Surrogacy & Social Media Etiquette

Today’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, Twitter, and Instagram can bring family and friends closer together, there are considerations you should make as it relates to your surrogacy before going “Facebook Official.”

As an intended parent, you’ll need to consider social media and your surrogacy on two levels. First you will want to give dedicated thought to what you’re comfortable sharing with your network, and then you’ll also want to consider what you’re comfortable with your surrogate sharing with her networks.

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

Before sharing belly photos sent to you by your surrogate, or other photos of your surrogate, you may want to be clear on her comfort level with her images, symptoms, silly stories, or other personal information being shared. While most surrogates are more than happy to have these images and notes shared, it is important to be clear on her boundaries.

Additionally, your surrogate may want to share photos of her with you, or belly photos within her own network. It’s important to consider what of your personal information you’re comfortable with sharing. Perhaps you’re OK with images being shared with friends and family, but not with her entire social network. All levels of comfort are acceptable, they just need to be honestly and clearly expressed.

Not only do you need to give careful consideration to any privacy requests you should also consider how the surrogate would feel reading your posts. Even if you’re not Facebook friends, it is entirely possible for posts to circulate and find unsuspecting eyes. Surrogacy is incredibly intimate and personal. If you wouldn’t say something to the other party in person, 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 22 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for the last 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 of Reproductive Medicine, the American Fertility Association, 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 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 created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 28 years and their two teenage daughters.