TODAY | October 04, 2012
>>> back now at 8:38. and this morning on the new normal, reshaping the american family . as we see on nbc's new comedy "the new normal," there are different options when it comes to having children. good morning, good to see you.
>> good morning, savannah. one of those choices is surrogacy. couples are looking in unlikely places.
>> look, daddy, a snow angel .
>> reporter: explaining the miracle of life to their 4-year-old twins can be a little tricky.
>> what do you tell them about how they came into the world?
>> we've always said that there's a lovely lady who carried you in her belly. because of her, you are with us.
>> reporter: that lovely lady was a surrogate. after being together for seven years, the couple wanted a family and decided surrogacy was their best option. they found a woman in california who already had been a surrogate once before and had a family of her own. using a donor egg and contributions from both men, the surrogate quickly became pregnant with twins and involved nick and rick in every aspect of the experience.
>> she was so proactive about sharing with us and how she was taking care of herself. that very often we were left with no questions to ask.
>> reporter: like real life storks, surrogates are bringing babies to families all across the country.
>> i'm great at being pregnant. i have tons of energy and no morning sickness .
>> reporter: in 2010 , more than 1,400 babies were born to gestational surrogates, almost double the number from 2004 .
>> we've gotten so much better at in vitro fertilization technology. therefore this becomes more of a successful reality.
>> reporter: it is increasingly becoming a family affair . this past august, 53-year-old cindy gave birth to her own granddaughter. she volunteered to carry the baby after her daughter emily was diagnosed with cervical cancer and had a hysterectomy.
>> the thought of emily and mike not being able to have children and sort of chair that piece of their lives with someone just broke my heart.
>> the baby conceived through ivf using emily and her husband's genetic material made their dream of starting a family come true.
>> the lack of sleep, which is -- which we knew was coming, we couldn't be happier.
>> reporter: even sisters are helping each other out. when tonya radcliffe learned she could conceive a baby but not carry one, her two sisters offered to help, each one willing to be impregnated with her and her husband's embryos.
>> they went to such great lengths and knowing she couldn't transfer the embryos to carry a pregnancy was really heartbreaking to watch from the sidelines.
>> it's such a short-term sacrifice for a long-term joy for her and i can't imagine it turning out any other way.
>> reporter: surrogacy is heavily regulated from the fda.
>> there is no normal. couples, women, individuals, gay, gay men have lots of option available to build families and that's a good thing.
>> reporter: the costs, which include medical and legal fees can be well over six figures. but for these couples, expanding their family is priceless.
>> if you have the desire to be a parent, whatever it takes to be a parent, do it. it'll bring you the greatest joy in your life.
>> so why do women choose to be surrogates? well, of course, for some of them it's to give a gift to others, and a lot of them say they enjoy being pregnant.
>> it's a win/win for everybody. thank you.