Infertility can be a mentally exhausting journey — not just for intended parents but also for those privy to their struggles. If you have a sibling going through this journey, you’ve probably watched it closely, feeling for every heartbreak and knowing how badly he or she wants to become a parent.
In wishing you could help, there may be one thought circulating in your brain: “Can a sister be a surrogate for a brother or sister?”
Whether this idea came to you of its own accord or your sibling asked you to be a gestational carrier for him or her, you have a lot to think about. Becoming a surrogate for a sister or brother is a big decision to make, and it’s one that will change your entire family’s life forever.
No matter how much you want to help, don’t rush into this decision. First, contact a surrogacy professional like American Surrogacy to find out exactly what this process looks like. A surrogacy specialist will always answer any questions you have and explain what a typical family surrogacy situation entails.
As you learn more about becoming a surrogate for a sister or brother, you’ll find there a few important things to think about. We’ve gathered the most crucial ones below.
Can Siblings Do Surrogacy?
Often, women come to us, saying, “My sister/brother wants me to be her/his surrogate. Is that even possible?”
The answer is yes! As long as a woman meets the requirements to become a surrogate, she can give this selfless, beautiful gift to a sibling struggling with infertility. In fact, it’s becoming more and more common for intended parents to seek out family members or friends to carry their children. Doing so provides them with a sense of trust and an established relationship that they may not expect to find in a match through an agency.
If you’re asking, “Can I be a surrogate mother for my sister or brother?” first make sure that you meet these requirements:
- Had at least one successful, full-term pregnancy with no major complications
- Currently raising a child in your own home
- Have no unresolved mental health illnesses, addiction, depression, etc.
- Have a BMI between 19 and 32
- Between the ages of 21 and 38
Some women ask, “But what if I’m interested in being a surrogate mother for my brother/sister and don’t meet those requirements?”
Gestational carrier requirements are set by professionals to protect the safety of both the surrogate and her intended parents. While some exceptions may be made, certain requirements — such as a previous pregnancy — are non-negotiables. You can always contact our surrogacy specialists at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) to find out more about whether you can be a surrogate for your sister or brother.
Consider This Before Being a Surrogate for a Sister or Brother
In addition to requirements for gestational carriers and intended parents, there are a few other things that anyone considering a sibling surrogacy journey should think about. Surrogacy is a complicated journey, both emotionally and practically, and it’s important both parties are aware of this before beginning.
Perhaps you’re wondering, “What are the specific things to know about being a surrogate for my sister or brother?” While every family dynamic is different, here are a few common issues that may arise in a sibling surrogacy:
- Sibling Rivalries: If you’re thinking about becoming a surrogate mother for your sister, think about the emotional complexities of doing so. Old sibling rivalries can quickly emerge; your sister may be jealous of your ability to carry a child when she can’t, which may strain your relationship.
- Financial Burdens: If you’re considering carrying for a sibling, you may be considering an altruistic surrogacy. Hoping to save your sibling some money, you may be okay with not receiving additional compensation for your services. However, without a set compensation schedule, you could find yourself paying for some surrogacy costs out-of-pocket — such as any time you have to take off work, mileage for attending medical appointments and more. Discussing these expenses once your surrogacy journey has begun can be awkward. This is why our professionals always recommend some kind of compensation to keep both parties happy during and after the surrogacy process.
- Existing Personal Boundaries: Just because two people are siblings doesn’t mean they are always very close. When you take a surrogacy journey with a brother or sister, however, you will need to be intimately familiar with each other every step of the way. The relationship you had before will change forever. For example, a sister carrying her brother’s child will need to be comfortable with him being present during delivery and some key gynecological appointments — and he needs to be comfortable with that, too.
- Changes to the Family Dynamics: Finally, anyone considering being a surrogate for a sister or brother should consider how this choice will affect her extended family. Those who are completing traditional surrogacies will find this journey much more complicated, which is why gestational surrogacy is always recommended. Even when a surrogate is not related to the child she carries, she will have a unique bond with her niece or nephew that she may not have with others. How family members will address this as a child grows up should always be discussed before the surrogacy process begins.
Before taking this path, consider reaching out to other surrogates who have carried for siblings to learn more about the experience ahead of you.
How to Become a Surrogate for a Sister or Brother
Whether a sibling has asked you to become a gestational carrier for him or her, or you have thought of the idea all on your own, it’s important to know exactly how to become a surrogate for a sister or brother. Before your sibling surrogacy journey starts, there are a few steps you have to take.
Step 1: Decide Whether Surrogacy is Right for You
Before asking, “Can I be a surrogate mother for my sister or brother?” ask yourself this: “Do I really want to be a gestational carrier for my sibling?”
Surrogacy is a big commitment. It will require you to give a great deal of your time, energy and your body to help bring your niece or nephew into the world. It’s not right for everyone, even for women who meet all of the qualifications to become a surrogate.
You are never obligated to become a surrogate, even if your sister or brother approaches you about doing so. This is always 100 percent your decision, and you should never feel pressured into it just because your sister or brother is asking. If need be, they can always find another surrogate through an agency.
Step 2: Find a Surrogacy Professional
If you and your sibling decide that surrogacy is right for you, you will need to find a surrogacy professional to guide you through the upcoming process. Every surrogacy requires a fertility clinic and a surrogacy attorney, but you can also receive case management and support services from an agency such as American Surrogacy. When you work with us, our surrogacy specialists will coordinate every step of your process, letting you focus on the big picture and a healthy pregnancy. They will also complete the necessary screening and background checks required before you move forward with your process.
If you are being a surrogate mother for a sister or brother, our agency offers a special program with reduced fees for intended parents. Call a specialist today for more information.
Step 3: Create a Surrogacy Contract
Before any official steps can be taken, you must solidify your surrogacy match with a legal surrogacy contract. Even if you are medically approved for the surrogacy process, you will not be able to start preparing for the embryo transfer until a surrogacy contract is in place — even though you are becoming a surrogate mother for a sister or brother.
You and your sibling will need separate surrogacy attorneys for this step (our specialists can help you find experienced local lawyers). They will work to create a contract addressing each party’s rights and responsibilities, surrogate compensation and other financial information, potential risks of the process and more. Even if you have a strong, trusting relationship with your surrogacy partner, a properly drafted surrogacy contract must be completed.
Becoming a surrogate for a sister or brother is a selfless, generous thing to do — but it’s a decision that should come with a great deal of research and thought. If you do decide to pursue this path, let American Surrogacy guide you through it. We have helped many women in your situation, and we can help you, too. Begin with our identified surrogacy program today by calling 1-800-875-BABY(2229).