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As a woman prepares to become a surrogate mother, finding the right intended parents who share their values and goals for this life-changing experience is crucial. The same is true for IPs looking for a surrogate. The surrogate-intended parent relationship is one of the most vital parts of a surrogacy arrangement. Finding the ideal match lays the foundation for a trusting partnership and rewarding experience.

Surrogacy matching is a process that thoughtfully brings together both the surrogate and intended parents to form a connection over their shared preferences, so both sides embark on their journey filled with mutual compassion, trust and shared expectations.

How Surrogacy Matching Works

The surrogacy coordinator will get to know the preferences of the surrogate and intended parents to recommend the most suitable matches. Once a recommended match is made, the surrogate and intended parents will meet and confirm their comfort before moving forward together. While finding the perfect match takes effort, the impact of having an ideal partner for your surrogacy experience makes it well worth it.

Why Finding the Right Match Matters

With so much time, emotion and important decisions involved in the surrogacy process, it’s crucial that surrogates and intended parents share outlooks, values and goals from the start. A well-suited match leads to better communication, agreement on critical choices and mutual understanding as you navigate the process together.

In contrast, a mismatch in expectations or personalities can lead to conflicts, stress and regret between surrogates and intended parents. Taking the time upfront to match them based on compatibility prevents issues down the road.

Criteria for Matching Intended Parents & Surrogates

Once a woman has made the heartfelt decision to become a surrogate mother and passed agency screening, the next step is finding intended parents who align with their expectations and aspirations.

Likewise, intended parents work with specialists who have in-depth conversations to understand their preferences for an ideal surrogate match. The agency considers both parties’ comfort levels and needs when making matches.

The surrogacy matching specialists will gather both parties’ preferences on:

  • Communication Frequency: Level of communication desired with the surrogate during and after pregnancy. Intended parents may want daily text updates, weekly calls or a more distant relationship. Defining communication expectations upfront helps set the tone.
  • Relationship Post-Birth: Some surrogate-intended parent relationships extend after birth, while others conclude the arrangement by parting ways. Defining expectations early on allows the relationship to develop smoothly.
  • Location: Intended parents may share specific preferences for a surrogate’s state or region based on surrogacy laws or convenience for travel. A surrogate living closer to the intended parents can more easily attend key appointments.
  • Number of Embryos to Transfer: Intended parents should convey their preference for transferring a single embryo or multiple embryos. This important decision impacts the chances of more than one baby.
  • Views on Selective Reduction and Termination: Intended parents and the surrogate should align on beliefs about these procedures in case challenging scenarios arise. Open conversations help avoid conflicts down the road.
  • Medical Compatibility: The surrogate should be comfortable with the intended parents’ doctor, who will perform the transfer and oversee the medical process.
  • Personality Fit: Reviewing references for surrogate and intended parents provides insights into personalities, responsibility and support networks to determine whether the match fits both parties well.

What Surrogates Need to Know About Matching with Intended Parents

A pregnant woman wearing a crop shirt with her belly showing holds a teddy bear to her side.

The initial meeting with potential intended parents is often exciting but can also feel nerve-wracking. Remember that the intended parents are likely eager to meet you, too. Approach it as a two-way conversation to get to know each other. Share your story and motivations, and listen to learn theirs. Being open and honest will help determine if you feel a connection.

Once matched with the intended parents by the surrogacy agency, you will initially meet them in person or via video call. This first contact is pivotal in building your relationship.

What if I Don’t Like the Parents I Match With?

Trust your instincts if an initial match does not feel right. Be honest with your surrogacy specialist about any concerns so they can find a better fit. Explain specific reasons why you feel the match is not ideal. This feedback will help improve the next pairing.

What Should I Look for in Intended Parents?

Surrogacy can extend far beyond nine months, and it’s essential to be paired with intended parents who share your vision and values. Trust your intuition and feelings as you build a relationship with the intended parents. If you feel that you and the intended parents are not a good fit, it’s perfectly acceptable to express your concerns to your surrogacy specialist right away.

Here are some behaviors to watch out for in potential intended parents:

  • They discourage the signing of legal papers and surrogacy contracts.
  • They don’t show genuine concern for your well-being as the surrogate mother.
  • Constantly complaining about the cost of the surrogacy process.
  • Lack of proper support system.
  • A reluctance to engage in meaningful conversations.

How to Prepare for Your Match

JEstablishing open communication and setting clear expectations are crucial when preparing for your match as a surrogate mother. Here are some points to reflect upon and discuss:

Communication Preferences and Frequency

  • How would you like to establish a connection with your intended parents?
  • How often do you plan to communicate with each other, and through which means? (text, call or email?)

Involvement in Medical Appointments

  • Do you prefer the intended parents to attend medical appointments with you, and if not, how do you envision keeping them involved?
  • If they live nearby, they may wish to be present. If they are at a distance, video calls via Skype or FaceTime could be a suitable alternative.
  • Consider drafting up a birth plan and sharing it with the intended parents in advance to prevent any potential conflicts.

Future Contact After Birth

  • What are your expectations regarding contact with the intended parents once the baby is born?
  • Understand that surrogacy agreements often conclude after birth, but preferences vary. Some intended parents may wish for ongoing contact, while others prefer occasional updates or pictures.

Remember, open and sincere communication plays a pivotal role in the success of this arrangement.

What Intended Parents Should Know About Choosing a Surrogate

The surrogacy matching process will mainly be the same, whether you’re a single intended parent or part of a couple. When the agency identifies a potential match, they facilitate an introductory meeting, either in-person or virtual. This first contact is a pivotal moment for surrogates and intended parents to establish their relationship.

The first meeting with a potential surrogate should feel more like a friend gathering than a formal interview. Focus on having a light, open conversation. The goal is establishing mutual understanding, not screening one another. Ask questions out of genuine interest to learn the surrogate’s story and motivations. Share your goals and hopes as intended parents.

With a friendly, thoughtful approach focused on connection over evaluation, this first meeting can successfully launch a trusting relationship between the intended parents and a surrogate.

What if I Don’t Like the Surrogate Match?

If the first surrogate match does not feel right, communicate that honestly to the agency. Providing thoughtful feedback will help the specialists find a better fit for your hopes and needs.

Consider specifics like communication style, personality, approaches to the surrogacy or other factors that didn’t fully align. Keep an open mind, but trust your instincts if someone is not an ideal partner.

What Should Parents Look for in a Surrogate?

The surrogate screening process varies by agency but evaluates key areas like medical fitness, emotional readiness, qualifications and support systems. This protects all involved. However, professional screening is only part of finding the ideal partner.

When meeting a potential surrogate, also consider:

  • Your comfort with her personality and communication style.
  • She is emotionally and physically committed to the surrogacy journey.
  • You align on outlooks and values about surrogacy.
  • You have established a genuine connection during conversations.
  • Insights from the agency’s extensive screening

While agencies screen for safety, you must also trust your instincts when interacting with a potential surrogate. Look for someone who shares your excitement and commitment to the process.

About Our Matching Process at Joy of Life

A gay couple looks up smiling at their child being held up by one of the men.

Finding the ideal surrogate or intended parent match is crucial for a successful surrogacy. Our full-service agency focuses on facilitating compatible first-time matches through a thoughtful process:

  • We conduct extensive background checks, medical screening, psychological evaluations and more to ensure all parties are ready.
  • Surrogates review several intended parent profiles and select their top choice. This gives surrogates agency.
  • Intended parents review surrogates who picked them and select the one they feel most comfortable with.
  • Matching specialists guide all parties in communicating wishes and preferences along the way.
  • Once a match is made, we introduce the surrogate and intended parents and facilitate building their relationship of trust.
  • We provide ongoing support to nurture the partnership throughout the surrogacy process.

Our meticulous screening and matching are designed to create strong foundations. By allowing both parties to choose each other, we foster willing, compatible teams ready for the road ahead.

Find Your Ideal Surrogacy Match with Joy of Life

With care and consideration, the matching process unites surrogates and intended parents ready to move forward as a team. At Joy of Life, our matching specialists compassionately guide all parties to find a shared vision and heartfelt bond. We facilitate connections between excited and committed partners, ready to support each other’s dreams.

We are passionate about taking the time necessary so all can feel confident and at peace moving forward together. We nurture surrogate and intended parent partnerships built on trust, care and understanding.

With the right match, surrogacy can create cherished memories and improve lives. Get started by applying to be a surrogate today.

*The information on this page was written or reviewed for accuracy by Joy Millan, the founder and CEO of Joy of Life. Meet Joy and our team. Meet Joy and our team.


Joy Millan

Author Joy Millan

I’m Joy, the founder and CEO of Joy of Life. With a professional background as a fertility clinician, I’ve spent thousands of hours working with surrogates and intended parents alike. As a mother of two, I often wished for more support and a deeper commitment to care for those embarking on non-traditional family-building journeys. This is why I established Joy of Life: to create a more robust, compassionate experience in parenthood for both parties involved with surrogacy. In 2021, I stepped back from daily operations at Joy of Life to fight cancer. Fortunately, the combined 20 years of experience from our incredible team has allowed me to focus on my health & recovery. I continue to provide company guidance and serve as the head liaison for our network of doctors, clinicians and caregivers.

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