By Frank Golden

When Adam and I first started this agency, we didn’t expect to see much returning business. Surrogacy Journeys, for many, are once in a lifetime experiences. The financial component of Surrogacy Journeys might also deter Intended Parents from embarking on a second journey. What we’ve come to realize is that many of our Intended Parents, about 20-30% of them, are interested in undergoing a second journey. We treat second-time Intended Parents the same way we treat Intended Parents entering our program for the first time. Intended Parents can expect the same personal care, access to information, and seamless experience.

Primarily, before beginning a second journey, Intended Parents should discuss and formulate their family goals. Some important questions to ask might be: How far apart in age do you want your children to be; Do you want to use the same Surrogate for your second journey; Do you have remaining embryos or will you have to create more; Are you prepared to take care of an infant while being immersed in another journey? Once Intended Parents have answered these questions, and once they’ve made sure they have the financial resources to support another journey, it’s time to get excited about the idea of adding to or completing their family.

One of the most crucial factors in beginning a second journey is establishing and managing expectations. Intended Parents embarking on their second journey tend to have a different mindset than Intended Parents entering the program for the first time. Second-time Intended Parents tend to have a better understanding of the Surrogacy process. They have been through match calls, embryo transfers, first ultrasounds, legal contracts. They understand the importance of building a strong relationship with their Surrogate. What second-time Intended Parents might not understand is that their first journey and second journey are two entirely different ordeals, and the experience might vary between the two. We want Intended Parents to enter their second journey feeling optimistic and excited, but we also want them to remain realistic about their expectations. We go out of our way to ensure that every single journey is successful and well-managed. With that said, we cannot guarantee that Intended Parents will have two identical journeys. Even with the same Surrogate, journeys can vastly differ in cost, potential risks, and overall experience.

When beginning a second journey, Intended Parents might want to establish a general timeline goal. If Intended Parents want children to be very close in age, they might begin their second journey while their first journey is still underway. We understand the excitement, and want to support Intended Parents with their decisions, however, it might be wise to wait until the first journey is complete. Some Reproductive Endocrinologists won’t approve Intended Parents for a second journey until one year after their baby is born; they want to ensure that Intended Parents feel comfortable with their role as parents and that they are emotionally prepared to take on a second journey while raising a new child. Some Intended Parents want to use the same Surrogate from their first journey. In this case, Intended Parents will have to wait one year after the delivery of their baby before their Surrogate is medically approved to undergo another embryo transfer. We can begin onboarding her, obtaining her most recent pregnancy and delivery records, and begin preparing her body for transfer, but it will be one full year before the embryo transfer takes place. Even if Intended Parents want children very close in age, they have to accept the reality that beginning their second journey might require patience and might take longer than expected.

It’s a beautiful thing when Intended Parents and Surrogates get to embark on a second journey together. Unfortunately, that’s not always an option. For Intended Parents using a different Surrogate for their second Journey, we recommend going into the relationship with a fresh slate. It’s not fair to compare one Surrogate to the other. We love when Intended Parents feel a bond with their Surrogate – we encourage and help foster strong relationships. However, we suggest that Intended Parents view their first Surrogate as a beautiful addition to their life, and to embrace their new Surrogate as another potential addition, both completely separate from each other. Some Intended Parents have both surrogates speak with each other before making a final decision about whether or not to move forward. This indicates to us that Intended Parents trust their first Surrogate, and that means we did a great job matching and fostering that relationship; it makes us proud and we appreciate the extra reassurance it provides Intended Parents, but moving forward, it’s crucial to remain open to a new personality, relationship dynamic, and overall experience with a new Surrogate.

As many of our readers and listeners already know, Adam and I have two children via Surrogacy. Our first child just turned six and our youngest is two. We originally planned to have our children closer in age, but it didn’t work out for us that way. Silas, our two-year-old, was difficult to conceive and we went through several failed transfers before Silas finally stuck. At first we were disappointed, but we now realize what a blessing it’s been to have the four year age difference between our children. Sophia gets to be our helper, and while raising a toddler who just entered his “terrible twos”, it’s greatly appreciated. We used a different Surrogate for our second journey, not by choice, but because our Surrogate was not medically approved to undergo a second journey. We worried about forming the same, strong bond with a new woman. We worried that she wouldn’t compare to Debi. And she didn’t. She was a completely different woman with a different personality and a different way of managing the journey. And we loved her for it. Debi and Janet couldn’t have been more different, but they both gave us beautiful children and a beautiful bond that will last a lifetime.

If you’re ready to begin your second journey, Golden Surrogacy would love to help. I have years of experience as an agency owner and even more experience as an Intended Parent. I understand the excitement and the joys of beginning a second journey, and would love to be part of your joy and excitement as you continue to build your family.