How to Strengthen Intended Parent-Surrogate Relationships During COVID-19
In the midst of this global pandemic, people are having to find new ways to connect and communicate. Despite these scary times, families are still being created — intended parents and prospective gestational surrogates are beginning to move forward in their surrogacy journeys again.
If you’re a hopeful parent or a prospective surrogate who is still in the early stages of the process, the “match” experience of meeting and getting to know one another is probably going to look different as a result of COVID-19. It’s harder for people to travel, and safety should always be the first priority. Getting to know one another face-to-face will have to wait.
Surrogacy is a very personal and intimate journey shared between two families, so it’s important to grow a connection with your surrogacy partner, whether intended parent or surrogate. Fortunately, technology has made it easier than ever to share this life-changing experience across distances.
Whether you’re “meeting” your prospective surrogacy partner for the first time, or you’d like to find ways to stay in touch throughout the process while still social distancing, here are some easy tips for navigating your virtual surrogacy chats:
Remember that your specialist will be there to help.
The first time the intended parents and surrogate talk is always a little nerve-wracking for everyone involved. But don’t worry about things feeling awkward — your American Surrogacy specialist will be ready to help guide the conversation so everyone feels comfortable and confident moving forward.
Once you’re past the first introductions, conversations in a good match will come easily. Earlier “meetings” are a great time to get to know one another in a lighter, casual, friendly way — it’s important that both surrogacy partners feel that they can trust one another, and feel excited to share a surrogacy journey with one another.
Your surrogacy specialist will always be available if you need help navigating your surrogate-intended parent relationship, but that first virtual meeting is a good time to exchange contact information for more informal talks in the future.
Establish a schedule.
Even if the intended parents and/or the prospective surrogate are working from home right now, it can still be hard to find a time when you’re all available to talk. Many people are juggling work and kids at the moment.
Talk with your surrogacy partner and see if you can find a day and time where you’re all available. After the first few initial virtual meetings, you may find that even a quick 15 or 20-minute check-in chat is enough to keep one another up-to-date.
The frequency of your scheduled meetings will vary based on everyone’s availability and comfort level. Some intended parent-surrogate partnerships have a virtual meeting every couple of weeks, while others may just set up a monthly call.
Write down questions ahead of time.
You probably have plenty of questions for each other, ranging from serious to casual and light:
- Why did you choose surrogacy?
- What kind of intended parent-surrogate relationship are you envisioning?
- What do you need from me throughout this journey?
- What’s your family like?
- What are your interests?
However, in the excitement of the moment, you may forget to ask something you were anxious to know! Write down questions or things you’d like to mention as you think of them, and have that list handy when you “meet.”
Hopefully the conversation will flow easily, you’ll learn a lot about each other and you won’t have to worry too much about checking questions off of your list.
Perform a trial run with your tech.
There are few things more frustrating than a spotty internet connection, laggy video or fuzzy audio when you’re trying to talk with someone. You don’t want to “show up” at your appointed time only to find that your FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom isn’t working correctly. Here are a few tips to help prevent technological difficulties the day of:
- Make sure you know how to confidently use the platform you’ll be talking through.
- Check that you’re getting a sufficient WiFi signal.
- Test-call a friend or family member the day before, to make sure that they can hear and see you correctly.
Modern methods of communicating have revolutionized the way we’re able to connect with others, but only if they work as they should! It can take a few practice runs before you get the hang of it.
Embrace video calls.
There are a lot of advantages of virtual meetings via FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts calls, etc.:
- You’ll be able to see one another — being able to see each others’ faces as you speak is an overlooked, but important, aspect of communication between people.
- You can virtually meet each others’ families.
- You can take little home tours, so surrogates can see the baby’s future nursery and intended parents can see where their baby will be staying in-utero.
- As the pregnancy progresses, the intended parents can see the physical changes that their surrogate is experiencing, so you can all be a part of the journey together (even while apart).
Virtual meetings can be fun, as well as helpful!
Feel free to mix up communication methods.
Some surrogates and intended parents are comfortable with sticking to consistent, established meetings through video chat or phone calls. Others prefer to keep in touch less formally, but with the option to check in more frequently through quick texts or emails. You can even send one another photos or letters from your side of the surrogacy process.
Virtual meetings through video can be great, but feel free to explore other methods of communication and find what works best for you.
Despite the necessary limitations that COVID-19 has imposed on the world, we’re all still finding ways to remain close to one another. Your American Surrogacy specialist will help you and your surrogacy partner communicate however you can during these changing times. You can always contact us if you need help navigating this new aspect of your surrogacy journey.