GSHC Surrogacy Agency is a full-service boutique surrogacy and egg donation agency dedicated to building and growing families globally. All of the agency’s case managers are surrogates themselves, ensuring a thorough and compassionate understanding of the surrogacy journey. We loved hearing from Owner Jia Shen – who shared a few amazing highlights from the agency’s history and how they facilitate the surrogacy journey for so many intended parents, including during the pandemic. Check out our conversation to learn more about GSHC and for Jia’s helpful advice!
1. What inspired you to work in the fertility industry?
My mother was a midwife and delivered hundreds of babies over thirty years in our hometown. As a child walking with my mother, I would meet so many parents who would come up to us to tell their own children, “This is the woman who brought you into the world.” It stuck with me from a very early age. My father was away on business a lot and I spent many nights sleeping outside of the delivery room while my mother cared for women in labor. I remember waking up in the middle of the night to the sounds of babies being born. However, it wasn’t until I was an adult out of college when I had the opportunity to personally help a friend of mine with her own surrogacy journey by assisting her with arranging an independent match. Seeing the joy that it brought and the family that was formed from that experience changed me. That was the moment I decided I wanted to help other intended parents start their own families. That decision shaped who I have become and it’s the best choice I could have made for myself. It can be stressful at times but only because I don’t want to disappoint anyone. I get up early and I stay connected with team members, clients, surrogates and egg donors from around the world at all hours because it brings a real meaning to my life.
2. We’d love to hear the GSHC Surrogacy Agency story – can you share some highlights of the journey since opening in 2016?
The individual cases we have shared are the real highlights of the journey. There are so many touching, beautiful stories of intended parents and surrogates creating lasting bonds, overcoming obstacles, and sharing intimacy with one another through these experiences. We’ve helped slightly older intended parents who had lost their only biological child and were looking to have another child through surrogacy to fulfill that hole in their lives. They needed guidance from the very start and we helped them find a clinic, select the right egg donor, ship their sperm internationally, coordinate and schedule their embryo creation, and select their surrogate.
Another highlight has been the opportunity to assist the international LGBTQ+ community to start their family and navigate the complicated international legal systems to establish parentage. Seeing them overcome the hardships they face in their own countries gives us a deep sense of pride in the work that we do and the lasting impact that our efforts have for our clients.
Each and every day we are reminded that helping intended parents who have struggled with their own infertility for years to finally have their own child is the greatest feeling in the world.
3. What has been your most rewarding experience personally over your years in this work?
The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced so many challenges to the not just our industry but nearly every other industry as well. New logistical challenges presented themselves during times of hardship, struggle, and isolation. For many international intended parents, they were unable to travel to the United States during 2020 to pick up their babies that were born during quarantine. To solve this, our agency hired a professional nanny service and rented a living space in Los Angeles where the babies could be cared for while Powers of Attorney were procured. Eventually, these amazing nannies flew back to China with the babies, quarantined in China for two weeks, and then eventually reunited them with their international parents. We will never forget the joy and appreciation felt by the parents as they finally got to hold their children after so long. For our agency, this was just another logistical challenge we worked to solve along the surrogacy journey – and we are well-versed in overcoming logistical challenges in order to support happy, healthy families.
4. What is your advice for intended parents just beginning to consider surrogacy?
The journey ahead will be a very special experience for you and your surrogate. In addition to the joyous memories you will share, there may also be obstacles and small setbacks along the way. Our agency has dealt with almost everything that can happen during a journey and we’re always right by your side to help you. We ask for your patience and understanding throughout the process. Communication is key above all and can help solve almost any issue that may arise. Please remember that this is also an emotional journey for your surrogate; your involvement and support through the process is such a crucial part of the success of any surrogacy.
I’d also let LGBTQ+ parents know that we are committed to helping you start your family regardless of where in the world you may reside. We work with an international collective of legal professionals to make sure that your parental rights are protected and that you and your partner can bring your child back home safely and with peace-of-mind.
Some of GSHC’s wonderful gestational carriers.
5. Is there anything else you’d like to share about GSHC Surrogacy Agency?
Our intended parents, surrogates, and egg donors are our highest priority. We’re not a part of this field for the money. We do this for the joy of seeing a new family blossom and we pride ourselves in our responsible pricing plans and 24/7 service. Our intake and case management teams are made up of former surrogates themselves so they have the firsthand experience of gestational surrogacy. This expertise allows them to compassionately guide other surrogates along the journey and answer all of their questions about appointments, medication protocols, test results, and other common experiences that occur. Intended parents likewise feel a sense of security when our case managers can help explain a particular pregnancy milestone or test result. The entire GSHC Surrogacy Agency staff is dedicated to the comfort and wellbeing of everyone involved in this journey. It’s a beautiful experience and we appreciate the privilege of helping create new families.
The GSHC Surrogacy Team
Thank you for sharing GSHC’s story with us Jia, you’re helping so many intended parents build the family of their dreams!
Ready to start your search for a surrogacy agency? Learn more about GSHC Surrogacy Agency and many other wonderful options, here.