When you use surrogacy to add a child to your family, there are a lot of medical professionals involved: your reproductive endocrinologist, your surrogate’s personal physician and obstetricians, nurses at the hospital, and more.
But, have you thought about the most important professional you’ll need once your surrogacy is done — your child’s pediatrician?
Finding the right pediatrician for your child will take some time. One bright side of your surrogate carrying your child? You will have the time to research and choose the perfect doctor for your baby once they are born.
Below, find five important tips to keep in mind during this search. Remember: Your surrogacy specialist will always be available to answer your questions about raising a child born via surrogacy, including how your pediatrician can play a role in this journey.
Don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) today for more information.
1. Do thorough research.
One of the best ways to spend the time waiting for your child to be born? Preparing yourself for their arrival — which includes finding the right pediatrician to look after their medical health.
Finding a pediatrician involves more than just choosing the closest doctor to you. Your child’s pediatrician will provide preventative care to your child throughout their childhood, and they will play an integral part in your child’s physical and mental development. They will also be a great resource to you by providing education about child development, safety and more.
When you first start researching options for pediatricians, you’ll want to consider:
- Location, hours and after-hour care
- Insurance coverage
- Whether the doctor is accepting new patients
- The doctor’s certifications and awards
- The doctor’s experience and any areas of specialization
- And more
2. Ask for references and recommendations.
If this is your first child, you may be unsure of what you are looking for in a pediatrician. Talking to those who have been through this process before can be helpful.
One of the best ways to find a good local pediatrician is by asking your friends and family members with children. They can let you know who they are seeing, what they like about them, and what they wished they had known about pediatricians before starting. Their experience can serve you well in your personal search.
You might also reach out to your (or your surrogate’s) obstetrician. They may have advice for finding a good pediatrician based on your and your surrogate’s health background, and they might even recommend a few physicians to start with.
3. Interview potential pediatricians.
Once you have a list of prospective pediatricians, you will need to interview the ones you are seriously interested in. Your first time meeting your baby’s pediatrician shouldn’t be at your baby’s first visit; you should establish a relationship with the doctor prior to your baby even being born.
There are a lot of great doctors out there, and many of them may work as your personal pediatrician. To determine your best fit, you’ll need to meet the doctor in person. This will give you a chance to ask any questions you may have about their practice and their medical opinions, as well as determine whether you two “click” and have a good relationship.
This can be the lengthiest part of finding a pediatrician, so make sure to start your interviews early! The more doctors you talk to, the better idea you’ll have of what you’re looking for in a pediatrician for your child.
4. Keep your surrogacy experience in mind.
In many ways, the process of finding a pediatrician for a child born via surrogacy will be very similar to that of a child born in a traditional manner. However, there are a few things you should consider.
If you are matched with an out-of-state surrogate, the first pediatrician to see your child will likely be in the city where your gestational carrier gives birth. You’ll want to talk with your surrogate’s obstetrician for local recommendations, and you’ll want to keep your own pediatrician up-to-date on pregnancy and delivery news as it occurs. You’ll also want to ask your local pediatrician when they would like to see the baby after you return home and make sure that the hospital at which your child is born sends the proper paperwork to your local doctor.
If your child has been conceived with a gamete donation, you’ll need to inform your pediatrician, as well. This may play a role in your decision — is your pediatrician familiar with the ins-and-outs of sperm and egg donation, and do they have experience tackling this issue with current patients? How will they navigate the issue of social and medical history from a donor when caring for your child?
You’ll need to work with a pediatrician who is comfortable with your child’s surrogacy background — and is willing to do more research whenever necessary. So, make sure your surrogacy experience is an important topic of your initial conversation with a prospective doctor.
5. Don’t be afraid to change your mind.
The pediatrician that you choose for your child will most likely be there throughout the years (and even decades!) to come. It’s a big decision — and it’s completely normal if your needs and wants end up changing over the years to come. Fortunately, there are many pediatricians out there, and you will find the one that is best for your child.
Say you choose one pediatrician to start with. But, on your first visit with the doctor and your baby, you’re not satisfied with the level of care you receive. Alternatively, your child may develop a condition during childhood that your pediatrician may not be able to adequately care for. Changing doctors is totally acceptable — it’s not a comment on your ability as a parent or even the doctor’s ability to do their job!
You are never obligated to remain with a certain medical professional just because you started with that person. As a parent, you must always do what is right for your child!
Want more tips and hints for life as a parent after surrogacy? Reach out to your surrogacy specialist anytime at 1-800-875-BABY(2229).