Ciara is an independent surrogate based in Los Angeles. She has been a surrogate 6 times for 5 families.
Q: How have your independent journeys been different from your agency-managed ones?
A: Being an independent surrogate is completely different than being a surrogate managed by an agency. I feel that my independent journeys were a little bit less stressful b/c I was able to build very good relationships with my IPs. Having that trust that you can make it to your appointments, manage to send out all updates, stay on top of anything legal gave my IPs peace of mind. The agency places a safety net to IPs who have never experienced surrogacy before. I find that IPs who are on their second go round prefer to go the independent route rather than through an agency.
Q: For your independent journeys, how did you meet your IPs?
A: For my last journey, I met my IPs through a recommendation from a family I was a surrogate for in 2016. If IPs are searching for a independent surrogate, I’ve started to notice more and more of us have branded ourselves either on social media and/or through word of mouth with IVF clinics. Those are optional when looking for a surrogate and if you’re comfortable with looking on social media.
Q: Do you think your experience as a nurse provides any unique insight into surrogacy?
A: I think being a nurse helps with understanding a lot of the medical side of things and also with giving your injections and medications properly. I do think it’s a big part of why I continue to help different families. Studying more about infertility and how many women and men experience this fuels my passion about spreading awareness and information about female and male fertility health and surrogacy.
Ciara’s Advice to Surrogates and IPs
“My advice to both IPs and surrogates would be to make sure that when going the independent route become well educated on how all the moving parts work. Clinic, cost, contracts, what surrogacy consist of etc. If you’re a second-time surrogate it would be easier to become an independent surrogate vs a person who has never done the process. It’s important to also know all the moving parts and to make sure that you protect yourself and your body when you decide to work with a family. Be sure to show each other that you are both trustworthy and responsible enough to move forward in a journey.”