Out of all the services that surrogacy agencies and programs provide, surrogacy support is one of the most unique and important. Here’s why these support services are so necessary for surrogates and intended parents:
What is Surrogacy Support?
Surrogacy support can come in several forms:
- Access to educational resources
- Mediation and counseling for surrogate-intended parent relationships
- Professional social workers who are available for counseling on issues specifically related to the surrogacy process
- Referrals to additional services when needed (insurance providers, medical practitioners, therapists, etc.)
When you work with a professional like American Surrogacy, this support is included in your surrogacy costs and available to both surrogates and intended parents. Both parties are encouraged to utilize these services as needed to ensure a smooth experience for everyone involved.
Why Do People Need Surrogacy Support?
Surrogacy is an emotional process for everyone involved. It can also put relationships to the test for both surrogates and intended parents: spousal relationships, family relationships, as well as the relationship you share with your surrogacy partner (the surrogate or intended parents you’re matched with).
Some common reasons why surrogates or intended parents reach out for surrogacy support include:
- Unsupportive friends or family members
- Communication or relationship issues in the surrogate-intended parent partnership
- Unsuccessful embryo transfers or pregnancies
- Health or emotional issues that arise during the surrogacy process
Having a team of professionals to support you through all the ups and downs will make the journey easier. Here are some of the ways in which both parties can benefit from surrogacy support at different stages of their surrogacy journeys:
Talking through the thoughts and emotions that you’ve experienced so far, and those that you may face in your upcoming journey, is an important step when preparing for surrogacy.
As part of the screening process, prospective surrogates are usually asked why they want to be a surrogate. They’re also counseled on the potential emotions that they may experience throughout the surrogacy process, and should talk through possible scenarios they could encounter and how they may prepare to handle those circumstances. The importance of a strong emotional support system is usually emphasized at this stage.
Many hopeful parents went through a painful emotional process before choosing surrogacy as their path to parenthood. They may have struggled with infertility, pregnancy loss, or faced other difficulties. It’s important to fully grieve these losses before moving forward with surrogacy. The surrogacy process can bring up difficult emotions for parents: loss of control, loss of a genetic connection in some situations, fear of IVF failure, pregnancy complications and more. Intended parents should receive pre-surrogacy support and counseling with their professional to help prepare and to address any lingering emotions.
Surrogacy Support throughout the Journey
Continued access to surrogacy support throughout the process can help both parties through the ups and downs, and help surrogate-intended parent relationships to stay strong and positive.
Surrogates will be undergoing a regimen of fertility medications, hormone injections and more in the hopes of becoming pregnant. Pregnancy in itself is an emotional time. Combine these with the added stressors of wanting badly to help someone else have a child, and surrogates can experience any number of heightened emotions. Pregnancy complications and unexpected events are rare, but can happen — and if they do occur, they can be emotionally difficult for surrogates. Ongoing surrogacy support from professionals who are experienced in these situations will be vital for the emotional wellbeing of surrogates.
Much of the surrogacy process is out of the intended parents’ hands, and this can bring up a lot of emotions for them. Having experienced professionals to talk to who can put worries to rest will be beneficial to intended parents throughout the surrogacy process. Intended parents will need to support their surrogate during this time, and they’ll be unable to do so if they’re not in an emotionally healthy place themselves.
Surrogacy support doesn’t end with the birth of the baby. Surrogates and intended parents may need help processing emotions, managing relationships or educating themselves or their children.
Postpartum depression is a risk to look out for in any pregnancy. Additionally, surrogates don’t get to go home from the hospital with a baby in their arms, and this can be emotionally disconcerting after spending nine months with the intended parents’ baby. Post-surrogacy support is always available for surrogates who experience any emotional struggles after their surrogacy journey, who need help managing their relationship with the parents/the surro-baby and more.
Many new parents will continue to have a relationship with their child’s surrogate in some capacity and may need help managing that relationship. Sometimes, parents want information or resources on parenting a child born via surrogacy. For anything surrogacy-related that parents and their child might need after the surrogacy journey, post-surrogacy support services can be beneficial.
Learn more about the surrogacy support services that American Surrogacy provides for our surrogates and intended parents, or begin your surrogacy journey today by contacting us at 1-800-875-BABY(2229).