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General Questions and Myths about Surrogacy

December 24, 2020 |  read |  Facebook Twitter Whatsapp

Hello there! By now you may have done a lot of research about Artificial Reproductive Techniques (ART) and have a good deal of knowledge about them. If yes, surrogacy must have definitely popped up in your research. Despite all the knowledge you have, there might still be some doubts. That comment your friend passed or a question a nosy neighbour asked might have raised these doubts. Don’t worry, we will walk  you through some of those common doubts and questions you might have about surrogacy and also as a bonus, bust some myths along the way.

 

FAQs

Is surrogacy legal in India?

Yes, gestational surrogacy is legal in India; commercial surrogacy, however, is banned. Gestational surrogacy refers to the process in which the surrogate carries an embryo which is conceived by the sperm and egg of the intended parents. There are also provisions to have a surrogate from a different state within the country.

 

Why choose surrogacy over adoption?

The waiting period for an adoption can range anywhere from 18 - 24 months. Despite the wait, there are chances of birth mothers changing their mind after delivery and keeping their babies. This might be devastating for the intended parents who have formed a bond with the baby and are waiting to take him/her home. The process of adoption is also expensive and time consuming with no guarantees. Thus, you must evaluate your needs based on circumstances, time and expenses and decide which of the two is a better fit for you.

 

Do we have to go through a screening process?

Yes. You, as a couple need to take psychological counselling to be sure about the process. You will be explained about the process and all the necessary implications to prepare you for it. Once the medical screening is done, you would need to sign a contract with the surrogate and her husband/guardian to make it legal. You should also ensure medical and social care for the surrogate.

 

How to choose a surrogate?

You have to ensure that the surrogate is within the age limit of 21-35. Ensure your agency does a background check to know her personal history, her family’s background and history and her health profile. It is necessary for her to have had a healthy pregnancy before. She and her husband (if she is married) should be screened for STDs and other infectious diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B&C. Other medical tests like pelvic sonography and uterine receptivity should be performed and if the results come out as expected, you can go ahead to sign your contract.

 

How much does it cost?

As of 2020, the surrogacy treatment in India might cost you anywhere between INR 9 – 15 lakhs, the average amount being INR 10 lakhs. This is usually the cost of the entire package which might involve fees, legal fees, surrogate work up, delivery charges, surrogate’s compensation, insemination and IVF costs and some more or less depending on your agency. The cost will definitely differ from state to state and agency to agency

 

How long would the process be?

After you select your agency, it might take around 15-20 days to select and evaluate your surrogate. Post that, the treatment might take around 15 days. Results can be observed 12-15 days after the treatment.

 

 

The myths 

Myth: Intended parents cannot bond with the baby

You can start bonding with your baby right from the gestation period by talking to them in the womb. Also, once your tiny wonder makes their entrance, they will be handed over to you. It is you who will feed them, nurture them and constantly be there with them from that moment onwards. Hence, your bond with the baby would be an unbreakable one.

 

Myth: Surrogates are all about money

This isn’t true. In many cases surrogates do it to contribute to the happiness of a couple by giving them a baby. They mostly do it to spread positivity and give the gift of parenthood to couples who aren’t privileged to have a baby by themselves. 

 

Myth: The surrogate might not / have trouble giving up the baby

There is no way a surrogate won’t hand over the baby to you as she is legally bound to give you the baby. It is highly unlikely that she will have trouble while doing so as she enters the contract fully aware that the baby isn’t hers. Besides, she already has her own baby. She knows that she is like a babysitter for you two until the baby is born.

 

Myth: The baby might look like the surrogate mother

As the genetic factors which make your baby (sperm and egg) are derived from you and your partner (intended parents), the surrogate’s DNA will not be passed on to the baby in gestational surrogacy. Thus, your baby will not have the physical or mental traits of the surrogate mother.

 

Myth: Surrogacy always results in multiple births

This is not a hard and fast rule. It depends on how many embryos are transferred into the surrogate’s womb. Usually, not more than two embryos are transferred to minimize the risks of multiple pregnancies. There are also chances of her carrying just one baby despite having multiple embryos transferred.

 

 

We hope this article has cleared a lot of doubts on your mind and provided you with information about surrogacy. Don’t forget to discuss with your doctor before choosing your agency. You are now one step closer to your dream of parenting.

 

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational and educational purposes only. The contents of this article are general in nature and do not constitute medical advice, neither is it intended to substitute any professional or medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please always consult your healthcare provider for any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, procedure or treatment, prescription or medication and/or before starting any nutrition, diet, exercise, fitness, medical or wellness programme.

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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

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Surrogacy - Alternative Steps to Grow Your Family

This article discusses surrogacy processes in India. Here's a step by step guide on everything you need to know about surrogacy.

Have you heard of the song, “first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage’? Well, if you are in love, and you do wish to get married (or not, because that’s okay too) what about having a baby? What if you can’t? Our society has not been great at accepting women with health issues which prevent them from being pregnant or even allowing a single parent wanting to have biological children. As sad as that is, on a positive note, we live in an advanced technological era where even if you can’t have the baby yourself, surrogacy has time and again proven to be a safe and affordable alternative for any couple or a single parent wanting to have biological children.

 

 

So what does the process of surrogacy involve?

A surrogate mother carries a pregnancy for another couple through the method of assisted reproductive technology. While there are two types of surrogacy, gestational and traditional; gestational surrogacy is more common and legalized in most countries. Gestational surrogacy implies that the surrogate carries a pregnancy where the gametes, fertilized through in-vitro fertilization would belong to the intended parents or donors. On the contrary, in traditional surrogacy, the egg belongs to the surrogate and the sperm would belong to the intended father. This enhances legal and emotional implications.

 

With the legalization of surrogacy in India in 2002, the law has brought a beam of hope for many. But what exactly are the procedures involved in surrogacy? We have it all laid down for you to ensure a smooth way forward to welcome a tiny member into your family.

 

1.Decisions, decisions.

Let’s sit down, take a breath and ask ourselves: is surrogacy the right choice for us? Being an intended parent can involve an amount of emotional upheaval which could last for months and a certain commitment to financial investment. Moreover, the Indian Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill states that only an Indian heterosexual couple who have been married for at least five years are allowed to undertake surrogacy in India. Therefore, remember to talk to your partner and your doctor, research on the surrogacy laws and bills of country, and measure the pros and cons that would work out for you. Yes, it does sound like a lot but it's only to ensure a few safety protocols. But, trust that it’s gonna be worth it.

 

2. Preparation for surrogacy

As only altruistic surrogacy is allowed since the passing of Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016 on December 19, 2018, the second step would be to have a close family member who is willing to be a surrogate for you. Furthermore, the intended couple ought to register with a surrogacy clinic after which, they would have to provide with the necessary documents such as:

  • Certificate of Infertility by the District Medical Board
  • Order of Court regarding custody and parentage of the child
  • Insurance of the surrogate mother and the child

 

3. Drafting a legal contract

Next, the intended parents, as well as the surrogate mother, would be required to hire attorneys respectively to ensure a legal framework in place. Once the terms are arranged, the medical process can take off after the contract is signed.

 

The further legal process takes place after the first trimester when your attorney will draw up a pre-birth order to establish you as the legal parent of the child. Make sure to follow these protocols as they are only in place to ensure a safe and secure journey for you, your partner, your baby and the surrogate mother.

 

4. In-vitro Fertilization and Embryo Transfer

Once the documentation is in place, the medical expert would start with the egg retrieval process which involves using either fresh eggs or frozen, subjected to the availability of the intended mom. In case of a fresh surrogate transfer, the cycle of the surrogate and the intended mother is synchronized with oral contraceptive pills or progesterone pills. After a successful process of in-vitro fertilization, the embryo is transferred to the surrogate mother. 

 

Again, let’s remember that implantation through IVF is subjected to odds and we must not be disheartened if it is unsuccessful in the first attempt. Another IVF cycle could be as easily pursued. Ideally, this should not extend beyond 3 times for the same couple. 

 

Once a heartbeat is confirmed after a few months of the implantation, you can be assured of a normal IVF pregnancy.

 

5. Welcoming your child

It is finally the time when you welcome your little one into your world. You could be allowed to witness the birth of your child, subjected to the consent of the surrogate mother.

 

A few points to remember:

As already stated, a surrogate mother does not have any parental rights over the child(ren) and the birth certificate of the child(ren) bears the names of the intended parents. The intended parents ought to accept the custody of the child(ren) despite any abnormality.

 

Departing from a child that a woman carries in her womb for nine long months can be quite difficult and hence, it is important to understand the emotions that are involved and extend a humanistic approach at all levels.

 

If the surrogate is a close family member, it is helpful to remember that the child(ren) would come to know her and therefore, it is wise to sort out any possible complications that may arise beforehand. 

 

Surrogacy involves a selfless act of bringing joy and hence, there must be a plan in place that would make the process as smooth as possible.

 

December 24, 2020 |  read

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Surrogacy and Emotions: How to Handle it All

You may be feeling mixed emotions during surrogacy, but you are not alone. These are some steps that will help you understand and manage your emotions during surrogacy.

It is a long journey when you are waiting to become parents, especially when there are struggles with infertility involved. If this is something you are experiencing, know that you are not alone in this - many couples experience infertility. However, there are many options for you to become a parent like you have always dreamed! Through IVF, or assisted reproductive technology, or adoption, or surrogacy, whichever the case may be - you are not far from bringing a baby into your life. During this process, there may be many emotions and sentiments you could be feeling - and it is best when they are addressed. 

 

The first step to move forward and advance into the next stage is to cope with your infertility. While sometimes it may get difficult, it is essential to build this journey with a positive outlook. If the emotional (and of course, physical) effects of your struggle of infertility are left unattended and unchecked, they could start affecting other parts of your life. We have put together some tips on how you can manage your emotions during the surrogacy process to aid your dreams of becoming a parent.

 

 

Infertility: Some Tips on Acceptance and Self-care

  • Acknowledging One’s Feelings

Acceptance is the key to dealing with infertility, instead of simply pretending that it does not come in the way of your emotions. It is very natural to feel a certain sense of grief or feel at loss to not be able to bear a child on your own, but in accepting and expressing your feelings, you can let go of all societal pressures and other emotional distress. Acceptance is the first step to dealing with trying circumstances. 

 

  • Communicate Honestly With Your Partner (or close ones) 

If there is anyone you should go through this emotional journey with, it is your partner. They can be very important people to help you overcome certain thoughts, sentiments. Share what you feel. They can make your best personal therapist, whom you can trust completely. If not, do not shy away from seeking help from a therapist or counsellor. Reach out to close ones too! Give them a chance to help you deal with this in the most positive way possible – and you won’t feel alone through this process. 

 

  • Do Not Blame Yourself 

It is not you, but a combination of genetics and circumstances. Do not be so hard on yourself. Things might seem to be difficult at this time, but eventually it will only be in the distant past, so try and take time out for yourself. Indulge in self care, and stay hopeful and positive.

 

 

The Surrogacy Journey As The Intended Parent : How to be Fully Involved

Along the way, you might come across some unique challenges, as well as a lot of joys. As an intended parent, there is a plethora of emotions you are very much likely to feel, towards this road to parenthood. One such obstacle could be the feeling of jealousy, especially as an intended mother. While what you might be feeling is completely natural, and has come to you unannounced, here are a few ways you can handle these emotions:

 

  • Bonding with the Surrogate Mother

To desire a connection with the baby bump is completely natural. To be able to do that, try and understand the surrogate mother, and establish a bond with her. Fill her in in general conversations about motherhood, how you feel. Do not let your desire to connect with the baby bump manifest itself in the shape of feelings of jealousy.

 

  • Engage in the Ideal Conversation 

Your family, relatives and friends may ask many questions revolving around the process of surrogacy. While they might arise out of genuine care, you would want to set certain boundaries, and that is okay. An ideal conversation about it is one you are comfortable with. It is okay to keep some feelings private and draw a line. Let them, however, provide you with the encouragement and support you need

 

December 24, 2020 |  read

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Becoming a Parent Through Surrogacy - What, Why, and How

Surrogacy brings one a step closer to parenthood.This article discusses surrogacy and reasons why one might want to consider it.

Human bodies are mysterious in their work, sometimes we don’t understand why some things happen. Infertility is one of them. But if you are a couple who wants a child, then don’t be disheartened by the issue. Today, science has made it possible to tackle most of the problems very well. If you cannot have a baby by natural means, there are a lot of other options out there. Becoming a parent through surrogacy is one of them. Basically, when you opt surrogacy as your option, another woman will carry your pregnancy for you. A lot of people around the world, including celebrities have opted for surrogacy to carry their babies. It is one of the common methods of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). 

 

Due to the complex nature of the entire process, surrogacy has some ethical, social, moral and legal conditions associated with it. No need to be anxious though. Your counsellor or your gynaecologist will help you navigate through these issues. It may seem a little overwhelming, but you are not alone, surrogacy is one of the important medical procedures which can provide the happiness of parenting to couples who cannot reproduce due to various reasons. The people involved in this process will be you and your partner (intended parents) and the surrogate mother. Once you go through all the paperwork and legalities (with the help of your guide), you move on to the procedure and then get ready to greet your little one soon.

 

You might be wondering when you and your partner should have “the talk”. When should you start considering surrogacy as an option? What are the possible reasons to choose surrogacy? Well, ladies, we are here to help you through it. Get a glass of your favourite beverage and read through.

 

Surrogacy laws might differ from country to country, however in India, you can opt for surrogacy if you and your partner have been trying to have a baby by natural means for five years and have had no luck. There are also provisions to choose the method if it is physically/medically impossible for you to have a baby. 

 

However, in the western countries, the rules are not as rigid; surrogacy is also permitted there for a variety of other reasons, apart from infertility. Let us take a look at them.

 

Single parents

Due to certain factors, one might decide that they want a baby, but not a partner. What to do in such conditions? They can opt for surrogacy as it lets them have a baby with their genetic components via the surrogate mother and sharing the journey of pregnancy is fully optional. Becoming a parent through surrogacy can be a truly enriching experience

 

Mother’s medical conditions

While it is unfortunate, some women might have medical conditions which prevent them from having a baby. Absence of the uterus, which might be as a result of hysterectomy or by birth is one of the common causes. If the mother -to- be has other serious conditions like heart disease, cancer, renal failure or fibroids in the uterus, it might be the safest option to choose a surrogate. In the meantime, you take the best care of yourself and become as healthy as possible for your little marvel.

 

Same sex couples

It is not possible for same sex couples to produce a child of their own, but hey! Surrogacy can be your best option to get that tiny addition to your family and experience the joy of parenthood. Lesbian couples can choose surrogacy as the resulting embryo from one of the partners can be transferred and carried by the other one.

 

Lifestyle – By choice

There is no hard and fast rule that you can be a mother only if you carry a child in your womb. You can be every bit of a mother even if you choose to have a baby outside of your body. Like with everything else, here too, women are given a chance to make their own choice. Some of them might not like to carry a baby due to work factors, some might be traumatized from previous birth experiences or miscarriages or sometimes, one might not just like it! If you feel one of these ways but would still like to parent a baby, then surrogacy is one of your options.

 

There you go! You now know when you should consider becoming a parent through surrogacy as an option. In spite of knowing these, it is always safer to have a conversation with an expert in the matter and also educate yourselves about the laws related to surrogacy in the countries you dwell in. You might come to the decision of surrogacy easily or you could have some difficulty processing all these. While you don’t experience the pregnancy physically, emotionally, you can still be a part of it. The journey may seem stressful sometimes, but kudos to you guys! You have made the beautiful decision of embracing parenthood and once that precious bundle of joy is added to your family, you would be happier than ever!

 

December 24, 2020 |  read

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Breastfeeding and Surrogacy

Are you an intended mother planning to breastfeed your baby born through surrogacy? Here is your all-inclusive guide!

Breastfeeding is one of the most beautiful things a mother can do for her child. Often, intended mothers worry if they will miss out on this experience. Well, you don’t have to, mommies! You can breastfeed your baby even if they’re born through a surrogate mother, thanks to medical science! Here is your guide to everything you need to know about breastfeeding and surrogacy.

 

Common Issues

You can breastfeed your baby born through surrogacy, but there are a couple of common issues you might face in the process. One of them is production of breastmilk and  another is getting your baby to breastfeed. Since breastfeeding is a holistic experience and not just about nutrition, it is advised that intended mothers should know that it might not be possible for them to produce enough milk to fulfil the baby’s nutritional requirements. However, they can produce enough to experience the magic of breastfeeding through induced lactation.

 

How to Produce Milk?

There are two ways to produce milk. It can be produced by providing a combination of hormones to the intended mother or by mechanical stimulation of breasts.

Hormonal Treatment

The treatment starts much before the birth of the baby. Your doctor will first start the process by prescribing oral contraceptive (birth control) pills to you for a specified duration. Next, these pills would be stopped, and you will start receiving nutritional supplements and drugs which would help you with lactation. You will receive doses of estrogen and progesterone and a medication called Domperidone. Then you would be directed to pump milk with the help of electric pumps and your medications and pumping frequencies would be adjusted till your milk production level increases.

Mechanical Stimulation

Many women can produce milk only when there is mechanical (nipple) stimulation. This is mainly because milk producing hormones like prolactin and oxytocin are pituitary hormones and they can only be produced as a response to nipple stimulation (Singhal, 2020). This stimulation can be conducted by means of breast massages a few months before the baby is born, which can be followed by pumping milk with electric breast pumps for ten minutes. This will send a signal to your body to express milk and you can also observe drops of milk being expressed during initial days.

 

Getting Your Baby to Take the Breast

To habituate your baby to take your breast is one of the biggest challenges of breastfeeding and surrogacy. It is advised that you get him/her to start feeding from your breast soon after he/she is born. It is advised to not use artificial nipples and avoid bottles as much as you can to help him/her get used to breastfeeding. Whether you’re producing enough milk to feed or if you’re using products like Supplemental Nursing System (SNS), latching is important. You can use skin to skin contact to help your baby get used to you and thereby help them latch better to your breasts.

It is important that you speak to the doctor or lactation consultants at the hospital where your surrogate is delivering and let them know about your plans to breastfeed the baby. They would be able to guide you better and also make the necessary arrangements to help you start feeding as soon as possible.

 

Surrogate Mother’s Breast Milk

If as intended parents you want your baby to enjoy the benefits of breastmilk, but cannot, don’t want to or cannot afford the treatment for induced lactation, then you could always ask your surrogate. If they’re willing to, you can request them to pump breastmilk for your baby and deliver it to you. Although the surrogacy contract doesn’t require the surrogate mother to breastfeed, you can talk to her prior to signing the contract about this. If she is willing to do it, then you could include it in the contract. However there may be chances of you having to pay extra money to her for this. It is always good to have this conversation before signing the contract to avoid confusions in the future. (Breastfeeding and Surrogacy | Surrogate.com, n.d.)

 

Pros and Cons of Breastfeeding Your Baby Born through Surrogacy

Although motherhood is the same no matter how you become your child’s parent, breastfeeding your baby born through surrogacy would require a lot of patience and perseverance. At the same time, there are also benefits you and your baby could enjoy with breastfeeding.

Let’s discuss the benefits first

  • Breastmilk would help build your baby’s immune system.
  • You can create a bond with your baby via breastfeeding.
  • Mothers feel that breastfeeding is more convenient than formula or bottle feeding.

Let us take a look at the possible challenges

  • Babies would need to feed 10-12 times a day and it can get tiring for the intended mother as the process requires a lot of time and energy.
  • It can take a while for the intended mother to get used to or familiar with breastfeeding, especially if you are using Supplemental Nursing System.
  • Since intended mothers might not produce enough milk and would have to depend on SNS, it might become inconvenient to feed the baby in public places.

 

With this information, we are sure you will be able to make an informed decision about breastfeeding and surrogacy based on your own preferences. Make sure you inform your pediatrician about your feeding choices so that they can help you chart your baby’s diet accordingly. Reach out to members in our Community to discuss and learn from their experiences too!


 

March 12, 2021 |  read

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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.
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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