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Explaining Beyond the 'Birds and Bees' with Children of Surrogates

Tricia Turner, Assistant Director, The Surrogacy SOURCE, November 1, 2011

The stork, a rainbow, “the birds and the bees.” — these are just a few of the stories used to answer the age-old children's question of “where do babies come from?” As adults, we understand where babies come from and the fact that sometimes, babies don’t come that way either. Adults are able to understand the struggles intended parents go through for the chance to have their family. But, what happens when you have stray from the regular stories and explain to children the added dimension of surrogacy to make a baby?

“What will you tell your children?” This is a question often asked when intended parents meet surrogates for the first time. They fear there may be a bond between the surrogate's children and the baby.

Telling children about surrogacy may be a delicate situation. It is easy for us to reach out and want to help, but making sure the children understand is something to take into consideration. The “broken tummy” story seems to go over well with young children. “Ms. Jane’s tummy is broken. They put her baby in Mommy’s tummy to grow, and then we will give it back to Ms. Jane." They seem to understand that their mommy is helping someone have a baby, and it is not going to be their brother or sister. They are proud to make the announcement to other family members and teachers that their Mommy is having a baby, but it is not their Daddy’s. Further explanation from an adult at that time will be necessary of course.

Having the children meet the intended parents is also a good way to help them understand how their family is helping another family. The children know how happy they are with their parents and siblings and want to know they are helping someone else to have that happiness. They will run up to the intended parents showing off their Mommy’s belly to make sure they know it is their baby that is in there. They will talk to the baby as Ms. Jane’s baby and not as their sibling.

Delivery can be a time for closure for the children of a surrogate. If they are able to come to the hospital and witness the reunion of the baby and his or her family, it is a great way for them to see what everyone has worked for all this time. They will understand that every step of the journey was to make a family. They will see happy new parents leaving with their baby, and they will get to take their mommy home with them. If they are old enough to remember what their Mommy did for someone, they will continue to tell their story of how their family helped create another family.


Tricia Turner, The Surrogacy SOURCE's Assistant Director, has extensive knowledge in egg donation and the surrogacy process. Having had personal experience as a surrogate mother, Tricia wanted to pursue her continued dream of helping people experience the joys of parenthood. Tricia states, “I believe everyone should have the chance to fulfill their dreams of having a family. I am excited to guide intended parents and surrogates through the surrogacy process.” This, combined with her dedication and emotional connection to each client, ensures that each client understands and feels complete support throughout their endeavor. Ultimately, Tricia feels it is a privilege to work in the business of helping to create dreams come true.

Comments (1)

It is amazing how adaptable children are, especially when they are being brought up in an environment of love and honesty. Giving a child an honest, simple explanation for a surrogate pregnancy is by far the best way to handle any questions or concerns they might have. I do believe that your attitude and reasons for becoming a surrogate in the first place must influence your children's reaction. So your positive, forthright explanation of helping "Ms. Jane" bring her baby to term is the best explanation you could give.

D Alishouse
This has been posted on behalf of the Fertility Specialists in Indianapolis, American Health Network reproductive medicine, providing Female Reproductive Endocrinologist and supporting Egg Donation in Indianapolis. The information is not medical advice, and should not be treated as such. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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