The surrogate relationship that you have with the intended parents often shapes your entire surrogacy experience.
Together, you’ll be embarking on a life-changing journey full of new experiences and emotions. When you are going through this process with the right intended parents, it can be a positive and exciting partnership.
However, no matter how perfect the intended parents seem to be at the start, it’s not unusual for there to be some challenges in your surrogate relationship along the way. After all, you will work very intimately with the intended parents for a year or more through hardships and accomplishments — and it’s normal that your personal surrogate relationship will be affected by these things.
But, how can you be prepared for these changes and make sure you maintain a positive, healthy surrogate relationship with the intended parents?
This article was written with you in mind – to provide you with some important steps to take and common ways you can create a strong, mutually respectful surrogate relationship with your intended parents:
Fortunately, many surrogacy agencies will provide professional mediation to support you and the intended parents throughout the surrogacy process, including helping you navigate any challenges that may occur in your surrogate relationship. We can help you learn more and answer your questions when you contact us online whenever you’re ready.
Step 1: Understand the position that intended parents are in.
Intended parents who pursue the surrogacy process have often dreamed about bringing a child into their life for months and years. It’s likely all they think about, and will be even more so once your pregnancy is confirmed.
If intended parents want frequent contact and updates on your pregnancy, it’s not because they are trying to overwhelm you — they are simply incredibly invested in their family-building process.
Try to understand the lack of control intended parents have over their baby’s development and your pregnancy. The more you can relate to the emotions they have, the more empathetic you can be.
That being said, it is also important to establish healthy boundaries so you can maintain your lifestyle happily while you are pregnant. Make sure these boundaries are addressed in your surrogacy contract before beginning the surrogacy process, and both you and the intended parents will be more comfortable with these set rules and responsibilities within your surrogate relationship.
Step 2: Create a schedule of updates during your pregnancy.
To help you establish the necessary healthy boundaries you need in your surrogate relationship with the intended parent, you, your surrogacy professional, your attorney, and the intended parents can all work together.
Part of your surrogacy contract can be a contact schedule, which details how often you will send texts or emails or call the intended parents during your surrogacy process, and how often they will contact you.
Usually, your contact will happen after your doctor’s appointments and other important milestones, at the bare minimum, and you and the intended parents can agree on a level of contact that you are both comfortable with. This way, parents will know when they can expect their next update, making their wait a little more manageable and preventing them from reaching out too frequently.
The amount and type of contact in your surrogate relationship may change at different times during your surrogacy, but it should always be a decision that you make together.
Step 3: Always be honest about your needs and desires.
As with any relationship, open and honest communication is important to keeping both of you happy and satisfied, especially as you pursue surrogacy together. Although being a surrogate will be a great responsibility, you still have the right to maintain your everyday life, as long as it is healthy for the baby and for you.
While it can be tempting to put your surrogacy ahead of yourself because you don’t want to disappoint the intended parents, it’s important that you meet your own needs first to stay happy and healthy.
Don’t hesitate to speak with your intended parents or your surrogacy professional if you are feeling overwhelmed by your surrogacy responsibilities. The intended parents will want you to be comfortable while you are pregnant, and being open with them about your desires will help you establish a healthy surrogate relationship with them, too.
Step 4: Try to incorporate the intended parents’ desires.
While you are addressing your rights and desires for your surrogate relationship, you should also consider the desires of the intended parents.
It’s not unusual for intended parents to ask certain things of you to help them feel involved in your pregnancy and, as long as you are comfortable doing so, try to accommodate these desires. Remember, the pregnancy experiences that you may be taking for granted are ones they would give everything to have.
Some ideas you can consider to help the intended parents feel more connected to the pregnancy and their baby can be:
- Inviting them to your doctor’s appointments
- Sending voice recordings
- Organizing meet ups
- Scheduling video calls
- And more
These ideas and more can be fairly easy to make happen when you’re their surrogate, and it would certainly mean the world to them. Welcoming intended parents into your pregnancy journey will play a huge part in creating a genuine surrogate relationship and friendship between you all.
Step 5: Overall, treat the intended parents as you would like to be treated.
Surrogacy can be an overwhelming process for both you and the intended parents, and it’s normal to feel stressed throughout your pregnancy and in your surrogate relationship.
However, remember that surrogacy works best when it is conducted as a respectful, intimate partnership between intended parents and surrogate. Probably the easiest and most important thing you can do is invoke the “Golden Rule” — treat them as you would like to be treated.
You can do this by:
- Upholding any contact agreements you make
- Don’t speak of the challenges of pregnancy to the intended parents
- Give them any space they may need during the process
- And more
Remember, as tough as your pregnancy side effects can be, the intended parents would do anything to experience them if they could have a natural pregnancy. Before anything else, make sure to have empathy for the position the intended parents are in.
Learn More About Building a Healthy Surrogate Relationship
Surrogacy offers a much more enjoyable and positive when you have a good surrogate relationship with your chosen intended parents. While it’s important to have a surrogacy professional who can help mediate any sensitive topics between the two of you, it’s equally important to have a personal relationship in which you can speak openly with the intended parents.
Know that a surrogate relationship takes time and will naturally emerge as you two get to know each other and spend more time together. With the help of these steps and the guidance from our surrogate professionals, you can help create the kind of surrogate relationship you desire through this life-changing process.