Surrogacy, a remarkable reproductive option, delves into the depths of human emotion, involving a complex interplay of feelings and psychological impacts for all parties involved. Surrogacy is a lifeline for many struggling with infertility. The emotional significance of surrogacy cannot be overstated, as it brings joy and hope to couples longing for a child.
Gestational surrogacy is the most common form of surrogacy today. It involves the transfer of an embryo created using the intended parent’s genetic material or donated gametes into the uterus of the surrogate mother, who carries the pregnancy, supported by a Legal contract which is based on Canada’s AHRA, governed by Health Canada, as well as provincially post birth.
Emotional Impacts on Surrogate Mothers
Surrogate mothers undertake a profoundly emotional journey, one that brings to the forefront an array of feelings and concerns, some of which are deeply personal and often uncharted territory. As they navigate the complexities of surrogacy, these incredible women find themselves grappling with a rollercoaster of emotions that can be both heartwarming and challenging.
Feelings of Attachment
One of the most profound emotional experiences for surrogate mothers is the attachment they develop with the child they carry. It’s a unique bond that is nurtured over the course of the pregnancy, as they feel the baby’s movements and witness its growth. This attachment is a testament to the surrogate’s remarkable capacity to provide a safe and loving environment for the developing child, and it’s a source of pride and fulfillment.
Pride in Helping Others
Surrogate mothers often experience a profound sense of pride in their ability to help intended parents achieve their dreams of having a child. Their willingness to selflessly embark on this journey is a testament to their empathy, compassion, and a deep desire to make a positive impact in the lives of others. This pride and fulfillment can be a powerful motivating force throughout the surrogacy process.
Anxiety about Medical Procedures
Surrogacy involves a series of medical procedures and interventions, from fertility treatments to prenatal check-ups. These medical aspects can evoke anxiety and concern, as surrogate mothers grapple with the physical and emotional demands of the process. The fear of the unknown and the desire for a smooth and healthy pregnancy can be a source of stress.
Concerns about Relinquishing the Child
Perhaps the most profound emotional challenge faced by surrogate mothers is the knowledge that they will eventually need to part with the child they’ve carried and nurtured. This transition, while expected, can be emotionally charged and fraught with mixed feelings. Surrogates often wrestle with a profound sense of attachment to the child, making the act of relinquishing it both heart-wrenching and emotionally complex.
Postpartum emotions are another facet of surrogacy that surrogate mothers may encounter. These emotions are not limited to the physical recovery but extend to the shifting dynamics of their relationship with the intended parents. It’s a unique postpartum experience, often deeply rooted in the relationships that have developed over the surrogacy journey. The surrogate’s emotional well-being and support system are crucial during this phase to ensure a smooth transition from being a surrogate to embracing their role as a cherished part of the child’s life.
Emotional and Psychological Impacts on Intended Parents
The path from infertility to surrogacy is an emotional odyssey that profoundly shapes the lives of intended parents. This transformative journey carries a mix of emotions, each contributing to the intricate tapestry of their surrogacy experience.
Relief and Gratitude
Intended parents embark on this journey with a sense of relief and profound gratitude. They have traversed the challenging landscape of infertility, often enduring years of longing and uncertainty. Surrogacy represents a beacon of hope, a lifeline that brings them closer to their dreams of parenthood. This relief and gratitude are emotions that overflow as they see their dreams materializing.
Anxiety about the Surrogate’s Wellbeing
Simultaneously, intended parents carry the weight of anxiety about the surrogate’s wellbeing. They entrust a remarkable responsibility to their surrogate, and her health during the pregnancy becomes a focal point of concern. They worry about her physical and emotional well-being, praying for a smooth and safe pregnancy. This anxiety reflects their genuine care and concern for the person who is helping them achieve their dreams.
Feelings of Guilt or Over-Involvement
The emotional landscape of intended parents is marked by a delicate dance of emotions, including feelings of guilt or over-involvement. They might grapple with the idea of not being able to carry the child themselves and experience occasional guilt about needing a surrogate’s help. This feeling is a testament to their love and desire to be actively involved in the process.
Concerns about Bonding with the Baby
Bonding with the baby during the surrogate’s pregnancy is a unique aspect of surrogacy that the intended parents navigate. Their connection with the child forms through ultrasound images, shared experiences, and the growth they witness from afar. Concerns about establishing this bond and their roles as parents can create emotional complexity during the journey.
Facing Societal Judgments
Society’s perceptions and judgments can further complicate the emotional landscape for intended parents. They may encounter questions, skepticism, or even misconceptions about their choice of surrogacy as a path to parenthood. Navigating these external opinions and perceptions can be emotionally taxing, as they strive to protect and nurture the fragile emotions associated with surrogacy.
Societal Perspectives and Their Influence
Cultural and religious perspectives on surrogacy vary widely, impacting the way surrogacy is perceived and experienced. Media also plays a significant role in shaping public opinions, creating a dynamic interplay of influences on the emotional journey of surrogacy.
The Role of Counseling and Psychological Support
In the midst of this emotional maelstrom, counseling and psychological support are indispensable. Surrogacy participants require emotional preparation, conflict resolution strategies, and guidance on communication with children about surrogacy. Addressing feelings of inadequacy or guilt and navigating postpartum emotions for the surrogate are pivotal to a successful surrogacy journey.
Key Challenges and Controversies in Surrogacy
Surrogacy raises ethical debates, from concerns of exploitation to the commodification of the human body. Legal frameworks play a vital role in safeguarding the emotional interests of all parties involved. Ethical guidelines, informed consent, and thorough legal agreements are essential to navigate these concerns.
Embracing the Complexity of Surrogacy
Emotions in surrogacy are multifaceted and profound, shaping the lives of surrogate mothers, intended parents, and the children born through this remarkable journey. Increased awareness and understanding are the need of the hour, fostering empathy and support within society. Surrogacy, when approached with care, can be a positive force, not only bringing joy to intended parents but also transforming the lives of surrogate mothers, their families, and their communities.
If you are interested in surrogacy, apply to be a surrogate and our managers will contact you to clarify all the details and provide additional information.
This study is the Largest study on Gestational Surrogacy, and is a Canadian study conducted by Create Fertility Centre, This study looks at various aspects of Gestational Surrogacy, including the psycho social impact on Surrogate mothers.
This further study looking at the emotional well being of Parents through Surrogacy, in the first year of parenthood is also quite interesting