**How to find a surrogate 101**
This is written by Anna McKie and is a pinned post in the facebook group, the Australian Surrogacy Community
This surrogacy village is very important to me as you will be the village that helps us all to make babies. So I want to do my bit to share ideas so that it can be a strong, supportive, successful village.
1. Don’t find us, we’ll find you.
2. Your surrogate can’t find you if they can’t see you. So how does a surrogate find you? Be active in this group. Comment on the posts of other people by supporting their highs and lows. By doing this, surrogates see how you interact with other people and what type of person you might be. With more recipients than surrogates, you need to stand out. This might suck and you might wish it worked differently, but unfortunately it’s the way this works. Let us get to know you and fall in love with you!
3. Read the pinned posts and ask questions. Not only will it give others a chance to interact with you, it allows surrogates to get a glimpse into your way of thinking.
When I was a potential surrogate, this is how I struck up conversations with others. I liked how certain people interacted on this page so I sent them a private message to say “Hey! I liked your post/comment. Where are you up to on your journey, how’s your day going etc” And things started from there, always with the intention of a friendship as I didn’t want an interstate journey. After having struck up conversations with all sorts of people, I’m expanding my horizons and I know now that an interstate journey can work. Especially if you have the right team. A good team is built on friendship and from there love will blossom.
4. Familiarise yourself with common acronyms, for example IPs (Intended Parents), pronounced eye-peas 👀 as opposed to ips!
5. Attend local seminars and group events. Growing Families host seminars in most capital cities once or twice a year and usually host an annual Surrogacy Conference in June each year (depending on COVID19).
6. Join state based surrogacy facebook groups for more local support.
7. Join the relevant IP or surrogate group.
For IPs – send a message to one of the IP group admins (Tanya Padget or An Salisbury) and also a friend request to the profile Ipa Aust
For gay dads – send a request and answer membership questions to the group Gay Intended Dads Australia
For surrogates – once you have been in this ASC group for one month, send a request to the group Australian Surrogates Support, a friend request to Jane Smith and a message explaining you’re a surrogate.
8. Pick up the phone and make a friend. Chat to people from this group in messages and at some point suggest to chat on the phone. I found that it lessened my nerves by chatting to ‘real life’ people who are a part of the same village. Before long, you’ll be paying it forward and you’ll be the one suggesting a phone call with a newbie. Each experienced member was new once and we received time and help from others when we started. We all like to pay it forward and to help others.
9. Consider some pre-surrogacy counselling. This suggestion is for IPs and surrogates. There are specialised surrogacy counsellors that you can have Zoom sessions with if you don’t have access to someone in your city. Use the search function in this group or ask the group for recommendations.
For surrogates, this can be valuable to do to check you’re in the right frame of mind, and perhaps even to have a session with your husband/partner.
For IPs, to have arrived at the path of surrogacy often means that you’ve been faced with many challenges and heart breaks prior to joining. This grief needs to be addressed so that you can embrace surrogacy when you’re ready, regardless of whether you engage in domestic or overseas surrogacy. Counselling might also help you to decide on the type of surrogacy you investigate (altruistic/commercial).
10. If you’d like to hear me expand on these ideas, make a cuppa and have a listen to this YouTube clip from to Sarah Jefford and I from a Growing Families conference in 2018.
For my most recent presentation, from the Growing Families conference in Brisbane in June 2021, “How to find a Surrogate“
11. As of January 2019, join SASS (Surrogacy Australia’s Support Service). This paid service is based on best practice models and research from within this community. It is designed to support both surrogates and intended parents in forming well-suited teams and to support those teams over their surrogacy journeys with inbuilt counselling, mentoring and expenses management support.
In conclusion, come in here with the aim of building FRIENDSHIPS, not to find a surrogate. Build them with IPs and surrogates alike and you never know how your match will come to be, it might not be by you finding a surrogate directly.
💖 Love from Anna.