You Can Prepare Your Children for a Surrogate Sibling by Talking About the Process, the Baby and the Requirements for Becoming a Surrogate Mother
Welcoming a new sibling into the family is a joyous event, whether it be by birth, surrogacy or adoption. When the new sibling joining the family is being carried by a surrogate there are questions the kids will have and things you can do to help them prepare.
- Depending on the ages of the children, you should start talking about surrogacy in general as soon as you’ve made the decision to use a surrogate to carry your child. This discussion should include the requirements for becoming a surrogate mother so they know their sibling is being cared for by a responsible and loving person. A good way to explain it to young children is that someone else is caring for their baby until it’s born. Unless the children are older, like teenagers, and can understand the concepts, there’s no need to go into details about surrogate mother pay or why mom isn’t carrying the baby herself.
- Connect with families who have used surrogates to carry their children and introduce your children to theirs, especially if they have older children that welcomed a sibling born to a surrogate. The whole idea is to normalize the process as much as possible so the children feel like surrogacy is just another way to join the family. When they meet other families who are going through, or have gone through, the same experience it will normalize it for them.
- Stock the children’s bookcase with books that discuss surrogacy, here are some good ones:
- Hope & Will Have a Baby: The Gift of Surrogacyby Irene Celcer
- Why I’m So Special: A Book About Surrogacyby Carla Lewis-Long
- Sophia’s Broken Crayons: A Story of Surrogacy from a Young Child’s Perspectiveby Crystal A. Falk
- The Very Kind Koala: A Surrogacy Story for Childrenby Kimberly Kluger-Bell
- Start practicing telling your unborn child’s surrogacy story with your older children. It’s good for them to have the story straight before the baby comes. That way they can answer questions that people might have and won’t be surprised or upset when someone other than their parents talks to them about it. This is your family’s story and your children should hear it from you. You don’t need to share all the details, like how much does the surrogate mother get paid, but the children should know the basic process.
- Share all the information you can, like ultrasound pictures, with your children just like you would if you were pregnant. This is your family’s pregnancy and should be celebrated.
- If you and the surrogate live close enough to see each other, and the surrogate agrees, have your children meet the surrogate and her family. If the surrogate and her family are treated like friends, instead of hired help, it will help your children feel more comfortable with the whole process.
The real key to preparing your children for a sibling through surrogacy is to keep talking about it and emphasizing that this is just another way to enter a family, really no different than adoption or by the mom giving birth. Let them share the excitement just like you would if you were carrying the baby yourself.