If you’re an intended parent considering surrogacy, you have a big decision to make. Surrogacy can be complicated, and it’s important that you completely understand what you are signing up for when you commit to this kind of family-building process. While your surrogacy professional can always provide the information you need to start, it may be helpful to speak to other parents who have gone through the surrogacy process, as well.
When you contact the surrogacy specialists at American Surrogacy, they can help connect you to parents who are either in the surrogacy process or have already completed it. That way, you can learn the ins and outs of the process and know what to expect if you choose to pursue this path.
To help you better understand what your surrogacy may be like, here are 10 things that other intended parents wish they had known before they started the surrogacy process for the first time.
1. A surrogacy agency can be invaluable, especially if this is your first experience with surrogacy.
Surrogacy involves many different parts, legalities and professionals, and navigating that all on your own can be incredibly complicated. It’s a great idea to work with a surrogacy professional for at least your first surrogacy, as they can guide you through every step and let you focus on what’s really important — getting to know your surrogate and preparing to bring home your new baby.
Even if you think you may want to pursue an independent surrogacy, we encourage you to speak with a surrogacy agency before making this important decision.
2. Surrogacy laws vary widely by state and will determine what your surrogacy journey will look like.
When you’re researching surrogacy laws in the U.S., it can be frustrating to see that many states don’t have any surrogacy laws at all. However, even if a state has no surrogacy laws, you can often still complete your surrogacy there. You’ll need to work with a professional experienced in that state to make sure you’re following the proper legal and practical steps for a safe surrogacy journey. In many cases, the surrogacy laws where your surrogate lives will determine exactly how your surrogacy will proceed.
3. It can take a long time to find the perfect surrogate.
A surrogate who meets your expectations and who you feel comfortable with will determine the whole progress of your surrogacy. If you choose a surrogate that you don’t feel is 100 percent right for you, you likely will not have the positive, genuine relationship you need for a successful surrogacy.
When you’ve been waiting so long for a child, it can be tempting to choose the first surrogate that comes your way, in order to speed up the process. However, you should take the time to find the woman who is perfect for you to have the best surrogacy possible. You always have that right, and you can take as long as you need to find the perfect surrogate for your family.
4. You should have your finances in line before starting surrogacy.
It’s a well-known truth: Surrogacy is expensive. When you’re considering this family-building process, it’s important to think about how you will budget for and afford the various costs of surrogacy, especially for the miscellaneous, unexpected fees that may arise along the way.
Rather than save just enough to cover the surrogacy process, it’s a good idea to account for unexpected costs (and the ordinary costs of raising a child after birth) before you even begin your surrogacy. That way, rather than stressing about your finances, you can focus on building a relationship with your surrogate.
Your surrogacy specialist and a personal financial advisor can help you learn more about affording surrogacy.
5. You and your surrogate must have separate lawyers.
Even if you and your surrogate have a great personal relationship and agree on every aspect of your surrogacy, you both must hire separate lawyers for your surrogacy contract process. This better protects both parties’ interests and makes sure that every potential detail is accounted for in your legal contract. Remember, you will need to pay for your surrogate’s legal fees in addition to her pregnancy-related expenses.
6. It’s not unusual to have a failed embryo transfer or miscarriage the first time.
When you’ve been waiting for a child for so long, it can be devastating if the surrogacy medical process doesn’t work the first time. But this is completely normal, and many intended parents have to overcome this hurdle before they achieve a successful pregnancy. If this happens to you, it can be helpful to reach out to infertility support groups or other intended parents who have gone through this process for guidance and advice.
7. The difficult emotions don’t go away once your surrogate is pregnant.
Once your surrogate is pregnant, you may think that everything will be happy and easy until your child is born. And, while you will be relieved of the anxiety and disappointment of waiting for a successful pregnancy, your surrogate’s pregnancy will bring all kinds of new emotions. You may feel jealousy and a lack of control at not being involved in your unborn child’s development, and some of these feelings can be difficult. Fortunately, your surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy will always be there to discuss these emotions and help you obtain any additional counseling that may be necessary.
8. You will get insensitive comments or questions.
When you begin surrogacy, you will receive questions and comments from friends, family and even strangers about your family-building process. While most of these will be well-meaning, some may be insensitive or ignorant, leaving you to clear up misconceptions. You will always have the right to discuss your surrogacy in as much detail as you desire, but you can take advantage of this situation to spread awareness and education about the realities of the surrogacy process.
9. You will create a deep personal connection with your surrogate.
As an intended parent, you will know how important your surrogate is to your family-building process. What you may not expect, however, is just how close you will become with her throughout your year or more of the surrogacy process.
Surrogacy is a partnership, and many intended parents and surrogates create a genuine relationship during this time that extends long beyond the birth of the baby. You may even create a lifelong friendship with your surrogate. This is a totally normal — and wonderful — outcome of the surrogacy journey.
10. You may have to explain your surrogacy long after the process is complete.
Just because your child is born doesn’t mean that your surrogacy journey is over. Surrogacy is a lifelong process, and you will need to think about how you will explain your child’s birth story to them as they grow older, as well as how your surrogate may or may not be involved in their life.
Even long after your child is born, you may find yourself explaining their birth story to friends, family and strangers, or being asked questions that have to be explained with your surrogacy story. Having pride in this story is important; you can’t simply pretend your surrogacy didn’t happen once your baby is born. And who would want to?
If you’re an intended parent who is either in the middle of or has completed the surrogacy process, what do you wish you had known, or what do you still want to know? Comment on this post or contact a surrogacy specialist today at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) to learn more.