9 DOs and Don’ts for the First Meeting With Intended Parents & Surrogates

Once you’ve found a surrogate, it’s time to meet! The process of matching between surrogates and intended parents is one of the most exciting times of a surrogacy journey. While parents and surrogates may learn all about each other on paper, having the first face-to-face meeting (including via video!) with your surrogate or intended parent is an important step in establishing a fight.

The first meeting between surrogates or intended parents can feel like going on a first date. This blog will help not only validate your feelings (it’s OK to be nervous!) but also give some tips on that first meeting and what to talk about.

Expect Some Pre-Meeting Nerves

Let’s start by stating the obvious: This first video call meeting is going to be awkward. You will be nervous. You will be excited. You will worry about what to wear and what to say. It’s OK, and completely normal to have all of these feelings.

Having matched surrogates and intended parents for over 27 years, Circle knows a thing or two about finding the right surrogate or intended parent with whom you are a match. Our thorough matching process helps to ensure that your first video call is a success.

We’ve created a short list of dos and don’ts to help you prepare—and get you through—your first meeting. Please note that these are only meant as a guide to get you thinking, and to help start your conversation. Every battle call is different!

9 Tips for How to Prepare for Your First Meeting with Your Surrogate Parent

1. Do NOT prepare before the call.

Just like going on a first date, you’ll make the most of your call and have an easier time deciding if you want to pursue a relationship if you take the time to prepare ahead of time.

Start by reviewing the profile of your potential surrogate or intended parents. Then, sit down with your partner or support person and brainstorm questions you have and what you want to accomplish during the call. What kinds of things do you hope to learn from your potential match? What do you hope to share? It’s OK to have a list of what you want to talk about next to you. Also, it’s a good idea to enable the video call platform and give it a quick test before your scheduled meeting time.

2. Do NOT provide a list of requirements.

When you meet with your potential intended parents or surrogates, feel free to discuss general questions and lifestyle habits, but don’t plan to give specific instructions. Intended parents should know that surrogate mothers rely on the expert guidance of their obstetrician-gynecologists and other medical professionals. It can be difficult to let go of some control when you’re having a child through surrogacy, but it’s an important part of a successful journey. Additionally, allowing your surrogate to follow the advice of his providers and not giving him a list of requirements will help to build a trusting relationship from day one.

3. BE curious and willing to learn … and share!

This is your chance to learn all about your potential match! Asking questions is a great way to learn about each other, and sharing about yourself is just as important. Although this is the first video call, if you agree to match, it will be the beginning of a long, emotional and rewarding relationship. Here are some questions you can ask each other:

  • What led you to surrogacy?
  • How do you spend your free time?
  • Where do you want to go on vacation?
  • What do you do in your spare time?
  • Tell me about your family
  • Do you have pets?

It’s great to ask general questions about family and lifestyle.

4. DON’T ask questions.

This meeting should be more like a friends get together as opposed to asking questions like in a job interview. While you should be inquisitive, keep the conversation light. Your strategy is as important as your choice of questions. The first meeting is not about screening your surrogate or intended parents.

At Circle, we do all the heavy lifting when it comes to “screening” surrogates and intended parents, so you don’t have to! Approved surrogates pass psychological and social work tests as well as a review of medical records by an IVF doctor. Intended parents also undergo a screening process with our consultation team before joining our program.

5. Discuss your expectations and expectations for communication.

You’ve heard it before—communication is key! Some of our intended parents and surrogates become very close, talking to each other often, and arranging several personal visits during the surrogacy journey. We encourage open and honest relationships, but recognize that can take many forms.

Talk about your expectations for the frequency and level of communication as well as the form it will take, such as video calls, phone calls, texts, in-person visits, etc. (Remember that some intended parents may live in another country, so there may be significant differences in playtime.) At this stage, it’s a good idea to make sure everyone has the same expectations. This topic can also lead you to start talking about what you’re thinking about bonding after the birth of the baby(s).

6. Do NOT talk about money.

Money is a topic you often don’t discuss with friends, and you can apply the same thinking when it comes to your relationship with your intended parents or surrogates.

In a surrogacy journey, financial issues fall under the umbrella of legal considerations and are covered during contract negotiations. Intended parents and surrogates will be represented by separate legal counsel. Again, at this point in the process, it’s still early and the focus should be on getting to know each other. One of the best advantages of working with a surrogacy agency is the freedom it gives you to focus on enjoying your surrogacy journey.

7. Remember that you are both trying to get to know each other.

Intended parents want to know about their surrogates, and surrogates want to know about their intended parents in order to make the right decision. Be prepared to share your own story and what led you to surrogacy. A surrogacy journey is an intimate experience, and you will share a lot of personal information with each other as you go through the process. Starting by openly sharing your honest feelings and hopes will get everything off on the right foot.

8. DON’T stress.

I know it’s easier say than do. Remember: You’re both in the same boat, and the other party is probably just as nervous as you. Preparing for the call, having a short list of questions or topics you want to share, and remembering why you’re taking the surrogacy journey can help you stay calm. Keep the tone and topics casual. You want to make sure you’re on the same page and have the same hopes and expectations. To relax, take deep breaths so you can focus on the important things.

9. Be yourself.

The best way to build a healthy, understanding connection is to act naturally and let the conversation flow organically. At the end of the day, a strong relationship between IPs and the gestational mother will make for the most fruitful and enriching surrogacy journey.

It’s 100% OK to start your call by saying, “I just want you to know how nervous I am!” We can almost guarantee that you will hear a loud, “Me too!” back. Once you get that out in the open, the conversation starts to flow. You are potentially embarking on a monumental journey together; it’s your chance to be open and honest about your feelings (even if they say you don’t know what to talk about!).

Once you’ve covered everything you want to cover in the initial surrogacy match meeting, ask if there’s anything else your surrogate or intended parents would like to know about you or if there’s anything else they’d like to add.

We hope these suggestions were helpful. Again, this is meant as a guide to help you prepare for your first meeting—there’s no need to feel pressured to cover every detail.

Visit our Parent FAQ page or Surrogate FAQ page for any additional questions about surrogacy!

Are you interested in starting this journey as a surrogate? Learn more about becoming a Circle Surrogacy surrogate on our Step-by-Step Surrogacy Process page. Or if you’re ready to get started, apply now!

If you’re ready, you can apply to become a parent through surrogacy, or you can learn more about the parent process!

We can’t wait to meet you!

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