Infertility affects 1 in 8 Americans — and, if you’re one of them, you’re probably feeling a range of emotions at this point in your journey. You may be angry, frustrated and jealous that you can’t have a child as easily as others. But, if you’ve come to this page, you might find yourself feeling something new: hope.
Surrogacy offers you a great way to add a child to your family. If you think it’s right for you, you may have a few questions: How does surrogacy work? How do I find the perfect surrogate?
If you’ve come to this article, you’re probably asking another big question: Can your husband’s sister be your surrogate?
The answer is yes! Every surrogacy journey is unique, but there are many people who have completed surrogacy with a family member, otherwise known as an “identified surrogacy.” There are no rules that you have to be genetically related to a family member in order to pursue identified surrogacy; as long as you and your gestational carrier are aware of and prepared for the journey ahead of you, you can take this path toward your parenthood dreams.
American Surrogacy stands ready to help you through your identified surrogacy, no matter where you are at in your journey. To learn more about our identified surrogacy program, or to get started today, we encourage you to call 1-800-875-BABY(2229).
Can Your Husband’s Sister Be Your Surrogate?
You may not be sure that surrogacy is right for your family yet — and that’s okay. Surrogacy is a big commitment, and you’ll want to make sure you know everything before choosing this path. In fact, you may be at the very beginning of your surrogacy journey. The idea of having a sister-in-law carry for you may have just popped into your head before you even knew a lot about the surrogacy process.
That’s why American Surrogacy is here — to answer those questions and help you find the path that is right for you. Our specialists can discuss the surrogacy process in detail with you and your sister-in-law at any time, giving you the information you need to move forward.
While you now know that your husband’s sister can be your surrogate, you still need to ask yourself a few things before embarking on this journey.
Does She Meet Surrogacy Requirements?
Before you do anything else, you need to make sure that your sister-in-law is even eligible to be your gestational carrier. Being a surrogate requires a great deal of commitment and an acceptance of risks for a woman, so every prospective surrogate must meet certain requirements before she is approved for the process.
Before your husband’s sister can be your surrogate, first ask yourself these questions:
- Has she had a successful, full-term pregnancy with no complications?
- Is she between the ages of 21 and 38 years old?
- Is she raising a child in her own home?
- Is her BMI between 19 and 32?
- Can she travel as needed for necessary appointments?
- Has she been off antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication for at least 12 months?
If you are able to answer “yes” to all of these questions, your sister-in-law will likely qualify to be your gestational carrier. However, if you cannot, it’s unlikely that a surrogacy professional will approve your husband’s sister to carry your child.
For more information about surrogacy requirements and possible exceptions, please contact our surrogacy specialists.
Have You Explained the Process to Her?
It’s one thing for someone to say they are interested in surrogacy and another completely to commit to this family-building process, which can take a year or more. It’s important that your sister-in-law thoroughly understands what this process will require of her, including the time and effort she will need to sacrifice along the way.
If your sister-in-law has offered to become your gestational carrier, take the time to learn more about how surrogacy will work with her. You can always contact our surrogacy specialists for a description of the process and answers to whatever questions you may have. Know that we will also be here to provide support and counseling for you both throughout your surrogacy journey.
Is She Comfortable with an Altruistic Surrogacy?
You may be considering an identified surrogacy because of the decreased costs in doing so, especially if you are interested in an altruistic surrogacy. If your sister-in-law is generous enough to offer her surrogate services without any base compensation, you may find your family-building journey to be more affordable. However, before you all agree on an altruistic surrogacy, consider the realities of this process.
Your sister-in-law will give time, energy and her body to help you become a parent. She will likely put miles on her car for appointments, miss out on time with her family and have to spend time away from work during her pregnancy. These are all factors that can impact her considerably. If she is not receiving some kind of compensation, she may feel taken advantage of. Surrogacy is, in essence, a job, one which takes a lot out of a woman’s life. If she does not receive any compensation for her services, you may end up feeling uncomfortable asking for extra requests during her pregnancy — or about the fact that you now have a unique debt you can never repay.
Never just assume that your family member is comfortable with an altruistic surrogacy. Make sure to discuss this in detail before your surrogate decides to waive her right to base compensation.
How Will Surrogacy Affect the Rest of Your Family?
Pursuing surrogacy with your sister-in-law is not just a decision that will affect you, your spouse and her. It’s a decision that will affect your entire extended family.
Before beginning this path, you need to consider how you will approach the topic of surrogacy with your loved ones. How will you explain it to them? What will you do if some of them are unsupportive?
At the same time, you’ll need to think of the future. When your child is born, they will have a unique story — and it will need to be celebrated by all of your extended family. Your child’s aunt may have a special relationship with your child; you cannot pretend that your surrogacy journey together never happened. Be prepared for your own relationship with your sister-in-law to change, and embrace the special relationship that will evolve between her, you, your spouse and your child as time goes by.
Does She Really Want to Do This for You?
Instead of asking, “Can your husband’s sister be your surrogate?” ask this: “Does my husband’s sister really want to be my surrogate?”
Ultimately, the decision to become a surrogate is only your sister-in-law’s. While infertility can pressure you into finding a solution for your struggles, surrogacy is not a choice to make lightly. You and your potential gestational carrier should always talk in detail about your surrogacy preferences and goals to ensure you are on the same page before starting. If you start this journey as a united team, it will go much smoother and with much more success.
To learn more about identified surrogacy, please call our agency at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) today.