Surrogacy Support Group - How a Surrogate's Family Needs to Offer Support
The best surrogacy support group available for a surrogate mother is her family's support. In fact, a requirement of commercial surrogacy in order to become a surrogate mother is having one's immediate family, spouse, children, on board. Find out what an important role a surrogate's family plays in surrogate motherhood.
The general population, and most people new to commercial surrogacy would probably view surrogate motherhood as a decision one woman makes to help another family. This is partially untrue.
There are many family requirements when it comes to surrogacy.
It is important that the surrogate's entire family is supportive of her during the process.
Surrogacy does not just affect the woman who is pregnant.
It affects her partner, her children, and to a lesser degree, her extended family.
When you are carrying a surrogate pregnancy for someone else, you do go through the regular stages of pregnancy. You might experience morning sickness, you will be fatigued, you will be moody. You will experience cravings, you may be unable to pick up your own children.
All of these issues will have an effect on your partner and children, who need to be your main surrogacy support group. They will have to go through the pangs of a pregnancy with you, without the additional family member coming home at the end of the journey. A woman who chooses to become a surrogate mother will probably have certain legal restrictions put on traveling as well.
These surrogacy issues may put restrictions on the surrogate mother such as she will most likely be unable to move away from the location she is pregnant in, due to different state surrogacy laws. This can mean passing up an unexpected promotion, or in some situations living in a location separate from her partner.
She may be restricted from attending family gatherings late in her pregnancy, to avoid giving birth at the wrong hospital.
A Surrogate Mother's Words:
"I was prevented from visiting my in-laws at Christmas while I was pregnant with twins. They only lived two hours away, but I was 32 weeks pregnant at the time, and my doctor did not allow me to go.
If I had gone into labor early, I could have ended up delivering the babies at a hospital that knew nothing about our situation. It could have been very difficult, legally, as our chosen hospital was well aware of our circumstances and already had legal paperwork filed.
As it was, I didn't go into labor at Christmas time, but the precaution had to be taken nonetheless."
Surrogacy Support Group: Injections
A gestational surrogate mother will most likely need daily injections of medications for several months.
Chances are, a surrogate's partner will be the one to give her the injections necessary to sustain an IVF surrogate pregnancy.
He will need to be comfortable with needles, and the fact that he will have to give her shots.
This is a very important job as chairman of her surrogacy support group.
Occasionally, a surrogate will give herself her own shots, but for some this is difficult physically and emotionally. Whenever possible, it is good to have the support of her partner to help her with this aspect of surrogate motherhood.
More Information on Giving an Injection
Surrogacy Support Group: Children
Depending on the age of her children, a surrogate and her partner will need to discuss in advance what they will tell them about surrogate motherhood.
It is unlikely they will not notice it.
Children of surrogate mothers generally need to be told the truth, as early as possible.
For very small children, the explanation can be as easy as saying that the intended mother has a "broken" tummy, and that Mommy is helping her to have a baby.
It needs to be made clear that the baby Mommy is having is not their sister or brother, and that the baby will go home with her real mommy once she is born.
Most small children will be comfortable with this explanation, though it may need to be repeated throughout the journey.
For older children, it can be beneficial to explain the process in more detail. Children as young as 7 or 8 can grasp the concept of surrogacy, from explaining the transfer procedure, to the fact that the baby is not related to them.
Explaining surrogacy to a child is actually not as difficult as one might expect. Children, even teenagers, are more open minded than most adults, and are more accepting of unique situations than we tend to give them credit for.
The only objections most children will have are the limits of their mother. They could become upset that Mommy cannot roughhouse with them as often, or will get tired when walking long distances.
Surrogacy Support Group: Negative Partner
Some surrogate mothers find that their partner is unsupportive with, or even negative about, their desire to become a surrogate mother.
This is the biggest of the family requirements to commercial surrogacy.
If this is your situation, and your partner is not the biggest part of your surrogacy support group, you need to consider the fact that surrogacy might not be the right option for you.
A potential surrogate mother will need to discuss at length her partner's issues with surrogacy. The entire concept of commercial surrogacy may make him feel uncomfortable or the intimacy with another couple may feel like an invasion of privacy to him.
He may be concerned with his partner's health and well-being
He may be against surrogacy, feeling it is not morally or ethically right
Sometimes these surrogacy issues can be resolved by just talking about them, but other times he may not budge. In this case, the potential surrogate could opt to bring up the matter in a few months, when her partner might be more willing to consider it. By waiting, it shows him that she is serious about her desire to become a surrogate mother.
If waiting does not work, and a surrogate chooses to proceed without the support of her partner, without her surrogacy support group, it could turn into a very stressful situation, which could in turn harm the unborn baby.
A surrogate pregnancy can cause stress in a couple's marriage, whether that couple is the intended parents or the surrogate. Financial concerns, miscommunication, difficult pregnancies, and a whole host of other complications may occur.
A couple who is not in total agreement at the start of such a journey could experience devastating consequences to their relationship. If your partner is not on board, seriously consider the possibility that commercial surrogacy is not right for you. Helping another family is not worth destroying your own.
Surrogacy Support Group: The Extended Family
A surrogate's extended family will usually need to be informed of her decision to have a child for someone else.
Sometimes parents, in-laws, and siblings will not agree with the choices made about surrogate motherhood, and as family members often do, they will become very vocal in their objections. Some may even go so far as to let a woman's decision to become a surrogate mother affect the relationship she has with that family member.
A Surrogate Mother's Words:
"When I first decided to become a gestational surrogate, my mother was the only member of my extended family to not support me. In fact, she was dead set against the thought of it. This surprised me, as my mother and I are very close.
After several months of discussing this with her off-and-on, I realized that she thought the baby was going to be related to her. I had assumed, since she was a nurse, that she understood that the child would not be biologically mine. After explaining it to her, she was a little more approachable about the surrogacy, but still wasn't convinced that it was right for our family.
Finally, the month of the transfer, I found out what her biggest concern was: She was worried about my safety.
I asked her if she would be so worried if it was my own child I would be pregnant for. When she answered, 'no', I then said, "Well, what makes this situation so different?" At this point, she was comfortable with my decision, but still never really understood why I wanted to do it.
When the babies were born, and she finally got to see the little miracles I had helped bring into the world, her entire outlook changed. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and told me I had done the right thing, and that she was proud of me."
Though concerns from extended family members should be taken into account, except in rare situations, they should not be reason for a woman to not become a surrogate. As long as she has a surrogacy support group consisting of the support of her partner, and the situation would not be too stressful, she should be fine.
If a surrogate will not be seeing a particular family member for the duration of the pregnancy, and she is concerned about their misgivings, it may be best not to tell them at all. For example, if a surrogate mother is concerned that her 95 year old great grandmother, who lives 2,000 miles away, would become upset and confused over the situation, then there may not be an overwhelming reason to burden her with surrogate motherhood.
Surrogacy Support Group: Single Surrogates
Some surrogates do not have a partner, and may not have a built-in surrogacy support group. They may be divorced, widowed, or never married at all. As long as the surrogate has a good support system in place, this should not be a problem.
Good friends, close family, or other surrogates willing to help her will work fine in lieu of a spouse or partner.
She will need to take into account the logistics of giving herself her required injections, or having a family member or friend administer them on a daily basis.
Getting Started Guide
Surrogacy Requirements: Health
Gestational Surrogacy Medications
How to Give an Injection
Gestational Surrogacy Transfer
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