As Intended Parents, or as a hopeful surrogate yourself, you may have a certain understanding of the surrogacy journey. You may have assumptions, based on theory or anecdotes, about what a surrogate experiences.
What is the surrogate’s point of view?
This post will answer several commonly asked questions regarding surrogacy - as told by real surrogates.
“It was a little more surprising than I thought. A lot of my friends were supportive. My parents were not. My mom was really concerned something would go wrong. My past IM (intended mother) was diagnosed with cancer right before we did the transfer, so my mom was really concerned if something happened to her, or something happened to the baby, or something happened to me, but I think it was just her being a mom. She was a lot more vocal about it than I expected her to be, so that was kind of hard. But she came around by the end of it, and this time she’s totally on board and super excited. She asks me all these questions all the time.”
“My dad didn’t really care- he’s just a dad. He was like, “okay whatever you want.” My brother was totally grossed out by it, but he still supports my decisions. Other than that everyone’s super supportive.”
Surrogacy is quickly becoming more accepted, but there are still detractors who are unfamiliar with the practice. Many surrogates are initially surprised when their decision to start a journey is not always welcomed or accepted by loved ones. Parents, spouses, even best friends may voice concerns. In the end, the decision is with the surrogate. As long as she is resolute, loved ones will ultimately respect her decisions and support her..
“It was amazing. It was beautiful. It was heartbreaking. It was empowering. It was humbling. It was flawed. It was perfect... I’m just afraid I won’t be able to put the correct words together to adequately describe the birth and how it was for me.”
- Dana, writer of Return to Senders.
How can one accurately share the experience of carrying someone else’s child, the highs and lows with each week, and the final moment of delivering the baby? How can a few words capture those private, intimate moments?
No one can answer that for sure. But there are blogs worth visiting that outline a surrogate’s journey. You can find our list in the additional resources section below.
Because the surrogate’s role in the match process is to carry and deliver the family’s child, parents sometimes voice concerns that the surrogate might become too attached and change her mind.
“We do not, in any way, shape, or form consider this our baby. We are very aware from the get-go that this is your baby. And we're happy about that. Think about it this way, a surrogate is very capable of having her own children. If she wanted to have a baby, it's a fairly simple process. We would certainly choose to have our own baby if having one was what we desired.”
- Jeni, from Love Makes A Family, a blog about surrogate journeys.
The truth is that surrogates are not interested in keeping the baby. They understand that the baby does not belong to them. Before each match, we conduct psychological evaluations to look at each surrogate’s motivation, assess for coercion, and ensure they are highly qualified. We only want to match surrogates with intended parents that we would trust with our own children.
“I am literally the HAPPIEST person alive in part because 3 parents, 5 grandparents and many cousins, aunts, godparents, and friends are living in a brighter world. I am happy to say my life is richer and my horizons are broader because of 2 remarkable families. I am content to move on from this era of my life knowing I have fulfilled one of my callings, to help create a family (or two) by way of surrogacy.”
- Melissa, Life. Love. Surrogacy., a surrogate’s personal blog.
Like all women after childbirth, the surrogate may have feelings of postpartum melancholy, which can last from a few days or weeks to a several months. After all, it can feel strange to deliver a baby, experience the physical symptoms of delivery, and then return home without the baby. However, most surrogates are blue because the experience is over, not because they are no longer with the baby. The general feeling is one of joy and hope of having shared life with another family.
Besides reading the news on surrogacy, or talking to your friends and family, it’s important to also seek first-hand accounts of the surrogate journey from gestational carriers themselves. Surrogacy is such a special adventure, and the only way to learn about it is straight from the source.
For other blogs written by surrogates, read these:
To read more of our interview with our own star surrogate, Leslie Mattern, click here.
Finally, make sure you’re up to date with our blogs about the latest on surrogacy.
All Things Conceivable is a blog dedicated to sharing the knowledge and expert opinions of the dedicated team at ConceiveAbilities, a Chicago-based egg donation and surrogacy agency.