I Want To Talk To My Kids About Surrogacy. How Do I Do That In A Way They Will Understand?
During the surrogacy process, whether you are an intended parent, or the surrogate, some worry that their kids are not going to understand what is happening. Some wonder if their kids will even understand what it means. Surprisingly enough, there are lots of ways to explain surrogacy so that your children can feel comfortable and be a part of the process.
1. Explain Location Differences
The surrogate and / or intended parents might not live where you live. Make sure your kids know who the other party lives. Explain how the situation is going to work. Let them know that either you are using the other family to add to your family or that you are helping the other family achieve success.
Using simple language such as “Some couples are not able to have kids. That is why they reach out to someone else. Some couples might want to add another kid into the mix, but their biological methods are not working”
Explain which situation is happening and why. Now, like every child, your kids are going to have questions (regardless of who is helping whom). It is important that you answer every question they have, or try to, to the best of your ability.
It might also be a good idea for your kids to meet the couple and / or the surrogate. That way they can put a face to a name. That way they will know who you are talking about when you do make the choice.
2. Be “Cool”
Kids mirror everything you do. Your kids are going to make less of a deal if you do. The more you keep a cool and calm demeanor every step of the way, the more your children will mirror that behavior and be comfortable with the process.
If you have negative emotions, your kids are going to hear that and those emotions are going to get embedded in them. They will start having the same attitude you do. They might even build up internal resentment that the other couple or surrogate is trying to intrude on their family.
That is the last thing you want to happen. Make sure you are 100% okay with becoming a surrogate or having someone else become one for you first. Your kids are going to think it is no big deal as long as you set the stage for that attitude first.
3. Be Prepared for Questions
As a surrogate or intended parent with children, you must be prepared for a lot of questions, especially concerning reproduction. Your kids are going to want to know why you cannot have another baby (if that is the route you are going). They will want to know why you need help, and if you are the surrogate, why you are helping, etc.
Believe it or not, kids are a lot smarter than they look. Kids keep things simple and honest. It is us (as adults) that confuse and complicate things more than they need to be).
Do you ever notice that?
Your kids are going to pick up on things fast. That is why you need to have your answers prepared before you start talking. It’s important to be prepared, specifically with older children, so that they don’t turn to the internet, or outside sources for information.
It is important to have accurate information without being overwhelmed in the process of explaining. That can be a challenge, depending on the family. That is why you need to have your answers prepared and rehearsed before you start talking. Make it sound rehearsed, but not too rehearsed. Kids can tell when you are putting on a show.
4. Explaining Diversity
You might be a surrogate for a gay couple. You will need to have many talks about that too, if you have not already with your children. Explain why some men like men or some women like women. You also need to explain that being gay is okay and no one should feel ashamed of that. If your children already understand this, you are ahead of the curve.
The older your kids get, the more questions they will have. Young kids are just starting to digest what you tell them. The older kids tend to be more evolved and be more educated. It is important to explain why gay couples seek surrogates and how everyone deserves a chance to havea family.
You cannot be afraid to talk about gay couples wanting kids or how different families work if you are going to be surrogate for a gay couple. The topics are going to vary, but you should come prepared to answer some very complicated questions.
5. Keep it Age Appropriate
Once again, your older kids might understand the science aspects a little bit more. You have to keep it age-appropriate. Keep things basic for your younger kids. Do not go into unnecessary details unless they ask, and keep it simple when they do.
Exercise patience when talking about this. Your kids might throw you a curve-ball question. Do not become irritated or cranky. We all get that way from time to time. Your kids are not going to place a negative tone on your irritation as long as you do not get that way.
Placing a negative and irritated tone when asked questions might tell your kids that you do not want to talk about it. Your kids will feel as though they bothered you about something. Try not to give off that tone when talking about surrogacy, regardless of your situation. You want to create an open and honest atmosphere.
6. Planning Closure
Talk to the family about meeting the baby when it arrives. Kids need closure on things. They want to see the human being that you have been talking about for the last nine months. Ask the couple if it is okay first, and make sure you talk this over with all parties from the very beginning so that if it’s not an option, you can make the correct plan.
One Final Note
It’s important to let your kids be involved as much as possible as long as the other couple agrees. Your kids are going to pick up on a lot more than you think. Give them the chance to show how much they understand and address questions and concerns as they come up. And remember, you’ve made it this far – your children will ultimately understand everything, and come around if they are having trouble at first.