Once you’ve matched with your gestational carrier, you’ll be excited to start the medical process of surrogacy. After all, you are one step closer to finally holding the little bundle of joy you’ve been dreaming about for so long!
However, surrogacy is about more than just getting your baby. It’s a long and complicated process aided by a positive, healthy relationship with your gestational carrier. She is more than just a woman you “hired” to carry your child; she is your partner in this journey. Therefore, it’s important that you establish a good relationship with her from the get-go.
It’s normal to be nervous about your relationship with your gestational carrier. It’s probably your (and her) first time having this kind of intimate relationship with a previously unknown stranger! Don’t forget that the specialists at American Surrogacy will be there to guide you through this relationship and your surrogacy process every step of the way. We have helped many intended parents and gestational carriers through the surrogacy process, and we are happy to help you, too.
When you work with our surrogacy agency, you can always call your specialist at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) for advice on building a successful relationship with your gestational carrier. In the meantime, we’ve listed a few tips below to help you get started.
1. Show her that you care — but don’t be overbearing.
If you are an intended parent in the surrogacy process, it’s normal to have all kinds of feelings — nervousness, excitement, anxiety and more. When another woman is carrying your child, there can be a feeling of helplessness you must overcome. It’s important that you don’t let that feeling impact your relationship.
Some of the biggest concerns that our specialists hear from gestational carriers are regarding intended parents who cross boundaries. While well-intentioned, these intended parents can make a carrier feel like she is not trusted. In turn, this can cause a carrier to pull back from communication, inspiring another round of checking in from overbearing intended parents.
We understand what you are feeling as an intended parent — and that you would do anything to be able to carry your child yourself. However, it’s important that you identify what are the appropriate boundaries to maintain with your gestational carrier. These may even be outlined in your surrogacy contract. Stick to your agreed-upon communication preferences and frequency, and try not to go too much beyond those set contact times. Your gestational carrier will appreciate it.
2. Show interest in her life and her family.
A gestational carrier sacrifices a lot to help an intended parent add to their family. She gives up her time, her energy and her body during this process. Therefore, it’s important that she feel appreciated for her sacrifice — not just as a piece in a puzzle to help intended parents.
Most intended parents never intentionally present that kind of view to their gestational carrier, but our specialists recommend that you take extra steps to help a surrogate feel appreciated during the journey. For example, when you are getting to know a woman in your first conversation, ask her about herself, her lifestyle and her family — not just the aspects of the surrogacy journey. This applies to conversations had during her pregnancy, as well. You should know enough about her to consider her a friend during the journey, not just a woman who is being paid to carry your child.
3. Give as much as you get in the relationship.
When you are an intended parent, you probably already feel like you are giving a lot to your surrogacy journey — especially regarding your finances. You may feel like a gestational carrier is obligated to your wishes because you are paying her, but that is a recipe for an unhealthy relationship.
Give and take is an important part of any healthy relationship. Yes, you will have set certain preferences and agreements in your surrogacy contract, but there may also be things that arise during pregnancy and delivery that you haven’t thought about. Don’t feel like your gestational carrier owes you everything you want; remember that she is entitled to certain rights, as well.
When you think of something that you want to ask from your gestational carrier, take a second to ask yourself, “Am I making the same sacrifices she is?” For example, rather than making a gestational carrier travel back and forth to you during the early stages of her pregnancy (even if you are paying for travel costs), consider visiting her and her family to head off any inconvenience.
4. Offer to help however you can.
On the same note, remember that your gestational carrier is taking on a great deal of responsibility and personal discomfort in carrying your child. Even if she loves being pregnant and has no bad side effects, she still must take time out of her everyday schedule for appointments and adjust her normal lifestyle to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
As her intended parent, you should always offer to help her however possible. Any financial help should always be cleared by your surrogacy specialist, but you can also provide more heartfelt assistance: sending her pre-made meals or taking her to lunch, creating a pregnancy gift basket to help her pamper herself, or taking her and her family out on an excursion to a local activity, like the zoo. As much as your gestational carrier is being financially supported during her pregnancy, there are still things she is giving up — and offering to help her regain that positive mental energy can show your appreciation for her sacrifice.
5. Continue your relationship after delivery.
While your surrogacy journey will officially be over once your child is born, your relationship with your gestational carrier doesn’t have to be. In fact, many intended parents and surrogates remain friends after delivery, and some even consider each other extended family in the months and years to come. One of the best things you can do for your relationship with your carrier is ensuring her that you will still want to be in her life after she gives birth — and then following through on your promise. There is perhaps nothing more hurtful to a gestational carrier than intended parents who abandon her once the baby is born.
Your surrogacy specialist will help you prepare for appropriate interaction during delivery and your carrier’s hospital stay. They can also provide suggestions for maintaining an appropriate, respectful relationship after delivery, too.
Having a healthy relationship with your gestational carrier before, during and after her pregnancy will be instrumental in having a successful surrogacy experience. The best surrogacy journeys are those in which surrogacy partners create a close bond and friendship, and it is always possible for you. To start looking for your perfect gestational carrier, please contact American Surrogacy today.