When many first hear that a friend or couple they know is using a surrogate to have a carry their baby, you may be unsure what to say how to react. Should you console them about their fertility struggles or congratulate them for finding a way to build their family? Think about how you would like to be treated in the same situation, and do the same for your friends as you hope they would for you. Here are some simple ideas to help you and others speak to your friends or family members.
1. Be Aware of their Journey
The first thing you need to realize is that your friends or family member did not come to this decision lightly. If your friends are a same-sex couple, their options for having a child that is biologically theirs are very limited. If they are a heterosexual couple, they have probably struggled for months or evenyears with fertility issues before reaching this point. In some cases, a disease or condition may have left one of them infertile. Maybe you were not aware, but sometimes telling close friends or family members is much harder then one would think.
If you have been friends for a while, you have probably heard about their plans or struggles before the announcement. However, some couples are very private and may say nothing about their attempts to have a child. Even if you are surprised, restrain yourself and simply congratulate them. The promise of your continued love and support will make a difference while they go through this journey in hopes to become parents.
2. Understand the Emotions
Choosing surrogacy is a positive thing, but you, close friends, and even family members may still be wrestling through some difficult emotions. For a woman, coming to terms with the fact that she cannot bear children is especially hard. Men who are infertile often feel that they have failed if they cannot produce a child.1 in 8 couples have issues conceiving naturally and as a last resort to a biological child, they then turn to surrogacy.
Whatever the situation may be, you can be supportive while letting your friends know that their emotions are real and valid. Let them know, verbally or otherwise, that they don’t have to hide their emotions behind a smile when they’re with you about the possibility of becoming first time parents. It’s okay for them to have mixed feelings of loss and joy; and as their friend, you can be there to comfort them or rejoice with them, whether they are concerned by the costs or thrilled about a productive meeting with their surrogate mother who is selfless helping them build their family.
3. Welcome the Surrogate
Your friends or family member may have chosen someone they know as their surrogate, or they may have used an agency to find a surrogate. Sometimes people even consider finding their surrogate independently. Either way, the surrogate will be in the picture for at least twelve to fifteen months and probably longer if they build that lifelong friendship. If you get to meet the surrogate, treat her as a new friend. She is, after all, rather like the fairy godmother in the situation—making a very special dream come true for your friends or family member. Really, being a surrogate carrier is a life changing choice, and for your friend or family member to meet someone kind enough to help them… well there is not enough words to thank them.
4. Throw a Shower
Just because your friend isn’t actually pregnant herself doesn’t mean that you should skip the shower and joys of becoming new parents. Definitely throw the couple a baby shower so that everyone can congratulate the intended parents. First, ask your friends what kind of baby shower they would like. Do they want the surrogate to be present? If so, a couple of thoughtful gifts for the surrogate might be in order— perhaps a gift certificate for a spa after all she is likely tired being in her third trimester. Small gestures mean so much not only to the Intended Parents but to the surrogate as well for being recognized that she too is creating life for a complete stranger! Keep the focus on the Intended Parents as this baby shower is for them! Spread the love, make them feel special, and celebrate before their newborn arrives.
5. Offer to Help
Once the baby arrives, your friends will be plunged into the whirlwind of parenthood. They will be running on very little sleep, and they’ll be weary from attending to the never-ending needs of a newborn. As excited the new parents are, they still need some help! After all they are most likely first time parents! Offer to bring warm meals, coffee or tea, or just a helping hand weather that be some light cleaning, prepping bottles, or simply holding their sweet newborn so they can rest their eyes or get in a quick shower. Your friends or family members will always remember the kindness that you show to them and their long-awaited baby. Always be kind as life is a roller coaster and we are just here to enjoy the ride together.
Our mission at Surrogacy Journeys is providing exceptional services for families who acquire guidance to become parents. We thrive to make your journey to parenthood as smooth as possible with our experienced and compassionate on call team.