BONUS 223: The Psychological Aspects of Surrogacy

September 6, 2019

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Today’s bonus episode guest is Dr. Kim Bergman, a senior partner at surrogacy and egg donation agency Growing Generations and author of Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction.

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Dr. Bergman and Heather discuss the psychological aspects of surrogacy:

INTRODUCTION

  • I’d like to start by hearing a little bit about you. Tell us about your academic background and training.
  • Why did you choose to specialize in reproductive medicine?
  • Take us through your career since your fellowship, including how you ended up at Growing Generations.
  • You and your wife used third-party reproduction to build your own family. Before we get into today’s topic, I’d love to hear the details about your journey to parenthood.

SURROGACY

  • What is the difference between gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy? (For the purposes of this interview, the rest of the questions will pertain to gestational surrogacy.)
  • What misconceptions might infertility warriors have about using a  carrier, and what are the facts?
  • Why do you think surrogacy is still illegal in some states?
  • For many people, surrogacy is not Plan A to become a parent. Do people typically struggle with the decision?
  • Are there instances when people should NOT use surrogacy to become parents?
  • Are there different psychological issues parents have to confront if they’re a straight couple vs. a single parent vs. a gay or lesbian couple?
  • How can infertility warriors grieve the loss of experiencing pregnancy and reach emotional acceptance about having to use a carrier?
  • Who needs to undergo psychological evaluation during the  surrogacy process, and what should each person expect in terms of the questions and timeline?
  • Once the carrier is pregnant, how can infertility warriors navigate the various emotions felt during her pregnancy?
  • When the carrier delivers, how can infertility warriors navigate the various emotions felt during the birth?
  • Does a surrogate get “attached” to the baby? Is it hard for her to part with the baby?
  • How does using a surrogate affect a mother’s ability to bond with her baby?
  • What should parents take into consideration when it comes to whether or not they tell their child about their carrier?
  • If the parents decide to tell their child, what might the conversation look like at different ages?
  • When it comes to other people in your life, ranging from complete strangers to close members of your community, how can parents decide what and how much to tell them? What might the conversation look like?
  • What’s the best advice you could give to someone thinking about using a surrogate to become a parent?
  • Is there anything else you’d like to add?

WRAPPING UP

  • What words of hope would you offer to someone who’s just beginning their surrogacy journey right now?

References:

Thanks for listening!

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