Intended Parents have invested much time, funds, and emotions into their pathway to parenthood. They are placing their trust into individuals they have never, and may never, meet. Email, video calls, faxing, and other technology have allowed us to create a network of support to guide everyone involved through such an intimate process.
Intended Parents will have their criteria for matching with a gestational carrier, and may review profile after profile of possible candidates to carry their child. There may be a profile they feel a great connection with, but they are hesitant because she is not local to them. They decide to meet her over video, or travel to her to meet her in person. The meeting goes well, and there is still hesitation. There are questions like “who will be her support?”, “how will we know if she is taking care of herself?”, and “how will it feel to be so far away?”. These are all normal, and appropriate concerns.
When gestational carrier applicants are approved, they have passed a very extensive screening process, and they have committed to helping create and grow families. Having a great support network within their family, workplace, and friends is required. They know they will have the support of their agency, Intended Parents, and other professionals in the field when needed, and support of other surrogates going through the process as well.
Gestational carriers must be overall well in health, stable, and have had uncomplicated pregnancies. They are aware they will be monitored closely by their physician during the IVF stage, and also during the pregnancy. They understand how to take care of themselves and what their body is telling them. They will be in constant communication with Intended Parents, their agency, and are always excited to relay any new information. Intended Parents and surrogates are encouraged to speak to the obstetrician to arrange a time for questions together, or video calls, if permitted, during appointments. Gestational carriers are doing this to give the gift of life, and want nothing more than to provide Intended Parents with a healthy pregnancy and child.
The distance may cause Intended Parents to feel like they are not part of the journey because their plan was to be at all appointments and have a close relationship. Gestational carriers always want Intended Parents involved. There are many ways to bring everyone closer, and Intended Parents as close to this process as possible. Video calls, photo sharing, and being at each other’s fingertips helps with connecting the physical distance. Intended Parents also have the chance to connect with their child, they can read stories or sing songs into an audio recorder, and the headphones on her tummy so Baby can hear.
It may be an uncomfortable decision to have a gestational carrier who is not local to Intended Parents, hopefully all of the support they will receive, and the options out there to allow them to remain in close contact, will provide them comfort. The goal is having a healthy baby, and distance during the pregnancy can optimistically be masked with keeping this goal in sight.
This article was composed by Tricia Howard, Fertility Source Companies Director of Operations-Regional and International