Managing Multiples

surrogate on beach

While it’s not always the goal, many Intended Parents desire to achieve a twin pregnancy and specifically shoot for one. Just as with non-surrogate multiples, surrogate multiples inspire a lot of conversation. From awe and fear for your health to curiosity and advice, you’re likely to hear a lot of unsolicited opinions over the next nine months.

Being the surrogate carrier of multiples means invasive questions that go beyond the standard comments about your size and health.  We often hear our multiples carriers are asked questions along the lines of, “Do you get to keep one?” or “Are you paid double?” when people find out they’re carrying multiples.

Of course the obvious answer is no, you do not get to keep one baby nor do you receive double compensation for carrying more than one fetus. But finding the best way to craft your reply can be better than simply providing the answer.

As always, perhaps the best first reaction is to remember that you’re likely the first surrogate this person has ever met, and to be carrying multiples as well surely makes you a rare breed! Try to approach their questions with kindness and information.

You might tell them that each of the fetuses you’re carrying were created of genetic material not belonging to you. This helps them realize that neither fetus is yours biologically. Reminding them that you have no relation or right to any child born of your surrogacy, no matter if you carry one, two, or even three provides a firm answer to their question while leaving little room for argument.

As for compensation benefits and questions, how much you share is often up to your level of personal comfort and sometimes dictated by your contract. To avoid getting into financial specifics you can simply state that no, you do not receive double compensation and then change the subject.

Tricky things that are said to surrogates are part of any surrogacy. Remember that you can always talk with your case specialist or psychologist Dr. Kim Bergman about particularly uncomfortable questions you may receive.

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.