Here are some tips for educating your friends and relatives about your surrogacy/egg donation journey.
Whether you are a prospective surrogate or an intended parent, choosing to pursue a surrogacy journey is a huge decision. It takes time to accept that this is the right option for you, and also it takes time to be ready to explain your decision to your family members and close friends.
Surrogacy can be an overwhelming word for some of your friends and relatives, and they may not understand it the way you do. So, when you feel you are ready to talk about it, one good approach is to educate them on the process of surrogacy
You need to educate your family and friends on surrogacy and get them comfortable with the idea.
Every friend/family network is different so, these pieces of advice might not apply but some could be helpful for intended parents to strategize how to talk about their surrogacy process:
- Do a full disclosure to everyone at the same time, so as to preempt confusion, talking behind your backs or uncomfortable questions. You can write a post in a blog about your journey (you can use free platforms like WordPress, Blogger, Weebly, etc). Leave out any unnecessary details that you don’t want to share. Link this post to your announcement (i.e. in Facebook) which would be shorter and sweeter. If you are a heterosexual couple, you can be very clear in the announcement that your wife/spouse/partner is not pregnant and you are expecting through surrogacy. Then link to the whole long story, which even can include a FAQ at the end, because a lot of people don’t really understand how surrogacy works. So, you lay out the basics.
- Also, you can make the announcement in different phases. In the beginning, you can tell people that you are really close to, the ones that you would want to be there if anything bad were to happen. Most likely, you will find that the more people you tell, the easier the journey is because you realize that you are not alone. Try to be as open as possible about your journey. It is up to you when to share your story on Facebook or with the larger group of friends, to be on the safe side you can wait until you are through the first trimester. It’s important when you make the announcement, that you make it really clear that you are using a surrogate mother and tell enough of the story so that people don’t need to ask questions. Also, you can talk about your surrogate’s motivations for becoming a surrogate mother. It makes the process so much easier. You can attach to your announcement a photo where your surrogate is included
- If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your story on Facebook, you can write a letter or email. It’s likely your family and close friends know about your journey all along, but at some point, you will need to explain to others, including potentially, some who do not agree. When you prepare your email, you can say what most birth announcements say, that you (and your husband/wife) are excited to welcome a baby, but due to medical issues, you are using a gestational carrier. You thank them for their support and welcome any questions that they might have.
Whatever path you choose, remember:
- Be as open as possible when you talk about surrogacy.
- Don’t say anything you don’t feel comfortable with.
- Don’t hide that you are pursuing a surrogacy process and you are being helped by a surrogate mother.
You will probably be incredibly nervous about negative responses, but in general, after doing this kind of announcements there is nothing but overwhelming support. Most people will be very supportive and (for sure, they have a lot of questions about the process).
Remember that no two surrogacy experiences are the same, and your surrogacy journey is only yours. It is up to you to decide when, how and with whom to share it.