Relationships between intended parents and their surrogates are very special. The better your relationship with your surrogate, the smoother the surrogacy process will go overall. But how does one develop a strong relationship with their surrogate and make her feel comfortable? The most important ingredients for a healthy relationship with your surrogate are establishing expectations and boundaries, mutual trust, open communication, and flexibility.
Image suggestion: It might be cute to have a checklist of sorts here, but with heart bullet points.
Establishing Expectations With Your Surrogate
Surrogates are incredible women, but they can’t read minds. Be upfront about your core values and how you envision your role in the surrogacy process. Discuss with your surrogate whether you intend to accompany her to medical appointments and, if so, how often. Decide together if the best method of communication for you is Skype, texting, phone calls, emails, or a combination. How frequently you plan to communicate should be established as well. Most importantly, make sure you’re in agreement on how to handle medical decisions. For example, what to do in the event of a multifetal pregnancy.
Boundaries are a crucial element in surrogacy relationships. Your surrogate wants to please you and make you feel involved and happy throughout the process. However, you need to understand she has the right to set reasonable boundaries. While you might ideally love a daily Skype call with updates on how your surrogate spent her day, she deserves a certain amount of privacy. Don’t expect her to answer messages in the middle of the night. Furthermore, don’t plan on dictating her exact diet and exercise plan.
Mutual Trust With Your Surrogate
Once expectations have been established and boundaries created, intended parents and surrogates have to mutually trust each other to follow through. If you found your surrogate through a reputable agency, she has been thoroughly vetted. These are trustworthy women who are knowledgeable about pregnancy best practices and you need to trust their decision-making abilities. She, in turn, will trust you to respect boundaries and this will make the process more relaxing for everybody involved.
Having open lines of communication with your surrogate will give you peace of mind that you have all essential updates. You’ll want to feel comfortable asking questions. Try to keep the relationship light at first. Show her you’re interested in her life in general and not just pregnancy developments. More than anything else, focus on making her feel supported, but not micromanaged. If you’re working with an agency, their professionals will help you establish open communication.
Try to be flexible with your surrogate. She has a life outside of surrogacy. If she needs to reschedule a weekly call to be a different day of the week because relatives are visiting or her own child has an event, try to be accommodating. The more flexible you are on your end, the more likely your surrogate is to be flexible on her end as well. If you feel as if you are being overly accommodating to a point where you feel uncomfortable, discuss this with your surrogacy agency before confronting your surrogate.
If your relationship with your surrogate has clear expectations and boundaries, mutual trust, open communication, and flexibility, you’ll both feel more comfortable throughout the surrogacy process. The bond intended parents have with surrogates is unique and worth putting effort into. No two relationships between intended parents and surrogates will be exactly the same, so find the balance that works best for you and your surrogate.