It’s one thing when you are carrying your own pregnancy, but when you are acting as a surrogate for someone else, people often have a whole bunch of questions! These may come from loved ones, acquaintances, or even the cashier at the grocery store, once she finds out that you are a surrogate.
Here are some of the most common surrogate mother questions that people ask pregnant women when they find out the baby they are carrying is not their own.
It’s very common for people to ask how a woman’s children feel about their mother’s surrogate pregnancy. Surrogacy is an experience and learning opportunity for the whole family. No matter the age, kids learn that they, too, can be involved in helping an individual or couple who cannot have a baby without the help of their mother.
It’s also important to realize that kids take their cues from you! If you present the idea as something that isn’t out of the ordinary, the kids will simply accept what is happening.
Former surrogates have shared that their older children tend to become more helpful by doing extra chores around the house, helping out with their siblings and sharing in the overall excitement leading up to delivery day.
Younger children may have trouble comprehending that the baby growing in mommy’s tummy is not going to become their little brother or sister. Some surrogates have said that they often had to reinforce this notion with their little ones. There have even been a few books written for children to help explain the concept of surrogacy, such as “The Kangaroo Pouch,” written by Sarah A. Phillips.
Unfortunately, this question for surrogate mothers is probably the most common one asked and the most hated. The answer is very simple though; the baby she is carrying is not hers in any way. It’s important to recognize that it may be hard for others who are not in that situation to understand how a surrogate can carry a baby that isn’t hers.
The child has no genetic connection to the woman who is so graciously carrying and nurturing it. Women who choose to become surrogates are keenly aware that the child is not their own and do so knowing that her pregnancy will produce a child for an otherwise childless person or couple.
That said, it is important for all potential surrogacy candidates to undergo a psychological evaluation, in addition to their medical screening, to further ensure that they are emotionally and mentally healthy and prepared for this endeavor. Usually, the woman’s partner must also participate in this evaluation to be certain that everyone is on the same page. The women who pass these rigorous screenings know right from the start that the baby they are carrying belongs to the intended parents. The gestational carrier is not the parent. There was never a baby to give away in the first place.
The legal agreement is a very important part of the surrogacy process. These surrogacy contracts are drawn up long before the surrogate is ever pregnant. These agreements specify the detailed plan for the pregnancy, delivery and in some cases, any possible relationship after the delivery.
Some future parents want their surrogate to eat only organic foods, not do heavy-duty house cleaning, or may add travel restrictions. In return, the intending parents will arrange extra money to cover the costs of specialty foods or weekly house cleaning services. All of these details would be discussed and agreed upon in the legal contract before getting started with the surrogacy process.
These surrogacy agreements ensure that both the parents and a gestational surrogate know what is expected of them so that once the contract is completed and there are no surprises.
Surrogates need to understand that their intending parents have waited years for this baby and have an emotional and financial investment in her successful pregnancy and delivery. Likewise, future parents have to understand that the surrogate is helping them; she is not an employee and should not be expected to make crazy or unrealistic sacrifices to make them happy. This is also at least her second pregnancy and so it may be less nerve-wracking than her first. It must be a mutually beneficial relationship for everyone involved.
Keep in mind that a good agency will do its best to help parents who have very specific lifestyles, such as matching vegans to surrogates who are themselves vegan.
Would you be a surrogate again?
This is also one of the most common questions for surrogate mothers! Most times, women make this decision after the baby is born. A lot of women decide to have a repeat journey after they see their future parents hold their newborn for the very first time. It’s a visual memory they will never forget.
However, being a repeat surrogate is still a very personal decision. For some, a single surrogacy journey is perfect. For others, they are still in good health and want to give the gift of life a second or in some cases, a third time.