Switching Surrogates: Is It Possible?

In an ideal surrogacy situation, intended parents and their gestational carrier “click” from the very first time they meet. They share the same goals and preferences, are excited to start a relationship with each other, and are committed to the challenges and rewards of their upcoming surrogacy journey together.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

For reasons both in and out of their control, sometimes intended parents find that their gestational carrier is not the perfect match they thought she was. This can be an incredibly difficult situation to be in; you’ve already become attached to the idea of your surrogate and you are one step closer to having the child you have always dreamed about. It can be devastating to start back from square one with another surrogate.

Because it’s such a personal process, there is really no right or wrong when it comes to switching surrogates after starting your family-building journey. However, there are some important things you’ll need to consider if you find yourself in this kind of situation.

Having a surrogacy professional by your side can make all the difference. If you are wondering about the logistics of switching surrogates, or you’re not sure if looking for a new surrogate is the right choice for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to your surrogacy specialist. They can guide you through this complicated time.

Why Would I Need to Find a New Surrogate?

Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine having to switch surrogates until it happens to you. Maybe you’ve been blessed with a great surrogacy match from the very beginning, or maybe your surrogacy professional has spent a lot of time narrowing down prospective surrogates to find the perfect match. You may wonder why people would ever feel the need to completely start over in their family-building journey.

Every intended parent is different, but here are some reasons that some people find themselves looking for a different surrogate:

  • The surrogate doesn’t pass her initial screening. In some situations, a woman that seems perfect on paper won’t pass her medical or psychological screenings. This may happen because she lied on her application materials or a previously unknown factor interferes with her ability to be surrogate.
  • The surrogate becomes pregnant with her own child. While a surrogate undergoes her medical protocol, her contract stipulates that she must refrain from sexual intercourse. Sometimes women don’t follow those rules and accidentally become pregnant before the embryo transfer procedure. In other situations, a woman who is in the very early stages of the surrogacy process (and has not yet signed her contract) accidentally becomes pregnant.
  • Multiple embryo transfers fail. In an ideal surrogacy, a surrogate will become pregnant upon the first embryo transfer. However, there are situations in which multiple embryo transfers fail. Just like intended parents, surrogates can develop unexplained secondary infertility, and intended parents may be forced to find another woman to carry their child.
  • The surrogate and intended parents develop irreconcilable differences. Sometimes, situations and relationships change. Ideally, all of these issues are hammered out before the contract negotiation stage — but, if something arises during this negotiation that hasn’t been discussed before, it can be a deal-breaker for both parties.
  • The surrogate experiences major life changes. A woman who started surrogacy knowing it was 100 percent right for her may experience unexpected changes in her situation that now makes the journey impossible. Perhaps her spouse loses their job, her family is relocated to another area, or a close family member gets sick. Sometimes, things are just out of her control and require her to end her surrogacy journey.
  • The intended parents have a gut feeling that something is wrong. In other situations, it’s hard to pinpoint an exact reason why intended parents want to look for a new surrogate. If you have a feeling something is “off” about your surrogate, listen to your gut.

What to Consider Before Asking for a New Surrogate

If something happens that leaves you thinking, “I want a new surrogate!” it’s easy to get worked up and panic about the future of your surrogacy process. However, it’s important to note that the first thing you should do is take a deep breath. Jumping to conclusions and making big decisions without forethought can add a lot of time and effort to your family-building journey.

Before you start the search for a new surrogate, ask yourself this:

  • Have you talked to your surrogacy specialist? When you’re working to bring a child into the world, the smallest things can sometimes seem like huge roadblocks. When you talk to your surrogacy specialist about the problems you’re having, they will be able to determine whether they are good reasons for finding a new surrogate or can be solved with a little communication. Your surrogacy specialist can also play a key role in mediating your conversation with your surrogate, if need be.
  • Have you signed a contract, or has your surrogate started medical protocol? If the answer is yes, the process of finding a surrogate will be much more involved and add a great deal of time to your surrogacy journey. Your surrogacy contract will need to be voided before you do anything else. If the answer is no, it will be a bit easier to start your search for a new surrogate, although it is best done with the assistance of your surrogacy professional.
  • Are these issues covered in your surrogacy contract? A contract is a great resource for clearing up disagreements. The surrogacy attorneys involved will have made notes about all kinds of situations you may have never imagined, and your disagreement or concerns may be alleviated by what your contract details for this kind of situation.
  • Can the issues be solved with open conversation? Unfortunately, miscommunication can be common during the complicated process of surrogacy, especially if you and your gestational carrier live in different states. It’s easy to jump to conclusions, but we encourage you to first try to talk it out with your gestational carrier. You may find that your worries are completely unfounded!
  • Are you ready for the added time of finding another gestational carrier? Sometimes, surrogacy matches just aren’t what intended parents expect. This can be disappointing; you deserve the best surrogacy partner for your family-building journey. However, remember that no one is perfect, and individual surrogates may have some flaws. Before you start searching for a new partner, remember that it takes time to find a gestational carrier. Switching surrogates can add months or even years to your journey. Think about this hard before making any important decisions.

If you are having trouble with your surrogacy relationship, don’t forget that your surrogacy specialist is always there to help. Call our offices at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) today to learn more about our process of finding you the perfect surrogate.

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