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Thoughtfully Considering Surrogacy for Family-Building

by Pamela MacPhee, Author, Delivering Hope: The Extraordinary Journey of a Surrogate Mom, April 19, 2012

As we approach National Infertility Awareness Week (April 22-28), I find myself thinking often about my surrogacy journey to deliver a baby girl to my cousin and his wife, and how I can perhaps help other prospective intended parents to thoughtfully consider surrogacy as an option to creating the family of your dreams.

Surrogacy, like adoption or in vitro fertilization (IVF) can be an anxiety ridden journey to a family, but I believe many of the fears and concerns about surrogacy can be addressed and resolved early on to lay down the path for a beautiful, fulfilling, joyful journey. There is an inherent lack of control entrusting someone else to carry your baby, but the concerns that stem from that feeling can largely be put to rest when you create a relationship with your surrogate that is based on trust and understanding, supported by excellent and consistent communication.

After finding a reputable, knowledgeable surrogacy agency that thoroughly screens surrogates and is committed to finding you the right match, make sure all of you have the wise counsel of a surrogacy psychologist and the consistent support of a surrogacy coordinator to facilitate your relationship with your surrogate.

Then, as much as possible, I suggest you open up to your surrogate and let her know about your hopes, your fears, your wishes for how your relationship will proceed. Surrogates, by and large, are a people-loving group who want to work together with you as a team to bring your baby into the world. They don’t want you to feel anxious and unsure. They want you to be happy and hopeful, and they derive great joy from helping you and sharing your journey with you to make your dreams come true.

So the more you can communicate with them and share the journey with them, and the more they can share the pregnancy and journey with you, the more fulfilling and satisfying and comforting your journey will be for all of you. Typically, any fears and misunderstandings and complications inevitably result from a lack of communication, a lack of trust and a lack of understanding. On the contrary to the belief of some intended parents who think it is better to keep the relationship as distant and business-like as possible to prevent any complications, I believe you avoid those complications precisely by creating a relationship that is as open and supportive and understanding as possible.

Ten years ago, following a celebratory Mother’s Day brunch nine months into our surrogacy journey, I joyfully delivered a baby girl to my cousin and his wife, and it was the most fulfilling moment of my life. I had no hesitations, no regrets, no concerns; only great pride in helping make their journey to a family possible. We shared a special experience, and we all deeply appreciated the intimate journey we had chosen to take together.

What a way to welcome a baby into the world. I wish you as fulfilling a journey.

Pamela MacPhee graduated from Stanford University in 1986 with a degree in Human Biology. When her cousin’s wife was diagnosed with cervical cancer and subsequent infertility, she wanted to do something to help. After some serious research and internal soul searching, she knew in her heart she wanted to be their surrogate mom. Her offer became extraordinary surrogacy journey which ended 18 months later with the birth of a baby girl, Hope. MacPhee is the author of Delivering Hope: The Extraordinary Journey of a Surrogate Mom, published in 2009.

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