Becoming a gestational surrogate comes with some ups and downs. If you’re just starting out, then you’re likely already leaning on your friends and family for their support. But what you might not know is that there are surrogate support groups and counseling that you can take advantage of during your pregnancy.
These surrogate mother support groups can be found online and in-person, and there are many benefits to using one. But before you sign up, there’s some important information you should know. To help you get started, we’ve created this guide to answer your questions.
If you’d like to know more about finding a surrogate support coordinator near you, you can always reach out to a surrogacy specialist.
In the meantime, keep reading to learn more.
Why Should I Use a Gestational Surrogate Support Group?
Becoming a gestational surrogate can be just as challenging as it is rewarding and fulfilling. Often, the women who sign up know that helping another couple build their own family is something they’ve always wanted to do. And like Codi, they were more than ready to take the first step.
“I wanted to be a surrogate to help people,” she said. “I had met a woman when I was in high school who was a surrogate, and I fell in love with it. I thought it was a supercool journey and a way to love on people, and so I thought, ‘Okay, as soon as I can do that, like once I have some of my own, I’m all about it.’”
But that doesn’t mean that she always had an easy time the entire way through. During your journey, it’s normal to experience some physical and emotional stress. And when this happens, having surrogate support group to turn to outside of your family or the intended parents can provide some relief.
For Codi, one of the toughest things she had to deal with was the immense responsibility of carrying someone else’s child as a surrogate:
“The hardest part for me about being a surrogate was the weight of carrying somebody else’s joy and happiness… I found myself worrying about things I didn’t worry about with my own son,” she said.
Below are just a few common reasons why many surrogates support groups are helpful:
- To talk about their relationship with the intended parents: With so much going on in the surrogacy process, it’s not uncommon to have some awkward or uncomfortable moments in your relationships. And that includes the ones you have with the intended parents. Even when you absolutely love the family you’re carrying for, over the course of your pregnancy, you might discover that you need to vent about some things in your relationship instead of bottling it up. Turning to surrogate motherhood support groups can offer the kind of relief you need.
- Unsupportive friends and family: While we certainly hope that your friends and family will completely support your decision, it doesn’t always pan out that way. When you keep hearing negative comments from friends and family about becoming a surrogate, it can easily take a toll on you. If you’re struggling to stay positive, it can be helpful to reach out to someone like your surrogacy specialist, a counselor or a surrogate support forum or group.
- Unsuccessful Embryo Transfers or Pregnancies: When an embryo transfer doesn’t stick the first time, it can feel devastating. This is not uncommon, but it’s hard to tell yourself that when you’re still feeling the emotions of grief and loss. In these situations, it can be helpful to talk to someone who’s been in your shoes from a gestational surrogate support group or a trained counselor for advice.
- Unexpected Medical Complications: It’s possible for certain medical complications to arise during pregnancy, like high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. It can be frustrating to have to deal with these diagnoses on your own, which is where a trained professional comes in. If you’re struggling and need someone to talk to, don’t be afraid to reach out to a surrogacy specialist or support group for help.
Of course, you don’t need to be dealing with an emergency or a serious situation to use any of these support groups. When you need you need someone to talk to, any of the support groups on this list are at your disposal. Your surrogacy specialist or counselor is a great resource too, and you can always call them if you need someone to lean on.
Where to Find Surrogate Counseling
You can find emotional support for surrogates just about anywhere. The most accessible way to find them is online or through a great surrogacy agency. But you also look for local support groups if you’re interested in meeting people in person.
However, there are some pros and cons to using online surrogate support forums. Below are some things you should be aware of.
Pros of Surrogate Support Groups
The most obvious reason to join a surrogate support group is the wealth of knowledge and advice you can find. When you sign up for one, you can learn about what it’s really like to become a surrogate from people who have been in your shoes. It’s a great to ask any lingering questions you might about the surrogacy process and even answer some questions of you own.
Cons of Surrogate Support Groups
The biggest draw to online support groups is the fact that anyone can join. But in a way, that’s also their biggest flaw. A lot of opinions you read should be taken with a grain of salt, just like anything else on the internet. There are a lot of differing opinions on surrogacy, and you might encounter people trying to tell you what they think is best. Remember, you are the only who can decide what to think about surrogacy.
List of Surrogate Support Groups
If you’re unsure of where to start, we’ve found a list of surrogate support groups for you to use.
- All Things Surrogacy Facebook Group
- Gestational and Traditional Surrogacy Support Group
- Intended Parents & Surrogates & Egg Donors (Helping People Meet)
- Surrogacy Journeys
If you’re looking for in-person support groups, you can always look through the National Infertility Association or All Things Surrogacy to learn more.
Finding a surrogate mother support group can have many benefits. If you’d like more information on them, or if you’re looking for qualified, professional support, you can always reach out to a surrogate specialist.