"How can you give the baby away?"
I can't tell you how many times I got this question when I was carrying the little guy for my intended parents. I think this is an important topic to discuss for all parties involved. It helps potential gestational carriers understand the emotional aspect of surrogacy. It helps friends and family members of the carrier be more aware of our mindsets. And it helps future intended parents understand how we can healthily disconnect while still having an immense sense of responsibility towards their child. First of all, I will start by saying that surrogacy isn't for everyone. And that is okay! There is a reason we have many checkpoints including psychological evaluations to verify if we are truly ready for this. If you feel like you can't disconnect, it's okay to put on the brakes to see if your mindset can change. And if it never does, you are still an awesome person for even considering this! The easiest way to explain how we see this is not as giving the baby away. The baby isn't "ours" to give away. The embryo belonged to the intended parents from the very beginning. We are simply giving the baby BACK to the his or her parents. Think of it as extreme babysitting. If something happened to your friends for an extended period of time and they needed someone to take care of their kids 24/7 for months on end, would you not be able to give them back their children when they came back? Of course not! You would have loved those kids and been responsible for them. You would have stepped in as a parent-figure for that amount of time. But you would never see yourself as "mom or dad" and would be more than happy to reunite them with their parents because of the joy of that reuniting. That is a bit of an extreme example, but I think it helps some wrap their minds around this process.
In addition, if you have ever expected a child yourself, I want you to go back to that time and really think about why you were emotionally attached to your child. You dreamed of your child's future. You created a home for him or her, looked up nursery designs, thought about who he or she may look like. Will he have my husband's nose? Will she have my smile? You wish and hope for the very best for that child you are carrying and think how you can best prepare him or her for this crazy world. That hope; that worry; that anxiousness; that want to not immensely screw this up: those are the reasons we become so emotionally attached and fall in love with our babies before they are even born. Now take that away. Imagine those thoughts going through the head's of your intended parent's while you are simply carrying the child. They are the ones preparing their home, preparing their minds for the future, and imagining who their child will look like. You are carrying their hopes and dreams. But those hopes and dreams don't belong to you. When you see and experience this difference in mindset, it truly is easier to understand how exciting it is when that baby is born and you see your intended parent's world change in an instant. You did your part. You kept your promise to keep their baby safe for 9 months. And now, their future can begin.