When you finally begin your surrogacy process with your chosen intended parents, it will be an exciting moment. After all the preliminary screening, matching and legal requirements, you all are ready to start creating a family together.
However, when the process starts getting serious, some surrogates find that their relationship with the intended parents isn’t quite what they anticipated. The stress and anxiety of successfully implanting an embryo and not having any control over their baby’s development can lead some intended parents to overstep boundaries, even though they have good intentions.
Like any intimate relationship, your relationship with the intended parents may come with challenges at times. It’s important to be prepared for this and to find compromises that make everyone happy.
Most relationships between surrogates and intended parents are actually incredible positive, and many of these relationships will end up creating life-long friendships. In all likelihood, your relationship with the intended parents will be just as you imagine it — an incredibly positive experience. However, every surrogate-intended-parent relationship will be different, so it’s good to be prepared for any potential challenges, just in case. Here are some general tips for making sure you build a healthy relationship based on mutual respect:
1. First, understand the intended parents’ lack of control.
Intended parents have often waited years to have a child. When the embryo transfer is successful and you become pregnant, they will have to give up control of their child’s development and trust that you will properly take care of their unborn child. This can be nerve-wracking for them, especially if this is one of the last chances they have at being parents.
You may find the intended parents frequently asking you for updates, and it may become overwhelming at times. That’s why it’s important to remember the situation they are in; try to empathize with their feelings and give them updates as long as it’s comfortable with you. If their contact starts to interfere with your day-to-day life, respectfully bring up your concerns with your surrogacy professional.
2. Create a schedule for contact.
To make sure both you and the intended parents are comfortable with the amount of contact you’ll have, you should all make sure to set an agreeable contact schedule early on while creating your legal contract. This way, both you and the intended parents will know when and how to contact each other at different points in your surrogacy process. When you agree upon a schedule that you’re both comfortable with, it should give both you and the intended parents piece of mind knowing that you will hear from each other at given times in your pregnancy.
Of course, this schedule may change as you approach your due date, but it’s a great way to establish healthy communication boundaries with the intended parents from the very start of your pregnancy.
3. Communicate your needs openly and honestly.
Even though surrogacy will require a significant commitment of your time and energy, you should make sure to maintain your regular schedule (as long as it’s healthy for the baby) and try to continue your everyday lifestyle as best as you can.
If you find that you are struggling to meet your own needs during the surrogacy process, don’t hesitate to express your concerns with your surrogacy professional. You have rights in this process, and your comfort will play a large role in the baby’s development. Being open and honest about your needs will not only make sure you are happy during the surrogacy process but also go a long way in establishing a healthy relationship with the intended parents.
4. But also be flexible with the intended parents’ desires.
Try to empathize with the intended parents when they ask things of you. Remember, these people would give anything to be in your position and be pregnant with their own child. Some of their desires may seem like overreaching to you, but try to keep their feelings in mind.
Share your pregnancy experience with them, including any milestones along the way. Let them be present at doctor’s appointments, and let them be a part of your pregnancy journey. For them, a simple thing like feeling the baby kick will mean the world, so be happy to share even the smallest details about their developing child with them (like what kind of music the baby likes, when he or she is most active, etc.)
Being accepting of the intended parents’ smallest desires will mean a lot to them, so welcome them as a part of your pregnancy journey.
5. Treat the intended parent as you would like to be treated.
For the most part, the success of your relationship with the intended parents will come down to the empathy that you have for their situation. Being pregnant can be difficult at times, but try to put aside those negative feelings you have in favor of upholding the agreement you made at the beginning of the process.
If you agree to call the intended parents at a certain time, make sure to do it. As hard as your pregnancy may be for you at times, it will be even harder for the intended parents — who would give anything to be in your position. Surrogacy is not a journey you take alone, so creating mutual respect between you and the intended parents is key to a successful pregnancy — and that all starts with treating them like you would want to be treated.
While the responsibility for your relationship will mainly be between you and the intended parents, your surrogacy professional can act as a mediator, if need be. Not only can this person handle more sensitive issues that may arise in the surrogacy process, but they can professionally and non-confrontationally remind each party of their responsibilities and agreements if a relationship starts to feel strained.
Remember, many times, a respectful and caring relationship will emerge naturally between you and the intended parents. Because you both will be prepared for the partnership you’re entering, it’s incredibly likely that you will establish a strong relationship that makes both of you happy from the beginning.
Even if you feel that your chosen intended parents are the perfect match and you’ll always get along well, it’s important to be prepared just in case either of you confront challenges in your relationship. If you follow these tips from the beginning of your surrogacy process, you can make sure that your relationship remains a respectful one that benefits both parties involved.
Are you interested in learning more about surrogacy or starting the process? Complete our form to request free surrogacy information now.