By Frank Golden
Most of us can relate to “first date jitters”. You’re nervous. You’re excited. You’re a little bit hopeful. You set your expectations high, but not high enough to be let down. You wonder if the conversation is going to flow or if it’s going to be a series of awkward silences. You wonder what questions you’ll ask, and what they’ll ask you. You wonder if this is potentially “The One.” Matching calls yield the same flood of emotions- the nerves, the excitement, the questions, the fear; they’re all there.
I remember when Adam and I first got matched with our Surrogate. Our agency showed us her profile, and we immediately felt a connection. Of course, we were excited before our matching call, but mostly we were nervous. The thought of transitioning from reading a profile to communicating over the phone was intimidating. We were drawn to her profile, but that didn’t determine her personality and whether we’d get along. Fortunately, our matching call was successful. The conversation was easy and insightful. Several months later, she gave birth to our daughter, Sophia.
From an Intended Parent perspective, I understand how scary matching calls can be. From an agency owner’s perspective, I assure you that we do everything in our power to relieve your nerves and ease your fears. Prior to the call, we coach Surrogates and Intended Parents and provide them with a list of recommended questions. We stay in close communication and answer any questions they might have. As the call nears, we double check on both parties to ensure that they are comfortable and prepared.
Before a matching call, it’s essential to grasp an understanding of your personal expectations and goals for the journey. Ask yourself what you’re willing to compromise on and what might be considered a “deal breaker” for you. Be prepared to ask important questions and be prepared to answer them as well. Some major topics to prepare for include termination, selective reduction, number of embryo transfers, breast milk donation, delivery expectations, and communication expectations. This advice goes for Intended Parent and Surrogates. Surrogates have their own set of expectations and goals for the journey. If they aren’t comfortable, we will not move forward with a match.
Every agency has their own process for matching Surrogates and Intended Parents. Our matching calls are relatively simple: we introduce both parties at the start of the call, put our phones on mute, and allow Intended Parents and Surrogates to talk freely. We recommend starting with light conversation before diving into more serious issues. Talk about hobbies, career goals, family life, etc. These topics make it easy to open up to each other and help the conversation flow.
During the matching call, gauge how the conversation is going. If you feel that it’s forced or doesn’t flow easily, ask yourself why that might be happening. While it’s important to have expectations, it’s equally important to keep an open mind. An underwhelming matching call doesn’t necessarily mean that the match won’t be successful overall. In certain instances, we suggest meeting over Skype or meeting face-to-face to further solidify a match. With that said, if something truly is a deal breaker, be honest about it. Your agency should be more than willing to find you a better match.
Once you’ve found your ideal match, it’s your responsibility to take ownership over the relationship and make it work. As an agency, we do everything possible to foster a strong relationship between you and your match, but ultimately, the match is what you make of it. Like any relationship, the Surrogate/Intended Parent relationship requires patience, communication, and trust. If both parties put in effort, the result will be a bond unlike any other. The bond between you and your Surrogate will change your life, not just because they carry your child, but because their generosity is awe inspiring. Adam and I keep in close contact with the Surrogates who birthed our children. They added to our family by giving us children and by giving us themselves.