It is a joyous occasion for the intended parents when a baby is born via surrogacy. Surrogacy is a unique and rewarding experience for the surrogate mother and the intended parents. However, there are special considerations you need to take into account if you are considering surrogacy to build a family.
A few things to think about include the type of surrogacy to choose, potential legal issues, and pediatric healthcare. When a baby is born via surrogacy, the intended parents should also think about how they will bond with the baby, feeding options, and how they will broach the topic of birth via surrogacy once the child is older.
Here is a guide that explores some of the important things intended parents need to think about when raising a baby via surrogacy.
What Is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is a family-building option in which a person, known as a surrogate or gestational carrier, carries a pregnancy on behalf of intended parents who are unable to carry a child themselves. There are two types of surrogacy arrangements: traditional and gestational.
Traditional Vs. Gestational
Traditional surrogacy is when the surrogate carries a child that has been created using the surrogate’s own egg and the sperm from a donor or from an intended parent.
A gestational surrogate carries a child that has been created by combining the egg of a donor or an intended parent and the sperm from a donor or an intended parent. Gestational surrogacy is the modern approach to surrogacy, and it has fewer legal and emotional implications than traditional surrogacy.
When searching for a surrogate, many people choose to locate one using a surrogate agency. A reputable surrogate agency employs qualified professionals who are trained to match suitable surrogates with intended parents. They have a vetting process in place to ensure all potential surrogates pass certain requirements, and they will support and guide the surrogate and intended parents throughout their journey.
Why Do Intended Parents Choose This Family Building Option?
There are plenty of reasons why intended parents choose surrogacy. They include infertility, medical conditions, genetic issues, and age. Another reason could be that they have already tried other options, such as fertility treatments, and found them to be unsuccessful. Surrogacy gives intended parents the chance to have a family with biological children.
Laws vary from state to state, so intended parents need to do their research into the specific laws surrounding surrogacy where they live. It is important to consider any legal issues that may arise in the future.
For instance, if the surrogate mother decides that she wants to establish legal parental rights, it is important to have a plan in place for how to address this. It is also important for intended parents to ensure that they have all the necessary legal documentation in place. This includes a birth certificate that states that the intended parents are the legal parents, as well as any adoption or parentage orders that may be required.
Connecting with Your Child
For intended parents who did not carry the baby themselves, bonding with the baby is an important part of the process. It is important for the parents to spend as much time with the baby as possible. They should cuddle and hold them and engage in skin-to-skin contact.
This can help promote a strong, familiar bond between the parents and the baby. Studies show that skin-to-skin contact helps create a strong attachment between parents and children.
Intended parents who did not physically carry the baby may want to explore the option of induced lactation or using a breast pump to produce breast milk. This can help promote bonding with the baby and gives the intended parents the chance to provide vital nutrition for the baby. Intended parents who are unable to produce breast milk can bottle feed their baby with a high-quality organic formula such as HiPP Dutch 1 instead.
Intended parents who are unable to produce breast milk can bottle feed their baby with formula instead. Regardless of the feeding method, establishing a feeding routine early on is incredibly important. It will help the baby develop healthy eating habits at an early age, and it will also ensure they are receiving the nutrition they need.
Intended parents need to establish a relationship with a pediatrician, and they should look for one who is familiar with the surrogacy process. An experienced pediatrician with this type of specialization can provide guidance and support tailored to your needs. The pediatrician can also give the baby important vaccinations and track their health and development.
Although the surrogate mother should be vetted before the process begins, it is possible that medical complications may arise during pregnancy or childbirth. Your pediatrician should be made aware of the surrogate mother’s medical history so that they can monitor the baby’s health accordingly.
Explaining Surrogacy to the Child
Studies show that keeping the birth story a secret from a child who is a product of surrogacy can be harmful to both the child and the parents. As the child grows older, it is important to start talking to them about their origin and how they came to be part of the family. It is important to address the topic when the child is at an age where they are ready to hear the story.
When the time is right, try to be open and honest about the entire process. The child will probably have more questions to ask as they get older, which is why it is a good idea to view the discussion as an ongoing conversation. Understanding where they came from can help a child feel secure in their identity as they grow up.
Building a Support System
Just like any other parent, intended parents with children from a surrogate need to have a good support system in place. Your support system can include friends and family, as well as online groups and communities of other parents with babies via surrogacy.
Intended parents who are going through the process through a surrogate agency can take advantage of the information and resources they provide. These agencies often offer counseling services to help intended parents tackle any challenges the surrogacy process might throw their way.