Since the first successful gestational surrogate pregnancy in 1986, scores of women have opted to willingly become surrogate mothers to help infertile or same-sex couples start a family. However, what many are not aware of is that the 1986 surrogate pregnancy agreement didn’t quite go as planned. Surrogate mother, Mary Beth Whitehead, refused to give up custody of the child after delivery. This case revealed many of the challenges surrogate mothers often face when it’s time to give up the child they’ve carried.
Being a surrogate is an emotional experience
It is almost impossible to carry a child for nine months and not develop some form of emotional attachment to the growing baby. This is why having a good support system around is a vital part and parcel of the journey. Any surrogate agency in CA is worth the wait, they will not take a woman on board who does not have the right sort of support system needed to face the challenges during the surrogacy journey.
Some of the emotional dilemmas involved include surrogates not knowing how much attention they should show the baby growing in their womb. Some argue that not acknowledging the baby could lead to future problems for the child, while others are of the opinion that the less emotional connection or bonding done during the nine months, the easier it will be to hand the child over to their parents . Regardless of the surrogate mother’s point of view the fact remains – being a surrogate is an emotional experience.
Why a surrogate mother should already have kids
Every surrogate agency in CA has a list of qualifying parameters that a potential surrogate must meet before they can be considered. On this list is the absolute prerequisite that the potential surrogate is a woman with her own children and preferably completed her own family. Why is this done? Surrogacy is a process that can result in medical complications for the surrogate which may make it difficult for her to have children in the future. Even though contracts and agreements are entered prior to the commencement of the surrogacy process, a woman without children might decide to change her mind at the very last minute complicating the entire process. It is for these reasons and more that agencies advocate that a potential surrogate mother should already have one or more biological children of her own.
The right surrogate agency in CA helps
Are you a woman thinking of becoming a surrogate mother in CA? There is a surrogate agency in CA to help. Surrogacy is a process that’s not legal in all the 50 states of the United States. Each state has its own set of laws and regulations surrounding the process. For example states such as Mississippi, Tennessee, Alaska, and Nebraska are generally seen as less friendly to the process. In fact, in the District of Columbia people who enter into surrogacy contracts can be fined up to $10,000 and face up to one year in prison.
The right surrogate agency in CA can help both intended parents and surrogate mothers navigate these state laws by giving you up-to-date information on what to do. Not only that, but a good agency will have access to a team of medical and mental health caregivers to help all involved in the process. Counseling and therapy to deal with postpartum depression and baby blues will also be availed to the surrogate mother. Not to mention helping with the paperwork and financial compensation for the surrogate.
Understanding how a surrogate’s family feels
Because one of the pillars needed by a surrogate is a good support system which is often their family, it’s key to talk about how the surrogate’s family is likely to feel during this entire process. Pregnancy can be a stressful time not just for the surrogate but for those around her as well. While choosing to become a surrogate is her decision, it is imperative that a potential surrogate has the full support of her family or immediate loved ones.
The sense of loss after the baby has been born may be felt by the whole family as they journeyed with and lived with the surrogate. Counseling is therefore important for everyone. Going through these sessions together will also help them to express what they might be feeling as well. In addition, family members will be counseled on how to handle and understand the moods and behavior of the surrogate from a professional.
A surrogate mother needs emotional support
The level of support needed by a surrogate mother can never be overemphasized. While a lot of fuss is made about her physical change and the growing belly, fewer people are aware of the emotional side of things. Her hormones are all over the place and coupled with the extra supplements she is taking to ensure a healthy pregnancy she might feel under the weather more often than not.
Being able to acknowledge this emotional state that the surrogate is living under and being good support is of grave importance. What should you expect? Anticipate fear, anxiety, body image issues, and mood swings from the surrogate. Understand that it has nothing to do with you, it is merely a part of the pregnancy journey. It is going to be a challenging time for you as the caregiver and support system too but forewarned is forearmed. Knowing these things ahead of time will enable you to know how to deal with the surrogate.
Dealing with the final moments
There is no moment more trying that the final leg of the journey – giving birth and saying goodbye to the baby. What happens during these final moments will be defined by what has been laid out in the surrogacy agreement. This includes who will be in the delivery room and whether or not the birth takes place naturally or via C-section. The surrogate mother is given the liberty to choose what elective processes she’d like and the level of privacy during this culminating moment. In many cases, the intended parents are waiting on the other side of the delivery room and are given the baby as soon as it’s born. The surrogate mother may only have a few moments with the new-born before the handover happens.
Once this takes place, this is more or less the end of the road for the surrogate mother. It is not unusual for some intended parents to not want any continued correspondence with the surrogate mother. Post-partum this might feel like rejection and a surrogate will need support in order to come to terms with the new reality of life.
The challenges of giving up a child as a surrogate mother are real. And it’s vital that a surrogate receive counseling and possibly undergo therapy in order to have closure so she can move on with her life. Left untreated postpartum depression can last years.
Do you have questions that you’d like answered? Contact us at Joy of Life Surrogacy Agency. One of our team members is always available to chat with you.