Where Is My Mom? A Conversation for Dads | Joy of Life Surrogacy

Once upon a time, becoming a father meant that a man needed to find a woman with whom he could start a family with. But today, many single men or gay couples are turning to surrogate services to fulfill their dreams of parenting a child who shares their DNA. One of the biggest joys in life is being able to raise your children and watch them grow. Yet children are curiosity-filled little beings that tend to ask a lot of questions. And one of the most common, yet potentially most difficult, is “Where is my mom?”

If you are a single dad or part of a same-sex male couple and you have used surrogacy to become a parent, it can be difficult to find the right words when explaining to your child how they came into the world or why their family is different from others. So, how do you approach this topic honesty and sensitively?

Addressing the Issue

Families come in all shapes and sizes. As your child navigates the world beyond the home, they’ll come across families that look similar to yours and different from yours. Questioning why their family is different is natural; it’s part of growing up. It’s your job to answer these questions in a manner that is both honest and age-appropriate.

Consider Your Child’s Age and Maturity Level

When deciding how to approach the conversation, it’s important to consider your child’s age and maturity level. If your child is really young, you could turn the story of their origin into a sweet bedtime story about how your family came to be. You can include the surrogate and/or egg donor as a special woman who carried the baby in her tummy and helped make your family whole. Another point worth mentioning is that families are different. Some have a mom and a dad, others have only dads or only moms, and others have grandparents, aunts, or uncles.

For older children, you may want to explain the process of surrogacy in more detail. Explain that some women choose to help couples who cannot carry a baby themselves. Be sure to emphasize that the surrogate mother is not their “real mom,” but someone who helped your family has a baby.

Ask Your Child Why They Want To Know

When your child asks, “Where is my mom?” Answering the question is one-half of the conversation. The other half is understanding why your child asked the question in the first place. For example, your child may just have a curiosity about their origin story. Or they could be feeling lonely, jealous of classmates with moms, or looking for an explanation of why their family is different from a story they read in class, or the word “mom” has a lot of meaning attached to it that your child is still exploring.

Understanding the “why” behind the question can help you shape your answer. Ultimately, you want your child to feel comfortable and safe enough to come to you with questions about anything. Actively listening to your child and responding with empathy can help foster a trusting relationship where questions are encouraged.

Reassure Your Child That They Are Loved and Wanted

No matter what, the most important thing is to reassure your child that they are loved and wanted. Reiterate that their family might look different from others, but it is just as special. Explain that you are there for them and will always be there to answer their questions, no matter how difficult they may be.

Seek Support

Having conversations around surrogacy can be difficult. Parenting is a journey and you don’t have to do it alone. At Joy of Life®, our team of psychologists and counselors can provide guidance to help you navigate these conversations with your child. We also have experienced surrogate services that can provide support beyond the surrogate pregnancy process.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that you are the expert when it comes to your child and their needs. What works for one family might not work for yours. Trust your intuition, be patient, and celebrate the unique story of your family.

Creative Ideas to Tell Your Child’s Origin Story

If you feel like your child is old enough to understand the concept of surrogacy, here are some creative ideas for telling your child’s origin story:

  • Use a scrapbook to visually tell the story of how their family was created. Include pictures, drawings, and notes from the surrogate and/or egg donor. Depending on the terms of the surrogate pregnancy agreement, you might even include a photo of the surrogate mother.
  • Take your child to visit their birthplace, if possible. Even if you don’t live in the same area, you can show them a map of where they were born and explain the story.
  • Create an “origin story” video or song that is personalized to your child. Start with why you wanted a child, the obstacles you had to overcome, and the journey you took to make it happen.
  • Start a “life book” with all of the important information about your child’s origin story. You might include scan copies of their birth certificate and the original surrogate contract, if possible.

Families Are Diverse and Beautiful

No matter how you choose to tell your child’s origin story, make sure that it is transparent, factual, and honest. Most importantly, nurture your child to appreciate the unique diversity of what family truly is.

Read and watch stories that expose your child to various family structures and emphasize the values of love, acceptance, understanding, and respect.

When it comes to conversations about surrogacy, remember that you are not alone. If you have any questions or need guidance, reach out to Joy of Life® for support on your parenting journey.

Our team is here to help support you and your family through the entire surrogate pregnancy process.

Joy of Life

Author Joy of Life

More posts by Joy of Life