17 Mar Onboarding Process – Q & A with Surrogates Janet and Monica
Janet and Monica come to Same Love Surrogacy as a married same-sex couple looking to embark on a surrogacy journey, together, as Gestational Carriers.
“I look forward to seeing her in a way that I’ve never seen her before. I look forward to pampering her in a way that I’ve never had to do before. I look forward to watching her give, like I’ve never seen her give before. I look forward to seeing her selflessly grow and bring a new life into this world.” – Monica
Here is a glimpse into their onboarding experience with Same Love Surrogacy’s, Surrogate Coordinator, Andrea Muehlhaus.
Q: What sparked your interest with surrogacy? Why did you decide to apply to become a surrogate?
Janet: I always want to help others in any way possible, helping others create/expand families was no exception. I enjoyed being pregnant when I carried my own children and I know I do not want to have any more children of my own as our family is complete; therefore, I felt surrogacy is a perfect experience for me to help others by carrying the child that they cannot do so themselves.
Monica: Since I was a child, I’ve always known that I was meant to be a mother. I had my first child the “traditional” way. My second child I had to do things differently. I had to go through a sperm bank to conceive. I couldn’t imagine not being able to have other options to becoming a mother, so here I am making myself someone’s option. I know that there are many people out there who feel the same about parenthood as I do, and I would love nothing more than to be able to aid in making that happen. A short journey from me will continue generations of another family’s legacy.
Q: Why did you choose to work with Same Love Surrogacy versus other surrogacy agencies you may have contacted? What about SLS stood out to you most?
Janet: In all honesty, I began to apply with a different agency prior to Same Love Surrogacy but their questions were extensive, and their process seemed impersonal; therefore, I did not continue with their process. After a google search for best surrogacy agencies, I came across a list of top 8 agencies, Same Love Surrogacy was on that list. I checked out their website (www.SameLoveSurrogacy.com) and read that they are an agency that was inspired based on the personal experience of 3 gay dads who went through the surrogacy process themselves. This sold me. Same Love Surrogacy is based off knowing firsthand what it is like to go through this experience.
Monica: I chose Same Love Surrogacy because I am a product of the same love community. I can relate to the obstacles that same-sex relationships have to go through when it comes to starting a family.
Q: How did you inform your support system and what were their initial reactions?
Janet: My main support system is my wife; she has been on board since we first talked about it because she herself wants to help others. We are excited to go through this journey together.
Monica: So far so good, everyone is in the big smiles and “OMG” phase. I’m very lucky to have people support me.
Q: The onboarding process includes (but is not limited to) collecting your prenatal and delivery records, most recent pap smear result, OB Clearance, IVF records (if you are a returning surrogate), background checks, Zoom interview, home visit, health insurance review, and a psychological evaluation. How was the SLS onboarding experience for you?
Janet: The onboarding experience has been smooth sailing since Day 1. We have direct contact with our coordinator, Andrea, should we have any questions. Obtaining records can take time depending on your provider along with the review of said records. Background check, zoom interview, home visit, health insurance review and psychological home visit were all done rather quickly yet very efficiently. Andrea has been amazing guiding us throughout the entire process.
Monica: At first, I was nervous because I didn’t know what to expect, I felt as though my life was about to be judged and critiqued by people that didn’t know me. That wasn’t the case at all. The woman on my team made me feel very comfortable, she made it easy to just be me. Any assistance we needed was just a text away. In my experience every step went smoothly except for my OB clearance. Depending on your health care provider you might run into a small, time-consuming hiccup, but that doesn’t take away from positive experience with the rest of the process.
Q: How long was the process from the time you submitted your application online to becoming available for matching with Intended Parents?
Janet: The application was submitted end of November-beginning of December 2022. Profile became available mid-February 2023. Took about 2 months to begin the matching process.
Monica: I submitted my application November 2022 and was matched February 23, 2023.
Q: At Same Love Surrogacy, surrogates have their own coordinator, separate from the Intended Parent’s own coordinator. What has been your experience working with your Surrogate Coordinator so far?
Janet: I absolutely adore Andrea, as mentioned previously she has been amazing through this process, she’s always available to answer all questions. I love that we can reach her directly especially via text message.
Monica: My Coordinator is amazing. She is easy to communicate with, I feel like I’m talking to a friend, so I didn’t hesitate to text her with any questions even if I thought it was something that I should already know the answer to. I truly believe that having a great coordinator is the foundation to having a happy and successful journey. Imagine spending months coordinating something that is supposed to be life changing with someone that has the attitude of a DMV clerk.
Q: Before starting the surrogacy process did you have any concerns and if so, what concerns did you have? Was your coordinator able to discuss and alleviate your concerns?
Janet: Honestly, not really [any concerns]. We did our research beforehand and Andrea was very thorough.
Monica: I honestly don’t recall having any concerns, but it’s still very early in the process. I do know that Andrea has my back if needed.
Q: Sharing your surrogacy journey with your wife is an incredible opportunity, what do you look forward to most when embarking on this process?
Janet: I’m very excited about sharing the entire pregnancy experience with my wife as we both came into this marriage with our own children; we missed out on each other’s pregnancy journey. I think it will be something amazing to experience together. We get to be each other’s support with things like appointments, pains/aches, pampering, cravings and all the good stuff that comes with pregnancy, all while fully understanding what the other is going through.
Monica: I look forward to seeing her in a way that I’ve never seen her before. I look forward to pampering her in a way that I’ve never had to do before. I look forward to watching her give, like I’ve never seen her give before. I look forward to seeing her selflessly grow and bring a new life into this world.
Q: What words of advice would you have for someone thinking about becoming a surrogate themselves?
Janet: Do it. What is there to lose? Many people want to have a family and cannot, why rob them of that joy if we can help.
Monica: Make sure you are doing this for the right reasons. You must be ok with adjusting your lifestyle to make sure that you are healthy and can safely house someone’s baby.
If you would like to share your surrogacy story with us, you may send an email to Andrea@SameLoveSurrogacy.com