OPENING YOUR HEART – and Sharing Your Whole Story – is Part of the Surrogacy Process
For gestational surrogates, being 100% transparent and open – both with yourself and with us – is critical. Nothing is too personal to share when deciding to carry a baby for someone.
At ARTparenting, we’re 100% dedicated to serving the needs of women who choose to become surrogates – generous, caring women like you. That’s why so much space on this informational website is devoted to things we want you to know about. Things like getting started and how it works. The list of requirements for surrogacy. Plus, all the ways we support you during the process — something we’re proud and pleased to do.
One of the things we especially want to make certain of is that you feel comfortable enough to share things with us, openly and honestly. We’re talking about anything in your life, your background, or your personal history that might pop up “down the road” that could possibly impact the surrogacy arrangement you’ve entered into. This is as much for your protection as for anyone.
It is critical to think about such things, and for you to share them with us. We want you to know that issues in your personal life (and we all have a past full of ups and downs) are not going to stop you from being accepted as a surrogate.
We’re proud of the fact that ARTparenting is a safe environment for sharing confidences, and we appreciate your openness — and fully support you in exploring any issues if you’d find that helpful.
What kind of issues are we talking about?
Really anything, big or small, that has a potential of having an unforeseen impact on the surrogacy process. Perhaps it involves a conflict or a roadblock in your life. Or a financial problem. Or even an event in your childhood or in your current or past relationships.
These can be things that as a surrogate you think are irrelevant to the process (they’re usually not), or that might be your first instinct to keep private:
Were you the victim or sexual or another kind of abuse, either as an adult or in childhood?
Have you been in a problematic or dysfunctional relationship?
Do you have abandonment issues, either as the result of a failed relationship or in your childhood?
Have you wrestled with drug or alcohol challenges or addictions? Or do you come from a family that did?
Are you comfortable with the diversity of lifestyles, nationalities, and ethnicities that intended parents may or may not represent? There is no judgment in this question, just an opportunity to explore what you are comfortable with in an intended parent.
Is there a legal or criminal issue from your past that, even though resolved, that could pop up later?
Do you have guns in the home and are they in a safe?
Do you have ethical questions around the possibility of, say, pregnancy reduction, or termination of a pregnancy for a medical reason?
Here’s the thing. At ARTparenting, we’re never about judging you.
The fact is as a potential surrogate you are entering into an intimate relationship with the intended parents – as well as with your support team at ARTparenting. And this requires an extraordinary level of candor, for your own sake as much as that of the intended parents.
This is what we refer to as “full disclosure.” Our goal is to always control for the things we can. Without full transparency all around, we could never be sure that we are not missing something critical that may interfere with being able to proceed.
Obviously, some of the issues we’re talking about are things that ideally would be disclosed in completing your initial surrogacy application, or during the required psychological evaluation. But once again, it is some folks’ first instinct not to share certain things, either because they’re unpleasant, because they were “resolved,” or because they’re “way in the past.”
But if they happened to you and they’re part of your consciousness, they’re never fully in the past. The importance and responsibility of bringing a child into the world require that they not be swept under the rug.
Remember, as a surrogate you are committing to an intense partnership with a couple that is placing their hopes and dreams in your hands. This requires you to look honestly at yourself: Is your current relationship or partnership truly a stable one? Is your husband or partner really as supportive as you would like to think? How will your own children react to your choice? Are you as comfortable carrying another person’s child as you say? And are you doing it for the right reasons?
The need for openness doesn’t end at the signing of your surrogacy contract.
It’s vital that, as a surrogate, you keep us informed about what’s happening in your life – anything from a job switch to a change in your insurance to a possible move or relocation. Keeping us informed, as well as the intended parents, will allow us to better support you. So if something’s happening, let us know!
One of the truisms about surrogacy is that surrogates are optimistic and generous women who generally love being pregnant, who want to do something meaningful, and who sincerely want to make others happy. That’s why they do what they do, and that’s a wonderful thing. But part of pleasing people is the tendency to not bring up topics that are unpleasant.
Please know that, as a surrogate, there is nothing in your past that will necessarily be a showstopper or a deal breaker, as long as we can talk about it freely, as partners in a wonderful adventure.
With your candor, frank honesty, and the mutual trust between us, we just know that the adventure will be a fulfilling one for all involved!