What is the best way to tell your own children about surrogacy?

I’m in the early stages of IVF to be a gestational carrier and I was just wondering if you had any suggestions on how I can try and explain what I’m doing to my own children, ages 5 and 2.

I realize that my 2 year old really won’t have that much of a concept that I’m even really pregnant until the very end. My 5 year old however, will be very confused about the whole thing.

I’ve read some suggestions online, but was curious to see your opinion.  Thanks so much for your help!

Reply by Rayven:
Congrats on your journey!

I think we don’t give our children enough credit. My kids were 4 & 6 when we started our first journey, and they did fine with it.

Now, I should mention that we are a very non-traditional family; I homeschool my children, we’ve always told them Santa is pretend, and we pretty much answer every question they have (now ages 7 & 9) with the blunt truth.

I simply explained to them that my friend’s tummy was broken, and she couldn’t carry her babies. I told them that the doctor was going to put one of my friend’s babies in my tummy and that when the baby was born, he would go home with his mommy and daddy.

That was about it. My daughter (aged 4) wasn’t too much more interested, but my son had lots of questions that ended with a trip to the Bodies Exhibit where he was able to see a petri dish with embryos in it.

During the pregnancy, after it was real, they became more aware and more interested. When strangers would congratulate them on their new siblings, they would immediately, nonchalantly tell them that the twins didn’t belong to our family, but to my friends.

When the babies were born, I asked them if they were sad that they weren’t going home with us, and they very firmly told me “No!”. (I think the crying got to them, lol)

So my suggestion is to tell them what is going to happen, honestly, in terms they can comprehend. A 2 yr old doesn’t understand what a womb is, but she probably understands that babies grow in a tummy. The whole “broken” terminology is something they can comprehend, and it won’t confuse them later.

Best wishes!

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Posted in Ask a Surrogate.