Surrogacy can be immensely rewarding for many women who choose to be surrogates. Giving the joy of a newborn child to a couple who were unable to conceive on their own is a priceless gift of immeasurable value. Any pregnancy can be an emotional journey with highs and lows. However, surrogacy, whether gestational or traditional, comes with its own emotional hurdles. While every surrogacy experience is unique, it can be helpful to understand what to expect.
Women who decide to become surrogates must first apply through a surrogate agency. The application includes a detailed screening process, which will determine whether you are physically and emotionally ready for the surrogacy experience. During this time, you might ask yourself:
- Will I be prepared to be pregnant with someone else’s child?
- Will I be able to commit to the lifestyle required to carry out a healthy pregnancy when it isn’t my child?
If you believe surrogacy is right for you, you’ll then need to decide if you would prefer gestational surrogacy or traditional surrogacy. Gestational surrogacy includes carrying and delivering a child who has no biological genes of the surrogate. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate provides the egg used for conception and carries out the pregnancy for another couple. Your preference will play a part in matching you with the intended parents.
The next part of the process includes additional medical screening and legal contract review. Once approved, you will attend monitoring appointments to determine when your body is ready for embryo transfer.
When you become pregnant, you are an important part of a hopeful couple’s journey to parenthood. You experience the shared joy and excitement that comes with conceiving. Prospective or first-time surrogates may be worried that they will form an emotional attachment to the baby they’re carrying. Others may be concerned about their lack of emotional attachment. Everyone’s surrogacy experience is different.
Surrogates may still feel the emotional ups and downs of hormonal fluctuations common with pregnancy. But, many surrogates find they are better at managing their emotions because they have not bonded with the child in the same way. Often, mothers-to-be struggle with their emotions because of fears that they won’t be a good parent, won’t know how to parent, or don’t know how the child will behave. Since surrogates do not have to worry about the challenges that come with raising a child, they may be better able to separate their feelings for the child they’re carrying from feelings they have for their child. Some even choose to view their pregnancy as “babysitting.” Establishing a bond with the intended parents can help ease the transition both for you and the baby.
Even if you feel comfortable with surrogacy, there may be times when you have conflicted feelings due to hormone fluctuations. While you can’t control your hormone changes, the feelings can be disorienting, so speaking to someone you trust, whether that includes a surrogacy professional, trusted friend or family member, or therapist can help.
Many surrogates feel excited for the intended parents after the baby is born. However, everyone is different. If you find yourself needing support post-birth, do not be ashamed to reach out to your surrogacy support team. Pregnancy is a difficult but incredibly rewarding experience and giving another couple a chance to raise a child of their own is honorable. Seeing the intended parents’ happiness when they meet their baby for the first time is a moment you will never forget.
We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to experience the unique happiness of raising a child. Our core mission is to guide couples every step of the way to create a treatment plan tailored to their unique situation. We offer a wide range of services that cater to every woman no matter where they are in life at the moment. Learn more.