When you become a surrogate, you will give your time, energy and body to help intended parents build the family they’ve always dreamed of having. However, your surrogacy decision isn’t one that will just affect you — it will also seriously impact your spouse’s life, as well.
Surrogacy is a life-changing process for all involved, and that includes your family and your spouse, if you have one. Therefore, many surrogacy professionals will actually require that you and your spouse both agree to a surrogacy contract before moving forward with your surrogacy process. Because you being a surrogate will have such an impact on your spouse’s life, it’s important that you have their support throughout the entire journey.
So, what exactly can your spouse expect if you are considering becoming a surrogate? While every family is different, there are some common ways that a woman’s surrogacy affects her partner.
1. Your spouse may need to take on additional household duties and family responsibilities.
Being pregnant is an exhausting process, and you likely won’t have as much energy as you normally do to complete all of your familial and household duties. Your medical professional may even require that you remain on bed rest for parts of your surrogacy journey — vastly decreasing the amount of work you can get done around the house.
If you’re becoming a surrogate, your spouse may need to take on some of your duties and responsibilities that you won’t be able to complete when you’re pregnant. This could mean taking your children to school and appointments, cooking dinner and cleaning the house, and much more. Your spouse should be comfortable with and willing to complete these additional requirements to make your surrogacy journey as positive as possible.
2. Because you will need to miss work, your spouse may also need to take on additional financial responsibilities.
Surrogacy will always be free to you as a prospective surrogate, and you will always be compensated for the expenses of your surrogacy and pregnancy, including lost wages. However, because surrogate compensation is typically given on a monthly basis, there may be times when your family needs to adjust their financial spending because your income will be affected by your pregnancy. Your spouse needs to understand the complexities of your financial situation and be prepared for this possibility, remaining positive in case this kind of situation does occur.
3. You and your spouse will likely need to refrain from sexual intercourse while you are preparing for the embryo transfer.
Because you will be taking fertility medications, your own ability to become pregnant will be heightened — which is why it’s so important that you and your spouse do not engage in sexual intercourse during this time. In fact, you will usually have to agree to this in your surrogacy contract before you begin the medical process of surrogacy. Your spouse and you will need to find non-sexual manners of intimacy and romance, but you should know ahead of time that these restrictions can cause tension between couples.
4. Your spouse will likely receive insensitive questions and comments about your pregnancy.
Whether ill-intentioned or not, questions about surrogacy are common. When people see that you are pregnant, they may congratulate your spouse, who is left in a position of explaining your surrogacy decision — a potentially awkward conversation. Your spouse should be prepared to answer these questions and address these topics in a positive, informative manner.
5. Your spouse and you may need to change your everyday and lifestyle activities during your surrogacy.
Being a surrogate is an all-encompassing process, which means every aspect of your family’s life will be affected by your decision. Therefore, some of your normal family activities may need to be put on hold: taking vacations, being active outdoors, going on dates, etc. Your spouse will need to be comfortable with these changes and look forward to adjusting your lifestyle for more low-energy, at-home activities.
Of course, each surrogacy journey is unique, so you and your spouse should speak with a surrogacy professional to learn more about how your personal surrogacy process will impact your everyday life and, in turn, your relationship.
How Can You Keep Your Spouse’s Support Through the Surrogacy Process?
Having your spouse’s support through the surrogacy process is invaluable, not just to complete the responsibilities you no longer can but also to provide emotional support during difficult times of your surrogacy journey. It’s incredibly important that you and your spouse remain a team during the year or more that you’re involved in the surrogacy journey.
To keep you both happy and healthy, and to protect your relationship, there are few things you can do to involve your spouse in your surrogacy journey and make him or her feel a part of the process:
- Involve your partner in important moments: To help your spouse feel like a special part of your surrogacy journey, make sure to include him or her in the rewarding moments, not just additional requirements and responsibilities. Make your spouse an active part of your surrogacy from the start; come to this decision together and then include him or her in important appointments and the birth of the baby.
- Communicate. Open, honest communication is key to maintaining your personal relationship during the challenges and rewards of the surrogacy process. Because your surrogacy decision will impact both of you in a unique way, you should always communicate what you’re feeling to each other. Only then can you provide each other the personalized support you need.
- Remember that it’s only temporary. When the challenges of the surrogacy process and the pressures upon your family feel like a lot, remember that it will eventually be over. At the end of the process, you’ll have truly changed someone else’s life, have gained a sizable surrogate compensation and learned a lot about each other along the way. Once the baby is born, everything about your lives should return to normal.
- Know that you’re not alone. Even when you maintain a positive relationship with each other, it’s important to seek outside, professional support as well. You are not the only couple to struggle through the challenges of surrogacy, and your surrogacy professional can provide the counseling you need to move past any difficulties that you and your spouse are having. You should also reach out to friends and family to help take your mind off the demands of the surrogacy process.
Remember, it’s completely normal for your spouse to be affected by your surrogacy decision, which is why you and your spouse will need to enter into this life-changing process together and with each other’s full support. In order to do this, it’s a good idea to speak with a surrogacy professional to ask any questions or bring up any concerns either of you may have.
As long as you take the proper steps to prepare you and your spouse for your surrogacy journey, it will be a rewarding one for both of you — and one that strengthens your relationship forever.