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For Intended Parents: Choosing the Right Surrogate
by April Alvarado, Case Manager, Texas, Colorado and Southern California, Fertility SOURCE Companies, February 1, 2012
Being a previous surrogate myself, I have gained a lot of knowledge and perspective about the surrogacy process. Now as a Case Manager, I have had the honor and privilege of working with incredible people who have the same goal in mind: to build a family. Throughout the surrogacy process, emotions run high with both the surrogate and the Intended Parents. Relationships are formed, decisions must be made, and each experience is unique. Like all journeys in life, there are bumps in the road at times, but after working with several Intended Parents during my time as a Case Manager, I have now begun to understand more clearly the journey from an Intended Parent's point of view.
As an Intended Parent, one of the most important decisions you will have to make is who you will choose to carry your child. Once you have reached the decision to choose surrogacy, chances are you have already experienced the ups and downs of infertility and fertility treatment. Finding the right surrogate will ensure that you will be able to have an open and honest relationship and adequate communication with the woman you have chosen to share this experience with. The relationship between Intended Parent(s) and their surrogate will surely play a role in the success of their surrogacy experience. Just like surrogates, some Intended Parents are looking for someone that they can not only build a relationship with during the surrogacy, but also maintain a lifelong friendship with after the delivery of the child. Like all relationships in life, some maintain a strong, healthy bond over the years, while some diminish with time. When choosing a surrogate to experience your surrogacy journey with, it is primarily important to make sure you agree on the important issues during pregnancy and delivery, such as communication, specific requests (dietary restrictions, etc.), but it is also important to feel some type of connection with the woman who is helping you build your family. These connections can be discovered over little things like a favorite book or movie. Other times, Intended Parents and surrogates may find a special bond with something more substantial, such as similar religious beliefs or family values. One of the best ways to get a feel for the personality of a surrogate is through her “Letter to Intended Parents." This is a letter written by the surrogate to her Intended Parents before she is matched. This will help Intended Parents get a feel for who she is, why she has chosen surrogacy, and her level of commitment to helping her Intended Parents build their family.
In my experiences as a Case Manager, I have been touched by many of the friendships I have seen begin and flourish over the months between surrogates and their Intended Parents. This is one of the most important, if not the most important journey you will embark on over the course of a lifetime and a healthy, respectful relationship between you and your surrogate will play a pivotal role in the success of your surrogacy journey. Please remember that the women who have made the life-changing decision to carry a child for another couple are incredibly committed to helping you achieve your ultimate goal, to become a parent. Their emotions, whether good or bad, will generally mirror yours and are genuine. Finding the right surrogate to assist you in your goal of having a child, will put your mind at ease knowing that you have someone you can rely on to help make your dreams come true.
April Alvarado, Case Manager Texas, Colorado and Southern California, has previous experience as a surrogate making her passionate about surrogacy and giving her a thorough understanding of the process. In addition to her experience working with The Surrogacy Source, she has also worked in the customer service industry for several years and really enjoys working with people. April states, “The feeling I have for the surrogacy program and my ability to relate to all different types of personalities puts my surrogates and intended parents at ease knowing that I genuinely care about them and the emotions they experience throughout their journey. I fondly look back on my time as a surrogate as one of the most significant and rewarding experiences of my life. The surrogacy journey can make dreams come true for both intended parents who desire a child of their own and for surrogates who want to help them fulfill this dream, and I am very excited to be a part of the program as a case manager.”