Surrogacy and The Thanksgiving Table: How To Handle Questions At Family Gatherings

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Thanksgiving is here, which means it’s time to gather with family members that we may not see as often as we’d like. This year, gathering together may look a lot different than normal as we shift to virtual celebrations, which will likely put even more emphasis on conversation. For those of you with surrogacy on your mind, this likely means a lot of opportunities to answer your family's questions and share your story.

What's a surrogate?

You may be the first surrogate your family has ever known, which means they are probably going to have a lot of questions for you. They may be curious about everything from how the baby gets in there to what happens after it comes out. You can give your family a primer on the process. You can even invite them to learn more about surrogacy by joining us at the Surrogacy Learning Center. The more information you offer them about the process, the more easily they understand your thoughts and feelings about surrogacy. 

Why does a woman choose to become a surrogate? 

Surrogacy is a personal and, at times, quite complex decision. Since your sister-in-law's cousin doesn’t need the same thorough explanation you shared with your mother, it's okay to offer inquiring family members a condensed version. If, "I've always wanted to help another family experience the joy of parenthood," is a good representation of your feelings, or perhaps sharing the experience you’ve already had as a surrogate and the impact you’ve had on another family, then that's the perfect way to share how thankful you are for the opportunity. As an added bonus, you'll already have your answer ready for when it's your turn to share what you're most thankful for this year.

Is that a Kardashian in there?

If you are currently a surrogate, your intended parents may wish for their identity to remain secret, but that doesn't mean that you can't have a little fun letting your family think you're growing the next Kardashian/West. Unless you really are growing the next Kardashian/West, that is! 

Do surrogates get paid for this?

Money, religion, and politics are often hot topics around any dinner table, but especially so around the Thanksgiving table when you’re breaking bread with extended family who might not share your immediate family's views and values. If you'd rather side step the topic of surrogate compensation, you can shift the conversation away from money all together and talk about the emotional or spiritual reward that carrying a baby for another person can provide, or maybe even share how all the surrogates you know are in it for the sole benefit of being able to call that last slice of pumpkin pie. Nobody can deny a pregnant woman her pie!

We welcome your questions in the comments below.