Being a gestational surrogate offers a unique opportunity to help others grow their family. Of course, the intended parents are not the only family affected by your decision to become a surrogate — your own family, including your children, will also be impacted!
When you decide to become a gestational surrogate, it’s important to talk to your children about surrogacy. That way, your children will understand the process better, and they will be able to support you and go through the journey alongside you.
It can be hard to talk to your children about something as complicated and confusing as surrogacy, especially if you have to start all the way at the beginning (i.e., the talk). Here are some tips that can prepare you to have that conversation with your children.
Introduce the Idea of Surrogacy Early
The best piece of advice you can get about talking to your children about surrogacy is to start as early as possible. Start before you even begin the surrogacy process. This will give your children time to process it and ask questions, of which there will be many. Answer your children’s questions with the goal in mind being to get them comfortable with the idea of their mother carrying another family’s baby.
Expect the same questions to be asked over and over too. You may find yourself repeating, “No, the baby won’t be related to us” and “No, the baby won’t live with us” often. Kids, as innocent as they are, are also notorious for asking questions that are sometimes downright adorable, like “Mommy, can I talk to the baby?” or occasionally invasive, like “Mommy, does the baby poop inside of you?”
Accept That Kids May Not Catch on Quickly
Children need extra time to process things, especially something as intricate as surrogacy. Know that they may not catch on quickly, but rest assured, they will figure out a way to understand it in their tracks. Consider using visuals, such as with books or by drawing pictures, better to communicate the idea of surrogacy with your children.
Prepare Yourself for Their Questions
As already mentioned, children ask a lot of questions. Like, an exhausting amount. Their questions, however, may surprise you, and they may even catch you off guard. Their questions may also result from concerns that they may have, so it’s also important to validate those concerns and how your children may be feeling about the situation. Consider preparing for some of the questions they may ask, and always answer them honestly and with empathy. Emphasize that you are doing this as a selfless act for another family that would not otherwise be able to have a child. Try to reassure your children consistently:
- That everything is okay.
- How surrogacy is a rewarding experience.
- That your children are loved.
Know you have resources available
Many children become highly interested in the surrogacy journey, and they often show excitement about the baby growing inside their mother, even if that baby isn’t their sibling. With that being said, many children may not show any interest at all. Either way, children think their mom has the answer to everything, like you are some all-knowing being. It’s okay not to have a good answer for everything, and you should know that there are tons of resources available to help you and your children understand and go through the surrogacy journey together. There are a number of children’s books that help break surrogacy down in a fun and easy-to-understand way. Some of these include The Very Kind Koala, Sophia’s Broken Crayons, and My Mom Is a Surrogate. Additionally, we at Fairfax Surrogacy are here as mothers and experienced surrogates to support you and offer any kind of advice or guidance you may need.
Consider introducing them to the intended parents
Introducing your children to the intended parents may be a good idea. You can do this either in person or via Zoom or FaceTime. Meeting the intended parents face to face (or screen to screen) may help your children better process your decision and understand why you chose to carry a baby for someone else’s family.
Above all, the most important thing you can do when talking to your children about becoming a surrogate is to make sure that they know they are loved and that nothing about that will change. Your children will come to understand your amazing and selfless act of helping build someone else’s family, especially if they know who you are helping. With their support, you will thrive as you continue on the surrogacy journey.