Tips for Throwing a Surrogate Baby Shower
Even as family structures expand and change, baby shower traditions old and new still serve the same purpose—to gather communities in one space and celebrate the upcoming arrival of a new family member. It’s about filling the expecting parents home with everything they need to make themselves and the little one comfortable in the early stages of their lives. A surrogate baby shower should be no different.
Though the intentions of a baby shower are exactly the same, there are a few extra details to consider when throwing a surrogate baby shower. These tips are especially helpful if you’re a caring family member or friend planning the big day for the parents to be.
Planning the Shower with the Intended Parents
Do they want a baby shower?
Start by sitting down with the intended parents and double checking that a baby shower is right for them. There are so many ways to go about this gathering—a small party with family and friends or a larger celebration with the whole community—so it’s important to get a sense for what makes them the most comfortable from the beginning. This party should be a low-pressure scenario no matter what. If the parents choose not to have a baby shower, there are other small ways to prep the house or welcome the baby that are unique and personal. Be ready to go with the flow if a shower is not for them.
Surrogate Baby Announcements
Have they sent out the surrogate baby announcement yet? While some parents are choosing to announce their pregnancies, adoptions and surrogacies on social media today, others also send out physical announcements in the mail. These can either be paired or separate from shower invitations. Either way, now is a good time to discuss how and when you want to announce their wonderful arrival.
Check in about the size of the shower, guests the parents would like to invite, and which—if any—traditions they’d like to incorporate into the shower. Most importantly, decide how much or how little you’d like to focus on the surrogacy process. For example, design elements of the room, invitation wording and even gifts can be catered to the beautiful process of surrogacy at the shower, but this all up to the comfort of everyone involved. Some parents suggest bringing presents to help the surrogate mother feel most comfortable before and after the birth, for example. Dive a bit more into the surrogate mother details below.
If a traditional, in-home shower doesn’t feel right, throw a small brunch at a local restaurant, head out for a group picnic in a nearby park, or even plan a group activity together. These options take the pressure off the host while maintaining the same supportive energy.
Working with the surrogate or gestational surrogate mother
While some intended parents and surrogates agree on closed arrangements, others choose to remain in touch throughout the pregnancy and even post-birth. Both are quite common. No matter the situation, it’s up to the intended parents and the surrogate herself to determine how much or how little they’d like the surrogacy process to appear in the shower’s design.
Is the surrogate mother invited?
Many parents celebrate the community aspect of surrogacy by invited the surrogate mother and even their own families to play a major role in the shower. Others prefer to have a day alone to catch up with close family and friends and then hold a separate small outing or gathering with the surrogate mother at a different time. This second option is best for those looking to keep the process more personal and low-key. If you’re torn about which way to go, invite the surrogate mother to come later in the day and shift focus at that time from a small gathering to a larger one.
No matter what you choose, there is no set etiquette for whether to invite your surrogate mother to the shower. The most important element is to remain in open communication throughout the planning process so that everyone feels heard and comfortable on the day.
Baby Shower Invitations Wording and Design
Family and friends close enough to receive a baby shower invitation have often already heard the big news. Even so, as some people are unfamiliar with the surrogacy process, it can still be helpful to include details or simple wording on the invitation. These may include:
- “Together with our incredible surrogate, please join us for an afternoon of celebration to shower our parents-to-be.”
- “Our little one is arriving in just a few months! Be our guest in showering our parents-to-be and surrogate mother with love and joy.”
- Or, for a more private gathering, “Please join us in showering John and Sarah with gifts of love as they await their new arrival.”
Invitations should also include:
- Wording to announce the upcoming birth, if you haven’t already
- Date and location
- RSVP deadline and whom to contact
- Note on gifts—just for parents or for surrogate mother as well?
- Registry if applicable
- Website address for extra information
Designing the Big Day
A baby shower, no matter the situation, should honor the story and unique personalities of the parents. If more traditional activities—gift-giving, baby-themed games, female-only invites—don’t match the lifestyle or energy of the couple, there is no need to include them. Some parents encourage guests to bring their favorite baby book with a personal inscription, for example. Others ask for simple, practical items like diapers and onesies. The design of any shower should be about setting the scene for the arrival of a new member in the community.
Gifts for the Surrogate Mother
If you don’t feel comfortable including surrogate gift instructions with the guest information, set aside a moment in the shower to honor her with a present you’ve picked out on your own. This may include a prenatal spa package, a collection of items to make her feel comfortable after the birth or a personalized keepsake that honors her and her family. You may even design a special area at the shower for guests to write notes of love and support to the surrogate.
Questions from Family and Friends
No matter how you word your invitations, questions both about surrogacy itself and the structure of the baby shower may arise. When these come up, focus on your personal process—how you found your agency, getting paired for your surrogate mother, etc. Redirect questions about the shower and gifts to the person planning the celebration. It can help to have a liaison so the parents-to-be can relax and focus on hosting and enjoying the big day.
If you want to highlight the amazing journey toward surrogacy, work questions and information about your journey into the shower itself. Include a visual timeline in your décor, showcasing the day you met your surrogate, early sonograms and other important landmarks. Staying open about the surrogacy stages and details helps normalize the experience and process for both you and your community, setting the stage for a truly welcoming place for the new baby.
That being said, the shower is a time for the parents-to-be and the surrogate to feel completely at home and focused on the baby. You have no obligation to educate friends and family about surrogacy at that time if it takes you out of your experience. Feel free to direct them to surrogacy blogs and websites to help them further understand the process.
A baby shower is beautiful a time to warm a home and bring a community together. This message of support bridges all family scenarios, and it’s up to you as a family and group to determine what works best for you.
If you have questions starting the surrogacy process or throughout the journey, reach out to our team for support and personalized care for preparing for the big day.