Surro Stories: Amanda

pregnant bellyIt was always my dream to change someone’s life. Before I became a surrogate I did a lot of charity work as a young person, but the effect seemed so short lived. I wanted to change someone’s life forever. And what changes your life more than a child? For me, surrogacy was the answer. My husband didn’t take me seriously at first, but once he saw how committed I was, he got on board and supported me 100%.

My relationship with the intended fathers really took off from the moment we met. After the initial match meeting, we stayed out in the LA area and got to spend the whole night together. We laughed and learned about each other, sharing stories, hopes and dreams. It was just like we were old friends. I don’t think there was ever a moment that we doubted our decision to work together. Things just kept getting better from there.

We always knew that the intended fathers planned to use surrogacy twice, with the goal of each one having a child from their own genetics. We spoke about it at the beginning, but my husband and I decided that I’d be ready for my second experience long before my intended parents were ready for their second baby. We were slightly disappointed, but OK with this reality.

So imagine my surprise when they called to say they’d decided to start their second journey earlier than expected? Turns out they had friends with a child through surrogacy, who had just started on their sibling project. My guys thought about age difference between their children and how well their first was responding to children around her, and decided to go ahead and dive in head first. When they asked me to be their surrogate for the second time, all I could say was, “sign me up!”

Moving through this second journey has been a lot of the same experience, and a whole bunch of new, too. While we know what to expect this time, that also can cause some stress. We were originally shooting for a specific transfer date but missed that date. Everything wound up perfect, because now, without pre-planning, these two sisters will have the exact same due date- just two years apart. Interestingly, both embryos were created from the same egg donor in the same cycle, meaning that, basically, the girls will be twins born two years apart!

I set out wanting to change someone’s life forever. But, through surrogacy, by the time I’m done I will have not only changed lives, I will have created lives.

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for intended parents, surrogates and donors. She is the co-owner of Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019) as well as the children's book You Began as a Wish (Independent Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. She has two adult daughters.