The idea of someone else carrying your longed-for baby may seem somewhat strange at first, but it’s also something incredible.
Surrogacy brings together a group of remarkable people who want to create a life. That’s why building a healthy relationship from the beginning is so important.
Here are some great tips for having a successful relationship with your surrogate (from parents who have been there before!)
Get to know each other during the matching process
“Trusting someone to carry your baby is quite a big thing. Especially when it’s international and you don’t yet know each other that well. Nevertheless, we had full trust in the Surrogate and relationship. It just needed to grow as well in 9 months!” FSC Parents P&L
The matching process can be a little nerve-wracking for both of you, but it can also be great fun. The key is to be patient. There are loads of surrogates out there, and the perfect match for you may take some time to uncover.
When you do find the right surrogate, be straight-up. Let her know exactly what you’re hoping for from this arrangement in terms of communication and how much information you want to share with one another. Most importantly, be sure to establish each other’s boundaries.
And don’t be afraid to ask questions! Your surrogate will be prepared for this and will have plenty of questions of her own.
Interaction during the pregnancy
“It was an easy-going relationship from start. We were so confident she knew everything it takes in terms of surrogacy and her previous journey that let her go without being on her back. We looked after each other no matter what but kept in mind she had her own children and needed time for herself. Our surrogate’s husband, children, parents, parents-in-law, and herself are truly our second family.” – FSC Parents G&J
Again, be as honest as possible. Let your surrogate know exactly what’s on your mind and how much information you’d like. Are you hoping to come to her appointments? Do you want regular photo updates? The sooner you’re clear about this, the better.
Stay in touch as much as possible. Pregnancy is a difficult time for anyone, and your surrogate will love to hear from the parents of her surro-baby. Decide which forms of communication works best for both of you: email, Zoom, Whatsapp, or Messenger are all great options.
Know that you can trust your carrier. She’s already been through a strict screening process, so you should feel assured that your baby is in the best hands. It’s natural to wonder if she’s eating the right foods, getting enough sleep, taking her supplements, and so on – but it’s also important to know that it’s her body and she has had children before.
Establishing a birth plan is a must. A birth plan is an outline of how you’d like the delivery to play out, from the time labor begins to the arrival itself – and the aftermath. It’s crucial to address this long before the birth so that everyone is on the same page.
When in doubt, consult your case manager. They are your ‘go-between’: the person who will be there for the entire journey, facilitating interaction between you and your surrogate. They’ll be your messenger and helper, making the process as stress-free as possible.
Plan what will happen after the delivery
“I think from our initial conversation the relationship we built was pretty on par with what we expected. We intend to keep our surrogate updated on big events within our child’s life. As we are in different states we are keeping in touch via text message and social media. We hope to continue the casual relationship we built and look forward to what the future brings.” – FSC Parents E&K
When your precious little one arrives, you’ll be completely consumed with love and emotion (and changing nappies!). That’s why it’s a good idea to sort out what you expect from your surrogate well in advance.
Set clear expectations about how much contact you want to maintain after the birth. Some parents are happy to keep in touch with their surrogate as their baby grows, while others prefer to let the relationship end at the hospital.
It’s also important to spare a thought about how your surrogate feels after your baby has gone home with you. Postpartum emotions are real, even for gestational carriers!
That said, research has shown that in most cases, the surrogate feels more sadness for losing the relationship with her Intended Parents than for the baby itself. This is understandable, especially if you have become close over the previous nine months and shared an intimate connection.
Keeping in touch with your surrogate can be healthy for everyone involved. Show compassion. Make sure she knows how much you appreciate her and how grateful you are for the incredible role she’s played in your life. Tell her about your baby and share updates when you can (if that’s part of your plan). You may even meet up in person so she can have some personal interaction with her surro-baby.
Whatever happens, maintaining that bond can benefit both sides. If your surrogate knows from the beginning that you want to stay in touch after the birth, she will feel appreciated and supported throughout her pregnancy.
Want to know more about what to expect as an IP? Our team at FSC would love to chat! There’s no question we can’t answer. Contact us today!