Being a Surrogate for a Gay Couple: An Interview with ConceiveAbilities Surrogate, Samantha

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ConceiveAbilities - Being a Surrogate for a Gay Couple

Samantha knew from the very start that she wanted to carry for an LGBT family. Inspired by witnessing her sister-in-law's struggle to have a child, Samantha applied to ConceiveAbilities surrogacy program with the intention of doing all she could for others facing similar challenges. In May of 2019, she delivered a dream-fulfilling baby boy for married gay dads.

We recently caught up with Samantha and asked her a bit about her experience being a surrogate for a gay couple. We so appreciate her taking the time to provide us with the below responses.

Samantha’s Interview:

1) How would you describe yourself?

Samantha: I am originally from California but we moved to Oregon about five years ago. My husband and I have a two-year-old son. I would describe myself as easy-going, fun and simple.

2) What does your family do for fun?

Samantha: My two-year-old loves playing outside. We also enjoy just spending time together as well as watching television shows as a family.

3) Was your young son interested in your belly when you were pregnant?

Samantha: Yes! He was very interested in my belly. He liked to tell people “that the baby is going to his destination.” So he would rub my belly and say, “okay, the baby is going to his destination now.” Whenever he sees a baby on television he always asks if it is the surrogate baby.

ConceiveAbilities - Being a Surrogate for a Gay Couple

4) It sounds like you came in knowing you wanted to help a same-sex couple. Did anything in particular inspire this?

Samantha: Yes. I wanted to be matched with a same-sex couple because my sister-in-law is a lesbian. She had a hard time and struggled with IVF. Watching her go through that definitely made me want to help another family.

5) Were your extended family and friends supportive of your journey? Did you receive any negative comments?

Samantha: At first, my mother-in-law was not sure about what I was doing, but she is supportive now and loves to tell people that I was a surrogate.

The only negative comment I ever received was from a gentleman who told me “Well, I would never allow my wife to do that.”

6) Did your husband have any hesitations about your becoming a surrogate or about carrying for same sex couple?

Samantha: My husband did not have any hesitations about my becoming a surrogate. He was all on-board. Same thing with being matched with a same-sex couple. His sister is a lesbian so same-sex relationships are familiar to us.

ConceiveAbilities - Being a Surrogate for a Gay Couple

7) What was your match meeting like?

Samantha: I do not really remember my match meeting that well. It was more than a year ago. My first impression was that my Intended Parents seemed really nice. We liked them right off the bat. They did look tired as they had young twins already!

8) How do you think carrying for a same-sex couple is different than carrying for a heterosexual couple or a single IP?

Samantha: My intended parents were very understanding of my personal space, which was terrific. During delivery, as well as the rest of the journey, they said “as long as the baby is safe, it is your body, do what you want to do.” That was so helpful. It definitely helped me to know that they trusted me.

9) Where did you deliver and did you feel supported by the hospital staff?

Samantha: I delivered at Oregon Health and Science University Hospital. The hospital staff and nurses were very supportive and caring. The parents actually brought the hospital staff doughnuts because they felt so supported!

10) Has carrying for a gay couple impacted your life in any particular way?

Samantha: Carrying for them made me feel more confident. I do not know how that is even possible...but carrying for them made me feel so confident in what I am capable of and made me open my eyes to learn how I can help out even more.

11) Any particular memories about delivery day? Were the Dads in the room for the birth?

Samantha: I had to be induced, which happened on May 4th at 10:00 pm. The Dads flew half-way across the country from Nebraska. Their flight left at 4:00 am. They made it to Portland at 10:00 am and arrived at the hospital at 11:00 am. I delivered at 1:39 pm!

I do not remember this but they told me that “The Lion King” was playing in the background while I was delivering. So they gave us a painting of the Lion King, which was so thoughtful. I do not remember much more because I received the epidural at about 6:00 am and slept until pushing so…not much more to tell!

ConceiveAbilities - Being a Surrogate for a Gay Couple

12) Are you still in touch with your IPs? How often do you get updates?

Samantha: We are still in touch. I get updates about once every three to four weeks. It is truly awesome-- they send me pictures of how chunky he has grown. They sent me his birth announcement just recently which was pretty cool.

13) What should a woman who is considering carrying for a same-sex couple keep in mind?

Samantha: Keep ‘em updated! They do not know anything about what is going on with your body. I sent my IPs a weekly picture of my belly so they could see the progress of how their baby was growing. It was not much but it was something simple I was able to do for them. I called them when I lost my mucus plug, for example. Just keeping them updated on small things is really helpful.

ConceiveAbilities - Being a Surrogate for a Gay Couple

14) Any other comments?

Samantha: They are very good dads! You can tell they have loved him since before he was born. They both cried during delivery which was so awesome!

ConceiveAbilities’ mission is to help everyone who wants to become a parent to realize that dream. Our agency is committed to supporting gay parenting and family building for both same-sex couples as well as single individuals in the LGBT community. Learn more on our website.

Matching Matters Methodology

Our surrogate matching process brings together the right surrogate with the right intended parent for a relationship that creates a family. Our matching process is designed to account for the most vital factors of this journey, including intensive medical and psychological screening to thoroughly vet compatibility. This precise matching system results in shortened timelines and rewarding relationships between our surrogates and their intended parents.

Our Matching Matters methodology means that the unique legal considerations, relevant to our same-sex clients, are taken into consideration from the very start of the surrogate matching process.

Samantha was matched with her IPs due in part to her desire to work with a same-sex family. Her home state of Oregon, providing an appropriate venue for the surrogacy birth was also a consideration. Her intended parents’ preferences as well as many other variables were analyzed prior to introduction by our matching expert. Learn more about Matching Matters on our website.