Surrogacy is a unique journey, however you do it. When you add family members into the mix, it can be an even more rewarding process. As a prospective surrogate, you will get to play an instrumental role in bringing a child of a loved one into the world, and it can strengthen your family relationships in a way you never knew was possible.
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably asking, “Can I become a surrogate for my cousin?” The answer is yes — as long as you meet certain requirements and stipulations.
Becoming a gestational surrogate is always a big decision to make. Deciding to carry for your family member could make the decision even more complicated. Before you proceed with this journey, we encourage you to contact our surrogacy professionals at 1-800-875-BABY(2229). They can discuss with you in detail the different aspects of the surrogacy process, as well as how working with family members will impact your journey. We also offer a special program for those completing identified surrogacy within the U.S.
What to Know About Becoming a Surrogate for Your Cousin
Before choosing to become a surrogate, there are some important things every woman should consider. You should always do extensive research about this process and talk at length with your cousin about their surrogacy goals and preferences. Surrogacy is a partnership; you are just as important a figure as the intended parents and should always be treated as so.
As you learn the answer to, “Can I become a surrogate for my cousin?” keep these things in mind:
1. Most Surrogacies Today are Gestational — for Good Reason
If you are unsure of how surrogacy works, don’t worry — it’s still a misunderstood process for many people. If a cousin approaches you about carrying a child for him or her, you will want to ensure they are interested in a gestational surrogacy. Otherwise, you raise the potential for practical, legal and ethical complications along the way.
In gestational surrogacy, you will not be the biological mother of the child that you carry. While you will still be carrying an extended family member, your eggs will not be used in the process — which is not only genetically better for that child but also emotionally better for the entire family. Roles can quickly become confused when DNA is shared in nontraditional ways among family members.
While you will likely always have a special relationship with your cousin’s child, they will not be “your” child. You can still treat them like any other family member after your surrogacy is complete.
If your family members are interested in a traditional surrogacy, that is usually a concern — and many surrogacy professionals would advise you decline this offer.
2. Being a Surrogate is a Huge Commitment
It’s important that you fully understand the path ahead of you before you become a gestational carrier. Even if you have already found a surrogacy match, you will need to go through several steps: screening and assessment, drafting a legal contract, taking fertility medication and undergoing the embryo transfer process — not to mention the challenges of pregnancy and childbirth. At the end of this long journey, you will not go home with a baby, so you’ll need to be comfortable with this kind of sacrifice.
If you are asking, “Can I become a surrogate for my cousin?” please reach out to a surrogacy professional to learn more about this process, especially if you are a first-time gestational carrier. While surrogacy is an immensely rewarding journey, it is also one that will change you, your immediate family and your extended family’s lives forever.
3. You are Entitled to Surrogate Compensation
In many cases, identified surrogacies are altruistic surrogacies. This means a surrogate does not receive any base compensation for her service.
Many surrogates carrying for family members are comfortable with this sacrifice, and many intended parents seek out family members as gestational carriers for this very reason. But, before you commit to an altruistic surrogacy, know that you are entitled to a base compensation, as long as your state laws allow it (more on that below). This base compensation is designed to make up for the risks of carrying a surrogate pregnancy, as well as the emotional complications that can come with an altruistic surrogacy.
If you are being asked to complete an altruistic surrogacy, think about how you will feel when you give your time, energy and body to help your loved ones. You will likely miss work for appointments and postpartum recovery, and your family won’t be able to maintain the same lifestyle while you are pregnant.
If you wish to learn more about surrogate base compensation, please contact our surrogacy specialists today.
4. Surrogacy Laws in the U.S. Vary
In order to answer the question, “Can I become a surrogate for my cousin?” you need to understand the surrogacy laws in your state. Surrogacy is regulated by state laws in the U.S., which means some legislation is stricter than others when it comes to this family-building process.
There are a few states in the U.S. that prohibit certain types of surrogacy. Make sure to do your research and speak with a surrogacy attorney before committing to this path. You will have to draft a surrogacy contract before you can begin your surrogacy journey — even if you are carrying for family members — so find an experienced local surrogacy attorney to guide you in this legal process.
5. Becoming a Surrogate is Always Your Choice
If you are wondering, “Can I become a surrogate for my cousin?” the odds are that you’ve seen them struggle through infertility and know how badly they wish to become parents. Surrogacy may seem like the natural next step for them and you.
However, you will always have the final say as to whether you wish to carry a child for your family member. You should never feel obligated or pressured to say “yes” to your family members. Surrogacy is a life-changing journey, and it may not be right for every woman. Even if you meet all the requirements on paper, you may decide that the commitment this journey requires is not something you’re comfortable with. That’s completely okay. This decision is never anyone’s but your own. If you decide not to be your cousin’s surrogate, there are plenty of pre-approved women who are happy to help them reach their surrogacy goals.
To learn more about becoming a gestational carrier for your cousin or another family member, please reach out to American Surrogacy for free at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) today.