Archived Q&A and Reviews
My brother and his wife have been undergoing fertility treatments for a couple of years, and it looks like surrogacy may be the last option for them to have their own biological child. I had an easy pregnancy with my daughter, who is now 8 months old, and enjoyed being pregnant. I'm 35, and want another baby but not right away. Should I carry their child in the meantime? My brother and I are very close and this experience would probably bring us closer, but my relationship with my sister-in-law has been up and down. Right now it is up, but I wonder about the emotional complexity of a surrogate relationship. Has anyone out there been a surrogate for a family member? Or had a family member as a surrogate? What advice can you give me? Potential surrogate
I just wanted to put some things out there for you to think about. You are 35 yrs old and want another child eventually. Your own fertility will drop significantly after age 35 and the risks for birth defects goes up considerably. I got pregnant right away with my first child. For the second preganancy (after age 35) we had to resort to ferility treatments. It is very common to have a hard time getting pregnant the second time around. So, do the math. You will have to go through tests and hormones before getting pregnant, then 9 months of carrying their baby, then recovery. You won't want to get pregnant really soon after giving birth. So you will be a much older woman after giving birth to your brother's baby and then may face your own fertility challenges.
Secondly, I know someone who was a surrogate. There were a lot of hormones, etc. that she had to take and it made her the biggest space cadet and affected her physically. So if I were you I'd find out more about what exactly is involved and if you want to go through all of that while taking care of a toddler. With IVF there is a greater chance of post partum depression because of all the hormones you take. So overall, being a surrogate is not the same pregnancy as you went through with your first.
And that leads me to my third point. Taking care of a toddler while pregnant can be very draining. I hope you make a decision that is right for not only you and your brother, but the whole family as well. anon
I wouldn't do it, and I have given it a lot of thought. Only in my situation my sister-in-law wanted my husband to donate sperm to her girlfriend. A serious consideration is would you ever really be able to let go and have no say in the raising of your genetic child? What if you didn't like the way the child was being raised? What if you change your mind when the baby is born? What if the child had some serious medical problem -- you may be asked to contribute to medical care. A part of your heart will always be in that child, but you won't be able to make any major decisions in his/her care. Surrogacy is fine as a business arrangement, but when it's in your own family I don't think you have enough distance to really let go. All sorts of disagreements could come up, but when the stakes are that high it could tear your family apart. By helping your brother you may ultimately damage your relationship with him. Please don't enter into this lightly. Write down every possible contingency and discuss with your family how you would feel about each possiblity, and how it would be handled. Remember, even if you have an attorney write up what you think is an airtight contract, a judge can always render it invalid when circumstances indicate that following it would not be in the ''best interests of the child.'' Considered it and said no
Have you checked with your brother's fertility clinic that you're a viable surrogate? At 35, you're too old for many clinics. -your heart's in the right place
I didn't see the original post, only the responses, but I wanted to encourage you to research it a bit more and talk to women who've been gestational surrogates before you decide no. Our twin boys were born 4 months ago and carried by an amazing woman that we are so grateful decided to do this for us. Yes, there are hormones, similar to part of those you'd take in an IVF cycle, but I really don't think that they have an effect on post-partum depression as one reply stated. Of course you should take into consideration if you are finished having your own children, not only because of your age, but also because any pregnancy is risky and there can be unintended consequences.
Most (if not all) clinics will consider a gestational carrier over 35 (ours was 38 when she carried for us) --the age of the ''womb'' matters much less than the age of the eggs! If you talked to our surrogate, I think she would tell you that the connection she felt with our babies was very different than the connection with her own children --I don't believe it was a struggle for her to say goodbye when they were born. We all talk about it now as a journey that was not easy at all times, but very, very worthwhile for all of us in different ways.
One place you might start your research is by going to a website such as www.allaboutsurrogacy.com or www.surromomsonline.com to see what other surrogates or women considering doing this have to say,
Good luck with your decision! Mom of three
Good friends of ours--who would make great parents--are trying to find a surrogate mother after some heartbreaking attempts at IVF. If anyone can recommend how to find a surrogate mother, please post. They would prefer not to go through an agency.
My husband and I found our angel of a surrogate through a website called surromomsonline.com. We also did not want to go through an agency. There are many other surrogacy websites out there but this is the only one I can recommend from personal experience. There are hundreds of ads on the site from potential surrogates. Your friends can also place a 'looking for a surrogate' ad, too - this is how we found our surrogate; she responded to our ad. There is also a ton of other useful information about types of surrogacy, legal issues, success stories, etc. Best of luck to your friends - we now have a beautiful son, and finding that website was our first step. If it could happen for us, I have no doubt it can happen for them! Mommy at last