For many, in-laws are just as close and loved like any other member of the family. So, if you’ve watched your sister-in-law and brother struggle to have a child, you’ve likely wondered if you could help.
If you’ve ever thought, “Is being a surrogate for my sister-in-law right for me?” then contacting a surrogacy specialist is a great way to start your surrogacy journey. But, if you aren’t ready to chat, the following guide may help.
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions from sisters who are considering becoming surrogates to help their siblings and siblings-in-law:
Can I be a Surrogate for my Sister-in-Law?
Just as you may think of this question on your own, intended parents will sometimes ask, “Can your husband’s sister be your surrogate?”
Regardless of who initiates the conversation, gestational surrogacy between siblings and in-laws can be possible in many situations, provided everyone:
- Meets the requirements
- Follows state laws
- Is fully prepared for the physical and emotional journey ahead
What are the Requirements for Being a Surrogate for my Sister-in-law?
The requirements you need to meet can vary depending on where you live and the professional you work with. But, usually, to be a surrogate for a brother and sister-in-law, you’ll need to:
- Be between the ages of 21-43
- Had at least one successful pregnancy, but no more than five vaginal births and no more than four Caesarean births
- Be currently raising a child
- Had no major complications from previous pregnancies
- Have no felony convictions
While these are the basic requirements to become a surrogate, you’ll also need to:
- Complete a thorough screening process
- Think about the additional considerations that are unique to pursuing surrogacy with a sibling-in-law
What Would Being a Surrogate Mother for my Sister-in-Law be Like?
The surrogacy process would, for the most part, be the same as it would in any situation. The two biggest differences are you wouldn’t need to search for the intended parents, and that your relationship would be different than most intended parent-surrogate relationships.
But, you also should consider the unique emotions of partnering with family in surrogacy.
Being a surrogate for a sister-in-law and your brother means:
- Your experiences will permanently change your existing relationship.
- Old sibling rivalries could emerge, particularly if infertility is an issue.
- Altruistic surrogacy may seem like the best way to help your family, but accepting some amount of compensation can help preserve your relationship.
- You should take extra care to work with a surrogacy counselor before, during, and after the process. This will help preserve family bonds and ensure your relationship is stronger afterward rather than weakened. The surrogacy process can put even the closest relationships to the test, so working with an experienced counselor can help you navigate the ups and downs together.
- You’ll all need to be comfortable with things that may have been previously embarrassing or felt a little intrusive. For example, brothers and sisters will be in the delivery room together, and more.
- You will have a unique bond with your niece or nephew. Even though pursuing gestational surrogacy means you won’t be the biological mother of your sister-in-law’s baby, this special relationship can create tensions within the extended family.
Being a surrogate for your sister-in-law and brother can be a rewarding experience for your entire family — as long as everyone is prepared for surrogacy’s unique emotional benefits and challenges. Partnering with an experienced professional is the best way to address this.
Is Traditional Surrogacy with my Sister-in-Law an Option?
In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is also the egg donor, making her the biological mother of her brother and sister-in-law’s baby. This is why traditional surrogacy can be legally and emotionally complicated — and why it is now illegal in most states.
In gestational surrogacy, a donor egg or eggs from your sister-in-law are used to create the embryo, so you would still only be the baby’s aunt. This is the only type of surrogacy that most professionals will complete today, as traditional surrogacy is often considered too risky.
Gestational surrogacy is always the best option.
Should I be a Surrogate for a Sister-in-Law?
Just because you’re not related by blood doesn’t mean you aren’t close. Many siblings-in-laws grow to be as close as any biological siblings, and so, when you watch your family members long for a baby, your heart goes out to them.
However, being a surrogate for a sister-in-law isn’t right for everyone. If there are reasons why being a surrogate isn’t an option for you at this time (or perhaps ever), it’s perfectly acceptable to say “no.” It can be hard to turn down your loved ones, but you should never feel pressured to carry their baby if surrogacy isn’t right for you.
There’s a surrogate out there ready to help complete your sister-in-law’s family, but this may not be you. You can help in other ways, like fundraising for their surrogacy journey.
How do I Become a Surrogate for my Brother and Sister-in-law? How Should I get Started?
Always start by contacting a surrogacy professional. They’ll have a thorough knowledge of your state’s surrogacy laws, whether you’ll likely meet the requirements, and what steps may be required in your situation. They’ll also be able to answer additional questions about being a surrogate for your sister-in-law and help you begin the process whenever you’re ready.