Signing up to become a gestational surrogate is an incredible opportunity. But actually telling people you’re a surrogate isn’t always easy.
Early in the process, you’ll likely share the news with your friends and family in addition to your spouse. But the longer your pregnancy goes on, the more you’ll hear comments and questions from people everywhere you go. You might start to ask, “Do I have to tell people I’m a surrogate?” and “What will everyone say about my pregnancy?”
If you’re feeling anxious about how your colleagues and even strangers will react, know that you’re not alone.
In this guide, we’ll go over what to expect and how to handle telling people you’re a surrogate.
Remember, you are the only one who can decide how much information, if any, you’re willing to divulge. If you feel uncomfortable telling people you’re a surrogate, don’t be afraid to change the subject.
If you’re feeling anxious at all about telling people you’re a surrogate, you can always reach out to a surrogacy specialist to talk it through. But in the meantime, here’s some more info on telling people you’re a surrogate.
Who Should I Tell About My Surrogacy Journey?
Surrogacy is an exciting process, and you’re likely proud of and excited about your decision to give this life-changing gift to intended parents. At the same time, surrogacy is, in many ways, an intimate experience. While it’s only natural to get well-meaning questions from people you know, at the end of the day, you are the only one who can decide who should know what’s going on and how much you want to share with them.
More likely than not, you will decide to share varying amounts of your surrogacy journey with the people in your life. Depending on the situation, there are a few ways that you can start telling people you’re a surrogate:
Your Friends and Family
A strong support system can make a world of difference. When you decide to become a surrogate, some of the first people you’ll likely tell are your friends and family. They will likely be deeply involved from the very beginning, and they’re a good place to start building your support team.
Telling people you’re a surrogate, especially your friends and family, can provide the support you need during the initial stages of the process. They’ll also have the chance to be there with you during your appointments and support you when you just need a shoulder to lean on. And the more people in your family you feel comfortable opening up to about your surrogate pregnancy, the better.
When you’re working through your surrogate pregnancy, things can get complicated. Because the child you’re carrying is not your own, it’s normal to be worried about telling people you’re a surrogate when they’re your coworkers.
While you don’t need to tell your entire workplace about your pregnancy, you will at least need to tell your boss. That way, they can work with you to prepare for your maternity leave and if you need to be absent from work for any reason. You don’t necessarily need to tell them you’re going through a surrogate pregnancy if you don’t want to, but you might be surprised by their response. Some managers might be aware of what gestational surrogacy entails and are ready to better support you during this process.
If you have a few people in your workplace you’re especially close with, you can certainly tell them about your pregnancy. However, be aware that rumors tend to spread. The more people start to find out what’s going on, the higher the chance of you being bombarded with questions.
Talking to Strangers
Nothing attracts excitement, questions and curious gazes quite like a new baby bump — even when someone doesn’t know you personally. The people you meet at the grocery store or at the gym might come up and make conversation with you, but don’t feel like you’re obligated to share your personal business. There is usually no reason for you to go in detail explaining your surrogacy decision or even that you’re a surrogate at all, if you don’t want to.
Responding to Questions about Your Surrogate Pregnancy
No matter who you tell, you’re going to get some questions about your pregnancy. In most cases, you can focus on how excited you are for the baby and how far along you are without having to tell the whole story. But sometimes, telling people you’re a surrogate means you’ll be faced with misguided comments or nosy questions.
Most of the time, the people you encounter are just well-meaning folks who are genuinely curious about the pregnancy and excited for you. But sometimes their questions can come across as insensitive or even offensive. And when that happens, you might feel frozen and unsure of how to respond.
Below are some common questions you might hear when you start telling people you’re a surrogate and suggestions for how to answer them:
- How much are you getting paid? Some people think it’s okay to ask a surrogate how much they’re being paid, but we strongly disagree. You do not need to tell them the exact amount that you’re being compensated. Instead, tell them that, regardless of the amount of money, one of the greatest joys is helping the intended parents become a family.
- What do your children think? There are some people who think that you becoming a surrogate will be weird topic to explain to your child. Let them know that you’ve already explained how the process works in an age-appropriate way before you’ve even started the process.
- Can you get the baby back? Let them know that you’re not genetically related to the baby and that the child is in no way “yours.” You can let them know the legal side of gestational surrogacy works and how you can’t wait for the intended parents to meet their baby.
Telling people you’re a surrogate can be stressful. For more guidance on how to talk about your surrogacy with other people, you can always reach out to a professional.