Dear Honest Surrogate
Dear Honest: I’m thinking about becoming a surrogate but I am concerned about how to talk to our children about it. I’m worried that they will get attached and be upset when it’s time for the intended parents to take their baby home. How should we explain to them that the baby isn’t ours? -Concerned Mom
Dear Concerned: Talking to your child about surrogacy is a very common concern. Parents are often surprised at how accepting their children are to the idea of surrogacy. Bringing up surrogacy before you start the process will help normalize it. Talk about how families come in all shapes and sizes and surrogacy is just one way to grow a family. Ask your children how they would feel about you helping another family have a baby. Involve your children in the process. Let them meet the intended parents. Ask them if they want to join you at appointments, especially the ultrasound appointment as kids tend to think that is pretty awesome. Talk to them about how your body will change and why that happens and use it as a really fantastic educational opportunity! Let them pick out a gift for the baby. Talk about how excited the intended parents are to have a baby and how happy you are to help them achieve their dreams. You can also share books in your home about the surrogacy process, such as Surrogacy Helps Make a Family Grow by Sharon LaMothe.
My own experience of telling my children that I was going to be a surrogate went like this:
Me: Mommy really enjoys being pregnant but our family is complete. I’d like to help another family have a baby who can’t do it on their own. What do you think of that?
My kids: Ok, that’s nice of you.
I was shocked at their response! Adults tend to overthink everything. Kids don’t have a lifetime of experience behind them to think about all of the details of the situation, they simply see it as helping others.
Dear Honest: I have always wanted to be a surrogate. Now that I am done having kids of my own I have decided to pursue that dream. I have a career that I love and I don’t want to quit working. Am I allowed to work while I am a surrogate? Also, do I need to tell my boss that I am a surrogate? -Career Woman
Dear Career: Yes, you can work while you are a surrogate. I admire your work ethic! Keep in mind that you will need to take time off for appointments, the birth, time following the birth to heal and possible physician ordered bed rest. Intended parents often reimburse their surrogate for lost wages due to the pregnancy and birth. The reimbursement terms can be discussed when you are negotiating your surrogacy contract. You don’t ever have to tell your management that you are a surrogate, or even pregnant, for that matter, but that might be hard to hide after a certain point. Because I don’t know about your workplace culture, I would also suggest discussing it beforehand and in confidence with your HR department.
Amber Campanelli ~ The Honest Surrogate