Surrogacy is the best decision for couples suffering from infertility, same-sex couples or single parents to have the genetically native child. For those couples who decided to go through this difficult, time and emotions consuming process, there are two main ways to choose from. Firstly, they can choose the surrogacy agency services which will provide them with the qualified professional who can help perform each stage of the surrogacy process. Surrogacy professional helps to perform all procedures of creating a surrogate plan and matching. For many people, it is the simplest decision as in such case the great part of work is done by the experienced professional. But there is another choice. The couple can decide to perform the main stages of this process on their own. This may be more difficult if compare with choosing the surrogacy agency services but has its own advantages also. First of all, this choice suits people who have already decided who will be their surrogate, for many people it can be their close friend or relative.
In this article, we will consider the main peculiarities of being a surrogate mother for a relative or close friend. It’s not so easy and requires emotional preparation in order to keep the good relationships between you and your friend/relative during the pregnancy period and after it. Here we have prepared five questions and answers to them that should be carefully considered when you decide to become a surrogate for your close friend or relative.
Question #1: The legal side of the question. Is it legally possible to be a surrogate for a close friend or a relative?
The majority of laws about surrogacy are different in different countries but all of them claim that the close friend or a family member can become a surrogate in case if the couple chose the gestational type of surrogacy. In the case of gestational surrogacy, surrogate doesn’t have any genetic relations with a child, so there are no legal relations between the surrogate mom and a baby. For many couples, it is much better to choose a close friend or member of their family for the role of a surrogate mother in order to entrust this task for the one who they love and know well. This eliminates all the worry about relations with a stranger and makes the surrogacy process emotionally easier.
Question #2: All the stages of becoming a surrogate for a close friend or relative.
We have already mentioned above in this article, that the surrogacy process is not easy emotionally even if you know the intended parents well enough. It doesn’t matter, whether the parents of a child are your closest friends or relatives, in any case you will have to prepare yourself to different emotions that will occur during the pregnancy and believe us, the great part of these emotions is not positive. In order not to spoil the friendly relations between you and the intended parents, both sided of this process should be absolutely confident in their choice. This is the first step of your preparation to become a surrogate. Think twice about whether you are morally ready to bear the child for other people and whether your friendly relations are strong enough to carry this process.
Let’s consider one of the popular examples to explain to you why it may be a serious test to your friend or family relations. For example, you decided to carry a child for your best friend. Everything seems perfect as you know each other for years and both are absolutely confident in your friendship. But the situation changes when the pregnancy was detected. Your friend may begin to be jealous because she wasn’t able to carry this child on her own. In addition to this, a lot of new problems occur that will test your friendship and will show your friend’s character from the absolutely another side. It is very difficult to differentiate your friendship and the “surrogate-intended parents” relations but if you manage to carry your friendship (family relations) through the whole process of surrogacy, nothing in this world will be able to destroy it. Carrying a baby for a close friend, sibling or relative is the responsible decision because for them it will be a priceless gift for which they will be grateful during the lifetime.
The second stage of preparations is drafting and signing the contract between you and the intended parents. This step is mandatory and even if you think that you know parents well enough and don’t need to sign a contract, stop for a while and read the previous paragraph one more time. Both parties have to sign a contract where all the conditions will be mentioned, such as monetary compensation, possible risks, and other important legal moments. Only after that, you will be able to go through the medical examinations and procedures.
When the legal contract with all conditions is signed by both parties, it’s time for the third stage – medical procedures. The specialists at the fertility clinic carry the procedure of in-vitro fertilization where the biological mother’s egg and biological father’s sperm will be used. After that, an embryo will be transferred to the uterus of a surrogate. Being a surrogate mother, you will have to take a course of medications prior to transferring an embryo and in the most cases will be asked to rest during a certain period after carrying this procedure. At the moment when the pregnancy is detected, all the further order of actions will be similar to natural non-surrogate pregnancy. During the second trimester parents of the child will be able to get a pre-birth order after that they will be considered as the legal parents of the baby.
After the childbirth, a baby will go home with its biological mom and dad. The new stage of life begins for both of them. Your role in this process will always be considered as the most important and most likely, your relations with the parents will be as strong as never before.
Question #3: If I have already decided who will be the parents of a child, do I need to use the surrogacy agency’s services?
Finding a surrogate is only one part of the whole surrogacy process. Besides it, you should find a specialist who will help you with all the medical procedures, legal aspects, attorney’s services, insurance policies, and many more. For this purpose, it is highly recommended to use the surrogacy agency’s services. This will significantly simplify your life. The agency will provide you with the experienced coordinator who will clarify you each important moment of this process. Moreover, the surrogacy specialist can carry the special psychological screening to evaluate whether both you and the intended parents are emotionally ready for this process.
Question #4: What if I don’t want to take money from a friend or relative?
From the first view, the advantage of choosing a surrogate among the circle of your close friends and relatives is obvious – you don’t have to pay a great compensation for them. In addition to this, you don’t have to pay the surrogacy agency for the matching services. Everything seems good but let’s take a look on this situation from the surrogate’s point of view. For many surrogates, it’s morally uncomfortable to take a large money amount from their close friends and relatives. So they decide to do everything altruistically or as a last resort, take only a little part of this amount. But this is only the first thought. Everything changes when the process has started and you simply need compensation for the medical services, transport expenses, clothes, and many other things. You feel used and start to be offended, your friendship is gradually destroying. In order to prevent such sad scenario and don’t think that your friends are in a great debt to you forever, it is recommended not to make hasty decisions and carefully weigh all pros and cons. It may be more comfortable for both of you and parents if you discuss this moment with your attorneys, this will make it more official and help not to destroy your relationships in a future. You don’t have to ask for such high monetary compensation as surrogates form the surrogacy agencies do but you also don’t have to completely abandon it. The wisest decision is to agree on a compensation that will suit both of you and mention it in the contract. You shouldn’t think that this will offense your friend or relatives, in the previous paragraph we have already mentioned that you shouldn’t mix your friendship and the “surrogate-intended parents’ relations during the surrogacy.
Conclusion: discuss the compensation that suits both of you with the attorneys to avoid the possible feeling of guilt and discomfort in the future.
Question #5: To what I need to be ready in case of being a surrogate for a close friend or relative?
We have already mentioned it several times in this article and will repeat it one more time – surrogacy is an emotionally difficult process that requires tranquility and patience. Especially if you are going to become a surrogate for your close friend or relative. Regardless of how long and trusting relations you have had until this moment, note that they will change. Whether these changes will be positive or they just worsen your relations, it’s up to you. Anyway, after the decision of becoming a surrogate, you will be much closer to this couple than never before. To make the surrogacy process maximally easy and comfortable for both of you, there are some tips that will help you not only to save your close relations but also not to feel any inconveniences during the pregnancy period.
Firstly, it is recommended to set a certain boundary between you and the intended parents. It doesn’t matter how close you are, you have your own life and the friend or relative don’t have to be involved in each its aspect. Then, try to maximally communicate with the parents of a child. Don’t hesitate to say them that you need something or that you simply need a moral support from them. It always works and the more you will communicate with them, the better will be your relations. If for some reasons you can’t normally discuss problems and needs with the intended parents, ask for help from a surrogacy agency which will organize you a meeting where you will be able to discuss everything that disturbs you.
And the final tip is that you always have a choice to say no or to agree on this difficult task. You don’t have to bear this if you don’t want it just because it is your close friend, relative, sibling, or anyone else. It is your choice and your responsibility. You should agree on this only when you feel that you are completely ready for it. Only in such case both you and the intended parents will be able to save close relations and get only positive emotions from this experience.