Deciding to begin the surrogacy process is exciting. For first time parent/s, it finally feels like parenthood is within reach and for parent/s looking to expand their families, dreams are finally coming true. So, what do you do now?
When intended parent/s are met with surrogate profiles their number one thought is about how to develop a successful relationship with their surrogate.
Surrogacy involves intended parent/s selecting a woman to undergo IVF to become pregnant with their child. This woman will carry the baby to term and then deliver it. This is a beautiful, but intensely personal process. Because of this, a relationship between a surrogate and intended parents can often lead to a life-long friendship. However, this also means that emotions are flying high and, even with the best of intentions, developing a successful relationship with a surrogate can be delicate.
At Love & Kindness Surrogacy we believe that being up front and open from the very beginning is the best way to build a solid foundation for a successful relationship. Knowing your expectations as an intended parent and making sure they fit well with the surrogate is super important, and as your agency we are there to help you make the decisions each step of the way.
The first step is the “Matching Process” – this is where Love & Kindness will perform an extensive screening to ensure that your surrogate is the perfect candidate for you. During this time, you’ll likely speak with several potential surrogates, and you’ll both be making decisions about whether to choose the other.
We’ve included a few tips below to help you while navigating the surrogacy waters.
If you want your surrogate to be transparent with you during the matching process, then it’s important for you to do the same. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask the questions that are on your mind. Don’t avoid answering your prospective surrogate’s questions, either — avoiding questions or remaining intentionally vague because you aren’t sure if she will like your answers is a bad habit to get into when you’ve got almost a year of communication laying ahead of you. At this point, your goal is to begin to establish a good relationship with the surrogate mother who will carry your child.
Avoid Pressuring Your Surrogate
Yes, honesty is the best policy, but there’s a difference between being honest and over-sharing. Avoid telling your surrogate that she is “your last hope” or “your only hope.” Even if this is the case, she doesn’t need to feel like she will be letting you down if she decides your family is not the best fit for her. Just as you had the freedom of selection, so does she.
If the surrogate you selected decides to work with another family instead, it’s also important to refrain from responding to her decision with unkind words. Please know that she did not make her decision lightly and, in most cases, her decision has nothing to do with you personally. Just as you need to choose a surrogate who will fit well with your family and lifestyle, she must choose intended parents she feels the same about. Thank her for her consideration and resolve to try again.
Have Realistic Expectations
We always encourage our potential parents to remain optimistic about the outcome of their choice to pursue surrogacy. However, finding the right surrogate may take time. Even when you do find her, it may take some time for the process to move forward or for her to conceive. There may even be complications during pregnancy. Stay hopeful, but don’t become too emotionally invested in your surrogate and the process that you become frustrated and angry at your surrogate if things move slowly or don’t work out exactly the way you planned.
Before she even becomes pregnant, establish healthy boundaries for communication and involvement between you and your surrogate. You may not be able to anticipate every single issue that will arise during the surrogacy journey, but by recognizing and verbalizing your own expectations, you can smooth out the process and put your surrogate at ease.
Your fertility team can — and should — aid in establishing boundaries and incorporating them into your legal agreement with your surrogate. It may seem uncomfortable to include wording in a contract about your presence in the delivery room, but establishing that expectation now is better than getting to delivery day and discovering that your surrogate has completely different expectations.
Above all else, remember that your surrogate is a human being. She is committing to being pregnant for the next nine months but also has a life and family of her own, that she needs to attend to. She will be on medication, tired and she may even encounter intense morning sickness. Make sure your expectations are respectful of her and what she is about to go through. It may be difficult to agree to only talk to her once a week, but by doing so, you are allowing her to rest and relax at a time when she needs it the most.