When intended parents are first considering surrogacy, one of the initial and primary concerns is how the relationship will be with their surrogate. Mostly, people have worries and trepidation because they do not yet know the woman who will carry their baby. To go from not knowing someone to the intimate relationship of having this new person in your life actually become pregnant with and give birth to your baby is kind of awesome to think about.
The first thing intended parents should come to terms with is that they should have a relationship of some kind with the surrogate. Only once did I handle a surrogacy where the intended parents remained anonymous and it was a hardship on the surrogate. She felt as though she were in a vacuum and was unable to connect with the context of the life the baby she was carrying would have. Nevertheless, she wonderfully provided a very good surrogacy journey for the intended parents.
The relationship will start out informally as if you are meeting a new friend for the first time and you are getting to know each other. Simple conversations about family and children, vacations, and interests such as hobbies and work may be discussed. The parties will begin to email and perhaps phone each other during these initial stages.
Once there is a commitment from both the intended parents and the surrogate, the parties will also visit once or twice and again keep the communications light and friendly.
After this, lawyers will get involved and work on the Gestational Surrogacy Agreement (Surrogacy Contract). The lawyers will work on any negotiations and compensation concerns so that the parents and surrogate do not have to speak about matters that might possibly cause awkwardness or tension. The negotiations should be minimal, especially if there is a surrogacy agency involved, because the surrogate will have already expressed her requests for compensation and the intended parents already know what they are. Once the contract is done, the parties can enjoy the prospect of determining a medical calendar and a date for the embryo transfer.
At this point, the intended parents, the surrogate, and her husband if she is married, know each other better and they should be keeping in fairly regular communication. It is important for intended parents to realize that the surrogate really does want to hear from them. At Worldwide Surrogacy, we usually hear from gestational carriers if they are not receiving regular communications and this concerns them. Think about it from the surrogate’s point of view. She is doing this amazing thing by carrying a baby for someone else to help them realize their dream of starting a family and she really wants to know that the intended parents are present and completely interested in what she is doing for them. The parties do not have to become close friends, although in some cases they do, but during the time before the transfer and especially during the pregnancy the relationship should be one of closeness, appreciation, and respect.
And of course the intended parents may expect the same from the surrogate. The gestational surrogate must understand that she should give regular updates to the intended parents on the pregnancy, how she is feeling, and especially any information from medical appointments.
Mainly, mutual respect, care, understanding, and communication are the hallmarks of a positive surrogacy relationship.