Mental health is a hot topic these days.
As it should be.
As we learn more and more about the importance of mental health, we’re starting to realize how crucial it is when it comes to the well being of our children. It’s estimated that more than 2 million adolescents have at least one major depressive episode per year. And up to 80% of children suffering from anxiety and depression are not getting the help they need.
Some have suggested that children who have been conceived with donor eggs or carried by a surrogate mother may have more serious emotional problems. And while it’s a worthy topic to question, we are here to assure you that if the situation is handled correctly, there is no reason to worry.
How Can You Care For The Emotional Health of Your Surrogate Child?
Here are our suggestions on how to care for the emotional health of your surrogate child.
#1 Rule: No Secrets
The first thing we tell our intended parents is not to keep the child’s conception a secret. This is a suggestion that comes from every professional in the industry.
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) states that it “supports discloser from parents to offspring about the use of donor gametes in their conception.”
Start explaining where they came from as soon as possible. Children as young as 2 or 3 can understand the basics.
Use phrases such as, “Julie is a special woman who helped us have a family.” or “Mommy couldn’t carry you in her tummy, so Kelley did. And we are so grateful for her.”
Show them pictures of the egg donor and the surrogate and let these women be part of the child’s story. This way, egg donation and surrogacy are a natural part of life.
Be Proud of Your Journey
Never talk about your child’s conception with feelings of shame or embarrassment. Be proud of how you built your family! It’s a story of grit, perseverance, and hope. Intended parents who need to resort to egg donor and surrogacy are some of the strongest individuals out there.
Let your children see how much you wanted them. Teach them they can overcome hard things and show them by examples of how to be resilient. These are some of the best gifts a parent could ever give their child.
Therapy Can Help
It’s never too early to start seeing a therapist. Counseling can help children understand and process big emotions. Some children may have a hard time accepting the fact that their conception story looks different than others.
It’s okay for them to feel disappointed or confused. But it’s not okay to let those emotions fester. It can be very beneficial for individuals to talk through those emotions with a third party. They can express their feelings freely without the risk of offending those they love the most.
All Kids Struggle at Times
Here’s the truth: no matter who your child is, all kids will struggle with mental health at some point.
Mental health is an issue that needs to be at the forefront of every parent’s mind, no matter how their child was conceived. Yes, egg donor and surrogate kids have an added issue to deal with. Still, they’re not the only kids who will be affected by depression and anxiety. And any study or professional that says so needs to be challenged right away.
Elevate Egg Donor Agency Cares
As an agency, we at Elevate Egg Donors emphasize emotional support for all of our clients. It’s essential for intended parents, egg donors, and surrogates to feel confident as they go through this process. They need to be comfortable in the role they’re each playing in building a family.
We would be bold enough to claim that there is no other industry that cares more for their clients and what the end game is. Many different parties come together to create life. There is nothing more beautiful than that.
If you’re hesitant in any way about starting a family through egg donation and surrogacy, please contact us today. We are here to help you understand how miraculous this process is.
And if a child could comprehend how many tears were shed, how much sacrifice was made, and how badly they were wanted, they will never doubt the love their parents have for them.
And love and acceptance are all a child needs.