Dear Honest Surrogate

There are so many layers to surrogacy that you sometimes forget about the nitty gritty stuff—the stuff that you didn’t think would be a concern until it actually happens and causes friction. So, it’s important to do your very best to consider all of the elements of this process and communicate your desires no matter how quirky they may seem.

Dear Honest Surrogate: I want to apply to be a gestational surrogate but I enjoy expressing myself through my hair. I usually change the color and style every few weeks. I have heard intended parents don't allow this. Can I still apply to be a surrogate? -Colorful Expression 

Dear Colorful: Some intended parents (IPs) prefer you refrain from coloring your hair during the pregnancy. Some IPs are less concerned and just ask you to refrain during the first trimester. They might also ask you to refrain from using certain hair care, skin care, and teeth whitening products during the pregnancy. If this is something that is really important to you, make sure the agency is aware of this when you apply so they can match you with intended parents who are open to your colorful expression. Keep expressing yourself! 

Dear Honest Surrogate: I have heard rumors that you are not allowed to have sex while you are a surrogate. I don't want to put myself or my husband through that. Is abstinence required to be a surrogate? If so, I'm out! -Out of Here

Dear Out of Here: It’s common for fertility clinics to ask you to abstain from sex for a certain amount of time, the average is 6 weeks but some IPs have asked their surrogate to refrain from sex for the entire surrogacy process. This is VERY rare. The fertility clinic asks you to abstain from sex for a certain period of time because they don’t want to risk the gestational carrier getting pregnant with her own baby. This has happened recently as you might have seen in the news where the surrogate was carrying a baby via IVF for another couple AND got pregnant with her own baby! This is very rare, but it can happen so better safe than sorry. You can express to your agency that you would like to work with IPs who only require abstinence during the time that the clinic requires it. 

Dear Honest Surrogate: I live 1000's of miles away from my extended family. We like to travel for certain holidays, weddings and funerals. I am worried that I will have to miss an important family event while I am a surrogate because of travel restrictions. Can I be matched with IPs that will let me travel throughout the entire process? -Family First

Dear Family: Flying while pregnant increases the risk of blood clots, so some intended parents ask their surrogate to refrain from air travel during the pregnancy. Health care providers usually advise women to not fly after 36 weeks gestation, so this is very common for IPs to ask. You might then think, "OK, I can drive to see my family." However, because the pre-birth order is done in the state where the surrogate resides, IPs might also ask you not leave the state at all after a certain week gestation. In rare cases they might ask you to stay in the state in which the pre-birth order (PBO) was made for the entire pregnancy, or even to stay within 50 miles of the nearest hospital in the state where the PBO was made. If the baby happens to be born in a state where the PBO was not made and surrogacy is illegal there, then it could be very difficult for the parents to get custody of THEIR child.

As with everything in surrogacy, be honest about what is important to you. We don't want to match you with someone who has completely different expectations of how the process will go. 

Amber Campanelli ~ The Honest Surrogate