Preparing for Housekeeping During Surrogacy

Another perk available to our surrogates is access to funds to employ a housekeeper for your home. While these funds are not explicitly identified in your benefit package, there is certainly the intention for your compensation to cover the costs of additional housecleaning assistance.

Growing Generations used to offer a specific line item expense in our benefits packages that offered an optional, nominal weekly fee specifically designated for housekeeping assistance. What we found, however, was that this fee often didn’t cover the amount of housekeeping desired, based on regional price differences. Additionally, surrogates only became eligible for the stipend in the late second to early third trimester, while some women said they could really have used the help more in the first trimester when exhaustion is at its height.

So, in 2017, we decided to break all of the rules. We eliminated the need to request reimbursement for housekeeping, and worked the additional compensation into the pay for our surrogates. This change does three things very well.

  1. It allows a surrogate to hire whomever she wants to clean, regardless of the rate.
  2. It allows a surrogate to hire help when she decides she needs it, not when we decide that she does.
  3. It eliminates the need for time consuming paperwork for both the surrogate, and the GG Finance team since reimbursement is no longer needed.

The housekeeper fund offers a chance to take a break, and potential peace of mind for your intended parents. Your use of this benefit allows them to rest assured that you’re not enduring strenuous cleaning and exposure to cleaning chemicals during your pregnancy. Housekeeping is a handy perk, but just like so many other aspects of your surrogate journey, will require a bit of preplanning.

As you prepare to welcome someone into your home, you should first consider what chores you would benefit the most from having someone else complete for you. For some surrogates this is simply mopping the floor. Other surrogates tell us just having someone help them with the laundry is a lifesaver, as carrying heavy baskets of clothes gets more and more challenging the larger your belly becomes. Understanding precisely what you need help with, before you try to hire someone to do it, will help you extend your budget to get the most help possible.

Growing Generations does not restrict who you may employ to act as your housekeeper. You may choose to hire an agency or an individual, make whatever choice feels most comfortable to you. If you do choose to use an individual, you can choose to employ someone you know and trust, or someone that is listed on internet provider sites like Care.com.

Whatever you choose to do, do not feel guilty for using your compensation for housekeeping expenses. This is an expense that is expected and intended to allow some comfort as you experience your surrogate pregnancy.

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.