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  • Writer's pictureJanene Oleaga, Esq.

3 Things Surrogates Want Intended Parents to Know

Since March is Surrogacy Awareness Month, there is no better time to hear from surrogates themselves! I interviewed several surrogates to ask about their experiences and share what they wanted hopeful intended parents to know most.

#1. We are just as nervous about matching as you are!

How was the process of connecting with the Intended Parents before, during, and after your pregnancy?

“The first meeting was a mixture of excitement and nervousness. Will they like me? Will I like them? Are they ‘the ones’? I can't speak for all surrogates, but I think many would agree that we (surrogates) also put a lot of thought and intention into this endeavor. The application process is lengthy, and comes with the growth of our own hopes and expectations about the experience. So to some degree, we too come to that first meeting with hopes and nerves. For me, having some questions written down ahead of time helped ease some of the nervousness. As the conversation went on though, it became a much more relaxed chat. I suppose when a match is right, that positive vibe will help the nervousness melt away.

As we progressed together in the process, our relationship grew. It can be a bit of a slow burn at first, especially when the timing of appointments are spread out. At times early on, I remember worrying I wouldn't be as bonded with the intended parents as I thought initially. As someone who wanted that connection, it concerned me. I sometimes wondered if they were intentionally keeping me at a bit of a distance, in case things didn't work out after medical screening, or based on whatever previous experiences they had had coming to this point. I later learned I needed to just trust the process! As appointments became more frequent, we were speaking more often, and the rest of our relationship development naturally followed. Ultimately we became as close as I had hoped, and realized I had had nothing to worry about. Around appointments I was always most excited to get to send them updates and/or ultrasound pictures. It felt like we were celebrating milestones together. ” - Anonymous

What thoughts did you have when given a match with the Intended Parents?

“I was excited and scared. I had so much support by family and medical staff. This was a first experience, so I didn't really know all that it entailed. My biggest fear throughout the process was having an unhealthy child. I learned as I carried that this baby was highly monitored and between labs and imaging, it helped put this fear to rest.” - Anonymous

“As much as I have always wanted to be a surrogate, I was quite nervous to start my first journey. As an OBGYN Nurse I have seen many experiences end badly, so I knew right away that the match would have to be a couple that I bonded with right away.  [They] were that couple.  I do have to say that I always thought that I would end up doing this for a couple who couldn't have children due to illness (specifically cancer as I had dealt with a similar diagnosis several years back) but when I met them for the first time, I knew it would work.  They were so laid back with such a great sense of humor and amazing positive attitude.  We would zoom at least one or two times a week, which to me, seemed like a good balance.  They came to visit a couple of times but with COVID, it was difficult.  Since [the baby] was born, we have visited on several occasions and have had a blast.” - Anonymous

#2. We became surrogates because we want to help other people.

What reasons motivated you to become a Surrogate?

My biggest motivation for surrogacy was to help people who I knew deserved to have a family despite circumstances that made it impossible.  I am a breast cancer survivor and I knew what it felt like to be told "you may never be able to conceive."  This truly was some of the worst news of my life.  When I was able to continue on creating a family, I just knew that I wanted to help use my fertility to benefit others who may not have been as fortunate as me or just couldn't possibly have children of their own.” - JJ

“Being able to give a great family the opportunity to be parents.” - Anonymous

"I wanted to help people become parents. I was lucky enough to have healthy pregnancies so I knew I could do this. I can't imagine a life without my kids."

What were some of your favorite parts of being a Surrogate?

Oh my goodness, so many! The inherent happiness that comes from doing something good for someone else, and in this case in a BIG way. Teaching my kids about love and acceptance for LGBTQ+ families and their paths to parenthood. Gaining close friends who feel like a chosen family. Financially providing for my family in a way I wouldn't have been able to otherwise. Getting to experience pregnancy again (if you're into that, which I think many surrogate applicants are), but actually getting to recover right away, without having to balance the needs of a newborn.” - JJ

“There were so many positive aspects of surrogacy for me.  We met an amazing couple, my kids were a huge part of the process, and they, along with myself, learned a lot about helping other people.  Giving the gift of life was a life changing experience that I will never forget.” - JS

The best part for me was the couple weeks before delivery through the first weeks after birth. I had international IPs, so finally getting to spend time together in person was so fun. I loved introducing them to my family (in person), making them feel welcome and showing them some of my favorite places near the area where we live. That special period of time solidified that feeling of them becoming extended family. I will always cherish my memories of that time together. After the family returned home, we stayed in contact. While we don't talk as frequently as we did at points during the pregnancy, the bond is still there. They send me photos and updates periodically, and I am always thrilled to receive them. It warms my heart to see the joy in their faces, along with the joy it brings their family and friends who also welcome this new child to their lives.” - JJ

#3. Each surrogacy journey is unique and special.

What surprised you about the Surrogacy process?

I didn't realize how bonded I would become with the family. I would have been happy to be a surrogate just for the sake of doing a good thing for someone else, but I didn't expect to feel like they were now part of my chosen family. I am so happy that it became the case! The whole experience was even more beautiful than I imagined it could be. And, our continued relationship has only expanded those feelings of love and gratitude for coming into each other's lives.” - Anonymous

"I was surprised at how quickly I recovered after delivering my surrobabe than with my own two children." - AS

"I guess I didn't expect to bind with the baby the way I did. Not in a way that people expect - I never wanted to be the baby's mother. I just wasn't prepared to love a baby so much and be so excited for my intended parents to meet their baby. It's a feeling I never experienced until I became a surrogate." - Anonymous

All responses are shared with permission.

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