How Do Surrogates Feel About Carrying Someone Else’s Baby?

It’s a common question about surrogacy: How do surrogates really feel about carrying someone else’s baby?

For someone unfamiliar with the surrogacy process, it can be confusing as to why a woman would give her time, body and energy to being pregnant for someone else. After all, pregnancy is a huge commitment that does come with certain risks. When a woman spends all that time carrying a child, does she really feel nothing for the little bundle of joy?

Of course surrogates have feelings for the babies they carry. Their emotions are just a bit different than what you might expect.

They Know the Baby isn’t “Theirs”

Most surrogacy processes today are gestational, which means the surrogate is not genetically related to the baby she carries. Instead, the baby is conceived from an embryo of the intended parents’ genetic material (or with the combination of a donor egg or sperm). That embryo is then transferred to the surrogate’s uterus.

When a woman is pregnant with an intended parents’ baby, she knows from the beginning that the baby is not hers. She often views what she is doing as “babysitting” — taking care of the unborn child until they are healthy enough to go home with their parents after birth. Therefore, many surrogates report that they don’t feel the same attachment to a surrogate baby as they do to the children they carried themselves.

A woman must go through certain mental health screenings and evaluations before she can become a surrogate. During these screenings, she is counseled about the feelings she might expect while pregnant, and health professionals must feel that she can properly handle the emotions of surrogacy before she can even begin. With all of this information, surrogates don’t ever feel like the baby they are carrying is “theirs.” While legal protections are in place to prevent a surrogate from keeping the baby after birth, the truth is that it’s extremely rare for a surrogate to have those kinds of maternal feelings toward the baby she carries.

They are Excited to Involve Intended Parents

Surrogates do not try to keep their pregnancy private. They know how important this pregnancy is to the intended parents, so they take steps to actively involve the baby’s parents as much as possible.

From the beginning of the surrogacy process, women who become surrogates must give up a certain degree of privacy when it comes to their medical treatments and procedures. Therefore, a surrogate is often incredibly comfortable with involving the intended parents in intimate moments like ultrasounds and delivery. She would likely be upset if the intended parents couldn’t be present for these moments.

Surrogates are usually thrilled about including intended parents in whatever ways they can, but it’s still crucial that both parties create a contact schedule in their surrogacy contract before starting. A surrogacy agency or professional can also help mediate any contact disagreements that arise during the surrogacy process and aid the creation of a positive, genuine relationship between intended parents and their surrogate.

They are Prepared for any Post-Birth Emotions

As part of their pre-surrogacy screenings, surrogates are informed of the conflicting emotions they may feel after they give birth to the baby. These emotions aren’t due to a maternal attachment; instead, they are often products of the pregnancy hormones they can’t control.

Surrogates are prepared for the emotions they may feel, and these emotions rarely affect a surrogate’s adherence to legal custody issues. In fact, many surrogates are overjoyed to give the baby to the parents. A surrogate has often created such a genuine relationship with intended parents that she is thrilled to finally help their dreams come true.

In the case that a surrogate does experience conflicting emotions after birth, she will always have the support of her surrogacy specialist and any other required mental health professionals. Remember, any of these feelings often stem from post-partum hormones, not a genuine desire to “keep” the baby. At American Surrogacy, our specialists work closely to support all surrogates after their delivery to ensure they are adjusting appropriately.

If you want to learn more about how women feel about carrying a child for intended parents, you can always contact our surrogacy specialists at 1-800-875-2229 for more information about this process.

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