How Does a Baby Shower Work if You’re a Surrogate?

As you get closer to giving birth to your intended parents’ baby, you’ll reach an exciting point in your pregnancy. After all, the baby you have all worked so hard to bring into the world is almost here!

At this point in your pregnancy, your intended parents or their friends may choose to throw a baby shower. Baby showers are wonderful ways to celebrate the upcoming birth of the baby and help intended parents prepare with gifts and support.

However, as a surrogate, you may not be sure what the protocol is for a surrogacy baby shower. Should you expect to be invited? Do you need to bring a gift? What do you do while you’re there?

Each surrogacy situation is different, and the relationship that you have with your intended parent will likely play a role in your involvement (or lack thereof) in the baby shower. No matter what involvement you do have, it’s important to understand that this can be a delicate situation; whether you’re invited or not, know that you are an important part of this surrogacy process and the intended parents greatly appreciate everything you’re doing for them.

If You Are Invited

For some intended parents, throwing a baby shower and inviting their surrogate just seems the natural thing to do. You’re an integral part of their parenthood journey, so it makes sense that you would be there for the baby shower. You do not have to attend a baby shower unless you’re comfortable doing so; some surrogates would rather let the intended parents have this time for themselves and their friends rather than attending and not being sure of what to do at the event.

If you do decide to attend the intended parents’ baby shower, you may still have reservations about what role you’ll play. Here’s the most important thing: This shower is about the baby and the family you are helping to create. Make sure that the intended parents get the attention they deserve, and it will be a positive experience for all of you.

It’s understandable if the parents’ family and friends are curious about you and want to talk to you during this event. If they tend to monopolize the conversation with you, gently steer the conversation back to the intended parents, mentioning reasons why you’re happy to carry for them, why they’ll be such great parents, etc. The intended parents will greatly appreciate you for doing this. If at any time you feel uncomfortable or feel like you’re stealing the spotlight, don’t be afraid to step out so guests can give the intended parents more focus.

In most cases, the friends and family of the baby shower will treat you as any other guest, instead showering their affection on the intended parents. So, if the intended parents express a desire for you to be at the shower, you should strongly consider attending, as it will mean a great deal to them. However, if you feel uncomfortable doing so, the intended parents will also understand.

After deciding to attend the baby shower, you may wonder whether you should bring a gift. Even though you are giving the intended parents the most priceless gift by carrying their baby, you may have concerns about showing up to a shower without actually “showering” the intended parents.

You are in no way obligated to bring a gift for the intended parents, and they will completely understand that. However, if you do want to bring a present to the baby shower, it might be a good idea to bring something personal and special to your relationship. For example, you may wish to make a handmade gift for the baby (like a painting or knitted cap) or find a special memento from your home state that can be placed in the baby’s room as a representation of their surrogacy story. If you have questions about what kind of gifts are appropriate or need help thinking of some ideas, your surrogacy specialist will always be available to you.

A baby shower should always be a happy event, not one that brings you worry or concern. Understanding your role as a surrogate at this important event will help make it go much smoother for you and the intended parents.

If You’re Not Invited

Sometimes, intended parents may not wish to include their surrogates in their baby shower; instead, they may want it to be a small event of family and close friends. If this is the case for you as a surrogate, it’s important to understand that this decision is not a slight against you — and does not way diminish your importance in the surrogacy process.

Just as you may have reservations about attending the baby shower, the intended parents may have concerns about making you feel obligated to attend an event you don’t want to. To avoid that awkwardness, they may choose to simply avoid the dilemma at all. This is never a malicious move and, as a surrogate, you should understand that the decision likely has little to do with you. Whatever your intended parents choose, you should support them and their decision.

Remember, if you have concerns or questions about baby showers as a surrogate or any other special event usually reserved for the woman carrying a baby, your surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy can offer you support and guidance.  Please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) any time.

What to Expect When Testing for a Surrogate Pregnancy

Everyone knows: The surrogacy medical process is long and can seem to take forever. After months of testing and measuring cycles in preparation for the embryo transfer process, waiting for a positive pregnancy result after the transfer can seem like an impossible feat, no matter whether you’re the surrogate or the intended parent.

When you’re in the middle of the surrogacy medical process, your fertility specialist will explain in detail what to expect. But, what if you haven’t started the process or want more information on exactly what to expect when testing for a positive surrogate pregnancy?

You can read more below about what happens during the testing process for a surrogate pregnancy. As always, we recommend speaking to your surrogacy specialist and fertility specialist for more detailed information about what your personal medical process will look like.

The Clinical Process

After a surrogate’s embryo transfer process is complete, her fertility clinic will eventually test for her pregnancy with an hCG level blood test. hCG levels are the hormone levels that determine if a woman is pregnant or not. How high a surrogate’s level needs to be, however, will depend upon her individual situation, including when the embryos were transferred during the incubation period and how many days have passed since the transfer was completed.

But, how long before you can expect a result?

How long a surrogate needs to wait before a beta blood test will depend on the fertility specialist’s instructions, but the first testing process usually occurs anywhere between eight to 12 days after transfer. If hCG levels indicate a surrogate might be pregnant, she’ll return a couple of days later for another blood test to see if the levels keep rising. Ideally, hCG levels should double every 48 to 72 hours.

If her levels rise enough, the fertility specialist will likely confirm the pregnancy. This is usually confirmed after the third beta appointment.

Home Pregnancy Tests: Are They Worth It?

If you’re a surrogate who is part of online support groups, you may see other surrogates post pictures of multiple home pregnancy tests from different testing times. But, if all surrogates know for sure at a fertility clinic testing whether their pregnancy is positive or not, why do they do this?

Taking home pregnancy tests is just another way for surrogates to track their increasing hCG levels. Typically, women will wait three days after an embryo transfer to take a pregnancy test — although it can take at least five days after transfer for a positive pregnancy test to show up. From there, surrogates may take a test twice a day to compare the results; if a pregnancy line is getting darker, it’s usually a sign that their hCG level is rising and they are, indeed, pregnant.

While some surrogates will wait until their clinic beta testing just to be safe, other surrogates are anxious to see whether the embryo transfer worked. This comes from the desire and hope riding on their pregnancy, so it make sense that they want that validation, even if they wait to tell intended parents until a medical confirmation.

However, it’s important to note that just because a home pregnancy test comes back positive does not mean a pregnancy is in the clear. You may receive a false positive reading, or there may be other medical issues that arise later on. So, while home pregnancy tests are a good way to relieve anxiety after an embryo transfer, it’s always a good idea to rely on your fertility clinic for a secure medical result.

If you ever have any questions about testing for your surrogate pregnancy and the process involved, we encourage you to reach out to your fertility specialist for accurate, personalized information.

What A Doula Does and Why You May Want One

As a surrogate, you have the right to be as comfortable as possible during your labor, including having all the support you need before, during and after your hospital stay. While you will receive much of that support from your surrogacy agency and your intended parents, you may also wish to consider hiring a doula for your surrogacy process.

A doula is a trained professional who typically helps pregnant mothers and expectant fathers through the delivery process. In surrogacy, a doula provides services to both the intended parents and their surrogate. There are generally two different kinds of doulas: a birth doula and a postpartum doula. Some doulas act as both.

What a Doula Does

While every doula’s specialties are different, their main purpose in surrogacy is to provide more specialized support for intended parents and surrogates, in addition to the general support you will receive from your surrogacy agency. You will have the chance to decide with your doula what kind of support you want, but it typically includes:

  • For Surrogates: Prenatal support and education, birth preparation, support and guidance throughout labor, counseling during postpartum emotions and issues like pumping breastmilk and post-birth recovery
  • For Intended Parents: Childcare education (like classes for newborn care, hygiene, safety and for parent preparation) and postpartum, in-home support for childcare and induced lactation

Doulas who specifically deal with the surrogacy process also provide support for the relationship between the surrogate and the intended parents. Beyond coordinating birthing preferences and preparing both for the labor process, a doula takes certain steps to help involve the intended parents in the labor process. They understand that surrogacy is a partnership and that the partnership does not end during the hospital stay. In fact, some doulas are so touched by the surrogacy process that they become surrogates themselves. When you hire an experienced doula for your surrogacy, you will know you’re in good hands.

Deciding if a Doula is Right for You

Doulas have many advantages for both intended parents and surrogates, but it’s usually surrogates who suggest hiring a doula for the labor process. However, the inclusion of a doula in the labor and postpartum processes of your surrogacy is a decision that must be made by both the intended parents and the surrogate. After all, surrogacy is an intimate process, and including a doula must only be done if both parties are comfortable.

If you’re considering including a doula in your surrogacy process, your surrogacy specialist can help mediate this conversation between you and the intended parents. It’s important to do diligent research on why you think a doula is right for you if you’ve never used one before, and your specialist can also help you understand the pros and cons of using this professional. Intended parents may be more comfortable if you seek out a doula that is specifically trained in surrogacy services to maximize the benefits for both parties.

Another thing to consider is the cost of a doula. Even with a doula who specifically works with surrogacy cases, the majority of her services are tailored to the surrogate during the labor process. Therefore, not all intended parents may be comfortable paying for this extra service if they’re not familiar with the benefits. If having a doula be a part of your labor process is important to you, talk with your surrogacy specialist about how to bring up the costs of this service with the intended parents.

How to Find the Doula that’s Right for You

When you want to include a doula in your labor process, it’s important to do your research before presenting this idea to your intended parents. This means finding a professional that meets your preferences for services provided and the associated cost. Typically, a birth doula costs between $1,000 and $2,000, and a postpartum doula can cost anywhere from $35 to $60 an hour.

Many surrogates work with surrogacy-specific doulas to receive labor and postpartum care that’s tailored to their situation. These doulas should be willing to speak to you about their services before you commit to hiring them. Some professionals to consider include:

In addition, your surrogacy specialist may be able to help you find a local doula who meets your needs.

Including a doula in your surrogacy process is a personal decision to make, and it will not be right for everyone. However, if you’re interested in these services, start your research and let your surrogacy specialist know as early as possible — to best coordinate the inclusion of this professional in your surrogacy process.

5 Ways to Stay in Contact with Your Long-Distance IPs

When you choose to become a surrogate, you will play an integral part in the matching process. You’ll decide what you want in an intended parent, and your surrogacy specialist will help you find the intended parents that meet your surrogacy expectations.

However, there’s a good chance that the intended parents that you’re matched with may not be located close to you. So, if your intended parents live too far away for easy contact, how can you still build a healthy, strong relationship during the surrogacy process?

Your surrogacy specialist will always be available to help make your communication with the intended parents easier, whether that’s through offering suggestions or mediating the contact herself. Many of our surrogates who work with long-distance IPs use these methods:

1. Email and Text Communication

One of the most convenient ways for you to stay in contact with your intended parents is through sending emails or text messages. While you can certainly utilize phone conversations for urgent contact, it may be best to stick with these methods instead for sending little updates throughout your surrogate pregnancy. This way, you both can send and receive communication back and forth at your own convenience and in a way that is more casual than scheduled phone calls or visits. Texts and emails also make it easy for you to attach photos of sonograms and your growing stomach — which the intended parents will likely appreciate if they cannot be there to experience the growth of their unborn baby themselves. You and they may choose to even send updates about your own lives during this time in quick texts that, again, don’t take any time out of your days.

2. Video-Calling

When intended parents cannot be present for important milestones during your pregnancy, it can be disappointing for them. So, if your intended parents cannot make it to your doctor’s appointments, see if you can video-call them during the visit. That way, they not only get the chance to hear what your doctor has to say and ask them questions, but they can also feel like they’re physically there for important events like sonograms.

3. Phone Calling

Like video calling, having frequent phone calls is important to building a relationship with your intended parents. This is certainly an option for updating intended parents on your pregnancy journey and just for learning more about them. However, in a long-distance surrogacy, it’s important to consider time zones and each other’s daily schedule to make sure that a phone call is possible. Sometimes, if you call unexpectedly, an intended parent may automatically worry that something is wrong.

4. In-Person Visits

Generally, you will meet the intended parents in-person several times during your surrogacy process: at the beginning to meet you and solidify a match, during the embryo transfer process and when the baby is born. However, some intended parents may want to visit you outside of these settings, perhaps to be present for a doctor’s appointment or just to get to know you better. They will usually be the ones that come to you (if you want to visit them, they may be able to help cover your travel expenses). You should welcome these visits; they’re a great way to build a solid relationship with the intended parents and make the rest of the surrogacy process more comfortable for all of you.

5. Sending Them Special Gifts

Although you are in no way obligated to do so, a surrogate may want the intended parents to know a little more about her and the community where she lives while pregnant. You may wish to send your intended parents meaningful gifts from your state so they can feel more connected to you — perhaps a memento from the first time you felt the baby kick or a picture of your stomach at a state landmark. These will be useful to the intended parents as they develop a surrogacy story for their child to know as they grow up. We encourage you to speak to your surrogacy specialist to find out whether a gift you’re considering is appropriate for your relationship.

Ultimately, the kind of communication that you have with your intended parents will depend upon your personal relationship. When you first solidify your match and complete the surrogacy contract, your surrogacy specialist will help you both set expectations for communication moving forward. Of course, from there, your communication frequency may change as you become more comfortable with each other.

Long-distance surrogacies are common, and American Surrogacy is prepared to give you the support you need throughout this process. To learn more about how our surrogacy process works and what your long-distance surrogacy may look like, please call us today at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).

Taking Surrogate Maternity Pictures — What to Know

When parents are expecting a baby, many wish to document their parenthood journey with maternity photos. Just because you are expecting a baby via surrogate doesn’t mean that you can’t do the same, although the process for surrogate maternity pictures may require greater discussion and more creativity that it would for a mother carrying her own child.

If you’re curious about documenting your parenthood journey and the surrogacy process, it’s important that this is a decision made together with your surrogate. Your surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy can also help you figure out whether surrogate maternity pictures are right for your surrogacy and, if so, help you move forward with that process.

If You’re Considering Surrogacy Maternity Photos

While it’s natural to want to document the time when your unborn baby is developing, you may not know how to approach maternity photos when another woman is carrying your child. Ultimately, whether or not you should consider surrogate maternity pictures will depend upon your relationship with the surrogate. Because this involves her as much as you, she’ll need to be comfortable with this idea before moving forward with it. If she is uncomfortable with it, you should not pressure or force her.

Sometimes, surrogate maternity pictures can be discussed early on during the contract phase of your surrogacy. Other times, intended parents may not think about maternity photos until later in the surrogacy process — and may not be sure how to bring the topic up with their surrogate. Your surrogacy specialist can help you mediate this conversation and offer suggestions to make both parties feel comfortable. Most surrogates will be thrilled to help you document this part of your parenthood journey, although they may have different preferences for how they want to be shown in these photographs. When you have an open conversation about what you each desire in surrogate maternity pictures, you’ll be able to come to a photo style that makes both of you happy. These photos will be something you’ll get to treasure forever.

Ideas for Surrogacy Maternity Photos

So, what are some different styles of surrogate maternity pictures, and which are right for you?

Like other maternity photos, surrogacy maternity photos are only limited by your imagination. As mentioned before, your surrogate’s interest in being a part of these photos will also play a role in how your photographer stages these memories.

Some surrogates would rather have maternity photos focus on what she thinks is most important — the baby. Instead of showing herself in the photo, she may be most comfortable with a photo that highlights her pregnant belly. There are many beautiful ways of doing this:

Other surrogates may be more excited to be a focal point in your surrogate maternity pictures — and invite you to be a part of them as well. Your photographer can find a creative way to incorporate you all into maternity photos for a sentimental snapshot that you both will cherish.

Check out some of these ideas:

These are just a few of the ideas available to you if you’re considering taking maternity photos with your surrogate. If you and your surrogate decide to take maternity photos, make sure you both are included in conversations with the photographer about what you prefer. A surrogacy is a partnership every step of the way, and surrogate maternity pictures are no different!

A Note for Surrogates

If you’re a surrogate, remember that you are just as important a part of the surrogacy process as the intended parents — which means you should always have a say in any maternity photo plans that are made. You are never required to do anything you’re uncomfortable with, so if you feel like you are being pressured to participate in a photography session, let your surrogacy specialist know.

On the other hand, if your intended parents have not mentioned surrogate maternity pictures and it’s something that you’re interested in, take the same respectful approach that intended parents might take with you. Evaluate your relationship and, if you’re comfortable doing so, suggest the idea in a light-hearted and no-obligation way. Just like you, they have a right to say “no” if maternity photos with you aren’t something they’re interested in. Even if they do turn your offer down, you can still enlist a photographer on your own to document this important moment in your life.

If you ever have questions about surrogate maternity pictures (whether you’re a surrogate or an intended parent), American Surrogacy encourages you to speak with your surrogacy specialist. She can provide suggestions on not only how to bring this topic up but how to make the photography session a great memory for all involved.

3 Things to Do With Breastmilk as a Surrogate

After you give birth to a baby as a surrogate, you will likely be dealing with several side effects of your pregnancy and childbirth journey. One of these is the production of breastmilk. While you may have utilized your breastmilk to feed your own children after they were born, knowing how to manage your breastmilk in a surrogate pregnancy can be complicated.

The decision of what to do with your breastmilk will be made long before the medical processes even begin. In fact, it will be discussed early on in your surrogacy contract stage, when you and the intended parents will discuss what preferences they have (if any) in regards to your breastmilk.

As with every other part of your surrogacy journey, you will have a say in this part of the process. Your surrogacy specialist will also be available to counsel you through your options, of which there are generally three:

1. Pump Milk for the Intended Parents

Some intended parents may look to take advantage of the many health benefits that breastmilk provides and ask you to pump your breastmilk for them. Then, they will use the milk to either feed their baby through bottles or in combination with their own breastmilk through a supplemental nursing system.

You will not be required to pump milk for intended parents unless you are comfortable doing so. You will always be compensated properly for taking these additional steps to help the intended parents in the early stages of the baby’s life. If you decide to do this, your surrogacy specialist and your doctor will make sure you understand how this process will work.

2. Donate Your Breastmilk

Even if your intended parents do not wish to utilize your breastmilk, there are many other families looking for donated breastmilk to supplement their baby’s feeding. Organizations like the National Milk Bank and the Human Milk Banking Association of North America make it easy for you to donate and store your milk to help those in need, especially for those families with sick or premature infants in the hospital. To donate breastmilk, you’ll need to commit to donating a minimum of 200 ounces after undergoing a screening process and getting approval from your doctor.

This is a personal decision to make, as breastfeeding does require a lot of time and effort. But, for many surrogates, donating their breastmilk is a great way to continue the altruistic giving process they started during their surrogacy.

3. Stop Your Lactation

Breastfeeding and pumping is not right for everyone — and that includes surrogates. If you don’t wish to pump your milk for someone else, that’s completely your right. Instead, you can take medical steps to dry up your milk supply after the baby has been born.

The best way to dry up your milk supply is by speaking to your OB/GYN, who can give you professional advice on accomplishing this. The process may include the age-old cabbage leaf compresses, additional drugs and more. Before taking steps to dry up your milk, though, make sure you talk to your doctor to ensure that you’re doing it safely. Improper methods can lead to painful mastitis and plugged ducts.

If you’re not sure what you will do with your breastmilk after you give birth, talk in detail with your doctor to learn more about your options. If you wish to pump your breastmilk for the intended parents, your surrogacy specialist at American Surrogacy will help ensure you receive the proper compensation and your rights are protected throughout this process.

Remember, deciding to pump breastmilk or not is a very personal decision — and one that’s entirely up to you. No matter what you decide, you can still be eligible for the surrogacy process.

How You’ll Stay in Contact with International Intended Parents

When you become a surrogate in the U.S., you will have the option of carrying a baby for an international couple. Many of these intended parents live in countries where surrogacy is illegal or highly restricted, and working with an American surrogate may be the only way they can have a biological child of their own.

American Surrogacy is proud to help international intended parents create their families and, when you become a surrogate through our program, you will have the option to be matched with these international parents. As always, the matching process is mutual, so you do not have to work with an intended parent unless you’re comfortable doing so.

If you’re unfamiliar with how international surrogacy works, you may be unsure of how you’ll be able to work with intended parents who live in another country. After all, how do you stay in contact with intended parents who may live thousands of miles away?

Your surrogacy specialist will work with you throughout the surrogacy process to mediate contact and make your communication with the intended parents as easy as possible. But, with the advance of technology, staying in touch with international intended parents is not as difficult as it may seem. We’ve outlined below some ways surrogates communicate with these kinds of intended parents:

1. Email and Text Communication

In many ways, an international surrogacy is not that different from a long-distance surrogacy within the United States. In cases where surrogates and intended parents live in different time zones, email and texts are generally the best ways of communicating. It’s quick and convenient; intended parents and surrogates can respond whenever is best for them, and lots of information can be shared.

Many surrogates choose to email their intended parents after every doctor’s appointment that the parents cannot make it to, even attaching sonograms photos if possible.

2. Scheduled Skype and Facetime Conversations

While time zones may make impromptu phone calls difficult, many surrogates and international intended parents set up conversations in advance and use an internet-based service to speak with each other. As long as you discover a time that works best for both of you (for example, a morning for you and an evening one for them), speaking to each other will not be as difficult as you may think. The intended parents will also pay for any expenses incurred for these international conversations.

3. In-Person Visits

Depending on where the intended parents live and what their financial situation is like, you may expect to see them in-person more often than you think. All intended parents are required to travel to the U.S. two times: for the embryo transfer process and for the birth of the baby. However, it’s not uncommon for intended parents to make an extra trip or two for doctor’s appointments and to meet you early on in the process, before the embryo transfer takes place. Like domestic intended parents, international intended parents are excited at the chance to get to know you and will take additional steps to make that happen.

Remember, as a surrogate for intended parents, you will not be required to travel outside of the United States. However, many surrogates and intended parents develop close friendships, and some intended parents even offer surrogates the chance to explore their country with a trip early in the pregnancy or shortly after. You and the intended parents will communicate to determine which in-persons visits (and where) will work for the both of you. Your surrogacy specialist will always be there to help mediate.

When surrogates are curious about contact with international intended parents, one of the first questions they usually ask is, “What about the language barrier?” While there are certainly intended parents who speak a different language, many of them actually have a decent grasp of English or speak the language fluidly, thanks to a culture of multilingualism in their home country. In many cases, surrogates and intended parents can easily communicate and even share their culture with each other without the assistance of a translator. However, if you are matched with an intended parent who does not speak English, American Surrogacy will happily provide you with a translator to make this communication process possible.

The specialists at American Surrogacy are always available to answer any questions you have about communication in international surrogacy, the international surrogacy process and the surrogacy process in general. Please feel free to contact us today to learn more.

How Do You Announce Your Surrogacy on Social Media?

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.