Advice for Intended Parents

Intended parents who are new to surrogacy often have many questions. This experience is not one that comes naturally, and it is not uncommon to feel a bit overwhelmed by it all. While Growing Generations provides you with an army of industry professionals to answer any question you may have, sometimes the most reassuring words of advice may just come from those who have already lived this. So we asked some of our most successful surrogates, “What advice would you give a new Intended Parent?” Here are their answers.

Medicine is an art, not a science. Growing Generations’ surrogates are incredibly responsible and trustworthy. Rest assured that they will take the medication prescribed to them as directed. Even with that, medicine is an art, not a science. While we can do our best to predict how a woman’s body will respond to a certain medical protocol, nothing is guaranteed.

Surrogacy is a marathon, not a sprint. This is a sentiment you will hear many times as your journey progresses. Surrogates understand that, by the time you meet them, your road to parenthood has already been long and that you are very excited to get things moving. However, this is a process that demands patience. Just as soon as everything seems set and secure to move forward, you’re likely to experience a setback or a complication. The best way to ensure that your surrogacy experience is positive is to try to be patient, relaxed, and open minded to just enjoying the ride.

Trust is paramount. Trust lays the foundation for a stable, healthy, and successful surrogacy journey. While incredibly difficult to do, you have to be able to let go of a little control and place trust in your surrogate. By not regularly questioning her or seeking confirmation of certain behaviors you can begin to develop trust. If you do have concerns you may address them with your case specialist.

Communication is key. Communication is important in any relationship, but especially important in a surrogacy relationship. While most surrogates understand that striking up a conversation with her can be difficult at first, they want you to keep trying. Asking how she is feeling, what she’s done for herself lately, or simply telling her that you’re thinking about her can go a long way. Many surrogates want intended parents to be involved in the pregnancy. Asking about everything from morning sickness to baby kicks is often a welcome communication and easy way to find common ground.

Babies have a mind of their own. Yes, it is called a “due” date, but that is just as estimate. Only about 5% of women will actually deliver a baby on their given due date. The rest will fall somewhere in the area of two weeks before to two weeks after that date. As you will soon learn, babies have a mind of their own. Neither doctors nor your surrogate can accurately predict when labor will happen or how long it will last.

Overall? Just enjoy your ride. By keeping an open mind and an open heart you are certain to enjoy your experience far more than if you enter into it with set expectations and rigid timelines.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 22 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for the last 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 of Reproductive Medicine, the American Fertility Association, 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 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 created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 28 years and their two teenage daughters.