10 Things Not to Say to Someone Struggling with Infertility

If you have a loved one who is struggling with infertility, it can be difficult to know what to say when talking about this emotional issue. While you know that not expressing these emotions can be devastating for intended parents, it can seem equally difficult to bring up these topics and emotions without seeming pushy or nosy.

Determining what to say to someone struggling with infertility can be difficult, but knowing what not to say to someone struggling with infertility is easier. To help you in this regard, we’ve gathered some of the most insensitive (purposefully or not) comments and questions that our intended parents have been asked — so you know exactly what not to say to someone coping with infertility.

1. “Are you pregnant yet?”

Trust us — intended parents have asked themselves this question countless times during their infertility struggles. For them, pregnancy is a delicate topic to discuss, and having someone ask them this question only reminds them that they are not yet pregnant. If they were pregnant, you can guarantee they would share their good news as soon as they felt it was possible.

Instead of asking this question, focus on asking them about other aspects of their life. When they are ready to announce their pregnancy (or their decision to pursue another family-building process), they will let you know.

2. “If you stop stressing and thinking about it, it will happen.”

For those for whom pregnancy was easy, it can be tempting to just say “it will just happen.” Unfortunately, for many intended parents dealing with infertility, pregnancy will not naturally occur. In fact, the topic of pregnancy likely consumes most of their thoughts. Telling them to “forget about it” and “relax” is counterproductive and can cause more harm than good.

3. “You should try (insert home remedy here).”

Intended parents struggling with infertility are usually already working with doctors to address their fertility needs. They don’t need a loved one offering up home remedy and medical advice, as well. What may have worked for you in your own journey to conceive likely won’t work for intended parents, especially if it is an unscientific, unproven suggestion. Intended parents are doing everything they can to become pregnant and, as well-meaning as your advice is, it should be kept to yourself.

4. “Really? It was so easy for me to get pregnant!”

While this is great for you, mentioning this fact to those struggling with infertility is just another reminder of the more difficult path they are on to becoming parents. You may think that knowledge of how many people successfully become pregnant would raise their spirits, but it’s actually incredibly hard for intended parents to hear.  It won’t be easy for them to get pregnant, and hearing how easy it was for you won’t help them feel better.

5. “Why don’t you just adopt instead?”

Adoption is not as easy as those who are unfamiliar with the process think it will be — and it’s not right for everyone struggling with infertility. It’s easy to quickly suggest alternative family-building processes if you have never struggled with infertility, as you won’t understand how difficult it will be for intended parents to grieve dreams of a genetically related child. Wherever someone is at in their infertility journey, it is not your place to suggest what steps they should take next — just their doctor’s.

6. “You don’t know how lucky you are! Kids are so expensive and a handful to deal with.”

Intended parents would give everything to have a child, and belittling the joys of parenthood will do nothing to help them feel better about their situation. It’s common to try to deflect difficult emotions with jokes, but what may seem like no big deal to you is another reminder to intended parents of what they are missing.

7. “I know exactly how you are feeling.”

Unless you have struggled with the same infertility issues to the same degree as the intended parents you’re speaking to, you do not understand what they are feeling. Taking a couple of months to conceive naturally is nowhere near the same as struggling through a year of infertility treatments with no success. Always offer your support and empathy but do not pretend that you are in the same situation that those intended parents are in right now.

8. “You have one/two children. Isn’t that enough?”

Everyone has the right to have as large or as small a family as they want. Just because parents are dealing with infertility issues does not mean that they lose that right. As always, be empathetic, not judgmental, when it comes to someone struggling with infertility. While it’s normal to try to point out the blessings parents already have, remember that people often have a desired family makeup, and asking why the children they have aren’t “enough” can put intended parents in a difficult emotional spot.

9. “You can have my children if you want!”

Again, while you may intend this as a well-meaning joke, it’s not appreciated by intended parents. Joking about the importance of your children will not make them feel better but remind them that other people in the world are lucky enough to have as many children as they want naturally.

10. “Maybe it’s a sign that you’re not meant to be a parent.”

Everyone has the right to be a parent, no matter their fertility situation. When intended parents hear this phrase, it’s an embodiment of their deepest fear — that they may never have the child they’ve dreamed of for so long. Even if intended parents can’t conceive naturally, there are many family-building options available to them to bring a child into their lives — and you should always support them in whatever path they choose, rather than make them question their dreams and desires.

If your loved one is struggling with infertility and you don’t know what to say, make sure to support them and be empathetic above all else. If you are unsure of how to provide the empathy your loved one needs, consider reaching out to a local infertility support group and inviting your loved one to join you.

The surrogacy specialists at American Surrogacy are always available to provide counseling for intended parents struggling with infertility, whether it’s emotional or a discussion of their options. To learn more today, please call 1-800-875-2229(BABY).

5 Tips for Dealing with Unsupportive Family and Friends as a Surrogate

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.

How to Support Your Friend Pursuing Surrogacy

Your friend or family member has just announced their surrogacy plans to you — and, while you’re excited for them, you’re not exactly sure how to support them in this journey.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do both during and after the surrogacy process to show your friend how excited you are for them… and to make their experience even more positive.

Learn about surrogacy.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about surrogacy out there. You don’t have to become a surrogacy expert, but being somewhat informed about the surrogacy process can go a long way in making your friend or family member feel supported and understood. Your friend will be touched that you took an interest in learning about surrogacy, and they will be happy to have someone to talk to who has a basic understanding of the process they’re going through.

Offer emotional support.

Whether your friend or family member is pursuing surrogacy as an intended parent or a gestational carrier, they are bound to have some hard days. Be there to listen and offer emotional support: let them vent, be a shoulder to cry on, and continue to do activities you enjoy together, whether it’s going out for pedicures or meeting up at a favorite restaurant.

Celebrate with them.

Surrogacy is something to be proud of, and the process is full of many exciting moments worthy of celebration. When your friend or family member hits important milestones in their surrogacy process — for example, the embryo transfer or confirmation of pregnancy — mark the occasion. Send a simple card, care package or gift, or, if your friend or family member is an intended parent, offer to throw a baby shower.

Provide a service.

In addition to emotional support, surrogates and intended parents can benefit from practical support during the surrogacy process, as well. If your friend is a surrogate, offer to babysit her other children or help out with some simple errands or household chores so she can get some rest. Similarly, if your friend is an intended parent, offer to help them assemble the crib or make other preparations for the new baby.

Welcome them home.

When your friend or family member returns home from the hospital, a simple gesture can go a long way to show them you’re thinking of them. Consider leaving a sweet surprise for the surrogate or new parents, whether it’s a bouquet of flowers delivered to the door, balloons tied to the mailbox or a home-cooked meal.

Like any woman who has just given birth, the surrogate will be physically and emotionally tired and recovering. And, like any new parents, the intended parents may be a little overwhelmed (and sleep-deprived). Remember that even after the baby is born, your friend can use all the help they can get — either as a surrogate or new parent. Pamper them, and continue to offer any emotional and practical help they may need.

When in doubt, consider what you would do for a friend pursuing a traditional pregnancy. Surrogacy may be a different way of bringing a child into the world, but it’s no less beautiful — and the intended parents and surrogates who come together to make it happen are no less deserving of your support.

How Your Surrogacy Journey Will Affect Your Spouse

When you become a surrogate, you’re making one of the greatest commitments you can possibly make. But, as much as you will dedicate your time and energy to helping create another family, it’s also important to recognize that your decision will also impact your own family, especially your spouse.

Women today are required to be raising their own children before pursuing this process, and many also have a partner who will be intimately involved in the journey, as well. Therefore, if you’re considering becoming a surrogate, you’ll need to take extra steps to involve your spouse and children to make sure they’re comfortable and understand exactly what your surrogacy decision will mean for them. For many women, surrogacy is not a choice they make solely on their own — but with their spouse’s help.

What Surrogacy Will Mean for Your Spouse

As mentioned, being a surrogate is a huge commitment, and it will greatly impact the lives of all your family members. When you’re raising children with your partner, necessary work and responsibilities will have to be rebalanced — which is why your spouse should be on board with your surrogacy decision from the start.

Like many pregnant women, you will likely have days where you don’t have as much energy or feel as well as you normally do. Activities that you usually take care of or share with your spouse, like cleaning and watching the children, may seem impossible. Your spouse will need to take on those extra responsibilities during that time. In addition, if you are placed on bed rest or required to miss a great deal of work, this can add to the practical and financial responsibilities for your spouse.

You may also have doctor-mandated restrictions on intimacy, especially when you are preparing for your embryo transfer process. Because you will have heightened fertility, any sexual intercourse with your spouse will be more likely to lead to pregnancy — but not the kind you want. If you’re part of a lesbian couple, talk to your doctor about what intimacy restrictions you may need to adhere to. In addition, just like any pregnant woman, your energy and libido may take a hit during this process, which may mean you’re less interested in physical intimacy. This can very easily drive a wedge between couples, so make sure to address this with proper communication.

Keeping Your Relationship Strong

Your spouse is likely your go-to support system in all other areas of your life, and it should be the same during the surrogacy process. However, because surrogacy is such an emotional journey, it may be difficult to keep the same relationship you’ve always had during potential hard and stressful times. This is why it’s so important that you keep your partner involved, so they feel a real part of the process.

To keep a strong relationship with your spouse, try to follow these tips:

  • Ask him or her to come to doctor’s appointments with you, meet the intended parents and be there for the baby’s birth.
  • Talk with your partner throughout the surrogacy process, even when things get tough.
  • Speak with a counselor if you’re struggling to communicate effectively.
  • Focus on the positives, like the surrogate compensation you may be using for a large financial gain, like a down payment on a house.
  • Remember that your surrogacy journey is only temporary; maybe plan a special trip or event after you are recovered from your pregnancy.
  • Lean on others, like friends and family and other surrogate couples, for support and assistance.

Perhaps most important is something you do before you even begin the surrogacy process — discussing its possibility with your spouse and making sure they support you from the very beginning. Without this support, your surrogacy process will become complicated and could have lasting effects on your relationship. If you are having difficulties explaining the process and your decision to your spouse, you can always contact your surrogacy specialist. She will be happy to help you through this conversation and answer any other questions that your partner may have.

Remember, the most successful surrogates go through the surrogacy process with the full support of their spouse, who is just as excited to be part of such a beautiful, family-building journey. With the proper communication, preparation and dedication, you and your spouse will create a life-changing memory of doing something good that you’ll cherish forever.

21 Surrogacy Quotes to Share Today

Surrogacy is an emotional journey, full of ups and downs on the way to creating a family. Perhaps the best way to capture these feelings is through surrogacy quotes.

Many times, these surrogacy quotes and phrases capture exactly what intended parents and surrogates are feeling but can’t quite articulate themselves. They’re also easy to share — a way for you to express your own feelings about the beauty of surrogacy and what the process means to you.

To find surrogacy quotes, all you need to do is search for them on any social media site you can imagine. We’ve gathered a few of our favorites here for you to read and share.

For Surrogates

“You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
“If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that.”

“It is more blessed to give than receive.” — Acts 20:35
“The greatest good is what we do for one another.” — Mother Teresa

For Intended Parents

“Life has a funny way of working out just when you start believing it never will.”
“If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.”

“However motherhood comes to you, it’s a miracle.”
“How your baby came into the world is far less important than the fact that she’s here.”

For Everyone

“Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about.”
“Even miracles take a little time.”

“Take it all one day at a time and enjoy the journey.”
“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”

What are some of your favorite surrogacy quotes? Let us know in the comments, and feel free to share our photo quotes!

5 Tips for Telling Your Family You’re Going to be a Surrogate

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).