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By Robin von Halle

There’s a reason to go with a reputable agency that specializes in matching egg donors and gestational surrogates to those who are unable to bear children through traditional means. Services go beyond vetting candidates to make sure they’re on the up and up and emotionally equipped for the job. We also bring in experts to guide intended parents and donors and surrogates through the complex legal and psychological issues.

The importance of this role has been brought home through news coverage in recent months of heartbreaking situations that have arisen when couples have followed a do-it-yourself path.

Back in October, the Today Show did a story on Tom and Gwyn Lamitina, a Florida couple who fought for but lost custody of their daughter who was born by a surrogate they had hired who decided to keep the baby. Since then, the couple has filed a civil case accusing the surrogate mother of fraud – saying she produced a “litany of lies and dreadful acts of deceit.”

Two months later FOX News told the story of a South Carolina woman accused of promising couples she would be their surrogate – who exploited at least six people out of $14,000.

An agency with a proven track record and references supporting it will help intended parents offset the risks that can be involved with this process. The good ones will provide psychological screening of surrogates, legal representation for all parties and a support system for all those involved.

Caveat emptor is, unfortunately, the operative phrase when people show no qualms to take advantage of couples who are desperate to create families, leaving them financially strung out and without a child.


Submitted by Teresa

As I write this entry, I am working with ARR on my third donation. When Mary Ellen contacted me to see if I would be willing to donate again to the parents who received my egg a couple years ago, I jumped at the chance to give their child a blood sibling. I’m so thrilled for them!

I first decided to donate when a friend needed a donor egg a few years ago. After giving it some thought, we both decided that it would be best for her to use an anonymous donor. I still wanted to donate, so I did some research and found Mary Ellen at ARR.

I donated twice before having a child of my own last year. Now as a parent, I understand the lengths people are willing to go to have children. I love knowing that I was able to help someone else have a family.

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About Us

Conception Connections is a blog about alternative paths to family creation. It is maintained by Alternative Reproductive Resources. Contributors include intended parents, egg donors and gestational surrogates in addition to ARR staff. Our goal is to facilitate conversations about trends, issues, current events, technology and personal stories surrounding infertility, egg donation and gestational surrogacy. If you'd like to contribute, please e-mail We also welcome your comments and suggestions. Note: Comments are moderated and posted on approval.


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