Helpful tips and resources for explaining surrogacy to children of all ages.
Explaining Surrogacy to Your Children
Your surrogacy journey can be an incredible learning experience for your children, teaching them about being of service, selflessness, diverse family structures and how love is ultimately what makes a family. At Surrogacy Mentor, we have navigated this process of explaining our personal surrogacies to our children. Here are some of our best tips.
Explaining to younger children that your belly bump doesn’t mean a sibling is coming into your family will likely be your biggest struggle. Introducing your child to the Intended Parents and explaining to your child that you are helping them by carrying their baby, and showing your child a photo of the intended parents often helps them to visualize the family this new child belongs to and will go home to.
Don’t be surprised if you receive a large, emotional, response to your news. It could be one of excitement and pride, or one of fear, and anger. Big emotions are common at this age, and even one that seems like a negative response doesn’t have to be a cause for disappointment.
- Involve them as much as you can in the process
- Be open to all of their questions
- Read to them about surrogacy (book recommendations below)
At this point in your child’s development, they’re highly focused inward, looking at how your choices impact their lives. Bearing this in mind is a great way to help steer the conversation. This age group may also present an aloof “who cares” attitude. This can be difficult for you, since you’re likely to be very excited about this process. It is likely that your tween or teen has real emotions and feelings about your news, even if they don’t show it.
Try to give them some space to digest this news on their own, while leaving the door open for further questions or comments later on. Again, introducing your child to the Intended Parents and getting them involved in that relationship will help them experience what this process means to everyone.
The Pea That Was Me
The best way to start talking to kids about donors is when they are young, and the easiest way to begin the discussion is by reading The Pea That is Me to them. This book comes in all sorts of variations for different family building such as egg donor, sperm donor, two dads, two moms, single parents, surrogacy and more.
Why I’m So Special: A Book About Surrogacy with Two Daddies
This book tackles surrogacy in a sweet, whimsical way. It is a lighthearted picture book with two daddies.
Hope & Will Have a Baby: The Gift of Surrogacy
This story on the gift of surrogacy is part of a book collection that brings to light the many reproductive options of family building.
Grown in Another Garden
This book introduces young children, ages 2 years old to 8 years old, to surrogacy. Follow the story of Mikey and his family as he learns about the unique way he was born into a loving family – through the kindness of a surrogate.
The Very Kind Koala
The Very Kind Koala is a charming picture book for young children which provides an introduction to surrogacy through the simple story of a koala bear and her husband who needed the help of a very kind koala to carry their baby in her pouch.
Sophia's Broken Crayons
Recommended for children ages 2 to 6, this book tells a story of surrogacy from a young child’s perspective in a practical way that children can understand and grasp. A little girl by the name of Sophia is heartbroken after she discovers all of her crayons are broken. Sophia’s friends share their crayons with her as she experiences seeing her parents choose to give the gift of surrogacy to their friends.
The Kangaroo Pouch
The Kangaroo Pouch is designed to act not only as a conversation starter but also as a “how-to” manual for children to refer to throughout the surrogacy journey. Our Founder, Carey, included this book in every Surrogate Transfer Kit that was mailed to her agency's surrogates before their embryo transfer, and it was always a hit. She even used it to explain her personal surrogacy journey to her then 3 year old daughter.