The relationship created between intended parents and a surrogate during the surrogacy process is a powerful and intimate one. Both parties are actively working toward the miracle of life — adding a child to a family who so desperately wants one. It’s a complicated and, at times, difficult process in which intended parents and surrogates learn to lean on each other for support.
But, what happens to this relationship after the baby is born? Do intended parents and surrogates go their separate ways, even though they are forever bonded with the knowledge that they brought a life into the world together?
Whether you are an intended parent or a surrogate, you may be curious — and even anxious — about what kind of relationship you will have once your surrogacy journey is complete. Only you and your surrogacy partner will determine what this relationship is but, as you’re considering what you want your relationship to be like, think about these three important facts.
1. Your Relationship Will Change
When a baby is born via surrogacy, intended parents and surrogates have often spent a year or more working closely together — being present for important appointments, sharing stories of pregnancy and excitement and genuinely creating a unique friendship. However, once a baby is born, many of those aspects that bond intended parents and surrogates disappear.
It’s normal for your surrogacy relationship to change once the baby is born — and you should be prepared for these changes. You will likely no longer be in as frequent contact when you aren’t bound by the aspects of the surrogacy process. If you are an intended parent, your focus will go from caring for your surrogate to caring for your newborn baby. If you are a surrogate, you will go from being a key player in the surrogacy process to a spectator of the new family you have created.
These changes can be abrupt and, when you factor in the complicated emotions associated with childbirth, it can be a confusing time. Remember, your surrogacy specialist will always be there to guide you through those feelings and help you adjust to your new relationship, as well as mediate contact to ensure both parties are comfortable with the changes.
2. Closure is a Good Idea
It’s true that surrogates do not become emotionally attached to the children they carry for nine months. They understand that they are just “babysitting” the child and are just as excited as intended parents for the new chapter in their lives.
However, an abrupt break from the intended parents and the baby who they have focused on for the last year can be emotionally challenging for a surrogate. A surrogate is an important part of the surrogacy process, and it’s important that she does not feel like her effort has been overlooked or forgotten as soon as the baby is born.
Closure, even if it’s something as simple as letting the surrogate hold the baby and say goodbye to the new family, can go a long way in helping a woman heal from the physical and emotional complexities of her surrogacy delivery. Likewise, intended parents should find the same sense of closure with the woman who has carried their hopes and dreams for the last nine months. Even if you anticipate continuing your relationship moving forward, this step is crucial in creating a positive surrogacy experience for everyone.
It may be uncomfortable to suggest some kind of closure, but take the steps to reach out — even the smallest gestures go a long way.
3. Every Post-Birth Surrogacy Relationship is Different
Determining your post-surrogacy relationship can be tricky, especially after the baby has been born. Therefore, many intended parents and surrogates create an outline in their surrogacy contract of what kind of post-surrogacy contact they would like moving forward.
However, even with this, it’s natural for relationships to ebb and flow as surrogates and intended parents go through certain periods in their lives. Remember, there is no “right” way to have a relationship with your surrogacy partner after the delivery. Every relationship is different, and it’s up to you to determine what kind you want to have after the birth of the child.
Although creating the perfect post-surrogacy relationship can be complicated, take heart in knowing that most surrogates and intended parents find the perfect balance of contact after birth. One study of surrogates in the United Kingdom and their post-surrogacy relationships shows that 84 percent of surrogates were happy with the level of future contact they had with the child born via surrogacy, whatever kind and frequency of contact it was. They reported that “their level of contact felt natural, was comfortable for the surrogate, the child and his or her parents, and fitted into what were, in most cases, busy family lives.”
If you want to learn more about maintaining a positive surrogacy relationship with your intended parents or surrogate after the baby is born, speak with a surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy today. We can mediate your contact and help you create a relationship that meets both of your needs.
To get started, contact American Surrogacy at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) today.