Our relationships are more important than ever during these uncertain times. If you’re in the middle of a surrogacy journey, it’s no different.
Your relationship with the intended parents or surrogate may look a little different than pre-COVID. If your partnership is long-distance, you may not be missing out on scheduled in-person meetings. But that doesn’t mean your relationship doesn’t also need special attention and focus during this time.
Whatever nerves you have about pursuing surrogacy during COVID-19, your surrogacy partner has them, too. Maintaining an open, honest conversation during this time will help you both relieve those worries and be better prepared for the journey ahead.
Finding energy and excitement about surrogacy during this pandemic can understandably be hard. But don’t let your surrogacy partnership suffer!
Here are a few tips to safely keep your long-distance surrogacy relationship strong right now:
1. Check in With Each Other Directly
There’s a lot of unknowns during this pandemic, and it can be tempting to call your surrogacy specialist asking for frequent updates. While we will always be here to answer your questions, the best way to check up on your surrogacy partner is by reaching out to them directly. If you wait for our specialists to check in for you, it will often take much longer; it can be a while before we catch everyone on the phone, and we have many other responsibilities on our list as hospital and clinic policies continue to change.
If you’re worried about the health of your surrogate or intended parents, please contact them directly. You’ll get the answer you’re looking for much more quickly, and your contact will show your surrogacy partner how much you care about them during this time.
2. Don’t Be Shy with Video Calls!
We get it; we’re all tired of Zoom calls. But there’s no better way to connect with your surrogacy partner during this time than by seeing each other face-to-face — safely through a screen, of course.
Think beyond your typical video call just to check in. Take advantage of this technology for doctor’s appointments and other important milestones. Intended parents may not be able to attend as many appointments as they originally planned, but using video calls can help them feel like they are still there.
If you set up video calls to check in, make sure to set an expected start and end time. Perhaps even plan some activities to prevent any awkwardness.
3. Set Expectations
With the pandemic situation changing so rapidly, it’s normal to want to check in as often as possible. But overstepping contact boundaries can actually put more stress on your surrogacy partner.
Remember that many parents are dealing with working at home at the same time they are caring for children with fewer activities to keep them busy. Constant calls or emails can just become one more thing on their to-do list.
So, set a schedule with your surrogacy partner. Talk about how often you will check in, and perhaps use quicker forms of communication like texts to let them know you’re thinking about them. And, if your surrogacy partner misses a scheduled contact, don’t freak out — give grace and remember that we’re all navigating this situation as best we can.
4. Offer Help However You Can
It’s easy to feel helpless right now, especially if your surrogacy partner is thousands of miles from you. So, don’t be afraid to offer them help in whatever way you can.
- Purchase a gift card to a local restaurant for a take-out dinner.
- Send a personalized gift basket of necessities (toilet paper and hand sanitizer, anyone?)
- Send a bouquet of flowers or a similar surprise to brighten up their day.
As always, talk with your surrogacy specialist if you need ideas or suggestions for supporting your surrogacy partner during these times.
5. Don’t Make It All About COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted everyone’s lives. Just as it’s a constant in your everyday routine, it will be the same for your surrogacy partner. Yes, it’s made your surrogacy journey harder — but the last thing either of you will want is to have the same conversations over and over and stress each other out.
So, instead of worrying about COVID-19 and its effects on your surrogacy journey during every phone call or email, take the time to talk about other things. Babies don’t care what’s happening outside the womb, and life goes on during this pandemic.
If you’re an intended parent, don’t feel bad for asking about a surrogate’s pregnancy and the baby’s development. And, if you’re a surrogate, don’t be afraid to share those updates and stories! We all need some positive news right now, and sharing it with each other will remind you why you embarked on surrogacy in the first place.
Taking a break from all the coronavirus talk is not just smart — it’s necessary for your mental health. Do what you can to prepare each other for the unknown ahead, but don’t focus on it. Remember that your surrogacy specialist will be here to guide you through those upcoming steps, whatever they may look like.