04 Aug Finding the Perfect Surrogate
The decision to use a surrogate comes more easily to some; for example, men who want to become fathers but need a gestational carrier to make that happen. For others, it is a more challenging decision because it means surrendering the dream of carrying their own baby. Once the decision is made, however, finding the perfect surrogate is essential.
Tips for Selecting the Surrogate for Your and Your Baby
The surrogate – or gestational carrier – joins your fertility journey, and that’s a sacred space to occupy. In addition to all of the physical, genetic, and psychological health-centric vetting that takes place while screening prospective surrogates, it is also important to choose a surrogate who resonates with you.
You need to have enough trust and mutual rapport that you feel comfortable weathering the highs and lows together, and that you can have the tough conversations with for the year or so that you’ll be nurturing your baby together.
1. Lean on your fertility center
Your fertility center should be your primary resource in finding the perfect surrogate. An experienced fertility center should have a wealth of information they can share with you as you navigate the selection process. Your physician, nurses, the staff, etc., know you and your diagnosis/needs and will have wise insights as to the type of person or the surrogate characteristics that may be most important for you moving forward.
2. Read about other surrogate experiences
The more you read about and familiarize yourself with others’ surrogate experiences, the more prepared you’ll be when selecting your own. We recently shared some of our favorite fertility blogs, one of which (Dreaming of Diapers) talks about the blogger’s personal experience.
RESOLVE’s page, Personal Stories: Surrogacy, is another space to read and learn more about the experience.
3. Work with an agency
Odds are your fertility center has a list of reputable surrogate agencies they trust in your area/state. There are multiple benefits to working with a surrogate agency. First and foremost, the surrogates offered by the agencies are professionally vetted, similar to egg donors, for physical health, records of previous, successful full-term pregnancies and deliveries, psychological health, support systems, etc.
Also, working with an agency ensures your legal and financial bases are covered, so you can focus on the personal work of interviewing prospects to choose the one who feels right to you.
4. Ask questions – and not just the easy ones
Let’s face it; meeting a prospective surrogate is not necessarily the most comfortable experience. It can feel emotional, shaky, tense, and nerve-wracking at the outset. It can make you feel insecure and out of your element – sort of like a blind date. However, the time you have to speak with one another and ask important questions is essential to feeling through the contractual writing and into one another’s hearts.
While emails and texts can be a good way to ease in and set things up, we highly recommend speaking via Skype, Facetime, Zoom or other video platforms, if you’re unable to meet in person. Written communication is simply not as authentic, personal, or direct as face-to-face conversation.
The following is a list of sample questions, and we encourage you to add your own, that are worth asking so you know where you stand:
- Why are you willing to carry a baby for nine months, go through labor and delivery, etc. for people you don’t know?
- Are you willing to pump for XX weeks/months for an additional fee?
- How do your family and friends feel about you doing this?
- Are we able to meet your spouse/partner and speak with him/her?
- What is your current work and childcare schedule?
- What is your pre-pregnancy and prenatal plan?
- Are you open to a multiple-embryo transfer?
- How do you feel about carrying twins or triplets?
- Are you open to terminating an embryo if genetic testing shows there are abnormalities and we choose not to move forward with the pregnancy?
- How often are you open to communicating and sharing information during and after the pregnancy?
Those are a sampling of the types of questions that should be asked and honestly answered. We guarantee that if you meet with multiple surrogates, and you spend the time and energy asking, listening, and communicating openly, you will know which surrogate is the perfect one for you and your family.
Are you planning to use a gestational carrier or surrogate as part of your fertility treatment plan? The team here at the Fertility Center of Dallas has vetted, surrogate connections throughout the Dallas and greater state of Texas. Contact us to schedule a consultation.