Although I have been the psychologist for Building Families, Inc. for more than14 years and have seen almost 200 Surrogate Mothers successfully complete the program, I am still amazed at our Surrogate Mothers’ dedication to their goal of giving their Couples a healthy child. Countless times I have heard them state, “I am more careful with the surrogate pregnancy then I have ever been with my own.”
As all of you know, our Surrogates undergo a very rigorous application process from the initial application forms and home visit to the psychological evaluation. The psychological evaluation is geared toward ruling out any emotional issues or disorders which would hinder the process of being a successful Surrogate. It is designed to protect everyone who is involved in the surrogacy from the surrogate to the couple to the baby to our health care team. The rigorous nature of the evaluation and the rather obsessive-compulsive pattern that I get involved with each time is certainly necessary even though it may be intimidating. I truly believe that we have set the standard for both the evaluation and psychological care of Surrogates and our Intended Parents. My focus is on the psychological care of our Surrogates following their clearance into the program.
On a monthly basis I visit with our Surrogate Mothers in our group therapy. Those meetings range from celebrating birth stories to discussing coping strategies as needed for their progress. Indeed, often we are celebrating the beginning or the end of the Surrogates’ journey. These moments give me the opportunity to reflect on just how amazing these selfless women are and how privileged I am to be able to follow them during their tenure with us.
The selfless nature of our surrogates far extends their initial desire to give a child to a Couple who is unable to have their own. I have observed these phenomena of how our Surrogates take care of themselves so well during the pregnancy. In the first few years of my work with the program, I thought it was our good luck and fortune to have Surrogates who took incredible care of themselves. However, over time I have realized that they are quality women who are willing to extend their bodies, minds, time and life to help a Couple in need. In addition, I believe our stringent evaluation and overall care which our team provides is a factor in this equation.
We have witnessed how our Surrogate Mothers are more careful and sensitive to what they eat, how they sleep, rest, and all kinds of issues as a way of protecting the pregnancy and the precious baby for their Couple. Seriously, how could we ask for more?! These are super women with a dedication often beyond our high expectations of them. Truly we are very fortunate to have these special women on our team. Indeed our Surrogate Mothers are the very best in the state, no country, no the world, no the Universe!
Wishing all of you a Happy & Healthy New Year 2010!
Director of the Health Psychology Program
Licensed Psychologist (PSY 12742)