Canadian Fertility Consultants – Once I made the decision to become a surrogate mother, and I was going into my first conference call, I had a list of questions that I wanted to know about my potential intended parents(IPs). I felt that getting to know them during that first contact, could be tricky, but if I was prepared going in, I would feel better in the end. Choosing IP(s) is a big part of your journey and should be decided only after all your questions have been answered. I had certain qualifications in my mind for the match to be successful and I hope that by sharing them with you, it will help you in your search for IP(s).
What type of couple are you wanting to help…Are you looking to help a single parent, or a couple? Would you prefer a straight couple, or are you open to same sex couples? How about IP(s) who have children already, would this matter to you, or would it depend on what their infertility issues were? Having some idea about the type of IP(s) you are looking for will make the match somewhat easier. We all have ideas of who we want to help become parents, and this will help as you hear the story of what brought your Ips to surrogacy. Remember, that no one will judge you for your decision on who you are wanting to work with or not. We all have expectations, IP(s) included, and its important to hang onto those.
What reasons do the IP(s) have for finding a surrogate, what are their infertility issues… Is there a condition that did not allow for the mother to carry a child? Is this a single intended father you are talking with? Has the couple been trying for a lengthy time to conceive a baby with no success? Has the couple dealt with multiple miscarriages? Sometimes we, as surrogates, choose couples based on why they cannot have a baby of their own. Whatever the reason for infertility, many times this will affect whether we move forward with the IP(s) or not.
What expectations do you have in regards to contact with your IP(s)… Does the couple want to stay in contact with you during the pregnancy and after the baby is born, do they want to keep an open relationship or go their separate ways? Some IP(s) chose to keep the surrogacy quiet, whether it is a decision based on their faith or circumstances. While others intend to tell the child how they came into the world. Consider their choice and decide if you are OK with what their expectations are, are their thoughts for the future matching up with yours?
What about location…You might be more comfortable looking for IP(s) that are close enough to attend every appointment with you. Some surrogates want 110% involvement with the IP(s), others are looking for a slightly distanced relationship with their IP(s), filling them in on the developing pregnancy through Skype, email, or photos. Again, both sides of the journey have expectations in regards to location and closeness…which relates back to expectations of contact during the journey.
There are some more sensitive topics that you need to consider regarding your journey, and know ahead of time your views on them. Keeping to your beliefs about these topics is important, and you need to feel comfortable discussing them with your IP(s) at the beginning, not as they may come up.
One of these areas are Abortion and Selective Reduction. You already know what you feel, but asking your IP(s) to share their thoughts is a necessity at this point. Are the IP(s) doing genetic testing prior to transferring the embryos? Are they not wanting to have the pregnancy result in multiples? Do they, and you, understand the possible risks of SR? What situations are you comfortable doing SR, or would you leave that decision completely up to your IP(s)? Though we are the ones carrying the baby, it is our IP(s) right to make these decisions. Knowing where your comfort level is beforehand will make the conversation easier to have.
How many embryos would you be willing to transfer? Would you go with what your IP(s) request of the doctor, or do you have a limit for your body. Are you not wanting to carry multiples, or have you in the past and are OK with this. Bringing up embryo numbers prior to contract stage is a good idea for that you are not stunned by what they are going to do.
One last possibly sensitive issue for surrogates is Amniocentesis. Some surrogates I talk to, myself included, discuss placing this on the