What to Look for in an Intended Parents Support Group
As a Surrogacy Intended Parent, you need more support than your friends and family can provide. This is because, while they may be parents themselves, they did not go through the same journey to parenthood that you are embarking on. All parents have some of the same worry, like “Will I be a good mother?” or “How will I know when the baby is sick?” However, Intended Parents have unique questions and insecurities that those who become parents through traditional methods do not, including “Will my child be teased for having two dads?” or “Will I ever bond with a child who isn’t biologically related?” You do yourself a disservice to ignore your worries and fears. This is why joining a support group for individuals or couples just like you are so important. With that in mind, here is what to look for when trying to find an Intended Parents support group:
1. Stability. How long has the group been meeting? Does it have a moderation team to help with the duty of keeping the communication safe and trouble-free? Is it associated with an agency? A grassroots support group may be gone within a month or two, taking your support with it.
2. Positive Attitudes. You don’t want to feel worse! Are the group’s members welcoming and open? Are there members who are non-judgmental, and seem to provide a helpful word and encouragement in the group? Do members seem engaged with one another in mostly positive ways? Are they sharing, caring, and good-natured?
3. Similar to You. If you are going through the surrogacy journey because you are in a homosexual relationship, a support group for infertile heterosexual couples may not be exactly the right fit.
4. Accessible, Yet not Forced. Many support groups have regularly-scheduled meetings either online via video chats or in person if you live in a big city. That schedule may not always fit with life events and emotional availability, though. Some nights, you may simply want to be an active listener rather than contribute. Be sure to look for groups with flexible attendance and participation.
A good support group can give you information about your concerns, help you understand your journey, share their own struggles, and most importantly, provide emotional support from others who are going through or have gone through something similar. Do not delay in joining a support group.