Hopefully, everyone you tell about your decision to become a surrogate responds with warmth and excitement. But, because surrogacy is still a relatively new and commonly misunderstood practice, that’s not always a realistic expectation.
Instead, you may find that certain friends and family members respond with blank stares, hesitation or even ignorant or insensitive questions and comments: “Why would you want to do that? Won’t you get attached to the baby? Are you sure you’ve thought this through?”
Dealing with a lack of support from friends and family members can be disheartening for a hopeful surrogate. After all, your surrogacy support system will be integral to a positive surrogacy experience. So, with that in mind, here are five tips for getting unsupportive friends and family members on board with your surrogacy plan:
1. Break the news gently.
If you haven’t already told your family about your surrogacy decision, there are some tips you might consider before having the talk. For example, you might try slowly introducing the topic of surrogacy in casual conversation before announcing your news, or write out what you want to say and practice the conversation ahead of time. Your surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy can always help you navigate that first conversation and anticipate common questions and concerns that friends or family members might raise.
2. Educate them.
Surrogacy is a complicated process, and if the concept of surrogacy is new to your family, it’s one they probably haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about. Oftentimes, a friend’s or relative’s lack of support for your surrogacy decision actually stems from a lack of understanding.
Take the time to explain how surrogacy actually works and address any concerns your friends or family might have about your safety, your relationship to the baby or other aspects of the surrogacy process. Share helpful articles and resources that address common misconceptions about surrogacy. The more your friends and family members know about the journey you’re taking, the more comfortable they will be with the idea.
3. Give them your reasons.
If you’re serious about making the big commitments required of a surrogate, you probably have some pretty compelling reasons why. Maybe you’ve dreamed for years of helping a couple who has struggled with infertility finally add to their family. Maybe you really want to experience pregnancy one last time, even though your own family is already complete — and, on top of that, maybe you know that your surrogate compensation would be a big step toward that down payment you’ve been saving for.
Whatever surrogacy means to you, make sure to let your friends and family members know. Once they better understand the benefits of surrogacy and how important this experience is to you, they’ll be more likely to support and respect your surrogacy decision.
4. Ask for their support.
It sounds simple, but letting your friends and family members know how much their support will mean to you can make a big difference. Be specific: Ask your mom if she would be willing to babysit during doctor’s appointments or if you can count on your siblings for a lunch date when you’re having a hard day. By proactively asking for support and involving them in the process, you can help friends and family members feel more a part of your surrogacy team.
5. Focus on what matters.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, there will be certain friends and family members who just won’t understand or accept your surrogacy decision — and that’s okay. Your spouse’s support is critical to the surrogacy process, but in most cases, involving other friends and family members is optional.
If surrogacy is truly important to you, you may decide to move forward with the process even if there are a handful of people in your life who don’t love the idea. Who knows? Once they see the baby you help bring into the world and the difference you make in the lives of intended parents, they might just come around.
If you’re struggling with unsupportive friends or family members as a surrogate, you can always contact American Surrogacy at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) for additional support and advice.