Choosing to become a surrogate is a big decision — but it’s not one that you should make on your own. You may not have thought about it, but being a surrogate is journey that will affect your spouse as much as it affects you.
Your spouse is your partner in life. In a healthy relationship, your life decisions aren’t just determined by you — but by your partner, as well. Embarking on a surrogacy journey is no different. Although you will be the one undergoing screening and carrying the intended parents’ baby, this choice will affect your partner’s life for the next year or more, too. Therefore, before you become a gestational carrier, you’ll need to have a serious conversation with your spouse.
We know this conversation can sometimes be complicated. Fortunately, our surrogacy specialists are here to help. They can answer any questions you may have about how surrogacy will affect your spouse and offer guidance on how to broach this subject at home. Talk to our specialists today by calling 1-800-875-BABY(2229).
In the meantime, prepare yourself for this conversation with a few tips below.
Bringing Up the Idea of Surrogacy to Your Spouse
If you’re considering becoming a surrogate, it may be a journey you’ve thought about for a while. Perhaps you’ve always had dreams of helping someone else grow their family, or maybe it’s been a new desire you’ve found over the last few years. If you’ve just been kicking around the idea, you may not have even mentioned it your spouse. That’s okay; it will often take a great deal of research and time before you decide that surrogacy is a serious option for you.
But, if you’re now seriously considering surrogacy, it’s time to bring your spouse in on the decision. Becoming a surrogate will affect your available time and energy as a mother and as a spouse during this journey, which will in turn affect your partner. You need to have their support before moving forward.
So, how do you bring up the idea of you becoming a gestational carrier?
First, do your research. Be ready to explain exactly why you want to be a surrogate and exactly how the process will work. Arm yourself with information to answer their questions and help them understand where you are coming from. Writing down the points you want to make and anticipating your spouse’s response ahead of time can be incredibly helpful during this important conversation.
If They Are Supportive
If your spouse is on board with your surrogacy decision, congratulations — you are one step closer to becoming a gestational carrier! Now, you can contact a surrogacy specialist to learn more about the process ahead and be able to involve your partner every step of the way. Your specialist will start the screening process, including the medical screening your spouse will need to undergo before you can begin. Having your spouse’s support from the beginning is invaluable; you can take their desires into account every step of the way.
If They are Unsupportive
Sometimes, partners don’t always support a prospective surrogate’s desires. Some spouses may change their mind, while others won’t. Because it’s so important to have your partner’s support during the surrogacy journey, many surrogacy professionals will not start the process with a surrogate whose partner is not on board.
Often, a spouse’s feelings come from a place of misunderstanding. They may believe a surrogate has to be intimate with the intended father (not the case), or they may feel like a surrogate is being taken advantage of. In these situations, proper education about the surrogacy process is critical.
They may also be concerned about your well-being. Pregnancy does come with risks, and your spouse may be uncomfortable with those, no matter how well they are addressed in your surrogacy contract. They may worry about the time you will miss with your own family in your journey to help someone else become parents.
Ultimately, if your spouse is unsupportive, pursuing surrogacy is ill-advised. However, if he or she changes their mind at any time, know that American Surrogacy will always be here to help.
If They are Unsure
Because surrogacy is a big decision, it’s completely normal for your spouse or partner to be unsure about their feelings on this journey. It may take a few conversations for you both to work out what is best for your family. You may even benefit from speaking with a surrogacy professional like those at American Surrogacy.
Remember, surrogacy is not a process to rush into lightly or quickly, so take the time to address your partner’s concerns and confirm that this is the best path for you both of you before moving forward.
How Surrogacy Will Affect Your Spouse
While you will go through the majority of the challenges associated with surrogacy, your spouse will also be affected by your decision. After all, as your partner, he or she probably leans on you and your support during your everyday life — but that will change when you become pregnant with the intended parents’ baby.
During surrogacy, your relationship can be impacted by:
- Restrictions on intimacy: If your spouse is a man, you will be required to abstain from sexual intercourse while undergoing fertility medication prior to embryo transfer. This will prevent any surprise pregnancies. Even after you are pregnant, your intimate relationship may be impacted. Many women don’t have as strong a sexual desire when they are pregnant, and the fact that you are carrying someone else’s child can be emotionally complicated for both of you.
- Conversations about the pregnancy: Your spouse and you will likely receive congratulations on and questions about your pregnancy, and it can be awkward to explain your surrogacy process at times. You and your spouse will need to be prepared to respond to these comments, which you will often receive more than once from different people.
- Changes in responsibility and everyday lifestyle: Your surrogate pregnancy will affect your entire family’s lifestyle. Your spouse may need to take on additional day-to-day responsibilities that you would normally handle but that pregnancy makes impossible, such as childcare and cooking. Therefore, having your partner’s support (and enthusiasm for your surrogacy) is integral to having a positive experience.
3 Tips for Keeping Your Relationship Strong
Even if you and your spouse are equally prepared and excited for your surrogate pregnancy, it’s normal to have emotional ups and downs during the process. After all, you will be giving up a great deal of yourself and your everyday life selflessly — a decision that will impact your spouse and your children. Even the most well-established relationships can encounter emotional hurdles.
Your surrogacy specialist will make sure you are prepared for the journey ahead, but here are a few important tips to remember along the way:
- Communication is key. It’s important that you and your spouse are honest and open with each other, especially when challenges arise. You are not required to put your own desires and preferences on hold for the intended parents, and your spouse should not feel like they are doing the same for yours. You may consider speaking with a counselor if you and your spouse have difficulties communicating during your pregnancy.
- Keep your partner involved. Yes, your intended parents will be your “partner” during your surrogacy, but don’t forget the person who has been there for you from the beginning. You can make sure your partner feels appreciated for their sacrifice and support by asking them to come with to important appointments, getting to know the intended parents, and participating in other important steps during your surrogacy journey.
- Focus on the positives and remember the journey is temporary. When you and your partner are overwhelmed, it’s easy to focus on your discomforts — but remember why you are taking this journey together. As tough as it may be at times, surrogacy is temporary. If you think about the positives of this process, your spouse and you can look forward to when your life returns to normal, with the knowledge that you have given other parents the most priceless treasure ever.
Remember, American Surrogacy is here to support both you and your spouse during your surrogacy journey. We have guided many surrogates and their partners through this process, and we can offer you the support you may need along the way.
To learn more about our agency and how we will assist you and your spouse, please contact our surrogacy specialists today.