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How to Explain Surrogacy to a Child

We are frequently asked by surrogates and intended parents how to explain surrogacy to a child. There is no cookie-cutter approach to this discussion. You need to think about what is developmentally appropriate for your children’s age and your own family values. We decided to sit down with surrogate Prizzilla to see how she explained surrogacy to her two children.

Prizzilla’s children are both under the age of five, so she felt that a simple explanation was best. “I told them I was going to ‘cook’ a baby in my tummy for the baby’s parents, and I would give the baby to its parents when it was time. I told them my tummy was like an oven where the baby would ‘cook’ until it’s parents were ready to take it home.” Surprisingly for Prizzilla, both of her kids took it well and understood that they wouldn’t be getting another sibling. Prizzilla’s son now tells people “there’s a baby in mommy’s tummy… but it’s not ours!” 

How to Explain Surrogacy to a Child
Prizzilla with her husband and two young children.

We asked Prizzilla if she has any advice for future surrogates. She recommends to first ask your children what they already know about pregnancy and start from there. If you have older children, be open and honestly answer questions they may have. For younger children, Prizzilla recommends starting simply and talking about it a little every day in order to normalize the concept. “I talk to my kids about giving the baby to his daddies every day, and they’ve even met the intended parents.  So they know who we’re growing this baby for and who gets to take him home.” 

A surrogate with her children
Prizzilla with her children at the 2019 Honolulu Pride Parade.

Remember, every family is different and what might work for one family may not work for yours. If you would like to learn more about this topic, check out our YouTube channel.  Also head over to our Instagram to enter our holiday giveaway to win a copy of Sarah A. Phillips’ book, “The Kangaroo Pouch” – a wonderful storybook that helps to explain surrogacy to a child.

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