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Surrogacy: Communication after Delivery
a blog by April Alvarado, Senior Case Manager – Northwest Region, Fertility SOURCE Companies, December 12, 2014
Do I NEED to contact my surrogatw after delivery? Do you think she wants to stay in touch? What if I never hear from my Intended Parents after the baby is born? As a Case Manager, I get asked lots of different questions by Intended Parents and surrogates throughout every stage of the surrogacy process. One of the topics discussed more than most others is the expectations and preferences for communication after delivery. This is a very personal topic with no right or wrong feelings, but there are guidelines for maintaining or minimizing relationships and avoiding hurt feelings after the "big day". After being a surrogate myself and seeing these relationships from both sides as a Case Manager, here are some of my thoughts on how to handle this very personal decision.
Intended Parents, this woman who just delivered your child and who has surely earned a special place in your heart has known from day one that there is a possibility you could leave the hospital and never contact her again. Does she hope that doesn't happen? Absolutely! But all surrogates have all heard a story or two about relationships between gestational carriers and Intended Parents ending after delivery. Trust me when I tell you, surrogates understand how busy you will be with your new baby (or babies) after you return home and they do not want to burden you with another relationship you feel obligated to maintain or interfere with your new family. They have kids of their own and they understand the demands that children (especially newborns) can make on your life. However, they do want the comfort of knowing that this child they carried is home, happy and healthy. They probably want to see a picture of your child on birthdays and maybe a holiday here or there. If you would like to send an email or make a call on occasion to say hello and give her a little update on your child’s development, she’ll love it! It is extremely rare that a surrogate will ask for and/or expect regular communication with their Intended Parents. They understand this is not always possible or realistic. As a previous surrogate myself, I never really knew what I wanted or didn't want in regards to communication, but like most other surrogates, I was open to whatever level of communication my Intended Parents desired. Surrogates are caring people who will always have a place in their heart for you and your little bundle of joy, no matter what.
The bottom line is, whatever you're comfortable with, she'll adapt to. If you feel uncomfortable with maintaining a relationship with your surrogate after delivery, it’s okay. Everyone is different and we all have our own expectations and preferences. If you worked with an agency, contact your Case Manager and ask her for guidance on how to approach the discussion of terminating the relationship after delivery. There are ways to handle these delicate situations so that feelings aren’t hurt and your surrogate doesn’t feel unappreciated. If you don’t know what she’s comfortable with, ask! Chances are she’s wondering too. I've seen post-delivery contact from zero to daily and everything in between. The key is communication. Even if it’s communicating about not communicating, it’s important and helps both sides be able to focus on the main goal, building your family. Good luck with your journey!
April Alvarado, our Senior Case Manager - Northwest Region, has previous experience as a surrogate which makes her passionate about surrogacy and egg donation and gives her a thorough understanding of both processes. In addition to 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 feelings I have for the surrogacy and egg donation programs and my ability to relate to all different types of personalities puts my surrogates, donors and Intended Parents at ease knowing that I genuinely care about them and the emotions they experience throughout their journeys. I fondly look back on my time as a surrogate as one of the most significant and rewarding experiences of my life. The surrogacy and egg donation journeys can make dreams come true for both Intended Parents who desire a child of their own and for surrogates and donors who want to help them fulfill this dream. I thoroughly love the work I do, and I feel very lucky to be a part of the program as a Case Manager.” April is proud to help intended parents match with egg donors and manage their cycles in the Northwest Region, including Northern California (CA), Portland (OR) & Seattle (WA), and manage surrogacy cases in Northern California.