Becoming a gestational surrogate is an incredibly unique experience. It’s one that allows you to give an extraordinary gift to a person or couple, change your own life financially, and potentially create longstanding relationships with your intended parents (should you choose to do so). By choosing to embark on a journey with an agency, you will be guided and supported by an experienced surrogate advocate throughout the process to address any concerns you may have, which sounds amazing, right?
But what does support outside of your surrogate advocate look like for just everyday life stuff?
Your pregnancy is certainly going to have an impact on others. Not just on the potential parent(s), but there is also a chance that your biological family might not entirely understand what it means to be a gestational surrogate. Or perhaps, your biological family is not part of your life. Pregnancy in any way can be an unbelievable change. But it can also be a heartbreaking thing to go through when your support system looks a bit different than others, but as cliché as it is to say that you’re not alone, it’s true.
The notion of having a “chosen family” is not new. For many in the LGBTQIA2S+ community having a chosen family is life-saving, and it can extend to anyone, no matter how you identify. Unfortunately, it is a reality that a lot of people are not born into a supportive, loving family with healthy communication skills, and it can take a toll on your emotional and mental health. Chosen family are the people in your life that you have developed deep trust, loyalty, and mutual commitment with over time. You all share similar values and show up for each other for support, building healthy boundaries, and guidance for life changes.
Now, while your chosen family can include members of your biological family, most times it consists of close friends and partners (romantic or platonic), folks that you intentionally invite into your life. In the path to becoming a gestational surrogate, even before you start your pre-screening, including the input and support from your chosen family is so important.
This is where the idea of having a “round table” discussion can be beneficial.
Being a gestational surrogate while rewarding can and will shower you with a twister of emotions, and like any pregnancy, there will be days that are physically taxing. The round table is not set up to discourage you or to talk you out of it, as you are an adult and have given layers upon layers of thought and consideration about this. The real purpose is to carve out how you will approach the need for future emotional support, help with day-to-day tasks, or any random situations that may pop up because life is nothing but surprising and weird.
Your chosen family are the people that have seen you at your best and worst and choose to continue to show up for you with honest and caring intent, and these are the people that you want in your corner. Sitting down to plan out who can help simply come over to help you with housework on days that you are just exhausted from being a pregnant human, or you are feeling so many feelings and you want someone to come over and watch some trashy tv with you. To touch back on that fabulous cliché, you’re not alone, and you don’t have to do anything alone throughout the process.
So, while planning out what could happen in the future based on feelings and experiences that you haven’t had yet might seem like being over-prepared, a round table can actually give you peace of mind.
Your chosen family can be the exact support system you need throughout the process of your surrogacy journey. Their presence can ensure that you are getting additional understanding, love, and care in the way you deserve.