Trust & Your Intended Parents

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One of the most important aspects of your relationship with your intended parent or parents is trust. It is the foundation of surrogacy and should be at the very heart of your relationship. In a surrogate-intended parent relationship, both parties earn trust gradually. If you and the intended parents have a foundation of trust, you will have an easier surrogacy journey.

The beginning of a trusting relationship often comes down to clearly expressed expectations and boundaries. It is completely appropriate to ask your intended parents about how much communication would make them most comfortable. In addition to their needs, you need to be clear on what kind of communication you want and need as well. Growing Generations has found that the best way to keep open lines of communication with your intended parents is to be interested in their lives and to update them regularly on the pregnancy. It is important to not force the relationship—keep it light and it will grow naturally.

Intended parents need to feel they can trust you and believe that their baby is in good hands while in your care. They may often feel a little left out of the process, so it is important to try and accommodate their needs by informing them about what is going on so they can be feel as part of the journey. Sending regular updates on the progress of the pregnancy, weekly bump day photos, or other updates can do this.

Because the surrogacy process takes over a year, it is important to remain flexible. Being flexible in your expectations and understanding of the intended parents’ emotional needs during this journey will greatly benefit you and the intended parents. Also remember that, just like you, they also have a full and busy life outside of the surrogacy. This may mean that your emails, phone calls, or texts may not be answered right away. Know that in the vast majority of cases, the surrogacy and your condition are important to them, and that they will respond to you as soon as they are able.

Growing Generations has a team of professionals that will provide information at every step of your journey, but you should be comfortable communicating with the intended parents about your relationship and the pregnancy. This will help the intended parents feel that they are really participating and assure them that you have their baby’s health and welfare as your top priority.

It is possible that you will develop a real, lasting friendship with the intended parents. While some surrogate-intended parent relationships develop, others might not, which is also completely normal. A surrogate’s goal is to help intended parents create a family. It’s not something that can be forced. Growing Generations’ recommendation: take it slow, be warm and genuine, and have good boundaries.

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: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari 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.