How To Handle Tricky Things Strangers Say to Surrogates

While surrogate pregnancies are occurring more often in the public eye, they’re still rarely experienced by the masses. It is very likely that you will be the first, and potentially the only, surrogate that people in your life will ever encounter. This makes you both incredibly intriguing and probably somewhat controversial at the same time. Over the next nine months you’re likely to experience people asking you questions that catch you off guard and struggling for a proper response.

Our surrogates tell us that some of the hardest situations to respond to are those of excessive praise. Most people will find what you’re doing awe inspiring and will want to compliment you. Receiving compliments gracefully is something many surrogates struggle with as most surrogates are not doing this for praise.

A tasteful way to accept praise without allowing it to go on and on is to divert attention away from yourself. That said, it’s always important to start by thanking the other party for their praise. Then try redirecting the conversation to the parents to be with phrases like, “The real heroes here are the parents-to-be,” or “This couple is going to make such amazing parents.” Another way to accept their compliments could be along the lines of, “Thank you. I just enjoy being pregnant, and I’m so happy to help such great people.”

These types of replies direct attention away from you and help move the subject forward. You’ve accepted their compliment with a simple, “thank you” and given a subtle clue that you’re not comfortable talking about yourself any longer. If you’re not comfortable redirecting the conversation towards your intended parents try interjecting another leading phrase in a direction where you are comfortable.

Most people are honestly curious about the process and situation and don’t stop to think about how their praise or questions could be received by the pregnant lady on the receiving end. It’s important to remember that you are an ambassador for this growing community. How you represent yourself and the ways in which you choose to reply to invasive questions, overwhelming praise and unsolicited opinions reflects on the community as a whole.

However you choose to reply to the praise you will surely receive, do remember that you are doing a great thing and you are an amazing woman.

Kelly Enders-Tharp

Kelly Enders-Tharp was a three time gestational surrogate with Growing Generations. Afterwards, she joined GG as their Marketing and Admissions Specialist.