Do Surrogates Get Attached to the Baby?
This is probably the most common question surrounding gestational surrogacy. At times it’s a big concern of the intended parents or the general population who try to understand such a selfless act. The key is realizing that, surrogacy isn’t giving up a child, instead it’s giving the child back to the parents. The emotional transfer of the surrogate baby must be addressed during the course of the journey.
Before proceeding, if you have any questions about surrogacy, you can contact one of our consultants at Physician’s Surrogacy.
Is there an emotional attachment to the surrogate-born baby?
It seems obvious, at first glance, that a surrogate mother would get attached to the child, considering she is carrying a baby for months and will be giving birth, which is an incredibly emotional process. However, from the beginning, women choose to be surrogates, not to have a baby of their own, but to help others build a family. Overall, gestational carriers become surrogates to help intended parents, not to be attached to the baby.
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) strongly recommends that gestational carriers receive a psychological evaluation and counselling. A responsible agency, like Physician’s Surrogacy, will facilitate a full mental health evaluation and thorough psychological testing. We pride ourselves on our thorough screening process, to ensure each surrogate is committed to the journey.
The clinical interview is an important piece, letting the agency know why or how important it is to help intended parents. The trifecta – clinical interview, psychosocial testing and records review is key when evaluating a surrogacy candidate. Choosing to become a surrogate may not be the right fit for someone who has a history of serious postpartum issues or who has recently experienced a loss and is still in the grieving process.
Also, it’s mandatory for all potential surrogates in San Diego to have their own children before being matched. It is advised and very important to ask whatever questions you have about ‘what’s expected of you’.
The Concerns of Intended Parents
Some intended parents may have concerns that the gestational carrier will want to keep the baby. And besides why wouldn’t they think that? They have no way of knowing anything about the gestational carrier or their motivation.
Luckily, most relationships between intended parents and surrogates turn out to be incredibly positive. Many times, these will end up creating a life-long friendship.
Here are some tips that will help you as a surrogate build the trust with intended parents based on mutual respect:
- Understand the intended parents lack of control: They might have waited years to have a baby. They will give up control of the child’s development and trust you with it. This can be nerve-wracking for them. So, it is important to empathize with their feelings.
- Be flexible with the intended parents’ desires: Intended parents would give anything to be in your position and become pregnant with their own child. Some of their desires may seem overwhelming to you, but try to understand their feelings
- Treat them as you would like to be treated: The success of your relationship depends on mutual understanding and respect. Your pregnancy might be harder for them than to you, besides you are not alone on your surrogacy journey.
How does surrogacy affect the child?
Research indicates that attachment begins to develop even before the baby is born. Like any other new born, a surrogate-born child will be introduced to the new world and with the help of their parents can adapt quickly. Taking active part in preparation for the baby will help with the emotional transfer after birth. Intended parents and the surrogate should discuss how the baby’s first moments should go.
Managing emotions beyond the birth
Once the baby has gone home with their intended parents, the surrogate will return to her day to day life, but one question always remains: will there be an emotional connection? For some, this period can be complex. Intended parents often recognize this as well. Fortunately, this feeling is temporary and can be assuaged by the fact that the surrogates have their own children to love and cherish. They slowly understand that the baby was never theirs to begin with. To help speed up the process of recovering emotions after birth, some surrogates make specific plans, such as taking a trip with their family to refocus and adjust.
Physician’s Surrogacy is the leading surrogate agency in San Diego, with over an 80% pregnancy rate. This is a direct result of the over 150 years of combined experience among our embryologists and doctors. To set up a free consultation, you can visit us at www.physicianssurrogacy.com or call us at (858) 209-3801.