intended parents meeting with a surrogate agency

Before embarking on the life-changing blessing that is surrogacy, it’s crucial for all parties to make sure they’ve done their thorough research, and understand all the ramifications of such a substantial commitment. Not only is it important to establish clear communication early on, but surrogate mothers specifically should have a deep understanding of the process, since they will be dedicating up to a year of their life in order to help bring a miracle baby into the world. 

Prior to starting the gestational journey, surrogacy candidates prepare a series of questions to pose not only to their surrogacy agency, but the intended parents as well. This is essential to ensure a mutual understanding of aligned expectations and values before making a commitment to the surrogacy process. Follow along as we outline the most pertinent questions to ask, and how this may shape and support the relationship between surrogate mothers and their intended parents. 

Getting to Know the Intended Parents

When it’s time for surrogates and their matched intended parents to finally meet, it’s an important opportunity to start the interview with a low-stress approach, and focus on getting to know each other first. After all, the lives of both parties will be intertwined for the entire gestation period, as well as prior and sometimes beyond, and so getting to know the basic familiarities of one another is key. Building a family together is a commitment, which is why it’s important to establish a personal relationship from the beginning. Here are some questions surrogates should use to break the ice at the first meeting:

  • What drew you to surrogacy?
  • How did you meet and what is your love story? (If speaking with a couple)
  • Can you share a bit about your family background?
  • What things do you enjoy doing together?
  • What are your values? What is important to you?
  • How would you describe your parenting philosophy?

This is also the appropriate time to share why you as a surrogate mother have chosen to take on the role, and conversely, a chance to learn how the intended parents decided on surrogacy as the best option for expanding their family. Here are some questions to ask about their surrogacy journey so far:

  • How did you decide on surrogacy as your path to parenthood?
  • What are your expectations with surrogacy?
  • Have you encountered any challenges in your fertility journey that you feel comfortable discussing?
  • What are you most excited about in regards to pursuing surrogacy?
  • Do you want a sibling journey if this surrogacy journey goes well?

 

Establishing a foundation of trust and understanding sets the tone for a positive surrogacy experience. By delving into the intended parents’ motivations and challenges, the surrogate gains insight into the emotional aspects of their journey, encouraging empathy and a deeper connection. This preliminary interview should also allow for everyone involved to become more familiar, and can offer a glimpse into whether it’s an appropriate match all around.

Finding Out the Intended Parents’ Expectations and Preferences 

Understanding the expectations and preferences of intended parents is fundamental to a successful surrogacy partnership. Complete honesty is needed before agreeing to commit, so that there is no future misunderstanding regarding what both parties are expecting. These questions delve into the specifics of their desires and requirements:

  • What are your expectations for the surrogacy process?
  • Are there specific preferences or requirements you have for the surrogate mother?
  • How involved would you like to be during the pregnancy and prenatal care?
    • Ask about specifics regarding prenatal appointments, birth plan, presence at birth, and possible pumping for breast milk arrangements
  • Are there specific cultural or personal preferences you would like to incorporate into the surrogacy experience?

Full transparency about expectations and preferences is essential to avoid future misunderstandings. Knowing the intended parents’ desires helps the surrogate align her commitment with their needs, ensuring a smoother and more satisfying surrogacy experience.

Agreeing on a Mutual Relationship with the Intended Parents 

Having aligned visions of what the surrogate/intended parent relationship will look like is of utmost importance to the harmony of the whole surrogacy process. The establishing of mutually agreed upon relationship dynamics will help forge a clear path of what communication will look like on both sides. This goes beyond the practicalities of surrogacy and delves into the emotional aspects. Here are some questions to help facilitate this discussion:

  • What kind of relationship do you envision having during the surrogacy journey?
    • Here is the proper moment to determine whether the intended parents prefer a very in-depth and intertwined experience, or whether they prefer a more hands-off approach.
  • How involved would you like to be with significant milestones during the pregnancy?
  • What level of communication and involvement do you feel comfortable with?
    • This is a good place to explore how open both parties are willing to be in each others’ lives. Some prefer to immerse each others’ entire families in the process, and some prefer a more professional, transactional approach. It’s important to find a comfortable conclusion for all.

Agreeing upon the nature and intensity of the surrogate/parent relationship sets the tone for the entirety of the experience. It ensures that both parties are on the same page regarding emotional support, involvement, and frequency of contact, helping set a precedent for a healthy and supportive environment. After such a beautiful and emotional journey, many surrogates and intended parents maintain a life-long connection, often continuing to keep in touch well after the arrival of their sweet miracle baby. 

This is also a great time to ask whether the intended parents would want to observe any milestone events, such as a gender reveal, a baby shower, or a maternity photoshoot. The gift of surrogacy is one of the most beautiful and selfless acts, that concludes with the arrival of a blessed baby – so it’s crucial that both the surrogate and the intended parents are able to celebrate this blessing accordingly.

Clarifying Communication Styles and Setting Boundaries 

A mutual relationship between both parties stands on the foundation of thorough, transparent, and effective communication. An open and welcoming channel for relaying information and the establishment of clearly defined boundaries are paramount in any surrogacy arrangement. This set of questions focuses on ensuring a pleasant partnership by addressing communication preferences and any necessary boundaries:

  • How would you prefer to communicate during the surrogacy process?
    • Here, ask specifics regarding the use of texts, phone calls, emails, etc. Since social media is also now a prevalent source of communication, ask whether the parents would like to utilize it to engage in messaging, or whether that is a boundary they would prefer not to broach.
  • Are there specific boundaries or limitations you would like to establish?
    • As mentioned in the previous section, there are some parents that prefer a more professional surrogacy experience, therefore clarifying boundaries ahead of time may be high on their priority list. 
  • What is your preferred method of resolving potential conflicts or disagreements?

These questions specifically will help avoid any potential unpleasantries in the future. Surrogacy by nature can be a challenging and highly emotional endeavor, so being open with communication preferences ahead of time, can guide both parties to a mutually beneficial and successful journey.  

Establishing Medical Protocol During the Surrogacy Journey 

In order for surrogacy to come to fruition, a series of IVF procedures must take place, first with the creation of embryos, followed by an embryo transfer into the gestational carrier. Since first transfers aren’t alway successful, and often multiple embryos may wish to be transferred, it’s vital to have a clean and established medical protocol for all procedures leading up to the pregnancy, as well as any routine medical care during the actual surrogacy. This set of questions delves into the medical protocols and expectations for a healthy pregnancy:

  • How many embryo transfers would you like to attempt?
  • How many embryos would you like included in each transfer?
  • Is a multiples pregnancy a goal or preference 
    • The questions pertaining to embryo transfers are incredibly essential to ask, as with every attempted transfer there are pre-testing visits, prescribed medications, as well as the actual transfer itself. As a surrogate, it’s important to be prepared, and to know what the intended parents plan to pursue.
  • What medical procedures and tests should I expect during the surrogacy process?
    • This is another point of needed discussion, and usually the surrogate agency is able to assist. There are times where outside of the routine protocol (such as pre-testing, embryo transfer, and gestational monitoring), additional procedures may be needed. These might include a mock cycle, hysteroscopy, amniocentesis, genetic testing, and other various tests.  
  • How often will medical check-ups be scheduled, and what is your preferred level of involvement?
  • Are there any specific health-related requirements during the pregnancy?
    • This is usually in addition to the already stipulated surrogacy requirements that are needed for approval, and it’s best to clear any such additional requests prior to starting.
  • What are your thoughts on the selective reduction or termination of pregnancy –  in the case of medical complications, or otherwise?
    • This is probably one of the most important factors to discuss prior to agreeing to proceed with a surrogate pregnancy, as there have been entire legal battles that have resulted because of this very divisive, and often emotional, topic. It is absolutely imperative that any stipulations on termination protocol is included in the surrogacy contract, in order to avoid any future disagreements – and potential legal challenges. For the record, Surrogacy by Faith does not support pregnancy termination, and will ensure that any surrogate that the intended parents choose will share those same values.

What Are the Details of the Legal Contract and Financial Reimbursement?

Along with inquiries about medical protocols, questions regarding the legal and financial details of the surrogacy process, are some of the most vital to discuss. They require meticulous attention and thorough vetting in order to avoid complications in the future. This set of questions focuses on clarifying the legal and financial framework of the surrogacy arrangement:

  • What legal steps are involved in the surrogacy process, and how will they be managed?
    • This can also be directed towards the surrogacy agency, as they will be essential guides for all legal and financial matters between the surrogate and the intended parents. 
  • What are the financial responsibilities and arrangements for both parties?
  • Are there any specific legal or financial concerns you would like to discuss or clarify?
  • What are some non-negotiables that are to be included in the surrogate contract?
    • The surrogate contract is a vital, legally-binding agreement that outlines everything from surrogate compensation to the conception plan to establishing parental rights and custody, so it’s imperative to discuss any non-negotiables each party wants to include in its contents.
  • What will the surrogate compensation be, and what will it entail?
    • This should outline the surrogate base salary, benefits package, any applicable bonuses, as well as extra expenditures and reimbursements

 

Although reviewing legal and financial aspects are certainly not the highlight of most conversations, in the case of bringing a human life into the world, they are exceptionally necessary for the protection of everyone involved. After all, ensuring that all the technicalities are squared away and agreed upon prior to starting the process, makes for a more successful – and enjoyable – experience across the board. 

What Role Will Surrogacy Play in Family Dynamics?

Surrogacy inevitably not only impacts the surrogate and the intended parents, but also their immediate families as well. Surrogacy is a huge undertaking and a vast commitment on both sides, so discussing the expectations for family dynamics this early on is crucial for a well-rounded understanding. These questions explore how surrogacy fits into the broader family context:

  • How do you envision explaining the surrogacy journey to your children or family members?
  • Does your family support your decision to use a surrogate?
  • Do you have a support system in place?
  • Are there specific family dynamics or cultural considerations that should be taken into account during the surrogacy process?
  • What role do you foresee for me in your family dynamic during and after the surrogacy journey?
  • What are some of your hopes and dreams for your child?

 

Discussing each other’s expectations and understanding the intended parents’ perspectives on family dynamics ensures alignment, and prepares the surrogate for her role within the family structure. Since surrogacy is such an intertwined and emotional experience – and surrogates and intended parents alike often forge lasting relationships – coming to a mutual understanding on family dynamics promotes a more comprehensive and considerate surrogacy journey.

Do the Intended Parents Have Any Lifestyle Preferences and Requests?

The most important goal for everyone involved is ensuring the delivery of a happy, healthy baby; therefore, aside from the already predetermined requirements that are included in the surrogate qualification process, the intended parents may have additional lifestyle stipulations they may ask to be fulfilled. Additionally, the surrogate may also ask questions that pertain to the day-to-day lifestyle of the intended parents, after the baby is born. This last set of questions centers around lifestyle preferences and requests:

 

  • Are there specific lifestyle preferences or restrictions you would like me to adhere to during the pregnancy?
    • This is where intended parents can ask the surrogate to adhere to various lifestyle stipulations, such as: limiting travel in the third trimester, not using hair dye, avoiding hard-impact exercise, etc. 
  • How do you envision my lifestyle during the surrogacy affecting the overall experience for you?
  • Are there any specific requests or considerations regarding my daily activities or habits during the gestation period?
    • Here, intended parents can make lifestyle requests that will impact any day-to-day routines, such as: consuming organic produce, taking daily walks, adhering to a specific diet, taking daily supplements, etc. 
  • If both of you work, who will care for the baby?
  • What kind of parents do you see yourselves being?

 

Thoroughly addressing lifestyle expectations ensures that both parties are comfortable with the day-to-day aspects of the surrogacy journey, and encourages a collaborative approach which will minimize any miscommunication that may arise due to lifestyle choices. 

Choosing Surrogacy By Faith 

Having to navigate the complexities of surrogacy, especially all of the questions that arise during the process, can be daunting. But asking these crucial questions prior to taking on the surrogacy journey is not just a formality, but a foundation for a successful and fulfilling partnership between surrogate mothers and intended parents. Open communication and a shared understanding of expectations and preferences are key elements in building a strong and supportive relationship throughout this life-changing experience. 

When you’re ready to commit to this beautiful path, Surrogacy by Faith will be ready to guide you and help with any questions you may have, giving hope and assurance for a well-rounded and transparent surrogacy experience.

If you’re ready to get started with surrogacy, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Whether you’re ready to pursue your altruistic calling as a potential surrogate or you’re a pair of hopeful parents ready to bring a miracle baby into your arms, we are ready to assist you in fulfilling your journey. Fill out either the Intended Parents Initial Inquiry form or our Surrogate Initial Inquiry form to get started, and let us help you make your dreams come true!

 

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