your confidence level with the surrogacy agency?
After you evaluate a potential surrogacy agency considering the factors above, consider your feelings. If your confidence level is high, it’s a good sign that you may have found the right surrogacy agency for you. If not, you may want to keep looking.

Ready to take the next step?

At Newborn Advantage, we understand how important it is to evaluate surrogacy agencies and choose the one that works best for your family. If you’re interested in learning more about how our surrogacy process works, give us a call or email us today to schedule a consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.

The cost of surrogacy is high — but you won’t find a better ROI.

Most parents would agree that children are priceless—but no one would argue that having children is expensive. If you’re considering surrogacy, you may be wondering about the average cost of surrogacy, which includes surrogate compensation, surrogate health insurance and surrogacy medical expenses. In this blog, we’ll discuss the cost of surrogacy, as well as its benefits. At Newborn Advantage, we believe that while the cost of surrogacy is high, the return on your investment can be even higher.

“What you invest in surrogacy will yield a great return: a healthy pregnancy, live birth, and happy, healthy life for your child,” says Mindy Berkson, Surrogacy Consultant at Newborn Advantage. “Surrogacy is an investment in your family and your future. It is rewarding, and you will reap the value over time.”

What is the average cost of surrogacy?

The average cost of surrogacy is about $120,000 to 130,000. Below is a breakdown of some of the biggest expenses covered in that total, and what you will receive in return.

Medical expenses:

$25,000 to $30,000

Surrogate medical expenses include medical screenings, creation of the embryos through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer fees. If your end family building goal is to have more than one child, this expense can be amortized over time, as you will control the disposition of all embryos created through IVF. Identifying a fertility center with above national average success rates is paramount to maximizing your IVF cycle and results.

Surrogacy Insurance Coverage:

$12,000 premium | $16,000 deductible per baby

The cost of surrogacy insurance coverage is high—but it is certainly worth the investment. The cost of a surrogate insurance policy includes a policy premium, and an additional charge per baby. Instead of transferring more than on embryo to a single surrogate, many parents choose to work with two surrogates and have two singleton pregnancies, which is healthier for the babies, as well as the surrogates. While you will pay more for insurance coverage with two surrogates, you will be paying for a reduced risk and healthier outcomes.

Surrogate Compensation:

$30,000 and up

Surrogate compensation starts at $30,000, and experienced surrogates will earn more. This does not include medical or other costs—this is purely surrogate compensation for the woman who will be devoting nearly a year of her life to carrying your child. When you think about it, it is a pretty unbelievable deal! At Newborn Advantage, we only work with the best surrogates, who have passed medical and psychological screenings, helping to give you the greatest advantage in conceiving a healthy child.

Legal Expenses:

$11,000 and up

Because surrogacy is a contractual arrangement, surrogacy legal expenses are important to consider. Attorney fees for intended parents start at $11,000 and vary greatly per state. Working with a surrogacy attorney ensures that your legal rights are protected while working with a surrogate. Your surrogacy attorney will also help navigate the legal processes in the state where your surrogate resides. Newborn Advantage specializes in gay surrogacy, and we partner with attorneys who understand legal issues for gay and lesbian parents. Legal expenses for surrogacy may seem steep, but if you don’t enlist the services of a surrogacy attorney, you may encounter legal issues that are much more expensive.

Surrogacy Agency Fees:

Agency fees start at $25,000. Why work with a surrogacy agency? Surrogacy agencies act as your advocate, protecting you from many of the risks of surrogacy. Given the costs of surrogacy, some intended parents may be curious about independent surrogacy cost. Potential clients often ask, “How much does surrogacy cost with a family member?” or, “What is the surrogacy cost with a friend?” In either of these scenarios, you could deduct the agency fees and the surrogate’s compensation, saving yourself approximately $55,000. If you’re feeling very risky, you might elect not to pay a surrogacy attorney, saving an additional $11,000 in surrogacy legal expenses.

But what happens if things don’t go as planned? Without a legal surrogacy agreement, who protects your rights in the surrogacy arrangement? And what about personal matters? What happens if the surrogate is unable to conceive, if you can’t agree on surrogate compensation, or if personal problems arise? While a surrogacy attorney handles legal arrangements, it is the role of the surrogacy agency to match you with a healthy surrogate who has an excellent chance of having a healthy child. It’s also our role to act as an intermediary between intended parents and surrogates, protecting your interests and helping navigate sensitive issues. If an intended match does not work out, we will re-match you at no additional charge. Think of the surrogacy agency fee as a price you pay for peace of mind, to help the surrogacy process go smoothly, and to avoid potential problems.

Invest in your Family

The cost of surrogacy gives many intended parents pause, but when you consider surrogacy as an investment, it is worth the cost. The joy of starting a family, creating an incredible bond with your children, and carrying on your legacy can’t be measured in dollars and cents. If you’re ready to become a parent and interested in gestational surrogacy, we can help. We look forward to hearing from you!