Every surrogacy journey is unique, and everyone has different experiences throughout their journey to parenthood. Even though a surrogacy journey is never easy, we believe it’s important to celebrate the journey to parenthood along the way. Reading and learning about the process from someone who has been through it is an invaluable opportunity for Intended Parents before starting a journey of their own.
We had the unique opportunity to sit with one of our Intended Parents to discuss the surrogacy journey from beginning to end. We knew hearing his story being told in his own words was something special that we wanted to share with others, so we asked for an interview. Here is Lindsay’s story and experience that we know will give you a unique look into a surrogacy journey –
When his journey began with Love & Kindness, Lindsay matched with a wonderful surrogate, and everything started to line up. But unfortunately, at the last minute, his surrogate decided that their match wasn’t the right fit for her surrogate journey, so the match was called off. This left Lindsay in a difficult position, but he was prepared for the unexpected (you will hear more about this in Lindsay’s words in the interview). Thankfully, Lindsay connected with a friend of his sister’s, who was a surrogate in a previous journey and was looking to match with another family for a second time. Lindsay connected with this potential surrogate on a phone call, and they immediately felt a bond with one another. After just one phone call together, Lindsay and this potential surrogate decided that this was the perfect match for them. Lindsay knew he wanted to continue having the guidance and services from Love & Kindness, so we continued acting as the agency for both parties. After completing interviews and all the necessary medical testing, his Surrogate was cleared by the fertility clinic, and Lindsay was able to continue his journey.
Lindsay welcomed a beautiful baby boy into his family during the first week of August 2023! After learning so much on his surrogacy journey, Lindsay wanted to share his experience with others who might be looking into surrogacy or are currently in the process of a surrogacy journey.
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey to build your family?
“When I met my partner, Don, I was not thinking about having kids at that time. As I’ve grown more and learned more about myself, I feel I am more ready today than I’ve ever been in my life to shape another life that’s brought into this world.”
Was there anything “easy” about making the decision to pursue this path?
“I can’t describe any part of this as easy because I felt like every decision deserved so much of my attention. Everything required significant thought and planning on my part, so although not all of it was difficult, I wouldn’t consider any of it easy.”
When looking for a surrogacy agency – what were your requirements/expectations?
“Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect when reaching out to agencies. The only requirement I had was that I was looking for someone who could identify with my perspective and my experience.”
When you ultimately decided to work with Love & Kindness, what helped you make that final decision?
“Jasmine, the Program Director, is kind, thoughtful, open, and caring. I felt put off by other agencies, because I felt like they didn’t want to work with me. From the very beginning, I felt like Jasmine and Love & Kindness cared about my perspective and it showed.”
How did you prepare financially for your surrogacy journey?
“Preparing financially… Oh my Goodness! I would like to say I spent the last 30 years preparing financially, but I did not. In the last few weeks before the birth, I questioned whether I could afford to have a child. When you are going through a surrogacy journey, you have a lot of financial expenses, but that’s just to have the baby. When the baby comes, I must be able to care for my baby’s needs.
I’m finally in a position financially where I feel like I can afford to have a child. It’s a sacrifice that I’ve had to make over the last few years. Instead of buying my dream car or my dream house, I’ve decided to pursue my dream of becoming a parent. It’s a major sacrifice I wanted to make to have a family.”
How was the matching process? How did you know your surrogate was the right match for you?
“There were a couple of things that stood out. She was an experienced surrogate, so she knew what to expect and I felt like I could have a relationship with her outside of this process. She was passionate about her family and didn’t have any preconceived notions of people, so I could see us having a relationship outside of the surrogacy journey.”
Did you feel an immediate connection with your surrogate, or did it take some time to form a connection?
“The bond with her was almost immediate. It was like I had known her forever, although we had only just met. At the end of our initial call, she stated she wanted to be my surrogate and I felt the same.
I felt comfortable with her and our conversation on the phone felt natural. The other surrogate match calls I had before this one felt more forced, so I knew this was the perfect match.”
How was your relationship with your surrogate throughout the pregnancy?
“We talked regularly throughout the pregnancy. I would have liked to talk with her every day, but that would have been a lot to ask of her. I tried not to overwhelm her throughout the journey.
I enjoyed hearing about her experiences, including the ones that are not so great. I’m so grateful that she went through this experience with me. We had a wonderful relationship going into the final months of the pregnancy.”
What were the most exciting milestones during the pregnancy?
“Two moments – My surrogate taking a home pregnancy test and finding out she was pregnant. And then hearing the heartbeat for the first time was the second milestone for me – the pregnancy became a reality in that moment. My surrogate is located close by to me, so I got to be there for the ultrasound, which made the experience even more special.”
Is there any advice you can share with other intended parents?
“My first piece of advice would be to try and find a surrogate that is nearby. This will allow you to be there for more of the journey and help your relationship flourish with your surrogate. This is not necessary, but it was helpful during my journey.
I didn’t get this advice when I started the process, so I want to share this now – go into the journey having lots of patience. Be flexible and open-minded. Otherwise, you will set expectations for yourself that you can’t achieve and the challenges that happen along the way will be even bigger roadblocks.
If you set reasonable expectations for your journey – being flexible, open, and patient – your journey will go more smoothly. I can’t say I got a gold star for doing this, but I did my best to practice this mindset.
Focus your attention on the things you can control and keep an open mind!
Going through this process, I learned a lot about myself and a lot about other people. This journey taught me to be more flexible throughout all areas of my life. For that I am extremely grateful for this difficult, but wonderful opportunity.”