One of the things surrogates are asked quite frequently is “How do you explain surrogacy to your kids? Isn’t that going to be hard on them?” People asking this are concerned that the surrogate’s children would be confused that they didn’t take the baby home. Surrogacy agencies, such as Shared Conception, can guide a surrogate with a way to explain to young children about surrogacy.
One surrogate explained that she would be taking care of her Intended Mother and Father’s baby in her tummy. She said they were giving her their baby to watch and help grow, and when he/she was all grown and healthy, she would be giving him/her back to them. She simply explained it as long term babysitting. She wanted to be sure that her children knew that from the beginning this child was not theirs. She was simply trusted to care for it, and then would give it back to it’s mommy the way their babysitter gave back her own son and daughter. She also made sure to tell her kiddos that she would never give them away. Just reassuring them of this fact every once in a while is smart to do.
Another surrogate called her Surro-baby “Intended mother and Father’s baby” to her children all the time, continuing to reinforce to them that this baby was different.
One of our surrogates explained it to her kids by saying that “_____’s belly was broken so Mommy is helping by using my belly to grow the baby for them!” They understood it because it made sense to them and was on their level.
There are also several books that are written specifically for children of surrogates. One our surrogacy agency recommends is “The Kangaroo Pouch: A story about surrogacy for young children” by Sarah Phillips Pellet (Author), Laurie A. Faust (Illustrator). Very age appropriate and well thought out!
Preparing Children for After the Birth
It is also important to explain how everything will work after the baby is born. Children thrive in environments where they feel safe, familiar. This is why establishing routines with children are often recommended by pediatricians and practices in early childhood education. To lessen the shock of a new experience, and for most children a pregnant mother and giving birth is a new experience, it’s important to talk about the birth and to talk about it frequently.
A good example is “Mommy is going to go to the hospital so IM & IF’s baby can come out and be with her parents, then mommy gets to come home and be with you guys again! We can snuggle and continue to be just us.”
Keep the explanation short, and use words they can relate to. When one surrogate gave birth to her surrogate baby, her IP’s had all of them come visit in their room so that the surrogate’s children could see that the baby was safe with her parents. This is extremely important if that relationship exists with the IPs. It simply brought it to a beautiful conclusion for them. Children need reassurance that they are loved, and what to expect in situations that are big like this.
Surrogacy is life changing, and a journey that the whole family participates in. Making it a relatable subject to little kids makes the adjustments and changes easier to accept. Call us here at Shared Conception and let’s talk.