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December 18, 2017

Becoming a Surrogate: How to Explain the Baby Isn’t Yours

Becoming a surrogate is a wonderful and selfless choice that changes lives, and a healthy pregnancy is certainly cause for celebration  As your belly expands to accommodate the life growing inside of you, even strangers on the street will stop to share in your joy. However, this can also cause some awkward social moments because not everybody understands the surrogacy process and even those who do may not know how to respond to the news that the baby you’re carrying is for someone else. On this page, we’ll explore some of the methods surrogates can use to navigate this question with relative ease.

Ask Yourself: Do They Really Need to Know?

Naturally, your friends and family will be around you throughout the pregnancy and after, so those are people you’ll probably need to discuss your journey with when the time is right. Strangers on the street, not so much. If trying to explain your decision to the lady who lives three floors up from you stresses you out, there’s no rule that says you have to tell her.

Start with Your Team

Every gestational surrogate has a supportive team around her who support her decision. Maybe your team is your spouse, family members, friends, a support group, or a mixture of these people. In any case, starting with those who are closest to you will give you the opportunity to explain your decision in a warm environment. Moreover, these same people can help field questions on your behalf, limiting the number of discussions you’ll feel obligated to engage in.

Familiarize Yourself with the Common Awkward Questions

If you’re becoming a surrogate, you’ve already had a baby of your own, and you know that everybody and her mother will be wanting to offer well-intentioned advice on how to take care of yourself during the pregnancy, as well as what to do after the baby’s born, and they’ll probably ask intrusive or personal questions. That doesn’t change when people learn you’re carrying a baby for someone else. In fact, those same people will likely carry on a whole new line of awkward questioning. Again, you’re not under any obligation to answer any of these questions, but if you feel like you want to, it can be helpful to consider your answers in advance. You may hear:

How was the baby conceived?

People who ask this often don’t understand how becoming a surrogate works. Simply saying “IVF” may be enough to satiate their curiosity, or they may be wondering if you have a genetic link to the baby. In which case, you can choose to explain who the genetic parents are.

How can you give the baby up?

Because you’re the one who chose to become a surrogate, only you know the path which led you to make such a selfless choice. However, the simplest answer is, “This is not my baby.” Some women may diffuse this one with humor, hinting that they’re just the “babysitter” or they’re “holding the baby for a friend.” Others explain that they’ve already had a child, and they understand what a blessing babies are, and that they want the intended parents to experience the same joy. There isn’t a wrong answer here.

Can you get the baby back?

Again, people who don’t understand the surrogacy process or who have never struggled with infertility sometimes fail to realize that there are intended parents who absolutely cannot wait to hold the baby you’re carrying. Explaining this in your own words will likely help them understand why you’ve made such a selfless decision. Equally, you may also point out that California’s parentage laws allow the intended parents to establish their rights before the baby is even born, and that, not only are you not related to the baby, but you also have no lawful claim to him or her.

What do your husband and children think?

If you don’t know the person well, a curt, “My loved ones support my decision” or “My family is excited we’re helping the intended parents” works well. If the person knows your family, they could be genuinely wondering what they should say to them about it, if anything. Because every surrogate addresses this different with her own children, it may be helpful to give people guidance on what to say to your children.

How much are you getting paid?

We can blame the media for this one. It seems like every time a celebrity surrogacy story breaks, people want to know the most intimate details about the surrogate’s life, her relationship with the celebrity, and how much she was compensated. As a surrogate, you know you’re not doing it for the money. Surrogates carry babies out of compassion for the intended parents. Explaining that is more than good enough.

Interested in Becoming a Surrogate with SPS?

If you’re considering becoming a surrogate and you haven’t signed up with an agency, let SPS guide you through the journey. Our dedicated team of experts will help match you up with intended parents who need your help and share many of the same values you do. Moreover, we make sure everything is seen to, from medical visits, to legal contracts, and compensation. To get started, take a moment to review our guidelines to see if you’re a candidate, then use our quick online form on the same page to get in touch with us.