Origin Stories: Talking to Your Child About Being Born Via Surrogate
VIDEO Origin Stories: Talking with Your Child About Being Born Via Surrogate
In this video, parent through surrogacy (and adoption) and Circle Surrogacy Outreach Associate Brett Griffin-Young reveals how he discusses his children's origin stories with them.
Brett shares how he and his husband, Matt, have made their son Sebastian’s origin story present in his life. From a map of the United States with a marker for Colorado, the state he was born in, to a photo of Sebastian’s surrogate and egg donor in his bedroom, Brett and Matt have incorporated their son’s origin story into his everyday life. They do the same with their daughter, Georgiana, whom they adopted a few years after Sebastian was born.
Brett Griffin-Young first came to Circle Surrogacy’s office in Boston with his husband to start their journey to become a parent. After their son was born, Brett became an advocate for surrogacy in his home country—the United Kingdom. By being vocal about his experience, he discovered a new career calling. He contacted John Weltman, Circle Surrogacy Founder and President, about establishing a Circle presence in the United Kingdom. The rest, as they say, is history.
Now Brett helps couples and individuals in and around the U.K., as well as Australia, become parents. Brett’s personal experience as a parent through surrogacy is a tremendous help in guiding intended parents. One of the topics that comes up often is: “When do we tell our child their origin story? What’s the best age to start talking about his or her birth story?”
Studies have shown that children who know their origin story have a healthier sense of identity. Everyone is different. As Brett suggests in the video above, “As a parent, you know your child. And you will know instinctively when it's correct or not to have those sorts of conversations with him or her.”
At about age 7, children begin to understand what surrogacy means. Brett and his husband Matt made it easy for their son to ask questions organically. They have a map of the United States in his bedroom. That map served as a good prompt for Sebastian to ask about its significance. They also have photos of Sebastian’s surrogate mother and egg donor in his bedroom.
Since a child's healthy sense of identity is dependent on knowing their origin story, we promote the relationship-based model for intended parents and surrogates. We help facilitate a relationship between the surrogate and her intended parents for a variety of reasons, however, the main reason is because it’s best for the child. The child’s well-being is our top priority.
Establishing a positive relationship helps in the future if the child ever wants to meet his or her gestational carrier. Every child is different. Some are more curious than others. Having that relationship will make it easier to connect with your surrogate if the time comes when your child wants to learn more.
The relationship-based model also benefits the surrogate. The women who agree to be gestational carriers are miracle workers. They are selfless. They are unique. No one can argue, they are very special human beings. Having a relationship with the intended parent or parents is part of their journey. Many of Circle’s surrogates end their journeys feeling that their intended parents are like extended family members. They also feel that the surrogacy journey is one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. In part, that is because of the connection they feel toward their intended parents.
Lastly, the relationship-based model helps intended parents as well. A surrogacy journey is a wonderful, yet complex process. If any issues arise, it’s better to have an open and healthy relationship for productive discussions.
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