It takes a team for a successful surrogacy! We occasionally speak with women whose husbands or partners have hesitations about them becoming a surrogate. We’ve assembled the most commonly asked questions and presented them to three husbands whose wives have been surrogates. We hope their experiences will be helpful!
The men are identified by their initials only. NA works in engineering sales, JB works as a diesel mechanic and ER works in custom construction.
JB) I wanted to know more about it. My main thought was, “How does someone go about being a surrogate, and how will she be protected legally?”
ER) I was totally caught off guard. She’d never expressed an interest in it before. I didn’t know anything about it, I wasn’t even sure what kinds of questions to ask her. It really threw me for a loop.
JB) My initial fears were regarding my wife’s health and the impact a pregnancy could have on our family. Honestly, I never overcame those fears until the journey was complete. Once I saw the end product (healthy babies, healthy wife, my kids were well-adjusted) I was able to look back and see how great it was. I then felt comfortable supporting my wife when she chose to do another journey for a new couple.
ER) I feared how it would impact our physical intimacy. I was nervous to tell people. My family is very conservative and I was hesitant to tell them. I ended up telling them, of course, but never divulged many details. They rarely asked and never seemed to want to know much about it.
I was also worried how her boss would react or maybe treat her. He ended up being really supportive.
JB) It was interesting. I never told my coworkers about her first surrogacy because of their conservative nature. On her second surrogacy, I worked for a much more like-minded company and they were very supportive. The best part was telling strangers! I will never get over the look on people’s faces when they would congratulate us on our growing family, and I would get to remark, “That baby is not mine!”
ER) The intended parents we worked with were gay. My sisters were supportive and interested. My parents are very conservative and showed almost zero interest after I initially told them. Working in construction, I thought my coworkers might not be supportive. I told them near the end of the pregnancy. I was surprised and relieved by their support. Quite a few actually mentioned that their wives had looked into surrogacy at one point or another.
NA) Initially, I was a little concerned about this. However, as I began to understand the egg donor process and I realized that surrogacy is a serious investment of time and resources, it became less of a fear. Knowing we were finished having our own children meant we didn’t establish a connection and did not treat it like it was our child. We treated it as a journey on behalf of the intended parents and as a gift we were giving them. We were helping hands.
JB) Yes, very much so! Only during her first surrogacy, though. I saw how attached she was to our own children, and how protective she was over our friend’s children who she can see regularly and I worried she would have difficulty not seeing the surrogacy children regularly.
ER) No, she’s very good at compartmentalizing her emotions. I didn’t worry about this.
NA) I gave her a few shots after some initial training from the fertility center. It was straight forward and easy.
JB) Every single one. It was very nerve wracking at first – but once I got used to it, it was really easy.
ER) I did give her the shots in the lower back. I was nervous the first few times but it was easy. Helping with the shots made me feel more involved, which was nice.
NA) Yes, we reviewed their profile together and did the introduction via Skype together. It was a team decision.
JB) I honestly think NWSC chose them for us. Of course, we had a choice, but we never had multiple couples to pick from. The first couple (in both surrogacies) they showed us was so great, we felt no need to make a different choice.
ER) Not really. NWSC sent her the intended parent profile and she looked at it while she was at work. She fell in love with them instantly and there was no going back. They ended up being a perfect match for us. NWSC did a great job matching.
JB) How much medication was needed! The IVF process was a lot more invasive then I ever expected. I was also surprised how exact everything was with the transfer. The science was fascinating.
ER) The amount of money she earned! I also thought the surrogacy would be a big disruption to her life, but it wasn’t. She just went about normal life, work, parenting, friends with no disruption. I was surprised at how organized the whole things was. The appointments, the medications, the contracts, everything.
NA) At first there was some shyness around getting to know each other. Once the baby arrived it became much more like family. The family was here for 6 weeks and we really got to know them. They became extended family.
JB) Really, for me, it felt more like an acquaintance during the pregnancy. So much of the relationship happened while I was working and she was the main communicator with them for everything. With the second surrogacy, it really felt like an extended part of my family, but a lot of that had to do with my trusting the process more the second time. I let myself get closer, and I had a much less stressful job that allowed me to give the relationship attention.
ER) I didn’t meet them in person until they arrived in Oregon for the delivery. She had met them in person, but I’d been unable to. We got along amazingly and hung out almost every day they were in town, which was about a month after the delivery. We also visited them in Europe about 2 yrs after the delivery. They send photos and we’re trying to plan our next trip to see them.
JB) I didn’t. My wife talked with the kids about surrogacy.
ER) My wife did that part. I let her answer any questions our son had. She’s much better at explaining those things than I am. Plus, it was her idea in the first place!
NA) I found we needed to support each other more emotionally as we neared the end of the pregnancy. We leaned on each other to make sure we both felt strong and ready to complete the process. Since this wasn’t our child I felt it was important to make extra sure that I was emotionally available to her.
JB) I knew I needed to give her my 100% support. I went all in. When she said this was something she felt like she needed to do, I supported her the entire way. It never changed. Supporting my wife in her dreams is very important to me.
ER) I tried to take my cues from her but it was difficult sometimes. For instance, she would get excited about things that happened at the OB appointments. If I didn’t share her excitement, her feelings would get hurt. Since it wasn’t our baby it was hard for me to share some of the emotions she had. I had to work on that but I supported her in every way I could!
NA) I had concerns around my wife’s health. However, the surrogacy agency, our care provider, and my wife’s doctor helped reassure us everything would go smoothly. Everything was handled by the surrogacy agency and I felt supported the entire time — from when we matched with the intended parents to completing the surrogacy.
JB) Yes. As stated my main concern was the medical aspect. I was most concerned about her health through the process. Financially, I had no concerns because the agency explained how the escrow account is set up, and the contract clearly outlined all of those expectations. Legally, we had no concerns because the laws were very clear.
ER) Yes, yes, yes! Thankfully, the contracts were very thorough and addressed every possible scenario. Once I’d seen the various contracts I felt better about the legal and financial aspects. But never 100% comfortable until the pregnancy was done.
NA) I would say to watch the documentary and read the resources available. Speak with a surrogate who has completed a journey or talk with intended parents who had a child through surrogacy. Information from first-hand sources and from NWSC gives good insight into surrogacy. Our experience is that surrogacy is a positive, life-changing experience for me and my family.
JB) Tough question, because the concerns they may have are likely different from mine. But, I would tell them that my experience was very fulfilling. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Go to the appointments, go the interviews. Ask the hard questions. They have the answers.
ER) Do your research, ask the questions. If your wife wants to help another family have a baby then she’s an AMAZING WOMAN. Help her to help them. It’s a pretty interesting thing to be a part of. It has forever changed our family in a very positive way.