Along for the Ride: A Real Time Surrogacy Experience

My first surrogate family. It continues to be a great relationship!

My first surrogate family. It continues to be a great relationship!


Get Social!

Follow this journey on GG’s Instagram, Pintrest, and Mandy’s Twitter account @SurroMandy. You can also Email questions to Mandyemail hidden; JavaScript is required.


Matching

After you’ve been granted final clearance you get to begin the matching phase! I love this part. Seriously, it is the most exciting part prior to pregnancy. It’s a bit like dating, but with the help of a professional match-maker.

Basically, you create a profile about yourself. It has all the important elements, like how many embryos you’re willing to carry, your stance on reduction, and if you’re open to pumping breastmilk after the birth. It also has fun stuff, like a part where you brag about your kids and get a chance to write a letter to these prospective intended parents. You even pick out 5 or 6 fun photos of your family and friends to include. Again, it’s like online dating.

Then, the “match maker” at Growing Generations sends you a similarly created profile, made by prospective intended parents. It will also talk about what they want in a surrogate, their stance on important issues, and the type of relationship they’re seeking. It also includes a handful of photos.

You only get one profile at a time and the couple doesn’t know that they’re being considered, that way you don’t feel pressured to accept them. After reading and considering this couple (or occasionally a single parent), you tell GG yes or no. If it’s a no, you get a new profile. No hard feelings. If it’s a yes, they send your profile to the intended parents. They will also have the choice to say yes or no. If they say no, you get a new IP profile to consider, but if they say yes, it’s on to match meeting!

For Chris and me, this time around we were even more excited to match than we were the first time. But, if we’re being honest, I was also a bit nervous. This is a huge decision, and not one we take lightly. We had such a beautiful relationship in our first journey, and while we realize not all relationships will turn into that super close extended family, we were hoping lightning might strike twice, and that we’d get lucky a second time. Now, let me tell you a bit about my matching history. I’m picky. Remember that GG match maker I mentioned? I’m sure she heaves a sigh when my name comes across her desk. Just kidding- in all honesty- I know her in real life and know that she just loves her job and all of the surrogates she gets to help. But, I’m not an easy day at the office for her.

I’ve turned down prospective Intended Parents, and I’ve been turned down by Intended Parents. It happens. It’s a natural, normal part of the matching process. I feel like taking your time in this phase leads to a better relationship over the course of the surrogacy. This is an intimate relationship and, as Growing Generations always tells surrogates, this is a marathon and not a sprint. So, I’m picky. So when we received a profile to consider- I wasn’t expecting too much. But then we read it.

At the bottom of their profile I looked up from my laptop and said just two words in a near whisper, “They’re perfect.” In that moment, lightning struck. We felt that effortless lock. That instant approval that feels like when you put two corresponding puzzle pieces together. That fit that just gives you peace and says, “We’re going to be easy friends. This is going to work.” It’s the same way we felt after receiving the guys’ profile years earlier. In that moment, gay, straight, single, married, domestic, international- none of it mattered. There is just no arguing with that “lock” feeling. We were given the weekend to consider them, and we really tried to take at least 24 hours. But we just couldn’t. We knew right away, and at 19 hours after receiving their information, we couldn’t wait any longer.

We said yes. Now we wait to see if they like us, too. To see if they feel that lock.

References:

Social Media & the Surrogate

What is the HART Program?

 Misconceptions about Surrogates

 

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: An Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Red Wheel Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.