My name is Ashley, a 3-time surrogate based in Las Vegas, Nevada.
I want to share with you how the amazing location and support system in Nevada makes it a great state to be a surrogate, as well as a great state for intended parents and surrogacy overall.
Location, Location, Location
As the saying goes, it’s all about “location, location, location”, and with surrogacy this also holds true. These are the 3 most important factors to consider in terms of location.
Surrogate Health Care Access Experience in Nevada
As a surrogate one of the first things, I always consider for myself, and other surrogates I advise, is to ensure that you have access to the best medical care and facilities for pre-natal and delivery local to you. That means being close to a high level NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) hospital—they will offer the highest level of care for the most complex and ill newborns. During expected, or unexpected, emergencies, the proximity and knowledge of where to get the best care is critical. In Nevada, there are 9 Level III NICUs. In Las Vegas, the NICU hospital I recommend is Sunrise Hospital and Sunrise Children’s Hospital. These are hospitals well versed in surrogacy. As you can see, Nevada provides many options of great Level III NICU care facilities around the state to ensure you and the baby will be provided for in the case of complications.
What is a Level III, NICU? This kind of nursery has teams of health care providers who take care of:
- Babies who are born before 32 weeks who weigh less than 1,500 grams.
- Babies of any age or weight who are critically ill.
- Babies who need equipment to help them breathe to stay alive.
- Babies who may need surgery.
It's somewhat convenient to be a surrogate in Nevada
The ability to travel from one location to another is important for surrogacy because you may be asked to attend medical clearance in another city or state, and the intended parents may be from out of state/ out of country. Therefore, having a major international and local airport, major transportation hubs and easy access to travel is of great importance.
Because Nevada is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the US, there are great international airports and many domestic flight options daily for you to travel the globe. There are plenty of options to travel to and from Nevada by plane, train and automobile. So, in my view, there is no place more convenient that Las Vegas.
Las Vegas also has fantastic hotels and condos available, so that all parties involved have the upmost comfort at every price point.
Nevada as a destination for surrogates
As I mentioned above, Nevada is an incredible destination for living and traveling. Since 80% of our intended parents reside outside of Nevada, they will be likely staying for weeks before they travel back to their hometowns. Thus, it is an important consideration for intended parents when they decide what state to find a surrogate in.
From the glamourous Las Vegas strip to the historic Hover Dam to the most beautiful natural canyon in the world, the Grand Canyon. Las Vegas is a melting pot with many cultures and languages. There is so much beauty and diversity to share with visitors as they spend time during the last leg of the surrogacy journey. The beautiful Los Angeles is also close by, both by car and plane. Las Vegas is also an excellent destination for future Intended Parents and their babies to come and visit you while they are on vacations in the future.
Support systems for surrogates in Nevada
In considering and preparing to be a surrogate you must ensure you have a strong support network. This includes your family, your work, your community. From my many surrogacy journeys, I have strengthened and developed my surrogacy network and want to share a few resources with you.
Surrogacy Groups on Facebook
Local Nevada and Las Vegas Facebook groups are great resources for independent perspectives and a community of experienced surrogates that can answer all your questions in an open and transparent manner. Some groups are by invitation only. These groups ensure that privacy is respected and that there is no solicitation and purely useful sharing of information. Here are a few groups that I am part of and recommend joining:
There are also local gatherings with other surrogates around the area, so there is no shortage of support systems in place for you in Las Vegas!
Surrogacy Agency Support
The agency that you work with should be an important—if not the most important—support resource for you because they should be guiding you step by step in the process. They have the resources to assist you in any unexpected challenges you may face. So, the question is—how can you tell if a surrogacy agency has a strong support system available for you?
- Make sure the agency has a strong commitment to serving its surrogates by asking what resources do they have to help you. Don’t be shy about digging deep.It’s a long journey, and you want to make sure who you work with will be there every step of the way.
- Agencies often have “wellness programs” buthow long is the program, is it customized to your needs and by each trimester; what about post birth? Can you speak to a professional nutritionist or physical therapist when needed? These are all great questions to ask about resources provided, as our long-term health is very important to maintain.
- See if the agency has private groups that meet regularly and that can answer questions at any time,with good response times and information. A healthy agency support group means they have happy surrogates and active staff, andthese are positive signs of a successful agency.
- Most importantly, does the agency have staff based locally in Nevada? This reflects that they truly have the commitment and resources to serve local surrogates in person when needed. They should have the local relationships with the IVF clinics, the knowledge of what outside monitoring doctors are best, and the ability to be an advocate for you and act in your best interests in unfamiliar territory.
Nevada having strong surrogate support networks and amazing destinations to explore make it a great place to become a surrogate. Surrogacy can be complicated and intimidating at first, but there is a strong local community of Nevada surrogates to support you.
If you have any questions about surrogacy in Nevada, please do not hesitate to reach out to me, Ashley Mareko, a 3-time surrogate based in Las Vegas, Nevada at firstname.lastname@example.org or 833-99-BLESS.
Read more about my personal surrogacy journey here.