Here, in Part 2 of their journey where José and Renato tell us about the process of choosing a surrogate and the excitement at expecting their twins in August 2020
What was the matching process like for you and how did you end up selecting your surrogate?
The matching process was great overall. Just like finding an IVF clinic, we had no idea where to start or what to look for in a surrogate. The only thing we knew was that the US surrogate would be compensated, and we needed to look for a surrogate that would fall within our budget.
We could not believe that after only one day, our agency had found us our perfect surrogate match! It happened in what felt like the blink of an eye. And from then on, the matching process continued to be very smooth.
Did your surrogate get pregnant with the first embryo transfer?
Yes, our surrogate got pregnant with the first embryo transfer! We transferred two embryos, and both took first try – we were so lucky!! Our surrogate also let us know that she felt she was extremely well cared for by all the staff at our clinic and of course our IVF doctor, at California Fertility Partners – we were so happy for that. Unfortunately, due the time difference from California to Portugal, we couldn’t attend the embryo transfer ourselves but were relieved to know our surrogate was taken care of.
How did your agency assist you through the surrogacy process and what was your experience like with Extraordinary Conceptions?
The assistance of our agency, throughout the entire surrogacy process was and continues to be unsurpassable! We couldn’t have asked for better support throughout this journey. The amazing team at Extraordinary Conceptions was always there advocating on our behalf and helping us every step of the way. Even when it seemed obstacles were in our path, they were always there. If we were to go back in time, we would not change a thing about our decision to go with Extraordinary Conceptions. We do not believe that there would be any other agency able to be as supportive and helpful as the staff at EC has been. We will never find words to be able to fully express our gratitude to all the staff at Extraordinary Conceptions for helping to make our dreams come true. ️
Did you have family and friend support throughout the process?
To be honest, not to start. In fact, we started this process completely on our own, with only one great friend who supported our decision and has been there for us throughout the journey – this is the same friend that had introduced us, 3 years ago. Further down the road in the process, some more relatives and other friends started showing us their support too, but that took some time.
When are your babies due? Do you have a birth plan in place?
The estimated due date for our babies is August 2nd 2020, but as we are expecting twins, it’s likely they will arrive before then. We haven’t given a birth plan too much thought to be honest, but we have decided that we will both be in the room for the delivery and our surrogate has also agreed and is happy with this plan. Although we can not wait to hold our babies in our arms when they arrive the most important thing is that they will arrive safe and healthy, and that our surrogate will also be healthy post delivery.
What advice can you give to other international couples just starting out or currently going through the surrogacy process in North America?
We would tell other intended parents that the main thing to consider before pursuing their journey is to take care of their finances – going through surrogacy in North America can be quite an expensive process therefore making sure intended parents budget for this process is important. Saying this, the process in the USA is also one in which you know you will be protected by the laws and practices currently in place and that you will be guided step by step by professionals with many years of experience in surrogacy. Throughout this process, we’ve always felt secure that in the USA our parental rights are guaranteed, which is very reassuring and for us, was more important than going through this process elsewhere, to possibly save money but where we may not have this same feeling of security and protection.
Any final words for intended parents considering their family-building options?
In Portugal where surrogacy is not legal, ‘international’ surrogacy was the only option for us when it came to family building. We want intended parents to know that they must be prepared for some disappointments and unexpected setbacks as no journey is perfect.
Surrogacy is a long process and sometimes the stars are not going to align the way we wish they would. BUT every step forward is a huge achievement, and even though we are miles and miles apart from the ones and the places where the future of our family is growing, we could not be more grateful that we took this path to parenthood and our dreams of becoming parents will finally come true.
Continue to Follow José and Renato’s journey on Instagram at @2future.dads.in.Portugal
If you have any questions about Jose and Renato’s international surrogacy journey, contact UK & Europe Client Relations Consultant, Hilary at firstname.lastname@example.org