When you decide to be a surrogate, you probably want to shout your news from the rooftop! You’re finally following through with your dreams, and you want all of your loved ones to know.
But, while talking to your younger friends and family may be easy, telling your parents about your decision may be a little more complicated. Maybe they don’t know how surrogacy really works, or you’re worried how they’ll take your news.
Don’t stress — our guide is here to help. Below, find the tips and hints you need to successfully share your surrogacy news with your parents.
First Question: Should You Tell Your Parents About Your Surrogacy Decision?
Being a surrogate is a big commitment, and it’s not something that you’ll be able to hide. So, it’s important to tell all of your loved ones about your decision well before you get started. You don’t want to ruffle any feathers or confuse anyone when they find that you’re pregnant later on.
We encourage every gestational carrier to be honest about their surrogacy plans as early as possible. It’s important to build a surrogacy support system, and your loved ones (including your parents) can play an important role. That way, you can ask your parents for assistance in watching your kids during appointments or helping out with everyday responsibilities when you’re too tired to do so yourself.
Not sure how your parents will react? Consider waiting until after you are pregnant to tell them.
And, no matter what, don’t let your parents’ reaction dictate your upcoming journey. You chose surrogacy for a reason. Ultimately, you are the only one who can decide what is right for you.
How to Tell Your Parents You’re Going to Be a Surrogate
No matter how old we get, we’ll always be our parents’ children. It’s normal to want their approval — and it’s normal to be a bit nervous about sharing your surrogacy news with them, especially if this is the first they’re hearing of it.
Before anything else, you should make sure you have your talking points ready. Even if you can anticipate how your parents will react, it’s good to have planned answers for questions they may ask — including ignorant and insensitive queries. Familiarize yourself with the common misconceptions of surrogacy, so you can be prepared for your parents’ responses.
When you’re ready for this conversation, set a time and place where you can talk privately and as long as you need. Then, dive on in with this guide:
Step 1: Make Sure They Understand the Surrogacy Process.
A lot of the disapproval of gestational surrogacy comes from a place of misinformation. If you do not educate your parents beforehand, they may think that you becoming a surrogate is “giving away” their grandchild. So, the first step in this conversation is explaining exactly how surrogacy works.
Help your parents understand that the child you carry will not be genetically related to you. Explain that you will be protected legally and medically through the whole process, and you will even be compensated for your choice. More than anything else, emphasize that you are choosing this path because it is something you 100 percent want to do. No one is forcing you to become a surrogate against your will.
Step 2: Explain Why Surrogacy is Important to You.
Similarly, you should make it clear why you’re becoming a surrogate. Most people, when they hear a loved one is considering surrogacy, automatically assume the financial compensation is the reason she is taking this path. Make sure your parents understand the truth — that you are pursuing this because you love being pregnant and want to help someone else experience parenthood like you have.
Step 3: Give Your Parents a Chance to Ask Questions.
Once you have stated your case, take a pause. Your parents may need time to process your announcement, and they will likely have questions about what being a surrogate will entail. Do your best to answer these politely and informationally, even if they unknowingly ask ignorant or insensitive questions.
Remember how you felt when you were first learning all about surrogacy? That’s where your parents are at right now. Give them a chance to learn more, and you might be surprised at how they respond.
Step 4: Follow Up with Your Answers and Stick By Your Convictions.
It may take some time for your parents to fully understand the process you’re starting. Try to be patient and understanding as they work through this step. You might even consider conferencing them in on a call with your surrogacy professional. That way, they can get a better idea of who you’re working with.
No matter how your parents react, remember the reason you chose surrogacy. It wasn’t to please them; it was to reach the personal goals you’ve had for a while. Be prepared to state your case and reasoning a few times — and don’t let your parents sway you from the life-changing decision you’ve already made.
If you follow these steps and thoroughly explain your surrogacy decision, it’s likely that your parents will understand where you’re coming from. They may even celebrate your choice with you! That’s great — they can be an integral part of your support system.
But, what if your parents aren’t exactly as supportive as you would like?
It can hurt when those you love don’t understand or support this decision you’re so excited for. You may spend time trying to convince them otherwise but, unfortunately, many people continue to believe their outdated and incorrect views about gestational surrogacy.
Remember, surrogacy is a temporary process. At the end of it, you will have helped bring a child into the world, and you can be proud of that knowledge. You will be able to return to your everyday life, and you can go back to your pre-surrogacy relationship with your parents.
Need more guidance on dealing with unsupportive parents — or simply broaching this subject at all? Reach out to a surrogacy professional for free advice. You deserve a surrogacy journey that will make you feel supported and happy, and these professionals can help.