Surrogacy is an exciting journey for both you as a surrogate and the intended parents you’re matched with. After the initial nervousness of finding the perfect match, you’re likely ready to start your surrogacy journey as soon as possible to make a difference in the intended parents’ lives.
However, the excitement you have at the beginning of your surrogacy can quickly fade away if you find that your relationship with the intended parents isn’t quite what you expected it to be. Because you will be in a partnership with the intended parents for the entirety of your surrogacy, it’s important that you establish a healthy relationship with them from the beginning.
When you work with American Surrogacy, your surrogacy specialist will help you prepare for a successful relationship with your chosen intended parents by establishing expectations and boundaries and acting as a mediator, if need be. However, there are also some steps you can take on your own to make sure you create a strong relationship with the intended parents that will last throughout your pregnancy:
1. Understand the intended parents have no control over their pregnancy.
For intended parents, their unborn child is likely all they think about — but because you are carrying their child, they have no control over the pregnancy and development of their baby. It’s understandable, therefore, that they may want as much control as possible. If the intended parents seem overbearing, it’s important to remember where they are coming from and to have empathy for their situation.
That being said, it’s important to maintain healthy boundaries so you can live your life happily at the same time that you are carrying their child. These boundaries should be established early on in your gestational surrogacy agreement to reduce any miscommunication or misunderstanding.
However, when an intended parent does overstep a boundary, it’s important to remember the lack of control they have and try to understand where they are coming from.
2. Create a schedule for updates during the pregnancy.
To put intended parents at ease, you and your surrogacy specialist should establish a schedule of updates throughout the pregnancy. You and the intended parents should decide how often to communicate by email, phone and in-person. For intended parents, knowing when to expect the next pregnancy update will help them manage their lack of control and hopefully keep them from checking in too often.
This schedule may change as you get closer to your due date, but it’s a great way to establish healthy boundaries from the beginning of your surrogacy journey — and reduce the likelihood that you’ll feel overwhelmed by overbearing parents along the way.
3. Be open and honest about your needs.
By being a surrogate, you are helping intended parents’ dreams come true and creating a family where there may not have been one before. That being said, you are under no obligation to abide to the intended parents’ every wish. Even though you are carrying their unborn child, you still have the right to live your life happily in the way you prefer (as long as it’s healthy for the baby).
Before, during and after your pregnancy, you shouldn’t be afraid to bring up concerns you have with the intended parents. Honesty and openness is important in creating a solid relationship, and explaining your thoughts earlier rather than later is always beneficial. A healthy relationship will go a long way in making your surrogacy journey a successful one.
4. Be accepting of the intended parents’ desires.
Even though you have a right to privacy while being a surrogate, you likely still want to make this surrogacy as enjoyable as possible for the intended parents. You probably decided on surrogacy to make a life-changing difference in someone’s life, and you might be excited about the opportunities your surrogacy gives you to do that.
As long as you’re comfortable with the intended parents’ wishes, you might want to consider their desires during your pregnancy. Remember, your pregnancy is for them more than it is for you so, as long as you’re comfortable doing so, you may want to abide to their wishes. Accepting the smaller requests that won’t inconvenience you will mean a lot to intended parents waiting for their newborn baby.
5. Share your pregnancy experience with the intended parents.
While you will be familiar with all the aspects of pregnancy, many intended parents have never experienced pregnancy before — and will be excited for every aspect, no matter how small it may seem to you. The intended parents will likely attend several doctors’ appointments with you, but you can create a stronger relationship with them by sharing the experiences they can’t be there for. Some things to consider doing would be:
Sending them ultrasounds from every doctors’ visit
Telling them about when the baby is most active, what kind of music they respond to, etc.
Letting them feel the baby move as often as possible
You might even want to share the negatives of your pregnancy too — but never complain about it. Remember, many intended mothers would give anything to switch places with you and be able to carry their own child. Be cautious about how you talk about these aspects of your pregnancy around the intended parents to avoid upsetting them.
It’s a good idea to talk with your chosen intended parents to find out what they’re interested in hearing about before you start sharing more intimate details of your surrogate pregnancy.
6. Treat the intended parents as you’d like to be treated.
Surrogacy can be stressful and overwhelming at times — but it’s important that you continue to uphold the expectations laid out in your surrogacy agreement. Even if you’ve had a bad day and it feels like the last thing you want to do, make sure you contact the intended parents at the scheduled time or follow up on promises you’ve made. Surrogacy is not a journey you take alone, so upholding your agreement will do a lot for maintaining a healthy relationship between you and the intended parents. Always try to put yourself in their shoes and imagine how much your contact means to them when they have no control over their pregnancy.
7. Reach out to your surrogacy specialist.
Sometimes, intended parents can be overbearing — and that’s completely normal. If you’re not sure how to approach them about your concerns, it’s best to talk to your surrogacy specialist. She can address the intended parents in a professional way that will preserve your relationship with them, saving you the awkwardness that might have come from approaching them yourself.
There are bound to be challenges as you and the intended parents adjust to your new roles in your surrogacy journey together. Following these tips and being open with your surrogacy specialist can help ensure the process continues smoothly for all involved, even when difficulties arise.