Colorado Surrogacy: Fulfilling Dreams at High Altitude
posted by: Amber Johnson
Would you carry someone else’s baby? How about your sister’s?
Despite stars like Tyra Banks and Nicole Kidman using surrogates to complete their families, surrogacy remains one of the least talked about tools in the fight against infertility.
Why do surrogates do what they do and how much do they get paid?
Colorado Surrogacy, LLC is a new surrogacy matching agency that sets itself apart by only recruiting surrogates from Colorado. Most agencies recruit surrogates from any state in the country where surrogacy is legal. Colorado Surrogacy feels that focusing locally gives them a great advantage because they can be more hands-on to their surrogates through the process and truly support them. Surrogates help intended parents from varying backgrounds and walks of life. Some are infertile couples who desperately want a child. Same-sex couples also choose surrogacy to create a family. Other intended parents are single men and women who want a child.
Colorado Surrogacy is a collaboration between Jennifer White and her sister, Ellen Trachman. They worked for many years at the Trachman Law Center that provides legal assistance to families using Assisted Reproductive Technologies and saw a great demand and need for quality and personalized surrogate matching services. In addition, Jennifer struggled with infertility for years and truly understands the heartbreak of a family being out of reach.
“Surrogates have huge hearts and there are so many reasons they would be willing to act in that capacity. There is a true selfless joy that comes from carrying a child for someone who can’t do so themselves, says Jennifer. “Some surrogates have watched a friend or family member suffer with infertility and want to help. Others believe that the altruistic act itself carries more than enough reward.”
Of course, there is also compensation. Surrogate mothers from Colorado Surrogacy start at $35,000 in base compensation. They also receive a $200 per month non-accountable allowance, up to $150 per month towards housekeeping (after pregnancy is confirmed) and a stipend for maternity clothes. The intended parents also pay for their legal expenses during the process and all pregnancy-related medical expenses.
There are some other nitty-gritty requirements. Surrogates must: *be between the ages of 21 and 40 *reside in Colorado *have given birth at least once relatively complication-free and are currently raising that child *have a body mass index between 18 and 33, *not use illegal drugs, smoke or abuse alcohol *not be receiving certain government aid, *and, of course, have the full support of their family.
Clearing up misconceptions about surrogacy:
– Colorado Surrogacy only handles gestational surrogacy which means that the surrogate is NOT genetically related to the child she is carrying. The embryo that is transferred is created with an egg from either the intended mother or a donor and sperm from either the intended father or a donor.
– There are legal contracts in place from the start to protect the surrogate. There is no chance she’ll get “stuck” with the baby. The contract addresses everything.
– Abortion is a hot-button issue in the surrogacy world and one that people hear a lot of negative press about. Colorado Surrogacy screens both their surrogates and intended parents very thoroughly and match them based on same beliefs. If a surrogate comes to them saying that she would never have an abortion or consent to selective reduction, then they will match her to intended parents who won’t ask her to.
A Colorado Mom’s Story
Colorado mom Amber decided when her youngest son stopped breastfeeding that she would pursue becoming a gestational carrier. “We knew we were done having our own children and this would be a way for me to do something I enjoy while helping another family. Plus, I’d get compensated without having to put my kids in daycare.”
Following the birth of baby Finn, Amber says “It was harder than I thought to see them go but most of my tears were tears of joy. They love him so much and he’s going to have an incredible life. I have a special kind of love for Finn. You know how every parent thinks their baby is the perfect baby? Even though Finn isn’t mine, I look at him and think he’s absolutely perfect. I can’t take credit for genetics but I’m very proud of myself for growing such a perfect baby.”
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