If you’re considering becoming a surrogate, congratulations! You’re about to embark on a life-changing journey and join thousands of women who have made a huge difference in someone else’s lives.
However, as much research as you’ve probably done up until the point, you may still have questions and concerns. What is it really like to be surrogate? How can you prepare for this journey?
Fortunately, when you work with American Surrogacy, your surrogacy specialist will be there to support you throughout your journey. Whatever advice and answers you need, she can provide them or help you find additional resources to help you, like former surrogates or professional counselors.
To help you prepare for this new step in your life, we’ve gathered some top tips from former surrogates who were once in your very situation:
1. Remember that you are part of a team.
Surrogacy is an involved process with many complicated aspects and steps. You will need to work closely with your surrogacy professionals and your intended parents to complete it successfully. While you will play an important role in the surrogacy journey, it’s not all about your experience; it will be a give-and-take with everyone else that’s involved.
2. Communication is key.
You and the intended parents will be pursuing a very intimate process with each other, so it’s helpful to build a positive and strong relationship from the beginning of your journey. There may be difficult moments throughout your surrogacy, and being able to easily and effectively communicate with each other will make those moments easier to move forward from.
3. Be prepared for the emotions of the process.
Surrogacy comes with both emotional highs and lows, and your surrogacy specialist will help you prepare for them. However, understand the potential for things like miscarriages, failed transfers and selective reductions and think about how you may respond to these situations. Remember, your surrogacy professional can help you connect with trained counselors if you need them.
4. The hormones from medication and pregnancy will affect you.
When you become a surrogate, you’ll potentially go through more hormonal changes as you take pre-transfer medications to regulate your hormones. The experience may or may not be comparable to your past pregnancies. Be prepared for the possibility that these hormones may affect your personality more than they did before.
5. Don’t feel pressured into a match unless you’re sure it’s right.
As a surrogate, you have the right to only carry for a family that you are 100 percent comfortable with. If this means you have to wait longer than normal to find the intended parents that you feel a connection with, that’s okay. Your surrogacy specialist will work with you to find the perfect family who fits all of your surrogacy preferences and goals.
6. Be comfortable with your contract and don’t sign anything until you are ready.
Similarly, you do not have to agree to the terms of your contract until you feel that your rights and interests are protected. You will be provided a personal lawyer for this stage of the process, and you can take all the time you need to discuss with him or her all your questions or concerns. You are never obligated to start any surrogacy processes until you sign your contract but, once you do sign, you will be legally obligated to follow every responsibility outlined in it.
7. Follow your contract and everything will be fine.
It’s normal to worry whether you are doing everything “right” in your time as a surrogate. However, as long as you follow what is stated in your contract and stay healthy as you are pregnant, you will be the best surrogate that intended parents could ask for. If you ever have any questions about your responsibilities, speak with your surrogacy specialist.
8. Be prepared for not everything to work out as planned.
Unfortunately, everything in your surrogacy journey may not work out the first time. It’s not uncommon for a surrogate to take a while to find the perfect intended parents, for the first transfer to fail or even for a miscarriage to occur. It can certainly be disheartening when a situation like this occurs, but know that it’s completely normal and that your surrogacy professionals will be there to help you move forward.
9. Stay in touch with your surrogacy professionals.
It’s been mentioned throughout this list, but don’t underestimate the importance of your surrogacy professionals throughout your surrogacy journey. They exist to support you through the challenges and rewards of the process — especially for first-time surrogates who aren’t sure what to expect. Don’t be afraid to reach out for their assistance when you need it.
10. Take care of yourself.
It’s easy to get lost in the bigger picture of your surrogacy journey – you’re helping to create a family and carrying the dreams of intended parents in your uterus. However, it’s important to remember the basics of caring for your physical and mental health during your surrogacy. Whatever else is happening, make sure to take the necessary steps to keep yourself healthy, as it will be instrumental to ensuring a positive, healthy surrogacy journey for everyone.
Want more tips from surrogates or have your own to add? Consider reaching out to surrogate support groups or contacting a surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy to be connected with other surrogates like you.