Q And A With Dawn Marmorstein, Los Angeles Surrogacy Center
Q.How did you first get involved with surrogacy?
A. I wanted to be a surrogate since I was 19 years old. I didn’t actually become a surrogate until I was about 23 years old. I have always loved everything about pregnancy, birth and babies. Since becoming pregnant came so easy to me, I thought it would be a great way to help someone with the desire to become a parent.
Q. What was the hardest thing about finding your first recipient parent?
A. I’m picky LOL. I wanted it to be the right fit. We met two potental recipients before deciding to work with Michael, the first recipient I carried for. I searched easily three months and read at least a hundered emails from potental recipients before we agreed to work togetther. After my first surrogacy, the matches came easy. The other recipients have all known the first recipient. I wasn’t a surrogate mom at an agency because I was fortunate enough not to need one.
Q. How did Todd react to you wanting to become a surrogate?
A. At first I think he thought I was crazy but he has been AMAZING and supportive of me and my desire to become a surrogate and later an agency. Todd has always played a huge role in every part of each of my surrogacies. Without Todd’s support, the surrogate babies and agency would not exist.
Q. Why did you decided to start Los Angeles Surrogacy Center?
A. Well, I can’t carry everyone’s baby, even though I wish I could LOL. Honestly, I never had the desire to become an agency until I went to work for one. It was a big reality check to see first-hand how the industry really was. A reality I wasn’t crazy about. So I started my own agency in the beginning of 2010. I have a whole different approch than most agencies. My goal is to help you have a baby, not to bankrupt you. I think most agencies charge an absurdly high amount for their agency fee. I’m avaliable to clients 24/7. All recipients and surrogates have two direct lines so they can call me day or night. I genuinely care for every surrogate and recipient parent at the agency, and will do whatever it takes to make things happen for you and make your surrogate mom’s journey as great as possible.
Q. What do your kids think about surrogacy?
A. I was asked this when I was approached about participating in a documentary. My kids think it’s normal. It’s their friends’ parents who are another story. I did my first surrogacy when my oldest was 4 years old; she’s 9 now. We have always been honest with them, and explained to them that men need my help when they want a baby (when they are same sex) or when I carried for a traditional couple the last time I was a surrogate, we said the recipient mom’s tummy was broken.
Q. Do you have relationships with any of the recipients you have carried for?
A. Yes, I have very good relationship with the first two recipients I carried for, but I’m not as close to my last recipients. It’s exciting to watch the children grow. I can’t wait to see what they are like as teens and then adults. I was a traditional surrogate, so I love looking at pictures of them and seeing little features that I have noticing my kids have similar noses, or when the recipients tell me about how one of them is a little sassy, things like that. Their parents are amazingly wonderful and deserving people who do so much for the people around them. I was so fortunate to meet them and they have added so much to my lives as I have to theres.
Q. Are you going to carry as a surrogate again?
A. Yes. I have already accepted an offer to be a surrogate mother later this year, and this will be my last surrogacy journey. I will not carry again. I’m going to be 30 soon, which is the age I have always said I am done being a surrogate, and will pursue other interests and foster the growth of the agency and the blogs. I blog frequently on wordpress as recipientparent.com and forsurrogatemoms.
Q. What is your home life like?
A. Active LOL! We have four children, three of which are elementary-school age and a 3- month-old. We gave up our big city life last July in favor of a nice small community close to family, which has been great for everyone. We spend a lot of time taking the older kids to various activites with baby in tow, and having play dates. Our kids are big on having their friends over for sleepovers, so there are always lots of kids hang out at our house. In my free time I enjoy doing art, crafting, cooking, going to various theme parks and just relaxing with family and friends.