How To Talk To Your Family About Becoming a Surrogate
Becoming a surrogate and helping another family grow is a life changing experience for everyone involved. When a woman becomes a surrogate, not only does she begin this journey, but her entire family – and her close community – do as well. Ensuring a surrogate has surrounding support from her husband or partner, kids and family is an important part of the decision-making process.
How To Talk To Your Husband or Partner About Being a Surrogate
If you’re interested in becoming a surrogate, you may want to consider bringing the topic up to your husband or partner as early as possible. Think about what got you interested in surrogacy in the first place: do you have a friend who was a surrogate and loved her experience? Do you know someone struggling with infertility and think you can help? Do you want others to feel what you felt when you had your own babies? Whatever brought the idea of being a surrogate to you, that’s what you can share with your husband/partner. What’s important to you, will be important to them.
It’s a great idea to involve your husband or partner in your surrogacy experience from the very beginning. Sitting down together to research surrogacy, how much a surrogate gets paid, surrogacy agencies and more will enable you to learn together about what’s to come. Write down a list of questions together that you’d like answers to. Listen to the concerns your partner may have, and explore and educate yourselves together.
At Circle, part of the surrogate application process is having the surrogate’s primary support person (usually her partner or spouse if she’s married) partake in an hour-long call with a social worker. This call allows the partner/spouse to ask questions, voice and concerns, and hear first-hand what to expect during a surrogacy journey, and what his/her responsibilities will be.
If you’re passionate about becoming a surrogate, share that with your partner/spouse. Show them how amazing surrogacy is, and the impact that it has on others.
How to Talk To Your Kids About Surrogacy
Some of the best advice we’ve heard from our experienced surrogates about telling their children about their surrogacy journeys is to be open, honest, and age-appropriate. The way you share with your 4-year-old about being a surrogate is going to be different than how you tell your 11-year-old. Remember what you’re doing is an amazing thing, and that should come across in your tone and voice and words.
No one knows your children better than you do, so you’ll know the right time – and right way – to tell them about your surrogacy. Just starting the conversation is a great first step; letting your children know that you have friends who need help having a baby and that you are thinking about helping them have a wonderful family. It’s also a great time to show your children how important it is to be a giving and compassionate person. Introduce your children to your intended parents so they can see who is getting the baby their mama is carrying.
As you begin to show your pregnancy, it may become more real to your children and require additional conversations about how you are not keeping the baby because it is not yours, and how the baby will not be coming home from the hospital to live in your house (this is especially true with younger children). Referring to the baby as “So and So’s baby” will help.
Involving your children in the process is a great way to help them understand what surrogacy – and being a surrogate – is all about. Invite them on video calls with your intended parents so they can continually see who will be the baby’s parents, have them name your surro babe or even read or sing to the baby.
See how our surrogates have shared their journeys with their children in this blog post.
Keeping Your Family Involved in the Surrogacy and Pregnancy
Amanda, and experienced surrogate, shared this advice when it comes to keeping kids and family involved in your surrogacy journey:
"The first thing we did was to normalize surrogacy in our house. We welcomed the kiddos and any guests in our home to ask anything about the process. Questions can be answered in an age-appropriate – but honest and accurate – manner. We knew that even if the kiddos didn’t understand everything that was happening, they would know that something was happening, and we didn’t want to hide that from them. Then we bought books featuring surrogates to read an an introduction for our kids. We also updated our kiddos on the timeline. Our kiddos loved following the weekly updates of a pregnancy app to learn about the baby’s growth. They also really enjoyed looking at ultrasounds or listening to the heartbeat I recorded during my appointments. During the pregnancy we wanted to involve our kids, so we gave them "jobs". Ella really loved to be my nurse. She would hand me my medicine, apply bandages, and bring water when morning sickness got the best of me. She really wanted to give me my shots as well, but I wasn’t ready for that! Eli delighted in getting to snuggle and share story time with the baby; he didn’t even mind being kicked by the baby. We did also work some geography and culture into our talks which is important for educating kids. Of course, this could be much more multifaceted with older kiddos. How fun would it be to celebrate the culture of your IPs?"
Books About Surrogacy
A great way to introduce the concept of surrogacy to your children (and family!) is by reading books together. There are many books available covering the topic of surrogacy that can become part of an activity you do together.
Here’s a short list of books that surrogates can share with their families:
Sophia’s Broken Crayons
My Mom Is a Surrogate
The Kangaroo Pouch
My Magic Mom
Answering Questions About Surrogacy
When you’re ready to share the news about being a surrogate outside of your inner circle of support, you should be ready to answer all types of questions. Hopefully everyone you share your news with will be happy for you, but you may encounter some people who are not as familiar, or who have different thoughts. Oftentimes people who are not as accepting of surrogacy may not fully understand it, or know enough about it. Educating them is key, and sharing why you are doing what you are doing. This blog post is a great resource filled with tips about sharing your journey and answering questions about surrogacy.
Thinking about applying to become a surrogate? Learn more about surrogacy and the process at Circle by clicking here. You can also learn more about what a surrogate’s primary support person does on our website.
And if you’re ready to apply, we’re ready to chat with you! Fill out your application here.