If your sibling has been trying to get pregnant and is considering surrogacy, you may have thought, “Can a sibling be a surrogate?”
The quick answer is yes. But, you must consider all angles of your potential surrogacy before saying yes to this journey.
In general, these seven questions can help you determine if you’re ready to be a surrogate for your sibling:
- Can a sibling be a surrogate?
- What’s the process of being a surrogate for your sister or brother like?
- What’s the difference between being a gestational carrier for my sister or brother and traditional surrogacy?
- Is it weird being a surrogate for your sister or brother?
- How do I say no to being a surrogate for my sister or brother?
If you’re ready to talk to a surrogacy specialist about becoming a surrogate for your sibling, you can contact us today!
But, if you want to find out the seven most common questions about being a surrogate for a sibling, continue reading.
1. Can a Sibling be a Surrogate?
As long as you and your sibling meet the requirements, you can usually be a surrogate for a sibling.
The requirements can vary depending on the state(s) you live in and the surrogacy professional you work with. But, typically, to become a surrogate for your brother or sister, you must:
- Have had at least one successful pregnancy and birth with no complications
- Be raising a child in your own home
- Be between the ages of 21 and 43
- And more
Keep in mind that surrogacy laws vary by state, but being a surrogate for your sister or brother is possible as long as:
- You’re ready for surrogacy
- You meet the requirements
- You’re completing a gestational surrogacy
2. What’s the Process of Being a Surrogate for Your Sister or Brother Like?
In most respects, the surrogacy process will be unchanged for you. The primary differences will be that you won’t need to search for intended parents and that your relationship will be different than it would be for most intended parent-surrogate matches.
With that knowledge, there are a few steps you should take before you begin the process of being a surrogate for your sister:
- Educate yourself: Be sure you’re ready to take on an approximately year-long commitment that requires your physical and emotional energy, time, and immediate family’s support.
- Start the screening process: This can be time-consuming, and it’s important to make sure you’re physically and emotionally ready for the journey.
- Undergo pre-surrogacy counseling: You and your sibling should work with someone experienced in maintaining intended parent-surrogate relationships. Surrogacy is an emotional journey that can strain even the closest relationships, and a professional will help guide you.
One more note: Even siblings need to have a legal contract. This is true for any intended parent-surrogate match and is for everyone’s protection. A contract also serves as a roadmap in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
3. What’s the Difference Between Being a Gestational Carrier for my Sister or Brother and Traditional Surrogacy?
The following explains the difference between gestational and traditional surrogacy:
An egg from a donor or intended mother is used, so the surrogate is not the baby’s biological mother. Gestational surrogacy is the recommended course for all situations, particularly in sibling surrogacy journeys.
The surrogate uses her egg to create the embryo, making her the baby’s biological mother.
Traditional surrogacy is legally risky and more emotionally complicated, which are only a few of the reasons that it is now illegal in most states.
You can learn more about the differences here. If you do want to become a surrogate for your sister or brother, you will need to complete a gestational surrogacy process.
4. Is it Weird Being a Surrogate for Your Sister or Brother?
In gestational surrogacy, you are not the biological mother of your sibling’s child. Surrogates become pregnant through embryo transfers, so fears of incest are a non-issue. All told, it’s a very clinical process.
Before you choose to become a sibling’s surrogate, consider the following:
- Not being able to carry one’s child is a painful experience for intended parents, compounded by the grief of infertility; old sibling rivalries could emerge.
- Because you’re considering being a surrogate for a sibling, you’ve likely considered altruistic surrogacy, which means you wouldn’t be compensated outside of reimbursement for pregnancy- and surrogacy-related expenses. This is not recommended. Without compensation, surrogates can wind up paying for some out-of-pocket costs. Discussing finances is often awkward, so it’s best to work with a professional when you establish what’s in your contract.
- Surrogacy will change your sibling relationship forever. For example, sisters and brothers must be comfortable in obstetrician’s appointments and the delivery room together.
- This journey will affect your entire family. Even in gestational surrogacy, you’ll share a unique bond with the niece or nephew you carried. Your children, nieces and nephews, parents, and family members need to be prepared for the process.
5. How do I say no to Being a Surrogate for my Sister or Brother?
Many women who ask, “Can a sibling be a surrogate, and am I OK with this?” do so because they feel pressured to help their sibling.
There are many reasons why surrogacy might not be right for you, so how do you say no?
- Thank your brother or sister for trusting you.
- Gently but firmly explain why you decline.
- Let them know how you plan to help them in their journey to become a parent. Consider helping your sibling fundraise to continue the surrogacy journey, work with an attorney to search for the right surrogate, and more.
Next Steps Toward Being a Surrogate for Your Sister or Brother
Your first step should be to contact a surrogacy professional. A specialist will answer any questions about becoming a surrogate for your sibling and can help you begin the process whenever you’re both ready.