SOURCE: West Coast Surrogacy

April 22, 2008 18:05 ET

"Baby Mama" Film Could Distort Picture of Surrogacy, Warns Surrogate Mother and Reproductive Medicine Activist

West Coast Surrogacy Urges Movie Goers to Look Past Laughter to Understand the Real Women Behind Surrogate Motherhood

ALISO VIEJO, CA--(Marketwire - April 22, 2008) - Set to premiere this Friday, the new comedy "Baby Mama" will give mainstream audiences the chance to learn about surrogacy, but West Coast Surrogacy warns that the comedic-light treatment may stereotype the surrogacy process and surrogate mothers.

As a former surrogate mother of twins and founder of Southern California surrogate agency West Coast Surrogacy, Amy Kaplan is sensitive to the emotions of the individuals and couples she meets and matches with surrogate mothers.

"The journey that led them to my agency is one that often involves frustration, disappointment and heartache," Kaplan said. "Being able to provide the opportunity for people to make a family is very rewarding. I am amazed by the courage and commitment of surrogate mothers and intended parents.

"Surrogacy is a life-changing process," Kaplan explained. "Through surrogacy, relationships are built and families are created. Thanks to the movie 'Baby Mama,' the audience will witness the ups-and-downs, the joys and the laughter that come with creating a family."

Surrogate mothers provide the opportunity of family

Kaplan describes surrogate mothers as "truly special women who sincerely want to help others fulfill their wish to become parents. They are motivated and ready to share in the commitment and joy of giving birth to a child."

Women who choose to become surrogate mothers often:

--  Appreciate the experience and take pride in helping others
--  Enjoy being pregnant or have had healthy pregnancies
--  Want to contribute to their family financially while staying home to
    care for their children
--  Are past surrogates that loved the experience and want to help create
    another family
    

Intended parents display courage to build families

"The desire to have children can be so strong that an individual or couple will go to great lengths in order to conceive," Kaplan said.

Multiple, unsuccessful rounds of in vitro fertilization can be taxing on emotions or maybe an illness had prevented a women from being able to get pregnant. Gestational surrogacy -- the surrogate mother has no biological connection to the baby, merely the gestational carrier -- provides the opportunity for a family, according to West Coast Surrogacy. During the surrogacy process, intended parents:

--  Have the opportunity to have a child biologically related to one or
    both parents
--  Experience the process of pregnancy -- intended parents are given the
    opportunity to be a part of their baby's prenatal care from conception to
    delivery
--  Foster a life-changing bond with their baby and their surrogate mother
    

Surrogate agencies offer the foundation for strong relationships

Surrogate agencies act as neutral third-parties to explain and lead all participants throughout the multi-faceted process. Agencies handle all areas of the surrogacy process to help ease the stress and allow for the intended parents and their surrogate mother to focus on building a relationship. A surrogate agency will:

--  Coordinate all medical, psychological and background screenings for
    the surrogate mother
--  Act as the liaison for all legal and contractual matters
--  Negotiate all financial matters eliminating uncomfortable financial
    conversations between the intended parents and the surrogate mother
--  Offer educational resources, support and guidance
    

Know your rights

West Coast Surrogacy says that surrogacy law continues to be debated and suggests that surrogates and intended parents know their rights as well as the legal fundamentals:

--  Intended parents and surrogates always should seek experts in
    surrogacy law to prepare the contracts.
--  The contract is a legal-binding document eliminating the common
    misconception of "what if the surrogate wants to keep the baby?"
--  The contract outlines all matters of the surrogacy process including
    financial matters, insurance coverage and relationship post-pregnancy.
    

"Knowing your rights as an intended parent and as a surrogate takes research, as there is no overarching law," Kaplan explained. "Each state has its own laws regarding surrogacy, with some states not allowing surrogacy as an option."

About Amy Kaplan

Amy Kaplan is the founder and director of West Coast Surrogacy. Amy is redefining the concept of motherhood and offering hope to those looking to build a family. She has been involved in the field of reproductive assistance for 18 years, including serving as a surrogate mother. As a surrogate mother of twins, Amy felt the triumph and joy that came from giving the gift of children to a deserving couple. She had a strong desire to continue to share this joy with others and in 2007, Amy poured her passion into her business and founded West Coast Surrogacy.

About West Coast Surrogacy

West Coast Surrogacy is an all-inclusive surrogate agency located in Orange County, California. Working with couples and surrogates nationwide, West Coast Surrogacy uses a team-oriented approach that encompasses the highest level of integrity, support, and compassion. The agency's pledge is to guide the intended parents and the surrogates through every step of this life-changing process, acting as both a resource for information and an unparalleled support system. For more information about West Coast Surrogacy, visit www.WestCoastSurrogacy.com.

Contact Information