What to Know Before Starting Your Surrogacy Journey as an Intended Parent

Mark Schroeder

Head of Client Relations, GSHC Surrogacy Agency

At GSHC Surrogacy, we’ve successfully supported many intended parents and surrogate mothers through their journeys. And, while surrogacy is a complete game-changer in family planning, intended parents should be prepared to invest a lot of time, money, and heart into the process. This is a “journey” after all. Based on our experience, here are our top insights into how to have a successful, and the least stressful, surrogacy experience.

Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

As with any pregnancy, unexpected things are bound to happen. Surrogate pregnancies are inherently higher risk, so it’s essential for intended parents to remain calm, level headed, and understanding of the challenges that this journey may bring.  It helps to have a positive outlook about your future, but to prepare yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally if things don’t go as you had hoped.

In the early stages of your surrogate’s pregnancy, it’s important to be mindful of her emotional state. To prepare for the transfer and after the implantation, she is pumping herself full of hormones, causing emotions to run high. However, her extra sensitivity and compassion mean she feels every disappointment and shares each success alongside you—you’re in this journey together!

What to Expect from your Surrogate

Most surrogates are excited to create a positive, life-long relationship with their intended parents. However, it helps to plan ahead for the inevitable challenges that will arise during your journey. If you work with a surrogacy agency, they will help with introductions in the early stages of your surrogacy journey but eventually, the success of the relationship depends on the effort put in by both you, the intended parents, and your surrogate.

Throughout the pregnancy, you’ll want to build a mutually-respectful, healthy relationship with your surrogate. It’s important to remember that you and your surrogate will make decisions not only for the health of your baby but also for your surrogate, too. It’s best to talk about your expectations such as, for example, a strictly organic diet upfront in the matching process.

We encourage open lines of communication to ensure your surrogate’s needs and emotions are being considered. There’s a lot of trust that goes into this process. It’s understandable to want the very best for your baby but intended parents must trust that the surrogate has the best intentions at heart and takes her own health (and the health of your baby) very seriously.

Don’t Forget to Protect Yourself, too

While surrogacy is an exciting journey, there are always ups and downs to navigate. It’s important to protect yourself in the event that something happens. We recommend that you invest in medical insurance and life insurance for the surrogate if her insurance does not cover a surrogate pregnancy.

She will also have the option to include you, the intended parents, as life insurance beneficiaries in the event a tragedy occurs during pregnancy. Discuss the contract thoroughly with your attorney, and put yourself in your surrogate’s shoes to make sure the terms are reasonable and able to be fulfilled by both you and your surrogate.

Create a Strong Bond with Your Surrogate

Sometimes your surrogate may live very far from you and you won’t get the opportunity to meet in person, which has been even more difficult during COVID-19. However, having a strong bond with your surrogate can help not only bring you closer to her but also share in the joy of bringing your new baby into the world.

At times, you might feel removed from the process, but this will help your surrogate to share more personal stories, silly cravings, and her feelings with you, in addition to the anticipated ultrasound photos, heartbeat recordings, and appointment updates! Talk to her upfront about these wishes during the match meeting to make sure everyone is 100% clear on the level of involvement expected. The more engaged you are, the more responsive the surrogate will be.

Remember your surrogate wants nothing more than to make sure you feel safe and happy about choosing her to carry your child. However, in the event that any difficult hurdles come up your surrogacy agency should always be there to help manage communication of any sensitive topics.

Trust the Process

It’s all about letting go – and trusting the process. We understand that this is easier said than done, especially for intended parents who have likely already been through a lengthy fertility journey.

This is imperative if you are going to remain positive and proactive throughout this entire process and maintain a great relationship with your surrogate. The most important thing is that everyone enjoys the journey.

About Mark Schroeder

Mark Schroeder is the Head of Client Relations at GSHC Surrogacy Agency in Los Angeles. Mark works tirelessly to make sure that Intended Parents are informed, prepared, and exhilarated as they embark on the surrogacy journey ahead of them. Mark is driven by his passionate belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to start a family of their own and he looks forward to helping you start yours.

GSHC is one of the wonderful surrogacy agencies on GoStork. To learn more about them, visit our platform of surrogacy agencies (if you haven’t registered yet, you may do so at gostork.com).