asking a family member to be your surrogate

Surrogacy has become an increasingly popular method for individuals or couples to have a child when they are unable to do so naturally. Surrogates play a crucial role in this process, carrying and delivering a child on behalf of the intended parents. 

That being said, finding the right surrogate for your family can be challenging. As a result, many hopeful parents-to-be turn to family members to ask them to take on the role of surrogate (also known as a surrogate mother or a gestational carrier).

In this post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about asking a family member to be a surrogate, including how to ask them, what to ask them, requirements they’ll need to meet, and anything that might disqualify them. 

How to ask your family member to be a surrogate

There are plenty of reasons to choose a family member as your surrogate, including the fact that you have a pre-existing relationship with them, you likely share the same values, and the overall cost will be lower. However, you will likely still have to provide them with compensation as pregnancy is a very labor- and time-intensive process. 

Asking a family member to be a surrogate is a significant and sensitive request that requires careful consideration and communication. Here are some steps to guide you in approaching this conversation:

Understand the Implications

Before approaching a family member, make sure you fully understand the implications of surrogacy and what a surrogate mother does. Consider the emotional, physical, and legal aspects involved, and be prepared to discuss these with the potential surrogate.

Choose the Right Time and Setting

Find an appropriate and private setting for the conversation. Plus, you should make sure to choose a time when both you and the family member are relaxed and can have an open discussion without distractions.

Express Your Feelings and Intentions

Begin the conversation by expressing your feelings and intentions. Share your struggles with infertility, if applicable, and explain why you are considering surrogacy. Be sincere and open about your desire to build a family and the role they could play in helping you achieve that.

Educate Them About Surrogacy

Provide information about surrogacy, especially if your family member is not familiar with surrogacy. Explain how surrogacy works, how the surrogate gets pregnant, and the potential emotional and physical aspects of being a surrogate. 

Share Your Research

If you have done research on the surrogacy process, share the information with your family member. This may include details about legal aspects, medical procedures like the egg donor process or in vitro fertilization (IVF), and the support available for surrogates.

Discuss Expectations and Boundaries

Clearly discuss your expectations and any boundaries related to the surrogacy arrangement. This includes matters such as involvement during pregnancy, medical decisions, and the level of communication you envision during the process. 

Be Open to Questions

Encourage the family member to ask questions. Be prepared to provide additional information and address any concerns or uncertainties they may have.

Discuss Legal and Medical Aspects

Briefly discuss the legal and medical aspects of surrogacy. Mention that you would work together to ensure all legal requirements are met, and emphasize that their health and well-being are top priorities. Make sure you also communicate that many of their concerns will be covered by the surrogacy contract

Express Gratitude and Appreciation

Express your gratitude for their willingness to consider such a significant and selfless act. Let them know how much their support means to you and your desire to have a family.

Give Them Time to Process

After the initial conversation, give your family member time to process the information. Becoming a surrogate is a major decision, and they may need time to consider the implications and make an informed choice.

Respect Their Decision

Regardless of their decision, respect it. If they agree, express gratitude and discuss the next steps. If they decline, acknowledge their decision with understanding and appreciation for their consideration.

Remember that the decision to be a surrogate is deeply personal, and your family member may need time to think it over. Approach the conversation with sensitivity, empathy, and an understanding of the potential impact on their life.

What are the requirements for a family member to be a surrogate? 

The requirements for a family member to become a surrogate are the same as if it were a friend or stranger. These requirements can vary from state to state, depending on local state laws, as well as the specific surrogacy clinic or agency. 

There is a common set of requirements established by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). However, as part of Surrogacy by Faith’s commitment to finding the best possible matches for surrogates and intended parents, we have an expanded set of surrogate requirements.

Physical Requirements

To be a surrogate mother with Surrogacy by Faith, the family member must: 

  • Be between 21 and 37 years old (this age requirement varies based on agency).
  • Be a non-smoker in excellent health.
  • Maintain a healthy height and weight ratio with a body mass index (BMI) of 29 or below.
  • Have a healthy reproductive history, having given birth to at least one child that you are raising.
  • Have had all births occurring at 36 weeks gestation or later (unless a multiple pregnancy) without complications.
  • Not be receiving state or federal financial aid.
  • Be willing to undergo subcutaneous and intramuscular injections.
  • Live in a state where compensated surrogacy is legal (aka a surrogacy-friendly state). 
  • Be either a legal permanent resident or a US citizen. 

 

Additionally, all potential surrogates should undergo a complete physical examination by a qualified doctor who can then give approval for the pregnancy. This includes a blood test, urine drug screen, and, in some cases, a mammogram. Finally, the surrogate and their partner should both be tested for HIV or STIs.

Psychological Requirements 

To be a surrogate mother with Surrogacy by Faith, the family member must: 

  • Be in good psychological and emotional health. 
  • Be off any antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications for at least one year. 
  • Have a stable family environment and adequate support network. 

 

Finally, the ASRM suggests that the potential surrogate undergo a psychological evaluation. It is common for a potential surrogate to question or even doubt that they will be able to carry a baby for someone else, so this stage of the surrogacy journey can help the family member decide if surrogacy is right for them. 

What can disqualify a family member from being a surrogate? 

In addition to not meeting the requirements listed above, there are certain factors that may disqualify a family member from being a surrogate

It’s important to note that these criteria are in place to ensure the health and well-being of all parties involved, including the surrogate, the intended parents, and the child. 

Here are some common reasons that may disqualify a family member from being a surrogate:

 

  • Medical Ineligibility. Certain medical conditions or health issues may disqualify a potential surrogate, including diabetes, HIV, and lack of a uterus. These medical conditions could pose risks to the surrogate or the pregnancy.
  • Unhealthy Lifestyle. Surrogates are typically required to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the surrogacy process. Factors such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, or drug use may disqualify a potential surrogate. 
  • Psychological or Emotional Concerns. A history of mental health issues or psychological concerns may be a disqualifying factor. Surrogates are typically required to undergo psychological evaluations to ensure they are emotionally prepared for the surrogacy journey.
  • Background Check Failure. A criminal background check is often conducted as part of the screening process. Certain criminal convictions may disqualify a potential surrogate, particularly convictions that may pose a risk to the child’s well-being.
  • Unwillingness to Follow Medical Advice. Surrogates must be willing to follow the medical advice and instructions provided by the fertility clinic. An unwillingness to adhere to medication protocols or attend medical appointments may be a disqualifying factor.

 

There are a few other specific scenarios that can keep a family member from becoming a surrogate, including having their tubes tied. or actively breastfeeding at the time. In some cases, there may also be a limit to the number of times a person can be a surrogate, depending on various circumstances. 

Partnering with Surrogacy by Faith 

Finding the right surrogacy agency is crucial to the overall success of your surrogacy journey. Surrogacy by Faith has the experience and expertise to guide you and your surrogate, whether they’re a family member or simply a friend

As your chosen agency, we can help with all the specifics and answer all the questions that you or your surrogate may have, no matter how obscure they may seem. As experts in the surrogacy process, we can help the surrogate understand the intricacies of the application process, maternity leave, surrogate success rates, and even what happens in the event of a miscarriage.

Although we work with people of all faiths, creeds, and beliefs, we are uniquely qualified to help Christian surrogates and intended parents navigate the surrogacy journey.  

If you’re hoping to become a parent, please complete our initial Inquiry Form. If you’re looking to become a surrogate for a family member, please make sure you fill out our surrogate inquiry form

 

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