Tips for Meeting Your Surrogate for the First Time

Growing Generations knows the first meeting between a surrogate and intended parent(s) can feel much like a blind date. It’s normal for those on both sides to feel nervous or anxious leading up to the event – whether it’s via videoconference or in person.

 

Here are some tips for that first of many meetings you’ll have along the surrogacy journey.

 

  • Take time to prepare. Before the meeting, do your due diligence to read over your surrogate’s profile and come up with a list of questions you’d like to ask. These can be lighthearted or more serious questions about topics such as carrying multiples. Discuss your ideas with your partner and/or support network, then write them down to have with you during the meeting. If you’re planning a video call, make sure you have a strong internet connection to avoid the awkward technology issues that may occur at the beginning if your call drops.

 

  • Think about communication etiquette. Be thoughtful about the way you ask questions and what you decide to talk about. If you’re working through an agency such as Growing Generations, there is no reason to discuss finances or medical advice during a match meeting. It’s important to trust your surrogate and the expert guidance of their doctors and agency. Instead, ask questions about family, lifestyle, hobbies and what motivated them to be a part of this journey.

 

  • Don’t do all the talking. You may get nervous and start rambling during the conversation. However, remember they want to get to know you as well. Invite them to ask you questions and be prepared to share information and stories about yourself.

 

  • Set expectations for the future. This is the perfect time to create communication expectations. Will you chat weekly or monthly? Do you plan to have phone calls or in-person visits? Will the surrogate send pictures of her progress? You might even ask about post-birth communication. Think through your expectations before the meeting, and be prepared to compromise as needed.

 

  • Remember what’s been happening behind the scenes. The surrogate you are about to meet has not been paired with you by accident. Our highly personalized application and matching process has led to this moment based on your profiles and desires for this process. With that in mind, you can breathe easier knowing that you’ll be speaking with someone who is invested in this journey just like you are. They have passed many screenings – an extensive application, interviews, psychological evaluations, a medical examination by an in vitro fertilization specialist, a criminal background check and a drug, nicotine and infectious disease screening – to get to this point. Simply focus on getting to know one another to confirm if you would like to proceed together. If not, we have a Match Guarantee Program.

 

Every match meeting doesn’t look the same, so these tips are just a guide to help you get started on a successful conversation. Remember that you can be yourself and don’t need to put on a show.

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.