Surrogates and intended parents invest a lot into their relationship with one another: time, energy, finances, trust and sacrifice. The intended parent-surrogate relationship is a unique commitment, and it is important to get to know your surrogate well before moving forward with a surrogacy plan.
As you search for a potential match, you should be looking for someone with whom you feel a natural connection, as well as someone whose hopes, plans, needs and preferences for their surrogacy experience match your own.
In this article, find out what to expect as you build a relationship with your surrogate, as well as questions to ask to ensure you are a good fit for each other.
Talking with a Prospective Match
When you find your first prospective surrogate, you’ll probably be extremely excited and ready to get started with the surrogacy process. However, even if your surrogate has been screened by your surrogacy professional, it’s important that you take the time to get to know her and determine if she’s really the right fit for your family. While her surrogate profile will tell you the important information about her, remember that surrogacy is a partnership — and you’ll need to be comfortable creating an intimate relationship with this woman going forward.
You should treat your first conversation with a prospective surrogate like a first date — a chance to figure out what her personality is like and determine whether you can get along with each other well. If you work with a surrogacy agency, your surrogacy specialist will likely set up and mediate this first conversation you have together.
Here are some good questions to ask your prospective surrogate during this conversation:
- What are your values? What is important to you?
- What kinds of things do you like to do? What are your interests?
- What is your family like? Are they supportive of your surrogacy plans?
- Have you been considering surrogacy for a while? What got you interested in becoming a surrogate?
This first conversation is also a great opportunity to ask her any questions you have about the personal information she included on her profile — her profession, her family, the region where she lives and more. Make sure you don’t ask all the questions; give her a chance to ask about you, and let the conversation proceed naturally.
Getting to Know Your Surrogate
As intended parents, there are some important questions you will need to ask your surrogate when you are ready to begin discussing the details of the surrogacy. If you are working with a surrogacy agency, some of this information will be provided to you when you receive background information about a prospective surrogate.
However, if you are pursuing independent surrogacy, you will need to screen potential surrogates on your own. In these scenarios, it will be especially important to discuss the following topics — even if some questions seem personal or invasive.
Questions to Ask a Surrogate
The following are some essential questions you should ask a prospective surrogate before moving forward with a surrogacy plan:
- How committed are you to surrogacy?
- How were your pregnancies in the past? Have you ever had any reproductive difficulties?
- Is this something you’ve discussed with your husband or partner? What are his or her thoughts on surrogacy?
- Have you talked with your children about surrogacy? How do you plan to talk with them about it? How do you think this decision might affect them?
- Are you familiar with the legal and medical processes involved in surrogacy? Do you feel prepared for the process?
- Are you familiar with the risks of surrogate pregnancy?
- Are you able to travel for surrogacy-related procedures and appointments?
- How do you feel about carrying multiples?
- How do you feel about termination and selective reduction? Under what circumstances would you consider these procedures?
- Would you consider speaking with a counselor or social worker through the surrogacy process?
- What are your expectations from us as intended parents? How involved would you like us to be in this process?
- What are you hoping to gain from this experience?
Prospective surrogates will also have questions for you. As you answer your surrogate’s questions, it is important to be as open and honest as possible to ensure you build a solid foundation for your relationship.
What to Watch for When Interviewing Prospective Surrogates
Many times, intended parents and surrogates will have a “gut feeling” when they’ve found the perfect match. However, it’s also important to recognize when you have a feeling that someone might not be the perfect match.
Even if your surrogate has been extensively screened, there are some things to keep an eye out for when you’re speaking with her. The majority of women who pursue surrogacy are genuinely excited to help build a family, but there may be women out there who are motivated for other, less altruistic reasons. Here are some red flags to look out for:
- Focusing solely on the financial compensation as her reason for choosing surrogacy
- Questioning the necessity of a legal contract or an attorney’s legal services
- Communicating an unwillingness to talk about the surrogacy and pregnancy with friends and family
- A lack of support from her partner or family
- Rushing through the conversation, not asking their own questions or not seeming interested in getting to know you
Of course, not all of these may be ill-intended, but they should give you pause or require extra explanation from a prospective surrogate. You should definitely clear up these issues before moving forward with the legal contract or starting medical procedures. It’s also encouraged you seek out a surrogacy professional for guidance.
Finding the perfect surrogate may take time, so it’s not a process that you should rush through. You’ll need to properly get to know her and her motivations before making any legal commitments, not only to legally protect yourself but to make sure you’re preparing for as stress-free a surrogacy process as possible. While these extra steps may extend your surrogacy wait time, it will be all worth it in the end when you have the perfect baby to show for it.
Are you interested in learning more about surrogacy or starting the process? Complete our form to request free surrogacy information now.