Managing a relationship with IPs in another state or country
Relationships in general can be complicated. Thinking about managing a relationship with intended parents who live in another state or country can be downright daunting. With today's technology though, forming a bond with IPs who do not live near you is very doable.
Some international IPs don't meet their surrogate until the birth of their child but that doesn't mean they haven't built a special relationship with their surrogate. I was particularly fascinated by an episode from the podcast Rough Translation titled "American Surrogate". Some international IPs don't speak any English so all conversations are done through translators or translating apps. This podcast had me in tears listening to the relationship the intended mother and surrogate were able to form even though they didn't speak the same language or live in the same country!
I have had a lot of conversations with surrogates that have IPs living out of state from them. They had no problem communicating with them. They Facetimed, emailed, texted, called and followed each other on social media. They would even Facetime during appointments so the IPs could feel a part of the process and the surrogate didn't feel alone. Sometimes the IPs would travel to one appointment such as the 20 week ultrasound. Nearly all of the IPs attended the birth of their child or arrived soon after if they were unable to get there in time for the actual birth.
If something comes up during the surrogacy journey that is making communication difficult, you can have your agency or a counselor sit down with all parties and work it out. It's a very intense journey, physically and emotionally, there is no shame in asking others for help.
During my first surrogacy journey, I lived in Montana and my intended parents lived in New York. We sent occasional texts and photos. I would record their son's heartbeat at appointments and send them the video after. Now that I have had one surrogacy journey and am entering my second journey, I have a lot I would do differently. One of those things is communication. I want to spend more time with them before the birth, even if it is just via Facetime. I have asked my current intended parents to Facetime during appointments so I am not alone during them. I also plan to reach out for support when I am having a hard time emotionally or physically.
You might start out with a plan of how much communication you want with your IPs and it might turn into the complete opposite. It's important to be open minded about changes throughout the process. This is likely something neither parties have ever been through so navigating it is a process. Make sure to communicate if you feel you need more support or if you need more space. Things will go a lot smoother if you all are willing to communicate.