The matching time for intended parents and surrogates is always exciting. Between the nerves, anticipation, and potential opportunity, these initial introductions can feel a little overwhelming, but exciting at the same time. Luckily, at Reproductive Possibilities, we’re there with you throughout the process. We’re there with you on the initial phone call to help facilitate the conversation and make sure everyone is feeling comfortable and ensuring that everyone’s questions are being answered. We’re here to help you as you build a relationship with your intended parents and throughout your journey!
Building a Relationship with Intended Parents
Once the match is accepted, the real fun begins! We’re always here to support our surrogates, and that doesn’t stop when it comes time to build a relationship with intended parent(s). So, how does it work?
You’ve Matched – Now What?
As a surrogate, once you’ve matched, there is a lot to do! You are now preparing for medical screenings, beginning shots, and your transfer. While you’re preparing for those events, it’s also important remember that this is a great time to begin involving your intended parents in the surrogacy journey!
Determine the Relationship
The first step in building a relationship with your intended parents is to determine exactly what kind of relationship both you and the IPs would like to have throughout the journey.
- How Will You Communicate? Will you be texting, talking on the phone, or video calling? If video calling, will you be using FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, or another video chatting service? If your intended parents live outside of the US, you may need to use a different texting or calling application, like WhatsApp, so you don’t have to worry about additional international charges. It’s important to determine this ahead of time so that everyone can be prepared prior to scheduled calls. This will help to eliminate unnecessary frustrations that naturally come when using complex technology!
- How Often Will You Communicate? Every IP and surrogate relationship is different and the frequency in which you communicate is going to be different for every relationship. There is no perfect amount of communication and it is completely based on how often you’d like to connect with your IPs and how much involvement they’d like to have in the journey. Some surrogates call or video chat with their IPs weekly, some monthly, and some develop really close relationships from the beginning and talk often throughout the week. While the amount of communication might change or shift throughout the pregnancy, it’s important to set these expectations up early so both parties know what to expect. If a couple months down the road you and your IPs mutually decide to increase or decrease the amount of communication, that’s OK too!
- When Will You Communicate? Between different time zones, multiple working schedules, family obligations, and the unexpected events of everyday life, it can be challenging to find time to sit down and coordinate a video call or even phone call. To remove the stress of trying to find a different time to hop on the phone every week, it may be easier to determine from the start when you’ll be having phone calls or video calls. Having a set time in your schedule for calls makes it easier for everyone and ensures that you’ll get a chance to connect! You may want to have a half hour phone call every Wednesday after work, or you call on your way home from doctors appointments. Maybe your IPs want to be really involved and want to video call at major appointments. Whatever works best for your relationship is what you should do! If you find a system that works, use it!
Once you and your IPs have decided what type of relationship you’d like to have, it’s time to start building it!
How Can I Keep My IPs Involved?
Once you’ve determined how you’d like to keep in contact with your IPs, you may also want to find other ways besides phone calls or videos calls to keep them connected.
Can I Include My Kids?
Some surrogates like to get their families involved in their journey and introduce their children to their IPs. This allows both families to get to know each other better and get a sense of each other’s lives. Many surrogates enjoy talking to their kids about surrogacy and it helps their children to understand better once they are able to see the intended parents! Your IPs may want to meet your children or to develop a relationship with them!
What If My IPs Live Far Away?
Many times, surrogates and IPs do not live locally to one another, so IPs likely wont be able to attend doctors appointments throughout the surrogate pregnancy. You may want to do a pregnancy announcement or a gender reveal for your IPs to help them feel included in the pregnancy. If your IPs are unable to attend these appointments with you or aren’t able to video chat, it may be fun to surprise them after you find out! There are tons of cute ideas on Pinterest or Instagram to use for inspiration! These ideas can be small and simple and still have a huge impact on building your relationship with your intended parents.
There are so many different ways to build a relationship with your intended parents, and there is no right way to do it! Every relationship looks different and it only has to feel and be right for you! As long as both parties are happy with the kind and amount of communication, you’re doing it the right way!