Explaining Surrogacy to Children
Choosing to become a surrogate is a selfless act. But explaining your decision to become a surrogate to your own children can be a difficult task. In fact, more surrogates are less worried about telling their bosses than their own children. You will be faced with questions like “why did you decide to become a surrogate?””
Luckily, telling your children about your decision is not as scary as you may think. We’ve created a guide to show you how to best inform your child about your decision of becoming a surrogate. More importantly, this guide will help you present your decision in such a manner that they not only understand but also accept your decision open-heartedly.
What you need to bear in mind is that sharing your decision with a 4-year-old is completely different from sharing it with a 14-year-old. You must present it in an excited yet un-rushed manner with accurate details keeping their age in mind. This will help make your conversation a big success.
The great part about telling young children is that you don’t have to explain the biology of the process to them. Just letting them know “This isn’t ours, IP’s name will take the baby” will usually do the trick. Sometimes they do ask how someone else’s baby ended up in mommy’s stomach. For questions like these, just keep it simple, “The doctor put it there.”
The most difficult part about telling young children is that they’ll get excited over the potential of having a little brother or sister. Explaining to them that a belly bump doesn’t mean a brother or sister is most likely going to be your biggest struggle. Showing your child, a photo of the intended parents will help them visualize the family for this baby. Doing this will make the intended parents a concrete thing rather than just a name.
Grade School Age
Grade school children are curious, so you must be prepared for a lot of questions. The hardest part about sharing surrogacy news with grade school children is that they seem more mature than they really are.
Their minds are full of questions. They will want to know every detail on how the baby that isn’t yours got into your belly but are still too young to comprehend the complexities of the process. However, they are old enough to understand that baby won’t be coming home after their birth and this may lead to emotional outbursts, since they feel like they have no say in this choice.
Their emotional response may range from excitement and pride to fear and anger. Try to introduce surrogacy and its process on different levels. This is the best way to get a positive response. A tip: talk about this in the car, where they don’t have any place to run away!
While explaining surrogacy to them, considering their age, it is important to remain calm and open to all their questions. Try to keep your explanation simple yet informative and in a manner that they can understand. Tons of patience and a lot of time will be required to explain the reason behind your decision and get them excited about the idea of helping others in need.
Tweens & Teens
Everything is harder with tweens or teenagers and unfortunately making an announcement about your surrogacy decision is not going to be any different. At this stage in life, your child understands how your choice and decision can impact their lives. So, keeping this thought in mind will be a great way to steer the conversation.
At this age, they are likely to comprehend and understand the idea of surrogacy. This means they accept the fact that child will be in no way related to them and that they are not going to lose a sibling because of your choice.
Teenagers have their own thought process, which may lead to the creation of their own ethical thoughts related to surrogacy. This may occur if you are helping same sex parents. It is less likely but possible that their beliefs may differ from yours. When this happens, it can lead to a really uncomfortable conversation, but it doesn’t have to. Approaching their concerns and questions with a laid-back attitude while also respecting their thought process is the right thing to do.
In some cases, you might also get a “who cares” attitude. This can be unsettling for you as you are very excited by your choice and decision. It is also possible that they do have emotions about your decision, even if they don’t show it. They are mature enough to see this as a short-term thing and may have no response at all. If so, try to give them some space to digest your decision on their own. But also leave a room open for further questions as well.
We want to thank you for considering to become a surrogate. Surrogacy can be quite difficult, but definitely rewarding at the same time. It’s always important to keep your family in the loop, especially your children. We hope this guide helps the conversation a lot easier.
At Reproductive Sciences Medical Center, the leading surrogate agency in San Diego with over an 80% pregnancy rate, we are excited to make your journey seamless. Our talented physicians, with over 150 years of combined experience, as well as our staff members will welcome and help you and your family make your journey amazing. To become a surrogate today, visit www.fertile.com or complete the application here.