By Frank Golden
The experience of going through a surrogacy journey is life changing. A bond is formed between a woman and a couple or individual, whose ultimate life-paths would probably have never crossed if not for surrogacy. At Golden Surrogacy, we encourage a strong relationship to be fostered between the Intended Parent(s) and Surrogate and continue well after the baby is born. It is our role as an agency to help form that cohesive relationship, which will hopefully last a lifetime.
Together, with my husband Adam, we have been through three surrogacy journeys with three different Surrogates over the course of five years. Two of the women lived out of state, while one of them lived in-state about an hour away. However, the distance did not stop us from forming great relationships with our Surrogates. We sent them gifts, celebrated milestones together, and communicated via text multiple times throughout the week. I believe that every surrogacy journey is what you make of it. Even though we had to manage those obvious geographical barriers, we made everything memorable for us. Adam and I felt it was important for our Surrogates to feel welcomed into our lives, so we treated them with the respect and dignity they deserve. Now that we have our own agency, we expect our Intended Parent(s) to treat their Surrogate in the same manner.
At Golden Surrogacy, the relationship between the Intended Parent(s) and Surrogate begins during the onboarding stage. We gather information from each party by having them fill out a profile discussing their infertility struggles, desire to become a Surrogate, family, upbringing, etc. When we match the two parties, we look for commonalities. For example, a Surrogate that grew up in a town where an Intended Parent used to live. We find ways in which they can form a bond, but also consider how well their personalities would mesh together.
Once the parties are matched we work very hard to foster real, meaningful partnerships, not just business transactions. Golden Surrogacy does not work with Intended Parent(s) and Surrogates who just want an exchange of money with minimal communication. To us, it is not about the money; it is about building families. We prefer Intended Parents that genuinely care about the well-being, both physical and emotional of their Surrogate and of her family. Likewise, an emphasis is placed on recruiting Surrogate candidates who have more altruistic intentions behind their decision to become a Surrogate.
Every journey is bound to have some bumps along the way. It is our duty as an agency to help guide both parties through these complications. If there is an issue that falls into a grey area and parties are too uncomfortable to discuss with one another in fear of causing a rift in the relationship, we are there to help. Golden Surrogacy is always available and eager to aid in the facilitation of dialogue if there is a disagreement between the Intended Parent(s) and Surrogate. We want to ensure communication remains in-tact and positive.
As we cannot always predict every ebb and flow of the surrogacy journey strong communication is vital. Therefore, an open and honest dialogue must be well established. That way if an unfortunate circumstance occurs such as a miscarriage or failed embryo transfer, everyone can rely upon another for support and understanding. Even with successful outcomes communication remains key. We love seeing our clients making our Surrogates feel included and cared for by doing things like sending pictures utilizing Skype and Face Time, attending milestone appointments, and being at the delivery. Surrogates also tend to champion steady communication via technology when their Intended Parents are out of state during the journey. We love that our “Golden Surrogates” are open, honest, and sharing about their health, and the pregnancy.
Everyone involved needs to remember that the entire journey is typically a 14-18 month commitment on average. Continuing the relationship beyond this time-frame and post-delivery must be strongly considered as well. In the future, Surro-children may want to know their Surrogate or Egg Donor, and how they were born. It is important to form that solid bond from the beginning because you are entrusting so much in that other person. You are truly changing each other’s lives for the better.