For much of the population, conceiving a child and building a family can seem like an unattainable dream. Through surrogacy, however, many of these loving parents bring a baby into this world despite the odds. It’s a wonderfully positive experience that not only results in a child, but a deeply intimate bond between intended parents and surrogate.
As awareness about surrogacy continues to grow, it is becoming a viable option for families across the globe. Because California has clear laws regarding surrogacy and favorable rights for intended parents, people from other nations often turn to the U.S. when looking for surrogates. Naturally, language barriers and other cultural differences can make a match seem odd, but any initial awkwardness is likely to pass quickly, particularly if you keep these four things in mind.
1) Understand the Decision Process
For many intended parents, choosing to work with American surrogates is not often the first choice. However, depending on their country’s laws and stigma surrounding surrogacy, it may be the best option for a positive experience. In China, for instance, surrogacy is frowned upon, and often handled via underground industries, which can be risky for everyone involved.
In a recent NPR interview featuring a Chinese woman and her American surrogate, you hear an example of this stigma. Jacquie, the surrogate, says in regard to telling her friends, “I only told them I am pregnant… You cannot understand that somebody knows my baby not from my own uterus.” In order for her to feel comfortable, she felt the need to protect her unborn child from the judgment of her society. A surrogate who understands this heavy decision process can better begin to relate to the intended parents.
2) Realize the Benefits of American Surrogacy
To build a positive relationship between intended parents and surrogate mothers, understanding the privileges of American surrogacy is key. In the States, there is far less stigma around surrogacy than in other countries. In California especially, surrogacy laws are extremely favorable for intended parents, giving them parental rights even before the baby is born. For an international parent, these clear laws make the process of building a family that much easier. Another benefit, according CNN’s Sophia Yan, is the automatic U.S. citizenship given to the baby. This means that the child can eventually sponsor their parents for a green card. Overall, simply having the opportunity to set up legal protections for the surrogacy process is an attractive reason for international parents to choose the United States.
3) Respect the Culture
Childbearing, parenthood, and other family values and traditions are a significant part of every culture. For American surrogates to better bridge any cultural gaps between them and the intended parents, beginning to learn about these cultural aspects is important. Even with a language barrier, mutual respect during the surrogacy process can go a long way.
For example, Chinese culture has different expectations regarding expectant mothers. In China, moms to be are encouraged and expected to rest and lie low. In America, more and more expecting mothers continue their busy lifestyles far into their pregnancy. There are also aspects of Chinese medicine that intended parents may expect or try to influence during their surrogate’s pregnancy. As long as respect and consistent communication are a priority, both parties will feel good about the joint decisions made during the surrogacy process.
Trust in Your Surrogacy Agency
Perhaps one of the most crucial factors for a successful international surrogacy is forming a solid bond and trust in your surrogacy agency. Having a team of professionals working with you from everything to screening requirements to legal contracts to travel details is an invaluable asset. At the Egg Donor & Surrogacy Institute (EDSI), a superior international program is in place for surrogates and intended parents to have the best experience possible. With years of experience with international clients, EDSI is prepared to facilitate conversation, cross any language barriers, draw up legal documents, and provide all necessary travel arrangements – and more. For more information on the surrogacy process or the international program, please contact EDSI at (310) 209-1898 today.