Surrogacy is still a new and advancing field and, while it’s a beautiful way to build a family, a lot of people don’t know as much as they should about it. When you’re a surrogate, you’re carrying around the proof of the surrogacy process, which can invite some interesting comments. Sometimes, people may ask inappropriate questions — either not aware of the ignorance in their statements or not really caring.
We’ve all been there, sister.
Here, we’ve compiled some of the most annoying comments that surrogates receive. Tell us if we’ve missed any that bother you the most!
1. “You’ve carried the baby for nine months; won’t it be hard to give them up?”
When you babysit a child, do you feel like you’re “giving them up” when their parents come home? Of course not!
Surrogates know the baby they’re carrying isn’t theirs, so they have no feeling of “giving it away.” Instead, they’re just taking care of the baby in their own womb until they’ve grown strong enough to meet their long-waiting parents in person. It’s just like babysitting someone else’s child — just for a nine-month period.
2. “So, did you and the dad ‘do it?’’
Even though in vitro fertilization is a common way to build families today, lots of people don’t put two-and-two together — and assume that a surrogate must have gotten pregnant the old fashioned way. First, gross; and second, even “traditional” surrogacies don’t work that way. You got pregnant in a lab with bright lights and multiple doctors — nothing quite that scandalous.
3. “Who are the intended parents? Do I know them?”
For some reason, people assume that only celebrities complete the surrogacy process. When you tell them you’re a surrogate, they may ask who the parents are, hoping you’re carrying the next baby for Kim Kardashian West or Neil Patrick Harris.
Not only is this clearly a violation of privacy but also none of their business. Did they honestly think you’d spill all the intended parents’ personal information?
4. “Wow, the parents must be rich. How much are they paying you?”
On the same note, why do people think surrogate compensation is in any way their business? You could be a surrogate for compensation or not; either way, you’re still completing a beautiful, selfless service. While surrogate compensation is certainly helpful, you’re not out to be a money-making, baby-carrying machine. People don’t go around asking about each other salaries; why is surrogacy any different?
5. “Why don’t they just adopt?”
People always have opinions about other people’s families and family-building processes. Couples struggling with infertility also apparently can do no good, whichever method they choose.
In addition to you not being able to discuss the intended parents’ personal details (see No. 3), why should it matter how they choose to build their family? Why didn’t the person asking you pursue adoption instead of having biological kids? Right — because everyone has a choice in how they create their family!
6. “Yikes — I can’t believe you’re suffering through pregnancy for someone else!”
Obviously, you don’t think being pregnant is suffering, otherwise you wouldn’t have decided to become a surrogate. Are some side effects of surrogacy difficult? Sure. But do they debilitate you? No! You enjoy being pregnant and doing so to help create another family is not a struggle for you.
7. “I could never be a surrogate.”
Well, that’s good to know — that’s why they leave the family-making to fabulous women like us.
Handling these comments and questions may take time and experience but, luckily, you have a surrogacy specialist available for any questions or concerns you may have about comments you receive from strangers, family and friends. Don’t forget to reach out to fellow surrogates to help get you through these annoying conversations!