Dealing with Questions about Your Family- Spreading Awareness
For decades, many people assumed that only heterosexual couples would have children and that children and their parents would be biologically related. But recent medical advances have changed this. Surrogacy has opened up the opportunity of parenthood to thousands of people, including many same-sex couples. Each year, more and more Americans, as well as thousands of people from around the world, are becoming parents via the magic of surrogacy. Recent studies have suggested that more than 5,000 babies are born via surrogacy each year; and the statistics also suggest that this number will continue to tick upwards.
Yet, despite the fact that more and more children are being born via surrogacy, there is still a lack of public awareness about the process and what it means to use a surrogate. Therefore, many parents who have used surrogates will likely have people ask them questions about the process. This will be especially likely if you are two men having babies. Some of these questions will be well-intentioned and some will likely be nosey. This leaves the lingering question: How should you answer questions about your family?
Effectively Answering Questions
First of all, you should always remember that this is your family and you are entitled to your privacy and personal life. This means that if a question makes you or your loved ones uncomfortable, then you should not feel obligated to answer it. Know your comfort zone and don’t feel afraid to say no.
But, at the same time that these questions can be highly personal, you should also remember that you and your family are ambassadors for surrogacy. You are painting a positive picture of the opportunities that surrogacy opens up for thousands of people. You are the voices and faces of hope and opportunity. But this does not mean that you need to sugar coat anything. Be honest! If you experienced hiccups along your surrogacy journey do not hesitate to share these experiences.
What Are Typical Questions
There are not necessarily typical questions that you will encounter as the parent of a surrogate as everyone has their own unique interests. But, anecdotally, some questions seem to crop up more frequently than others.
How Much Does A Surrogate Cost?
For example, a person may be interested in knowing how much does a surrogate cost? Or how much do surrogate mothers make? These are obviously somewhat uncomfortable questions. Many people do not feel comfortable publicly talking about money. If you do encounter this question, you can be polite, firm, and very generic. For example, you could say that surrogate prices vary dramatically from place to place and it is always good to meet with a reputable agency to discuss costs before you start down the surrogacy road.
The Process of Becoming A Surrogate
Some people may ask you about the process of becoming a surrogate. This is actually a question that you may not have enough information to answer. Surrogacy requirements and the surrogacy screening process may vary significantly from agency to agency, although all of them have certain demographic and health-related qualification that need to be met. Again, this may be a question where you would feel more comfortable directing them back to a reliable agency for information. In other words, do not be afraid to admit what you may not know.
And Sometimes It Gets Really Personal
Other people will have far more personal questions. For example, some people may want to know the best part of the surrogacy process. This is likely a question that you have an answer for, such as the first moment that the baby was placed in your arms. Remember that you are an ambassador for surrogacy, but that you are also an educator. So, in this role, you should not hesitate to share any negatives that you may have experienced. Deciding to become a parent by surrogacy is not a always super easy as you know!
Another question that you may encounter is one that is related to two men becoming parents and if there are any negatives in being part of an “untraditional” family. Here, we would recommend to be your usual upbeat self. You can explain that surrogacy opened the door to a lifelong dream that you had had to become a parent and that you had never thought that you would have experienced the joy of parenthood. Emphasize the positives of your journey.
A final question that many parents get asked … over and over … and over again is: Are you worried about explaining your child’s history to him or her? The answer to this should be a resounding no. Explain that it is important to introduce a child to their birth story at as young of an age as possible so that the child will feel connected to and rooted in their home. You can go on to highlight that you answer your child’s questions in an age-appropriate way, always looking to build awareness … even within your own home.
The questions that were highlighted above are only some of the many questions that parents who had a baby via surrogacy report being asked. This is natural. People are inherently curious. And, they want to understand a process that is a relatively new phenomenon! But, just because people are curious, this does not mean that you have to give up your own privacy or your family’s personal information. It is always your right to say no if a question or situation makes you uncomfortable (and especially if it causes you to fear for your safety). At the same time, you should remember that you and your children are also ambassadors for surrogacy, giving people more information about the dreams that surrogacy helped you achieve.
And, also, remember if you do not know the answer to any question, do not hesitate to let them know! You can direct them to any reputable agency in your local area for additional information or you can direct them to the www.simplesurrogacy.com. Hopefully, these resources will answer any questions that remain and help build ever-increasing awareness and acceptance of surrogacy.