When you decided to start your surrogacy journey, you probably shared your decision with some of your close friends and family members. But, when a pregnancy is finally confirmed and is far enough along, you may want to shout your surrogacy story from the rooftops and let everyone know how excited you are for this baby to be born.
Most of the time, intended parents and surrogates turn to social media as a convenient way to notify everyone in their network about their surrogacy decision. However, there are some important things to consider before posting about your surrogacy online.
Surrogacy is an intimate process, and it’s understandable if one party of the surrogacy wants to keep certain information confidential. Ideally, this is discussed early in the surrogacy process as part of your surrogacy contract, but it’s also a discussion that can be mediated by your surrogacy specialist, if you so desire. The most important thing is to always respect each other’s privacy and interests — in a way that still allows you to share your good news with everyone that you know.
Here are some general guidelines to follow when announcing your surrogacy journey on social media:
1. Talk to your surrogate or intended parents before posting anything.
As mentioned, it’s important to lay down ground rules when you choose to announce and/or document your surrogacy journey. Can you use the intended parents’ or surrogate’s names in the post? How much information about the pregnancy can you reveal (like due date, gender of the baby, etc.)? How much information about the intended parents or surrogate can be posted in this announcement?
Remember, an announcement posted on the internet may reach far beyond the original intended audience of friends and family members. For this reason, many surrogates and intended parents try to keep identifying information private, instead using initials or first names only when posting about the surrogacy process.
2. Look around for examples you like.
Announcing your surrogacy on social media is a big deal, and many intended parents and surrogates want to make sure their announcement perfectly captures how they feel about this process. You may wish to share a maternity photo you all have taken together, or use a cute poem or phrase to share your announcement. It’s a good idea to look through surrogacy websites and other social media to find announcements you want to model your own after.
3. Express your excitement and use this as an opportunity to educate others.
Unfortunately, not a lot of people are familiar with how the surrogacy process actually works. When you announce your surrogacy on social media, make sure you include information or links to information to help others understand the process in more depth. That way, you’ll avoid ignorant questions and comments and instead be able to focus on your excitement and others’ congratulations.
4. Be prepared for negative feedback.
As mentioned above, some people who don’t understand surrogacy will see your surrogacy announcement. Therefore, you should be prepared for friends and family who don’t understand your decision to express their opinion. This is something important to consider before posting your surrogacy announcement; will potential negative feedback undermine your happiness and excitement? If so, you might want to refrain from posting anything on social media about your surrogacy and instead only tell people in person.
If you do get negative feedback, you can always take this as another opportunity to educate people. You can also choose to be selective with your privacy settings, to make sure unsupportive family and friends cannot see your announcement.
5. Remember that there are pros and cons to announcing your surrogacy online.
When you choose to announce your surrogacy online, you are opening your intimate process up to a wider range of people — and opening yourself up to questions that those involved in a natural pregnancy may not experience. For example, people may ask you about fees and the intended parent or surrogate you’re working with. They may not think about how rude these questions can be; they just come from a place of curiosity. You’ll need to prepare yourself to answer these questions, usually with a generic phrase like, “Sorry, but my surrogacy contract doesn’t allow me to discuss that.” Many intended parents and surrogates say they are working with a friend (without mentioning that they actually became friends after they started working together) to avoid more nosy questions.
On the other hand, announcing your surrogacy to a wider range of people can also save you from other uncomfortable questions. For example, if you’re a surrogate and don’t tell people in your life, they may make assumptions when they see you pregnant and then without a baby after you give birth. Likewise, intended parents who weren’t pregnant and who then suddenly have a baby may get inquisitive questions from those who weren’t aware of the surrogacy in the first place.
Ultimately, how and if you decide to announce your surrogacy online will be up to you and the intended parent or surrogate that you’re working with. If you do decide to announce on social media (you’re never obligated in any way to do so), your surrogacy specialist can always give you advice on what information to include, how to best answer people’s questions and more.