Becoming a surrogate is a huge decision, so gaining the hearts of your family could be the key to a smooth and successful surrogacy. Even though they might at first seem to be on-board with your gestational surrogacy, take into account how each could possibly be feeling, though they may not outwardly express it, as well as the delicate nuances surrounding the situation.
Here are some tips for helping them adjust and understand the epic journey they may soon be undertaking with you:
Talk to Them About It
Before even filling out the application form, gauge how your family is going to handle you becoming a surrogate by calling a family meeting. Speak frankly and open-mindedly with your spouse and partner and children about the adventure at hand, making certain they understand your enthusiasm, as well as your reasoning behind the decision. In a similar way, your family should not only understand your desire, but share it. If your prospective surrogacy is met with adversity, solicit their feelings and honestly listen to their point of view.
Think about how this is going to affect your husband or partner in the long run, from medical check-ups, traveling to meet intended parents and other obligations, as well as the physical and mental support needed, right down to the restrictions on intimacy. After all, this is not just work for you, but for themtoo. Keep in mind that your family’s interest may not only be on their own inconvenience, but your health as well. No matter how well-managed and healthy a pregnancy seems, the risks do exist and involve everyone.
If you feel that it may be important to include others outside of your immediate family, like your parent(s), include them as well; but only you know the intricate dynamics of your family and how they might react. If you move forward without total consent, you may consider surrogacy a mistake, only to discover that your father or mother is strongly against it—which ultimately impacts the likelihood of whether your pregnancy will be a positive one.
Stifle Your Partner’s Insecurities with Reassurance and Facts
One of the problems a surrogate may face is the insecurities of her husband or partner, of “another man’s baby” being inside of her. The best way to combat these feelings is by reminding him that it is only a gestational surrogacy. Run through a detailed description of the process—that there is absolutely no genetic tie between you and the child, and the relationship between you and the sperm donor is merely professional and clinical.
You should explain your intended purpose, that ultimately this is a gift to help a couple in need, as well as for the financial benefit of your own family. Tell him that you want others to experience the joy that having children has brought you and to him.
Your Children Deserve a Say
Obviously, the way to talk to younger children about becoming a surrogate differs greatly from how to approach older ones. One thing that does not change, however, is the fact that, no matter what age, they deserve to know what’s going on. In the long run, they will find out anyway and will be affected by it, so don’t leave them out of the conversation. This may be more of a downhill battle, as opposed to your husband or partner, because children are generally far more accepting. Children also have much to gain in terms of learning from your pregnancy.
If you have very young children who need special sensibilities in the matter, you could try and explain that mommies carry babies in their womb. You might go on saying that some mommies’ wombs don’t work right and your helping carry another’s baby until it is born. One thing that should be absolutely clear, however, is that the baby you’re carrying is not their “new brother or sister,” and will not be coming home with you to live. Surprisingly, most surrogates report that their children are completely comfortable with the notion that their mother carrying “another family’s baby.”
Another issue to take into consideration is telling them that you do not love the baby you are carrying more than them. Reassurance of this early on can prevent any confusion or misplaced hurt the pregnancy may cause. That does not mean that you should not share your enthusiasm with them, and indeed your entire family, of the gift you are giving together.