If you’re a surrogate, you know that most surrogacy agencies require a surrogate to have birthed one or two children of her own before becoming a surrogate for someone else. There are a number of reasons for this requirement. First of all, having had previous experience with a pregnancy helps you know what to expect from your body and how to handle any challenges that come along. In addition, the fact that you already have had a successful pregnancy makes it more likely that you will have a successful pregnancy with the baby you are carrying for the intended parents.
As a gestational surrogate, you may face the dilemma of what to tell your children about the baby growing inside you. It can be confusing for little ones to understand a complex concept like surrogacy, but if you keep it simple and stick with the basics, your children should come to understand all that they need to about your pregnancy. Here are some ideas for explaining surrogacy to your kids.
For a Younger Child
When you explain surrogacy to a toddler or preschooler, keep the words a simple as possible. You could tell it in the form of a story. “Once upon a time, there were two people who wanted very much to have a little baby of their own. They wanted to have a child, but they couldn’t. So your mommy decided to carry their baby in her tummy for them for a while. When the baby is big enough to come out into the world, it will go and live with this very special family, and they will be so happy!”
For an Older Child
If you have a couple of older kids, you face a new set of challenges explaining the pregnancy. Your oldest child has seen you pregnant before. The last time, that pregnancy resulted in a sibling. You’ll need to explain very clearly that the baby is not going to stay this time. Your child may be concerned that you are giving away a brother or sister, simply because you don’t want to keep it; so you need to clarify that this is not a baby made by you and your partner, but a very special baby made by another family. Explain that the other mom’s tummy could not grow the baby, so you offered to give them a very special gift and grow their baby for them until it is ready to enter the world and join their family.
An older child may be able to understand terms like “incubator” or “oven,” images that help them grasp the concept of surrogacy and its temporary nature. You can also refer to yourself as the “extended babysitter” for the intended parents.
Reassurance and Love
No matter what your child’s age may be, he or she may develop a fear of being given away someday, as you plan to give the intended parents’ baby to them. When you explain surrogacy the first time, and at other times in the future, express your deep love and commitment to your children. Tell them that you and your partner planned for them, wished for them, and will keep them forever.
About Attorney Nicole K. White
As a mother by gestational surrogacy and as a surrogacy lawyer, my goal is to help you experience the joy and fulfillment of starting or growing a family of your own through third party reproduction. Because I am a mother by gestational surrogacy, I know firsthand what you will need – answers to your questions, support and guidance – and, I know what you will go through when starting your family. My experience as a surrogacy lawyer helps me guide you through the financial, emotional and legal aspects of surrogacy and third party reproduction. I can say with confidence that few (if any) attorneys deliver the unique insight I can bring to your surrogacy journey.