Building a Relationship with your Surrogate
I have found that many intended parents see surrogacy* as a business arrangement. For most, working with a surrogate is new and uncharted territory and the cost of working with one is substantial. It’s normal to focus on the financial and ‘business’ aspects of the relationship.
But the business part of the relationship is only the starting point. Although the surrogate is being compensated for her time, discomfort, and the inconvenience to herself and her family, most surrogates don’t see their surrogacy journey as a job or a business arrangement but more as a gift. In most cases surrogates choose to be surrogates because they have been able to carry pregnancies for their own children easily and without complications. They want to help you build a family while helping their own family economically.
For the surrogate, the bond that she forms is not with the baby she is carrying but with you, the intended parents she is helping. Her joy comes from thinking about how happy you will be when your child is born.
It is important to develop a personal relationship with your surrogate. She is eager to please you and to feel that you are happy with your decision to allow her to be your surrogate. Sometimes this may be difficult as many intended parents don’t quite know what to do or say to this woman, someone who is practically a stranger and yet is carrying their child. That is one reason it is important to meet your surrogate, even if it is via Skype, prior to going into contract with her. That meeting will help you begin to get to know her. It is important that you are compatible and feel comfortable communicating with her.
Plan to speak with your surrogate at least once a week to see how she is doing and to help her know that you are supportive of her. There is always a fine balance as in any relationship. You don’t want to micromanage your surrogate but you don’t want her to feel that she is completely on her own, either. Trust her to use common sense with regard to health and eating as she has been pregnant before and has given birth to healthy, normal children (a prerequisite for any surrogate that I would recommend).
As in every other part of fertility treatment, it is hard to let go of control but necessary in order to maintain your sanity and to keep your relationship with your surrogate positive.
- When I refer to surrogacy I am referring gestational surrogacy where the surrogate is not genetically related to the child she is carrying.