Don't Touch The Surro!

Don't touch the Surro is unwritten/unspoken rule #2.

At least from one IF's perspective this is a very hard and fast rule. And when I say don't touch the Surro I don't just mean physically. I mean don't talk to her either. Avoid eye contact if possible. Keep conversation to a minimum. Be polite, but not too personal. Be open, but don't share to much. AND don't ever be left alone with her.

Sure you can call me paranoid, but this is a radioactive situation. Nations have been built and wars fought over bad Traditional Surrogacy situations.

As guys, you girls have brainwashed us for years. Be happy, you won.

Starting when we are teenagers - we are told - you are in a relationship with me. Don't look at that girl. Don't you dare talk to her.

Now as an adult, I am in a solid relationship, yet another girl is carrying my child, and I am expected to skip over 25 years of programming???????

You must admit - you girls have us programmed well. The only IF's willing to talk are the gay couples, but since they don't have an IM in the mix do they really have a choice?

It seems to me that, with few exceptions, everyone that has an option let's the IM do the talking.

Now after the IM has introduced you to the surrogate and given you (IF) approval. This is usually unspoken also, you can talk to the Surro in limited situations. This is normally based on the divisions of tasks in your relationship with you IM.

Maybe the IF arranges all travel, flights, hotels, or Doctor appointments. This is the normal division of labor in their relationship so it naturally continues in this one. It will normally, be limited to planning or doing an activity.

For the most part though, as an IF we want to respect the IM first and then the Surrogate and her husband. And we are searching through our mind - where is the training on this subject? How do we behave? What is safe?

And we come up blank.

In our mind, if we don't know what is safe then we must expect that nothing is safe. Everything is off limits. The safe thing is to stay away.

Women of course love complex relationships and want to talk about their feelings and work things out.

As guys we go back to our teenage training for how to handle a new situation like this - Our dating experience is the closest thing that we can find.

So the rules that you girls gave us years ago are:

Pay complete attention to the girl your with. Acknowledge any other girl as little as possible. Talk only when required.

And the whole time, we pray that no one will asks us how we feel.


Christy said...

"Talk only when required."

YOU?! Are you kidding me??? HAHAHAHAH if only it were true.

By the way how do you "feel"?


Cyn said...

Man Jon! How do you continually come up with stuff that is SO right on. I know I as a surro have always had a tough time with 'how much interaction is OK with an IF without it becoming weird', but I also have that in general with men that aren't my husband. I just thought it was one of my own insecurities of how to function.
It's eye opening to see it from the IF perspective and makes total sense. I would have to imagine that those IF's that feel like they are missing out or want to be more involved, must at some point come to some sort of an understanding with their IM or themselves about what behavior is appropriate.
But you are correct. Even with gestational surrogacy you can hear tales of inappropriate relationships between the surro and the IF.

Surrogate said...

As a surrogate this is a hard one for me. There is a certain uncomfortable aspect to my role as being a surrogate for one of the things a mother usually does. I don't want my IM to ever feel uncomfortable with my interactions with my IF. In my own marriage I am very traditional and protective. My husband and I avoid having much personal contact with anyone of the other sex and are certainly never alone with them. The normal boundaries for us come into question within surrogacy however. I want my IF involved with the pregnancy, and my husband supports that, but it comes down to the delicate dynamics between surro, IM, and IF. This is a hard part of surrogacy IMO.

Jen H. said...

So, does this rule apply to the non-bio dad in an IF relationship as well?

IVF Land on Surrogacy World said...

Jen H.

Maybe you missed my post where I said that it was funny I needed to announce that I was "straight" on a semi-anonymous blog.

I have never been in a relationship with another man, but I will go out on a limb and try to answer your question.

Very seldom in any relationship do two people get equally involved in the same project. One person takes the leadership role and the other takes the supporter role.

Who is the leader and who is the supporter will change depending on the activity or project.

When you have two leaders working on the same project, with the same role, it leads to a lot of conflict. So I think this leader/supporter relationship naturally occurs most of the time.

IVF Land on Surrogacy World said...


I think that this is a hard part of Surrogacy for everyone. And not something that most people are willing or ready to discuss.

You are getting into a very delicate area. How much interaction is okay? And how much is too much?

The problem is once you have gone to far you can't un-ring the bell.

So for the most part everyone plays it on the super safe side.

IVF Land on Surrogacy World said...


If you want me to answer that question you will need to buy me a beer.

See - it is that easy and quick to go from being appropriate to crossing the line. And normally, when you put your foot in your mouth you can't take it back.

It's like the old saying "It's better to be thought a fool. then to open you mouth and prove it's true".

It's safer to be quite and let the IM enjoy the relationship.

It's very much like a Christmas present. You know it's coming and your excited, but you have to wait to get it, and it's worth the wait.

Also, there is no guarantee that these high quality answers will continue. I am just getting lucky on my first few posts. Or more likely, you just ignore my bad ones.

IVF Land on Surrogacy World said...


You just sound like a bully.

Jenn said...

I have to agree, Jon. It's a fine line, not just for the IF, but for the surro as well. You don't want to do/say anything that can be miscontstrued.

And Christy is a bully.... LOL

IVF Land on Surrogacy World said...


Where is the Miss Manners book on Surrogacy etiquette? This would help everyone understand the social rules on how to handle the situation.