Replies: 37 (Who?), Viewed: 1875 times.
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Scholar
Original Poster
#1 Old 24th May 2020 at 1:43 AM
Default General question: What would you want from a surrogacy mod?
Since I released Name the Father I've had multiple people ask to be able to name both parents in order to do some sort of surrogacy thing, but that wasn't really the purpose of Name the Father and the way the mod is designed doesn't lend itself to that kind of use. But there seems to be a demand for some kind of surrogacy mod, and I think it should in that case be its own thing, specifically for having surrogacy arrangements. But there are a couple places where I'm not sure what the best design decisions are, so I figured I would ask here and the people who want such a mod can answer.

Right now, what I am thinking is that there will be a social interaction under the Propose... menu that will cause the following things to happen if successful: the proposee will become pregnant by the proposer, $2000 (or some other amount?) will change hands, and the player will get to choose a second sim from a dialog to be the second parent of the baby. The surrogate will then get a surrogate token which will cause the baby/ies, when born, to have the parents you chose (similar to Name the Father, the biological parents would be the surrogate and the proposer, but the actual parents would be the ones you chose) and also to be immediately teleported to the lot where the proposer is living. The surrogate would then get a custom memory of some description. The social would be rejected based on LTR, aspirations (fortune sims accept at lower LTR, family sims accept at higher LTR) and financial situation (sims who are strapped for cash should accept at lower LTR). I think the surrogate should get a negative memory in some cases - such as if they are a childless family sim, it would be hard for them to surrender the baby. The social interaction itself would require the sim to actually have $2000, and there would be an age check (probably different versions containing different age checks, as with Name the Father), an LTR check, the sims cannot be blood-related family, and both sims would need to be playable.

Does this sound like approximately what you'd want? I have some things I'm not sure about:
  • What should be the animation used for the social?
  • What should be the text of the surrogate memories?
  • Should the parents get a different memory, or just the regular "had a baby" memory? Or a second memory in addition to the "had a baby" memory? There's no way to reference two sims in the same memory, so this would be the only way to include the surrogate.

I thought about having the social worker bring the baby the next time you played the parents' lot, but there's no way to do this - you'd have to put the baby into some other family temporarily and if it's a special family that'll cause problems, and if it's not a special family the baby will probably show up in the family bin. Midgethetree teleports babies with her Birth Options mod, she says it looks wonky but basically works, so I think this is the best solution.
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Inventor
#2 Old 24th May 2020 at 2:06 AM
I saw the title of this thread and wasn't super interested, but then I read your post and your idea of what the mod would be like and I am super interested in this now

Just to be sure, does LTR stand for lifetime relationship?

For the social, I haven't thought much about this, but a simple social interaction to use is the "admire" interaction, and if it gets accepted then a hug afterwards.
I actually looked up the requirements to be a surrogate out of curiosity yesterday, and a place near me had the following requirements for surrogate candidates: to be in a committed relationship, to have had children already, to not plan on having any more children, and to enjoy being pregnant. It also said that all candidates would go through extensive physical and emotional health exams. That being said, I am fine if there is only a positive memory for the surrogates. However, I'm sure a lot of players would like the story aspects of having a potentially negative experience. I would enjoy both, but would not care if there was no negative memory- like how all Sims get positive memories for having a baby.
I would like the parents to have two memories - one saying "Asked (Sim) To Be a Surrogate" with the description something like "I am so thankful (Sim) agreed to be the surrogate for my child. I can't wait to meet the little one!" and then the regular had a baby memory.
Also, this mod sounds so cool already.. I wouldn't really care if the baby just magically popped up on the parents' lot after it was born, but if possible it would be nice if the surrogate dropped off the baby and did the "Hand Baby To" action to one of the parents. Also, it would be really awesome if the parents arrived at the surrogate's home lot two hours or so before delivery of the baby so that they could be there for its birth. But we could also just have the surrogate invite over the parents too.

Can't wait to hear more about this!

EDIT: A sperm donor mod would also be cool if you're interested in that. The sperm donor could get paid $500-1000 instead of $2000, and it would be simpler since it would only need the social interaction and the memories, not the transferring of the baby between households once it's born.

EDIT #2: A question I have - will the check for blood relatives only be between the proposer and the proposee? That way a woman could be a surrogate for her brother, but by using her brother-in-law's sperm. I'm thinking of Phoebe from Friends and how she was a surrogate for her brother and how sweet that was.
Scholar
Original Poster
#3 Old 24th May 2020 at 2:21 AM
Yes, LTR is lifetime relationship. Thanks for the animation suggestion.

Hmm, I wonder if I should incorporate those real-life surrogate requirements? Of course, it's impossible to know if a sim is done having kids, or if they enjoy being pregnant. I feel like it might be a thing like the thing where pregnant sims can't clean litter boxes or go in hot tubs, where there are good real-life reasons for these restrictions but it the game it feels unnecessarily restrictive and people want to mod them away.

Bringing the parents to the lot with the surrogate, probably along with a dialog in case you haven't been keeping track of the pregnancy, and then having the surrogate actually hand them the baby sounds like a nice touch! I wonder if you can get them to actually carry the baby off the lot afterwards? I imagine this wouldn't work well with triplets and quads, lol. I guess I could just delete the baby if it's still on the lot after the parents leave. I've never messed around with scheduling sims to show up on a lot, that sounds like an adventure.
Theorist
#4 Old 24th May 2020 at 3:16 AM Last edited by omglo : 24th May 2020 at 3:32 AM.
The became a surrogate memory could be something like "I'm honored that I brought [Baby] into the world and helped expand a family" or for a negative "I didn't know letting [Baby's name] go would be this hard. They will always be in my heart." The negative could use the lost child to social worker icon, and the Sim could cry over it sometimes (if that's possible. I've never worked with custom memories).

Edit: In addition to the dialogue just before the baby is due, it might be nice to have a pop up every time the surrogate's pregnancy enters the next trimester, to mimic the doctors appointments and updates in real life. Something like the pregnancy scanner pop up on Sim Blender.

A long time ago, there was a glitch that made visiting Sims walk off the lot and take the household's baby with them. It was fixed, but you could probably bypass whatever check was used to fix it in your mod.
Scholar
Original Poster
#5 Old 24th May 2020 at 3:56 AM
Sims should cry over bad memories on their own if you make them strong negative memories, I think. That's why they cry over roaches. Thanks, those are good memory text suggestions.

Quote:
Edit: In addition to the dialogue just before the baby is due, it might be nice to have a pop up every time the surrogate's pregnancy enters the next trimester, to mimic the doctors appointments and updates in real life.


Hmm. What should it say, though?
Scholar
Original Poster
#6 Old 24th May 2020 at 5:14 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeckyBoo8
EDIT: A sperm donor mod would also be cool if you're interested in that. The sperm donor could get paid $500-1000 instead of $2000, and it would be simpler since it would only need the social interaction and the memories, not the transferring of the baby between households once it's born.

EDIT #2: A question I have - will the check for blood relatives only be between the proposer and the proposee? That way a woman could be a surrogate for her brother, but by using her brother-in-law's sperm. I'm thinking of Phoebe from Friends and how she was a surrogate for her brother and how sweet that was.


Sorry, missed these edits. I think the sperm donor thing could definitely also happen, but it could actually be a totally separate mod since it's just a self-contained social interaction, but it could definitely go on the same thread. In fact, I might just start with that one since it's simpler and will give me a head start on the social part of the surrogate mod.

And yes, the blood relative check would be just between the proposer and the surrogate, and the reason it's blood relative specifically and not all family (which includes in-laws) is so that people can be surrogates for their family via the spouse. Also, there wouldn't be any gender checks on this - a straight couple could want to get a surrogate if one of them was trans, for example, or if they were elders, and maybe in the context of your sim world some men can get pregnant sometimes and could potentially be a surrogate. It would be up to you who could use the interaction as far as gender is concerned.

Also, I forgot to mention, but I think your idea for a second memory for the parents is a good one - I had been thinking it would happen at the birth of the baby, but it does kind of make more sense to make it happen at the time of the social.
Inventor
#7 Old 24th May 2020 at 3:56 PM
Oh yes - it would be hectic with the triplets and quads mod to have the parents carry the babies away from the lot lol.
Perhaps the parents could come over to be there for the birth, leave after, and just have the babies disappear/teleport to their new home? I still love the idea of the surrogate coming over to drop off the baby too, something to make the arrival of the baby at its new home feel special. Or at least a pop-up when you play the lot saying something like, "(Surrogate) gave birth to your new little one(s)! They are ready to join your household now."

And I don't think making the requirements for a surrogate is necessary unless you really like the idea - we can leave it up to our Sims to "choose" who is an appropriate surrogate. I mentioned the requirements to say that I don't think a negative memory chance for the surrogate is necessary, as it seems that most likely it would be a positive experience. I'm not opposed to the chance of a negative experience, however.

I have one other question- what if a single Sim wanted a surrogate baby, is that possible? I'm just wondering how it would assign the parents, since there would be only one parent instead of two. I'm not familiar with modding at all, so I don't know how easy/difficult that is.
Theorist
#8 Old 24th May 2020 at 5:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kestrellyn
Sims should cry over bad memories on their own if you make them strong negative memories, I think. That's why they cry over roaches. Thanks, those are good memory text suggestions.



Hmm. What should it say, though?

I don't know, specifically. I was picturing something that gives basic info since, depending on your play style, it might have been awhile since you've played the surrogate's household. Something like "X has been pregnant for Y hours. The expected number of babies is Z."

What about maternity leave for the ones who'll be raising the baby?
Scholar
Original Poster
#9 Old 24th May 2020 at 9:45 PM
Single parent is easy - you could just cancel the dialog to select the second parent and the baby would just have one parent, like how it currently works in Name the Father. Having the surrogate bring the baby is probably not possible, since as I said earlier you would have to put the baby in a different family temporarily and that would cause problems.

Maternity leave - I'd figured I'd just give it to the first parent who proposed the interaction, but I guess you could also be given a choice similar to in Birth Options.
Inventor
#10 Old 25th May 2020 at 9:16 PM
Just another thing I'd want in this mod is that it would fulfill "Have a Baby" wants for both parents. This mod sounds perfect though, I feel like you've covered all the bases- having a social interaction, payment, memories, and parent assignment.
Lab Assistant
#11 Old 25th May 2020 at 10:04 PM
Something that would be really important for me in a surrogacy mod is to perhaps add a memory to the baby that references both parents, because I like to keep track of genetics and may forget who parents are if they're not in the family tree, so being able to scroll to the end of the memories and see who the parents are would help with that for me (in the baby's memories because I'd want to still be able to check parentage if their parents happened to die in any pool ladder accidents). Even if it's not super realistic for the baby to remember that, it would be nice just for logistics.
Scholar
Original Poster
#12 Old 26th May 2020 at 12:21 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeckyBoo8
Just another thing I'd want in this mod is that it would fulfill "Have a Baby" wants for both parents. This mod sounds perfect though, I feel like you've covered all the bases- having a social interaction, payment, memories, and parent assignment.


Yes, that's the idea. It would work like Name the Father.

I don't know about giving the baby a memory of the surrogacy, I don't think that makes very much sense. That seems like something you would record in the baby's bio if you wanted to remember it.
Test Subject
#13 Old 27th May 2020 at 5:00 PM
I'd be interested in an option where the genes of the legal parents are used so that the surrogate only carries, but it's not her baby from a biological point of view. But I guess it might be too complicated to offer such an option?!
Scholar
#14 Old 27th May 2020 at 6:15 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralna
I'd be interested in an option where the genes of the legal parents are used so that the surrogate only carries, but it's not her baby from a biological point of view. But I guess it might be too complicated to offer such an option?!


THIS. This is what I'd like to see, along with the ability to have another Sim (including townies) provide one set of genes, but not be a legal parent. Nowadays it is extremely rare in Real Life for the surrogate to also be the egg donor, and in some jurisdictions, it's actually prohibited because of the legal and emotional issues involved.

I've actually used an improvised form of surrogacy for a couple in my game, as the wife was an elder when they married and the adult husband had had a locked want to have a child since before they married. A townie who the wife was friends with got temporarily moved in with them and impregnated by the husband using the Sim Blender, then lived with them for the duration of the pregnancy...during which she proved to be a downright awful person, got the husband almost permanently furious with her, and wanted to kill the wife (see her ghost, which I see as that) after an altercation involving the surrogate having a beer at the baby shower. As I use a hospital for most births, the surrogate moved to the hospital before giving birth and was retowniefied the next day (I had initially intended to keep her playable, but by that point I did not like her at all), while the baby was moved back to the parents' home with the Sim Blender and set as the wife's child. It worked out well enough and the kid (now a toddler) looks like and appears to have a personality close to his father, but I certainly noticed the clunkiness.

I also have a surrogacy-type situation going with a very powerful and amoral (and pretty much insane, too) woman who, though an adult, appears to be barren after one miscarriage and has a bad relationship with her vampire husband. Ok, this doesn't make sense without naming names, so yeah...Bianca Monty has used her connections to get access to Beaker mad science, and their test subject's body, and so Nervous Subject is currently pregnant with her twins while Bianca is unsuccessfully trying to look the part by stuffing her clothes. I don't intend to do any reassigning of parentage this time, since one of the twins is intended to stay as a Beaker test subject and the other is not going to be accepted by the more-than-suspicious husband, as this is intentionally a dumpster fire of drama and bad ideas. I'm honestly not sure if Bianca will get either twin at this point, due to evolving current events, but she and her mother wanted her to have a baby, she had the connections, and Nervous has very interesting genes.

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Scholar
Original Poster
#15 Old 28th May 2020 at 6:03 AM
That could definitely be done. The main thing I am unsure about is the best interface to use to allow a choice between the different options, as I suspect some people will want it one way and some people another way and some people either depending on the genetics of the parents. Maybe something like Name the Father where you could get a "Biological Parents.." menu and select between "Surrogate and Proposer", "Official Parents", or "Proposer and Random"? Are there other options that would be desired?

Additional question while I'm here: for the sperm donor mod, should there be memories? Any ideas for what they should say?
Test Subject
#16 Old 28th May 2020 at 6:50 PM
For me, the three options for the surrogate mod would be perfect.

Regarding the memories:
Maybe there could be a general decision first whether the process should be open or confidential (comparable to how it is handled for adoptions).
If it's confidential, the parents might prefer to have the regular memories instead of one referencing a third person. Maybe the donator also should be a random person who, logically, would not know the child. Therefore there should not be a memory related to the child, but there could be a general memory that the sim wonders whether the donation resulted in a child and how this child might be doing. If people want a way to keep track of the biological parents, the memory maybe can mention that the child looks similar to the donator and that the donator wonders whether the child is the result of the donation.
If the parents choose an open process, they could receive a memory stating that they are grateful for the donator's help. The donator also could receive a memory that they are happy that they could help and hoping that the child will grow up well. It should not be too detailed so that there can be families where the child has contact with the donator and other families where the child does not have contact.
Scholar
Original Poster
#17 Old 28th May 2020 at 9:51 PM
As discussed above, this would be an open process where one of the parents asks for a donation from their friend. I guess a confidential/anonymous process could be something for the future, maybe.
Mad Poster
#18 Old 28th May 2020 at 10:50 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kestrellyn
I guess a confidential/anonymous process could be something for the future, maybe.

I don't suppose it could work to have sims store their genetic material in a test tube for later use. Sort of like a sperm bank but without gender restrictions.
Scholar
Original Poster
#19 Old 28th May 2020 at 11:01 PM
It certainly could, if there is some sort of test tube object I could clone, but I want to try to limit the scope of this mod for the time being. I am working on the sperm donor mod because as originally proposed, it is a social interaction that would be similar to/could serve as a base for the surrogate social interaction. I could go back and add other methods of becoming a sperm donor later, after the surrogate mod is done.
Scholar
#20 Old 29th May 2020 at 5:44 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosawyn
Sort of like a sperm bank but without gender restrictions.


Which is actually very realistic, though IRL XX doners get paid more than XY to compensate for the extended timeframe and the potential of temporarily (hopefully) wrecking their bodies and minds a bit. I wasn't tall enough, or blond enough, and didn't have a low enough BMI or high enough class ranking...but I had some classmates who did. I was envious of them at first, because those completely unapproved-by-administration flyers that kept showing up on the law school bulletin boards had temptingly high pay ranges on them... That got dispelled a bit by seeing the effects of the hormones on some of them, and even more by some of the realities of what they were wanted for -- apparently the reason blue-eyed blonds are more desirable is not that everyone using egg donors wants a blue-eyed, blond child, but because they want an egg donor with as recessive genes as they can get so that the product looks like dad. That actually makes perfect sense, but then you get to the weighting of cultural favourability for ranged attributes like skin tone and facial features... The height thing is more specific to those looking for great legal minds, because of the perception that tall lawyers are more successful. Apparently both tall and short are better than average height on the flyers distributed at military academies, because there's a market for both future generals and future test pilots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kestrellyn
As discussed above, this would be an open process where one of the parents asks for a donation from their friend. I guess a confidential/anonymous process could be something for the future, maybe.


Asking seems safest, although I'd prefer it without any relationship requirement so suitable townies could be utilized. Random and anonymous would be nice, yes, but also dangerous to game stability unless extreme care is taken to prevent unsafe NPCs from getting into the potential-donor pool. We don't need another unpatched-Ottomas-twins situation!

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Scholar
Original Poster
#21 Old 29th May 2020 at 6:44 PM
Oh, filtering out unsafe NPCs shouldn't be a problem. The relationship requirement can also be made tweakable.
Test Subject
#22 Old 29th May 2020 at 8:28 PM
I would want the surrogate to be completely unrelated to the child, if possible (having a baby for an elder couple).
#23 Old 29th May 2020 at 8:38 PM
Perhaps there could also be an ‘Apply for Surrogacy’ interaction with the computer where a female sim can sign up to be a surrogate, and then a ‘Browse potential surrogates’ interaction for the other end? You could maybe have a list of potential surrogates to choose from in a menu somewhat like the phone menu, or like the employee menu.

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Mad Poster
#24 Old 29th May 2020 at 8:55 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freefalldreams
IRL XX doners get paid more than XY

Here in Canada it is actually illegal to pay sperm donors anything for their donation. I was looking it up last night because I'd just heard that it's also illegal here to do anonymous sperm donation. We have some weird laws here, and apparently no one bothers donating sperm anymore so we have to import donated sperm from the US
Inventor
#25 Old 10th Jun 2020 at 4:41 PM
@kestrellyn how's it coming? If you need any more ideas let me know! I would also love to play test when you have a version available. My laptop is kinda broken but also kinda working at the moment so I'm sure I could open TS2 - haven't tried yet though.
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