Gestational Carrier Amanda’s story and Montana Surrogacy

It’s rare for a day to go by that someone doesn’t ask me some question or another; after all, questions are part of life, right?  Generally things start off pretty generic, and devolve into much more personal quickly: What do you do for work?  How did you get into this? You were a surrogate?!? 

I knew at a young age, even before I had my own kids, that I would probably be a surrogate. Why? How in the world could you know that? My sister, due to health complications at a young age, was unlikely to be able to carry her own children. I often thought about it growing up. I knew if she wanted a family and I could help her I would! In the end I was not a surrogate for my sister (it was their choice not to pursue this option), but it worked out that I was able to help a friend of mine.  Yes, I was a surrogate!  We were independently matched because they were friends of mine, which meant no agency, and the little girl I carried turns 3 in November! I can’t say that process or the experience were always easy, but the joy of creating a life and a family was worth it in the end.

Another great outcome, other than creating a family, was meeting Ellen Trachman!  She was a life saver toward the end of the journey and did far more than a lawyer typically would do.  A few months after the delivery I reached out to Ellen, wanting to do more in the surrogacy world, and help others through this process.  She told me about an agency she and her sister just started (What?!? There are agencies?!?  Having gone independent, I didn’t know there was another way.) and wondered if I wanted to do some admin work for them. Shortly after I was hired and working away. I have learned a lot, especially as I was independent and did not have the help of an agency for my personal journey. Here are some items I believe are need to know for anyone going through surrogacy.

●     Each Party – IPs and GC must have their own attorney (one of the attorneys must be in the state in which the baby will be born) – A good lawyer would NEVER allow eitherparty to not have their own representation

●     Baby needs to be born in a state in whichIPs can legally be named the parents, ideally through a pre-birth order. Montana does not have any specific statutes or laws but treats surrogacy favorably in the courts. 

●     Escrow/expense account should be established for any cost reimbursements, the surrogate should never have to ask or wait for money; most lawyers will require this.

●     Health insurance review – the surrogate’s insurance should preferably be surrogacy friendly and not have a lien or exclusionary clause. Professional reviews can be done to verify coverage.

The surrogacy industry is ever growing and education is key! The big question many people asked was: “How could you give up the baby?” I was a gestational carrier, or gestational surrogate, not a traditional surrogate.  The egg was not mine and there was no genetic relation to the baby. I was merely the oven, the long term baby sitter, a generous care giver that gave her back to her parents when she was born. The baby was never mine and I never had any intention of keeping her. It’s similar to when your child goes to school; someone else cares for your child but are more than happy to give them back at the end of the day….Being a gestational carrier just takes a little longer ;-).  You enter this process with the mindset that the baby is not yours, you are helping someone else’s dreams come true, and baby will be going home with the parents, which was not me! Not only is it great to see the joy you helped create, so is going home and sleeping through the night. 

I love talking about my story and have written blogs and even been on a podcast about it! One of the best parts of working in this industry is working with other people that are passionate about surrogacy, many of whom have also been Gestational Carriers. Jennifer and Ellen, two sisters who worked in the industry and saw a need for a local agency with a passion for helping people; hiring others with the same passion. Amber, is strong beyond compare and she has shown her great strength by being a gestational carrier twice! She is also the intake coordinator for Montana Surrogacy. Suzie, a wonderful woman who not only raised 4 children of her own but was a traditional and gestational surrogate twice, one with twins!  Callie, super sweet, who has created a great bond with a couple after being their gestational carrier of twins! Patience, a doula with a heart of gold, who transferred 3 times; unfortunately, a surrogacy pregnancy was not successful but she works to share the lessons she learned with others. Ashley, always wanting to help others had twins for a Chinese couple! Marsha, doula and person extraordinaire, created a beautiful baby for a single IP. We all have different stories with a common goal to give a gift that would otherwise not be possible. Some of us can no longer be surrogates so we use our special powers now helping and guiding others through the process! 

We are so excited to have Montana as part of our sister agencies and to have Amber on the ground for local support! She’s really incredible and we encourage you to get to know her even if you don’t plan to be a surrogate!  We are ready and willing to answer any questions you may have - email us at info@montanasurro.com. If you think you are ready to be an Intended Parent please set up for a free consult to get started. If you think you are ready to be a Gestational Carrier and give the greatest gift, fill out our intake form and Amber will be in touch with you very soon! We look forward to hearing from you.