I have always really valued my children’s opinions. As many mothers do, I think of their best interest before I make any major decisions. When deciding to become a surrogate mother this was no exception. I have been a surrogate mother three times. At the time of delivery with my first surrogate pregnancy my children were only 4 and 2. I always made sure to explain things to them in great detail. I never wanted them to worry that we were giving up their sibling or wonder how the baby got inside of me. I feel that being open and honest about this process is essential for a child’s understanding and acceptance of it.
Now that the first surrogate pregnancy is almost 7 years behind us and the most recent is 2 years behind us, I wanted to talk to my boys and see what they truly thought about me being a surrogate mother.
First, I asked them both to explain to me the process of what I had done. Riley (age 8) said, “You helped someone who couldn’t have a baby. It was not our baby.” Aedan (age 11) said, “You helped people that couldn’t have a baby. Doctors put the parent’s embryo in your uterus.” Riley didn’t seem to understand the medical side of things, but he understood that it was not our baby and the goal was to help build a family for someone else.
Next, I asked them how they felt about me helping someone have a baby. They both thought it was really nice and generous. Neither of my boys was sad because the baby didn’t come home with us, in fact they were happy to not add another sibling to the family. Riley said, “I didn’t want another brother or sister anyway!” Aedan mentioned that during the pregnancies he was a little sad that I wasn’t able to play as much as I used to – not getting down on the floor quite as much – but he understood this was a temporary thing and knew the end goal would be well worth it. I asked my children what they would think if I wanted to be a surrogate mother again. Riley said, “It would be ok, but I know you are happy not being pregnant.” Aedan thought it would be nice because I have done it so many times already. He feels I’ll know just what to do. I also asked my boys what they think they might do in the future if they struggle with infertility or cannot have children in the traditional way. Riley said he would ask me to be his surrogate. Aedan believes he would try surrogacy or adoption.
One thing that has been so amazing about my journeys as a surrogate mother is having these open discussion with my sons. I believe they will be more open and accepting of others as adults because of this. Through my work with Fertility Source Companies and as a gestational carrier, my children understand that families are not always created in the same way. They have met many same sex couples or gay individuals and understand that they want families too! If you talk to children openly and honestly they will understand the reasons for these decisions and they will be happy and accepting of the outcome.
Article composed by Theresa Ferrara, Fertility Source Companies Senior Regional Manager-Southwest Region.