Dear Sassy: I’m just starting my journey as a surrogate (starting medications next week!). I’d love to share with my circle of friends about my surrogacy, but I feel really passionate about surrogacy and I think I’d like to blog about it. Do I need special permission from my intended fathers to do that? – Loud and Proud
Dear L&P: That’s so exciting – congratulations! Wishing you the best as you start your medications! It’s great that you want to share your journey with your friends and possibly with a larger community. One of the best ways for information to get out there about the realities of surrogacy (instead of the horror stories about surrogacy) is for women like you to share with your group of friends and beyond. But your question is spot on: it’s not just your journey, it is also your intended fathers’ journey, and as such, it’s best to ask them first. Many intended parents (IPs) are absolutely fine with their carriers sharing on social media and beyond, and may only ask that you not use their names, or the name of the baby-to-be. Some IPs are fine with being named. But there are some IPs who would really rather not be named, and would rather you not talk about the pregnancy to anybody outside of your immediate friends and families. There are lots of reasons for this: maybe the IPs have experienced a lot of loss and feel nervous about sharing details too early, or maybe the IPs are just private people and want to share in their on way about their journey. Whatever the case, it’s better to talk about it first together. And don’t forget to let them know your intentions with sharing – it sounds like it’s not to get attention, but rather to use your personal knowledge to increase others’ understanding and awareness of surrogacy. If your IFs still aren’t comfortable with you sharing, keeping a personal surrogacy journal might help you keep important notes and feelings that you can share further at a later time. And one other quick note: check your Gestational Carrier Agreement that you signed with the IFs. There might already be a clause in there about communicating to the larger world about your journey!
Dear Sassy: I’ve been working on getting myself matched with IPs independently. However it’s become clear that the couple I’ve been talking to isn’t the couple for me. How do I tell them without hurting their feelings? – So Sorry, But No
Dear No Thanks: I really feel for you, that’s a tough position! No one wants to have to tell someone who is looking for a surrogate, and has possibly faced a lot of trouble having a baby, that you can’t be the surrogate for them. But in this case, immediate honesty is the best policy. You don’t have to go into details about why they aren’t the right match for you, but they deserve to know as soon as possible so that they can go find that perfect person (and so that you can, too!). As with most truth-telling, a little compassion will go a long way. Let them know you really feel for them, and you know the right person is out there, but that you aren’t that person (it sounds like breaking up, doesn’t it??). If they press you for specifics, you are welcome to tell them what wasn’t working for you, or you can gently let them know that it doesn’t matter, it just wasn’t right. And this sassy surrogate isn’t above blaming things that don’t work out on my spouse. Or on “bad timing.” Unethical you say? I like to think of it of neutral-ethical. I like to think of how I would like to be told that I’m not the surrogate for a family who is looking. Gentle honesty. That’s my preference, as hard as it can be. Best of luck to you, and to the couple!
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