During a surrogacy journey, your spouse or partner will be an important part of your support system, so obviously it’s important that they’re completely on board and comfortable with your decision to carry a baby for another family. But how much involvement will your partner have in the process itself, and what will be expected of them? In this article, we will explore the role your partner will play along your surrogacy journey.
Generally, it’s up to the surrogate and her partner whether they want to be a part of the initial match meeting. Most meetings with intended parents take place via video chat. As a potential surrogate, you may feel nervous about meeting intended parents for the first time, and you may want your partner to be present on the call for support. Your partner may also want to meet the people whose baby their wife/girlfriend may be carrying and help decide whether they think it will be a good fit. Or, they may prefer to say a quick hello and leave you to finish the match call by yourself – or not take part at all! Your partner’s involvement during this stage of the process is a personal decision. Just remind them if they do want to be part of the video chat to be friendly, welcoming, and respectful to the intended parents, whether they believe you will be a good fit or not.
As a surrogate, you probably already know that you will have to undergo a thorough medical screening process to make sure you are healthy enough to carry a surrogate pregnancy. Additionally, you will also have to submit to a criminal background check. But did you know that your partner will also have to submit to screening and a background check? Your partner will be expected to have blood drawn to test for any communicable diseases, and also a urine drug screen. If after the medical screening you or your partner are tested positive for certain sexually transmitted diseases or bacteria such as mycoplasma and ureaplasma, you will both be required to take medication to treat these issues. It’s vital that you know whether your partner has used drugs, including marijuana recently as if your partner tests positive for any drug use you will automatically fail the medical screening. So, it’s best to have that conversation ahead of time! If your partner smokes, it’s best to inform your agency and your clinic before the screening so they’re not surprised when the drug screen comes back positive for nicotine or cotinine (the metabolite of nicotine). Usually, this is not a major problem, but both the agency and the intended parents will be informed of a positive result. If your partner has felonies on their record, this will need to be discussed with the agency before you arrange any match meetings. Anything related to violence, child abuse, or sexual abuse will, unfortunately, be an automatic disqualification.
If you are married, it is required that your partner signs and notarizes the gestational carrier agreement (contract between yourselves and the intended parents) along with yourself. If you are in a relationship but not, legally they do not have to sign the contract with you if they do not feel comfortable doing so. Generally, if you’re in a serious, long-term relationship it is preferred that your partner does sign the contract.
Abstaining from Sexual Activity
During your transfer cycle and for a few weeks after, you will be required to abstain from sexual activity of any kind. It’s important that your partner understands this, as not following the doctor’s instructions is considered a breach of contract. Once you begin taking medications, you will have to abstain from sexual activity for an absolute minimum of 4 weeks, up to a maximum of 12 weeks depending on your clinic’s requirements. Most of the time, you may resume sexual activity once a pregnancy is confirmed, but some clinics ask you to abstain until the heartbeat is confirmed by ultrasound (around 6 weeks of pregnancy). It’s best to have this conversation ahead of time so your partner is not upset or angry about it. You can even bring your partner to the embryo transfer so that they can directly ask the doctor any questions they may have on the matter. Open communication is always welcomed and encouraged!
Your partner is always welcome to attend the birth of your surrogate baby! Some partners may choose to stay home and take care of your children, in which case you may bring another friend, family member or support person, while others will want to be by your side at this amazing occasion.
It’s a good idea to make sure your partner is well-informed and prepared ahead of time for their role in your surrogacy journey, to help avoid any surprises or issues down the road. GSHC is always available and open to speaking with surrogates’ partners if they have any questions at all about the process; just reach out to your intake manager or case manager and they will be more than happy to help!
If you are ready to become a surrogate with GSHC Surrogacy Agency, please complete our Surrogate Intake Form.