Surrogacy Mentor #NormalizeSurrogacy Podcast

Episode 32: 5 Awesome Reasons to Become a Surrogate

January 18, 2023 Carey Flamer-Powell Season 2 Episode 32
Episode 32: 5 Awesome Reasons to Become a Surrogate
Surrogacy Mentor #NormalizeSurrogacy Podcast
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Surrogacy Mentor #NormalizeSurrogacy Podcast
Episode 32: 5 Awesome Reasons to Become a Surrogate
Jan 18, 2023 Season 2 Episode 32
Carey Flamer-Powell

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Join Carey Flamer-Powell, Founder and CEO of Surrogacy Mentor , along with Marielle Schuberth, Intake Coordinator for Surrogacy Mentor and 3 time surrogate, as they share their personal experiences as surrogates and 5 Awesome Reasons to Become a Surrogate.

Let's normalize surrogacy through education and open discussion!

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

Join Carey Flamer-Powell, Founder and CEO of Surrogacy Mentor , along with Marielle Schuberth, Intake Coordinator for Surrogacy Mentor and 3 time surrogate, as they share their personal experiences as surrogates and 5 Awesome Reasons to Become a Surrogate.

Let's normalize surrogacy through education and open discussion!

Episode 32: 5 Awesome Reasons to Become a Surrogate

Carey Flamer-Powell: [00:00:00] Welcome to today's episode of the Normalize Surrogacy Podcast by Surrogacy Mentor. I'm your host, Carey Flamer-Powell, experienced gestational surrogate, surrogacy agency founder and owner of Surrogacy Mentor, where our aim is to help surrogates match with reputable surrogacy agencies for a safe, ethical, and enjoyable surrogacy journey.

Today, I'm happy to welcome back Surrogacy Mentor’s Intake Coordinator and three time surrogate, Marielle Schuberth. Welcome back, Marielle. 

Marielle Schuberth: Thank you. Glad to be back.

Carey Flamer-Powell: Yeah, so we're in, uh, season two of the podcast and coming out of the holidays and both of us being sick and so this is nice to sort of get back to business and be back together for a new episode in the new year. Yep. So today we are gonna talk about, um, [00:01:00] Some really awesome reasons that people become surrogates, including ourselves. And we recently did a blog post, uh, on our website about this. And I thought it would be worth sort of diving in a little deeper into each of these five reasons, um, as experienced surrogates ourselves and talk about, you know, why are these good reasons and were these some of the reasons why we became surrogates as well. So let's just kind of go ahead and start on reason number one, awesome reasons to become a surrogate. Um, and I think for me, this is the biggest one and it's giving the gift of family. 

So, um, you know, obviously at the end of the day, the biggest reason why I became a surrogate. Someone had helped my partner and I have our child, and that was an anonymous sperm donor helped [00:02:00] my ex-wife and I have our daughter. And I was just so moved by the fact that, um, someone out there in the world that I had never met and maybe would never meet, um, wanted to do something that ultimately helped me have the most important thing in my life, which is my daughter. And I thought, wow, I really wanna be a part of helping to give someone else that gift. How can I do that? And that's what the very first thing that planted the seed and led me to surrogacy. And I think most surrogates who've completed a journey will tell you that the most amazing part of becoming a surrogate is the moment where you watch. The parents of the baby you've carried, or babies you've carried, um, either become parents for the first time or add to their family, and it's just a magical moment that you can't even really describe.But definitely giving the gift of family for most surrogates, I'd say [00:03:00] is number one. What, what do you think? 

Marielle Schuberth: Yeah, absolutely. And um, I will say after having done it a few times, um, I didn't think about, I mean, of course it makes sense once I'll say it, but. It's not just helping make, you know, help people become parents or become parents.

Again, you're helping people become grandparents in aunts and uncles. And, um, thinking about kind of the wave of family that you are creating, um, is a super cool thing that I never really thought about. Cause everybody's focus is on the parents. But, um, you know, I had one set of intended parents. Who were a little bit older, and so their parents were also a little bit older and they were a gay couple.

And so their parents didn't think that they were ever gonna get to have grandchildren or that they were ever going to get to live to see them. And so they were so excited that they were gonna become grandparents. And I never thought about the rest of the family and how that would kind of integrate into this pregnancy and this baby, and helping other [00:04:00] people.

like in the family, um, as well. And I thought that was a really cool part that I didn't really think about. Cuz everybody focuses on the parents, which obviously is the main focus and that's a huge thing, but there's such a bigger ripple effect there. There's cousins, you know, all the things. And it's really cool to have that impact, not just on the parents but the whole family.

Carey Flamer-Powell: You know what, that's a really good point. Um. You know, I'll speak for my personal experience. I carried for two women and I carried a little boy. For two women, it was their first child, a first and only child. They were both in their mid thirties, early, maybe late thirties, early forties at the time. And, uh, first grandchild on both.

And so I think it was a very similar situation where perhaps their parents, with them being a lesbian couple and being older, quote unquote older, um, they never really maybe thought that they'd ever [00:05:00] have grandchildren on either side. And it was amazing to watch not only them become mothers, but um, when I was, when I gave birth, one of the, um, Parents that I carried for, her mother was there, her brother was there, her aunt was there.

Um, on the other side, the other mom's cousin, she came in from outta state. Her best friend came in from outta state. So there are people all around these parents that have their hopes and dreams. Um, involved in this surrogacy as well, and it, it was amazing, um, to watch not only them become parents, but make grandparents and then great-grandparents on both sides.

Um, so you're right. It's amazing and you don't think about it, but they're, I've seen many stories, um, in my agency that I owned, uh, where surrogates. Carried four couples who, um, would do like a announcement video [00:06:00] for their family, and we, they would then record it. And it was really some of the most amazing ones that we ever got to see were they would sit down like their whole extended family, like.

50 people in this room, right? Like their parents, their cousins, their best friends, their sisters, their aunts, brothers, everything. And 50 people in this room are getting to find out that they have a new family member coming that they never thought would be coming. And so it definitely, there's definitely a ripple effect and yeah.

That's, that's cool. That's beautiful. Yeah. 

Carey Flamer-Powell: And just as a little end note to that, there have been many, many births that. Um, been involved in or participated in, you know, being there and the grandmothers or the sisters or the aunts or the uncles are there as well. Like they come from other countries to be present for this and to be involved, and it's a really big deal.

Marielle Schuberth: Yeah, my French, um, dad's, their parents came, um, for [00:07:00] a couple of weeks and stayed with them too. So I got to meet their them and see them and it's just, it's cool to, to actually see that other side of, yeah, it's not just a small family. Sometimes it is, but sometimes it's much bigger than that. And it's definitely cool and kind of a part that you don't think about right off the bat, but it's.

Love, love ripples, and it's just great . Absolutely. 

Carey Flamer-Powell: So yeah, I'd say giving the gift to family is definitely number one. Um, so let's go on to reason number two. Um, emotional growth. So what we mean by this, um, and what we talk about a little bit in the blog post is, you know, to be a surrogate. It requires a lot.

Dedication, patience, empathy, um, a lot of things that surrogates just naturally have as people. Um, but it helps you to develop all of those things. I would definitely say patience is developed during the process. Yeah. Um, there's months and months right [00:08:00] before you ever even. Who the parents are gonna be, or, you know, get to have any sort of like real movement with your journey.

There's months of screening and paperwork and interviews and all these things you have to do. Um, and it takes a lot of dedication and emotional strength to get through some of that. Particularly if there are things that you have to overcome, if there are medical things that have to be rectified before you can move on in the process.

Um, it's a lot. Not only that, and the thing I wanna sort of focus on under this topic is that the people that are in this journey with us, so as a surrogate, you know, we have our partners or spouses, if, if we're partnered, um, or we have our inner circle, we have our children, our our best friends, but the people around us also get to watch us.

go through this process, and especially our [00:09:00] kids learn about empathy and about giving to others and about, um, you know, what love is and what family is, right? Yeah. So tell me about your experience with that, having gone through three journeys with your kids watching all along. Yeah, I mean, 

Marielle Schuberth: it's definitely a very, um, Big way to show your kids if you can help do it.

It's kind of living that, that's kind of how I always, um, try to teach them and that love makes a family. Um, love wins, that it shouldn't matter that everybody. You know, should have the opportunity to grow their family regardless of what their family dynamic looks like. Um, I will say it's been interesting, um, having done it once in Colorado and now that I'm in North Carolina, um, things are a little different just as far as, um, Overall views on equality and things.

Um, and so they [00:10:00] just, uh, it's just so matter of fact for them, like, it's just kind of common, like, oh, well my mom's having a baby for two dads, or, how was it, my daughter put it too, my mom's having a baby for two gay guys. And I'm like, oh gosh, here. That, that's a good way too. But they don't even like, think about it in a, that it's any different than.

Anybody else. And it's definitely been nice for them to see these, you know, gay dads as, as people and that have kids. And this is just the way to do it. And it's one thing to say it and say that we're allies and to say that we support these things, but it's a totally different to not only see it, but for them to feel a part of it and to feel a part of helping that, um, helping grow love.

And it's been a. Awesome thing for them to kind of just normalize different family dynamics and that we get to be a part of that. Um, and really speaks true to being an ally and just why not? Like this is just, if we can help, we should, and this was my way of doing that. Um, and for them to just kind of see [00:11:00] that and really see how much bigger one act can be, um, can really affect a whole lot all around.

Carey Flamer-Powell: Absolutely. And I, I think that, you know, our kids, mine and your kids are still young and I think it remains to be seen how much of a positive impact our journeys have had on them. I think that it. It shows them so many things that we can't really teach otherwise just by, you know, watching our actions as surrogates.

And I think, um, you know, I'm really interested to know as my daughter gets older, I've asked her a couple of times cuz she was a year and a half when I started the process in about 3, 3, 3 and a half when I stopped, when I, uh, had the baby and. . I keep asking her. She's 11 now. I keep asking her like every year or two, like, you know, what did you think about when I was a surrogate?

And you know, do you [00:12:00] remember it? What do you think about it now? Because we're still in touch with the parents and the baby and, well, he's not a baby anymore. He's eight. But, um, you know, we, we know them. They're part of our life. And so I ask her every now and then, like, what did you think about it? And, um, I wanna keep asking her that question to see how it has impacted her as she grows.

And I think it was also really important for. Um, my family, my mom flew in when um, I had the baby and got to meet the moms and the baby, and I think it was really important for her to see like this whole process come to fruition cuz I think she was a little worried about me in the beginning and how I would feel and maybe medically how it would affect me.

Um, because I was quote unquote older. I was 37 when I was a surrogate. Um, so I think she was nervous at first, but then I think at the end she was like, wow, I, I get it. I see why this was so important. And speaking of moms, your mom was super involved in all [00:13:00] of your journeys. I remember that she would fly to all of your, um, Clinic visits are your embryo transfers and everything with you.

So yeah. Tell me a little bit about your mom and, and having her so involved. 

Marielle Schuberth: Oh, she, I couldn't have done it without her. Just her physical support and emotional support. Um, I mean, it was one, she was one of my biggest, um, cheerleaders, aside from my husband, um, with all of it. And she, I swear she gets more sappy about some of the milestones with the babies than I do.

And actually, um, she's still, um, she and my dad are still super close with my second set of intended dads. Mm-hmm. , um, because my dad is French. Mm-hmm. , um, and the dads were French and so they had a lot in common. Um, Dad's actually stayed at my parents' house when they would come to visit for appointments and stuff.

And so they're still in contact a lot, um, online. And so she's always like, oh, did you see the picture of, you know, the baby that, that they sent or the video? Um, and so [00:14:00] she loves it. She loves, um, that she was able to be a part of it. And obviously she's like super proud of me for doing it, but she loves. I, I learned kind of my, um, not selflessness, but my want to help people from her and just wanting to do good things for other people, um, really came from her.

So she loves kind of being able to be a part of it, um, as an extension from of me, um, and that she loves to be able to facilitate all of it and, um, even after, First, um, failed journey. Um, and things got a little hairy there. Um, she was like, no, I get it. Like, I, I get why you wanna do this. Let's, I'm here to help with any part of it.

And it's just been super cool for her to also kind of feel the, the ripple. And she's been able to talk to the grandparents on that side about all the fun things of being a grandparent. And it's just, it's also affecting. Ripples throughout my family. I've got cousins and stuff too that just see, and they're like, wow.

Like that is just such a cool thing to do. And it [00:15:00] just, it, it spreads to, to everyone. It's just, um, Surrogacy is just wonderful. I don't know. , it's 

Carey Flamer-Powell: well, I love that. Um, yeah, so emotional growth is reason number two. Awesome. Reason number two, to become a surrogate. So let's talk about, um, number three. So benefiting your own family.

And what we're talking about here is, um, you know, we've talked about sort of the emotional and social benefits of exposing your kids and your spouse or partner and your inner circle and even your extended family to surrogacy and the beauty of it. But, um, with this particular reason, benefiting your own family.

We're talking about financial. So, um, it could be taboo to talk about financial compensation when it comes to surrogacy, but we don't think it should be taboo. Um, and to me it is not taboo. Um, it does need to be handled ethically and does need to be considered, um, from lots of different angles, but at [00:16:00] the same time, it should not be something that.

People shy away from talking about, um, I believe that surrogates deserve to be compensated fairly for what their body and, um, their family and everything is going through for this process. Um, but when we talk about benefiting your own family, um, we're talking about, you know, the, the amount of money that you're going to be compensated as a surrogate should not be an amount that's gonna be like earth shattering, life changing, right?

Um, we're not trying to, definitely not trying to bring people out of poverty through surrogacy. Um, we're, we are working with women who are. Financially stable in their life who are just looking to add potentially to their family income or savings or college tuition or down payment on a house or maybe a new car.

[00:17:00] Um, you know, what people do with their compensation is up to them, and it varies from surrogate to surrogate, but there is something to be said about, um, Being able to do something that you love and being able to be a part of something that's amazing and beautiful, and doing it also while being able to financially contribute to your family's goals is kind of a win-win.

Right? Um, for me it was about savings. Um, at the time my partner, um, was making. More than enough money to support us. I was staying home with my daughter and we were doing very well financially. And my compensation at the time, this is now 10 years ago, I cannot believe it's been 10 years. Um, but this is now 10 years ago.

Um, that, that we started the process. Um, and my compensation at the time was like a third of what people [00:18:00] get now. So the money was definitely not life changing for me. Um, it was not an amount that made my life significantly better, really financially at all, but it was nice to just have that little cushion every month that we could put towards savings or, um, whatever financial goal we wanted.

Um, I think we did a Disney cruise. We did, we did a Disney cruise after I gave birth to celebrate my daughter's. Um, three month or three month, three. Four, three years. Three years. Four. I cannot remember. It's been forever now. It was her birthday. Um, and I remember that we went on a cruise and so that was part of where our comp, the compensation went as well.

Just something fun for my family to sort of celebrate this amazing journey that we'd been on for the last two years, um, that we probably otherwise wouldn't have, um, spent the money on cuz it was a Disney cruise. And those are not cheap. . Yeah. Yeah. . Um, so tell me a little bit [00:19:00] about you. Not that you have to share the intimate details of what you used all your compensation for, but you know, just talk a little bit about, um, being able to, what sort of freedoms or choices or goals were you able to accomplish, um, because you had the compensation.

Marielle Schuberth: Yeah, so it definitely, um, helped us always say, um, I got to do something awesome for somebody else while being able to stay home with my kids. Um, I know not everybody, um, thrives with the, uh, stay at home mom life, but especially when my kids were younger, it was really important for me to stay home with them.

Um, and so it just kind of helped, um, with the extras, right? Um, my daughter does dance and soccer and basketball, and my son does basketball and soccer. And with all of that, you know, comes jerseys and cleats and all of that. And, um, we always said that the compensation for at least my first two journeys was for the extras, right?

[00:20:00] Dance recital costumes are $75 a pe. You know, just, and not having to think about the extras or how we would have to kind of shift our monthly, um, Budgeting and all of that, um, was awesome. So it was like, oh, we wanna go take a little weekend trip. That's was the extras. Um, and so my husband, um, working outside of the home, he, you know, was good.

Our income was good for all of the normal day to days. Stuff. But, um, the surrogacy definitely helped with the extras. Um, you know, we did, uh, pay off one of our cars and just things like that to not have to worry about or kind of reshuffle everything, um, was a good one. And then, um, I joked after having all these babies that I did, my last one went to me.

All of that was not for a family funds. And, um, I kind of got things put back to, to where they, um, needed to be after, um, having. Five babies exit my body. Um, and so that was a really nice thing for me because I would never have been able [00:21:00] to focus that money or. Would've wanted to focus that, um, on something on myself.

Um, and I think as moms, that's a hard thing to kind of want to do or think about doing just in general because, um, it's, it's hard to be selfless and or, uh, selfish in those moments, especially as parents and surrogates, you know, you generally seem to be more of a selfless person who always wants to give, um, I always laugh when I see.

Um, memes online that's like, you know, my kids get a new wardrobe every six months, but I'm still rocking the same jeans from seven years ago kind of thing. Um, and so it was nice too with this last one was like, all right, we've set aside enough from my other ones, but this one, this one's for me. I'm going to get some stuff.

Um, and it was nice to be able to. Think about that and not feel guilty about taking away family funds to get new clothes that fit and all the things, um, mm-hmm. . So that was kinda nice. It was kind of, um, a great way again, to be able to stay at home, [00:22:00] do something amazing, and then be able to do something for myself too, which, and not have to feel guilty about that because I knew this was something that I was doing.

Um, like I said, I know as moms it's hard to. Shift gears out of that, but I really went into this one like, Nope, this, this one's for me now. So it was right. It was nice to be able to kinda have that for myself. 

Carey Flamer-Powell: Sure. And that's hard for us as moms. Right. Um, to really do anything for ourselves. . Mm-hmm. in particular, something.

You know, expensive or, you know, that takes funds. So I get that. Um, the one thing that you said that I wanna clarify for people listening is, um, you know, although Mario and I were both staying home with our kids at the time, um, that we, uh, were surrogate. Um, that's not a requirement. You don't have to be a stay-at-home mom.

Um, you can work outside of the home. You can work from home. You could have a full-time job. Um, there are many wonderful, amazing surrogates who work outside of the home. [00:23:00] Um, it has no bearing on your ability to be a surrogate. It just so happens that in our situations, that's what, you know, what we were doing at the time.

But I did actually start my agency when I was eight months pregnant as a surrogate. So I was. a very busy business owner and had my first clients and, um, everything by the time I was giving birth, so as a surrogate. So, you know, there are many people who do lots of different things and still can do surrogacy.

Yep. But if you are a stay-at-home mom and you're just thinking, you know, how can I, um, you know, I love being pregnant. I've had really healthy pregnancies and how can I add to my family, um, financially, maybe surrogacy is something to look into. Same thing if you're working outside of the home. Yep. So, okay.

That's reason number three. Let's go on to reason number four, which is growing your circle. So we talked a little bit about this, but I wanna kind of, um, expand on it a little bit. So, growing your circle, um, we're talking about [00:24:00] having the chance to meet people that you would probably otherwise never meet.

Um, you know, a lot of surrogate. Carry babies for people that live in other countries, and, um, they are, uh, that's not always the case. You can al of course, carry for people that live in the United States as well, but whether they live in the next city over or countries away from you, the exposure to someone else's life and culture and relationship and way of life is valuable.

Right? It's something that. Can, if we allow it to help us and our family to grow, and it can hopefully at the end of the day, expand our family and add people to our lives that we consider family, um, that we otherwise maybe would've never met. Um, so again, speaking personally, I consider [00:25:00] the two women that I carried.

To be members of my extended family. Um, do I see them all the time? No, they live on the opposite side of the country. Um, I've always been on the west. They've always, they live on the east, Southeast and we see each other at best once a year, but we're constantly, Just like any other family member that I don't see very often, constantly thinking about each other, texting, sending photos, Christmas cards, holidays, birthdays, um, and when we're going to be in each other's time zones, we always make an effort to see each other, you know?

And that for me has become just an extension of my family. I think of them. I think of the baby that I carried as. Maybe like a nephew, right? Like I care for him. I follow his life. I watch him grow up on Facebook. I, I get texts of [00:26:00] him, pictures of him from his parents, and I think of them as people that are always gonna be a part of my story.

And I'm always gonna be a part of theirs. And I love them and I know they love me. And that's what I hope for every surrogate and their journey. It doesn't always end that way, unfortunately. Mm-hmm. relationships are hard, and when you add in surrogacy and all the dynamics that come with it, there's always a potential that you're not going to end up close at the end.

But I would say the vast majority of cases, surrogates do end up close with the people that they carried for and are able to stay in their. in a really healthy and beautiful way. Mm-hmm. . I agree. Tell me about your experience 

Marielle Schuberth: with that. Well, I would say yeah, just growing the circle. Um, and with all three sets, um, of my intended parents, I have three very different post-baby dynamics.

Um, and they're all great in their own right. Um, and [00:27:00] so I think it is, um, super cool and it's really cool for my kiddos too because, um, we get to see now, um, how they celebrate Christmas in France and how they celebrate Hanukkah in. Um, and things like that. And it's really cool even down to, um, the tooth fairy, right?

Like the tooth fairy in France is actually a little mouse, the petite Siri. And so they were telling Mia, asking her if the little mouse came to visit and she was like, What, and then they explain that it's just, that's how the tradition is there. And so it's cool that they're, you know, kind of got this exposure to all of that.

And I will say, um, the, the sorrow sisterhood, as I like to refer to it, is a friendship group like no other. Um, because it's, hard. It's not just bonding over pregnancy, which you can with a lot of other friends, but surrogacy is a totally different, obviously, way of pregnancy experience. And I've made some really close, um, friendships and relationships with people I've met in the SRO sisterhood, um, [00:28:00] to the point where, um, during one of my journeys, I had a friend that I met on, on our Facebook group.

That we were going through the same timing and things, and we got really close. And I, I'd never met her in person, but I would consider her one of my best friends. And so even just other surrogates bonding, um, with them, you can get really close to some people that are kind of going through the same thing definitely. 

Carey Flamer-Powell: Um, And like we talked about a little bit before, you know, we grow our circle, but then our family also gets to experience their circle growing. And I know that my daughter, um, you know, thinks of the baby that I cared, the child that I carried as an extension of our family. And she understands who he is and she understands that they're just an extension of our family.

Um, and. Often I'll have like my cousin or my mom or my siblings will say, you know, how is so-and-so doing, you know, asking about the child that I [00:29:00] carried and you know, it all the, they'll see a picture and they'll be like, oh my gosh, I can't believe how big he is now. And you know, they recognize this journey and this growth of the circle that, you know, we've kind of created this extension of the family and it's fun, it's interest.

To see how that takes place in our lives. So I think it's really, um, it's, it's also a valuable, as you mentioned, it's valuable to be exposed to and to expose our children, especially to other cultures. I've seen many cases, um, with the surrogacies that I've, um, been lucky enough to help facilitate where the parents are from a completely different country.

They'll come in for the birth and they'll bring. Foods and different things from their country and then ex and then like cook dinner for the surrogate in her family. And you know, maybe the, you know, the surrogates from Texas and the parents that she's caring for from China. And they'll cook this like elaborate Chinese [00:30:00] dinner for the family and they'll get exposed to this lovely culture and foods and traditions that otherwise they may never have known about.

And likewise, then they'll have a night. They'll cook them like a Texas barbecue. And you know, this family from China is like, oh my gosh, I've never had this food before. What is this? And this is amazing. And it's just this great exchange of culture and values and traditions that's just really beautiful.

It's. It's something that you don't really experience. You can't really understand it until you experience it. Yep. Awesome. So that's reason number four. And let's look at reason number five, which is flexibility and independence. So this ties in a little bit to contributing to the family, but it's um, kind of another element of, um, Contributing to the family.

So, you know, regardless of whether you take on a traditional second [00:31:00] job or, um, you know, start a small business or work from home, if you are, um, wanting to contribute in a financial way to your family, that's valuable of course. But then there's also the freedom and independence that comes with knowing.

You know, As a surrogate, you're going to, um, you know, once there's a successful pregnancy, um, there's gonna be compensation coming in, and then that frees up your time and your choices, right? Um, you don't then have to choose between, like you were talking about the extracurricular activities, you know, , you can do the extracurricular activities, but then maybe if you had a second job, you can stop working that second job while you're doing the surrogacy.

Mm-hmm. . And that then can free up x amount of hours in your day. Right. Um, it's all about choices. It's all about, um, looking [00:32:00] at sort of what your priorities are and what your family's needs are and saying, you know, if I were to to. Commit to surrogacy, do the benefits outweigh the risks or negatives? And if they do, is flexibility and independence from maybe a second job or.

The worry of this particular, you know, financial goal or how are we gonna save this money? Is that something that's just as valuable as money? Like that independence, right? Yeah. So for me, it allowed me to continue staying home with my daughter with the added benefit of having savings that I could then use to start my company.

Right. And that obviously turned into a company. Still exists today that I was able to run successfully for many years. That's helped hundreds of families. So I could say that that choice led me to greater flexibility and independence now 10 years later than I [00:33:00] ever thought imaginable. Yep. So what, what was your experience with that?

Marielle Schuberth: Well, you know, just like I said, having that, the extras, and then with this last one, I really was determined to have that for me. So it gave me that flexibility and independence of. Not having the mom guilt over the prioritizing the, you know, physical things that I wanted. Um, it took that away. Cause I'm like, Nope, this is, I'm doing this for me.

This is all extra. Um, and so it gave me that kind of independence. Um, and that's not to say that the way our house to hold is broken down. Look, I can't spend, it's not that I couldn't, it's just I always had that kind of mom guilt about it. So just so we're clear , right. It wasn't that, it's just I kind of, um, Always would rather the kids get new shoes than me.

You know, things like that. Just because, um, that's how at least I'm wired as a mom is to always kind of prioritize that. So it kind of gave me that freedom and independence of, Nope, I'm this one, I'm doing this [00:34:00] for me. I'm not gonna get the kids clothes with this one, this one's mine. And just not feeling that guilt over being able to, to provide that for myself.

And, um, Having to be okay with that. Um, knowing that the other two that I did definitely helped with the family and then this one was, Nope, this one's for, for me. And so that was, um, awesome in itself. Just like I said, just kind of for me and my independence of the mom not having to have mom guilt. And that's, again, not everybody feels that way.

That's just kind of how I was, um, and feeling, being able to have that ability to do that and not feel bad about it. 

Carey Flamer-Powell: Right, and I thi I feel like I need to clarify something, which is that, um, there needs to be, uh, a form of stable income in the family. Um, aside from surrogacy compensation, so I don't want to give the impression that let's say a single mom who, you know, her only form of income [00:35:00] is her job, her full-time job, um, could like stop working her full-time job and just be a surrogate.

That's not how this works. And it's not what I'm talking about, what I'm talking about. Flexibility and independence. Um, the compensation for surrogacy is, Guaranteed. Because if the pregnancy, God forbid, were to end, um, then that compensation also stops at that point. So, um, in most cases, and so I don't want there to be a misunderstanding that surrogacy compensation replaces income, um, completely.

There does need to be financial stability and a source of income, whether. The surrogate's full-time job, or her spouse or partner's job. Um, there needs to be a stable financial situation before surrogacy compensation's ever considered. Yeah. What we are saying is that by becoming a surrogate, you can add more flexibility and more independence than you already may have.

[00:36:00] With just the family income that you have at that time. 

Marielle Schuberth: So yeah, just thought I should, yeah. Should always be that comp. Yep. That comp should always be extra. Right. On top of whatever. It should never be what you're relying on to live your day to day for sure. Right? 

Carey Flamer-Powell: Absolutely. So, yeah, so, um, just to sort of recap these five awesome reasons to become a surrogate that we talked about and that can be found on our blog.

Um, reason number one, giving the gift of family, um, in my. The number one reason, and it's a common thread through every great surrogate, uh, reason number two, emotional growth. Reason number three, benefiting your own family. Reason number four, growing your circle. And reason number five, flexibility and independence.

and obviously there's a lot more reasons, right, to be a, be a surrogate, but felt like these were great to highlight and to talk a little bit more in depth about with our personal experiences. And um, you know, hopefully it's given people who are [00:37:00] listening something to think about that maybe, um, these are things they'd like to add to their life and, um, maybe they should.

Look into surrogacy as something that could be a viable, uh, option for them. So, yep. Yeah, so I appreciate you joining me for this chat today. It's always great to be back together and. And chatting about these things and sharing our personal stories, which I think at the end of the day is really helpful for a lot of people to put a human experience to this big, uh, this big wide topic of surrogacy and being able to humanize it a bit.

Absolutely. Thanks for that. Appreciate it. So that brings us to the end of this episode of the Normalize Surrogacy Podcast by Surrogacy Mentor. I'm your host, Carey Flamer-Powell, and I want to again thank Marielle for joining me for this chat today. Be sure to check us out online at

If you're interested in knowing whether surrogacy is right for you, take our easy two [00:38:00] minute quiz on our website. Don't forget to subscribe to this podcast to learn more about gestational surrogacy, and how to have a safe, ethical, and enjoyable surrogacy journey. Talk to you next time. Bye.