Bad Reactions to Announcing Your Surrogacy

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Though heartbreaking, occasionally some friends and family will not be able to accept your decision to become a surrogate. While Growing Generations does require that your husband or partner support your decision fully, we accept that not everyone may feel as passionately about your choices.

Most commonly we encounter surrogates who are struggling to get their families to accept the decision to carry a child for a homosexual couple, as opposed to a heterosexual couple. These individuals are often struggling with acceptance of a different family structure, and may also have a religious background that makes homosexuality foreign, shameful, or sinful in their eyes.

Perhaps your best line of defense is to consider the types of families you’re willing to help create early in your process, and share all of the potential options with your family. This will give them time to digest the possibilities as well as to ask questions and express concerns. Knowing in advance that they will be unable to accept a family with gay or lesbian parents may make you amend the types of couples you’re willing to carry for. If you find that your resolution to help all kinds of families remains intact, despite any potential hardships it may cause for members of your extended family, it is important to be able to express yourself in a confident way.

In these situations you may need to express that, while your family has a right to disagree with your choices, these choices are intimately personal to you, and that you’re proud of your choices. You may never convince them that what you’ve given is a beautiful gift, just as they may never convince you that your choices are unacceptable. Understanding that, agreeing to disagree is a solution you may need to learn to live with.

Ultimately we find that most family members are accepting and encouraging of the decisions our surrogates make. Even those who struggle with choices early in the process often come around to accept those same choices by the end of a journey. Do know that if you find yourself in a difficult situation you do not need to defend your choices to anyone, they’re yours and yours alone. You may find it best to simply change the subject and move on.

If you find that you’re ever in a place where you feel discouraged or need to talk with someone about any potential conflict, know that the Growing Generations team is here to help you. Dr. Kim Bergman is experienced in this area and is here available help you in any condition that leaves you feeling uncomfortable. Do not be afraid to reach out and use the resources that are available to you.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: An Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Red Wheel Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.