Hospital Tour Questions for Intended Parents

The 20-week mark is a major distinction in any pregnancy. It marks the halfway point and is the time the largest ultrasound of the pregnancy generally occurs. For these reasons, a large majority of intended parents will choose to visit with their surrogate around this point in the pregnancy.

Apart from the “big” ultrasound, also known as the anatomy ultrasound, you will also be planning a visit to the hospital that your surrogate has chosen for the birth. This can feel both exciting and overwhelming at the same time, as you want to make sure you walk away with all the information you need without forgetting to ask something important.

Sometime early in the second trimester your case specialist will reach out to the hospital social worker to introduce that person to Growing Generations and your case. Your case specialist will begin to prepare the hospital for the upcoming surrogate birth and will be able to answer any preliminary questions the hospital may have. Your case specialist will also schedule a tour for you to take with your surrogate during your visit.

Before the tour you will receive an email document that can be used to help outline and plan your preferences for the delivery. We advise you to look over this document, preferably with your surrogate, prior to the tour. This will allow you to brainstorm on any other potential questions or concerns that you may have for the hospital staff.

During your tour you should be sure to ask about the possibility of obtaining separate rooms for you and your surrogate post-delivery as well as the hospital’s policy on newborn banding. Some hospitals will give identification bands to the surrogate, baby, and one additional adult. Ask if, instead of banding the surrogate, the third band can be given to the second intended parent, or if an additional band can be printed for the additional intended parent.

Another area of major emphasis is the number of people allowed in the laboring room as well as the delivery room/operating room (in the case of a caesarian delivery.) You’ll also want to ask where to park, what food amenities are on site, and if there are any other visitation policies you should be aware of.

You’ll probably forget to ask something or think of more questions after the tour. This is normal and OK. Your case specialist can help you address those continuing questions as they arise. The most important thing to remember is to enjoy the moment. This is a very special time in your journey and you’ll want to be able to enjoy your visit with your surrogate and her family as much as possible during your visit.

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.