We’ve enjoyed getting to know Erica Horton, President and Partner of Growing Generations, a full-service surrogacy and egg donation agency helping to grow families in the US and abroad. Erica shares how her career at Growing Generations started and how the agency’s focus evolved towards complete inclusivity, making it easier for everyone to achieve their dream of parenthood. Learn more about Erica’s and Growing Generations’ impressive story over the last two decades in our interview below!
1. What inspired you to work in the fertility industry?
I started my career with Growing Generations as an intern during the summer of 2003; I was 21 years old. While I had no direct experience with the fertility world, I was immediately intrigued when I read an internship listing titled “marketing intern needed for gay surrogacy agency.” As a queer woman and someone with a gay father, I already had a passion for LGBTQ+ people and issues. I had a general idea of what surrogacy was, but I had never thought of the two coming together in such an intentional way. I immediately knew I had to be a part of what Growing Generations was doing. When I reflect back, I can vividly recall the moment I saw the internship posting, the moment I received a call for an interview, and the day of my interview – down to the clothes I was wearing and the excitement I felt. Our most vivid memories highlight the most pivotal and influential moments in our lives and beginning my career with Growing Generations was a significant moment in my life.
I’m now a parent through IVF and sperm donation, and I’m forever grateful to those who came before – they made my family possible.
2. We’d love to hear the Growing Generations story – can you share some highlights of the journey starting with opening in 1996?
Growing Generations was started in 1996 during a time when surrogacy agencies were routinely turning away gay intended parents – citing an inability to locate surrogates, doctors, or egg donors who would help. As LGBTQ people, our founders believed otherwise and established Growing Generations to bring surrogacy to the LGBTQ community.
In 2003 we began our own egg donor program. We received feedback from clients around their frustration with the routine experience of finding their perfect donor only to find out the donor did not want to help LGBTQ parents. We also heard a clear desire for intended parents to know more about egg donors – to understand what they were “really” like. As a result of this feedback, we created our own donor program and became the first and only donor agency to provide videos as part of each donor profile.
Around the same time, we started to regularly hear from straight, single, and HIV positive intended parents. They had heard about us from their LGBTQ friends and wanted to know if we could help them too. While we were always open to helping anyone, we realized we needed to be clear that the mission of Growing Generations was to help anyone with a desire to become a parent – regardless of their identity.
As the surrogacy space has become more crowded, we have established ourselves as one of the most experienced and reputable agencies in the world. Our start in the LGBTQ space required us to break barriers and forge paths where none existed before and that remains one of our core strengths today. We are passionate about not only helping people have their families but having the experience be something they can treasure forever.
3. What has been your most rewarding experience personally over your years in this work?
My most rewarding experience are the moments when I connect with Growing Generations parents as their children grow up. I hear things like, “I remember when we were struggling to choose our egg donor, and you helped us move through that.” To know that you have impacted another person or become part of their story is truly a privilege.
4. What is your advice for intended parents just beginning to consider Surrogacy?
Enjoy the ride! Surrogacy is a group of humans coming together to help someone become a parent. It can feel imperfect, and that imperfection is a completely normal part of the process. Partner with experienced professionals you trust and feel comfortable with. Know that you will have the family you were meant to have.
Thank you, Erica; we loved hearing your story and the history of Growing Generations! Intended parents: check back here over the coming weeks for more featured providers.
Ready to start your search for a surrogacy agency? Learn more about Growing Generations and many other wonderful options, here.