For some people, the bond between intended parents and a surrogate is incredible, powerful, and sometimes life changing. Many intended parents seeking pregnancy through a gestational carrier report having a positive experience, and in part this is due to the important work of a thorough, successful matchmaker. The biggest contributing factor to that outcome, though, is good communication between all parties involved. It’s important to us at Creative Love Egg Donor and Surrogate Agency that we spend time getting to know the surrogates and intended parents that join our agency family on a personal level. We never rush a match. We make home visits, plan dinner’s together allowing us to truly get to know you and for you to get to know our agency. Remember this journey is a long partnership between all parties. The carrier, the intended parents and the agency.
It’s reductive to say that having another person carry a baby for you is a huge deal. But once an ideal match has been made and all involved parties have successfully moved beyond the screening process, there is occasionally a tendency for intended parents to allow some of their preferences to take a backseat, simply because they’re so excited to finally have an opportunity to move forward with a pregnancy and, at last, will be getting a baby.
This can be tricky to navigate. On the one hand, it’s important not to value the autonomous body of the carrier, who is her own person and gets to make her own decisions. On the other, she will be carrying someone else’s child, so the wants and needs of the intended parents shouldn’t be discounted either. The best way to strike an appropriate balance between the parents-to-be and the surrogate is to put everything on the table as early as possible and discuss your flexibility and limits before pregnancy takes place. All of these important topics will be added to the legal contract once a match has been mad and everyone is in agreement.
For every family, there will be deal-breakers. Don’t assume that anything is a given; be clear about your expectations no matter how obvious they seen to you (that your surrogate won’t ride in a car with someone who is smoking, for example). Understand that the pregnancy, labor, and birth are going to take a toll on your surrogate physically, mentally, and emotionally, and this means that you might have to be flexible about your expectations for that experience. But being flexible and not speaking up aren’t the same thing. Instead, you should decide going in to the surrogate matching process which of those preferences are just ideals. (is it really mandatory that your surrogate give up the guilty pleasures of her once-a-month McDonald’s breakfast splurge?) and which ones really are a requirement for pregnancy (such as asking your surrogate to swear off sushi and coffee until the baby is born).
Additionally, don’t forget to make a plan for what happens when the baby arrives. Know who the surrogate is comfortable having in the delivery room with her. Would she like her own partner there? Her mother? Her sister? Know if she’s willing to have both a male and female intended parent in the delivery room with her, or if she’s only comfortable with having an intended mom present. Know if she’s all right with everyone being there while she labors, or if she’d like the IP’s to witness only the delivery. Know if she’d like to spend a few minutes alone with the baby after birth to “say goodbye” and experience a necessary closure before handing him or her over to the parents, or if she’d prefer not to have any physical contact with the baby at all.
Bring to the table your own concerns, desires, and needs, and keep an open mind as the surrogate shares hers. It can be devastating to assume that a surrogate shares your views on this part of the journey only to find close to delivery that everyone’s had different ideas all along. Once the journey arrives at the planning phase of the delivery, Creative Love will visit the labor and delivery floor of the hospital were your surrogate plans to deliver and share the birth plan with the head nurse of the floor. This will help to ease any confusion that could take place in the rush of labor.
Most importantly, remember that in the grand scheme of your child’s life with you, the delivery and birth is only one very small part. So if a surrogate happens to change her mind about who can be present while she endures the pain and exhaustion of labor, or who she’s comfortable with seeing her exposed body in such a vulnerable state, take time to process and grieve but don’t let it ruin the joy of bringing home your new baby and the amazing journey you all shared.Return to Blog