Involving Your Parents in Your Surrogacy Journey
When you’re a surrogate, it’s important to have people on your support team. But, do you want to include your parents in this journey?
It’s no secret: Relationships with parents can be complicated. When you throw in a factor like being a gestational carrier, things can get even more awkward.
Prospective surrogates are often nervous about announcing their surrogacy decision to their parents. But, before you start panicking over your big conversation, ask yourself this: What role do I want my parents to play in my surrogacy process?
Surrogacy is a life-changing journey to take, and it’s a good idea to include as many people as possible in your surrogacy support system. Many gestational carriers find it natural to include their extended family in this support system, but others may choose not to involve their parents in this process at all. It’s a decision that only you can make.
In this article, we present a guide to having this conversation with your parents in the most positive way possible.
Should You Tell Your Parents About Your Surrogacy Decision?
How involved will your parents be in your surrogacy? How will they react to your news? Do they necessarily need to be involved in this process?
These are all important questions to ask yourself before having a conversation with your parents about your decision. For example, if you anticipate a negative reaction from your parents, it may be better to not tell them in the first place — especially if you don’t anticipate them being directly involved in the process. On the other hand, if you want your parents to be involved and you anticipate a positive reaction, you may wish to tell them — but think about when the right time is to do so. Many surrogates decide to share this news only after they have matched with intended parents and signed their surrogacy contract.
Ultimately, the decision will always be up to you.
How to Tell Your Parents About Your Surrogacy Decision
If and when you decide to tell your parents about your surrogacy decision, follow these steps to ensure the best reaction possible:
Step 1: Prepare your talking points and anticipate your parents’ response.
Before you simply announce your surrogacy news, remember that gestational surrogacy is still an often-misunderstood process. To avoid any heated or misinformed responses, make a list of points you want to address with your parents: how surrogacy actually works, why you decided on this path, and more. Having all of this information ready to go will provide a roadmap for this discussion, even if it doesn’t go as planned.
Step 2: Clearly explain your talking points.
When sitting down to talk to your parents, tell them you have something to say — and that you don’t want to be interrupted until the end. Clearly go through all of your talking points, especially your reasons for being a surrogate. Don’t let your parents jump to conclusions about what led you to surrogacy; explain your decision-making process in depth, and reassure them that you’re not doing it for the money. Instead, you’re doing it to help someone else become the parent they’ve always dreamed of being.
Step 3: Give your parents time to ask questions.
When you’re done explaining yourself, take a deep breath and wait. Your parents will likely need some time to think before they respond. When they do, they will probably have questions. This is where your prepared list comes in handy. Give them the information they need to reassure them that you are doing the best thing for yourself and your family. It may take time for them to be as supportive as you want them to be.
Step 4: Make your position clear.
Whatever your parents’ response, make sure that you are crystal clear: This is your decision, you have thought it through, and you know it’s the best path for you and your family. Remind them that you are an adult, and the only person who absolutely has to be on board with your decision is your spouse. But, don’t forget to mention that you would love to have their support, if they can give it!
If Your Parents are Supportive
In an ideal world, all parents would be highly supportive of their daughter’s decision to become a gestational carrier. If your parents express excitement about your surrogacy journey, don’t take their support for granted — give them a chance to help out along the way!
Your parents can be a great addition to your surrogacy support team, especially if they live close to you. They can assist by babysitting your children while you attend appointments or making dinner on days you feel exhausted from your pregnancy. They can also be a great emotional source of emotional support when the challenges of pregnancy and your everyday life can seem like a lot.
As you prepare for your initial conversation with your parents, think about how you might want them to help you in your surrogacy journey. If they respond well and ask what they can do, have suggestions ready for them.
If Your Parents are Not Supportive
Unfortunately, there are many people in the world who are uncomfortable with the idea of surrogacy. Even if they understand the realities of compensated, gestational surrogacy, they may not support a gestational carrier’s decision.
If your parents are unsupportive of your surrogacy decision, it can hurt. After all, they are your parents; no matter how old we are, we want to make our parents happy and proud. It can be disheartening to be so excited about your surrogacy journey only to be met with disapproval from some of the most important people in your life. However, remember: Your surrogacy decision is your own, and no one else’s.
Continue with the path you have set for yourself, and don’t involve your parents if their response will harm you more than benefit. As you get further in the process and develop a deeper relationship with your intended parents, you may find that your parents’ feelings begin to change. If they don’t, remember that surrogacy is a temporary process. At some point, your everyday life will be back to normal — but you will have the knowledge that you have changed a parent’s life forever.
For more guidance on creating your surrogacy support system and talking to your family about your surrogacy decision, speak with a surrogacy professional today.