Deciding to become a gestational surrogate is one of the most selfless yet rewarding choices a woman can make. As joyous and fulfilling as the experience is, surrogacy is also a very challenging and trying journey to embark upon; this is why the support of family is so imperative. Your spouse will be your single strongest source of support during your surrogacy, both physically and emotionally, so it is important to make this monumental decision together. Once you have your spouse’s full support, the journey can truly begin!
Although spousal support is vital in the decision making process, it is also important to understand and recognize the huge impact surrogacy will have on your children. Many children will have questions they will not know how to ask, so it is crucial to be extra attentive of their individual behaviors and emotions whether you have a toddler, a school-aged child, or multiple children. The best way to begin is with an open and honest dialogue and maintain this communication throughout the duration of your surrogacy.
- Education. Most children are unfamiliar with the concept of surrogacy, so begin by breaking it down as simply as possible. For smaller children, a recommended approach is to begin by explaining how much you love them and how sad you would be without him; this provides a good lead into how some people are unable to have babies on their own, so you are having one for them so they don’t have to be sad. For older children, you may want to consider explaining the reproductive cycle with factual and simple explanations. Above all, be sure to share your excitement and happiness with your children so they will understand that surrogacy is something special and positive!
- Answers. Although they may not have any right off the bat, you can count on your children having many questions pop up during the duration of your surrogacy. Younger children may not understand why the baby will not be coming home from the hospital as a new little brother or sister to them. Older children often experience internal fears which tend to be more difficult to express, such as being “given away” if they do something wrong. Situations such as these require you to be constantly in tune with your children’s developing awareness and concerns as they arise. Always acknowledge the importance of these concerns while providing reassurance of what is really happening.
- Coping. Although surrogacy is a fulfilling and exciting experience, it can also come with its own unique set of difficulties, especially where the opinions of others are concerned. You can be almost certain that your children will share at least a small piece of your surrogacy with their friends, friends’ parents, and teachers. If at all possible, try to speak with the parents of your children’s friends and their teacher beforehand or early in your surrogacy. Do not hold back on preparing your children for questions other children may have and if necessary, coach them on how to best respond to specific questions.
Discussing surrogacy with your children may seem tricky, but many surrogates have found that children “get it” fairly quickly and are often the most 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 looking for additional information on discussing surrogacy with your spouse and children, contact Surrogate Solutions today!