Surrogacy is a beautiful journey — so much so that some intended parents decide to do it all over again! When you’re a surrogate, you may be surprised to find yourself contacted months or even years after you give birth, with your intended parents asking you a question: Will you be our surrogate again?
If the prospect of a sibling journey was never mentioned in your first surrogacy, you may be a bit caught off-guard. Maybe surrogacy was a one-time thing for you and your family, and you’ve never thought about doing it again. Maybe you’re not ready for another journey, but now you feel pressured into one because of the people that you care about so much.
So, what do you do when your intended parents ask you about carrying for them again? While many women see it as an honor to be asked about a sibling journey, it’s just as important to evaluate the pros and cons of this process as you did when you first became a surrogate. Even though the intended parents may be the same in a certain surrogacy situation, many other factors are unique and should be dutifully considered before moving forward.
Remember, your surrogacy specialist is always available to help you navigate these conversations when they arise. Don’t be afraid to reach out to our agency for guidance if you are asked about a sibling journey — whatever your personal feelings may be.
Is This Something You are Prepared and Ready for?
It’s easy to feel pressured into a sibling journey when your intended parents ask you to carry again. If they’re asking, odds are they had a positive enough relationship with you during the first journey to want to repeat it again. They probably already trust you and care for you, and they want to repeat the same positive experience they had with their first child born via surrogacy.
If you had a similarly positive experience, you may initially feel the same way about carrying for them again. But, just because you’ve carried for a couple once doesn’t mean a second journey is an automatic guarantee. Just as you had to during your first surrogacy journey, you will still need to meet specific requirements and ensure you (and your family) are ready to embark on this journey again. Just because you have been a surrogate before doesn’t mean that you can automatically become a surrogate this time around.
If your intended parents were the ones who reached out to you, it’s possible that you hadn’t considered becoming a surrogate for them again. Before you engage in this conversation, you can always call your surrogacy specialist for more details about how this journey will work.
You will also want to ask yourself these questions:
- Do I still meet the requirements to become a surrogate?
- Is my family comfortable with me giving up my time and energy at this point in our lives?
- Am I ready to put my family’s plans and goals on hold for a year or more?
- Am I comfortable with the risk of another surrogate pregnancy?
- Do I really want to carry another child for this family?
If you’re having trouble deciding whether or not being a surrogate again is right for you, call your surrogacy specialist at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) for counseling.
How a Sibling Journey May Be Different
While the relationship parts of a sibling surrogacy journey may certainly be easier than in your first surrogacy journey, that doesn’t mean that every part of your second surrogacy will be as easy or uncomplicated as the first. On the contrary, carrying for someone you already know can come with new complexities that may not have ever crossed your mind.
Some of these difficulties come from the assumptions that many intended parents make when they work with the same surrogate for the second time. They may assume that you are okay with the same travel schedule, contact preferences, surrogate compensation and more. It can be uncomfortable for you if your preferences have changed and you want a slightly different journey; you may be afraid asking for those changes shows that you are “ungrateful” for or were unhappy in your previous journey.
But, the fact is, no matter how long it’s been between surrogacy journeys, things are different. You are older, and your family situation may require more of you with older children and more responsibilities. You may not be as clinically “healthy” for pregnancy as you were before; getting pregnant may not be easy (or even possible) like it was before.
Even after you start a sibling journey, the expectations you and your intended parents have may lull you into a sense of security. If things don’t go as they did during your first surrogacy, it can be uncomfortable and scary. In the worst case scenario, the positive relationship you had in your first surrogacy can quickly deteriorate should something unfortunate happen in your sibling journey.
Remember: Every surrogacy is unique, even if the partners involved are the same. Therefore, every journey must be treated as so.
Don’t Be Afraid of Saying “No”
When intended parents approach you about carrying a sibling for their first child born via surrogacy, you’ll probably feel a lot of emotions. You may even feel guilty if you are not open to this idea — and that you’ll have to let your intended parents down by rejecting their proposal.
Remember this: You are never obligated to become a surrogate for anyone, no matter your personal history. Being a surrogate is a great commitment, and it’s important that you and your family are 100 percent comfortable before agreeing to this journey. When you signed up to become a surrogate the first time, you were only obligating yourself to one surrogacy journey. Your intended parents should respect that.
Saying “no” can be hard, but it is important that you advocate for yourself. Make sure to emphasize how honored you are by the intended parents approaching you, but be strong and clear about how becoming a surrogate is not in the cards for your life at this time. Your intended parents should understand. If you have trouble navigating this conversation, your surrogacy specialist will be there to help.
Whatever you end up deciding when it comes to a sibling surrogacy journey, remember that it is your decision alone. You are always the one who knows what is best for you and your family.