After months or even years of trying to grow your family and examining your options, you’ve finally decided to pursue surrogacy. At this point, you are probably ready to shout your news from the rooftops — but explaining your surrogacy decision to friends and relatives isn’t always that simple.
In fact, because surrogacy is still a commonly misunderstood practice, your exciting news may be met with blank stares, confusion, or even ignorant questions or comments. How do you explain your surrogacy decision to your family, especially if they’re not very familiar with the realities of this process?
Remember that your surrogacy specialist is always here to help you prepare for and navigate these conversations. In the meantime, the guidelines below can help you get started:
Introduce the concept.
Before you start sending out pregnancy announcements, you may want to go back to the basics. Start slow with an introduction of the surrogacy process; try mentioning the concept casually in conversation and see where it leads. The more you talk about surrogacy in a theoretical way, the less shocking your news will be when you do announce your plans.
Know your reasons.
Likely, your closest friends and family members already know about your desire to grow your family. They may have watched you struggle for a long time to become parents, and chances are, they will immediately understand your surrogacy decision and be thrilled for you.
But, because there are still so many misconceptions about surrogacy today, it never hurts to have your list of reasons prepared before you have this conversation. Explain that you’ve explored all of your family-building options and that you know surrogacy is the next step for you.
Correct any misinformation.
Often, any objections to surrogacy raised by family and friends come from a well-intentioned place. Your loved ones may not understand how the IVF and embryo transfer processes work, or they may worry that the surrogate will be pregnant with her own baby and try to take custody after the birth. Often, friends and family members have heard sensationalized stories in the media of surrogacy gone wrong, and they’re simply trying to save you from the same fate.
Take this as an opportunity to educate loved ones about how the surrogacy process really works. Explain that surrogates are thoroughly vetted, you’ll be present for the embryo transfer process at the lab, and the surrogate will have no genetic relationship or legal claim to your baby.
Ask for support.
Once your friends and family members are aware of your surrogacy decision, they’ll likely want to support you in any way they can — but they may not always know how to do that. When you’re not the one carrying the pregnancy, loved ones might not always think to ask how the process is going, and they might not realize that this journey comes with its own practical challenges and stressors.
It’s important to have a support system to lean on during the challenges of surrogacy — and with whom to celebrate the triumphs. Let your friends and family members know how much their support throughout this process will mean to you, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
If you’re struggling to talk with friends and family members about your surrogacy plans, you can always contact American Surrogacy at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) for additional support and advice.