Your friend or family member has just announced their surrogacy plans to you — and, while you’re excited for them, you’re not exactly sure how to support them in this journey.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do both during and after the surrogacy process to show your friend how excited you are for them… and to make their experience even more positive.
Learn about surrogacy.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about surrogacy out there. You don’t have to become a surrogacy expert, but being somewhat informed about the surrogacy process can go a long way in making your friend or family member feel supported and understood. Your friend will be touched that you took an interest in learning about surrogacy, and they will be happy to have someone to talk to who has a basic understanding of the process they’re going through.
Offer emotional support.
Whether your friend or family member is pursuing surrogacy as an intended parent or a gestational carrier, they are bound to have some hard days. Be there to listen and offer emotional support: let them vent, be a shoulder to cry on, and continue to do activities you enjoy together, whether it’s going out for pedicures or meeting up at a favorite restaurant.
Celebrate with them.
Surrogacy is something to be proud of, and the process is full of many exciting moments worthy of celebration. When your friend or family member hits important milestones in their surrogacy process — for example, the embryo transfer or confirmation of pregnancy — mark the occasion. Send a simple card, care package or gift, or, if your friend or family member is an intended parent, offer to throw a baby shower.
Provide a service.
In addition to emotional support, surrogates and intended parents can benefit from practical support during the surrogacy process, as well. If your friend is a surrogate, offer to babysit her other children or help out with some simple errands or household chores so she can get some rest. Similarly, if your friend is an intended parent, offer to help them assemble the crib or make other preparations for the new baby.
Welcome them home.
When your friend or family member returns home from the hospital, a simple gesture can go a long way to show them you’re thinking of them. Consider leaving a sweet surprise for the surrogate or new parents, whether it’s a bouquet of flowers delivered to the door, balloons tied to the mailbox or a home-cooked meal.
Like any woman who has just given birth, the surrogate will be physically and emotionally tired and recovering. And, like any new parents, the intended parents may be a little overwhelmed (and sleep-deprived). Remember that even after the baby is born, your friend can use all the help they can get — either as a surrogate or new parent. Pamper them, and continue to offer any emotional and practical help they may need.
When in doubt, consider what you would do for a friend pursuing a traditional pregnancy. Surrogacy may be a different way of bringing a child into the world, but it’s no less beautiful — and the intended parents and surrogates who come together to make it happen are no less deserving of your support.