Becoming a surrogate is a beautiful and selfless journey, but it comes with its fair share of logistics and considerations. Pregnancy impacts many different areas of life, including a person’s career.
How should you approach this sensitive topic with your boss and coworkers? It’s natural to have worries or concerns, like if you’ll face negative consequences such as loss of job security or career advancement opportunities. Or maybe you’re worried about how your absence during medical appointments and maternity leave will affect your workload and team dynamics.
You’ll feel better once you get everything out in the open with your employer. Transparency is key. Follow these guidelines to navigate this important conversation with professionalism and confidence.
Before approaching this topic with your employer, educate yourself about the surrogacy process, including the timeline and potential time off required. Being well-informed and knowing the answers to your employer’s questions demonstrates your commitment to handling the situation responsibly.
You can also prepare for the conversation by gauging your workplace culture and reviewing policies regarding personal matters and leaves of absence. This will help you tailor your conversation to your specific circumstances.
Choose the Right Time
Pick the right moment to initiate the conversation. Try to avoid bringing it up during a hectic workday or a critical project deadline. Opt for a quieter, less stressful time.
Familiarize Yourself with Laws
Know the legal aspects of surrogacy in your region and your employment rights. Some places have laws protecting surrogates from discrimination. For example, California has some of the most comprehensive surrogacy laws in the country.
Among states that have protections, they’re generally aimed at ensuring that women who choose to become surrogates are not subject to adverse employment actions or discrimination solely because of their surrogacy arrangements.
Note: It’s a good idea to consult with a legal professional who specializes in reproductive law to understand the legal protections and requirements in your area.
Be Clear and Concise
When you talk to your employer, don’t beat around the bush or sugar coat the conversation. Use straight-forward but respectful language. Highlight your understanding of the process and your dedication to fulfilling your work responsibilities. While it’s good to get the details down on paper through a handwritten letter or email, it’s also important to have an in-person conversation.
Be prepared for your employer to have questions or concerns. Have an open mind and a positive attitude so you can address them respectfully. Providing honest, informed answers will help foster understanding.
Talk About Timing
Share your estimated timeline for the surrogacy journey, including medical appointments and potential leave periods. Talk about how you plan to handle work responsibilities during these times.
If your absence poses challenges to your team, help come up with potential solutions, such as temporarily redistributing your workload or training a colleague to cover for you. Be willing to brainstorm solutions that you haven’t thought of yet. This reiterates your dedication to your colleagues and employer.
Emphasize the importance of confidentiality regarding your surrogacy. Ensure your employer understands that you will share information only as needed for work-related arrangements. This not only respects your own privacy but also helps create a professional atmosphere focused on your work responsibilities.
Follow Up in Writing
After the conversation, send a follow-up email summarizing your discussion. Include any agreements or arrangements made, providing a written record for both parties. This ensures there is a clear record of what was discussed, reducing the chances of misunderstandings or miscommunication down the road.
Connect with HR
If your workplace has a Human Resources department, consider involving them in the conversation. They can provide guidance on company policies and procedures. Involving HR provides you with:
- Expertise in company policies: HR professionals are well-versed in company policies and procedures, including those related to employee benefits, leave policies, and accommodations.
- Legal compliance: HR can help ensure your rights are protected and that the company follows all applicable laws.
- Mediating discussions: HR professionals are skilled in mediating sensitive workplace discussions.
- Clarification of benefits: HR can clarify your eligibility for benefits during these periods, such as paid leave, insurance coverage, or any other accommodations available to you.
- Confidentiality assurance: If you have concerns about sharing personal information with your employer or colleagues, HR can provide guidance on how to navigate these concerns while respecting your privacy.
- Record creation: Involving HR creates an official record of your discussion.
- A resource for questions: HR can serve as a resource for both you and your employer if additional questions or concerns arise throughout your surrogacy journey.
Be Open to Compromise
While it’s essential to express your needs, be flexible and willing to work collaboratively with your employer to find solutions that accommodate both your surrogacy journey and your work commitments.
Throughout the process, maintain professionalism and focus on your work responsibilities. Demonstrating your commitment to your job is always a smart idea, as it will reinforce your reliability.
Approaching your employer about your decision to become a surrogate requires careful planning and open communication. Remember that your willingness to work collaboratively and maintain professionalism will go a long way in ensuring a positive outcome for both your surrogacy journey and your career.
Surrogacy and Egg Donor Services
Since 2004, The Fertility Agency has helped bring over 1100+ babies into the world. We work with all intended parents, surrogates, and egg donors no matter their sexual preference, relationship status, ethnicity, location, etc. Our personal experiences and years of expertise provide us with the perfect balance of business and passion. Contact us for more information.