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There are many reasons why people choose gestational surrogacy. Health issues may prevent a woman from getting pregnant or carrying a baby to term, or infertility issues may prevent couples from conceiving. Same-sex couples who would like to have children may choose surrogacy. Single people who want to have biological children may also consider surrogacy. However, no matter the reason, people who choose gestational surrogacy share one thing in common: they all want to welcome a child into the world, and have the chance to grow their families. Here are five key reasons why gestational surrogacy is growing in popularity around the world.

1. Infertility issues are on the rise.

Infertility is common—and it’s increasing. In 1950, there was a global average of five children per woman, according to the United Nations. In 2020, there was an average of two children per woman. While these statistics indicate a global decrease in fertility, the biggest decreases are in developed countries. The United Nations Population Fund reports that Southern Europe, Eastern Europe, and Eastern Asia have the lowest fertility rates in the world, with an average of 1.5 children per woman.

One of the reasons for this decrease is because many men and women in advanced countries are waiting longer to have children, often choosing to complete their education or begin careers first. While this is a positive development, advanced age does impact fertility, for both men and women. In the United States today, 10 to 15% of couples are infertile, according to the Mayo Clinic. The World Health Organization estimates that between 48 million couples and 186 million individuals live with infertility globally. While infertility is not the only reason to choose surrogacy, it is one of the biggest reasons.

2. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is growing.

The International Journal of Women’s Health and Wellness recently reported that more than 8 million babies were born with the aid of IVF since it was first introduced—and estimates suggest that by 2100, 3% of the world’s population will be born using IVF and other fertility treatments. As IVF is becoming more common, gestational surrogacy is, too.

3. Advances in technology are making IVF more successful.

Since IVF was introduced more than 40 years ago, many advances have been made. Some of the most important ones include cryopreservation of surplus embryos, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) for male factor infertility, chromosomal screening by preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), mitochondrial donation or three-parent IVF, cryopreservation of ovarian tissue, and uterine transplantation. As IVF methods continue to improve, success rates will rise. This will likely lead to more individuals and couples seeking gestational surrogacy.

4. Gestational surrogacy is becoming more widely accepted and available.

Between 1999 and 2013, gestational surrogates gave birth to 18,400 babies, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A CDC report from 2016 noted that the number of embryo transfers performed on gestational surrogates nearly tripled over a relatively short time period—from 1,957 in 2007 to 5,521 in 2015. Biospacerecently projected 24.8% growth in the gestational surrogacy segment over the period from 2019 to 2025. Unlike traditional surrogacy, which is banned in many locales, gestational surrogacy is legal in many U.S. states and countries, and laws are becoming more accommodating. Gestational surrogacy comes with fewer emotional and legal complexities than traditional surrogacy. It also gives intended parents the opportunity to have a child with whom they share a genetic connection.

5. Awareness of infertility and surrogacy is increasing.

As more people become aware of infertility treatments and gestational surrogacy, their popularity will continue to grow. Today, many organizations advocate for infertility awareness. For example, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association hosts National Infertility Awareness Week each year, promoting advocacy and access to care, support and education. Organizations like the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Hadassah, PCOS Challenge and others are also advocating to raise awareness of infertility issues, decrease stigma, and advocate for policy change. For many people struggling with infertility, gestational surrogacy is an attractive family building option—and as more people learn about this choice, its popularity will likely continue to grow.

If you’re considering gestational surrogacy, Newborn Advantage can help.
Contact us today to learn more.

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!

COVID-19 has disrupted daily life for people around the world, from the loss of loved ones, to the loss of income, to closures of schools, businesses and restaurants. For expectant parents, coronavirus and pregnancy are causing concern—and when it comes to surrogacy, COVID-19 is having an impact on intended parents and surrogates, too.

However, even in the midst of this challenging time, there is hope. It takes time to grow your family, and now is a great time to start the process. Here at Newborn Advantage, we are still open and serving our clients, with virtual capabilities to help you start planning today to grow your family in the near future. Here are 6 things you can do now to move your surrogacy plans forward.

1. Create a foundation to build your family.

These days, we’ve all been spending more time at home—and despite the frustration of feeling “cooped up,” this extra family time is bringing us closer. While you’re at home with your loved ones, focus on building a strong family, enjoying the present, and planning the next steps of your surrogacy journey.

2. Identify a surrogate.

Currently, most fertility clinics are temporarily closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This means in vitro fertilization (IVF) plans will be delayed—but that doesn’t mean they must come to a halt. It can take up to four months to reach the embryo transfer phase of surrogacy, even without interruptions. So, it makes sense to start the process now. The first step is to identify a surrogate.

Newborn Advantage selects top quality surrogates, drawing from connections built over our 15 years of experience. Using videoconferencing, we can conduct a virtual meeting to determine your needs and personal preferences. Then, we will present you multiple surrogate options, selecting candidates based on factors like personality, medical decisions, like-mindedness, and relationship preferences after birth. Now is a perfect time to begin reviewing surrogate profiles, and choosing your ideal surrogate match.

3. Get to know your surrogate.

Once you choose a surrogate, Newborn Advantage can arrange an introduction and facilitate virtual meetings to introduce all parties, discuss goals, and talk about important surrogacy decisions. Because intended parents are often matched with surrogates in other states or countries, we are accustomed to setting up meetings via videoconference, making this step in the process no different than it was before COVID-19.

4. Draft a legal contract.

The next step in the surrogacy process is to draft a legal surrogacy contract. Newborn Advantage has access to experienced surrogacy attorneys who will work with you to create a contract that protects your interests and follows the surrogacy laws where your surrogate resides. Legal discussions and signing can be conducted virtually, and in full compliance with social distancing measures.

5. Start early screening.

As we wait for fertility centers to re-open, there are a few medical processes that can be conducted now, remotely. One is a psychological screening for the surrogate you select. This can be done via telemedicine visit. Your doctor can also begin reviewing your surrogate’s medical records, to ensure she is healthy enough for surrogacy.

6. Decorate the nursery.

From picking out baby names, to picking out colors and patterns for the baby room, to buying diapers and bottles, there are many aspects of family planning that don’t require a single doctor visit. Use your time now to start thinking about all the fun aspects of welcoming a new child into your family.


Make plans today to grow your family.

Today, COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind—and we are all exercising caution and following recommendations to prevent its spread. While the pandemic may temporarily interrupt medical procedures, it doesn’t mean we should stop planning for the future. The sooner you begin the surrogacy process, the more prepared you will be when fertility clinics re-open, and IVF can begin. One thing is for sure: at Newborn Advantage, we will be with you every step of the way.

Gestational surrogacy is filled with joys and surprises—and one of the most exciting moments is when you find out whether you’re having a boy or a girl. If you’re an intended parent, you are probably anxiously awaiting this news. Or, if you already know, you may be wondering what it will be like to raise a child of that gender—especially if it is different from your own. In this blog, we’ll talk about gender hopes and disappointments, gender expectations vs. reality, and how to prepare for a boy or a girl.


Gender Hopes (and Disappointments)

No one wants to admit they are secretly hoping for a boy or a girl. But let’s face it—most of us are. You may dream of shopping for sweet little dresses trimmed with ruffles and lace, taking your daughter to ballet classes, or getting mani-pedis with your mini-me as she grows older. Or, you may hope for a baby boy, and imagine a future filled with fishing trips, baseball games, frogs and dirt. Many parents would be happy to have a boy and a girl, and are disappointed if their second child is the same gender as the first.

As much as you know you’ll love your new baby, gender disappointment is a real thing, and it’s normal to feel let down if you learn that you’re having a boy when you wanted a girl, or vice versa. The good news? You’re likely to be so thrilled with your new baby (or so tired from lack of sleep) that any disappointment over gender will quickly fall by the wayside after he or she is born. What’s more, you may be surprised to discover your child’s unique personality and individual interests are far more interesting than what society expects from his or her gender.


Gender Expectations vs. Reality
Many girls refuse to wear pink and would rather play in the dirt or kick a ball, than play with a doll. Plenty of boys aren’t interested in sports, and prefer video games, art, music or dance to football and roughhousing. Keep an open mind and let your child explore their own interests as they learn and grow. It can be fun to find out what talents your child may have. You may also find that supporting your child’s interests helps you develop new ones. For example, you may have never enjoyed live theater—but when you’re watching your own child onstage, it’s suddenly a lot more interesting.


Are Boys Really All That Different from Girls?

As mentioned above, it really depends on the boy or girl. You may have heard that boys are more noisy, rowdy, and difficult to manage. Or that girls are quieter, more well-behaved and easier to potty train. However, if you talk to parents with two or more children, you are more likely to hear about differences between one child and another, than one gender and another. It’s common for one child to be an “easy baby” while another is more challenging. Or, one child will be outgoing and bubbly, while another is more quiet and reserved. Ask your friends who have children what they think. Then, prepare to be surprised by your own child’s behavior.


How to Prepare for a Boy or a Girl

In the not-so-distant past, parents had no idea whether they were having a boy or a girl until the day their child was born. So, they bought gender-neutral baby clothes, made predictions based on the shape and size of a woman’s stomach, and generally waited to buy pink or blue accessories until the big day. Now, we can find out a baby’s gender months in advance—but whether it’s a boy or a girl, a newborn’s needs are the same. Your baby needs love, acceptance, nutrition, shelter, and of course, lots and lots of diapers.

Go ahead and shop for the things you’ll need right away, register for the things you want, and spend the energy you have leftover on yourself and your partner, if you have one. Read books about caring for a newborn, buy a journal to write your thoughts if you’re so inclined, and spend as much time as you can doing activities you enjoy. It’s impossible to know whether your baby will grow up to be the kind of person who loves a day at the museum, a night out at a nice restaurant, or a professional basketball game, but one thing is for sure. It’s a lot easier to do those things before you have a baby. So soak them in while you can, and get ready for an amazing adventure after your child is born. You’re going to love it.


Ready to welcome your baby boy or girl into the world?

Newborn Advantage can help you find the right gestational surrogate for your new baby. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions.

When you begin the process of starting a relationship with a surrogate, you are setting out on one of the most significant, powerful, and important encounters you’ll ever have in life. This will be an encounter that will eventually evoke the little one you’ve always longed for; a priceless gift.

At Newborn Advantage, we invest wholeheartedly in helping you to understand your child rearing dream. In doing so, we lay out the surrogacy cost subtleties that each expected parent must know from the very first moment. Here is a breakdown of our surrogacy cost data, which will assist you with planning your excursion all the more successfully.

The holidays are over, and we hope you’ve enjoyed sharing gifts and time with friends and family. As we prepare to begin a new year, we thought it might be fun to reflect on the best gifts surrogates and intended parents (IPs) received from one another during the holidays, and beyond.

Surrogates and IPs have a special relationship that starts before pregnancy, and often continues after the child is born—so it makes sense that they would want to give one another something memorable for the holidays. However, these surrogate and IP gift ideas aren’t just for holidays. You may want to give a gift at the birth, on a birthday, or during the pregnancy. Of course, gift giving is by no means required. It’s just one more way for surrogates and IPs to strengthen their relationship, and say “Thanks” for the experience of a lifetime.

Surrogate Gift Ideas:

Surrogates give IPs something truly priceless: the ability to grow their family through the birth of a child. Here are a few of the gifts surrogates say they love receiving most:

Personalized Jewelry

Charm bracelets and necklaces with birthstones for a surrogate’s own children, along with the birthstone for an IP child, are a treasured memento of your shared journey.

Gift Baskets

Personal care items like scented lotion, comfortable socks, prenatal vitamins and herbal tea are a warm way to show a surrogate you care about her health, happiness and comfort.


Pregnancy massages can help surrogates de-stress and relax. A massage is also a welcome gift after pregnancy, soothing tired muscles.

Manicure or Pedicure

A little self-care can go a long way. Gift certificates for manicures and pedicures are always favorite surrogate gifts.

Housecleaning and/or Meal Delivery Services

Who wouldn’t love free house cleaning and a fresh-cooked meal? Housework can be a struggle when you’re pregnant, making this an outstanding gift.

Gifts for Children

Surrogates’ children are sharing their mother with another family for more than nine months—so some IPs choose to give them gifts, like, books, games, toys or snacks. The gesture is definitely appreciated.

Souvenir Gifts

IPs and surrogates may live many miles away from one another, in different cities, states, or even different countries. Surrogates say they enjoy receiving gifts from the places IPs call home—such as unique cookies or candies made only in your hometown.


While this is certainly not a typical gift, it’s definitely an incredible one: One surrogate said her IPs sent her entire family to Disneyland, all expenses paid. Wow!

Family Photos

IPs often send photos of their family to their surrogates, showing how it has grown over the years. This is an easy way to show your surrogate what a big difference she has made, for a small cost.

Birthday Gifts

Many surrogates say they appreciate getting an annual birthday card or small gift from their IPs. Some IPs continue to remember surrogate birthdays, long after the baby’s birth.

Mother’s Day Gifts

Some IPs send flowers on Mother’s Day, to thank surrogates for helping become mothers, too.

Note of Thanks

A handwritten note or letter costs next to nothing, but is worth so much to the recipient, who will carry your words of gratitude with them forever.


IP Gift ideas:

Surrogates are very generous people—so they may want to give a special gift to their IPs as well. Many of the above ideas, like birthstone jewelry or meal services (great for new parents), could also make excellent gifts for IPs. Here are a few of the best IP gift ideas we found online:

Personalized Christmas Ornaments

An ornament engraved with the new baby’s name is a sweet seasonal gift that will be enjoyed every year.

Baby Clothing, Nursery Décor and Gifts

Cute baby clothing, toys, bottles, blankets and other new-parent gifts are always appropriate and appreciated.

Ultrasound Gifts

Today, you can get many gifts items personalized with ultrasound images or recordings of a baby’s heartbeat—from framed photos, to jewelry, to keychains and more.

Photo Album

Share photos from your pregnancy and the baby’s birth in a special album or photo book.

Restaurant Gift Cards

New parents are often overwhelmed with the responsibilities of caring for a baby. A restaurant gift card could give IPs a much-needed date night—or just a night off from cooking.

Movie Night at Home

Fill a popcorn bucket or bowl with a bag of popcorn, movie snacks and a DVD or Redbox gift card to help new parents relax and enjoy a night in.

Unique “Birthday” Gifts

Years after the baby’s birth, it can be fun to hold a memento from the day they were born. IPs (and children) may enjoy looking back on a newspaper from this day, a book of famous birthdays, or a photo of the night sky the day the child was born.


Interested in surrogacy?

Surrogacy is a special gift that continues to benefit both giver and recipient for years to come. If you’re an IP or surrogate interested in beginning a new surrogacy journey, feel free to reach out to Newborn Advantage with any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you.



Using Two Surrogates Gives Newborns the Best Advantage

Having a baby via surrogacy is a unique, joyful and exciting experience—but it can also be expensive and stress inducing. To reduce risks, save money and achieve family goals faster, some intended parents are choosing to work with two surrogates simultaneously. Doing so decreases the risk of preterm delivery, lowers insurance costs, and increases the chances of a healthier pregnancy and healthy full term babies, allowing parents to conceive “twins” more safely.

“Safe, healthy pregnancies producing full term babies are always the goal at Newborn Advantage,” says Mindy Berkson, Founder of Newborn Advantage. “Many of our clients want to have two children, but multiple pregnancies can be dangerous and the associated risks associated can drastically increase costs. We have found that using two surrogates can be a safer and often a more cost-effective solution to help these intended parents build their families.”

Why Not Conceive Twins with Just One Surrogate?

In vitro fertilization (IVF) does not guarantee a successful pregnancy. Physicians and intended parents have historically taken extra measures to increase chances of pregnancy success and until recently, it was common for multiple embryos to be transferred at the same time to each IVF patient, to increase the chance of at least one embryo successfully implanting in the uterine lining. Because of this practice, many IVF procedures have resulted in multiple pregnancies.

Although the goal of IVF has always been to produce one healthy baby, many women who undergo the procedure give birth to twins, triplets, or even more babies, at one time. Some intended parents have even begun to seek out IVF in order to conceive twins. Many parents see having multiples as a way to consolidate the costs and challenges of pregnancy by having more babies at once. However, with multiple pregnancies come increased risks to both surrogate mothers and babies, and high financial costs for intended parents.

Because of these risks, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) no longer recommends transferring more than one embryo. Single embryo transfer is the recommended procedure, unless there is a clear medical reason to transfer two embryos.

Reducing Risks from Multiple Pregnancies

Low birth weight is one of the biggest risks of multiple pregnancy, and carries many associated health problems—including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, vision and hearing loss, and developmental issues. With a singleton pregnancy, there is a 9% risk of low birth weight, but with twins, the risk increases to 57%. The risk of premature birth with twins is 65%. Babies born prematurely can spend weeks or months in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and may experience lifelong health problems that affect their quality of life. Caring for a child with disabilities can also be expensive and emotionally challenging for parents.

The risk of carrying multiple children is high for surrogates as well. Prenatal care costs and needs are greater, and surrogates are at increased risk for complications during their pregnancy. They may also require bed rest during the pregnancy, which automatically adds costs to the overall surrogacy arrangement. Some surrogates may not be willing to carry multiple babies, and some physicians and insurance plans will not approve multiple pregnancies.

If the goal is to conceive twins, using two surrogates is safer because it reduces the chances of a premature birth and lowers health risks that can occur with multiple pregnancies. It also increases the chances of a full term birth by providing the baby with the most optimal health at birth.

Lower Insurance Costs

Using two surrogates can also reduce insurance expenses. The standard surrogacy insurance cost for families invested in having twins is $42,000. Insurance rates are lower per pregnancy when two surrogates are used simultaneously.

Faster Surrogate Match

Newborn Advantage matches surrogates to intended parents faster than most other surrogacy agencies—and single-embryo transfers get matched even more quickly, because most gestational surrogates request single-embryo transfer.

Twins with a Single-egg Donor

Many gay couples want both fathers to have a genetic connection to the family’s children. Working with two surrogates and a single-egg donor makes it possible for these couples to conceive fraternal twins who are genetically related, without the risks of a multiple pregnancy. With this procedure, there is only one egg donor, but one intended father fertilizes half of the eggs, and the other father fertilizes the second half. The resulting embryos are then transferred to two different surrogates. This allows gay couples to have two babies who are genetically related to one another through the egg donor, and who each carry the genetics of the respective fathers. Technically these babies are half-twins, because they share the DNA of only one parent. However, because they are conceived at the same time, and will be born at or around the same time, they can be thought of as “fraternal twins.” In addition to the benefits of passing down both fathers’ DNA and growing families faster, intended parents also benefit by paying for only one egg donor, and lowering surrogacy insurance and surrogacy agency costs.

Are you interested in using two surrogates to conceive twins?

At Newborn Advantage, we specialize in helping intended parents grow their families through surrogacy and we recognize that many of our clients are seeking twins through surrogacy.  Our goal is to help our clients consider all options and explore their personal levels of risk adversity in conjunction with the overall family building budget. It is the combination of many factors that help to determine best options for each individual client and situation.

Contact us today to find out more about using two surrogates to conceive twins.

There’s something special about the bond between a parent and a child. Newborn babies rely on their parents for everything—and as they grow, the bond only becomes stronger. It ensures you’ll be there to protect your baby during infanthood, and continue to be there for them even when they aren’t quite as cute. (Teenagers, anyone?) Surrogate parents often worry about bonding with their babies. However, you don’t need to carry a child, in order to care for that child.

“Surrogacy may not be a traditional path to parenthood, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bond with your baby in traditional ways,” says Mindy Berkson, Surrogacy Consultant at Newborn Advantage.

As an intended parent, you already have everything you need to bond with your baby: a desire to be a parent, the means to care for a child, and most importantly, unconditional love. At Newborn Advantage, we have seen many intended parents build loving families with happy, healthy children. Here are seven ways intended parents can establish a bond with babies born through surrogacy:

  1. Celebrate and Anticipate Your Baby’s Arrival

Simply thinking about your child can create and reinforce feelings of love and protection. If you’re having a baby shower, register for the items you might need online, and enjoy this time getting ready for your baby. Spend time decorating the nursery and baby-proofing your house.


  1. Talk to Your Baby

Babies love hearing the sounds of their parents’ voices. During the pregnancy, you might want to send recordings of your voice to your surrogate, to play for the baby. You can read books, sing songs, or simply talk to your baby. Even though your baby won’t understand the words, hearing your voice will help to build familiarity with you early.

  1. Sing or Play Music

Lullabies and music are classic ways to soothe and bond with babies. Sing to your baby at bedtime, or any time. (It’s OK if you don’t have an amazing voice.) You might also ask your surrogate what type of music she listened to during the pregnancy, and play the same music at home, to help ease the transition.

  1. Wear or Carry Your Baby

Babies love to be carried and held—and today, it’s easier than ever. A variety of comfortable carriers are available to ease the strain on your back and arms, while making it easy to carry your baby throughout your daily activities. Whether you are cooking, grocery shopping, going for a walk, or working, wearing your baby in an infant carrier is a great way to bond while keeping your hands free for other tasks.


  1. Try Skin-to-Skin Contact

It’s been proven that skin-to-skin contact is good for babies’ emotional development. While your baby is wearing a diaper, you can hold them against your chest, so they can hear and feel your heart beat.  The skin-to-skin contact will help your baby feel warm, loved, and closer to you.

  1. Make Eye Contact

Babies seek out faces, and enjoy eye contact—especially if you occasionally make a funny face or stick out your tongue. Feeding and bathing your baby are great opportunities to look at your baby, smile, and connect with them.


  1. Reinforce the Bond with your Partner.

Your partner was by your side as you embarked on your surrogacy journey, and they will need your support after the baby’s arrival, as much as you will need theirs. Rely on one another to arrange schedules and childcare, share household chores, and provide emotional support. It’s also a good idea to hire a sitter every now and then, so you can enjoy an evening together. Reinforcing the bond with each other is good for you both—and your baby.

At Newborn Advantage, we are advocates for intended parents, and will do everything we can to ensure your surrogacy experience is amazing. A large part of that advocacy is in finding a qualified surrogate. Women choose to become surrogates for many reasons, and there typically is a healthy blend of financial incentive and altruism. Most surrogates are inspired by the idea of bringing a new life into the world and helping another couple conceive.

For Melissa, a Newborn Advantage surrogate currently undergoing her second surrogacy journey, it’s all about the love.

“I had secondary infertility, so I understand how it feels to long for a child and not be able to become pregnant or carry a baby to term,” Melissa says. “I do this because I have so much compassion for people who cannot have babies on their own.”

Beyond “heart purposes,” surrogates also realize there is great value in what they do, and they must be compensated fairly. However, if the arrangement is only financially driven, it may not be the best fit for anyone.

When surrogates request compensation beyond amounts that are reasonable and standard in the industry, this can be a red flag for us here at Newborn Advantage. In this blog, we will talk about fair compensation for surrogates, reasonable vs. unreasonable demands, and how we can work to promote agreements that are fair for all parties. We hope this blog is helpful in addressing issues of ethics in surrogacy, and advocating for fair business practices.

Fair Compensation for Surrogates
Every surrogate deserves to be compensated for their time, commitment and the gift of life they make possible through surrogacy. Newborn Advantage acts as an intermediary between surrogates and intended parents, and we seek fair and equitable compensation for surrogates, in line with industry standard rates based regionally across the U.S.

Strong Advocacy for Intended Parents
We also advocate on behalf of intended parents. If a surrogate requests unexplained and excessive fees, or asks intended parents for items not covered in the original agreement, intended parents will not be required to meet their requests. If a fair and equitable agreement between parties cannot be reached, and if a surrogate attempts to extort funds from intended parents, we will cease working with the surrogate.

Reasonable vs. Unreasonable Requests
So, what’s reasonable in a surrogacy agreement, and what isn’t? Reasonable fees for a gestational surrogate include industry-standard compensation, the payment of all medical bills, costs of transportation to and from medical appointments, childcare expenses during doctor visits, and optional courtesies like third-trimester housekeeping.

Unreasonable requests could include payments that are above industry standards, housekeeping for the full term of the pregnancy, and full-time childcare.

How can we advocate for fair and equitable agreements for all parties?
We research industry rates and ensure that our surrogates are being paid fair and reasonable compensation for their services. Then, we work with legal teams and all parties to draft fair and equitable agreements. We will also advocate on behalf of intended parents, ensuring they are not being overcharged. Finally, we will do our best to ensure both parties uphold their terms of the surrogacy agreement.

“We support advocacy and enjoy working with agencies who do as well,” says Richard Vaughn, Attorney and Owner of International Fertility Law Group, who frequently represents Newborn Advantage clients. “We appreciate the fact that Newborn Advantage follows industry standards in creating surrogacy contracts, and acts as an advocate for intended parents.”

Remembering the Reasons for Surrogacy
When done for the right reasons, surrogacy is a beautiful thing. Here at Newborn Advantage, we will remain committed to ethical business practices as we work with intended parents and surrogates. After all, if we’re going to bring new babies into the world, we owe it to them to create a world where honesty, ethics and kindness come first.

Are you considering surrogacy, but unsure of whether or not you want to work with a surrogacy agency? Some intended parents do choose to “go it alone,” but it’s important to be aware of the potential pitfalls you might encounter without agency representation. The best surrogacy agencies will guide you through the process, help you find the right surrogate faster, assist you in navigating legal hurdles, and make it easier to address sensitive issues.

In this blog, we’ll cover the top benefits of working with a surrogacy agency:

State-Specific Legal Help

Surrogacy laws vary from state to state, and can have very specific requirements for both the surrogate and the intended parents. Factors such as whether or not a couple is legally married, is using an egg or sperm donor, or will be genetically tied to the future offspring, can make a difference in the legality of the future surrogacy. Gestational surrogacy also has specific requirements that differ from state to state. Intended parents must be very cognizant of the state their surrogate resides in, to meet legal requirements and ensure both parents’ names will be listed on the birth certificate.

Understanding legal issues is especially important in ensuring successful surrogacy for gay couples. Gay surrogacy candidates will find the process much smoother and simpler if they work with a surrogacy agency that has specific experience navigating gay surrogacy issues.

The best way to ensure legal issues are addressed correctly is to work with a team of professionals, including your surrogacy agency.

Professionalism and Experience

Speaking of professionalism, it’s also important to work with a surrogacy agency you can trust. Mindy Berkson, Founder and Surrogacy Consultant at Newborn Advantage, cautions intended parents to be careful about unrepresented surrogates they may see online.

“Sometimes surrogates make themselves available online because they didn’t meet the requirements of an agency,” Berkson said. “An agency may have rejected the surrogate for medical reasons, such as a high BMI. Or, she may not meet their standard requirements to be a surrogate. There is a reason she is out there on her own.”

Surrogates don’t pay surrogacy agencies for representation, so you should ask, “Why wouldn’t she want the representation and protection of an agency?” Whatever the reason may be, there is a chance it is not in the best interest of the intended parents.

High Quality Surrogacy Candidates

Newborn Advantage focuses on providing the highest quality surrogacy candidates. Using a proven recruitment process developed over Berkson’s 20-year history in the industry, we are able to provide matches from a large pool of available surrogates, for a more ideal match. Our match times are also much shorter than most surrogacy agencies. In most cases, we can find a surrogate within two weeks.

Exceptional Support, Advice and Referrals

The best surrogacy agencies give intended parents a support network they would not have access to on their own, and connect them with other industry professionals who can assist with all aspects of the surrogacy journey. Newborn Advantage provides concierge-level services to clients from beginning to birth, and with a specialty in surrogacy for gay couples. Berkson brings an insider’s approach to the surrogacy industry, and will provide top-notch referrals to attorneys and fertility centers with above-national-average success rates.

Greater Surrogacy Success

There are many costs associated with surrogacy, so it’s easy to understand why many intended parents may feel tempted to forego working with a surrogacy agency. However, it’s important to understand the legal nuances and potential issues that may arise, before you jump in. While you may feel like you’re saving money by not using a surrogacy agency, is it really worth your time and effort to research all the issues on your own—not to mention taking the risk of not getting things done correctly?

“There are certain industries you just don’t know, and may not feel comfortable navigating alone,” Berkson says. “You hire attorneys because you can’t navigate the legal system on your own. You trust medical professionals to provide the safest pregnancy and birth experience. And you work with a surrogacy agency to navigate what could be treacherous waters. It may cost more upfront, but you will have a smoother experience and meet your end goal sooner.”

Assistance with Pregnancy and Hospital Arrangements

A surrogacy agency can help guide you and your surrogate through the process, and give you a voice—as well as professional representation from a third party. Newborn Advantage works closely with intended parents and surrogates during the entire process, checking in with the surrogates regularly  and sharing important information with intended parents. Midway through the pregnancy, we will reach out to you to discuss the delivery plan, arrange a visit to the maternity ward, and make other hospital arrangements deemed necessary.

Negotiating Sensitive Issues

There are some issues an intended parent or surrogate may not feel comfortable directly addressing with the other party. Your surrogacy agency representative can act as a go-between, navigating sensitive issues with tact and concern.

Negotiating Payments and Contracts

Bringing discussions about payments and contracts into the conversation may feel awkward, but it’s critical. A surrogacy agency can protect your interests and remove the tension from negotiating surrogacy agreements and payments.

“It’s a tenuous relationship. You’re trusting a stranger to carry your most prized possession, so you don’t want to blur the boundaries,” Berkson says. “It’s easy to do that if you don’t have a third party in place.”

At Newborn Advantage, we create an escrow account for clients, to make payments and protect the intended parents. Clients provide funds, which are held in escrow, and Newborn Advantage draws from the account pay the surrogate monthly over the course of the pregnancy. This is a more professional way of handling payments, and avoids issues such as a surrogate approaching an intended parent to ask for an advance, creating what Berkson calls a “hostage situation.”

Achieve your goals of growing your family

Without an agency, intended parents may feel lost, concerned, and confused about where to start and what to do next. Working with a surrogacy agency can help make the process much smoother and more pleasant—helping you complete the journey sooner and with fewer hurdles.

“The pathway to parenthood is not linear,” says Berkson. “If it was, you wouldn’t be considering surrogacy. A lot can go right and a lot can go wrong, but it’s nice to have someone there to guide the course for you.”

The Right Surrogacy Agency for Your Family

Ready to start your surrogacy journey?

Call Mindy Berkson for your complimentary consultation with our surrogacy agency.

Phone: 847-989-8628