The Six Keys to Successfully Surviving the Emotional Nature of Surrogacy
Many couples, who have been on the emotional roller-coaster ride of fertility treatments without positive results, may be ready to consider surrogacy if they want a baby who shares one or both partners’ DNAs. Sometimes it’s the only option for those with health issues or for LBGT couples. But it’s not a simple solution as stress and surrogacy often go hand in hand.
Physicians at New York Fertility Services know that the emotional aspects of surrogacy are as important as the legal and financial considerations. Joel Batzofin, M.D., an internationally recognized expert in the field of assisted reproductive technology (ART) and founder of New York Fertility Services, has a special interest in third-party parenting and egg donation, as does his associate, Dr. Ilana Ressler. Dr. Batzofin and Dr. Ressler at New York Fertility Services provide surrogacy support services for intended parents through third-party providers.
Know Your Goal
Is it important that your baby has both parents DNA or just one parent’s DNA — or does it matter? That’s the toughest issue to hurdle.
Gestational surrogacy requires only the sperm, the egg and a uterus. In most cases, the intended mother provides the egg and the intended father provides the sperm. For same-sex or single parents, sperm and an egg donor are required. The egg and sperm are combined via in vitro fertilization (IVF) and the fertilized egg is implanted into the uterus of the surrogate. The baby does not have the surrogate’s
Counselors are trained to recognize signs of emotional conflict or undue pressure within the relationship. Using a surrogate is a big decision that both partners must willingly embrace.
Even though both partners may be fully committed to the process, pressure can arise if they are not financially secure. They must budget correctly to avoid stress on their relationship as well as the relationship with their surrogate. Funds to cover the surrogate’s payment, physicians’ services, medical costs, counseling, attorneys’ fees, travel and other expenses, can range from $50,000 to $150,000.
Obtain Peace of Mind
Regardless of whether your surrogate is a family member, a friend or someone unknown to you, you need the peace of mind provided by a legal agreement in any surrogacy arrangement. New York Fertility Services can refer you to third-party providers of surrogates who will help you choose a surrogate with similar goals, develop your agreement, manage financial obligations and arrange ongoing counseling.
Intended parents who are distrustful or depressed or have inflated egos do not make good candidates for surrogacy programs. Couples who handle new situations with flexibility and understanding will usually have better relationships with their surrogates. No one wins a power struggle.
It’s OK to be excited! Often the intended parents are emotionally guarded because they have failed to become pregnant, despite every effort. But most surrogates have given birth before, have enjoyed the experience, and want to help others. They want to know that you are delighted and looking forward to becoming parents. Although the parties may have very different backgrounds, they have one thing in common – the desire to deliver a healthy baby to a happy home.
Plan for the Best
After nine emotional months, could the situation get any more difficult? Yes! Have a plan in place for the day your baby is born. Even though you’re excited to meet your child, make sure your surrogate is relaxed while in labor — and appreciated after the baby is born. After all, it has been an emotional, hormone-driven day for her, too. Also agree ahead of time on the extent of your relationship after the birth so that everyone knows what to expect in the future.
If you are emotionally prepared to learn more about surrogacy options, contact Dr. Batzofin at New York Fertility Services at 212-679-2289.