Why a surrogate may face certain challenges while handing over the child?

The role of a surrogate mother is that of a giver in the entire surrogacy journey. Right from the start of the surrogacy process, she goes through highly intense medical tests and procedures to hand over the biggest gift in someone’s life. In simple words, we can say that the act of a woman carrying and giving birth to a child on behalf of another person or couple, known as the intended parents, is a profound and selfless gesture in surrogacy.

That said, even though surrogacy agreements are typically signed with mutual respect and understanding, the process of giving the baby back to the surrogate after delivery can be emotionally taxing. This post examines the emotional, psychological, and social aspects of surrogacy that can make this aspect challenging at times.

Surrogate challenges while handing over the child

1. Attachment on an emotional level

Surrogacy isn’t just about the physical pressures and demands and it comes along with its emotional side as well. That said, the emotional bond that can form during pregnancy is one of the biggest obstacles surrogates must overcome. Even with explicit intentions and formal agreements at the outset, a surrogate may develop an emotional connection to the child she bears.

Also, a complex web of hormones, including oxytocin, interacts during pregnancy to promote attachment between the mother and the foetus. On the other side, the post-birth detachment process may be difficult due to these biological processes. Hence, we can say that this emotional attachment may sometimes come her way while handing over the child to the intended parents. Moreover, she may run through a range of emotions while taking care of the demands and challenges of the surrogacy program.

2. Effect on the Mind

As we mentioned surrogate mother run through a range of emotions during surrogacy, and they may have a huge impact on their minds and mental health during the process. From the happiness of supporting another family to the challenges of keeping emotions separate during the handover, being a surrogate can be an emotional rollercoaster. After the birth, even those who understand and accept their role as surrogates intellectually may feel a sense of loss or grief. While these emotions are normal, they can also be strong and perplexing, necessitating assistance and occasionally expert counselling to manage.

This is where proper mental health counselling can sometimes ease up the trauma and pressure on her mind. So, the intended parents or the surrogacy agencies can take crucial steps in the same direction while prioritizing the health and well-being of the surrogate mother.

3. Reality versus Expectations

surrogate challengesThere are times when the expectations of the surrogate mother may go above and beyond her imagination. This is where proper communication among the parties can come as a proper solution.

Moreover, surrogates and intended parents may talk about how they see the process going before the pregnancy, including the emotional aspects of the handover.

But occasionally, reality feels very different from expectations. That said, the surrogate may experience unexpected difficulty in letting go or may believe that the intended parents are not paying attention to her emotional journey. This mismatch between expectations and reality may make the process of turning the child over more difficult.

4. Dynamics of Families and Society

It’s not just about the surrogate mother and her family is equally involved in this journey of hers. Moreover, just like their families, every associated emotion will also come into play. On the other side, intended parent and child relationships may develop, and it can be difficult to explain the surrogacy arrangement to them. In addition, the surrogate may experience further emotional strain and a sense of loneliness if her friends and extended family do not completely accept or understand her choice.

5. Social and Cultural Viewpoints

We cannot eliminate the role of society and culture in the success of the surrogacy program within any country. That said, strong emotional and moral emphasis is placed on the relationship between a mother and her child in many cultures. The social stigma and lack of understanding surrogates may experience can compound the emotional strain. The surrogate may experience increased stress and emotional strain during the process due to their fear of being judged for “giving up” their child.

6. The functioning of the support system

The existence of a proper support system can simply increase the success chances of the surrogacy program. In other words, it is impossible to overstate the value of having a strong support network.

Surrogates need emotional support from friends, family, counselling services, and support groups specifically designed for them to effectively manage their emotions both during and after the pregnancy. Insufficient assistance may intensify emotions of isolation and misinterpretation, rendering the transfer even more difficult.

7. Handling the Relationship after Birth

A surrogate mother does spend a significant time with the child in her womb and this is where she establishes a string connection with it. Following the birth, there may be a wide variation in the surrogate’s relationship with the intended parents. Some may decide to stay in touch, while others might not. This is where continuing to watch the child grow can bring joy to some surrogates; it may bring back sadness or feelings of loss to others. It takes tact and consideration for each person’s limits and preferences to handle this part.

8. Concerns for Law and Ethics

Laws and ethics do play a key role in the surrogacy process and there is no denying that. Although they offer a structure for the surrogacy arrangement, legal agreements are unable to completely take into consideration human emotions. The emotions associated with transferring the baby can be exacerbated by ethical quandaries, such as those brought on by unforeseen medical problems or modifications in the intended parents’ situation.

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9. Expert Guidance

There is no replacement of expert assistance and guidance in the surrogacy program within any country. Given the psychological toll that surrogacy can have, a lot of organizations and clinics now advise surrogates to seek professional counselling before, during, and after the pregnancy, or they offer access to it. In addition to assisting with the emotional difficulties, this support gets surrogates ready for the handover.

Final words

The surrogate mother is without a doubt the center point of any surrogacy program. That said, one of the emotionally most taxing aspects of the surrogacy process is handing over a child to the intended parents. Although surrogates are aware of their role intellectually, the emotional bonds they build during pregnancy can make the separation challenging.

Comprehending these obstacles is essential for all parties engaged in surrogacy. A smoother transition for all parties involved can be ensured by surrogates managing these challenges more skillfully and maintaining open, compassionate communication throughout the process.

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