Gestational Carrier…Should She Hold the Baby?

by samamnta
(Tucson)

Hi
Do you think it is a good idea that the Gestational Carrier holds the baby after it is born, or just have a clean break?. I dont want to sound mean but is it possible that she could bond with the baby if she holds the baby?

Reply by Rayven:
There are a lot of fears with surrogacy. It is a very difficult and emotional process.

But if the surrogate mother is comfortable holding the baby, there should be absolutely no reason why she should not. She has had 9 months to bond with the baby; holding him is a way of ending a journey, of saying goodbye, and of seeing for herself that everything has turned out ok.

Let me tell you about my two experiences:

The first surrogacy, where I had twins, the nurses placed both babies in my arms after the parents had greeted them. I held them for a few seconds, and then passed them onto their parents. I very purposefully stayed away from them following the birth because I did not want to make the parents feel uncomfortable. But I never, I will repeat never, had any second thoughts or felt any more bonded with them after their birth than while I carried them.

For the second surrogacy, things were a little different. The baby decided to come a week before the parents, who lived overseas, were scheduled to arrive. (We all foolishly waited until the last moment; what were we thinking!)

It took them until 2 days after his birth to arrive. Which meant that I was the only person who “knew” him in the hospital. I felt it was my obligation to room-in with him, to bottle feed him, and basically take care of him until his parents arrived. My children changed his diapers, my husband rocked him to sleep. Though we all cared for him, every one of us was relieved when mom and dad showed up!

Again, not to sound cold about this myself, but I did not bond with him. To me, he was my responsibility to care for until I was able to give him back to his parents, but at no point did I feel or desire him to be my child.

I should mention, that all three children were for the same intended parents. They were always very open and generous. They were very glad I had chosen to stay with him those first two days instead of abandoning him to the hospital nursery, but if they had been uncomfortable with my attention, I certainly would have respected their wishes.

I guess the point I am trying to make here is that surrogacy is about trust. A surrogate mother is already being entrusted with the most valuable thing on earth: someone else’s child. Most surrogates will want an opportunity to say hello and goodbye to the baby.

That being said, if the intended parents do not wish the surrogate mother to hold the baby after birth, and it is ok if you feel this way, that needs to be explained to the surrogate during the matching phase, to prevent disappointment and hard feelings from happening at the time of birth.

Best wishes!

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Posted in Ask a Surrogate.