There are three phases at which one can choose to meet the surrogate:
- Before the surrogate is selected, as part of the surrogate selection process
- After the surrogate is carrying the child, but before she has delivered
- After the surrogate has delivered the baby
From a commercial perspective, the surrogate and her family are seeing an immense amount of money from this transaction, and are some will wonder if they can get more. After all, if the intended parents can afford the surrogacy costs surrogacy, can’t they provide the surrogate just a bit more money? A choice to make multiple international trips to visit the surrogate during the pregnancy is also an indication of wealth, and also an indication that maybe the surrogate can make more money.
Remember – Indian’s grow up in a culture with more bargaining and negotiation (and less fixed prices) than westerners are used to. In India, even overseas Indians who visit Mumbai get over-charged for taxi rides. And more similar to the Chinese culture than the American culture, a signed contract is more like the start of the negotiating process rather than the end of the negotiating process. So, you may get new requests during the surrogates pregnancy.
Cases we’ve seen and heard of include:
- The surrogate and family that were still calling the intended parents two years after the childs birth requesting money for things like their childrens school fees.
- The surrogate’s sister who called the intended parents in the hotel after the birth and requested an additional monetary payment for the surrogate.
- The surrogate and her husband who threatened to abort one of the twins in a multiple pregnancy unless they were compensated more money (it’s unclear if the original contract already provided more funds)
It is/was a commercial arrangement, and both parties fulfilled their obligations.
- If you want to meet the surrogate, do so after the baby is born and in your hands. This is the point at which the surrogate and her family have no negotiating leverage. While they still have the baby, they have negotiating leverage, should they choose to use it.
- Do not get involved in any negotiations. Refer all requests to your agency and/or doctor.
- Do not give the surrogate your contact information. If she and her family can’t contact you, she can’t make additional requests or demands.
- Don’t appear to be rich. This will be difficult, because as a westerner, and by being able to pay for the surrogacy process, you already appear richer than anyone the surrogate may know. But if you invite the surrogate and her family to an expensive restaurant or make multiple plane trips to visit her during her pregnancy, you’ll appear even more rich. Which makes you a more inviting target.
- If you do plan on meeting with your surrogate, coordinate closely with your clinic to understand what they might add to the above comments.
If you have a story, or know a story, please post it or link to it in the comments section.