After celebrating mothers in May and fathers in June, American Surrogacy brings them both together to celebrate National Parents’ Day this Sunday, July 28. We know that becoming parents is a tag-team effort for many intended parents, and we want to recognize the hard work that went into their surrogacy journey — and continues every day as they raise the next generation.
That’s why our team of surrogacy specialists is always here for our intended parents, even long after their children are born. Surrogacy is something that will affect your life forever, and we are here to provide advice and guidance whenever you need it. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your surrogacy specialist anytime at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).
In the meantime, we’ve gathered some of the biggest tips we have for the parents who’ve used surrogacy to bring their children into the world. Check them out below:
Tip #1: Always be honest with your child about their birth story.
In order to be the best parent possible, those who have used gestational surrogacy should always make sure their child knows their birth story — and is proud of it. Surrogacy is a beautiful way to build a family, and it’s important that your child knows their story from the moment they are brought home.
Many times, parents who have brought children into their family in a non-traditional process (such as surrogacy or adoption) think they are doing their children a favor by waiting until they are “old enough” to understand. However, when they eventually get around to telling their child about their surrogacy or adoption story, they cause a great deal of emotional harm. After all, this child has grown up believing one thing, only to discover that their identity is a lie.
Your surrogacy specialist can always provide tips for explaining surrogacy to your child as they grow up. Start with these surrogacy books to aid you in an age-appropriate conversation.
Tip #2: Always be open to questions from your child and your family.
Surrogacy shouldn’t just be a topic of discussion during the conversations mentioned above. It should be a constant part of your life.
This means being open to answer questions from your child whenever they have them. By putting off their questions instead of answering them right away, your child unconsciously picks up on the idea that you are uncomfortable about the topic. That can manifest into your child being embarrassed of their surrogacy story.
Similarly, be open to conversations about surrogacy with your extended family, as well. Even if you took time to explain surrogacy to them when you were first going through the process, be ready for questions and comments to pop up every now and then.
Tip #3: Be a positive role model during insensitive comments or questions.
When you’re open about your surrogacy journey, it’s highly likely that you’ll receive comments and questions from friends and strangers. Not all of them will be positive. Surrogacy is still a fairly misunderstood process, and you should be prepared for ignorant and insensitive comments at times.
Remember: Your child sees everything you do. So, when you receive these questions and comments, instead of brushing them off, take them as an opportunity to educate others about surrogacy. If your child sees you aren’t embarrassed about their surrogacy story, they will mimic that behavior.
A great deal of parenting is setting a positive role model for your child — and that’s even more important if you brought a child into your family in a non-traditional manner. Stand strong against negative comments about your family-building journey, and give your child ways to respond when they get similar questions and comments from their peers.
Tip #4: Celebrate the unique way that your family came to be.
Addressing questions and concerns from your child does more than educate them about their past. It also shows that you are proud of the way they came into your family.
Being a parent to a child born via surrogacy is a lifelong journey. Your surrogacy decision will impact your day-to-day long after your child is born. You shouldn’t pretend it didn’t happen; instead, you should celebrate your decision.
Perhaps this means including your gestational surrogate in certain family events. Maybe it means displaying maternity photos of your gestational surrogate in a visible spot. How you celebrate your story will always be up to you. But, make sure you do it — it will teach your child that they have nothing to be ashamed of in regards to how they were brought into this world.
Tip #5: Remember that you are a parent as much as any other parent out there.
There are a lot of practical aspects of being a good parent, but the emotional aspects can be one of the biggest factors in just how “good” of a parent you will be. Anyone can feed, shelter and raise a child, but it takes a wonderful parent to provide the emotional support a son or daughter needs as they grow up. This is even more important for children who are born via surrogacy.
Children can pick up on a lot more than adults tend to give them credit for. If you are harboring feelings of guilt or sadness over your path to surrogacy, even after your child is born, they will know. Your child should only know happiness and pride when it comes to them being your child. That’s why it’s so important that you have properly grieved your dreams of pregnancy before becoming a parent via surrogacy.
Choosing surrogacy doesn’t make you any less of a parent, just as having a child via gamete donation or adopting a child doesn’t lessen your parental “claim.” In order to be the best parent possible, you must be confident in your role.
If you have concerns about the surrogacy process, or you have questions about raising a child born from surrogacy, American Surrogacy is here to help. Contact our surrogacy specialists anytime for more information.