Whoa, let me dust off my Microsoft Word application and crack my knuckles a moment.
Ahh, there it is: “My blog”.
It’s been a while, but I’m back with more exciting news than ever. Trust me, the content coming is worth the wait.
Because once a writer, always a writer. It’s in my blood.
Fertility stories are so personal, so raw and real, and so incredibly beautiful. Eran Amir is taking over today’s blog post, sharing his amazing path to parenthood, and how it ultimately lead to his industry-changing business (check out my story featured here).
This blog is back, so let’s kick it off with Eran’s journey to fatherhood, and how it has truly changed lives.
How I Built My Family Through Egg Donation, Surrogacy and IVF.
I always knew I wanted children.
Getting there was quite the fertility journey though, as for me it included surrogacy, egg donation and IVF. There were so many barriers to overcome, but I’m grateful for every single step that led me to my amazing daughters Ariel and Yael. I also learned so much throughout my experience, that I was then able to emerge as a new Father who wanted to help other intended parents start this demanding (yet highly rewarding) process themselves. This is what inspired GoStork, the first fertility marketplace where intended parents can find, compare and connect with top fertility providers much more easily.
But, first things first.
My story begins in 2016 – at that point, I was single and working in tech at a big bank. I was hoping to start a family with a partner, so I gave myself a deadline of 40 years old – and if I didn’t find my person by then, I would begin the journey on my own. And so, as life would have it, the very first day after my 40th birthday, I started researching surrogacy.
I was the first among family and friends to pursue egg donation and surrogacy, so I was completely naive about what to expect. I spent weeks researching, completely losing track of the countless hours spent weeding through many different fertility and surrogacy websites; not to mention making a ton of phone calls, as well as back and forth emails with surrogacy agencies, just to get basic information (such as how long it would take, or all the costs involved). I also found it very difficult to find an egg donor. I had specific criteria that I was looking for, but each egg donor agency has limited inventory, so it took five or six different agencies before I found ‘the one’ for me. I’ve now learned this is a common experience for many other intended parents (many apply to more than 10 agencies) – so if you’re going through it as well, I can relate!
Eventually I began to piece things together, got a referral from a friend of a friend of a friend, made a plan, and started my journey. Fast forward eight months, I met my now husband Mike! We both lived in NYC, where he was doing a research year at NYU while in medical school. But as fate would have it, he was moving to Boston literally the day we matched. So, within our first conversation I told him I was already doing surrogacy (ie. ‘take it or leave it – if you’re not interested, no point in dating’) and we made plans for me to visit him the following weekend.
It’s so cliche… but the rest is history. We dated from a distance and when Mike finished medical school, he moved back to New York to be with me. In the meantime, having matched with an amazing gestational carrier in June of 2018, my dream of fatherhood came true with the birth of my little Ariel… and even better, with Mike as a supportive and equal partner to me in this journey to fatherhood.
Learning how to be parents was an incredible experience. I often hear people say there’s no perfect guidebook for parenting, but I actually read multiple books (if you know me you’d already guess this as I’m very analytical), and we figured it out. Experiencing Ariel’s first year was life changing in all the best ways possible — topped off with Mike and I getting married the day before her first birthday.
Despite all the difficulties at the beginning, I’ve been so grateful for my family building experience. And because of those same difficulties, I soon started to realize what needed to happen next…
In early 2019, my path to parenthood became the inspiration for an exciting new professional path as well. I left my 20-year career and started working on GoStork, with a mission to bring transparency to the fertility industry and simplify the first steps in the family building journey. We launched GoStork in 2020 and now feature over 50 top surrogacy agencies and, with over 10,000 egg donors (from many different agencies combined), we’re the largest free-to-use online egg donor database. This resource helps so many find ‘the one’ for them. Intended parents who need help financing their journey can also apply for fertility loans directly through the platform. For those who would like extra personal assistance as they begin their journey – we also offer 1-on-1 concierge services to help answer your questions, inform you of your options and help you consider the best providers for you – also completely free of charge. We’ll also soon be launching a Fertility Clinic Marketplace, with in-depth profiles, including success rates matched to each intended parent’s specific case/journey, and the ability to connect directly with top clinics from around the country.
As transparency is so important for us, we are also the only platform that lists all provider fees upfront (including detailed cost breakdowns), helping intended parents save both time and money as they map out their TTC journey. I experienced this first-hand – thanks to GoStork’s comparison tool, I saved $50K during my second surrogacy journey. That said, it was quite difficult: our original gestational carrier, who we hoped would also carry our second baby, miscarried and was eventually medically disqualified. There were delays due to Covid-19 and other setbacks, but it all worked out in the end, including a new beautiful relationship as both gestational carriers hold a special place in our lives. We welcomed Yael in April of 2021, I fell in love all over again, and we became a family of four.
There is, admittedly, a lot to consider as you research your own path to parenthood. At GoStork, we’re here to support you as you analyze your options. While these decisions are highly personal, know that there is support available should you need it. Embarking on a surrogacy and/or egg donation journey may feel overwhelming or not where you expected to be. But in the end, it’s a journey like no other, and each step will get you closer to the family you’ve always dreamed of.
About Eran Amir
With more than 20 years of experience, Eran Amir has worked as both a software development and product management executive in Israel and the Greater New York Area. The development of GoStork combines his professional skill set with a personal mission. After undergoing a long, difficult, and costly process to expand his family via surrogacy and egg donation, Amir vowed to help other intended parents avoid the complexity and confusion he experienced. His passion led to the creation of GoStork, which proudly names Amir’s two daughters as co-founders.