As an intended parent, finding a potential gestational carrier is a big deal. You are selecting the woman who will carry and deliver your son or daughter. Someone you’ll be closely connected with before, during and after your child is born. So you’ll want to find someone who is in line with your values, and who you trust and can enter into a legally binding agreement with. To do this, make sure you dedicate forethought into what you want to know about her, and the questions you want to ask.
For some ideas, Virginia Frank has developed a non-exhaustive resource to get you started. Following are some questions for you to ask while you’re searching for your gestational carrier. If you think of any additional ones that aren’t mentioned here, be sure to let us know in the comment section below.
What made You Choose to be a Gestational Carrier?
If you want to know more about your potential gestational carrier, and why she choose to carry children for other couples, this is an excellent question to ask. It will give you insight into who she is as a person, her personality and character. Also, her motivation behind her choice. All very important things to know when screening potential gestational carriers.
What have Your other Pregnancies been like?
It is not uncommon for gestational carriers to have had children of their own already. They have partners or spouses, or have chosen to raise her family as a single mother. Ask about her experience with morning sickness and if her delivery went well. See if she had any issues or complications with her pregnancy. This is a great thing to ask a potential gestational carrier as it will give you details about how it might be if she carries your child.
Have You Considered the Risks Involved?
Choosing to carry someone else’s child isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. Thus, you’ll want to make sure that your potential gestational carrier clearly understands the process. This includes any and all risks involved. It’s important that she’s taken time to consider and think through everything, and that she voices this upfront. Anything left unopened can cause frustration and disappointment later on.
What are Your Thoughts on Carrying Twins or more?
When it comes to in vitro fertilization (IVF), the odds of multiples births are higher. If this is something you want, be sure to consult your doctor or fertility specialist on how many embryos need to be transferred. With your potential gestational carrier, multiple births can increase the likelihood of risks and complications, so you’ll want to make sure you ask her thoughts on if her pregnancies became more than one child.
What are Your Thoughts on Abortion or Selective Reduction?
These are dicey subjects to talk about, but important nevertheless. There are a couple scenarios where you may feel that the options of abortion or selective reduction could be found necessary. For instance, if multiple fetuses develop and you only want one. Or if a complication arises and it could harm the baby. You’ll want to know how your potential gestational carrier feels about these topics, and to see if you all are on the same page.
Are My Partner and I able to attend Medical Appointments?
Agreeing on levels of communication and establishing a relationship between all of you is vital to the surrogacy process. This includes asking whether or not your potential gestational carrier would be comfortable with you, or you and your partner/spouse, attending her medical appointments. Also, if she’s willing to have you in the delivery room.
What Questions or Concerns do You have about the Process?
As you are wrapping up your own set of questions, make sure that you allow time for your potential gestational carrier to ask any of her own. Let her know that her concerns and thoughts are very important, and that you want to address anything that comes to mind. There will no doubt be areas that haven’t been covered. Make sure to listen to any specific requests she has — especially with the delivery. It’s better to talk about as much as you can beforehand, so as not to have too many surprises later on.
Bonus: Are Your Family and Friends Supportive of Your Choice? Your Partner/Spouse?
This question will give you insight into her support system. As pregnancy is physically and emotionally demanding, you’ll want to know whether or not she has friends, family or her partner/spouse who she can rely on when she needs to. What their thoughts on regarding her choice of becoming a gestational carrier. How she’ll react when asked about her pregnancy. Particularly if you are a same-sex intended parent, discovering that a friend, family member or her spouse is homophobic could raise a red flag. Be as prepared as you can be, to avoid any unpleasant or awkward interactions throughout the process.
Questions for Your Potential Gestational Carrier
Again, the questions above are non-exhaustive examples of what you could ask your potential gestational carrier. There are numerous others. Think about all the most important things you’d want to know about the woman carrying your child, and be upfront from the beginning. If you and your carrier aren’t on the same page, it may not be the best match.