Gift Giving & Your Surrogate

We find that many of our surrogates and intended parents develop close interpersonal relationships and experience a desire to exchange gifts during the journey. Despite this desire, many intended parents find themselves at a loss when brainstorming gift ideas.

First things first- gift giving is not a requirement of surrogacy. It is neither expected, encouraged, nor discouraged. Always know that your surrogate did not sign up for this journey expecting gifts in return. You should not feel obligated to give anything if you don’t have the desire to do so.

When choosing gifts for your surrogate we tend to advise against large extravagant gifts. Instead, opt for sentimental keepsake gifts. Charm bracelets, personalized photo frames, or a jewelry box make great gifts. If you’re in the mood for pampering your surrogate, feel free to explore the idea of sending her flowers, a gift card to her favorite restaurant, or to the spa after the birth.

If you share common interests with your surrogate it can be memorable and fun to explore gifts relating to shared experiences. For example, if you share a love of reading or a certain author, sending their newest title, or e-book credits is a unique way to show that you’re paying attention to her interests.

If you are an international intended parent, consider gifting your surrogate and her family something unique to your country. These gifts can help foster understanding of other cultures and be a unique ice breaker to the differences in your cultures.

If you’d like to treat your entire surrogate family to a treat we often recommend tickets to a local theme or waterpark, sporting event, or concert. If you enjoy a close relationship with your surrogate, these gifts can be especially fun to do as a group during one of your visits.

Finally, we are often asked about gifts for the children of surrogates. Many IPs want to gift something that can be a bit longer lasting than a toy. In these instances we recommend savings bonds that can be applied to future college educations.

Every surrogacy relationship is different. As such, the nature of appropriate and memorable gifts will differ as greatly as the relationships through surrogacy. Always remember that your case specialist knows you, your surrogate, and the dynamic of your relationship very well. When in doubt or at a loss for ideas, do not hesitate to ask for your case specialist’s input.

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.