Trust & Your Surrogate

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Of all of the things you will need in order to have a successful surrogacy journey, the most important of them all is an open, trusting relationship with your surrogate.

Trust is a mutual gift that you share with each other.

A healthy relationship stems from clear and articulated expectations. Boundaries are also an essential component of any relationship, including the surrogacy relationship. It is completely appropriate to talk with your surrogate and agree upon how much and what kind of communication you both want.

Developing trust is a process that happens naturally and slowly. Good ways to develop a trusting relationship are contact your surrogate as often as you and she are comfortable. Most surrogates invite conversations with intended parents and are entirely open to communicating regularly and sharing their lives with you. Start by initiating contact, or at least replying to her invitations to contact you in a timely manner.

Asking open ended questions or offering up a funny story from your week are great ways to keep the conversation going. Showing a genuine interest in your surrogate, her family, and her life is a great building block for establishing trust from the beginning. Growing Generations’ recommendation: take it slow, be warm and authentic and have good boundaries. 

Growing Generations has found that the best surrogacy relationships have trust, communication, appropriate boundaries and flexibility. Because the surrogacy process takes over a year, it’s important to remain flexible. Your surrogate has a full life outside of the surrogacy, which includes her own children, her partner and her job. It is important to keep these in mind when forming expectations. There may be times when your surrogate cannot respond immediately to a phone call or an email, but be assured that she is still taking good care of her body and your baby.

By sharing yourself and your trust with your surrogate, you may watch a deep bond develop between your surrogate and your family. In many cases this bond becomes a lifelong friendship that continues to flourish even after the surrogacy. While not all relationships will travel that path, we do notice that those who have the best experiences and relationships are all based on the development of a mutual trust.

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.