Surrogacy is a wonderful — but complicated — family-building process, filled with rewards and challenges from the beginning to the end. In order to create a successful journey for all involved, surrogates and intended parents should seek out surrogacy support for all their questions and concerns before, during and after the process is complete.
But, how do you find the best surrogacy support for you? What exactly should you be looking for in a professional who offers surrogacy support?
While each surrogate’s situation and needs are unique, there are a few general things that you should be aware of — and seek out — when finding a resource for surrogacy support.
How Surrogacy Support Begins Before Your Surrogacy Process
When you think about professional support for your surrogacy, you are probably imagining the complications that could arise during the surrogacy process. However, did you know that you will start receiving surrogacy support from the minute that you begin researching the surrogacy process?
Counseling is an important part of surrogacy support — and it’s not just something that is done after a woman commits to becoming a surrogate. Surrogacy professionals today recognize the importance of education and support at the beginning, in the middle and at the conclusion of the surrogacy process. Therefore, even if you’re still thinking about becoming a surrogate, you should seek out this support to help make the best decision for you.
As you will discover in your research, surrogacy can be an emotionally complicated process, especially because you will experience the challenges (and rewards) of pregnancy without bringing a baby home at the end. Therefore, the best surrogacy professionals will work to provide you the necessary emotional counseling to understand exactly what you are committing to and the knowledge to cope with potential emotional challenges.
Before you become a surrogate, you will need to undergo psychological screening with a mental health professional. During this screening, you will discuss your personal life and your motivations for surrogacy to ensure you are in a stable place to start the surrogacy process. A mental health professional must approve you to become a surrogate before you can move forward.
This is an integral part of the surrogacy process. Not only will the psychological screening ensure you are mentally and psychologically ready to be a surrogate, it will also prepare you for any potential challenges ahead.
Why Surrogates Need Surrogacy Support
The importance of surrogacy support increases the further along you get in the surrogacy process. Many emotions are involved in surrogacy and, with pregnancy hormones amplifying those emotions, it’s common for surrogates to feel overwhelmed or distraught at certain times in their surrogacy.
Here are few reasons why surrogates should retain proper surrogacy support from their surrogacy professionals, just in case:
- Relationship issues with the intended parents: Intended parents and surrogates work closely together in a partnership to have a successful, positive surrogacy. However, sometimes this relationship can become strained. To avoid any situations that could permanently harm this important partnership, surrogacy professionals can provide the surrogacy support needed to mediate contact and clarify any confusion or miscommunication.
- Unsuccessful embryo transfers and pregnancies: It can be devastating when you find out that an embryo transfer was unsuccessful or that you have experienced a miscarriage. Surrogacy support from a trained professional can help counsel you through these feelings of disappointment, grief and loss and help you move forward with a fresh start. These occurrences aren’t uncommon, and a surrogacy professional is the perfect person to lean on in these situations.
- Unsupportive friends and family members: As you proceed further into your surrogacy journey, more people will begin to find out about your decision — and, unfortunately, not all may respond in a supportive and positive way. If you are struggling with negative comments from family members and friends, your specialist can help you work through these complications and give suggestions for maintaining these relationships during your surrogacy.
- Unexpected medical complications: Sometimes, pregnancy can cause medical conditions to arise, like gestational diabetes. These diagnoses can be frustrating, but your surrogacy support team can offer counseling and help you connect with any medical professionals you need to treat these conditions. They can also provide any additional support you need if you find yourself confined to bedrest or delivering earlier than expected.
- Post-surrogacy emotional adjustments: Surrogacy support from a professional before your delivery will help you prepare for the challenges of returning home after birth with no baby, but your professional will also be there during your post-surrogacy period, as well — just in case any new emotional and practical challenges arise. Without proper support, this post-surrogacy period can be incredibly confusing for women.
While these are just a few surrogacy complications that can arise, securing surrogacy support from a trained professional early on in the process ensures that you will always have professional guidance, no matter what happens.
Where You Can Find Surrogacy Support
Surrogacy support can come from many different sources — including the people who make up your surrogacy support system — but the best comes from professionals like your surrogacy agency and surrogacy specialist. Often, this professional surrogacy support can answer all of your questions and address all of your concerns in a way that others cannot, due to the professional’s experience in the surrogacy process.
If you need surrogacy support, reach out to a surrogacy professional today. Surrogacy agencies typically employ trained, professional social workers who are not only knowledgeable of the surrogacy process but also capable of providing emotional counseling for all of the potential complications in your surrogacy process.
As you are considering surrogacy professionals and their surrogacy support programs, consider asking them these questions:
- What will be your availability if I have questions or concerns? Will you only be available during work hours, or can I contact you 24/7?
- What are the professional requirements for counselors within your program?
- How long do you provide surrogacy support after a surrogate delivers the baby?
- Do you outsource any of your counseling to other professionals? If so, what kind of counseling and what kind of professionals?
- How many surrogates are currently working with your surrogacy support program?
Remember, the importance of proper surrogacy support during your personal surrogacy journey cannot be overstated. Always take the time to find the proper surrogacy professional for you before embarking on this life-changing process, and you will have the most successful surrogacy journey possible.