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Media Center – Press Releases

ARR Separates Surrogacy Fact From Fiction


CHICAGO (Jan. 12, 2011) – Thanks to happy outcomes for such celebrities as Sarah Jessica Parker, Elton John, and Ricky Martin, gestational surrogacy is increasingly in the news. And thanks to movies like “Baby Mama” and developments like “outsourced” pregnancies to surrogates in India, it remains a subject marked more by fiction than fact.

“Now, more than ever, family creation is an attainable dream for many who thought it was beyond their reach,” said Robin von Halle, president of Alternative Reproductive Resources (ARR), Chicago, an agency that matches intended parents with egg donors and surrogates.

“But even as options like gestational surrogacy become more common, they remain clouded by misconceptions,” von Halle added. “It confuses prospective parents, and may put off viable surrogate candidates, as well.

“However, demand has never been greater for qualified surrogates. That’s why it’s important to separate fact from fiction,” she said.

Among the five most common fictions about surrogacy that ARR encounters:

  1. Surrogates are typically drawn from a pool of unemployed women on welfare. In fact, they aren’t suitable because of the requirement that surrogates have their own health insurance. Such circumstances also suggest they are without the requisite strong support structure of a husband, family or close friends.
  2. The surrogate becomes impregnated by having intercourse with the intended father. The embryo is created through in vitro fertilization, using the intended mother’s or donor eggs and the intended father’s or donor sperm. Then, it is transferred to the surrogate’s uterus.
  3. Surrogates are in it for the money. Actually, most surrogates have been touched by infertility – a family member or close friend – and want to help others. The $20,000 to $30,000 average compensation is nice, but secondary, especially given the year-plus commitment it requires.
  4. Any woman can become a surrogate. It’s not so simple. There are physical and psychological requirements. Among them? That the surrogate has a healthy obstetrical history and has borne and currently parents at least one child.
  5. They do it because they want to keep the baby. In fact, most surrogates have already had their families, and found pregnancy an enjoyable experience. Many view their surrogacies as almost like babysitting!

Founded in 1992, ARR was the first egg donor/gestational surrogacy agency in Chicago, and one of the first in the nation. For information, e-mail info@arr1.com, or call 773.327.7315.

Media contact:
Robyn Velasquez
Hodge Media Strategies

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A Parent’s Story:
Cheryl Johnson, Willowbrook, Ill.

I always wanted children, but as I grew older I knew the chances of becoming pregnant would become harder. ARR had the philosophy I was looking for in an agency. The ARR team made me feel very comfortable as a single woman making a life-changing decision. I also was impressed by ARR’s egg donor process. ARR did extensive background work as part of the process, ultimately matching me with two exceptional potential donors. They both shared my characteristics and values. I am now the proud mother of twin boys. My donor and ARR helped me create the family I always wanted.

  american society of reproductive medicine