Hatch Fertility Blog

Talking to Your Spouse and Children About Surrogacy

Hatch Fertility

Bringing new life into this world is truly one of the most miraculous and beautiful events we can experience in this world. When it comes to becoming a surrogate, it also becomes the most selfless thing that a woman can do for another family. Even so, many people often ask “why would someone become a surrogate for someone else?” 

Becoming a surrogate is a big decision. Not only does it carry the physical challenges of pregnancy, but it also bears its share of emotional and mental challenges along the way. Having the support of those closest to you is crucial to a smooth surrogacy journey. 

As you go through this process, it’s important to maintain strong, open communication with those you hold dear: your spouse, your children, and those you confide in. With your inner circle backing you on your journey, it will empower you and help you further reap the rewards at the road’s end.

In this blog, we’ll cover common questions and concerns you may face when sharing your intention to become a surrogate with those you love.

Your spouse

Breaking the news to your spouse is often viewed as the most difficult conversation to have with someone regarding surrogacy. The fear around surrogacy for a spouse often stems from a lack of understanding or knowledge about the process. 

Below are some of the more common questions or concerns that are brought up by a surrogate’s spouse.

  • Is surrogacy dangerous?: All pregnancies come with some risk, and every person’s journey is unique. With this in mind, it’s important to make sure you know what your potential risks are by performing an assessment with your doctor first. If you would like to speak with one of our experts on risk factors, click here
  • How is surrogacy different from having your own child?: Surrogacy requires more physical and mental preparation before beginning your journey. Because you are implanting an embryo, your body must be prepared for such an event. Details on the surrogacy process can be found here
  • Is the baby genetically related to the surrogate?: This is a common misconception about the relationship between a gestational surrogate and the baby they carry. There is no genetic relationship between the two.
  • What if I’m not comfortable with you carrying someone else’s child?: It’s important to remember that though this decision is yours to make, it will affect those around you. Remind your spouse of your reasoning for becoming a surrogate: helping others who can’t conceive on their own, the beauty of giving life, the financial and emotional benefits for your family, etc.

One of the best ways to address your desire to become a surrogate with your significant other is to be open and honest with them. Make sure to address their questions wholeheartedly and truthfully. 

If you don’t know the answer to a question, simply tell them and research the answer. As always, if there’s something you or your spouse are unsure of or worried about, you should always speak with a professional about the process. There’s a lot of information to absorb, and it’s important to know that you’re not alone on this journey. 

Your children

Talking with children about the “birds and the bees” and that babies aren’t actually delivered by Mr. Stork is a challenge of its own. But when you’re carrying for someone else, the conversation can become even more complicated for your young ones. 

Having the surrogacy talk with children isn’t often thought of right away, but it’s extremely important to have those conversations, especially with younger children at an impressionable age. Some of the more common questions we see that could come from your children include:

    • Is this your baby that you’re giving away to someone else?: It’s important to have your children understand that this is not your child, but that you are helping someone else have theirs. See the Cake Analogy below for a great example on how to explain this.
    • Will this be my baby brother or sister?: Although genetically speaking they will not be related, it’s up to you and the Intended Parents’ relationship on how you interact post-delivery. Some intended parents prefer to keep in contact with their surrogate, opening up the opportunity for your children to stay in touch with theirs. Make sure you are clear with your child on the matter depending on the agreement with the Intended Parents.
    • When the baby is older, will we get to visit him/her?: The same rules apply here as above. This is subject to the intended parents’ wishes and what is agreed upon initially. Always speak with the Intended Parents about whether they are comfortable with future communication or not.

Getting children to understand surrogacy can be difficult, but the use of analogies often works well. 

Consider the Cake Analogy. Making a baby is like baking a cake: your matched intended parents have the recipe and special ingredients needed to bake a cake. And you’re just baking the cake in the oven for them until it’s ready to come out. Sharing complex information in a fun, digestible way can be helpful for kids to better understand the situation.

Your close friends and family

While many of the above questions also apply to other family members and close friends, it’s important to note that there are other important people in your network beyond your spouse and children. 

From your parents to your closest friends, the importance of having your confidants in the know is not something to shy away from. It can often be a benefit to have someone that you don’t see every day but can trust to give you a fresh perspective on your progress through your journey. Whether it be your high school best friend that you see for coffee every month or your mother, when you need someone to be there for you, it’s good to have them up to speed and on your side.

Things to remember

After all is said and done, your inner circle will be your saving grace when uncertainty or worries rear their head as you venture forth on your surrogacy journey. Whether it be your partner, parent, or friend, having someone there for you is essential to make this journey smoother. And always remember that the challenges are temporary, and they only get easier with your inner circle surrounding you.

Considering becoming a surrogate? Check out these 12 surrogate disqualifications you need to know about to make sure your journey will be the positive and healthy experience you deserve.