When you watch a family member struggle with infertility, you may wonder how you can help. If you’ve had successful pregnancies of your own, you might consider offering to be a surrogate. Is that a good idea or something to be avoided?
Surrogacy brings complicated emotions. Think hard about the implications, commitment and the impact it could have on your relationship. Consider these tips to help you identify and address any concerns you or the intended parents may have.
Talk to a therapist
It will be helpful for you to have a neutral third party to discuss your thoughts, questions and concerns with. You’ll have understandable emotions along the way and it will be productive to have someone to work through them with. Your therapist can help you develop coping strategies to get through difficult times, remind you of your end goal and be the voice of reason when hormones get the best of you.
Make it legal
You may think because you are family you don’t need a contract, but on the contrary. Your relationship is why you need a contract. It will help you to keep the business of surrogacy separate from your relationship. By getting the details down on paper, you prevent disagreements that can lead to awkwardness in the family. A lawyer who is familiar with surrogacy will know the expenses associated with your surrogacy and can help figure out who is responsible to pay expenses, who will provide insurance and discuss other financial details you may not have considered.
They will also know state laws and factors you need to discuss such as how many embryos will be implanted, if you are willing to carry multiples and how you feel about selective reduction.
Don’t let questions or resentments pile up. Keep in close contact throughout the entire process. You’re at the beginning of a lifelong partnership. It’s as important to nurture that relationship as it is to nurture your growing pregnancy. There are elements that will be scary for each of you and a lot of “outsiders” won’t understand what you are going through. Lean on each other and share your fears, hopes, and concerns.
Work with a surrogacy agency
You may think you don’t need an agency. Aren’t they just for finding a surrogate? That’s one of the most important aspects of gestational surrogacy they handle, but they have so much more to offer. The process is complex and there are many steps you may not have thought of. A surrogacy agency can recommend an attorney that specializes in reproductive law, a reproductive endocrinologist or fertility specialist who’s accustomed to working with surrogates. They can even recommend obstetricians and midwives to help you in your journey.
In typical gestational surrogate/intended parent relationships, exposure to each other is limited. But when you’re family, you may spend a great deal of time together. It’s important you set up some ground rules. If not, you could end up at a family picnic with your intended parents questioning why you’re eating a brownie instead of salad. Keep your surrogate and family relationships separate.
Despite your relationship, it is best to approach surrogacy with a family member as a contractual relationship, separate from your family relationship. This is in your best interest and the best interest of your family and the baby. If you have any questions on the surrogacy process, do not hesitate to contact Surrogate Solutions today!
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