Your decision to be a surrogate is absolutely amazing, huge, and selfless. Throughout this journey, you will be touching the lives of many people, and bringing a great amount of joy into the world. This is likely why you’ve decided to go forward though most women still have concerns over how the people in their lives will react, especially children. The good news is, most children do very well with adapting to the situation, but you can use these tips to help make sharing your decision to be a surrogate a little easier.
Remember that Your Children will Mirror Your Emotions
As a mother, you’ve probably been through countless situations where you put on a brave face to give your kids courage. Moms do this when they drop their kids off at school for the first time, teach their kids how to ride a bike without training wheels, or even as their little ones try spinach for the first time. This is because, internally, they know that doubt is contagious. Telling your children about being a surrogate is very much the same. If you’re excited, they will be, too.
Break Up the Information
You can prepare your children to receive the news by giving them bits of information beforehand. Young children may benefit most from learning about how different types of families are made. If you know of families that have fostered, adopted, or have had the help of a surrogate, share their stores. Role playing can also be an effective tool to introduce the concept of surrogacy.
Even though young children may not be capable of understanding all the details, they will still comprehend the basics of the reproductive system. Older children may want to hear more about the scientific and medical aspects of it. Knowing and understanding the facts can help kids become more comfortable with the process.
Listen and Be Available
It may take time for your kids to adapt to the news, and that’s ok. Give them the time and space they need to come to terms with it on their own. Eventually, their curiosity will pique, and they’ll start asking questions. They may be sad that your family won’t be keeping the baby, but you can help set their minds at ease by explaining how grateful you are to have such wonderful children, and that you’d like another family to have the same joy. Your children may also have worries about your eventual trip to the hospital for delivery, or whether the pregnancy will limit your availability to them. These are all natural concerns, and your reassurance will go a long way.
Repeat Information to Normalize It
Kids are conditioned to understand that babies come from mommies and then stay with them. You’ll have to keep repeating the same information over and over again, especially with small children, so it begins to feel natural and normal. It may be helpful to include the intended parent’s names when you reference the baby. For instance, you could say, “Jane and John’s baby is very active today.” The simple change in phrasing reaffirms that you’re a surrogate, and helps kids to naturally associate the baby with the intended parents, rather than your family.
Even though there will be changes, your children will want to know above all else that your relationship with them and your love for them will remain unchanged. If you provide them with this, the rest will likely fall into place by itself.