A surrogacy journey is traveled by both the surrogate and the intended parents. It’s a partnership that requires agreement, mutual understanding, and respect from your intended parents. The very fabric of the relationship between the two parties defines how the entire journey would go. All of this starts when you, as the surrogate mother, and the intended parents meet for the first time.
If the first meeting gives you the right vibes, then you’ll know this is the right partnership to go with. However, this partnership is like none other and it’s important that you get a good idea about what the people on the other side are like. The first conversation is where you get to learn about their story, values, goals, and expectations.
Breaking the Ice
It’s natural that both of you and the intended parents are nervous when meeting for the first time. It’s best that you start by asking easier questions that they are comfortable answering. It doesn’t need to be deep, emotional questions but they can reveal things about them that can help you form a connection. Here are some examples:
- What is your family like at the moment?
- What motivated you to pursue surrogacy?
- What part of this process excites you the most?
- What kind of values do you want to pass down to your child?
- What part of the surrogacy journey are you most concerned about?
These are the questions that can make you both feel comfortable with each other and allow moving into deeper conversations.
Share Your Story As Well
Learning what led them to their decision is a good way to open the discussion. Once you know their story, you can share a bit about your side of the story to help them get familiar with you. Knowing what motivated you to become a surrogate, your values, and your family’s side will help them get comfortable sharing more information with you.
What Kind of Relationship Do They Expect During the Journey?
Every intended parent has their own desires and preferences. You should know what level of communication and relationship they are expecting. This is the part that defines how and how much they will be involved in the journey.
- Will they attend all doctor appointments or just the ultrasounds?
- If they are living abroad, will they participate via Skype/FaceTime/Zoom?
- How often do they want to speak to you and what’s the preferred medium?
- How often do they want to meet?
Talk About the Birth
You should find out what are the intended parents’ preferences regarding delivery and birth. This is important as this matter will also be mentioned in your surrogacy contract.
- Are they comfortable with your husband being in the delivery room?
- Are they comfortable with your children meeting the baby?
- What about your other family members being there?
- When will they arrive before the birth?
Discussing these details is very important to ensure that there are no surprises in the future.
What Happens After the Birth?
Ask your intended parents what kind of relationship they would prefer after the baby is born.
- Are you going to be in touch regularly?
- Will they tell the child he/she was born via surrogacy?
- Do they want their child to know you are the surrogate?
- If yes, then how well do they want the baby to know you?
- Will they send occasional updates to you about the baby?
- Can you talk to the baby sometimes?
Some surrogates and intended parents form a family-like bond whereas others keep it very professional and stay in occasional contact.
Talk Over the Sensitive Topics
Surrogacy is a medical process and in this case, you will be carrying a pregnancy which is an intimate experience itself. It’s important that both you and the hopeful parents discuss sensitive topics and preferences. These may feel a bit uncomfortable at first but you will be grateful you had these matters resolved before moving forward.
- How many IVF cycles are they planning to attempt?
- What’s their view about multiples?
- What happens if the embryo splits and you conceive multiples?
- How many embryos do you want to transfer at a time?
- What are their views about selective reduction?
- What are their thoughts on termination?
- Do they have any dietary/lifestyle preferences that they want you to follow?
Other Questions to Ask Your Intended Parents
The conversation doesn’t need to go all formal. Ask questions about each other’s life, background, and other casual questions. For example:
- What are their interests and hobbies?
- Any particular family traditions worth mentioning?
- What are their values and what things are important to you?
- How soon do they want to begin the surrogacy process?
- Are they going to use their own sperm, egg, and embryo, or will a donor’s?
- Do they have any surrogacy, legal or medical professionals in mind to complete this process?
- Are they willing to get to know about your partner and family?
- What about their extended family and if they are supportive?
- Are they open about the surrogacy journey with their friends?
- Are they ok with you sharing the surrogacy journey with your friends?
- What is their view on you sharing the surrogacy journey over social media?
- What are their thoughts on pregnancy termination and selective reduction?
- What will they ask of me during the pregnancy?
- How do they plan to be involved in this journey?
- What are they most looking forward to about being parents?
- How did they meet?
- What do the parents like best about each other?
- What do they do for a living?
- What do they want to know about me as a prospective surrogate?
- Would they like you to pump breast milk for the baby after birth?
- What kind of education are they planning for the baby?
- Do they want to have more children? If yes, then are they willing to go for another round of surrogacy or adoption?
A Few More Tips for the First Meeting Meeting
- Sit down with your partner or support person and think of questions you have and what you want to accomplish during the call.
- Try to avoid sounding like you are giving instructions and demanding things.
- Try not to sound like you are interrogating them.
- This is also their first time meeting you so they will have a lot of questions for you as well. Be patient and talk freely.
- It’s best that you discuss your hopes and expectations for the entire journey.
- Avoid discussing financial matters as it may make both of you uncomfortable. The topic is best left for the professionals to handle.
- Don’t stress it out. It’s just another conversation so let it flow.
- Be yourself. That’s the best way to remain comfortable.
The first meeting is as important and exciting for you as it is for the intended parents. It is the perfect opportunity for both of you to get to know each other. Preparing yourself for the meeting and knowing what questions you should ask is a good idea. Make sure to discuss the basic matters as well as the sensitive topics.
Once you feel that the intended parents are the right kind of persons you connect with, embark on an amazing journey together!