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Journey to Parenthood

Navigating the Third-Party Parenting Rabbit Hole

Rozanne Sher

Owner, Footsteps to Family; Founder, The IVF Talks

Let’s face it – unless you are a same-sex couple, single person, or born with a genetic anomaly, when you are told you need an egg donor or a gestational surrogate to complete your dream of having a baby, it hits pretty hard. There are so many unknowns, questions, and fears. The truth is, you already feel completely out of control; sometimes, this blow can put you over the edge.

This is where I come in. With over 25 years of third-party parenting experience as the owner of an agency, I help try and assuage those concerns. I am not suggesting proceeding with blind faith and naïveté, by any means. In fact, quite the opposite. It is time to take back control of your fertility, and the only way to do that is by becoming informed. 

Knowledge equals power

Ask questions, trust your gut, and don’t be disillusioned if you must go through a few trials and tribulations to reach the end goal. Remember, it takes a village, and it is all about finding that perfect team to support you on your journey to parenthood.


There are numerous agencies. I encourage you to interview several and make sure you ask every question you can. Find out if you have a specific case manager and how accessible that person will be as you navigate this process. Inquire about all the fees and when they are to be paid, so there are no surprises. 

Third-party parenting advice

A word of caution: try to refrain from reading too many horror stories on the internet. I don’t know why it is that people prefer to go viral with all their negative experiences; it’s like going on an Easter egg hunt to find the positive ones. Contrary to popular belief, there are egg donors and surrogates with truly altruistic motives who are not just doing it for the money.

If egg donation is the path you are on, it is important to keep in mind, with the DNA advances in technology, the idea of an anonymous egg donor is almost obsolete. Therefore, the notion of not telling your child is something that needs to be given quite a bit of consideration, as it is very possible your child will find out on their own. Then what?

Always remember, your goal and dream is to have a healthy baby. DNA is just a genetic blueprint, and there is a reason most women don’t remember their labor. Neither makes you a parent.

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