What do we mean by a "good support system?"
When you start researching surrogacy, you will often times hear that you need a good support system in place. It tends to be one of those points that can easily be overlooked but very well may be one of the most important aspects of starting your journey. First, if you have a spouse or significant other, it is pertinent that he or she stands behind you 100% and fully understands this process as well. Surrogacy cannot be something you enter into with a spouse who has a passive attitude or isn't really okay with it in the first place. This is for a number of reasons. First, your spouse will need to sign the paperwork and parentage orders. Because of this, he or she needs to agree to all points and be prepared to follow that contract in its entirety. Second, many times your spouse or partner will be required to undergo a psychological evaluation during the screening process. This will and can uncover a host of issues like not being 100% on board or possibly having the wrong motives. Third, surrogacy pregnancies can look quite different than a pregnancy of your own. Aside from the emotional disconnection (especially for the spouse!), there are numerous appointments from the very start. In fact, you can have up to 4-6 appointments prior to even achieving pregnancy that may include travel as well as sometimes weekly appointments after transfer through the first trimester. This means a disruption in normal routines, schedule rearranging, etc. Do you have to be married or in a steady relationship to pursue surrogacy? Absolutely not! There are many women who are single and prepared to take on this journey. However, ask yourself important questions. When you have appointments at a fertility clinic where children may not be able to attend, who can you count on? If something comes up last minute where you need to be seen by a healthcare provider, what is your plan for your kids? Who do you trust to watch them overnight if you have to travel out of town? If you get orders from your OB for bedrest, who can step in around the clock that you trust? Decide who your village is and have good, frank conversations with those people to see who truly is open to stepping in for normal parts of this process as well as any hiccups that may come up. Overall, it is important to not just have the psychological support of friends and family, but to have those who are willing to step in and take action. We want our surrogates to have a seamless journey that is as stress-free as possible which is why it is important to iron out these details from the very beginning.