Building a support system filled with loving friends and family can make a huge difference when you’re a gestational surrogate. This journey is both challenging and rewarding in equal measure. And when times get hard, it can be cathartic to have a safety net to lean on.
But if you’re like many women, figuring out how to tell family about surrogacy is easier said than done. It’s likely that your parents, extended family and even friends know very little about the surrogacy process. They likely have their own interpretation of how gestational surrogacy works based on what they’re read in books or seen in movies, leading to puzzled looks or unsupportive reactions when you try to explain your plans.
If you’re feeling anxious about how to tell your family about surrogacy, know that you’re not alone. This is one of the most common questions that we hear, and it’s something that many surrogates struggle with.
While you are never obligated to tell anyone of your surrogacy plans, it can be reassuring to have someone on your side. Fortunately, this guide has helpful tips and information you need to help break the ice. But if you’d like to talk to a professional directly, you can always reach out to us through our free info form.
Explaining Surrogacy to Your Parents
When it comes to sharing big and important life events, our parents are the often first people who come to mind. But with a process as intimate and emotional as surrogacy, it can sometimes be awkward to breach the subject.
“Should I tell my parents about my surrogacy decision?” will probably be one of the first questions you ask yourself.
Ultimately, this decision will always be up to you. If you anticipate a negative reaction from your parents, you might want to rethink sharing this information with them until later in the process. Pregnancy is already challenging enough, and having to figure how to tell your family about surrogacy when they’re unsupportive can make it harder than it needs to be.
This is often a big reason that many surrogates get nervous about telling their parents because they’re worried about what they’ll think. Your parents might be from an older generation or simply unfamiliar with how the modern gestational surrogacy process works.
In this situation, Angie, a surrogacy specialist, had these words of advice:
“It can be really disheartening if our parents aren’t supportive, so we so we really encourage you to surround yourself with people who are supportive of your surrogacy journey.”
On the other hand, if your parents are known for being caring and supportive, below are a few tips for how to tell family about surrogacy that may be helpful.
- Prepare your Talking Points
It’s a good idea to think about what you’re going to say before you dive in. Gestational surrogacy is still a new and often misunderstood process. To avoid any uncomfortable confrontations, get an idea of what you’re going to say ahead of time. Expect to answer questions about how surrogacy works, why you decided to become a surrogate and your motivations for helping a couple build their family and more. Having an outline ready ahead of time should make the discussion easier for both you and your parents.
- Explain why you want to become a surrogate
Your parents likely have an idea of why women, in general, choose to become surrogates. But after figuring out how to tell family about surrogacy, they’re asking the big question: Why do YOU want to become a surrogate?
As you get through your talking points, be sure to clearly explain your reasons for starting this journey. You deserve to feel like you’re being heard and respected while your parents soak everything in. Reassure them that above all else, all you want to do is help someone else become the parents they’ve always dreamed of being.
- Give your parents time to process and ask questions
Figuring out how to tell family about surrogacy is stressful enough. But this decision will be a lot for your parents to take in. Don’t be surprised if everything goes quiet for a bit while they collect their bearings. They may need some time to think over your points before they respond. Be prepared that they’re likely going to have questions for you and that you’ll need to reassure them that everything is going to be okay.
- Answer their questions, but make your position clear
Your parents can be part of a strong support system. But make sure that they know that you’re just looking for support — not their opinion. Your surrogacy decision is entirely yours to make. You’ve already thought it through, and it’s not their job to talk you out of it. At the end of the day, the only person whose approval you need for this decision is your spouse.
Explaining Surrogacy to Your Extended Family
Like your parents, you can choose whether to include your extended family in your support system. You also have the right to choose which family members to tell.
As you start thinking about how to tell family about surrogacy, it’s a good idea to have an idea of who you want to speak with first. Do you have a cousin that you’re particularly close with? An aunt that you feel safe opening up to? While you’re no doubt eager to share the news with everyone, you should only share your excitement with people who share your enthusiasm.
Explaining Surrogacy to Your Friends
Our friends are here for us in the best and worst of time. Depending on what your support system already looks like, you might feel less anxious than you did when figuring out how to tell family about surrogacy. But it’s still normal to feel a little nervous about your upcoming talk.
Your friends, like your family, will likely have a bunch of questions for you. Like your other conversations, it’s important to come prepared. But if you have a group of supportive friends, it will likely go smoother than you’re anticipating.
Always remember that you are the only one who can decide who gets to be part of your surrogacy journey. Whoever you choose to include is entirely up to you. If you ever need someone who can help you think about how to tell your family about surrogacy, you can always reach out to a friendly surrogate specialist for help.