My Surrogacy Journey: Amanda Kinnard-Fuchsgruber
Before I even had my own children, I knew that if my sister wanted children I would most likely have to carry them for her. This was something that I had thought about for years and had done a little research. After having 2 of my own children, fairly easy pregnancies and deliveries, it was definitely an option. My husband and I along with my sister and her husband had several conversations about this, but eventually they decided children did not seem to be in their future. Not long after I had my second child, a college friend of mine posted on Facebook that his wife was advised that she no longer carry a child do to H.E.L.P. syndrome, and that they needed a surrogate. I talked to my sister and my husband, and honestly prayed that this is what I was supposed to do. I contacted him and let him know that I was interested, talked with the clinic, filled out the hundreds of papers, my husband and I passed our psych screening, so off to their clinic I went to see if my body was able to do surrogacy. My uterus was “beautiful and long”, making a great place to put two embryos, and in February 2016 I was officially a gestational carrier (GC). Only one embryo was growing and one heartbeat detected, and a beautiful baby was born November 2016. That is the best part, the reason a GC does what she does, that beautiful baby, and the smiling, joyful faces of the parents!
That’s clearly a quick and simple version of my journey, but the truth is for me it was hard. It was an independent match, and with that we had no guidance other than what little the clinic gave and neither of us, the IPs or my husband and I, knew what we were doing. They hired a horrible lawyer not licensed in the states either of us live in, and who also advised me not to have my own legal counsel (among other poor counsel). Money was always an issue because it was coming directly from them to me and we had no one to mitigate the situation, what was covered and what wasn’t. Making that situation even more tense, we lived in different states, they couldn’t see me, my life or the growing belly, only bills. They did come for several appointments and we were in contact regularly, even sending belly pics, but it still felt somewhat disconnected. The pregnancy was fairly normal and I would never have done anything to harm the baby in any way regardless of the money. Between the money, bad legal advice, legal not being properly done and their previous pregnancy experience, there was a lot of tension in the relationship. There was more to this then I ever anticipated, including the feelings of the IPs and their issues surrounding pregnancy from their experiences. When it came time to do our pre birth order (PBO), they had to hire new legal counsel, and their legal counsel required that I had my own counsel, and I met Ellen Trachman. She was my saving grace, and did way more for me than just be my legal counsel for the PBO.
After I had the baby I contacted Ellen about being involved with surrogacy mainly because I didn’t want anyone to feel the way I did: lost, alone and with no help (until Ellen). We kept in communication and a few months later she mentioned that her new agency was looking for someone to do some administration work for them, and I promptly sent her my resume. I then was hired and have been working with Colorado Surrogacy since January 2017. Jenn and Ellen have a heart for this business for families and wanting to create them. I share their passion, and I come from a perspective that I want the journey to be a good one, and I want to be a resource for anyone who needs it, even just to talk.
If you have any questions about becoming a surrogate, or about my experience, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org