Discovering How To Say “Surrogate” In Spanish

¡Buenas Días!

A few days ago, I read an interesting post at Being Happiness by Ben Curtis.  An Englishman who has spent the last 18 years living in Spain, Ben wrote an article entitled What Spain Has Given Me.   Ben has enjoyed many wonderful things while living and working in Spain such as: the delicious food of Asturias, beautiful landscapes, the Spanish language, friends and family.

In reading the article, I was struck by another thing that Ben has enjoyed by living in Spain – a “sort of surrogate Catalan family in a small village north of Barcelona that I visit often”.  I realized that I did not know the Spanish word for surrogate.  Word Reference gives sustituo/a and suplente as Spanish translations.  The dictionary gives examples of sustituto to convey the meaning of a substitute or an alternative.  The examples given for suplente convey the meaning of a replacement. Neither of these translations communicated the spirit of family love that Ben wrote about.  I was curious about how one would say surrogate family in Spanish, so I asked at the Word Reference Forum.

There was a little bit of a confusing discussion about which word to use for surrogate, which included the adjective putativ0/a  (putative), and the noun acogido/a (refugee).  In the end, it was suggested that familia de sustitución o familia de adopción would be appropriate.  Familia de adopción sounds the best to me.

So, there you have my somewhat complicated experience in trying to learn the Spanish translation of surrogate.

I love reading the Being Happiness blog.  Ben shares his ideas about what consitutes happiness through personal writing, art, and photography.  If you are curious, go to

¡Feliz finde!

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