Keeping Overseas LGBTQ IPs Involved in the Surrogacy Journey
I was recently working with a gestational carrier in Colorado who was considering a profile of two dads who lived overseas. It was very important to her that she was able to build a strong relationship with her Intended Parents and she worried that this would be much more difficult if they lived in another country. She was nervous that her surrogacy experience would not be as fulfilling if the two dads did not live in the United States.
There are many ways a surrogate living in Colorado can keep their Intended Parents who live overseas involved. Although, it might take a little added effort, the experience with international IPs can be equally, if not even more, rewarding. Whether your IPs live in the neighborhood next door, a few hours away, in another state or in another country you are still making their dream of becoming parents come true.
One of the most important aspects of a great match, no matter where the Intended Parents live, or whether your IP’s are a heterosexual couple, same gender couple or a single parent is COMMUNICATION. Communication is a key component of a successful Gestational Carrier/Intended Parent relationship. This is no different when working with international IPs. Some GCs shy away from working with IPs who live in another country because they worry it will be difficult to form a strong bond. There are many ways you can keep them feeling connected to you and your pregnancy while making the distance feel much closer for all of you. Technology can help international IPs feel like they could be down the street from you. They can still receive texts (WhatsApp, Viber, WeChat, or many other programs), emails and be reached by telephone just as easily as local IPs. Responses can be immediate and information can be shared in real time which is wonderful. Another way technology has helped shorten the distance is that you can facetime/skype with your IPs during important appointments so it can feel as though they are present and right there with you. They can offer support and ask the doctor questions directly. Skype, Facetime, WeChat and Viber can also help you to speak directly to your IP’s when building your relationship.
Another barrier that GCs express concern about when considering an international match is the possible language barrier. If language is an issue, interpreters can be provided to help with the communication. New technology can also provide translations with written communication, as well (WeChat). Although, IPs, often do speak enough English to communicate a little.
There may also opportunities for you to meet with your IPs for in-person visits. Many IPs like to be present for the embryo transfer or make a special trip to visit for the “big” ultrasound at around 20 weeks. And, of course, IPs want to be there for the birth of their child, so sometimes International IPs will show up several weeks before the due date. These can be great opportunities to continue to build upon your relationship.
Another great way to enhance your connection with your IPs who live overseas is to video any appointments your IP’s may not be able to attend. Sending pictures and videos of yourself as your pregnancy develops and as your body changes is another way to help some IPs feel connected to you and their baby and to help them feel closer to you (please make certain to ask your IPs if they want pictures. For some this can be a traumatic reminder that they can’t carry themselves!).
There are also many positives that accompany being matched with international IPs. You can share your different cultures with each other and use the difference of languages as an opportunity to teach each other important words and phrases. Learning a new language and being able to share that with your children and family is gift. You can use this opportunity to expand your knowledge about a place that you may never have had a chance to visit and now you may have a wonderful new reason to travel. Having international IPs can be a great addition to your surrogacy journey and can add to your experience by sharing your different cultures, languages, and backgrounds with each other.
Instead of focusing on the hurdles that could possibly come with saying yes to the profile of the two dads, this particular GC started to look at it as a great growth and learning opportunity that could enhance her surrogacy journey of helping their dream of becoming parents come true.
If you are needing a Gestational Carrier and would like to have a free consult with Colorado Surrogacy please click here, or if you want to help someone achieve their dreams of having a family by being a Gestational Carrier please click here to fill out our intake form.