The fertility counsellor’s role is most important in the entire surrogacy process as he/she is the main coordinator and is aware of the situation of both the parties. The counsellor is the first contact point of both. Once a couple is diagnosed with infertility and opted for surrogacy they first look for a reliable counsellor who can give them safe and sound passage in this unknown terrain of surrogacy. It is very important for both the intended parents and the surrogate mother and her family to have faith in the counsellor and trust all the guidelines formulated by her/him as this is in the best interest of both the parties.
In the quest to complete family and achieve parenthood, when the couple approaches the counsellor and shares their medical history, the counsellor appraises them about the entire journey in details. It is when they are informed about self cycle and donor cycle surrogacy. As per the likings of the couple the counsellor suggests the profiles of available surrogates and arranges meetings between them.
Surrogacy in India follows certain norms. Although all the surrogates are pre screened and counselled for their role, once the couple selects the surrogate mother, that particular lady is counselled gain by the counsellor involving a clinical psychologist for the assessment of her behaviour. This is of utmost importance as to make the process successful, her willingness to cooperate and attitude should be gauged. Whether the surrogate is suffering from any mental stress or hassled by her family will bear an unwanted impact on her pregnancy. It is the responsibility of the counsellor to see the support of her husband and family. Both the surrogate and her husband receives counselling.
It is very important for the surrogate mother to have a child of her own to get her informed consent in this. Having previous child is a proven fact of her child bearing capacity. The legality of the process is also explained in detail to both the parties, particularly the surrogate mother that she will not have any right on this child. The legality also protects the surrogates from any eventuality during pregnancy and gets a life insurance coverage. A medico legal lawyer is engaged by the counsellor to look into the interests of both the parties.
After conception also the surrogate mother may feel emotional distress and needs support from the counsellor. He/she also alleviates any fear the surrogate might be apprehensive of. She should be made aware of the medical complications that may arise like hormonal changes, multiple pregnancy, bed rest, gestational diabetes etc.
Similarly, the couple’s anxieties and worries will have to be dispersed and dealt with. They can get impatient and ask all sorts of questions. With great calmness, the counsellor has to handle it. The progress of the pregnancy is reported to the parents time to time. A healthy relationship between the intended parent and the surrogate mother for effective communication should be worked upon.
After the delivery the smooth handing process and post partum care of the surrogate is a prime objective of the counsellor.
Last but not the least, the financial bearing of this journey takes a significant role in this. If this is an altruistic surrogacy, the surrogate is known to the intended couple, then only the cost of medication, diet and procedures are covered. If the surrogate mother is unknown and requires compensation, then the couple should be guided accordingly and explained in detail about each and every payment process. Surrogacy in Delhi provides low cost surrogacy to intended parents.
In short, the counsellor acts as a friend, philosopher and guide to both the parties to minimise the negative risk and to maximise the positive outcome. The counsellor will educate, guide and advice all the time to ensure that all that is well ends well.