The Right Relationship: Finding Your Intended Parents

By: Bree Helms

Being a surrogate is an important job. I can honestly say it is the most important job I have had (besides being a mom). You have to treat your body right, make sure you do your injections, take your pills on time, and go to multiple appointments. And as a result of the responsibility and effort it requires, you are given a lot of information on everything that will happen to you physically. This is all great. But what I find to be even more important is to understand the emotional and mental part of this journey, especially when it comes to your intended parents. From day one you are asked what kind of relationship you want or expect to have with the parents of your future baby bump. This is not a part of the process that should be taken lightly or simply put off on the other party involved. You will be embarking on a journey with these parents, and this journey from beginning to baby is long, but in the end it is so worth it. You owe it to yourself to put in the work and do your research on what kind of relationship is right for you. What boundaries you might expect and what questions you might want to ask.

During my first journey as a surrogate, I chose to have a relationship with my intended parents. The first time I spoke on the phone with my intended mother I knew that this was the woman I wanted to carry for. She was so warm and loving. I was nervous embarking on this journey for the first time, but I was happy to have her by my side. Even though they lived in New York and I was in Texas, I still felt completely supported. I also found during that time that distance wasn’t necessarily the largest obstacle to our relationship. I became pregnant during the summer of 2020 when restrictions were at an all-time high. With the uncertain times that accompanied that summer, there came a point where I realized that even if they lived close by they wouldn’t have been able to come to most appointments. FaceTime was our best friend. However, with the help of technology I was incredibly supported. From my embryo transfer to my last appointment my intended mother didn’t miss a thing. I can still remember the look on her face when we heard the first heartbeat. It was such a heartwarming moment, a moment that would be the first of many that would solidify my purpose—to be surrogate, to be fulfilled by helping to build families. But it wasn’t just the appointments. My intended parents got to know my family and they took the time to learn about our various hobbies. My son was and still is Spider-Man’s biggest fan and when I look at all the toys in his room I can honestly say half of them are from my first intended parents. They were generous, and kind, and excited. I loved getting to know them throughout the process. The further along I got in the pregnancy the more I felt like I was carrying for a close friend. And today, well after I had the incredible experience of giving birth t their baby—though its true we don’t text every other day like we used to—I still feel that close connection and I think I always will. I so look forward to seeing them again.

However, not all relationships are built the same. My most recent experience, for example, I went into knowing that the intended parents did not want much communication or a relationship. With this being my second time as a surrogate I honestly didn’t mind. This is the perfect kind of match for intended parents that lead extremely busy lives and surrogates that don’t feel the need to have their hand held through the journey. Some people might take it the wrong way if the intended parents don’t exactly want communication or a relationship and that’s totally fine. I didn’t take it personally because my intended parents had incredibly busy schedules and they were working on several projects at that time. This goes back to understanding the kind of relationship that works best for you. If you are someone who requires more communication or intended parents building a relationship with you throughout the process, its all about communicating that with your agency. They will ask—you just have to be honest.

Unfortunately, this journey ended with a miscarriage. However, I imagine that if that hadn’t happened it would have been just as fulfilling of an experience. I feel that sometimes people don’t want a relationship because they feel that they wouldn’t be able to live up to the other person’s expectations. No communication can also be a good approach if you have social anxiety or you just frankly want to be a gift to somebody and leave it at that. I’ve learned that there are many reasons why someone would or would not want a relationship with the surrogate and many reasons why the surrogate might not want a relationship with them. The biggest thing to remember here, for intended parents and surrogates, is that it’s about boundaries and helping the intended parents to build their future family. You don’t know what they’ve been through to decide to call up a surrogacy agency. Maybe they’ve been through many times, maybe they’ve faced loss and disappointment, and don’t want to build a relationship until they hear a heartbeat. At the end of the day, people are just people. And we all want something different. As a surrogate it is our job to assure them that we will do what we can to provide them with a healthy baby.

Going into my third journey I know what works for me. I’m so thankful for all of my experiences, good and bad. Surrogacy can open doors for you unlike anything you have ever seen before. But it also requires you go into it knowing exactly what you want. Be picky! These intended parents are going to be your people, so you need to make sure they are the right ones for you. Go in with good intentions, get ready for blessings, and be the blessing they deserve.