Every relationship between surrogates, IPs and gestational children is unique. It’s up to the parties involved to decide what is right for them. Some may prefer to maintain a business/cordial relationship during the pregnancy with little to no contact once the baby is born. Others may become lifelong friends.
Talk to your IPs and your surrogacy agency to set and share expectations. Don’t try to guess what kind of relationship the IPs would like and don’t expect them to read your mind either. As with most facets of the surrogacy journey, open and honest communication is essential.
Studies have been conducted on the level of contact between surrogates and surrogacy families. While the level of contact varies, surrogates reported being satisfied with the level of contact they have. Most gestational surrogates do remain in contact, but for some it may be as infrequently as once or twice a year.
Don’t be surprised if things don’t go as planned. IPs who had every intention of staying in touch, may decide not to. They may be very busy the baby’s first few months and not know how to pick up the thread of the relationship again.
Contact may taper off over the years. While parents are forever grateful to their surrogates, many times their focus shifts from how the child came about to the daily tasks of raising a child. As a parent yourself, you know that you don’t dwell much on your pregnancy and childbirth experience once you are busy trying to get your seventh grader to do his homework.
What factors can make staying in touch challenging?
Distance. Where you and the family live can influence how closely you can remain in touch. But even if you are not close enough to visit in person, you can still exchange pictures and correspondence. Social media, email and video chat options have made it easier than ever to remain in contact.
Family. While the IPs may be grateful that you were able to carry their child, if their family was not supportive of their decision, they may find it more challenging to maintain a relationship with you.
Busyness. For surrogates who have worked with more than one family, you may decide that keeping in contact with multiple families is just too much on top of caring for your own family.
Emotional. For some IPs, contact with their gestational surrogate just serves as a painful reminder of their struggles with infertility. Try not to take it personally if they don’t feel comfortable continuing your relationship after the baby’s birth.
Are you considering becoming a gestational surrogate and want to learn more? Read our related posts, learn more about becoming a surrogate mother or just contact us. We’ll be happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about helping to create happy families.