When you choose to become a gestational surrogate, you will have the support of your surrogacy professional and your intended parents every step of the way. However, it’s also important to create your own surrogacy support system of family and friends so you have someone outside of the process to lean on, as well.
But, how do you tell your family that you’ve made such a monumental decision, especially if they’re not completely comfortable with the idea?
It can be difficult to know exactly how to explain your surrogacy decision to those in your family who don’t approve of or don’t understand the process that you’re going through. Fortunately, there are several tips you can use to gently introduce this idea and have them support you. After all, surrogacy without any support system will be an incredibly lonely journey, and we encourage you to find support and community in your family from the very beginning of the process.
Your surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy will always be there to help you navigate these conversations, which have the potential to get complicated and emotionally heated. Because we understand the importance to having a family support system while you’re a surrogate, we’ve given a couple of tips when it comes to telling your family about your surrogacy decision:
Start slow with the introduction of the surrogacy process.
It may not always be best to just come out with your announcement out of the blue. Instead, when you’re talking to family, casually bring up the idea of surrogacy and how cool you think it is. The more that the topic of surrogacy become normal with your family in a theoretical way, the more prepared they will be for when you eventually give them the news.
Logically explain what your reasons are for choosing this path.
When you are ready to tell your family about your decision, don’t just mention you have decided to be a surrogate and end the conversation. Surrogacy is an intense commitment, and your family will want to know why you’re giving up your time, energy and body to help complete strangers become parents. To combat these concerns, make sure you write down your reasons for choosing surrogacy before beginning the conversation, as well as anything else you want to communicate with your family. That way, in case the conversation gets off track or you become overwhelmed, you can look back at your notes to remember what’s really important and what you really wish to communicate to your family.
Take the chance to inform and educate about the realities of surrogacy.
Depending on how much prior knowledge they have, your family members will likely have different understandings of exactly what surrogacy is and how the process is completed. It’s usually outdated and inaccurate knowledge that leads many family members to object to someone’s decision to be a surrogate, so take this conversation as an opportunity to explain how the process really works. For example, tell them you will not be having sex with the intended father, the baby you carry will not be related to you, and your interests will be protected by your surrogacy specialist every step of the way.
The more that your family understands the surrogacy process and how it’s beneficial for all involved, the more likely they will accept your decision and support you throughout your upcoming surrogacy journey.
Allow your family time to process and ask any questions they may have.
Even when you present your family with the reasoning for your decision and the realities of the process, they can still be confused, overwhelmed or shocked at your decision. Try not to force them to accept your decision right away; give them time to consider what you’ve told them and let them come around to your decision. Be available should they ever ask any questions or have concerns, and try not to take any of the questions too personally. Just as you had to go through a lengthy process to decide if surrogacy was right for you, your family will need time to consider and accept your decision. When you give them this chance, they’ll be more likely to actively support you.
Think about who really needs to know about your decision.
Before you go telling your whole family about your surrogacy decision, it’s important to consider who really needs to know. While it’s great that you want to spread your happiness over your decision with as many people as possible, think about the difficult conversations you may have in doing so. Usually, the only critical people that you’ll need to tell about your surrogacy process are those who you want in your support group.
After you have told these people, if you want to tell more family members and friends, feel free to! Just remember that these conversations do take time and may come with some misunderstandings and confusion. You may decide to not tell as many people as planned once your first conversations take place. Whatever you decide to do, remember that it’s your right as a surrogate to tell who you want when you want about your decision.
If you’re having trouble talking to your family members about your surrogacy decision, please reach out to your surrogacy specialist for more help. We know that these conversations can be difficult, which is why we’re here to offer whatever support and advice we can. To learn more today, contact us at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).