Things You Can Do and Say to Help Surrogates or Intended Parents
If you’re friends with a surrogate or an intended parent, you’re likely wondering how you can help them. Surrogacy journeys are full of joys and excitements, but they can also be tough and tiring for everyone involved.
Here’s how you can lend your support if your loved one is in the midst of the surrogacy process, whether they’re a surrogate or an intended parent:
1. Offer practical support whenever you can.
The business of pregnancy and waiting for a baby can be hectic, time-consuming and physically draining. This is true for any expectant parent, and it’s also true for gestational surrogates and intended parents.
Surrogates are raising children of their own at home in addition to growing another family’s baby, so they would probably welcome an extra hand with everyday tasks as their pregnancy progresses! Offer to watch your friend’s kids while she’s at her obstetrician appointments or bring over a casserole for dinner so she can have some leftovers.
Although the intended parents aren’t handling the physical strains of the pregnancy, they’re still busy and stressed about their upcoming baby. They may be called for their surrogate’s delivery last-minute, so offer to housesit or watch their other children for them while they’re away. Even offering to take them out to lunch to get their mind off of things can be helpful.
The surrogacy process can be incredibly emotional for both gestational surrogates and intended parents. There will likely be some ups and downs, and they’ll need someone to talk to about it.
Sometimes, the best way to show your support for someone you love is to just be there and listen. No need to fix anything for them — just hear them out so they can work through their feelings.
3. Encourage them.
The end result of surrogacy — a brand-new baby — makes all struggles worthwhile. But, your loved one will likely need continued encouragement from you to remind them why they started their surrogacy journey in the first place.
The surrogacy process takes at least a year once it’s underway, and that doesn’t include the time that it takes an intended parent to decide that this family-building path is the right one for them. Your loved one will need your encouragement as they continue pursuing something so important, especially when their journey feels difficult.
4. Celebrate their joys.
There are a lot of moments to be celebrated throughout the surrogacy process, both big and small. But because surrogacy is still a relatively misunderstood way to build a family, many people don’t recognize these joys for surrogates and parents.
Your loved one will feel more appreciated and part of a “normal,” celebrated experience if you take the time to acknowledge these joys. If you’re not sure what’s appropriate, ask!
Offer to throw a baby shower for the intended parents and ask how to appropriately honor the surrogate and surrogacy process. Congratulate your surrogate friend on the pregnancy, and let her know to extend your congratulations to the baby’s parents. Surrogates, intended parents and children born via surrogacy all deserve to be celebrated like anyone else, while you also acknowledge their unique journey to get where they are now.
5. Educate others.
Your loved one probably gets a little tired of answering questions about their surrogacy process. They’ve likely talked to you about their experiences, so you already have some knowledge of how surrogacy works.
A great way to show your support for those who have been touched by surrogacy is to educate others about the process and to dispel misconceptions. Continue to learn about surrogacy, and then share your newfound information with others. If you notice someone spreading inaccurate information about surrogacy, set the record straight with some facts!
Just be sure to avoid sharing information from your friend’s personal surrogacy story with others.
6. Be ready to help after their surrogacy journey is over.
Gestational surrogates will be recovering postpartum, and new parents will be right in the middle of baby craziness.
Sending a card or flowers to either party is a nice gesture. Even better, bring over a meal to help save them some time as everyone gets back to their lives post-surrogacy, or offer to babysit their older children so that they can have a quick break.
Remember that gestational surrogates will want some time to rest and recuperate, and new parents will want plenty of alone-time to bond with their child and settle in with the newest family member, so give your loved one some space.
However you help and support your loved one throughout their surrogacy journey, they’ll appreciate that you took the time to make the effort. If you need advice on supporting a gestational surrogate or an intended parent, you can always reach out to an American Surrogacy specialist at 1-800-875-BABY(2229).