Surrogacy is an inherently complicated process that has been made exponentially easier by reputable surrogacy agencies. Even then, personal backup is essential. At Reproductive Sciences Medical Center, we talk a lot about supporting surrogates during their surrogacy journey.
Surrogates, Surrogacy agencies, doctors, and IVF clinics often get praised for their efforts, but the surrogate’s partner deserves equal praise. It is the partner who makes it possible for a woman to become a surrogate mom. They offer physical and emotional support throughout the surrogacy process.
As one of the top surrogacy agencies in California, Reproductive Sciences Medical Center believes it is of utmost importance that a surrogate has a strong support system. In most cases, it is a surrogate’s partner who acts as primary support for the surrogate. Sometimes, especially when the situation becomes emotionally intense, even the support person (partner) needs support. During such a crisis, therapy for a surrogate’s partner can be key to a fulfilling experience; as it helps them sort out complicated feelings and can ultimately bring the couple closer.
Support from a surrogate’s point of view
Surrogates are like superheroes; they do amazing things to help other people start their own family. Women who choose to become surrogates are already mothers who might have a full-time job and are raising their own children. Due to this, the surrogacy journey can be physically and emotionally exhausting. This is where the partner comes in.
Physical assistance is important to a surrogate, and often will be provided by their partner. During her pregnancy, a surrogate cannot carry out the usual tasks she is accustomed to. Her partner needs to take on that responsibility. Partners are called ‘partners’ for a reason, it’s a reminder that the surrogate is not alone in the process. The significant other is always there for support whenever the surrogate feels down, tired or overwhelmed. A partner will also be there to share the moments of excitement. Emotions can run high during the journey and it’s possible that the surrogate may get overwhelmed. Carrying another family’s child has a lot of risks and responsibilities. This is where a partner can ground her. A few simple words or a gesture of love will remind her why she chose to become a surrogate in the first place.
When some women consider gestational surrogacy, they prefer to do the research on their own. When she is ready, the idea will be presented to her husband or partner. Others involve their spouse from the very start, preferring to get help in determining if surrogacy is the right fit for their family.
It’s important to determine at an early stage whether your partner is on board or not. Any reputable surrogacy agency in San Diego will include them from the beginning of the screening process. Below is a list of things that your partner is expected to participate in during the process.
- Complete medical screening, which includes testing for sexually transmitted or communicable diseases.
- Discussing the emotional complexities of the surrogacy process and surrogate support with a mental health professional.
- Discussing legal implications with your assigned attorney.
- Participating in home visits.
- Undergo financial and background checks.
It’s imperative that the surrogate and her partner are on the same page about the whole process and have a discussion early on how to envision the process. It should be kept in mind that not everything will go as planned, hence patience and flexibility are extremely important during the whole surrogacy process. It will also be a good opportunity to express certain preferences and non-negotiables.
Why is therapy important for the surrogate’s partner?
During the initial meeting with the agency’s mental health professional, you and your partner will explore some of these issues and questions in more detail. Some may find out that they will require more support throughout the journey or that certain factors don’t even arise until much later. Surrogacy is a complex and very personal process. Few things are more intimate than carrying a baby. When someone’s partner is carrying a baby for someone else, it may be extremely difficult to know how they fit in the process.
The truth is, husbands do need support, even though they might think “I’m a guy, I don’t need support.” Having a child is a very emotional thing and when he sees his wife give birth, there’s going to be some emotional attachment that he will need to talk about.
The emotional attachment and support are addressed with the gestational carrier or surrogate mom from the very beginning; She has support from the surrogacy agency, and her surrogacy support group will also help her to address these very natural feelings. But a surrogate’s partner doesn’t have that luxury. For them, therapy is a beneficial way to sort out similarly complicated emotions.
How do I find a therapist for my partner?
Once your partner recognizes that therapy can be a helpful tool and agrees to it, you can start finding a therapist. There are a few proven ways to find a good therapist. Not all therapy is the same so Reproductive Sciences Medical Center offers a few tips:
- Ask for a reference from family or friends. Talk to the people close with the surrogacy process, like your match manager or other gestational carriers. We as an agency will be there to support you and your partner in any way needed during the surrogacy process and that includes identifying the suitable therapist. You can always ask other surrogate’s partners as they may have experienced a similar situation and can ask their own therapist for a referral list.
- Once you have found someone to contact, give them a call. Ask them a few questions about their background and their specialty to get an idea if they are qualified to help with your specific needs.
The cost of therapy will vary depending on your therapist, income level and location of their clinic. Most therapists will charge anywhere from $75 to $150 each session. Our goal is to find affordable counselling options for you.
It’s difficult to say exactly how long a surrogate’s partner will have to go to therapy, but most couples are confident enough to say that both the time and costs are worth it. It will not only help your partner process their own feelings, but it can also help them become a more solid source of support for you.
Reproductive Sciences Medical Center has some great advice for the surrogate’s partner. “Treat your wife with care, patience, and love, as this might be scary for you both. Try to imagine the happiness the Intended Parents will experience when your wife gives birth to their baby.”
Partners are truly the unseen heroes of surrogacy, and we are here to support you both in your generous act. You can learn about surrogacy by visiting us at www.fertile.com or you can call 858-436-7186 to schedule a free consultation.