As International Women's Day approaches, we want to honor some of the most selfless, giving and naturally empathetic women we know: surrogate mothers. Thanks to these incredible women, couples who struggled to conceive, same-sex couples and single parents all over the world are able to enjoy the families they thought they'd never have. As we hear more and more about surrogacy in the press, we ask what drives these extraordinary individuals to offer this most precious gift to someone they don't yet know? The Center for Surrogate Parenting (CSP) is the oldest surrogacy agency in the world, creating families for almost 40 years from their offices in Encino, California & Annapolis, Maryland. In that time, they have welcomed more than 2,500 babies to the ever-expanding CSP family and are proud to say that they have never once had a surrogate mother change her mind about returning the baby to the parents. In any given year, CSP screens hundreds of potential surrogate mothers. Of those applicants, approximately 1/8 of them will complete the screening process and go on to be a surrogate. Almost all surrogacies these days are gestational surrogacies, where the surrogate has no genetic link to the baby. An embryo is created from the intended parent's sperm and eggs, or donor eggs and/or sperm, and is implanted in to the gestational carrier via IVF. Having said that, surrogacy seems to be in the blood for some people. CSP currently has several surrogates in their program whose own mothers were surrogates for CSP. There are also two women that were brought into the world via a CSP surrogate who now are surrogates themselves!
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