Dear Scholastic Surrogate

Dear Scholastic Surrogate:  I’m 12 weeks pregnant with a surrogate baby. When I met my Intended Parents it was like a dream and we all fell in love with each other.  They were so excited to have found me and I was over the moon to be helping such wonderful people.  Since I’ve become pregnant the relationship has begun to slowly deteriorate.  My IM has become controlling to the extreme and if I so much as object to anything the IF threatens to sue me.  What do I do?  I don’t want to hate or resent my IPs!  - Control Freak-Out

Dear CFO — What difficult and complex feelings you must be experiencing right now; congratulations for recognizing them and being willing to reach out to try to deal with them.  If you are matched through an agency I would advise you to reach out to your coordinator to see if they can help offer you any help or guidance in how best to proceed.  If the agency has social workers on staff they might be able to help create some mediation strategies for all sides to utilize. 

I would highly recommend, agency or not, that all parties seek the joint assistance of a mental health professional (group therapy is for more than just couples!).  There are many out there that specialize in issues such as this.  If you could all sit down together it might help both sides see how the Intended Parents history of loss (and terror that it might happen again!) may be affecting their behavior towards you.  It would also, hopefully, give your IP’s the coping strategies to realize that you are great at being pregnant and want to do the best you can for both them and their unborn child.

Dear S.S.: I’m really interested in becoming a surrogate, but I’m worried about what to do with my own small child while going to appointments, or especially if I need to be on bed rest. How do other surrogates handle this? – Mom Seeking Answers

Hi Mom- This is a great question. Most contracts between gestational carriers and intended parents have clauses about how childcare is to be handled, and it is usually negotiable (up to a point). Some contracts will provide reimbursement for childcare based on a certain “not to exceed” amount (like not to exceed $200 in a one week period), or based on an hourly rate. Some contracts even talk about reimbursing family members for extended time watching a child. This is definitely something to talk with intended parents about before starting the process, and something to bring up with your attorney when negotiating the contract. If you do end up going on bed rest, some contracts provide for compensation based on your current job (which does sometimes mean stay at home parents don’t get reimbursed for that time on bed rest). Your job may also cover you for short-term disability in the case of you having to go on bed rest. However it works out in your contract, you definitely need to have a support network around you (spouse, family, friends) who can help in a pinch, or who can be your sounding board.

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