How to Explain Surrogacy to Family and Friends

Gestational surrogacy has become increasingly well-known in the past decade, particularly the past five years. Surrogacy arrangements now make common appearances across television shows and movies, and the legality of gay marriage in the U.S. in 2015 made legal issues that once created painful complications for LGBT couples and individuals null and void.

Even with this growth and wider understanding, there are still challenges that can arise when telling family and friends that you are using surrogacy to have a baby. Fertility Source Companies wanted to highlight some of the ways you can make these conversations a little easier.

Insensitive moments can come from ignorance

Even seemingly harmless questions can strike a nerve in someone who is working with a surrogate mother. It’s important to remember that most of the time your family and friends are well-meaning, and any insensitivity toward your family-building journey likely comes from a lack of knowledge or understanding about surrogacy. You may find that you’ll become the educator in these conversations, answering questions and providing assurance that your trust in the process, your Case Manager and the surrogate is complete.

Being the educator can be fulfilling at times and frustrating at others, but ultimately, you are doing a genuine service to third-party reproduction and others who are going through the surrogacy process. The more people who know someone who has used surrogacy to have a child, the less of a mystery the process will be.

You don’t have to answer every question

Genuine questions about the surrogacy process can come from a very sincere place, but if you are at all uncomfortable discussing something, you do not have to do so. Many couples find it helpful to agree on what they will and won’t mention to friends and family prior to having conversations about surrogacy. There are polite ways to defer questions you’re not happy to answer.

Common questions or comments intended parents have faced include:

  • How much money is using a gestational surrogate going to cost?
  • Why didn’t you adopt instead?
  • Who is the baby’s mother?
  • You’re lucky that someone else is going through the pregnancy.
  • I don’t understand how someone could be a surrogate.
  • I wish someone would have given birth to my child for me.

The above questions and comments are obviously indicative of some worst-case scenarios, and even if asked with a polite tone, are quite jarring. Knowing that you only have to answer questions you’re comfortable with, and having a game plan when faced with more difficult conversations, can go a long way to relieving any stress you may feel.

Remember, your decision to use a gestational surrogate should be respected. Those who come to understand the process will know that there are cases where it wasn’t an easy decision, or wasn’t medically necessary. We ask that intended parents take advantage of support groups, both in-person and online, as they can be very helpful in providing support and guidance. Your Fertility Source Companies Case Manager is also available for assistance.