Meeting your surrogate or your intended parents for the first time is like going on a blind date.
You’ll be nervous. You’ll be excited. Things might feel a little awkward at first.
There’s no need to worry, though. Remember: you are both are probably having the same emotions!
Having matched surrogates and intended parents for over 20 years, Circle knows a thing or two about finding someone with whom you’re compatible. Our thorough matching process helps to ensure that your first Skype video call will be successful.
Before your initial call, take a deep breath and relax. Below are 9 helpful tips to keep in mind and get you thinking. Remember, every surrogate and intended parent match call is different!
- Be ready. Just like going on a first date, you’ll get the most out of your call and have an easier time making a decision about whether you want to pursue a relationship if you take the time to prepare beforehand. Start by reviewing your potential surrogate’s or intended parent’s profile. Then, sit down with your partner or support person and think about the questions you have and what you want to accomplish during the call. Before your scheduled meeting, it’s a good idea to fire up Skype and give it a quick test run.
- Try not to give a list of requirements. When you’re meeting your potential intended parents or surrogate, feel free to discuss general lifestyle questions and habits, but don’t plan on giving specific instructions. Intended parents should know that surrogates rely on the expert guidance of their obstetricians or gynecologists and other medical professionals. It can be difficult to let go of some control when you are having a child through surrogacy, but it’s an important part of a successful journey.
- Ask questions and be willing to learn. Find out what led your potential surrogate or IPs to surrogacy. Ask about things outside of surrogacy as well. How do they spend their free time? It’s great to ask general questions about family and lifestyle.
- Inquire, don’t interrogate. While you should be inquisitive, keep the conversation light. Your approach is just as important as your choice of questions. The first meeting is not about screening your surrogate or intended parents. Approved surrogates pass psychological and social work screenings as well as a medical records review by an IVF physician. Intended parents also undergo a screening process with our consultation team before joining our program. Your focus during the match call should be to get to know each other.
- Discuss your hopes and expectations for communication. You’ve heard it before—communication is key! Some of our intended parents and surrogates become very close, talk with each other often, and arrange several in-person visits during the course of the surrogacy journey. We encourage open and honest relationships, but we recognize that these can take many forms. Talking about your hopes for frequency/level of communication as well as the form it will take (Skype, phone calls, in-person visits, etc.) at this stage is a good idea to make sure everyone shares the same expectations. You might also discuss your hopes for contact after birth.
6. Refrain from talking about money. Financial issues fall under the umbrella of legal considerations and get covered during the course of contract negotiations. You will each be represented by separate attorneys. Again, at this point in the process, you should focus on getting to know each other. One of the best advantages of working with a surrogacy agency is the freedom it gives you to focus on enjoying your surrogacy journey while you agency takes care of the rest
7. Remember this is a two-way street. Intended parents want to learn about their surrogates and surrogates want to learn about their intended parents in order to make the right decision. Be prepared to share your own story—what led you to surrogacy—talk about your family, and ask the same of your surrogate or intended parents.
8. Don’t stress. These calls are meant to be conversations, not interviews. Remember, you want to make sure that you mesh and that you share similar hopes and expectations. So take a breath and relax so you can focus on the important things.
9. Be honest. It is 100% ok to start your call by saying, “I just want you to know how nervous I am!” We can almost guarantee that you will get a loud, “Me, too!” right back. Once you get that out in the open, the conversation will start to flow. You are potentially going to embark on a monumental journey together, it’s your chance to be open and honest about your feelings (even if they are to say that you don’t know what you should be talking about!).
- We hope you’ve find these tips helpful. Again, this is meant as a guide to help you prepare for your first meeting—there is no need to cover every detail. Good luck!
Have advice for intended parents or surrogates who are getting ready for their first call? Share below!Learn more about becoming a surrogate or becoming a parent through surrogacy.
Have advice for intended parents or surrogates who are getting ready for their first call? Share below!
Cover Photo Photo Credit: Melissa Bissell Photography