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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?
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
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.
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
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
this page was last updated: Jan 15, 2009
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