Surrogacy Blog

The surrogacy journey Interview with Roy Youldous – VP of Tammuz Marketing

Roy Youldous: VP of Tammuz Marketing

Roy Youldous is responsible for marketing, business development, and social media in Tammuz, with a master’s degree in communications and business administration. Roy joined the team following his surrogacy journey, which motivated him to help other people realize their dream of having children. Over the years he has met hundreds of men and women and supported them in their surrogacy journeys with patience, understanding and a lot of love.

Hi Roy, tell us what made you and your partner decide to embark on the surrogacy journey together.

We have always wanted to be parents, even before we knew each other. Shortly after we started going out we talked about questions like ‘what is the right way?’ and ‘how the hell do you take the first step?’. We felt that our love was big enough and the relationship was stable enough to start a family. At first we looked into the possibility of joint parenting, but very quickly we realized that this style of parenting is less suitable for us. We wanted to establish one family unit and we set off.

What considerations did you take into account when you decided to undertake surrogacy?

We set out on the journey in 2012, at a time when information and options were quite limited. The first and immediate consideration was financial – which surrogacy destination would be realistic for us to fulfill the dream.
Another consideration was the relationship with the surrogate. Although we chose to go on a journey in the East, it was important for us to establish some relationship with the surrogate.

We understood that there would not be a deep connection here due to differences in culture, language, etc. but throughout the pregnancy we sent the surrogate a video and a letter and also received photos and videos from her. To this day we are in touch on Facebook. In addition, it was important for us to choose an egg donor with appropriate characteristics. The last and very important thing was to choose an established and experienced company – and that’s how we came to Tammuz.

Why did you choose Tammuz to accompany you through the process?

Roy Youldous Family

Tammuz was the largest and most experienced agency. We realized that such a complex and challenging process is better done by a company with experience and knowledge, and this turned out to be the best choice for us. The breakthrough made by Doron (the founder of the company) in making surrogacy processes accessible to gays changed our lives. Suddenly we learned that there is a way to start a family in a procedure that up until that moment would have looked like something out of a science fiction movie.

When you decided to start the process, why did you choose Thailand?

We did not choose Thailand. We chose India at the beginning – mainly in light of the possible cost (compared to the alternative in the USA in those years), but after several failed attempts in India, the law in the country changed and we found ourselves in a difficult situation. We did not know how and if at all we could continue the journey. There was a period of waiting that was nerve-wracking, especially as a lot of money had already been spent and there was no horizon to fulfill the dream. Luckily for us, a few months later, Tamuz found a new destination and opened the surrogacy route in Thailand. Happily, the first attempt there was successful and the rest is history.

What support did you receive during the surrogacy journey and did it help?

Youdouls Family

There were several circles of support: first Uri and I were there for each other – we established the partnership and made sure to listen, share, consult and give space to each other. In the second circle was the extended family: parents, sisters, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles and friends who helped us financially and emotionally.

In the third circle was Tammuz who provided personal and close support and preparation workshops for parenthood and meetings with professionals and parents, who assisted us and helped us become more ready to parent. You can’t expect everything and no matter how much you prepare and organize and study and consult – parenting still catches you by surprise.

What was your impression of the surrogate mother during the process? Were you in contact during the pregnancy and birth? Are you in touch today?

Contact with the surrogate was very limited and we were not really in direct contact with the surrogate during the process, except for a number of videos and messages sent with the help of Tammuz. The lack of connection was challenging because we wanted to be excited and there were many questions and uncertainties. But we actually met her about two hours before the birth and it was a wonderful, exciting meeting and also a little (a lot) awkward.

Did you encounter obstacles or difficulties during the process?

Yes of course. The surrogacy process in its essence is challenging. It is an emotional experience of ups and downs, expectations and disappointments, and a lot of money. The difficulties are mainly the uncertainty and the feeling of losing control. The fact that everything is conducted far away and you have no ability to manage, check and know what is happening at every moment. You have to trust a lot of people, wait for the answers until they come (Thailand time) and it’s not easy.

In addition, the cost of the process is challenging, and at a time when there were no “safe until birth” programs there was a fear that we would not be able to finish the process if the money ran out. Then what would we do? It is also important to remember that any failure/unsuccessful return etc. delays the process significantly. And the closure of the India route was frustrating and we feared that we would not be able to continue the journey elsewhere.

The move to Thailand was also challenging. Shortly after the process began and the surrogate became pregnant, demonstrations and a military regime began which complicated the process and caused quite a few concerns.

How was the pregnancy period: the tests, the ultrasound, the discovery of the newborn’s gender?

The pregnancy went smoothly. The tests arrived on time and we received answers and responses to each and every test.

In addition, we consulted privately with a gynecologist who helped us feel secure. When we found out we were expecting twins we jumped for joy. After a long period of attempts, waiting, disappointments and failures, it was a tremendous celebration. Doron called and said “there is a heartbeat. There is another heartbeat” – we screamed with excitement. When we heard that it was two girls, the joy was even greater because we really wanted girls.

Describe the birth of the twins, how did you feel?

Youdouls Family

The most exciting moment of our lives! A month and a half before the planned birth, we received a call from Tammuz that the surrogate was on her way to the hospital. We were shocked. We quickly changed the flight tickets, booked a hotel, left our dog Lucy with my sister and flew the very next day – me, Uri and my mother who accompanied us and helped us a lot.

We arrived at the hospital shortly before the birth, met the surrogate and her family members, hugged and mostly couldn’t believe it. It was a surreal, larger-than-life moment. During the birth, they waited outside the room because it was a cesarean section and they were not allowed to enter. A few minutes later we saw the amazing, tiny, screaming Elia and Liri. There were many tears and great excitement.

How do you advise future parents to overcome the concerns and pressures that exist in this process?

Of course, every future couple/parent comes from a different place, with different concerns, fears, abilities and needs. In general, I would recommend first of all to check the various options, meet 2-3 agencies and compare the various parameters (country, clinic, contact with the surrogate, egg donation and cost of course).

After that, coordinate expectations with the agency, discuss everything that comes up, bothers you, interests you and explain what is important to you in the process, what particularly bothers you, what scares you.

Another thing – arrive financially prepared. This is so that you don’t find yourself stressed when you have to ‘chase the money’ throughout the journey. It is recommended, for those who need it, to work hard on the relationship and, if necessary, also involve a professional/consultant who can accompany you throughout the process (and maybe afterwards), mediate gaps that exist and help with marital communication. The better the basics, the better prepared you will be for parenting.

Beyond that, it is mainly recommended to breathe, breathe and breathe throughout the journey, use a lot of patience because it is a challenging process, full of ups and downs and also to trust the company you have chosen, and approach the process with positive and good energy because the result is worth everything!

Today you are part of the Tammuz family; tell us how you started working there.

My joining the Tammuz family was quite natural. Already during the journey I became an informal part of Tammuz, when I was the editor of Mako pride, providing media assistance in the legal battle to return the children born in Thailand to Israel.
Shortly after the birth, Doron, the founder of Tammuz, suggested that I join the Tammuz family, and it was one of the best decisions I made. Working in such a significant field is extremely rewarding. I meet parents at such a special crossroads in their lives, when they arrive full of excitement and with a big dream of becoming parents. It is a great privilege and also a heavy responsibility to take part in the journey of each and every parent.

Thank you Roy for the wonderful interview,
we wish you much health and happiness from your dear daughters.

With the end of 2023, we want to take a moment and congratulate the 259 (!) sweet babies born in the past year. Almost 22 new babies come into the world every month to parents from 20 countries, filling our hearts with happiness and pride. It is a great privilege and responsibility to be part of this wonderful journey, hold your hand in challenging times, and be excited with you in the meaningful moments of life.

So, thank you, sweet babies – without doing much so far, you have already fulfilled the biggest dream in the world! Thank you, beloved families, for trusting us at this juncture of your life!

Thank you to the 43 Tammuz staff members across the world for their dedication and professionalism. And good luck to the 1000 families on the journey with us right now.

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