Explaining Surrogacy To Your Friends and Family
Congratulations! You are beginning the exciting process of surrogacy! Many families come to this point for various reasons; whether you chose surrogacy due to infertility, medical issues, being a same-sex couple, or because you are embarking on parenthood solo, all intended parents have two things in common: you will be welcoming a beautiful baby into your home and hearts, and you are going to get a lot of questions about the process!
Despite the fact that celebrities using surrogates is increasing awareness positively, most people still do not know much about the process. There is a lot of confusion and misinformation out there and you might find yourself being asked some uncomfortable questions. Remember that you do not have to answer every question. Some people want to share every step of their journey. Other people are more private about it. It is important that you do what makes you feel comfortable.
How much does surrogacy cost?
It’s hard to believe that people will ask you this point blank, but they will. If you don’t want to answer (understandably so!), just smile and remind them that having a child is expensive no matter how you go about the process.
Will the surrogate want to keep the baby?
The easiest way to answer this question might be to explain that the surrogate is not the biological mother. This is a misconception that a lot of people have about surrogacy. She will not want to keep the baby because she is not the mother.
Why don’t you adopt instead?
The adoption process is another thing that a lot of people are not familiar with. They often don’t know that it can take years and has no guarantee. Movies make adoption look easy. Having a biological child is a very natural thing to want and no one should be ashamed of that. Some intended parents have said they found the best way to handle this is to turn it around and ask them why they didn’t adopt. After all, adoption is not a consolation prize to couples who cannot have them on their own.
What kind of relationship do you have with the surrogate?
The questions that intended parents sometimes get regarding the surrogate and your relationship can be quite bizarre. This can range from detailed questions about how you found each other to questions on how the pregnancy occurred. If you want to share information you can gush on about how wonderful your surrogate is. If you want more privacy, you can explain that you used an agency who helped make the arrangements and that it was very clinical.
Whose egg/sperm was used?
When dealing with a pregnancy, people tend to become very focused on whose DNA the baby has. While this can often feel invasive or insensitive, many times it is being asked because people are trying to figure out their role in your child’s life. If you want to remain private about this, just tell them that regardless of the DNA, they will still be the child’s aunt/uncle/grandparent.
What kind of woman becomes a surrogate?
You might hear a few different versions of this question from the polite to the derogatory. Some people may ask what kind of woman gives up her child. In which case you can remind them that the baby is actually YOUR child, and the surrogate is an angel who makes people’s dreams come true!
Most women who become surrogates are married women who are done with having their own children and want to help a family have their own. A lot of them have friends or family members who have struggled with infertility or are a same-sex couple, and they want to help out.
Do you have to adopt the baby?
Luckily, the laws in California are such that the intended parents are able to establish parental rights before birth. So, the parents’ names will be on the birth certificate.
How do you know the surrogate is healthy?
Because there have been movies where the surrogate is a single woman who has never had a baby, people might have a skewed view of a surrogate. Since a prior pregnancy is a requirement to being a surrogate, you can assure anyone who asks that your surrogate is healthy and has been through a very thorough screening process. Throughout the pregnancy she will do everything she can to maintain her health and that of your baby.
Will the surrogate have a relationship with the baby after birth?
This will depend on your agreement with your surrogate. They may be wondering if the surrogate will have visitation rights. If your surrogate and you plan on keeping in touch, you can explain that her role will be that of an honored family friend. Many surrogates and intended families form a very deep bond and this is something people outside might not understand.
Will you still be able to bond with the baby?
Of course you will! This is your baby. Whether the baby shares your DNA or not makes no difference. Bonding is a product of nurturing. People love their children no matter how they came into the world.
If you have more questions or want help addressing your friends’ and families’, get in touch with the case workers at ISC.