Surrogacy stories are some of the best, most uplifting and lovely stories you will hear. The Surrogacy Podcast was inspired by the need to share surrogacy stories, although at the time I didn’t appreciate just how powerful a shared story could be – for the community of listeners, as well as those telling their story.
I’m often asked for a list of books about surrogacy and donor conception, for surrogates, donors, intended parents, or their children. There are lots of resources, but I’ve compiled a few that you might find useful. I’ve tried to keep the focus on Australian publications, but there are lots of excellent resources from America and the United Kingdom which are also great.
My own book, More Than Just a Baby: A Guide to Surrogacy for Intended Parents and Surrogates, the only guide to surrogacy in Australia. I wrote this book in the two years after birthing surro-baby, and feeling as if there needed to be a guide to explain how amazing complex the experience was. You can purchase More Than Just a Baby in paperback or electronic versions.
A Little Ray of Sunshine is an Australian surrogacy story of love, hope and friendship written by surrogate Leonie and intended mother Rebecca. Leonie carried baby Briar for her long-time friend Rebecca, and they’ve shared their story – together – to help other people understand altruistic surrogacy from both of their perspectives.
Shannon Garner was an altruistic surrogate for two gay dads and wrote about her experiences in her book Labour of Love: A Story of Generosity, Hope and Surrogacy. Shannon carried two babies, in separate pregnancies, for dads Jon and Justin, whom she met through a mutual friend. You can also listen to Shannon’s story on the Surrogacy Podcast.
Another book for children to explain surrogacy is the Surro Fairy, by Michelle Minucci, which you can purchase online from the author’s website. The Surro Fairy is a tale of two couples who would like to grow a family but need a little help through the use of a surrogate. That’s when they each find a Surro Fairy to carry a baby “emby” (embryo) until it grows into a healthy and lovable baby. When the time is right, the Surro Fairies and the parents-to-be reunite for the much awaited birth day.
When we were explaining how babies are made to our children when they were small, we started with What Makes a Baby. Our first child was an IVF conception, while our second son was not. This book helped us to explain the basics of conception – sperm+egg+uterus, and allowed us to expand to share how they were conceived. What Makes a Baby is a twenty-first century children’s picture book about conception, gestation, and birth, which reflects the reality of our modern time by being inclusive of all kinds of kids, adults, and families, regardless of how many people were involved, their orientation, gender and other identity, or family composition.
Milo’s Adventures: A Story About Love by Frankie Nelson, BJ Barone, and Debbie Donsky is Milo’s Adventures is a story of surrogacy, love and becoming a family.
The Kangaroo Pouch by Sarah Phillips Pellet introduces young children to the concept of surrogacy.
If you are looking for a story to tell a child who was conceived after infertility, Celeste’s beautiful book Little Dream is available to order. You can also follow Celeste’s infertility and surrogacy journey on Youtube.
Another book about all the forms of family-creation and conception is The Amazing True Story of How Babies are Made by Fiona Katauskas, an Australian author. We love this one at our house because it is full of easy-to-understand information and the different forms that babies are made, and has fun pictures too.
Kids are pretty resilient creatures, and only know what they know. Surrogacy might seem strange and complex to adults, but to children it can be very simple. Kids and surrogacy is a topic often discussed when the intended parents and surrogate enter the arrangement.
The Donor Conception Network is a UK-based organisation started by the parents of donor-conceived people, and which provides support and resources and books about all forms of conception and family-creation. Their books can also be found at VARTA in Victoria.
Another option is to make your own story, for your children or family, to share the story of infertility, or surrogacy. I made my own book for surro-baby, sharing pictures and messages to tell her story and encapsulate the surrogacy journey between our family and her dads. You can make photo journals online, including on publishing apps. VARTA also runs a Time To Tell workshop that includes a session for creating a story book for children who are donor or surrogacy conceived.
If you are new to surrogacy, you can read about how to find a surrogate, or how to become a surrogate yourself. You can also download the free Surrogacy Handbook which explains the processes and options.