Gestational surrogacy can be a challenge for many adults to understand. Explaining it to children can be even trickier. But children who are surprisingly observant have many questions. And you need to prepare them for the questions and criticisms they may hear outside your home as well.
What you share with your children depends on their age. Young children don’t need many details – just simple, straightforward answers. Older children may be curious about the science involved in surrogacy or could be uncomfortable with all things reproductive. Follow their lead. Answer any questions they may have honestly, but don’t over share if it will make them uncomfortable.
Common Questions Children May Ask Include:
Am I getting a new brother or sister?
The idea that the baby you are carrying is not part of the family is not an easy one for children to understand. Keep it simple – mommy is carrying a baby in her belly for a mommy who can’t carry her own.
Why can’t the baby stay with us?
Explain that this is not our baby, it belongs to another family. Compare it to babysitting if that makes it clearer to your child.
Will we ever see the baby again?
The answer to this question will depend on your planned relationship with the Intended Parents. If you have agreed to stay in contact, tell your child that you will be visiting them for play dates. If not, say no, but that the baby will be safe and happy with his or her own parents.
Why can’t the mommy have a baby in her own belly?
For most children, you won’t need many details. Just explain that the other mommy’s belly doesn’t work for carrying babies, so you are helping.
Will I have to live with another mommy?
The distinction between a surrogate pregnancy and one that will produce a sibling can be difficult to grasp. It’s important to distinguish between a baby you are carrying for intended parents and one who is a member of the family. Explain to the child that you are part of the same family and will always be together, but the baby you are carrying belongs to another family.
Additional tips to help you further your child’s understanding of surrogacy:
- Keep an open line of communication and don’t be shocked by any questions or misconceptions your child may have.
- Answer questions honestly and age appropriately.
- Consider giving them a quick answer for people who ask them about your pregnancy, such as, “Mommy is carrying a baby for a family who can’t have one on their own.”
- There are several books that have been written about surrogacy for children. Consider purchasing one or two to further explain the concept to your child.
Discussing surrogacy with your children isn’t easy, but your journey will be smoother if you are confident that your own children are happy and secure. For more advice on discussing surrogacy with your spouse and children, see our related posts or contact Surrogate Solutions today!