Approaching Your Relationship With Your Surrogate

The bond between an intended parents and surrogates is truly unique. Depending on how comfortable you and your surrogate are, this bond can be extremely involved and close, or business-like with a determined end date. With an agency like Simple Surrogacy, you can be matched with someone who shares the same goal for their intended parent-surrogate relationship.

What do you want from your relationship with the intended parents or surrogate? There are many stories of cases where the families still visit each other and speak frequently, having expanded their family in more ways than having a child. There are also stories of surrogates who wanted to give someone a beautiful gift, but would rather not be a part of the child’s life afterwards or have any contact with the parents. Likewise, many people receive a Christmas card from their intended parents every now and again, but otherwise don’t speak.

Determining what you want from a surrogate-parent relationship depends on the journey you want to go on. Would you like to pursue multiple births with your surrogate? You may want to foster a closer relationship with them. Would you like to be involved in the pregnancy and provide ample support? You may want to fost a very close friendship with your surrogate. It’s good to know what you want ahead of time, but also keep in mind that your feelings may change over the course of your journey together.

When meeting your surrogate, it’s important to get together casually, as new friends, rather than as people entering a surrogacy contract. The agency can handle that side of things to avoid awkwardness between you. Getting to know each other can make talking about the pregnancy and the expectations you have easier! Try to remember that the surrogate also has expectations on how the process will go, and it’s important to establish firm boundaries and compromise so everyone is comfortable with the frequency and level of contact between you.

Boundaries can encompass any elements of your lives that may be intertwined once the pregnancy begins. It’s important to keep an open line of communication about what you would like in terms of:

  • Communication frequency and intensity
  • Medical Service Handling
  • Frequency of face-to-face contact
  • Interest in after-birth communication

After meeting and discussing your expectations, you will have a model for how you should expect the surrogacy to proceed. 

Many people opt for an open bond with their surrogate. It is by far the most comfortable option and leaves both parties with the best sense of fulfillment. This gives you access to each other with few or no intermediaries. This lets you in on the full pregnancy process, and your surrogate into whatever kind of emotional support they may need.

People who opt for this bond tend to feel deeply connected and joyous about the surrogacy process. Oftentimes, the intended parents will take over the medical management for the surrogate to help alleviate those worries. However, having an open bond with your surrogate requires you to both trust each other and respect each other’s boundaries. Entering into this agreement means you are letting each other into your lives. 

Others are interested more in a restricted bond, where the intended parents and the surrogate don’t plan on having much contact during the surrogacy process. We recommend anyone considering this option take a moment to really think about it, as a surrogacy tends to require a lot of support. Some intended parents who opt for this bond express frustrations at their lack of involvement, and most surrogates express they wish they had someone to lean on.

Intended parents and surrogates tend to prefer everyone to be involved. It keeps intended parents proactive in the beginning of their child’s life, and surrogates informed on the goals and excitement of giving this gift to someone.

Structuring your bond opens the intended parents and surrogates up to meeting less at the beginning of the pregnancy and more as the birth date gets closer, which allows the two parties to maintain independent lives beyond the surrogacy. This can be seen as contractual, and may be an option for those that want to make sure to keep the intended parents involved, but not heavily. 

Using agreed-upon dates and appointments as the structure for having access to your surrogate can be an informed and structured option to navigate the process, but it can be harder than expected. We don’t recommend this option for everyone, as most intended parents want an active role in the birth of their child. This method can be a little transactional, and may not play into the surrogacy journey that you envisioned.

It is important to recognize what may happen if you overstep. Nobody plans to have a negative relationship with their surrogate, but it happens. When you overstep boundaries and expectations without communicating, you can create an adversarial response. This can result in one or both parties feeling unfulfilled or unsatisfied with their experience. In order to maintain a healthy and happy bond, talk to each other about how you feel the process is going and keep kindness in mind when speaking to each other. Surrogacy should be an exciting journey for everyone involved, which sometimes means making compromises. 

The bond that the media tends to portray is the open bond, where surrogate and intended parent speak frequently, express their feelings, and lean on each other emotionally. While the portrayal of surrogacy in the media is not always accurate, this is likely what your expectations are.

Your bond with your surrogate can be re-evaluated over the course of the surrogacy journey, so make sure to keep that line of communication open. If there’s something that you would like to change about your connection, just ask! As the pregnancy progresses, it is possible that you and your surrogate will get emotionally closer, and some boundaries set at the beginning may no longer be applicable. By asking, you communicate to your surrogate that you respect the boundaries that they set and though you would like a change, you are not assuming that they do as well.

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