What Does A Surrogacy Support Person Do?
A surrogate’s primary support person is their go-to partner in all things surrogacy. Think about who you would turn to when you are starting something new and big — did you think about your partner? Your mom? Your sister? Whoever it was, that’s who you want on this surrogacy journey with you. Someone who is as excited to stop for a random ice cream craving as they are to be the shoulder you lean on if times get tough.
The best surrogacy partners are those who love you and support you the most and see this as an awesome way to see you grow as a person while you help grow a family.
Once you have chosen who this support person will be, it’s time to help get them up to speed on how they can best support you.
We’ve pulled together the top six things they can expect as your primary support person and a roadmap on what they can do to add to your joy and help keep you stress free.
Once your support person knows exactly what you need from them, this is where the fun part kicks in! We’re big proponents for celebrating the milestones, so how about an ice cream or dinner date to celebrate taking on this journey together?!
Actively Participate In The Application Process
One of the first milestones where your primary support person will need to show up for you is during the application process. If your primary support person is a romantic partner, they will need to get STI (sexually transmitted infection) testing, and be in the room for conversations with psych/social workers when you’re working through contracts, transfer, delivery, and even potentially, legal for parentage.
Your care team can help walk you through your unique expectations. If your primary support person is not a significant other, they won’t have to go through any individual testing, but they will be part of support calls and the other milestones mentioned. Our goal is to make sure that there is someone there for you to lean on during the journey!
Ask, “What Else?”
You’re not alone if sometimes you just need someone to listen. On hard days, you may want them to listen to you vent about nausea or an awkward exchange you’re trying to decipher. On great days, you may want to tell them how you felt the baby kick or the craving you had that felt like heaven to snack on. Feel free to forward this list along and remind your support partner that sometimes all you need is for someone to ask, “And what else?”
Be There When You Need Them
Your surrogacy will be a different kind of pregnancy than you’re used to. It’ll include IVF medications, ultrasounds with intended parents on FaceTime, and bringing out new emotions to work through. Your support person can be in your corner during these milestones. Past surrogates have shared how their support partners take on babysitting duties, drive them to appointments, and even help with IVF shots!
Take The Load Off When People Ask Intrusive Questions
Not everyone understands why you’re a surrogate or how meaningful this experience is for you, and that’s okay. What’s not okay is having to field intrusive questions coming in from all angles. While you will have to address these in some cases, it’s okay to ask your support partner to answer questions and even educate others on how amazing surrogacy is.
Remind You Of
Your Identity Outside Of Surrogacy
Becoming a surrogate is such a beautiful and giving experience, but it’s okay to remind yourself of who you are outside of this journey. Your support partner can help remind you of this, too, but planning activities that you like and ensuring you’re keeping a sense of self through the process.
Acknowledge That Yes, In Fact,
You Are Pregnant
A surrogacy pregnancy is still a pregnancy, and while you’re a surrogate who knows that this is the intended parents’ baby, you are still a pregnant woman. Your support partner can help you enjoy the pregnancy even more. They can be your maternity clothes shopping partner or help you tie your shoes once you’re at that point! (We’ve all hit that third trimester!) Ultimately, they can help remind you that pregnancy is exciting and fun, especially when you’re carrying to help grow another’s family.
Your Partner's Questions About Surrogacy, Answered
Attention, partners and support persons!
And just like we’re here for your partner, we’re here for YOU. We’ll answer all your questions and ensure you are just as comfortable with the process as possible. She may be carrying the baby, but you also have a very important role in the surrogacy process!
(Okay, you can give her back her phone now.)
Worrying about your loved one’s health and well-being is common and understandable. Rest assured, the surrogacy process is catered to the surrogate just as much as the baby. Protections are put into place in the surrogacy agreement that center on a surrogate’s physical and emotional well being. She’ll also have plenty of check-ins with her agency and care team to ensure she feels adequately supported. The surrogacy agreement will also clearly outline that she has no legal rights or responsibilities to the baby once they are born.
You and your loved one (the queen surrogate!) will be on this surrogacy journey together. Your role as a support partner is to…support!
You will be responsible for:
Being a part of the surrogacy consultation with a social worker
Potential medical screening, depending on your relationship with the surrogate
Traveling with the surrogate for the embryo transfer or IVF clinic visits
Generally supporting her with everyday things, including childcare, help around the house, or even administering IVF shots
Adding even more love and excitement to the relationship she is cultivating with the IPs
Being in the delivery room to witness your partner giving the greatest gift to her IPs
VF (in vitro fertilization) medications are safe but can cause side effects. A surrogate will always have access to her IVF care team to walk you both through the IVF journey's ups and downs. One way past primary support partners have helped is by learning how to give the shots themselves; this way, it’s one less thing for her to worry about!
Physically, surrogacy's long-term health effects are the same as pregnancy's long-term health effects. As for your loved one’s emotional well-being, her care team and agency are equipped to help support her through all transitions and milestones. She is never alone, and neither are you!
Wherever she wants you to be! No, seriously, in most cases, a birth plan will be pulled together ahead of delivery so that everyone knows exactly what to do and how to support the surrogate and baby best. Many surrogates have their partner (or primary support person if that is someone who is NOT her partner) in the delivery room. Some partners are there for emotional support, and others have the important job of taking photos for the intended parents!
Your role in her surrogacy process is to support her through all phases of the journey – from when she fills out her application until she transitions back into her day to life after delivery. Her role and responsibilities during this time are staying healthy and navigating the ins and outs of surrogacy, so it’s a great time to take some of her other responsibilities off her plate. Think: picking up groceries, scheduling vet appointments, or doing carpool for the kiddos.
You are on the journey together, which means you will meet and participate in calls with the intended parents. Surrogate partners tend to develop as strong of a relationship with intended parents as surrogates.
Not at all! Surrogacy does not cost the surrogate or her support system anything financially. Intended parents will cover the costs of everything, from travel and maternity clothing to health insurance and housekeeping.
Your relationship will definitely grow from this experience. You will see your partner in a whole new light – someone who is selflessly giving an amazing gift to her intended parents. Your relationship may not change, but your pride and love for her may deepen!
One of our favorite stories is from a surrogate’s partner who shared that when he was asked about her pregnancy, he got into the habit of jokingly saying, “You know, it’s not even mine.” and giggling at people’s shocked expressions. But seriously, when someone asks, it’s a great time to educate them about surrogacy and - let’s be real – brag about the amazing thing your partner is doing.
You and your partner are new to surrogacy, so we're here for you to provide all the answers and guidance. In fact, all of the questions and answers below are for your partner. So hand the phone over; we’ve written this for them.
We know being a support partner comes with a lot of questions, but don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! For starters, it’s normal for you to have a lot of questions —this does not disqualify you from being a good support system. We’ll arm you with everything you need to know.
Here are ten common questions partners have asked…with answers!
How To Talk To Your Child About Surrogacy
Talking to your child about surrogacy is an opportunity to invite them into the amazing journey you’ve decided to go on! Opening up this conversation also allows them to ask questions and helps them understand what’s happening and, most importantly, why you’re doing this.
And while it is an important conversation, it can also be a very fun one for them.
Heather shares how her perspective truly set the tone for her conversation with her kids:
Remember, in the simplest terms, you’re doing a really great thing for someone who really wants to grow their family. Let them know how fulfilled and happy you feel about your decision.
As you prep to start your own conversation, here are some things to remember:
“My advice is, don’t make it a big deal, and neither will they. We were positive about it and made it seem like something every family does. We made it all about helping another family and talked to them about ways they can help out during the process. They loved being included. I’m sure when they’re older they will ask more questions about it, but we will always be open and honest with them.”
Ask Surrogacy.com For Guidance
Don’t think twice — ask us for resources. We are here to help you navigate these kinds of conversations. We also have experience knowing what’s worked for us and other surrogates and we’re more than happy to share!
Reading Time With Books About Surrogacy
As if anyone needs an excuse to stop by their favorite local bookstore with a decaf iced coffee in hand. The goal of this trip is to pick up some age-appropriate books about surrogacy. There are many books out there that help explain surrogacy in a fun, engaging way. Let us know if you need a reading list and we’ll share some of our favorites! Plus, we also may have some books ready to send your way, just waiting for your cue!
Find A Way To Explain Surrogacy In Words They’ll Understand
Before you sit down with your kiddos, decide what amount of details are right for their levels of understanding. You’ll want to cater your conversation based on your little one’s age. Sometimes a little information like “Mommy wants to help grow a baby so that another mommy/daddy can love a baby as much as I love you” can go a long way. Kids are amazing and just hearing their mom is doing something kind for someone else can go a long way!
Follow Their Lead
Prepare to answer questions, but ultimately let your little one take the lead. Maybe they’ll have questions right away, or maybe they’ll pop up a week later while you’re driving in the car; there’s no “right” time or place to have this conversation.
Remind Them How Much You Love Them
In addition to questions, your child may struggle with understanding why the baby in your belly will go to another family, but they get to stay with you. There’s a learning curve to internalizing surrogacy and how it will impact your life. It’s present for adults and even for little ones. Have some comforting sentences in your back pocket that remind your little one how much you love them and how you’ll keep them safe.
Show Them How Happy Helping Someone Else Makes You
Even if your little one doesn’t fully understand the premise of surrogacy, they know you and when you’re happy or sad. Showing them how excited you are about your decision may be enough to get them excited and on board.
Let Your Children Interact With Your Intended Parents
Did we mention how you should emphasize the fun parts? Surrogacy is a lot of work, but it’s also a joyful experience filled with love and new relationships. Often intended parents will come to love a surrogate’s children and embrace them just as much as they’ve embraced the surrogate. Share with your child — in words they understand — that this journey will bring so much love into everyone’s lives.
Remind Them You Can Have This Conversation More Than Once
You will be pregnant for nine months but will have your surrogacy experience forever. Encourage them to ask questions or bring up the topic whenever they want. As kids get older, they may even like to learn more about all the good reasons that motivated you to take this step in the first place.
Now let’s dive into the eight tips that can help you get started.
Your conversation doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s
You know your little ones best; trust your gut
Stay true to your story
Find ways they can be part of Team Baby
Can I Be A Surrogate If I'm Single?
If you’re asking, “Can I be a surrogate if I’m single?” The answer is a resounding yes. Yes, times a million, actually. Intended parents (and agencies) are looking for surrogates who are responsible, committed, and excited to take on the surrogacy journey – no matter their relationship status. We’re only starting to get to know you, but you reading this article tells us you’re already checking so many of our boxes.
So now that we got the big question answered, here are your top priorities if you’re single and want to be a surrogate.
Someone To Do Shots With You (IVF Shots, That Is!)
You’ll Need To Identify A Primary Support Person
A primary support person (PSP) will become your go-to surrogacy support. Their responsibilities will include things that make your life easier, happier, and less stressful. You want to ask yourself questions like — Who can take care of my kids when I go into delivery? Or who will run to Taco Bell for a midnight snack? Okay, probably two different levels of priorities, but maybe not?)
Here are a few more things to keep in mind when choosing your PSP:
The only difference between your journey to becoming pregnant with your keepers and your surrogacy pregnancy is the IVF medications you must take to be a surrogate. While your care team will fully prep you on all things IVF, having a designated friend or family member to help with shots or any after effects is still really helpful. This person can be your PSP or someone else who is on your surrogacy support team!
Your PSP can be your IVF clinic travel buddy, but they don’t have to be. We understand that schedules can make it harder to have just one person to support you on this journey, so the more, the merrier! (Plus, your PSP may be the person designated to care for your kids while you’re away!) You’re encouraged to bring any loved one who is 18 years old or older to hold your hand and take care of you during your travel for the embryo transfer. Don’t forget that the intended parents cover everything from your travel partner’s flights to hotel and expenses.
Ensure You Have a Travel Buddy
We meant it when we said we’d be part of your support system until the end and beyond. We’re a constant hand to hold from the first day you decide to take on your surrogacy journey. We’ll help you figure out who your best PSP options can be and answer any questions that help move you forward on your journey with joy and excitement.
Remind Yourself Surrogacy.com Is Here For You
Now that you know that being single is not a disqualification to being a surrogate, we can’t wait to learn more about you, why you’re choosing surrogacy, and what your ideal surrogate journey looks like! Get ready to join our ever-growing family and community.
Someone who is 18 years old or older
Someone you are close to and comfortable with (other surrogates have asked their best friend, mom, sister, or other family members to be their PSP)
Someone who can commit energy and time to support your surrogacy — from doctor visits to craving runs — even before you’re pregnant
Someone who can help you with childcare
Who Are The Intended Parents That Surrogates Help?
Throughout the surrogacy process, we talk a lot about the surrogate (you!) and baby, but the other essential party involved in this journey are the intended parents.
What Happens During A Surrogate Pregnancy?
One of the best ways to describe surrogacy pregnancy is like a long-term babysitting agreement. A surrogate loves and cares for the baby, but ultimately she (and everyone around her) knows it isn’t her baby.
What Happens After A Surrogate Gives Birth?
No one’s surrogacy fourth trimester is the same, but the one common thread we’ve always heard from past surrogates is just how fulfilled they feel as they reflect upon the past few months of their life!