When a close friend decides to become a gestational surrogate, you may not understand their life-changing decision. What impact will it have on your friend’s physical and emotional well-being? What does this mean for your friend’s family and personal life? And how can you best support your friend during this experience?
Remember that this person is making an altruistic choice that’s both rewarding and challenging. As they provide the gift of parenthood to another family, your role as their loved one is important. Providing unwavering support, understanding, and encouragement can make this process smoother and more meaningful for your friend.
To be the best friend you can be, follow these guidelines:
The first step in supporting your friend through surrogacy is to educate yourself about the process. Understanding the medical and emotional aspects of surrogacy will help you empathize with the array of experiences and emotions your friend will go through. Relying on reputable sources like these can help you gain insights into to surrogacy journey:
- The Fertility Agency: Our organization is a great starting point, since we have many educational materials that provide guidance on surrogacy.
- RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association: RESOLVE is a widely respected organization that provides comprehensive information about infertility, family-building options, and support for individuals and couples involved in surrogacy.
- American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM): ASRM offers a wealth of information on reproductive medicine, including surrogacy, with guidelines, patient resources, and educational materials.
- Surrogate.com: This website provides extensive resources on surrogacy, including articles, guides, and a directory of professionals and agencies specializing in surrogacy.
- Online forums and communities: Websites like BabyCenter, The Bump, and others have forums where people share their experiences and seek advice from people who are in similar situations.
Offer a Listening Ear
A great way to provide emotional support is through active, empathetic listening. Your friend will experience a variety of emotions throughout the surrogacy journey, from excitement and happiness to anxiety and uncertainty. Offer a safe space for them to share their thoughts and feelings without judgment.
While you can provide a listening ear when needed, it’s important to mind your friend’s boundaries and privacy. They may not always want to discuss surrogacy or the medical aspects of the process. Make sure they know that it’s OK to set limits on what they share.
Accompany Them to Appointments
If your friend is comfortable, offer to accompany them to medical appointments or check-ups. It can be reassuring to have a familiar face in the waiting room, especially during important milestones like ultrasounds.
Help with Daily Tasks
Gestational surrogacy sometimes involves medical protocols that include restrictions on certain physical activities. Offer to help with everyday tasks, like grocery shopping, childcare, or household chores, to lighten their load.
Cheer Them On
Celebrate surrogacy milestones with your friend. Whether it’s hearing a baby’s heartbeat for the first time or reaching a specific pregnancy stage, sharing these moments is a wonderful way to show your support.
Be Mindful of Language
Choose your words carefully when discussing surrogacy. Avoid unintentionally hurtful phrases or questions, such as “Is it hard to give up the baby?” Remember that the baby your friend is carrying is not biologically related to them.
Attend Surrogacy-Related Events
Participate in surrogacy-related events and support groups with your friend. Attending these gatherings together can create a sense of community and decrease the feeling of isolation that some surrogates may experience.
Be a Shoulder to Lean On
Your friend may face emotional challenges during the surrogacy journey, especially if they develop a strong bond with the intended parents. Be a source of emotional strength, reminding them of their incredible act of kindness and their impact on another family’s life.
Provide Post-Birth Support
After the baby’s birth, your friend will experience a range of emotions. Be there to support them during this transition, understanding that the experience of surrogacy doesn’t end at delivery.
Supporting a friend through surrogacy means you become a source of unwavering love, understanding, and empathy. Remember that while the surrogacy journey is complex, it’s also a rewarding one for everyone involved. By being there for your friend physically, mentally, and emotionally, you play a pivotal role in helping them make the dreams of others come true.
Surrogacy and Egg Donor Services
Since 2004, The Fertility Agency has helped bring over 1100+ babies into the world. We work with all intended parents, surrogates, and egg donors no matter their sexual preference, relationship status, ethnicity, location, etc. Our personal experiences and years of expertise provide us with the perfect balance of business and passion. Contact us for more information.