QUESTION: “I’m a single gay man who wants to work with a gestational surrogate. Since I don’t have a partner to ask, I’m hoping you can help me explore the issue. How can I be sure to make a perfect match for me? What characteristics should I look for when getting to know prospective surrogates? What questions should I ask myself – and her – (and possibly her husband)?”
Dr. Doyle: One of the most important characteristics for you to find in your carrier is a sincere desire to partner with you to build your family, and a shared commitment to taking this journey with you as you see fit.
First, you need to be compatible on the major medical issues regarding the number of embryos you want to transfer, multiple pregnancy, selective reduction and C-Section. If you want twins, you should only consider a carrier who is very open to that. If you have an opinion about whether you would selectively reduce a multiple pregnancy, it is equally that you and she are on the same page with that.
You should look to partner with someone with whom you are compatible on a week-to-week basis. For example, are you looking for someone who will share info with you regularly, like how she is feeling, what she is eating, whether she is taking her vitamins, or how each prenatal visit with her doctor went? Or are you more a “big picture” guy who doesn’t need all the details? Some carriers are better matched to someone who enjoys and appreciates more frequent communication while others just are better suited to e-mails or phone calls in which “everything is fine.”
Either way, you should aim to trust your potential carrier as much as you possibly can, and be able to feel comfortable with her immediate family and support systems. For many people, that means visiting her in her home before making any commitments or signing any contracts. You should be able to openly communicate with her, and she with you. This is a partnership that will live on well after the birth that she provides, and like any meaningful relationship, it makes sense to take all the time you need to cultivate that bond.
Ask Dr. Doyle