What To Expect: Common Questions People Ask Surrogates and How To Respond
‘What is surrogacy?’ ‘What made you decide to do this?’ ‘Are you sure this is something you want to do?’
Oh, the many questions we must prepare ourselves for once we let the cat out the bag. While surrogacy is a unique and intimate arrangement between surrogates and Intended Parents (IPs), Surrogates will certainly be presented with a range of questions, as they are the most visual representations of the process. As unique and intimate any one surrogacy journey may be, Surrogates are often faced with both judgmental and tough questions. Holding onto the reality that this is a selfless act and you are helping another family achieve the most incredible gift, will help you get through the potential discomfort of answering these challenging questions.
Deciding who to tell about your surrogacy
Different people should know varying amounts of information about your surrogacy. For example, there are certain people who will need to know the details of your journey, such as your immediate family members – particularly your spouse – and other close friends in your surrogacy support system. It is important that you share the decision-making process with your spouse to ensure that they support you. You may also want to share with close family members and friends during your planning process, as they can provide needed support during the initial stages of the medical procedures and pregnancy. You may wait to tell other friends and acquaintances until a healthy pregnancy is confirmed.
Surrogacy is a fascinating topic and one that nearly everyone seems to have an opinion about. When explaining your decision to become a surrogate mother, it may be helpful to emphasize that it was a carefully thought-out choice that will be beneficial for the intended family as well as your own. You should feel proud of your decision to become a Surrogate, and it should be a story you feel confident talking about with friends and family members.
But what about strangers and acquaintances? What do you say to them? And who warrants an explanation of this unique journey anyway? With so much misinformation and many myths about surrogacy, it is understandable there are so many questions looming when it comes to the process. Here at Simple Surrogacy, we help you get through the most difficult of times. Keep reading to discover tips and tricks that will help you navigate through these unavoidable discussions.
How did you get pregnant?
Many people do not understand the surrogacy process – it sounds like a foreign language or an alternate universe. Understanding that there is a genuine lack of knowledge and a piquing sense of curiosity, can bring you some calm when you dive into explaining it without feeling judged. It is important to explain the very basics of the surrogacy process: for example, for those using gestational surrogacy, you can explain that the Intended Parents create an embryo that is transferred to your uterus via a professional medical procedure.
How much are you getting paid?
Gestational Carriers are compensated most of the time; however, this compensation is meant to cover the time, effort and sacrifices surrogates are making. And much like your salary, the cost of surrogacy is a very personal detail. Rather than speaking to a specific amount you are getting paid, if you aren comfortable sharing, you may explain your own motivations for pursuing surrogacy — let those who are asking know how fulfilling it is to be able to help another family in such a meaningful and compassionate way.
How can you give up your baby?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions about surrogacy, but the answer remains the same – ‘the baby is not mine’. Surrogates often embark on this journey knowing their personal family is complete and they are in a space where they are ready to help another family fulfill their dreams.
What do your children think? Your spouse?
Surrogacy is not a journey you would’ve entered without the support of your spouse or partner. When it comes to your children, many people may think your children will not understand the surrogacy process, especially if the idea of discussing reproduction with children is already an uncomfortable topic. You can explain that your surrogacy journey is a family effort, and you have been open about the process with your child in an age-appropriate way before beginning.
What if the child grows up to have issues because someone other than their mother gave birth to them?
When children understand that they were born out of love and desperate want, their likelihood of having issues will decrease. Of course, the child could experience complications from birth, but that’s true for any birth and has nothing to do with the fact that a Gestational Carrier gave birth. As a Surrogate, you can speak to the importance of having an open dialogue with the child, so there is no question or wonder about their birth story.
What if they (IPs) decide they don’t want to keep the baby?
Luckily for both parties, everyone signs a legally binding contract before the transfer which protects everyone. The baby is never the legal ward of the Surrogate, but always is the child of the Intended Parents. Plus, after spending so much time and money to have a family, Intended Parents do not walk away from their babies. In this way, Intended Parents nor Surrogates can change their mind and decide not to keep, or keep, the baby once it’s born.