Dear Honest Surrogate
Complex relationships emerge during a surrogacy journey. Some of these relationships travel uncharted territory as surrogate and intended parents (IPs) get to know each other. Neither of them were ever “trained” to navigate a relationship like this before. It can be confusing at times and there aren’t a lot of people who have been through this before to turn to for advice. I have received a couple of questions regarding relationships during surrogacy that I’ll answer below.
[Your husband is] a huge part of the surrogacy journey and you need his support throughout it.
Dear Honest Surrogate:
My husband is worried that there will be too much stress on our relationship if I become a surrogate. How do I get him on board and ease his worries about our relationship?
— Worried Husband
That’s a common concern among the partners of surrogates. Counseling before, during, and after the surrogacy journey, or as needed, is very helpful. You can sit down with your husband before you start your journey and make a plan of what you can do to make sure you stay well connected during the journey. Put date nights on your calendar ahead of time so you know you’ll have those nights just to yourselves to reconnect. Go with your husband to a surrogacy meet up so that he can get to know others who have done it. Make sure your husband knows that he can be as involved as he wants to be in the process. He can go to all of your appointments, meetings with the IPs, and the birth. He’s a huge part of the surrogacy journey and you need his support throughout it. In my own personal journey I ended up spending more time with my husband than before surrogacy! It brought us closer to go through something so amazing together.
It's important to discuss how much contact both parties would like.
Dear Honest Surrogate:
I will be meeting my intended parents in person for the first time at the birth (if they make it on time). How do you recommend developing a relationship when they live so far away?
— Overseas IPs
I am in awe of your dedication to give someone a child even when you have never met them in person! Technology makes things SO much easier these days. You can video chat during every appointment if you want. You can text, call, email, follow each other on social media...the list goes on. It's important to discuss how much contact both parties would like. If you both agree on lots of contact, then reach out whenever you want support. They will appreciate hearing from you because they probably crave a connection just as much as you do.
Communication, communication, communication. I repeat this almost every blog post and “Ask Amber” video. The surrogacy process can be emotionally and physically challenging. Communicating your feelings during this time can make things so much easier. People can’t support you if they don’t know how you need to be supported. Just talk. Let each other know how you are feeling, ask questions, be honest. If you are having a hard time communicating, set up a counseling appointment. Some counselors will even do a video chat session if you want to do a session with the IPs and distance is a problem.