Before intended parents and surrogates are matched, they will first have a meeting to assess whether they would be an appropriate fit. It is critical that everyone has the chance to meet face to face to ensure that both parties are on the same page and that their views are in alignment.
This first meeting is the perfect opportunity for both parties to familiarize themselves with each other, discuss important questions, and really get a sense of whether or not they should move forward with each other.
Here are some of the most important topics for IPs and surrogates to address during the first meeting.
A great way to break the ice is for everyone to share a little about their background and what brought them to where they are today.
It is helpful for both parties to make a human connection and share their thoughts in an open forum. For surrogates, that could mean discussing what drove your decision to become a surrogate. For intended parents, it may be helpful to share what led you to surrogacy.
While the first meeting might initially feel foreign and possibly even a little uncomfortable for both sides, this is to be expected. Fortunately, intended parents have the assurance that only the most qualified candidates move on to become surrogate mothers, and that their future child will be in the absolute best care. Additionally, both sides can rest assured that they are in the hands of a trusted agency and that their legal rights will be protected throughout the entire process.
For these reasons, IPs and surrogates should not view the meeting as an impersonal interview, but rather, the chance to get to know the perspective of the other side and see if there could be a successful working relationship in the future.
Important Questions that May Arise During the Surrogacy
Once everyone has opened up and shared some personal information about their backgrounds and decision-making process, both parties should feel free to discuss important matters pertaining to the surrogacy.
These questions could range from how many cycles they are comfortable with to opinions on selective reduction, should it arise. Although these topics may seem a bit uncomfortable or even invasive, keep in mind that it is really important to have these conversations now when things are non-committal, as opposed to avoiding them and facing potential confusion or conflict down the road.
Another important topic to discuss is communication preferences for the surrogacy, including their expectations, communication methods, and the frequency of interactions. It is important to have this discussion early on so that everyone will feel that their needs are being adequately met once a pregnancy is established.
Some IPs will prefer significant involvement in the process, and will want regular communication and to attend all of the doctor’s appointments. Other IPs may not be available for appointments, and will be content receiving semi-regular updates from the surrogate. These preferences may also be based on whether the surrogate is working with international IPs or could simply be dependent on varying schedules.
There should also be a discussion of communication methods as well. Fortunately, there is no shortage of ways for IPs and surrogates to keep in touch; FaceTime, Skype, regular phone calls, and email are all effective methods. The decision really depends on the level of involvement both parties wish to have with each other throughout the process.
It is important to remember that there are no steadfast rules for communication. As long as both parties are on the same page throughout the process, that is what is most important.
Expectations for the Birth
Another important topic of discussion will be expectations surrounding the birth of the child. The birth is a momentous occasion that can bring with it a variety of different scenarios, so it is especially critical that both parties have an agreed upon course of action for everything that may arise.
Typical questions to address regarding the birth include:
- Who will be present in the delivery room?
- If a C-section is necessary, who will be allowed in the delivery room?
- What type of birthing plan does the surrogate wish to have (if any)?
- Are the intended parents in agreement with the preferred birthing plan?
- What will happen after the birth?
Once the answers to all of these important questions have been established, both sides will have a much more clear picture of whether they would like to move forward or whether they should continue to look for a match that would be a better fit for their needs.
Regardless of the outcome, as long as both parties can remain open and honest about their feelings on these important issues, they will be well on their way to a successful surrogacy journey ahead.