After numerous medical and legal consultations, many participants of the Surrogate motherhood program do not particularly focus their attention on its psychological components. Some initially do not even consider surrogacy as a complex psychological situation, requiring the help of a psychologist. However, none of the participants in such a program can do without appropriate psychological preparation and assistance. Each of its participants will experience their own “psychological drama” and should prepare for future problems in advance.
The likelihood of problems arising during surrogacy is less when both potential parents are the genetic parents of the child.
However, this is not always the case, and in general, one should not count on complete “psychological painlessness” in this case either. Difficulties arise even at the first stage, when spouses undergo many medical procedures, which are rather unpleasant and often objectionable for both of them. In addition, they need to constantly share intimate details and recognize their feminine or masculine “failure” to outsiders – doctors, lawyers and psychologists.
Participation in the IVF program of the donor greatly aggravates the already existing psychological problems of the intended parents.
For many, the use of someone else’s biological material is a “murdered hope,” recognition of surrender in the battle against infertility. The selection stage is not simple: choosing a surrogate mother and a donor for IVF procedure is also a test of the feelings of the spouses. Further – expectation, hopes and fears: will it work out or all over again. Then, if it worked out – a potent experience is alternated with a relative lull: the joy of victory over infertility overshadows most psychological problems for a considerable period of time.
Undoubtedly, Surrogate programs are a serious challenge for women acting as surrogate mothers. For the surrogate’s husband, the realization that his wife is carrying a foreign child for a foreign family is also a serious psychological trauma.
At the first stage, with proper preparation, as a rule, surrogate mothers do not have significant psychological problems. However, when potential parents choose a surrogate mother, many women candidates experience a kind of “post-disco syndrome”, similar to the one that some of them felt at school parties when their classmates did not invite them to dance.
As recent studies have shown, most surrogate mothers experienced grief and anxiety during a pregnancy. They not only wanted to successfully endure the process of pregnancy, give birth to a healthy child, but worried about his fate, as well. Many have asked the question of whether genetic parents can provide proper care for a newborn baby.
After giving birth, psychological problems that most often lie in wait for potential (intended) parents and a surrogate mother should be highlighted as follows:
- a certain psychological instability of the surrogate mother after the birth of her child
- frustration syndrome of intended mother
- a feeling of “undue care” for a surrogate mother, which comes from a biological father
- psychological problems that arise for potential parents in connection with explanations to people around them about the appearance of their child, who “was not in the plan yesterday”.
Psychological instability of a surrogate mother after the birth of a child, who “isn’t her” is not difficult to understand. Whatever you say, it’s hard to believe that a surrogate mother doesn’t have feelings for him at all. When the time comes to give a child to biological (genetic) parents, for many it turns out to be a complex psychological problem.
Here we note not only the feeling of insecurity in the parents, but also the maternal instinct of caring, which cannot be completely extinguished. Such psychological problems are, of course, very difficult to solve. It is advisable that the surrogate mother quickly switch to her own children, who are also psychologically affected by their mother’s participation in the Surrogacy program.
According to a study by psychologists, almost a quarter of potential mothers experience a new episode of frustration after giving birth, because they did not become the mother once again.
Potential fathers during the pregnancy of the surrogate mother are getting very accustomed to the surrogate mother. They start caring about her health and her psychological conditions of which they already know almost everything. After birth, a feeling of gratitude is mixed with care. During this period, fathers do not have time to immediately switch only to their children and wives. And their wives require just that at this point. An excessive care of her husband and even talks about the state of a surrogate mother during this period is a psychological trauma that hurts her feminine and maternal feelings.
Equally important is the attitude of society, which often with a prejudice refers to surrogate motherhood. Returning to society can create discomfort for all program participants. It is necessary to think in advance about all the explanations about complex issues, how, where and who.
A qualified psychologist at the network of reproductive medical centers “Mother and Child” can help to avoid and alleviate these and other psychological problems. Never try to solve psychological problems on your own, especially in cases involving family and reproductive problems.