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How to Tell Your Children About Surrogacy

Aug 3, 2008
If you are planning to become a surrogate mother, you may be wondering how exactly you are going to tell your children about your decision. Its not as though you will be able to hide such a thing from them; you will be pregnant after all.

Though this may seem like an overwhelming and intimidating task, it is actually much easier than you would think. Children are smarter and more accepting than we give them credit for.

Telling Toddlers
For those of us with small children, under the age of 5 or so, the best explanation is the simplest one. When discussing gestational or traditional surrogacy with this young of a child, keep to the basics.

You can explain to your child that the place where mommies carry babies is a womb, and the womb of the intended mother is broken. Let your child know that your womb is not broken, so you are helping the intended mother by carrying her baby for her.

Make sure your child is aware that the baby you are carrying is not yours, is not your child's sibling, and will not be coming home with you. This explanation, while simplistic, is actually very effective.

This conversation may have to be repeated a few times throughout the surrogacy journey. Most children are completely comfortable with the fact that the baby will not be part of the family.

Telling Elementary Aged Children
Elementary aged children are quite smart. Whereas you can start your discussion with them in the same simplistic manner you would with younger children, it might be helpful to give a little more details.

Elementary aged children should be able to understand the concepts of reproduction, at least in a limited manner. If you are a gestational surrogate mother, you can explain that the eggs of the mother and the sperm of the father are mixed in a laboratory and then the baby that is created is placed into your womb.

This might seem like too much information for a 7 or 8 year old, but actually, going into this detail will reassure the child that the baby is really not their sibling, and will make the entire journey easier for your child. Kids are a lot more capable of understanding than we give them credit for.

Another way to explain it is the old "baking cookies" method. Explain to your child that the baby is like a cookie and you are like the oven.

The cookie was not made by mommy and daddy, but by the intended parents. You are just baking it.

Telling Teens
If you are about to become a surrogate mother and you have teenagers at home, it is best to be completely open about your conversations about surrogacy with them. They should be more than capable enough to understand the science behind the process.

Treat your teens with the same respect that you would treat other, adult, members of your family. Explain in detail what is going to happen, and ask them if they have any questions.

Teens are very accepting, more so than adults. You may find that your teen sees the surrogacy as a burden, but will most likely find that they, and their friends, see it as something very interesting.

All in all, the issue of telling your children about your decision to become a surrogate mother is not that big of a deal. The important part about it is to be honest, and answer questions appropriate to their age.
About the Author
Rayven Perkins is an author and two-time surrogate mother. To find out more information on surrogacy or how to become a traditional or gestational surrogate mother, please see her site
Information on Surrogacy
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