Surrogacy is a life-changing journey for the intended parents and their surrogate. Once a match is made, things can progress quickly, especially when it comes to the relationship between both parties involved.
This is one of the great joys of surrogacy. Not only are you taking part in an amazing process, but you also have the opportunity to build a new relationship that could become a lifelong friendship.
But, you’re not there yet. Right now, you have to get through that very first meeting with your surrogacy partner. Just like any first meeting, things can be awkward! Adding the intimate nature of the surrogacy process to the “first date” jitters only makes it more difficult to know how to handle this meeting.
We’re here to help. Your connection with your surrogacy partner can be special. Here are five things to keep in mind when you meet for the first time.
1. Take it Slow
Take the pressure off yourself and your partner by setting appropriate expectations. There’s a temptation in these meetings to dive right into the deep end. You’re about to embark on a truly unique journey that will change everyone’s life. So, of course, it would be natural to talk all about that — and nothing else.. However, it’s best to avoid this.
Instead, try starting small. You’ll have a lot of time to talk about the big stuff. Keep in mind: You’re meeting for the first time! Just like any other relationship, you may need to begin with the basics.
You’re at the starting line of a marathon. So, take your time.
2. Make it Casual (and Keep it Short!)
Pick a low-key spot, like your favorite local coffee shop, for your first meeting with your surrogacy partner. It may be too soon to meet at one of your homes, and dinner can feel a bit uptight.
You want this first meeting to be casual, relaxed and (probably) short. A cup of coffee typically takes 30 to 45 minutes to sip — the perfect amount of time for a “get to know you” conversation and a good signal to everyone when the meeting is over.
3. Focus on Them
What’s dominating your mental space right now? If you’re at the beginning of your surrogacy journey, it’s probably the process that lies ahead. However, you should resist the urge to focus on the details of the process during your first meeting with your surrogacy partner. Otherwise, you could end up focusing on yourself for most of the conversation.
Try to get to know them. What do they do for work? Where did they grow up? What are their favorite past times? What do they enjoy talking about?
There will be plenty of time to talk about the process, your concerns and your desires. Use this time to get to know your partner. And remember — try to listen just as much (if not more) than you speak!
4. Accept the Awkward
It’s going to happen. One line of discussion is going to end, nobody will be ready to start the next one, and you’ll sit there silently for a few seconds — long enough for everyone to consciously recognize that you are experiencing a dreaded awkward moment.
It’s okay. This is nearly impossible to avoid, and you shouldn’t let it get to you. Don’t beat yourself up when it happens. Simply pick a new topic and move on.
5. Make a Plan
When’s the next meeting? Should you be texting and calling? How frequently do you want to hear from each other?
Establishing expectations for communication can make the beginning of this relationship better for everyone.
This doesn’t need to be a detailed list of regulations. Rather, create clear boundaries that help everyone feel confident. This can help you know what’s expected in the early stages of this conversation and put you on a path toward a strong relationship.
You don’t need to be rigid when setting expectations. Plan the next meeting, and a simple, “I’ll reach back out this week to check in,” can get things started.
Learn More about Surrogacy
The surrogacy journey is unlike anything else you’ve experienced. If you’re in the process now, you know this to be true. If you are still considering whether or not surrogacy is right for you — as a surrogate or as an intended parent — we would love to talk.
Contact us online for more information or give us a call at 1-800-875-BABY (2229). Our specialists are eagerly awaiting your call.