Shannon and Craig
Hi! Craig and Shannon here, or “Crannon” as our friends call us. Our story begins in 2012 at a quaint restaurant called Treehouse. To say that we hit it off quickly is an understatement. On date number two, Craig was already inviting me to meet his closest friends for a group dinner. We even made it to date number three AFTER I spilled an entire glass of red wine on myself and, more importantly, his best friend’s light beige couch. From there on out, time was better spent together. We both share a love of finding the best pizza in a new town, playing chess on a sunny blanket with our rescue dog Grier in the park, or getting a group of friends together for music festival.
Our hope for the future:
Having a family of our own has always been a dream for each of us. One of the foundations of our relationship is that when we started dating, we not only saw a future together, but a wonderful future with a family. One filled with quirky traditions like Wacky Wednesdays or Spaghetti Sundays. Or imagining Craig as the local pee-wee soccer/baseball/football coach on Saturdays followed by a post-game trip to the ice cream store with Grandma & Grandpa. Or my dream of elaborate bedtime stories told under a dim flashlight (silly voices included, of course).
The fact is – we’ve always loved kids. We’re the first to volunteer to take our friend’s young ones to the park or receive the hand-off of a crying baby because we know it takes a village to raise a child. And we want to be a part of that village for those we love.
Like so many people on this journey, it’s been a long, roller-coaster of a ride with moments of hope transitioning into despair and back to hope again. You never plan for infertility and boy does it smack you in the face. Due to two myomectomies where “grapefruit sized” fibroids were removed, my uterus is covered in scar tissue and healed in an abnormal shape which is “extremely” likely to lead to loss of our precious embryos. So many times over the last two years, the doctor’s were hopeful that with “one more surgery” or “one more hysteroscopy” I would be able to try implantation. Unfortunately, we never got to that point. After the 5 egg retrievals, we were able to get 3 healthy embryos – one of which we hope will find a happy home in our surrogate’s belly. We are so excited to meet the special person that will help us build our family. She will forever leave an imprint on our lives with this life changing gift. We want to be your biggest cheerleaders throughout this entire process – which means being available whenever you need us, to support you how you need to be supported, and to build a very special and unique relationship. We can’t wait to start this journey and we feel confident that this is exactly where we are supposed to be.
I grew up in the midwest (Kansas City to be exact) as an only child to two loving and creative parents. I’ve always had a huge imagination. As a kid, I kept myself busy with self-assigned art projects and elaborate movie scenes with my Barbies. I always thought that I’d end up as an artist, but changed my major at the last minute to my other love – psychology. After college, I moved to Atlanta following some friends and seeking a new adventure which pretty quickly meant working towards a masters degree by night and working at a law firm by day. My parents instilled a sense of hard work and placed a high importance on helping and serving others which led me to my passion of being a mental health therapist. I love helping other people become the best versions of themselves. I started a practice of my own in 2019 and these days my time is spent on the next step to grow as a therapist and mentor (and also as a wife and hopeful mom!). I love being active and healthy but also love queso and a marg! On the weekends you can find me biking to a coffee shop to sneak in a few pages of historical fiction, relaxing at the beach and/or rewatching Game of Thrones for the third time. Friends and family are extremely important to me, so celebrating holidays and big events keeps the calendar full.
If Shannon is the person that can sit still for hours on end, then I’m the opposite. As a kid growing up in Atlanta, I spent every waking moment on a field playing one sport or another. In middle school, I became an Eagle Scout – working on projects serving underprivileged communities on the weekends. Nowadays, I live an active life getting in a round of golf, biking to a festival at the park, or putting my GA tech engineering degree to work – adulting on the weekends with renovation projects around the house. Who knows, maybe even a backyard “Treehouse” project is on the horizon. I love music. I feel like a lot of people say that, but I really do. To me, family, music, and friends are at the top of the list. I prioritize my relationships with those that I love and it’s important to me to show up as the best husband, son, and friend I can be.
- Location: Atlanta, GA
- Number of embryos: 3
- Agency: Atlanta Center for Reproductive Medicine
- Surrogate Compensation: High if experienced ($35,000-$45,000)
- Requirements: Our clinic requires COVID-19 vaccine
The Biggest Ask Says
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine provides the following recommendations for evaluation of gestational carriers (i.e., many fertility clinics will require the following for their gestational carriers) :
- Carried at least 1 child without complications
- Fewer than 3 deliveries via c-section
- Body mass index in between 19 and 32
- No smoking, abusing drugs, alcohol or prescription medications
- Not receiving welfare, public housing or cash assistance from the government
- Has a stable home life with emotional and child care support
- No mental health conditions requiring the use of medications within the last 6 months (including depression)
- No criminal record
No one likes to talk about surrogate compensation, but it is an important factor in any surrogacy agreement. The following is how we classify high, medium and low compensation (excluding the value of any benefits). Many factors affect surrogate compensation including surrogate experience (e.g., has the woman been a surrogate before?), whether the surrogate is signed up with an agency and surrogate preferences.
- Low = surrogate compensation less than $20,000
- Medium = surrogate compensation between $20,000 and $40,000
- High = surrogate compensation greater than $40,000
You can learn more about how much surrogates get paid in our surrogacy guide’s module: “How much does surrogacy cost?”.
Feel Free to contact Shannon and Craig!
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