Even if you, your partner and your gestational carrier completely hit it off, a lot of the time, your surrogate isn’t the only person you have to get along with. Most gestational carriers have had children and completed their own families, which means that, often, gestational carriers have partners who are by their sides throughout their pregnancies. This means that they’re the people who may be the first to notice health problems and concerns. If your family is collaborating with a gestational carrier to have a baby, and that gestational carrier has a partner, that partner is already a part of your life, even if you don’t have very much contact with them.
There’s no requirement that you need to get to know your gestational carrier’s partner, but if you and your gestational carrier are planning on being in fairly close touch throughout the pregnancy, or if you hope to stay in touch with your gestational carrier after your baby is born, having a positive relationship with your gestational carrier’s partner can be a key part of cementing that bond.
The emotional connection
It can be disorienting to suddenly have a fast-growing cast of characters involved in what is, ultimately, your family’s very personal journey towards having a new baby, especially people like your gestational carrier and her partner who you may not have known at all before beginning the surrogacy process. Surrogacy is a big deal for a gestational carrier and her family, too. Surrogate agencies tend not to accept potential gestational carriers whose partners aren’t supportive of the surrogacy process, since the support of a partner can be so important for the process of a happy, healthy pregnancy. But even the most supportive partner can have the occasional doubt or question, and having a strong, positive relationship with the intended parents can be a great reminder of the purpose of surrogacy.
If you feel comfortable sharing some of what your family has experienced before you connected with your gestational carrier and her family, and why you came to the decision to build your family through surrogacy, it may be a good way to connect to your gestational carrier’s partner and to cement that relationship. Talking about your hopes for your family, and your plans for the future is another great way to connect by letting your gestational carrier’s partner get to know you better.
Emotional support for a gestational carrier’s partner
Emotional support for the partner of a surrogate or gestational carrier is so important that some surrogacy agencies even offer support groups specifically for their partners. Of course, it’s not your job to provide that emotional support, but it’s important to be aware that your gestational carrier’s partner does need to feel supported and understood in this situation, as much as your gestational carrier does, and as much as you do. If your gestational carrier’s partner does mention the stresses that can come along with surrogacy within the family, it’s not the time to take it personally – instead, it’s a good time to encourage your gestational carrier’s partner to reach out to their support system, and to understand that surrogacy can be challenging for the entire family.
The nuts and bolts
Surrogacy is a complicated relationship in part because of the degree to which it ties financial and health considerations up with the very personal decisions and considerations surrounding starting a family. In some surrogacy relationships, the gestational carrier and the intended parents each have their own legal representative while in others, both parties work with the same attorney. In either case, dealing closely with lawyers and contracts is enough to make anyone nervous, and it’s important to also be able to talk openly with your surrogate and her family about what everyone is expecting from the relationship so that no one feels uncomfortable or unfairly treated.