The relationship between the intended parents and a surrogate mother is unique. They may start out as a stranger, but for nine months, they become family. This relationship takes a lot of time, energy, and finances for intended parents, so it’s essential to get to know your surrogate.
As parents look for a surrogate, they need to find someone who they connect with; someone they can trust; and someone who will always have the baby’s best interest in mind.
While your surrogate agency has already screened applicants, it’s vital that you get to know your surrogate personally. You’ll need to determine if she’s the right fit for your family. Remember, surrogacy is a partnership, and you’ll need to be comfortable having a relationship with her going forward.
1. Where Are You From?
Okay, so maybe not that exact question, but when you talk to your surrogate for the first time, pretend it’s the first date. Get to know her. The real her. Ask questions about where she’s from, about her family, her interests, and her values.
Take this time to get to know her personality. Can you see yourself working with her regularly? How will she want to communicate? Will her lifestyle promote a healthy pregnancy?
And remember, let this conversation flow naturally. She’ll want to get to know you as well.
2. Why Do You Want to Become a Surrogate?
For the most part, surrogates enjoy being pregnant and giving birth, but above all, they want to do what they can to help a family. This is why they are willing to do it for another couple. All surrogates have a story about how they came to be. Find out her story. It will help you appreciate her journey to becoming a surrogate mother.
But, if the conversation ends up being mostly about the financial side, this could be a red flag. If she seems unwilling to enter into a legal contract for any reason, you may want to find a different surrogate.
3. What About Your Family?
Is the surrogate married or does she have a family, it is important that she has the support of her loved ones. Does her husband support her decision to be a surrogate? Has she talked about it with her kids? While not directly involved, her family will be affected by this pregnancy.
Be careful that this arrangement won’t cause a divide in her personal life — that could cause a stressful pregnancy for both her and baby.
4. How Do You Handle Your Pregnancies?
Ask about her previous pregnancies. Was she sick? Did she need bed rest? Was the baby full term? While the Surrogacy Agency does a lot of background work, it’s crucial that you ask the agency questions that are important to you.
Here are a few you should ask through the agency:
- Will she take prenatal vitamins?
- How does she feel about getting a flu shot?
- Will she insist on drinking caffeine?
- Will she be able to travel for her appointments?
- Is she willing to talk to a counselor during the surrogacy process?
- How would she feel about carrying multiples? (Because we all know that’s always a possibility when doing IVF.)
- How involved does she want the intended parents to be? Would she like visits? Or to be left alone?
- Does she have health insurance that will cover a surrogacy pregnancy?
Next is the hard question: How would she feel about termination and selective reduction? Under what circumstances would these procedures be considered? I know, it’s not something we like to talk about, but it needs to be discussed, so no one is caught off guard in case something goes wrong. The agency should already know the surrogate’s stance on this but it is good to have reassurance that the surrogate will let you make the parenting decisions and that you’re on the same page.
Do some research on your own and think about the things that are important to you during pregnancy and then let the agency know.
5. Is She Willing to Pump?
There are many benefits of colostrum and breast milk for newborns. If this is important to you, you’ll need to discuss the surrogate’s willingness to pump after the birth of the baby. You can decide how long you’d like her to pump for if she is willing, but it is typically an extra $250 to $350 per week.
If pumping isn’t an option, there are ways for a woman to induce lactation without pregnancy. Or you can turn to donor milk or formula to feed your baby.
Surrogate Questions You Should Ask
Some of these surrogate questions may be uncomfortable to ask, but in this case, the agency is there to support you so that your partnership is open and full of honest communication. Get the awkward questions out now; before there is an actual baby involved.
And remember, we’re here for you. We know how overwhelming this process can be. That’s why we thoroughly screen our surrogates first. We’re confident in our surrogacy program and know that you will find the perfect surrogate for your family.