Miami Mom Collective chatted with 34 year old Andrea Brenes, a Miami-area mom of two who made the choice to become a surrogate, to ask her how she made her decision.
Why did you want to be a surrogate?
Helping people has always been something my mom ingrained in me while growing up. My aunt actually almost became a surrogate when I was younger – and that sent me in motion. I remember being in high school and telling my friends that one day I wanted to carry a child for someone! As you can imagine, my 15-16 year old friends thought I was crazy. As I got older, I used to always offer people my womb when the conversation of kids came up. I had hoped to do this for someone I knew, but no one in my family ever struggled with infertility and the friends that had struggles pursued other routes.
Does it make a difference that you have your own children?
Definitely. Not only is having had at least one pregnancy a requirement to be a surrogate, but I knew I wanted to have my own children first. It was important to be done building my own family. I had my kids when I was young and I’m still young enough to be a surrogate.
As you enter into your surrogacy journey, what drives you to help other families?
My mother-in-law reminded me the other day of a conversation we had a few days after I had my daughter. I was 23, caring for this itty bitty little baby, I looked at her and said, “I want to give this gift to someone. I want to help a family have a child.” God placed this purpose in my heart. I prayed a lot about it over the years. If 2020 gave me anything good, it was the time to reflect on my life and what legacy I wanted to leave my kids. If they learn anything from me, I hope it’s compassion and genuine kindness to help others.
What makes a good surrogate?
Going through this process has given me such a newfound appreciation for what my body has done for me. I hug my kids a little tighter every night knowing how blessed I am to have them. Any woman who looks at her children should thank God for the little miracles that they are.
I will say, any woman looking into becoming a surrogate needs to have a grasp on her own well-being. This journey throws you for some loops. Definitely a surrogate is someone who has a really great, positive outlook on life and genuinely loves to help people.
A good surrogate also has an amazing support system. I have an army behind me and I thank them everyday for their encouragement and doing things like coming over at odd hours to give me shots.
What are the basic requirements to become a surrogate?
● Age: 21 – 40
● Must already have given birth without complications
● Long term US resident
● Uncomplicated medical history
● Emotionally healthy
To find out if you meet the basic requirements, ConceiveAbilities has a five-minute survey that you can take to find out if you qualify to start your own surrogacy journey. After you meet those qualifications, you undergo a more comprehensive medical, psychological and background screening to make sure you are ready for a surrogacy journey.
How much does a surrogate get paid in Miami?
Miami is a high demand area and ConceiveAbilities’ base pay is $52,000 for a first time surrogate. For a limited time, surrogates can earn an additional $5,000 bonus in base pay bringing that up to $57,000. You can find out what your estimated base pay including lost wages would be with ConceiveAbilities’ calculator.
What was it like to meet your Intended Parents for the first time?
We actually matched with our family over Zoom and emailed back and forth due to COVID-19. We didn’t meet in person until our actual embryo transfer day. On the day of our transfer, my nerves were all over the place. They were about to entrust me with the most precious thing in their world, so I really wanted them to like us! The minute they walked in and we hugged each other, all of my fears went away. I knew going into this journey that it was something God placed in my heart. After meeting my Intended Parents, I know God put them in my path as well.
Since that day, we’ve become closer and we feel like they are a part of our family. I feel so lucky to be on this incredible journey with them and can’t wait to make their family whole.
What do you want people to know about being a surrogate?
I’ve been tracking my surrogacy milestones on my Instagram @surrogacy_diaries. I want people to know how being a surrogate can have a profound impact not only on the family I’m helping, but my own. I’ve experienced so much joy already. I was able to share my belly bud’s heartbeat and in a few weeks my Intended Parents will be in town for a gender reveal. This whole experience has been amazing and I can’t wait for all the moments that are to come over the next few months.
Surrogacy with ConceiveAbilities
Nazca Fontes, CEO ConceiveAbilities, wants to help Florida women answer a greater calling. “Our job is to support you in fulfilling your dream of becoming a surrogate and helping another family. We have intended parents who know, more than ever, family is everything. And you are needed.”
If you are thinking about becoming a surrogate in Florida, ConceiveAbilities delivers a comprehensive plan to ensure a successful fourth trimester recovery, from the start of pregnancy and based on the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists standard of care.
As a surrogate with ConceiveAbilities, you will have a personalized consultation covering the facts behind, and options for:
- Doula care and birth preparation
- Physical therapy
- Fitness / movement
- Monthly Q&A sessions with rotating experts throughout pregnancy
Why Do Women Become Surrogates?
ConceiveAbilities recently hired research firm Accelerant Research to better understand surrogates. The firm surveyed 100 surrogates, more than 500 qualified surrogacy prospects and more than 1,000 women from the general population. Of the surrogates and qualified surrogacy prospects, Accelerant found:
- More than 60% reported a household income above $75,000
- More than half volunteer regularly
- Nearly half are registered blood and organ donors
- Almost one-quarter of them foster pets
- More than three-quarters said they did so because they knew someone personally in need
- Two-thirds said they had first-hand exposure to a relative or close friend’s struggle with infertility
“We found that the single biggest motivation for surrogates is the simple desire to help,” Nazca Fontes, CEO of ConceiveAbilities shared. “Eighty-seven percent said they find joy in helping others; 74 percent reported they are motivated by a sense of empowerment as a surrogate.”
ConceiveAbilities' first-of-its-kind All-In Surrogate Care and Compensation Program is the highest of any surrogacy agency.