Some say that the most nerve racking part of the Surrogacy process is when you go to meet your potential IPs (Intended Parents) or potential Surrogate Mother for the first time. At this point you have gone through a long surrogate search and both parties have been given some information by the surrogacy agency regarding the potential match, read it, and decided whether or not you would like to meet face to face, or in International cases via Skype. It’s that pivotal moment when you are supposed to assess your feelings around each other and decide based on that meeting whether or not you feel comfortable with carrying or have your baby carried by this person. No pressure right? So how do you decide whether or not this match will work? And what if you decide it doesn’t? I’m going to suggest a few internal questions both IPs and Surrogates should ask themselves after the initial meeting to help decide if the match will work, and how to not loose hope if it won’t.
-Was the conversation easy?
Have you ever been to a party and met someone new that you just clicked with? The conversation flowed easily and jokes were made. It was a synchronized conversation where both people knew when to move to the next topic and seamlessly closed the conversation with an “It was so nice to meet you.” I think because both parties will be very nervous in that first meeting, and the stakes are higher than just a simple party conversation, that the atmosphere might be a little more anxious. When I met my intended parents for the first time, our conversation went as described above. We laughed, and talked about things we had in common, and then the conversation naturally shifted to the more serious aspects of why we were meeting. I talked about why I wanted to be a surrogate, they talked about why they wanted to be parents, and I began to think “This is going to work.”
-Will you feel comfortable talking to this person/people about personal topics?
Anyone who has every been pregnant can tell you that you learn way more about your body and its functions than you probably ever wanted to know, and if you had a spouse or partner through your pregnancy they probably learned more about your body and its functions than THEY ever wanted to know. Something that was very important to me as a surrogate was keeping my IPs informed of their baby and my pregnancy, so naturally when I was meeting my IPs for the first time, the thought crossed my mind “Would I feel comfortable talking to these people about my body, and having them at my Dr’s appointments?” This for me was a serious and very real decision I needed to make. I was essentially going to be an extension of my IM (Intended Mother), as I would be carrying her baby. My opinion was that she should be in the know of everything at every appointment that I would be in the know about. It was HER baby, and I was giving my body to this cause. Also remember that the both of you will (in most cases) be in the delivery room together. That’s about as personal as it gets people.
-Discuss how involved the two parties are willing to be with each other
One thing that is important to discuss before being matched is how often the both of you expect updates, and contact. It would be upsetting for a surrogate to expect her intended parents to be deeply involved in the pregnancy only to receive a few emails the entire 9 months, and it would be frustrating for IPs to feel that they are not getting enough information from their surrogate mother about their baby. These mutual understandings should be part of what helps you make your decision. Ask yourself “Are we both expecting the same thing from this pregnancy? Are we at an understanding on how much we wish to be in contact?” Sometimes the IPs and Surrogate Mother develop a very close friendship, and the communication shifts from a need to stay updated to simply friends having a conversation. For many IPs and Surrogates this is the desired outcome, but it is also ok to need your space and making sure there is an understanding is important.
I didn’t feel that the match will work….Now what?
This is a discouraging feeling, and we all want to be matched on that first go around so that we can all move forward in this amazing journey, but the reality is that sometimes the match just isn’t a good fit and thats good to discover now. Paying attention to your feelings and instincts is important, and if the meeting went well but you just don’t feel the match will work, it’s important to recognize those promptings, and say “No thank you.” Do not lose hope! Surrogate Alternatives, Inc. prides itself on its successful matching process and they are lovingly willing to help you find the perfect match to bring that waiting baby into the world. We at SAI are here for you, and will listen to your concerns when seeking a new match. Surrogacy is a beautiful thing, and our hope is for the journey to be as smooth and enjoyable as possible for all our clients.
Written by Corinne Oestreich
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