Social Media & the Surrogate

socialmediapicToday’s ever present availability of information on the go keeps most of us on our toes and plugged in at all times. It will be no different for you as you move through your surrogacy journey. While social media sites like Facebook can bring family and friends ever closer together, there are considerations you should make as it relates to your surrogacy before going “Facebook Official.”

One thing we all know is that once it’s on the Internet, it never really goes away. Cached webpages, Facebook sharing of posts, screen grabs, and print offs are all things than can make a comment made in haste and later deleted impossible to ever really go away.

It is important to consider the things that you’ll be saying about the pregnancy or any of the parties involved before posting them. If you’re a surrogate you’ll need to consider if the intended parents would be comfortable with your sharing their names, photos of you together, ultrasound pictures or other information about the pregnancy.

If you’re an intended parent you’ll need to consider if the surrogate is comfortable with your sharing photos of her growing belly, her symptoms, photos of you together, her name, or other personal information that she will surely share with you.

Not only do you need to give careful consideration to any privacy requests (particularly any privacy clauses that may be outlined in your legal contract) you should also consider how the surrogate/intended parent would feel reading your posts. Even if you’re not Facebook friends, it is entirely possible for posts to circulate and find unsuspecting eyes.

Consider how hurtful it could be for an intended parent to read about how horribly sick their surrogate is and just how much she can’t wait to “have this baby already.”  While these are complaints common to any pregnancy, they can be particularly difficult to hear third party. Surrogacy is incredibly intimate and personal. If you wouldn’t say something to the other party in person, perhaps it is best left unsaid in a public forum.

Perhaps the best bit of advice to bear in mind is, “When in doubt, ask first.” If you plan to blog or Facebook post about your journey, plan to make that a point of discussion during your matching process. Later in your journey these questions can always be directed to your case specialist.

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: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari 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.