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- The Very Kind Koala: A Surrogacy Story for Children
- Sophia’s Broken Crayons: A Story of Surrogacy from a Young Child’s Perspective
- Penny’s Pocket: A Tale of a Sibling Brought Home Through a Gestational Carrier
- Why I’m So Special: A Book About Surrogacy with Two Daddies
- Daddy Dog and Papi Panda’s Rainbow Family: It Takes Love to Make a Family
- You Began as a Wish
- Wanted: A Journey to Surrogacy / Un Viaje Hacia la Subrogación
- My Mom Is a Surrogate
Deciding when to have the talk about where babies come from can prove to be tricky — for oh so many reasons.
Adding the conversation of surrogacy as one of the different routes to parenthood can pose an additional challenge for parents who aren’t sure what their child is ready for when it comes to learning about pregnancy and childbirth.
There isn’t a hard-and-fast rule on when you should start to talk about surrogacy with your kids, and as such, many parents opt to wait until their kids start asking questions — just like with questions about pregnancy and reproduction in general.
But many psychologists recommend being open and honest about the surrogacy process from the get-go, whether that includes explaining it to a child who arrived via surrogacy, or if your child is watching you serve as a surrogate.
“Having a baby is an exciting time for any parent-to-be. There are many ways to have a baby today, including more families using a surrogate to achieve parenthood,” says Roseann Capanna-Hodge, EdD, a licensed professional counselor and certified school psychologist in Ridgefield, Connecticut.
“Parents should always try to include their children in the process as much as possible and consider developmental age,” she adds.
“No matter how a new sibling arrives, a new baby in the house can bring a range of emotions, including excitement and jealousy,” Capanna-Hodge says. “Finding ways to connect with this new baby is critical in building great communication and establishing a bond, as well as helping the other children feel secure.”
There are a number of resources that can break down the subject of surrogacy in a fun, respectful, and easy-to-understand way for kids.
“Using books and making art to help the child understand that someone else is helping the baby ‘grow in their belly (or uterus)’ will also help the child gain an understanding that the baby is coming,” Capanna-Hodge says.
“Ultimately, when you feel good about what you are telling your child, they will not only accept it but they will feel good, too,” she says.
Read on for eight books that will help you do just that.
We chose these books based on reviews, especially from customers. We focused on a diverse range of storylines covering different scenarios, such as dealing with infertility and same-sex couples wanting to grow their families. We were also mindful of choosing with cultural diversity in mind.
$ = under $10
$$ = $10–$15
$$$ = over $15
- Price: $$
- Length: 24 pages
This book, written by Kimberly Kluger-Bell, explains surrogacy through the story of a koala bear and her husband who enlist the help of another generous koala to carry their child in her pouch.
Reviewers shared that they appreciated that the book doesn’t overcomplicate things. They also pointed out its beautiful illustrations make it great for small children as young as 3 years.
- Price: $$
- Length: 36 pages
This book is written from a child’s perspective. The story, by Crystal A. Falk, starts with a young girl named Sophia feeling sad that her crayons are all broken. When her friends step up to share theirs with her, the tone is set for her experience watching her parents decide to help their own friends with surrogacy.
The narrative also addresses what leads the surrogate to choose to help other families by carrying their child, so kids may walk away from the book with a more well-rounded understanding of surrogacy.
This book is recommended for slightly older kids, and is best for those around age 5 or 6.
It has received some criticism from reviewers on Amazon for its plot, and describing the mother as “broken.” These vary depending on the perspective of the reader, but could be bothersome to some parents.
- Price: $$
- Length: 30 pages
Another story that uses an animal analogy, this book by Elizabeth K. Hebl, MD, serves to explain surrogacy and infertility to children by telling the story of a family of possums turning to surrogacy for their second child.
One reviewer noted that it was a great discussion tool for explaining surrogacy to her kids. A family they knew was going through a similar situation. “Penny’s Pocket” is recommended for children under 8 years.
- Price: $$$
- Length: 44 pages
This book, written by Carla Lewis-Long, is a great resource for same-sex couples wanting to initiate a positive conversation about surrogacy with their child through colorful illustrations and diverse representation.
Reviewers say “Why I’m So Special” does a good job of explaining that it’s possible to maintain a lasting relationship with your surrogate after a child is born. However, some say the details were too specific and difficult to apply to their own lives.
This book is a great choice for children under the age of 8, though at 44 pages it may be on the longer side for really little ones.
- Price: $$
- Length: 34 pages
Written by Anthony Hale, this book highlights several variations on a modern family: children conceived via surrogate and children brought home through adoption.
The storyline features a same-sex couple (hence the name) and can educate children about cultural diversity within a family structure. It’s a good choice for children between the ages 4 and 8.
- Price: $$
- Length: 35 pages
“You Began as a Wish,” written by Kim Bergman, PhD, is a great resource for kids interested in learning the science behind where they came from while keeping to easy-to-understand terms.
It’s great for parents wanting to share their journey with infertility with their children. One reviewer says the book’s colorful illustrations also do a good job of incorporating inclusivity in terms of cultural diversity and the LGBTQIA community. This book is great for children (and adults) of all ages.
- Price: $$$
- Length: 42 pages
This is a bilingual book that can be a great resource for Spanish-speaking families wanting to explain surrogacy to their children. Written by Carolina Robbiano, the book tells the story of two parents doing everything they can to have a child they desperately want.
Reviewers praise the book’s graphics and say that the narrative does a good job of illustrating the journey of surrogacy in a way that parents can actually relate to. It’s best for children over the age of 5.
- Price: $$$
- Length: 36 pages
In this book, author Abigail Glass takes kids through the journey of surrogacy through the eyes of children watching their mother serve as a surrogate for another family.
Reviewers say this book is a great resource for families in similar situations. It explains a mom’s pregnancy that won’t result in a new sibling in a positive and easy-to-understand way. This book is suitable for children ages 2 to 10.
Getting a book about surrogacy is a great way to introduce your child to the topic. It can enhance their understanding of what surrogacy means and entails on a basic, age-appropriate level.
When choosing a children’s book about surrogacy, the most important thing to consider is your child’s personality. What will pique their interest, keep them intrigued, and also provide entertainment?
A book that your kiddo is excited to pick up and read will always be a winner in their eyes, so be sure to select one they’re likely to enjoy.
If your child tends to like books with human characters, following that preference could help narrow your choices when it comes to surrogacy books. If they prefer books with animals with human traits, the same idea applies.
It’s important to keep age in mind when selecting any children’s book. But this is especially true when you’re looking for a book on surrogacy, which is a heavier and more advanced topic.
Many children’s books are suitable for kids up to age 8, but some are geared toward kids who are 5 to 8 years. It’s important to read reviews so you can gauge whether a certain book may be too advanced for your child.
Choosing to introduce your child to the topic of surrogacy through a book is a wonderful idea.
Whether surrogacy plays a role in your nuclear family or if it’s something a friend or relative is exploring, your child can learn and understand it better through reading.
There’s beauty in educating your child about concepts that they may come across in life, no matter if it’s now or years down the line.