Is it Cheaper to Pursue Surrogacy with a Family Member?

It’s no secret that using surrogacy to build your family is expensive. Between the IVF treatments, agency fees, advertising services, and much more, it’s clear to see why anyone would want to find ways to cut down on costs.

But would asking a family member for their help be the best way to achieve that goal?

It makes sense as to why someone would want to learn more about identified surrogacy with a family member. After all, working with someone you already have a solid relationship with while keeping costs to a minimum seems like the perfect solution. But, for a number of reasons, an identified surrogacy isn’t as easy or simple as you might expect.

To help you make the best decision that works for your family, we’ve created this guide to what it’s really like to pursue surrogacy with a family member. But if you’d like to talk a little bit more about what this process is like with one of our specialists directly, we’d be happy to help. Give us a call at 1-800-875-2229 to get more information today.

So, How Much Does Identified Surrogacy Cost?

If you’re an intended parent looking at the costs of surrogacy, then you’ll know that it’s definitely not cheap. The average costs can be up to $100,000 or more. Because of these high costs, we understand why it might be tempting to ask a family member for their help, and to ask, “How much is surrogacy with a family member?” Especially since finding an identified gestational carrier means that your fees can be reduced by $17,000 for domestic intended parents and $19,000 for international intended parents.

It’s important to remember that, no matter how you choose to find a gestational surrogacy, you’re still going to be spending a lot of money during this process from start to finish. While having a family member become your gestational surrogate is a possibility, we consider you to consider all of your other options for finding a gestational carrier first.

What are Some Other Ways to Keep Costs Down?

While surrogacy might be an expensive endeavor, there are thankfully a few ways that you keep costs low and make your dreams for building a family come true. Below are just a few other options that can make surrogacy a little more affordable.

Loans: The most common way to fund your surrogacy and one that you might already be thinking of applying for are loans. Like any other type of loan, however, you’ll want to consider potential interest rates you’ll be charged and make sure that you can afford the monthly payments.

Grants: If you’re eligible, receiving a surrogacy grant is the best way to cut costs. This is money that you won’t have to pay back, which makes it a huge win. Any grant you apply to will have different requirements, so be sure to read up on them before you apply.

Fundraising: Having a supportive community of friends and family will be a great help during your surrogacy journey. If you haven’t looked into it yet, why not consider starting a fundraiser with their help?

Can a Family Member Become a Gestational Surrogate?

Now that we’ve talked about costs, let’s talk about the logistics of surrogacy with a family member. The short answer to the initial question is yes — they can become one. But should a family member be a part of your surrogacy journey? The answer to that really depends.

As you may already know, becoming a surrogate is not as easy or simple as many people seem to believe. No matter who you choose, she will still have to go through a rigorous screening process to assess her eligibility. On top of that, she needs to be prepared for the steps it will take to prepare her body for the embryo transfer itself. Becoming a surrogate is a lot of work, and it’s not a quick or easy process. So even if they are a family member, you should both make sure that everyone is on board for them to make this sacrifice of time, stress and physical effort.

And if you are considering traditional surrogacy within the family, definitely take some time to seriously consider all the pros and cons first, as this can be extremely complicated emotionally and legally. You should also be aware that the vast majority of surrogacy agencies won’t work with you for this type of traditional surrogacy. Instead, your best bet is always work with a gestational surrogate if you’re considering the help of a family member.

What’s it Like to Have a Family Member Become a Surrogate?

Working with a family member isn’t the right choice for everyone. Below are just a few things that can make an identified surrogacy a challenge for both the intended parents and the surrogate:

1. Personal differences when it comes to finances. Compensation is one of the most important things to consider if you’re pursuing identified surrogacy. While your family member may have offered to do a non-compensated or altruistic surrogacy, in the long term this might not be the best option. For instance, your family member might initially feel comfortable with this kind of arrangement only to feel later like they’re being taken advantage of. When drafting up your surrogacy contract, it’s important that each party works with their own surrogacy attorney who can negotiate on both of your behalf.

2. Surrogacy could put a strain your relationship. Even if you already have a close relationship with your surrogate, it doesn’t mean that both parties won’t be tested in unexpected and challenging ways. If your surrogate if your sister, for example, it’s possible that feelings of sibling rivalry can come up — making for an uncomfortable experience for both parties.

3. The surrogate will likely need some space, even if they’re a family member. Surrogacy isn’t easy, and being pregnant certainly isn’t, either. There will be ups and downs throughout her experience, but she might not feel comfortable talking about this when her intended parents are also part of her family. Before you consider asking a family member to become your surrogate, think about what kind of boundaries you’ll need to keep in place to make this situation work.

Choosing a Family Member to Be Your Gestational Surrogate

In many cases, finding a gestational surrogate that’s not a family member can be a better option. But if you are in a situation where you would rather work with a family member, then we recommend that you still work with an experienced professional, like American Surrogacy, to help you through the process. Choosing to work with an agency, even in an identified match, gives you the same amount of protection as any other intended parent. This means that you’ll receive:

  • Screening and assessment of both parties
  • A larger network of prospective surrogates
  • Support and guidance for every step of the process
  • And more

Even if you’re pursuing surrogacy with a family member, it’s important to make sure that everyone is ready for the journey ahead. Like we mentioned earlier, surrogacy with a family member can cause a strain on your relationships. That’s why, during the screening process, we will help you and your surrogate talk through any potential difficult situations before feelings of tension arise.

While you will always have the option of pursuing gestational surrogacy with a sister, cousin or another relative, we encourage you to do plenty of research. You might find that, while it will cost less to work with a family member, you might end up with a better experience by working with a gestational surrogate who is not a friend or family member. To learn more about your options, you can always speak with our specialists.

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