Talking to your children about being a surrogate

Making sure you help your children to understand surrogacy is an important part of any plans to become a surrogate.  You may be thinking about how to help your children feel comfortable that the baby you are growing will not live with you after he or she is born, or about how your children will feel if the pregnancy and birth has an impact on your energy as a mum and your time together as a family. Being open with your children and giving them the opportunity to ask questions is key, although when and how you do that will depend on your family as well as how old your children are.

For many surrogates, your motivation might encompass being a positive role-model for your children and being able to demonstrate how helping others can change lives.  If your children understand what you are doing and why, they are likely to feel proud of you and will understand if, for a short period of time, you are less energetic than you usually are.  You may even find that they proudly tell strangers that the baby you are carrying isn’t their brother or sister.

With young children, our advice would be to open a discussion around babies, explaining that some parents are not able to carry babies in their tummy, and that sometimes other women help by carrying their babies for them, looking after the babies until they are ready to go home with their mummy and daddy or daddies.  With older children, you may want to go into more detail about the mechanics of the surrogacy process and why the intended parents you are working with need your help.

You should encourage your children to ask questions.  Allowing your children to get to know the intended parents you are helping when the time is right, and understanding that the baby is theirs and will be going to live with them after he or she is born is something that will enrich all your lives if it is managed well.  Usually this happens naturally as a surrogacy bond forms between your families, and including your children will help them be a part of that bond.

While there are not many books around aimed specifically at surrogates’ children, our resources area includes a list of children’s books about surrogacy which you may find helpful.

You can use the books in a number of ways. One of our surrogates read The Very Kind Koala to her children as a normal story book before telling them she was thinking of becoming a surrogate, and then when she later told them she referred back to the book which she said worked well for her.

You may also like to join our closed Facebook group for surrogates, which is for women who have already been surrogates or are thinking about becoming one. Many of them will be happy to share how they broached the subject with their children.

 

More information

Should I become a surrogate?  Is surrogacy right for me and my family?

Information for surrogates’ partners and supporters

How much can a UK surrogate get paid?