No, it won’t be hard for me…….
As a gestational surrogate, I have had many conversations with co-workers, friends and family members about surrogacy. I am proud to be a surrogate, but I’m not usually one to bring it up unless it comes up. For example, if someone asks what I am naming the baby, how many other children I have, about my “mat leave”. I think part of the reason why I don’t bring it up, is the assumption that people often make that it is somehow sad or hard for me.
I wanted to try to explain for anyone who is curious about becoming a surrogate or anyone who may encounter a surrogate why I am not worried about giving this baby to its parents.
First of all, I do have children. I love my children dearly, but personally, I am done. The older my children get the less desire I have to go back to raising a baby. Some surrogates aren’t yet done their own family, and that’s fine, but they know it’s a completely different experience carrying for someone else vs. their own child.
Secondly, I am what is called a “gestational” surrogate. This means that the child I am carrying has no genetic link to me. It is a product of the parent’s genetic material or in some cases with gestational surrogacy the parents will look towards donors, but this is separate from the surrogate. Personally, while I have a great respect and admiration for those who are able to donate their genetic material, it’s not something I have the desire to do. This baby is not mine, I don’t have any more attachment to it than I do to the babies my friends and family members have. That may sound strange- as I am carrying it and certainly do feel it move, etc.- but I think the slight detachment is something that is a healthy response to entering into a surrogacy. I’m not dreaming of baby names and nursery colours. I’m thrilled for the parents and excited to hear about THEIR plans, but it’s just not part of my end of the process.
Some people have asked about the relationship I expect after the baby is born, and my answer is none. That isn’t to say that I wouldn’t be thrilled to hear from the family or get a picture or updates, but my expectation is that they will have total control over that, based on their comfort level- and that is ok to me.So why did I do it? Because I believe that what I am doing is right and will directly help a family I may never have met had it not been for this unique relationship of surrogate and parents. And that is all I need to feel good about what I have done. I think the best things we can do for people are those that money can’t buy, this is the same reason I am a registered organ donor, why I donate blood regularly and why I am registered as a potential stem cell donor if I were ever a match. I am helping a family in a way that I am uniquely able to. It’s an incredible honor and I am extremely proud to be able to do this. I can’t imagine anything but feelings of pride and being extremely happy for the parents of this child when I am finally able to see them united.
So, no, it won’t be hard for me to give the parents their baby when the time comes. It’s never been my baby. I never had any dream or hope of bringing it home, this whole process has been one where my ultimate payback is seeing the look on the parents’ faces when they get to meet their child- one that without surrogacy may not have been at all.