A good time to start open communication with your surrogate is after she has been approved by your RE (reproductive endocrinologist) and contracts have already been signed. It is best to let the lawyers discuss monetary issues and the terms of the contract. This leaves you and your surrogate to talk freely about the experience and both of your expectations.
Here are some recommendations:
Discuss upfront your desired frequency of contact; both you and your surrogate are busy people involved in your home activities, work and family. It is best to decide on the specific number of times you would like to meet per week or per month at a specified time. This will allow both parties to enjoy the communication without overwhelming the other. On the other hand, infrequent contact could result in missing out on important events and also on the opportunity to create a nice bond with the wonderful woman who is carrying your baby.
The communication can be via text message, phone call or video conferencing. In a perfect world, parents can attend all doctors’ visits and ultrasounds. In reality, surrogates live far away from their intended parents and the closest to a face to face communication is video conferencing. Also through video conferencing, the intended parents can participate in the transfer of the embryos, some important ultrasound where the gender is revealed or even when the OBGYN discusses different options with his/her patient, the surrogate. Never communicate via social media because this is a setting in which strangers are invited into your private experiences.
During these set times, couples and their surrogate create a positive bond and share personal experiences. You can ask your surrogate about her children, celebrate her accomplishments and those of her family, and of course, discuss details about the surrogacy and pregnancy itself. Surrogacy is a wonderful time to get to know each other; only you and your surrogate set up the limits which you both are comfortable with.
We recommend staying away from any questions which could make her feel like you are monitoring her and not allowing her to live her life. She should not feel like she is being judged during your time together. Additionally, conversations about politics and religion can lead to conflict and are unnecessary. At no point should you confuse your surrogate for your psychologist or your best friend, to whom you reveal your inner most thoughts. Another issue to avoid is any financial or relationship term of the contract. This should be discussed through your representative at the agency who will serve as a mediator, thus deflecting conflict between you and your surrogate.
In general terms, be considerate of each other’s needs, respect each other’s privacy and support each other throughout this journey. If any conflict arises, go back to your representative at your agency who will be advised by the other professionals, such as psychologists and lawyers, to find the best possible solution in order to continue having a positive journey.