Babies are the best! And growing your family through surrogacy is an amazing experience for everyone involved. There is a tremendous amount of planning, a detailed process and a rollercoaster of emotions that go along with it.
Before you begin your surrogacy journey, here are 5 questions you should ask yourself – and have the answers to! – to help ensure the smoothest journey possible.
#1. Are you prepared to answer some VERY personal questions?
From the wide-eyed "Did you have sex with your surrogate?" to "Is your surrogate the baby's mother?", preparing yourself for the spectrum of questions friends, family and, yes, even strangers, will ask you is no easy task. It's important to share your news that you're building your family through surrogacy, as it's such a monumental journey. It's important to be ready with answers to even the craziest questions. If you're coupled, you and your partner should be on the same page when it comes to how you'll respond when the questions take a turn for the personal.
#2. How and when will you tell your child(ren) their origin story?
You are about to bring two new women into your life, and it's important to think about what your relationship will be with them after your baby's birth, and how you will describe their roles in your life and family. Gay dad Brett shares that he and his husband have always been very open and honest with their son about his origin story. "We have always had a photo of our son's egg donor and surrogate on display in his bedroom so that he could know who they were when he was ready." It's a wonderful story to tell, and it's a good idea to think about how and when you'll share it.
#3. Who will be the bio dad?
There is a whole scientific and medical process about to happen to get you on your way to holding your baby in your arms. Once you select an egg donor, you will need to create your embryos. You'll be asked who will be supplying the biology, so having a plan will help facilitate that process. Will you both create embryos? Will one of you go first if you are planning more than one surrogacy journey? Will you implant both embryos (one biologically each of yours) and see what happens? This decision is a very personal one – and no doubt one you'll be asked about by others! (See question 1 about being asked personal questions!)
#4. Are you ready to have ZERO control?
Zero control may be an exaggeration, but you should prepare to step back as science takes over. One gay couple had a very detailed plan of how they were going to grow their family, how many children, and who would be the bio dad of each of them. As it can happen, science was not onboard with their plan. Instead of both of them being able to be biological dads to their two children, only one was able to do so. This was not how they imagined their journey would be, but they got their beautiful family in the end. Giving up control means accepting the unpredictable. It's also a reason to work with an agency you trust: you always have support.
#5. Have you thought long-term about child care and support after the baby is born?
When they say it takes a village to raise a child, they meant it! During your journey you will most likely be in the moment and planning for the delivery day and the arrival of your baby. But that's just the beginning! Take the time to prepare for your return home, those first few weeks and beyond. Will someone be home with the baby? Are you headed back to work? It's important to have a support system in place, for both you and your baby.
Embarking on a journey to parenthood with your chosen egg donor and your surrogate will be an amazing experience. Surround yourself with a strong support system, an experienced and trustworthy agency like Circle Surrogacy, and be honest with yourself and your partner.