How to Talk to Your Children About Becoming a Surrogate

Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists

5/2/16

Becoming a surrogate is an intense journey, filled with both ups and downs. If you've made the decision to become a surrogate you've probably thought long and hard about the entire process, including the ins and outs of telling your family about your decision. While surrogacy can be a truly joyous occasion, there are potential challenges and emotional issues that could crop up. One of the biggest concerns women have when deciding to become a surrogate is how to tell their own children about surrogacy and how the process works.

Start Small and Early

Most experts agree that children like to feel involved in decision-making within their family, but have a hard time processing complex situations. Because of this, it is important to start small and early on in the process once you decide to become a surrogate. To begin, it can be helpful to discuss the idea of surrogacy with your child without identifying that it is something you are planning to do. This allows the child to process the idea without it being an ironclad decision. They will likely feel more comfortable asking questions and voicing their opinion this way, too.

Explain the Process in Age-Appropriate Terms

Finding a way to explain surrogacy in age-appropriate terms is the cornerstone of helping your child truly understand. How you approach the issue will depend on the age of your children, as well as their personality type. Some children are more sensitive than others, while some are more easily frightened. Playing to your child's personality, as well as their age, will help to ensure you've explained the process as clearly as possible without frightening your child.

Some surrogates explain surrogacy to their children using a babysitter analogy. In short, you, the surrogate, are simply babysitting the child until he is healthy and strong, then his or her parents will get the baby and take care of him or her. This can help children understand that the child will not be living with you once it is born. Some women approach the topic as the entire family helping a new family. This tends to work better with slightly older children who have a solid understanding of helping and empathy.

Once you've explained surrogacy, open the floor to discussion so your children can ask questions. It is also a good idea to check in with your child throughout the pregnancy to see how they are coping with the process and whether or not they have any additional questions.

All Emotions Are Acceptable

A child's emotions are just as complex as those of adults. Children can feel jealousy, anger, happiness or sadness about the prospect of surrogacy, and these are all normal and healthy emotions. Allow your child to voice his or her opinions freely. By allowing the child to express him or herself, you will help them work through their feelings and come to accept the surrogacy process.

For example, some children may become upset that the baby will not be staying with your family. This is a completely normal emotion and one that should be explored freely. While it is important to reiterate to your child that the baby will be going to a wonderful family that loves it very much, it is important not to take validity away from or downplay their feelings.

Being a surrogate is a wonderful and rewarding experience, but it is an experience that impacts the entire family. Knowing the basics of telling your child about surrogacy will help you tailor your approach to the specific needs of your children.

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