Is It Hard For A Surrogate To Give Up The Baby?
I want to address the biggest anxiety Intended Parents may have, so let’s start today with the end:
In my experience: No, absolutely not. However, it is especially important that your surrogate has been properly evaluated and cleared by an educated mental health professional in third party reproduction, to ensure she has the appropriate strength, support, understanding and motivation to be a trustworthy surrogate candidate.
When I was a surrogate I did not feel like I was giving the baby up, because she was never mine to begin with, I was just giving her back. We had a visceral connection from nine months nurturing her inside me, but I did not bond with her. In truth I bonded with her parents, in our mutual desire to bring her into the world so they could be a family. Most other surrogates feel the same way.
A surrogate may be a little emotional right after the birth, but it will be because she is adjusting to the realization that the surrogacy journey has suddenly ended. That’s natural. The year of focus, excitement and anticipation of delivering a baby to you are over, and it can be hard to let go of that.
Here is the key. A surrogate just wants to share in your joy, to have the privilege of watching you become a family, and to feel appreciated for her choice to make that sacrifice and take that journey with you. The baby a surrogate carries is not hers and she knows that. And she is perfectly okay with that. In fact, she can’t wait to deliver that baby into the arms of the intended parents, to see how her gift can bring joy to a couple where there was devastation and longing.
That was my reward, and continues to fulfill me to this day: to know that I made it possible for them to wake to the unconditional love of a little girl who brings them joy every time she giggles, or wraps them in a hug or tells a silly story. I have absolutely no regrets, and only a wealth of gratitude for having the privilege of sharing such an intimate journey with another couple.
That’s why women choose to be surrogates.
*Pamela MacPhee is the author of DELIVERING HOPE: The Extraordinary Journey of a Surrogate Mom. She is a Stanford University graduate, with a degree in Human Biology and a concentration in Physiological Psychology. She successfully delivered a baby girl as a surrogate for her cousin and his wife, who suffered from cancer-related infertility. She has also written columns and articles, spoken at fertility conferences, and interviewed with local, national and international media, including The New York Times, to share insights into her own journey in an effort to educate people about surrogacy.