The Paved and Rocky Path of Surrogacy
Surrogacy can be a wonderful experience, but the journey requires both hard work and commitment. As a parent, it may be easy to think solely about the end result- holding your child in your arms. As a surrogate, it is easy to think solely of the incredible gift you will give to your Intended parents. But it’s important to consider all of the challenges and sacrifices that both parties will have to face to realize these special moments.
No two journeys are the same, and the path of the intended parents may differ largely from the path of the surrogates. Below are some of the common challenges that each surrogate and parent has had to face throughout their journey, along with resources and advice to keep in mind.
Challenges and Advice for Intended Parents
Giving control to someone else
If you’re an intended parent (IP) starting a surrogacy journey, this may be the first time you’ve ever had to give up a significant amount of control in their life. And that’s never easy. We sometimes compare it to letting someone else take the steering wheel: it can seem overwhelming and confusing, but you have to trust our team to do their work and what they have been trained many years to do. Each member of the ConceiveAbilities staff is a dedicated professional, committed to helping build your family.
What you can do about it: Talk to our team. Let us know what you are feeling. Engaging in an open dialogue is helpful in making sure your concerns are addressed. We are always willing to listen and ensure you feel supported and secure each step of the way.
Not knowing the outcome
Even with all the planning and technology in the world, nothing is certain. Surrogacy journeys take time, patience, and determination to achieve the desired result. In some cases, the delivery is not guaranteed. Similar to letting go and handing off control to the team, you have to trust the experience and work of our team. Our match managers and intake coordinators work together to ensure each match is well-prepared through the industry’s most rigorous screening processes.
We communicate directly with clinics, intended parents, gestational carriers, and egg/sperm donors to ensure all communication is transparent, up-to-date, and accurate, ensuring a more efficient and stress-free journey. Rest assured we have done our homework and will foster you through the process to the best of our professional training and experience.
What you can do about it: Don’t wait until the end of the process to celebrate the baby. Instead, celebrate small milestones and take each day at a time. This way, you can still acknowledge your excitement and happiness, without setting unrealistic expectations.
Significant financial commitment
It truly takes a village to undergo a surrogacy process, with assistance from various team members in law, medicine, fertility, as well as state-of-the-art IVF technology. It is not an inexpensive decision, and requires significant commitment, both emotionally and financially. Your money goes towards the agency, the clinic, the insurance fees, the IVF procedure fees, and more.
What you can do about it: Check your healthcare plan to see if surrogacy is covered. In some cases, it is covered under a pregnancy clause, and in other cases, surrogacy is specifically not applicable. If you need help financially, we can provide various insurance and healthcare coverage resources for you to consider. ConceiveAbilities partners with Prosper Healthcare Lending to offer surrogacy financing.
Challenges and Advice for Gestational Carriers
Friends and family not understanding your decision
Despite the progressive strides that surrogacy has made in the public consciousness, surrogacy remains taboo and stigmatized in various states and countries around the world. This becomes even more challenging with the amount of false or outdated information, and the confusion surrounding traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy.
What you can do about it: Educate your friends and family by sharing accurate and credible information. Ask questions about what their main concerns are. Finally, be patient, as it may take them time to come around and see things from a different point of view.
Lack of freedom in your choices
As a surrogate (and as with most pregnancies), you are limited in what you can do. While you can still exercise, go to work, and do most of the same things you did before the journey, it’s generally recommended you don’t overwork yourself or your body. This might mean postponing a trip to Europe, doing lighter/less sets in your workout, and maintaining a healthy, low-mercury diet.
What you can do about it: Plan ahead. Make sure to let your coworkers, friends, and family know that you will be undertaking a surrogacy journey and will require some time to rest, and that you need to avoid busy body work and certain seafood.
The End of the Journey
The final stages of the pregnancy and the childbirth delivery can involve bittersweet moments, as you and the intended parents welcome a new baby into the world.
On the one hand, the happiness and gratitude expressed by the parents is unlike any display of emotion you may have seen- it is pure and full of love. On the other hand, it may be somewhat melancholy to be finally reaching the end of the journey. In our experience of working with gestational carriers, we often hear how it’s more of a nostalgia for the journey of being a surrogate and having been pregnant. It’s no surprise that we have repeat surrogates from time to time: some women enjoy the experience of being pregnant and want to help others at the same time.
What you can do about it: In some cases, the parents won’t mind staying in touch with the surrogate. This is an important conversation to have with the intended parents, in order to see if you’ll be allowed to keep in contact and get updates from the family. In addition, don’t forget to journal your feelings. For some surrogates, the end of the journey is just a calling to the start of another one, and it can be helpful to have a collection of your emotions throughout the process to look back on.
Finding out more
Surrogacy is a complicated yet beautiful journey that can lead to a few questions and confusions. Luckily, we are here to help. Check out a few of our additional posts for some more information on the process and journey.
To find out more about preparing financially, read our post, Preparing for the Cost of Surrogacy.
To find out more about the breakdown of the specific costs that go into the process, read our page on Surrogacy Cost.
For more news, guides, and information on the surrogacy journey, visit our blog for more information.