Before becoming a surrogate, you have likely finished having your own kids and declared your womb closed for business. You may still be raising your kids, or maybe they’re all grown up. No matter their age, your family will still have questions about your gestational surrogacy journey. When it comes to your children, you want to be honest and thorough about what will happen next year. We asked three mothers how they talked to their kids about their surrogacy.
GSHC: How old were your kids when you became a surrogate?
Maria: I had a 1-year-old when I did my last journey.
Stephanie: I had a 4-year-old and an almost 1-year-old when I did my first journey.
Lynn: My three kids were younger than ten during my second surrogacy.
GSHC: How did your child(ren) react to your growing belly?
Maria: She definitely knew she had to be careful around my stomach because we told her my tummy hurt. She would come around and gently feel my stomach and kiss my stomach.
Stephanie: I explained to the 4-year-old that I was helping our friends have a baby because they couldn’t, and I wanted to give them a gift. I told her I was taking care of their baby and keeping it safe until he was ready to go with his mommy and daddy. She would lay with me and feel the baby move, and I’d always try to remind her in different ways the baby wasn’t ours to keep. My youngest wasn’t one yet when I started the process, so I feel she didn’t really understand what was going on. She just knew she had to be careful with my belly.
Lynn: For my older children, it was super easy to explain. I just told them not all families can have babies, which makes them very sad, so we were going to help them take care of their baby inside my tummy. We also told them that mommy and daddy were blessed to have three adorable kids, and now I felt in my heart that I should be helping somebody else. They completely understood that the baby was not related to any of us.
GSHC: How did you keep your child involved in your surrogacy?
Maria: My intended parents sent voice recordings and songs for me to play for their baby. At night I would ask her, “You want to hear the baby’s mom sing?” and she would say, “Yes.” Soon enough, she would ask me at night to play the baby’s mom so the baby can hear her. When the baby was born, and my family and I went to see the baby, I let my daughter carry him, and I told her that he was in my tummy and now he was ready to go with his parents. I referred to the intended parents as “nuestros amigos,” meaning “our friends,” so my daughter knew who I was talking about.
Lynn: My youngest was too little to understand during my first journey, but for this 2nd journey, when I went to my transfer, I told her mommy was going to the hospital so the doctor can put a baby inside my tummy. And I told her after that I was going to take care of the baby for a little bit and give the baby back to their parents later when the baby is big and strong. When I was back from my transfer, I showed her pictures of the ultrasound and intended parents, and I explained they were the baby’s parents, and they were so happy we were able to help them. Now and then, she kisses my stomach and tells me, “We are taking care of baby for parents,” and “Let me see a photo of mommy and daddy.”
GSHC: Did you explain your surrogacy to other children in your family?
Maria: I have nieces and nephews who are older and understand what pregnancy is. I told them that I was helping carry another parent’s baby until they were strong enough to be born. When they asked, “Why does the mom just not carry their own baby?” I told them that their stomach didn’t work like mine. Eventually, their parents took over answering their follow-up questions because only they know what and how much their own child will understand about pregnancy or surrogacy.
If you are considering becoming a surrogate mother, don’t be afraid to talk about it with your children. You might initially feel that the gestational surrogacy process can be confusing to tell your children. Still, you’ll find that most kids are open-hearted and accepting of the decision you’ve made to help another family.
It’s crucial that your child(ren) understands this process from day one so it doesn’t catch them off guard. Our surrogates want their families to know this is an amazing opportunity where people come together as strangers and become life-long friends because of this shared experience.
There’s no better feeling than being able to help others in such a unique way. If you’re interested in becoming a surrogate yourself, contact us at GSHC today!