Becoming a surrogate is a monumental experience to embark upon, both for you individually, as well as your family as a whole. Your spouse will be your strongest source of physical and emotional support during your surrogacy, so it is important to make this big decision together. Begin by engaging in an honest and open discussion, weighing the pros and cons, evaluating risks, and identifying concerns that may be unique to your family. The support of your spouse is the biggest contributing factor when deciding to become a surrogate; once you have that support, the journey can truly begin!
Although your spouse’s support is imperative, surrogacy will also greatly impact your children. Whether you have a toddler, a school-aged child, or multiple children, it is important to discuss your surrogacy with your children on different levels, depending on what they are capable of understanding. Many children will have questions they won’t even know how to ask, so it’s extremely important to stay in tune to their individual behaviors and emotions. Although this seems like a tricky topic to approach, it can actually be relatively simple when you establish an open and honest dialogue from the beginning to maintain throughout your surrogacy.
- Explaining. Break it down as general as possible. For young children, a good approach is to start by explaining how much you love them and how sad you would be without them. Lead into how not all people are able to make babies, so you are having one for them so they don’t have to be sad. For older children, consider explaining the reproductive cycle during this conversation, but keep your explanations simple and factual. Above all, it is important to demonstrate happiness and excitement so your children will understand your surrogacy is something special and good.
- Answering. Even if it’s not immediate, children will have many questions over the course of your surrogacy. Younger children often perceive pregnancy as a new little brother or sister for them and may not understand why the baby isn’t coming home from the hospital. While these questions from younger children are likely to be asked openly, older children often internalize fears of being “given away”. These situations require you to be ready for your children’s developing awareness and concerns as they arise. Always respond to these concerns by acknowledging their importance and reassuring your children of what is really happening.
- Coping. Although surrogacy is an exciting and joyful experience, it can also come with its own set of difficulties, especially when dealing with opinions from others who either don’t understand or are not supportive. In almost every case, you can be certain your children will share with their friends and friends’ parents at least a small piece of your surrogacy. If possible, try talking with the parents of your children’s friends or their teacher beforehand. Do not be afraid to prepare your child for questions other children may have, and if you feel it is necessary, coach them on how to answer specific questions. Remember, surrogacy can be a very educational and socially expanding experience, not just for you and your family, but also for your community.
Speaking with your children about surrogacy may appear daunting, but many surrogates have found that children can be the most empathetic and understanding. By speaking openly and directly with your children, and keeping alert for any changes or concerns as your surrogacy progresses, you will be able to maintain a happy and supportive home network during this wonderful time in your lives. If you are seeking further information on discussing surrogacy with your spouse and children, contact Surrogate Solutions today!