Stephanie and Zach
We have a home in Maple Grove, MN with our 2-year-old miracle boy, Beckett, dog, Bear and cat, Tuna. I am a Medical Device Project Manager and Zach is an IT Manager.
This will be our second journey with a Gestational Surrogate as we want to give our 2 year old boy, Beckett, a sibling. How Beckett came to be, it wasn’t easy. He was carried by another gestational carrier back in 2018-2019. We had tried for 4 years to get pregnant and had many losses and heartache along the way. After 2 IVF retrievals and 5 embryo transfers, our doctor found free fluid in my fallopian tubes, and it needed to be fixed before we could carry on with treatments. I finally had surgery done in 2017 and that’s where they found extensive endometriosis on my organs and that damaged my fallopian tubes, so they had to be removed, meaning I could no longer get pregnant naturally. We attempted 1 more embryo transfer after that, which ended again in a chemical pregnancy. We determined we needed to stop trying to get me pregnant and explored our options. Gestational surrogacy was where we landed, and we are so grateful we did. Even though the journey to this place was hard, we feel honored to be a part of something where people come together to help bring life into this world. We had the best experience with our previous gestational carrier and still to this day remain close.
After having Beckett, we were unsure if we could do gestational surrogacy again, but after watching him grow and develop into this amazing little human, it made our decision easy. We want to give him a forever friend in life, a sibling. Family is a huge part of our lives, and we couldn’t imagine not trying to give Beckett that support and companionship we have with our siblings.
We are big hockey fans and Zach still plays hockey weekly in a men’s league. Beckett loves to swim, so lots of lake and pool time happens right now! Stephanie loves to paint in her free time and has a small side business where she paints heartbeats and other abstract acrylic paintings. This little business helped fund their first surrogacy journey and it also connected her to many women in all walks of life. Women that went through hell to finally be expecting. Women who lost a child, had a miscarriage, still birth, etc. She feels honored to be painting a piece so meaningful to them.
- Location: Maple Grove, MN
- Number of embryos: 3
- Agency: IARC
- Surrogate Compensation: Medium ($20,000-$35,000)
- 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 Stephanie and Zach!
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