Talking to your child born through surrogacy


As a parent through surrogacy, you will have an important role in fostering your child’s sense of identity and security.  It can undermine family relationships if a surrogate-born person discovers in later life that important information about them was not shared with them by their parents.  The best advice is therefore to talk openly and positively to your child about having been born through surrogacy (and donation, if applicable) from as young an age as you can.  Ideally, your conversation should start as soon as your child is born so that he or she never remembers surrogacy not being a part of their history. 

Research on surrogacy shows that children experience no long term emotional or psychological harm from having been born through surrogacy, and even do better on average than children born through natural conception or other forms of assisted reproduction, if they grow up with openness and transparency.  Find out more about what research has shown about the long term outcomes of surrogacy.

The nature of your conversation will differ depending on your situation. For same-sex parents and single dads, for example, the dialogue often begins naturally with questions about why your child doesn’t have a mum, something you are likely to be asked by other adults long before your child asks.  For different-sex parents, you may need to introduce a conversation about surrogacy more proactively.  If your surrogate is a friend or family member, you may also need to consider how to explain that she has an extra connection with your child.

Surrogacy is not a difficult concept for even young children to understand when explained simply and age-appropriately. The important thing is to feel confident talking about it comfortably and to make sure your child always feels welcomed to ask further questions.


Practical tips and ideas


Here are some simple ideas from families created through Brilliant Beginnings:

If your surrogate is not an existing friend or family member, it is important to stay in touch. Relationships between surrogates and intended parents usually evolve naturally and it is common to see lifelong bonds develop. At Brilliant Beginnings we encourage natural enduring relationships, whether your surrogate is based in the UK or USA.

Putting a photo of your surrogate (and sometimes egg donor too) in your child’s nursery.

Creating a special photo album or diary of your child’s journey into the world which celebrates everyone who has been part of it.

Buying child-focused books about surrogacy to read with your child.

Joining organisations like the Donor Conception Network for peer support and shared experience.

Joining local parents’ groups through the National Childbirth Trust, LGBT groups etc.

Want personalised advice?

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Related articles

Talking to friends and family about surrogacy

Resources for families and children

Research about surrogacy

Still have questions?

Don’t worry, you are not alone.  We are here to help however we can.