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Building A Relationship with your Surrogate

If you are looking for surrogacy, you are looking for a pleasant experience of nine-months, and building a relationship with surrogates can be extremely helpful.

Surrogates are angels to intended parents. There’s no better gift a couple can receive than having the gift of a baby if they don’t have one. It is not easy to carry a baby for nine months for a surrogate and to let go of the little one that she has grown to get attached to. This is why it is important to make the journey as easy as possible for her as well as the intended parents. One way to do this would be by building a relationship with the surrogates you are looking forward to being acquainted with, leading to a smooth and pleasant experience for both parties. There might be certain doubts in your mind about establishing a healthy relationship with your surrogate. It might be painful for you to see someone else go through this journey that you dreamt of going through yourselves, but we hope that this article helps you realise the benefits of having a healthy relationship with your surrogate.

 

In India, due to the prevalent surrogacy laws, you would most likely know your surrogate mother. According to the latest bill, commercial surrogacy is banned in India. This means that only altruistic surrogacy, wherein the surrogate carries a baby without any monetary benefit is allowed. Henceforth, it is vital that a healthy relationship is developed between the intended parents and the surrogate which may even turn into a lifelong friendship.

 

Why Should You Build a Relationship with your Surrogate?

  • You may or may not choose to tell your child about his or her birth story but if you do, having a healthy relationship with the surrogate mother is a cherry on the cake.
  • You are going to be a parent and this gift will be given to you by her. You do not want a bumpy ride over the course of the next nine months.
  • Surrogates usually feel that this is one of the most meaningful acts of their lives and they would like to be appreciated. A little acknowledgement goes a long way in showing your gratitude.

 

Let’s start with the foundation: like any bond, the basis of building a relationship with surrogates is trust, communication, appropriate boundaries and flexibility.

 

Trust

You are putting your faith for your baby in a woman, who may or may not be a stranger to you. If she is, imagine how nervous she might be as well. She would be carrying a child for nine months, all for someone else. She chose to walk through this challenge to light up your life. Therefore, she needs to know that you trust her. Make her feel comfortable with you and your partner. She must be able to tell you about her feelings and if she is facing any teething troubles. This process goes vice-versa. She would want to feel that you know that your baby is in good hands and trust you.

 

Communication

You know what they say about communication being the key. If you are an introvert, start light. You may not know what to talk about exactly but that’s alright. Start with having a conversation about each other’s expectations. It is important to lay your questions about each other on the table. You are about to undertake a beautiful journey together and it is crucial that you establish a rapport with each other wherein you can talk easily and freely. Ask her about her hobbies, preferences, family and her aspirations. Let the relationship develop organically.

 

Boundaries 

Sometimes, intended parents tend to become too close to their surrogates and end up promising something they might regret later. Hence, it is good to establish certain boundaries. Try to have realistic expectations. You may not be able to anticipate everything that would come up and therefore, introspect regularly on where you are in your relationship with your surrogate. Make her feel comfortable. Put yourself in her shoes and imagine how you would want to be treated if you were a surrogate. It is okay to worry about her health but do keep in mind how she would feel if you are calling her up for the fifth time in a day. If you want to join her for the next doctor’s appointment, let her know and ask if she is okay with it.

 

Flexibility

You may be new to parenthood and quite excited but try to understand that your surrogate has a life outside her pregnancy. She has her own family and her own expectations too. Flexibility, in this case, is quite important to bear in mind. You may not always be her priority but trust that she is taking care of your baby. It is tempting to call her up about the tiniest of things such as that the weekend trip she took or that extra chocolate she ate. But cut her some slack and give her some space. Pregnancy is not an easy ride and she knows what she had signed up for.

 

Tips to Build a Relationship with the Surrogate

You would already do great keeping up the above mentioned points in mind but if you do need any more tips, here are a few more points you may jot down:

 

  • If you find any common hobby such as movies to enjoy or reading or going for a yoga class, make time to do it together. It will help you bond and make her realize that she is never alone in this journey.
  • Keep track of her food cravings and any particular dish she likes. It will show her that you care.
  •  

You will find that by building a relationship with surrogates you establish a personal connection with her marking the beginning of a beautiful journey that you have embarked upon together.

August 01, 2021 |  read

More on Surrogacy

Surrogacy - What Do You Need to Know Before You Proceed?

This article discusses surrogacy issues in India: types of challenges, social issues, risks involved and more.

Did you know that many women were exploited before December 2018, through commercial surrogacy in India? This raised concerns among human rights groups to establish a legal framework, wherein the surrogate mother or the baby cannot be exploited for making a profit.

 

But what exactly were the exploitations about? Or more precisely, what are the issues related to surrogacy in India?

 

Surrogacy: What is it?

Surrogacy is a process of assisted reproduction whereby a surrogate agrees to bear the child(ren) of another couple in her womb without having any parental rights over the child(ren). The method is used when various medical reasons prevent the intended parent(s) to conceive.

 

Basically, there are two types of surrogacy:

  • Gestational, wherein the gametes belong to the intended parents.
  • Traditional, wherein the eggs would belong to the surrogate while the sperm would come from the intended father.

 

Gestational surrogacy is considered preferable due to various moral and legal implications. Additionally, the debate of surrogacy has extended to how far can commercial surrogacy be acceptable. Now you might question what is a commercial surrogacy?

 

Surrogacy can be carried out in two forms: commercial and altruistic. While in altruistic surrogacy, the surrogate is not paid in any monetary terms or given a financial incentive, it is done so in the case of commercial surrogacy.

 

What are the issues that arise?

Prior to 2018, India had come to be known as the global commercial hub of surrogacy as people from various countries would opt for a relatively inexpensive service in India. This paved the way for the introduction of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill in 2016 to ban commercial surrogacy.

 

The reasons that were put forward for the same included many:

Profitability and lack of transparency:

One major reason for the need of banning commercial surrogacy was because of how exploitative it had become, especially for the women in the lower-income strata. The various commercial agencies and clinics involved as middlemen would profit heavily in lieu of the surrogate mothers who would agree to any terms and conditions to earn a square meal for their family. In case of an unsuccessful pregnancy, the women were unlikely to be paid or covered by any medical insurance.

 

Social issues:

The entire concept of surrogacy is debated on the ground that a woman, especially when she is from a necessitous group of the society, is often ostracized for being a surrogate. To avoid the same, the surrogate mother is arranged for, in a hostel during the period of her pregnancy, away from her family.  Since, in a country like India, where poverty is rampant, surrogacy is often viewed to be an income-generating source, human rights activists have raised this issue of ‘body for rent’ as dehumanizing.

 

Cross-border implications:

A foreign couple opting for a surrogacy procedure in India would have to bear the brunt of the language barrier, completion of formalities which takes quite long, citizenship, rights of the child etc.

 

Associated health risk:

While in the US, no more than two embryos are allowed for implantation, it is five in the case of India. This augments the health risk for the babies along with the mother. Fertility treatments during artificial insemination may involve certain risks along with that of multiple pregnancies which increase the probability of operative delivery.

 

A certain complication which is accompanied in surrogacy is breastfeeding and henceforth, establishing a bond between the intended mother and child.

 

Emotional issues:

Ideally, the surrogate mother is advised to not develop a bond with the child. But let’s try to understand that the entire process can be quite emotionally challenging for the woman. It is very natural to have pregnancy blues but unlike a normal pregnancy, the surrogate mother knows that she will have to bid adieu to the child after giving birth. This calls for a support system within the family as well as a professional medical help.  

 

Religious issues:

It is quite obvious that each religion will have its own rules pertaining to surrogacy. As the laws vary from one country to the other, so does it vary according to the faiths. 

 

Other probable issues:

There have been cases where the surrogate mother has refused to part with the child or the intended parents have refused to accept the child. This raises the questions of the child being abandoned.

 

What should you keep in mind?

All the laws and hitches kept aside; surrogacy is essentially a beautiful gift that a woman presents to an intended parent. Hence, the struggle that she goes through before, during and after the pregnancy, both in emotional as well as medical terms must be taken into account which cannot be compensated through a monetary value.

 

 

Once you decide to be a parent, it is helpful to remember that every child is special, and none should be abandoned in this big, vast world. Surrogacy or not, the child would be yours and deserves every bit of your heart. 

 

December 24, 2020 |  read