Meeting the surrogate is an intensely personal choice which sometimes brings out the clash between the intended parents emotional need to be involved in the pregnancy and the surrogate’s (and often her family’s) financial want for more money. Remember, the surrogate’s aren’t doing this for emotional fulfilment, they’re doing it for the financial reward. It’s labor that they are getting paid for.
There are three phases at which one can choose to meet the surrogate:
- Before the surrogate is selected, as part of the surrogate selection process
- After the surrogate is carrying the child, but before she has delivered
- After the surrogate has delivered the baby
From an emotional perspective, the intended parents are often interested in understanding everything about their child, including the woman that will be carrying the child and everything about her and her family. Some areas of interest are related to the child, especially with regard to food and nutrition. Some are related to the family environment, especially with regard to safety. Others are more personal, with the surrogate even becoming like an aunt. If the clinic or agency you are working with is unproven or cannot reassure you about the surrogates living conditions, then there is more reason to consider meeting the surrogate and understanding her living conditions.
From a commercial perspective, the surrogate and her family are seeing an immense amount of money from this transaction, and are some will wonder if they can get more. After all, if the intended parents can afford the costs of surrogacy
, can’t they provide the surrogate just a bit more money? A choice to make multiple international trips to visit the surrogate during the pregnancy is also an indication of wealth, and also an indication that maybe the surrogate can make more money.
Remember – Indian’s grow up in a culture with more bargaining and negotiation (and less fixed prices) than westerners are used to. In India, even overseas Indians who visit Mumbai get over-charged for taxi rides. And more similar to the Chinese culture than the American culture, a signed contract is more like the start of the negotiating process rather than the end of the negotiating process. So, you may get new requests during the surrogates pregnancy.
Cases we’ve seen and heard of include:
- The surrogate and family that were still calling the intended parents two years after the childs birth requesting money for things like their childrens school fees.
- The surrogate’s sister who called the intended parents in the hotel after the birth and requested an additional monetary payment for the surrogate.
- The surrogates brother who spoke to the intended parents after the birth and requested more money so that the surrogate could have her own room in her home
- The surrogate and her husband who threatened to abort one of the twins in a multiple pregnancy unless they were compensated more money (even though the original contract between the clinic and the surrogate provided for additional payment in the case of twins)
Some thoughts for cons recommendations:
- If you want to meet the surrogate, do so after the baby is born and in your custody. This is the point at which the surrogate and her family have no negotiating leverage. While they still have the baby, they have negotiating leverage, should they choose to use it.
- Do not get involved in any negotiations. Refer all requests to your agency and/or doctor.
- Do not give the surrogate your contact information. If she and her family can’t contact you, she can’t make additional requests or demands.
- Don’t appear to be rich. This will be difficult, because as a westerner, and by being able to pay for the surrogacy process, you already appear richer than anyone the surrogate may know. But if you invite the surrogate and her family to an expensive restaurant or make multiple plane trips to visit her during her pregnancy, you’ll appear even more rich. Which makes you a more inviting target.
- If you do plan on meeting with your surrogate, coordinate closely with your clinic to understand what they might add to the above comments
Did you meet your Indian surrogate?
Add your answer
Yes, before the transfer
67% (2 votes)
Yes, after the delivey
33% (1 vote)
0% (0 votes)
Yes, after the transfer but before the delivery
0% (0 votes)
Total voters: 3
[This article is reprinted from Peter's blog - To meet the surrogate?.]