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The journey that Intended Parents endure while anxiously and eagerly awaiting the birth of their baby is a blend of intense emotions, questions, and worries. One of the issues that many Intended Parents feel unsure about is the appropriate manner in which to establish boundaries with their Surrogate Mother. Forging an appropriate relationship, giving gifts in the right capacity, and cultivating a healthy bond can be tricky but immensely rewarding.

The Relationship Between Intended Parents and Their Surrogate Mother

Every surrogacy relationship is unique, but trust, communication, flexibility, and appropriate boundaries help make the surrogacy experience successful and rewarding. Trust really serves as the core of any surrogacy arrangement: mutual trust that the surrogate will do what is right for the baby and mutual trust the Intended Parents will maintain their responsibilities and joyfully welcome their new baby into the world. Communication helps establish trust, so it is important to create clear and appropriate expectations between all parties. Any surrogacy relationship will develop naturally over time, just like any non-surrogacy relationship would.

Establishing Boundaries

Intended Parents will naturally feel concerned and anxious about their surrogate’s well-being since the pregnancy itself is out of their control. The Surrogate Mother, meanwhile, might feel a desire to be trusted and allowed to live a normal, independent life. It’s possible for these desires to clash and create conflict unless specific boundaries are established at the beginning of the relationship.

Boundaries can always be opened over time, but it’s hard to go back behind lines that have already been crossed. Intended Parents need to take care not to accidentally become micro-managers in their quest to have a healthy baby, while Surrogate Mothers should always keep in mind the importance of communication to alleviate the Intended Parents’ questions and anxieties.

Many of the most successful surrogacy relationships establish a firm communication schedule to ensure that Intended Parents receive the information they need without having to push their boundaries or overwhelm their Surrogate Mother with texts, calls, and emails. The knowledge that updates will arrive every Sunday evening or Wednesday morning minimizes panic, helps Intended Parents feel they have their own piece of control in the pregnancy, and allows for stress-free communication. Talking can certainly occur more frequently, but that regularly intervaled update often helps keeps the Intended Parent-Surrogate Mother relationship running smoothly.

Gift Giving

Intended Parents already pay their Surrogate Mother a generous compensation, in addition to covering all of her expenses, so are gifts expected? Though a material object could never compared to the gift of a healthy baby boy or girl, it’s very common- but not required- for Intended Parents to offer their Surrogate Mother gifts. These gifts usually symbolize appreciation, gratitude, friendship, and thanks, and they don’t need to be expensive.

If gift giving occurs, there are certain milestones in the process that are most popular. At the first meeting, Intended Parents might offer a small gift from their local area, make a homemade treat, or offer coloring books to the surrogate’s children. Before the IVF transfer, many Intended Parents enjoy offering their Surrogate Mother pregnancy tests or a goody basket to keep her busy during bedrest. During the pregnancy itself, it’s common to offer the Surrogate Mother gift certificates for a pregnancy massage, nice restaurant, or a theme park for her whole family. Of course, the birth itself is the culminating moment in the surrogacy process and inspires many Intended Parents to treat their Surrogate Mother with a gift she can enjoy as she recuperates from childbirth and pregnancy.

While Surrogate Mothers appreciate gifts, they do not enter into surrogacy expecting them, so Intended Parents shouldn’t feel pressure to buy presents every week or month. The ultimate gift is a healthy and happy relationship between all parties that leads to a safe and joyous birth.


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