Dear Sassy Surrogate

Dear Sassy: I recently signed my contract with my intended parents (yay!) and we have started scheduling the appointments with the clinic. I’m going to be in and out of work A LOT leading up to the transfer, and beyond. When is a good time to tell my boss that I’m a surrogate? I’m worried they aren’t going to understand, or that they’ll treat me differently because I’ll be pregnant (with someone else’s child!). – Working and Worried

Dear Working: That’s so exciting that you’ve signed your contract! You’ve asked a great question here: when do I tell work that I’m a surrogate? The answer really depends on what your work culture is like. If you feel comfortable being open with your boss, and you feel supported in general at the workplace, you could probably discuss your upcoming surrogacy journey at any point. But it sounds like your workplace might be less open to pregnancy in general. Remember that you don’t actually ever have to officially tell your work about your pregnancy, or your surrogacy journey. You should be able to put in for time off for your appointments without ever having to say why. Of course, once your baby bump is visible, it may become open office knowledge anyway. I would suggest talking to your HR department first, if you have one. They may be able to guide you in the rest of the office politics. Hopefully your surrogacy becomes a learning experience for the whole workplace, and continues to be a journey of joy.

Dear Sassy: I’ve been reading through my gestational carrier agreement and I noticed that my IPs are going to pay $225/month for housekeeping. I’ve been able to clean my own house while pregnant with my own little ones, and I’d just rather they keep the money. My partner says to just take the money and enjoy the break, but I’d feel bad taking money for something that I’m perfectly able to do. – Comfortable Cleaning

Dear Comfortable: It’s a common struggle for surrogates to feel bad about some (or all) of the money that the IPs have to spend in order to have the baby they’ve been pining over. Here’s how I look at it: the IPs are aware of the expenses of having a surrogate up front. And while it’s not fair that some people have to pay so much to have a baby, the IPs have had to face that cost, and additionally, they want to do whatever they can to help their surrogate be happy and have a healthy pregnancy. That may mean that they want to provide some money so that you can have your house deep cleaned once a month while pregnant with their child to save you a little stress and a little exertion. I’m sure that if you absolutely did not want to accept the housecleaning money that they would have their attorney take it out, but that it is in there in the first place indicates that they are comfortable, and maybe even eager, to help you out in any way they can.

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