Dear Scholastic Surrogate: Navigating Judgement

Dear Scholastic Surrogate: I’m considering becoming a surrogate because I really want to help another family achieve their dreams of having a baby. How do I respond to family and friends who negatively judge me for my choice of wanting to carry someone else’s baby? —Worried

Hey, Worried—

Well there’s a saying that I love…”Opinions are like noses, everyone has one but it usually has a couple of holes in it.” One of my biggest pet peeves is when people make judgments about other people or the decisions they make. And while my initial response is to tell you to ignore them and just do what is in your heart, I know that is much easier said than done, especially when the people who might be giving you the negativity are family and friends. 

Since it’s not so easy to just ignore them, I think the best thing is to reframe it. Instead of looking at it like they think negatively of you or they’re judging you, realize that people fear what they don’t know or understand. Look at it as a responsibility to educate them and help them to understand surrogacy better. They may have misconceptions about what surrogacy is or how it works. Help them understand. Perhaps some knowledge from you will help them to be more empathetic and not so quick to judge other people in their decision about surrogacy or anything else for that matter. Or…if you simply do not have the patience for it, just politely tell them you respect their opinions and choices and you hope they’ll respect yours. 

Dear Scholastic Surrogate: My husband and I have been trying to conceive for over five years. We have been told that our last remaining chance of having a child who is biologically related to us is to use a surrogate. Some people assume (incorrectly) that we are using a surrogate because I “don’t want to get fat.” I realize the people who are saying this don’t know our infertility background, but it still bothers me. I don’t know if I should explain it to them or let it go. —Over It

Hi, Over It—

This is a tough one, and to be honest, it is really up to you. You have to decide if you want to explain your story to people or not. I personally wouldn’t waste the time and effort. If that’s what they want to believe, then so be it. But, if it bothers you that people think that and you feel comfortable sharing, let them know the real reason why you’re using one. Or, instead of going into the whole story, perhaps have a quick, standard line you use with everyone like, “I would love nothing more than to carry my own child, but unfortunately that is not a possibility.” It’s up to you as to what you share and how much detail you go into. You could also simply ignore them all together. Best of luck in your surrogacy journey!

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