One of the most significant questions a surrogate mother or gestational carrier can ask herself before becoming a candidate for this process is whether or not she’ll be able to hand over Baby. At the end of this nine-month journey together, after providing a safe, healthy, nurturing home, after birth, will it even be possible to say goodbye? Creative Love Egg Donor and Surrogate Agency only works with intended parents and surrogate mothers that are entering into a gestational carrier agreement.
Gestational surrogacy is when a women also referred to as a surrogate mother carries a baby for an intended couple or individual. The gestational surrogate has no genetic relationship to the child that she is carrying. The intended Mother goes through a traditional IVF cycle to create embryos using the sperm of the intended Father or from a sperm donor that will then be transferred to the surrogate. In some case an egg donor might be needed. A women who agrees to serve as a gestational surrogate must sign a gestational surrogacy contract prior to engaging in the surrogacy. The gestational surrogate must agree to medical evaluation and treatment during her participation in the program. If at least one member of the commissioning couple is the genetic parent of the child, the commissioning couple are presumed to be the natural parents of the child gestated by the surrogate.
This is one of the reasons that fertility clinics or surrogate agencies accepting applications for surrogacy candidates require that a women has already carried and birthed at least one child before considering being a gestational carrier. Not only is it important for a women considering surrogacy to understand in a very literal way the physical, mental, and emotional demands of pregnancy, but it can also be hard for someone who has never been pregnant to truly possess the appropriate, accurate context for the bonding that occurs during pregnancy and delivery.
Of course this doesn’t mean that every mother or carrier instantly and emphatically bonds to a baby in the womb, but women’s bodies are biologically designed to bond with the baby they’ve carried and delivered, in part due to the hormone oxytocin. This is a natural part of our evolutionary make-up; it’s what causes mothers to instinctively care for and protect their young so that the human race doesn’t extinguish itself.
But these same hormones don’t know to dial down when a baby is carried and delivered but is then going to go home to someone else’s nursery, to be a part of someone else’s forever family. This means that for any surrogate – no matter how grounded in reality she is; no matter how practical, rational, or reasonable; no matter how much she loves the sister she’s carrying twins for or the childless couple she met through the agency and who can’t wait to finally become parents; no matter how many wonderful kids she already has at home, and no matter how sure she might be at the beginning of this process that she doesn’t want anymore children of her own – saying goodbye to Baby after delivery is going to be hard.
The best way to cope with this likelihood is to acknowledge it and prepare for it beforehand. Rather than insisting that it won’t be a big deal or that she’s tough and can handle it, it’s important to acknowledge to herself, her partner or existing family, and even to the intended parents (if she’s close enough to them and it feels appropriate), that it’s going to hurt a little bit to let that impossibly tiny hand curl around her finger and then return from the hospital alone.
Being aware of the range of emotions you may feel during and after the pregnancy is one of the best ways to make a healthy recovery. According to a study donor in 2003 by the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology, within just a few months of giving birth for another family, 85 percent of surrogate women reported no emotional or psychological difficulties, and by the end of a year, that number was even higher, at 94 percent.
Most women (in this study, 91 percent) choose the journey of surrogacy as a way to give back to their communities, to provide a truly priceless gift to a deserving family – and surrogacy candidates genuinely have an opportunity to forever impact a family. But before you do, set realistic expectations for yourself about how the process might make you feel. Acknowledge the parts that will be hard alongside the ones that will bring altruistic joy. Finally, give yourself permission to grieve if you need to after you’ve placed Baby in the arms of his or her new ecstatic parents. Take comfort in the fact that Baby is headed home to be with a family that has long dreamed of this day, and who will likely forever be overwhelmed with gratitude for your incredible, life-changing gift.Return to Blog