Navigating the Intended Parent and Surrogate Relationship

The relationship between the intended parents and their surrogate is like no other. As with any collaborative partnership, certain elements contribute to its success, including defining expectations, creating boundaries, establishing mutual trust, maintaining open communication, and finally, being flexible. Making sure the surrogate feels comfortable as your relationship strengthens is key and will result in one of the most special bonds you can imagine.

Establishing Expectations

One of the first aspects of the surrogate relationship is defining expectations. Being honest and direct about your intended role in the surrogacy process is the best place to start as you embark on this journey together. Surrogates can’t read minds, but they can text, talk on the phone, email, and Skype; the decisions about the best form of communication and how often it takes place are important first steps. Your involvement in the prenatal care, such as accompanying her to medical appointments, and determining how to handle medical decisions that may arise, such as what do in the event of a multifetal pregnancy, will need to be discussed and agreed upon early on.

Creating Boundaries

Surrogates understand and support your need to feel involved and at ease during the pregnancy. However, reasonable boundaries, as set by the surrogate, need to be respected too. Too many inquiries, especially during “off hours,” can be seen as an invasion of privacy. Similarly, while your surrogate will empathize with your core values, instructing her on specific lifestyle choices, such as adherence to diet and exercise regimens, crosses the line.

Developing Mutual Trust

Most surrogates are found through agencies, which go to great lengths in the vetting process. Rest assured that surrogates are chosen for their familiarity with pregnancy, and therefore, your trust in their decision-making is warranted. If expectations have been set and boundaries discussed, the natural next step to strengthen your bond is mutual trust. This trust will increase confidence, thereby leading to a more relaxing and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Maintaining Open Communication

It is natural for worries to creep in during the surrogacy process. Maintaining open lines of communication will go a long way in easing your fears by ensuring you are aware of any essential updates. A genuine interest in who your surrogate is as a person outside of the pregnancy is a great way to make her feel supported. Steer clear of micromanaging but instead treat her as the partner she is in this process. Along the way, professionals within your chosen agency will help field questions and concerns, helping you to establish appropriate communication from the get-go.

Being Flexible

Making accommodations for the life your surrogate has outside of her relationship with you is a cornerstone of surrogacy. Understanding that personal situations can and will arise unexpectedly, such as rescheduling a call because of a sick child, will help your surrogate be flexible with you as well. Indeed, being flexible is reciprocal. Of course, there is a reasonable expectation to maintain a routine; if you ever feel that you are being overly accommodating to the point of disrupting your relationship, your agency can and should step in to mediate.

Final Thoughts

The relationship your form with your surrogate will be worth the effort it takes to build. Defining expectations and boundaries, establishing mutual trust and flexibility, and maintaining the open communication that it takes to get there are all key components to forming a healthy and happy bond. Your relationship with your surrogate will be unique to you both, and finding a balance between you will make the entire process more comfortable for all.

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