Your first meeting with a woman who would carry your baby for next nine months can be awkward. You might have spent meticulous efforts to form a massive checklist of questions, like:
“Do you smoke?”
“Are you sexually active?”
But these are not the right questions to be asked on first meeting. Don’t worry, your doubts would be cleared after the surrogate’s medical and psychological exams, and you’ll be made aware of them by a professional.
When you sit down face-to-face with a potential gestational carrier, try to empathize with what she’s going through. After a huge amount of deliberation and soul searching, she’s decided to do something incredibly generous, terrifically inconvenient, and more than a tiny bit risky, for a virtual stranger. She is also nervous about the meeting, you need to ease her.
1. Why did you become a surrogate?
Although her weak financial stability might be the reason, but it can never be the only reason. Yes, money is important but with all a surrogate goes through, she’s going to earn that cash, and it is a limited sum. No one’s getting rich as a gestational surrogate, so it’s a safe bet she has bigger motives.
2. What were your other pregnancies like?
You will know all the medical information about the surrogate and her previous pregnancies from her medical examination report. But by asking this question you show some curiosity and empathy towards her. It can be a good start to build a good relationship. By knowing small details about her cravings and small needs, you’ll know just what to put in her care package.
3. How do your friends and family feel about you being a surrogate?
Surrogate mother needs support as it is both physically and emotionally demanding. If you assure her of becoming a good support and appreciate what an amazing thing she’s doing, then she would be happy throughout her pregnancy.
4. Will you be comfortable if we assist you with doctor’s appointments and in delivery room?
Most surrogates will fully anticipate and welcome your participation in the process, but raising the issue in a polite and respectful manner will set the right tone for when those intimate moments inevitably arise.
5. What kind of communication would you like to maintain after the birth?
Some surrogates and intended parents want to stay in close touch. It’s important to reiterate that your surrogate will have no legal rights to your child. Once your baby is born, you are well within your rights to cut off all
contact with the surrogate and never see her again.
Once your child is old enough to understand how he or she came into the world, they’ll likely be curious about who their surrogate was, so it helps if you’ve kept up the relationship.
6. What are your concerns about us or this process?
You never know what your surrogate may be thinking or how you may come across to her. She might have a special request that’s very important to her or a fear she’s working to get over.
Let her know that her concerns are important to you, and in case she does have a vastly different idea of how the birth should go, it’s better to find out now rather than a trimester or two into the pregnancy.
Dr Neeraj Pahlajani