When the idea initially struck you to consider surrogacy, what was the very first thing you did? For most people, gestational carriers and intended parents alike, it was to start your research online. Undoubtedly, amidst clinic and agency sites, news articles and statistics, you encountered a variety of support groups.
Surrogacy is not a solo journey. And while an encouraging partner and family are key during this process, the importance of a surrogate support group is immense. There is nothing like a support group – a community of people who have been there – to help you through this time of complex emotions. No matter where you are in your surrogacy journey, you can always find someone to support you.
A surrogate support forum online can be an extremely helpful resource for women at all stages of the surrogacy experience. Regardless of where you live, you can easily connect with other women all over the country who will relate in a way no one else does. It keeps a process that can at times be very emotional and overwhelming much more manageable. Facebook can be a great resource for online support; find out if your agency has its own surrogate support group available for you to join.
A word of caution with online support groups – as with any other medical process, surrogacy protocol can vary from clinic to clinic and person to person. What applies to one surrogate may not apply to another. It’s important to remember that an online support group should not take the place of your surrogacy agency. Not all information posted will be current or accurate, and may not reflect the landscape of your state or individual situation.
Making the decision to work with a gestational carrier is not always an easy one for intended parents. It can be a complex, expensive process filled with many questions.
While your agency is a great resource and will have the most current, accurate information, seeking support in a group setting can be helpful for some intended parents at any stage in the process. It’s an unparalleled opportunity to discuss not only logistics but also the intense emotional components of family building through surrogacy – excitement, fear, loss of control and sadness, often at the same time.
Single parents or same-sex couples can also benefit from this network of support as they navigate other unique aspects of parenting. Talk to your agency to see if they offer a support group, or ask your clinic for resources in your area.
To find surrogate support, speak first to your agency. They may have support group resources directly available to you or can refer you to other local or online options. Ideally, they will be able to connect you with former surrogates or intended parents who can speak candidly about their experiences as well.
Here at ConceiveAbilities, we are proud to offer a robust support group for our gestational carriers. When you become a surrogate with ConceiveAbilities, you become part of the surrogate sisterhood – this includes regular support groups locally and through a private Facebook group, picnics, parties, fundraising events and more.
Surrogacy is a life-changing decision, but it’s not something to experience alone. That’s why the surrogacy sisterhood has always been at the forefront of our program. We understand the importance of having this unique support system in place; it’s not just about the professionals, it’s about having other women just like you who are going through exactly what you’re going through, or who have been there. Intended parents, too, should have access to as much support as they need.
If you have questions about ConceiveAbilities’ support and services, please don’t hesitate to connect with us. We are here for you through every step of the surrogacy journey.
All Things Conceivable is a blog dedicated to sharing the knowledge and expert opinions of the dedicated team at ConceiveAbilities, a Chicago-based egg donation and surrogacy agency.