Surrogate/IP Relationships Aren’t Always Perfect

The Next Family

By: Kelly Rummelhart

Not all relationships between the Intended Parents and surrogate will be amazing.  Sometimes there’s never that “connection”.  Other times, it might have been extraordinary when you were pregnant, but once you’ve given birth, not so much.  The fact is you never really know how it’s going to go.  You write on your profile and discuss it during the match meeting but you hope that everyone is being honest.

First of all, let me preface this by saying NOT ALL surrogates want a close relationship with their IPs.  Some women would rather have a professional relationship and gladly bow out with little to no communication after the fact.  I know several experienced surrogates that aren’t in it for a big touchy-feely love fest.  They just want to help other people have children or make it no secret that for them, it’s mainly about the money.  And who’s to say there is anything wrong with that?  It certainly isn’t where I’m coming from but not all surrogates are like me . . . and that’s good because if every surrogate wanted an amazing relationship with their IPs, the IPs that would rather not have that would have a very small pool to pick from.

This week a surrogate friend of mine posed the question in one of my Surro-Facebook groups if any of us have ever had IPs that deserted us after the birth.

Now for surrogates who went in KNOWING they were going to be in contact this can be very hard, especially if you had a great relationship during the pregnancy.  Yes, sometimes the parents are so busy with their new babies you may not hear from them as often and that can be a hard change when you’re used to hearing from them quite a bit. And sometimes they just want you to fade away because your job is done.  What they paid you for is complete.  You carried and delivered a healthy baby.  Thank You.  Goodbye.

There’s something in the business called “Surrogacy Amnesia”, and I’ve seen it happen several times.

IP’s Profile:  We want to keep in touch after the birth . . . You will have helped us with our family, which makes you family, etc.

Match Meeting: Of course we want contact after the birth!  What you are doing is amazing and we could never thank you enough.

During the Pregnancy: We are so excited to have you.  You are marvelous.  Your family is great.  For years we will all get together.

After the Birth:  Nothing.  Or maybe a thank you note or a few pictures of the baby/babies and then nothing. Very little or no contact, no get together.  Nothing.

They have forgotten about you.  Surrogacy Amnesia.  Statistically, I have seen this more when there is an intended mother but this has also happened with gay couples too.

What can really make the sting feel even worse is if you had an AMAZING SET of IPs in the past and the newer IPs, not so much. You may have had IPs that wrote you notes, emails, or texts just to see how you are doing, sent you flowers, sent your children presents, and still call now and then, months or years after the birth.  They send pictures and videos of the kids, ask you about yours, invite you over to come visit. Perfection.

It is very hard not to compare.  And it can be very hard not to take it personally.  Maybe they changed their mind?  Maybe they are just busy?  But in the back of your mind, you might think, if they really still cared they would call more often, or initiate a meeting.  When other surrogates broach the subject, like my friend above, they are very brave.  For most, it might be embarrassing to admit that your IPs have left you out in the cold, especially if all your surrogate friends have/had great IPs.  Of course everyone is very supportive.  Some mention they know exactly how you feel (because they do) and some try to help out by making excuses, which is second-nature to us after years of dating men.

But here’s the kicker, just like some of the “jerks” you dated in the past, the same thing may hold true . . .

Maybe they’re just not that into you.  It stings, I know.  But honestly, just like the jerks:

They may be busy or not have time- but it takes less than 2 minutes to text someone that you’re thinking of them.

They may say “Sure” if you invite yourself over for a visit- but sometimes it might be nice to hear that they want you to visit.

They may have forgotten the promises they made while you were pregnant- no family BBQ’s have happened, no invitation to the first birthday party/get together . . . and that is tough to stomach, especially the last.  A gathering to celebrate that their child/children have been on earth for one year and it can seem sort of odd to Surrogates that the person who will be missing from the party is the womAn who was at their birth. OUCH.  Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes we wouldn’t be able to make it (I didn’t fly to Canada for Natasha and Anjali’s first birthday party) but the one thing that most of us agree on, an invitation would be nice.

I have been very blessed so far with great matches but not everyone is so lucky.  Sure there are times when I start to feel down if I think it’s been awhile since contact but then I usually realize that it hasn’t really been as long as I thought.  Heck, even I’m guilty of not emailing or texting for a few weeks.

Now as a Surrogate, what can we learn from all this?  If you decide to go on a second or third journey, you can ask yourself, what is important to me? and make sure to put that into your profile, discuss it at your match meeting.  Make it very clear what you are looking for in IPs, and hopefully your match will turn out to be amazing.  If it doesn’t, or you decide not to go again, know that you are AWESOME for carrying someone else’s child.  And I think You Rock!   And I know you must be an amazing woman and any IPs would’ve been lucky to have YOU!

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