Yes, becoming an altruistic surrogate for your brother or sister is an option. In fact, sibling surrogacy is the most common type of altruistic surrogacy practice out there.
In our experience, the journey into surrogacy stays with you for the remainder of your life because being a surrogate is an act of kindness and generosity like no other.
Even taking aside surrogates' compensation, surrogates are giving the gift of life and parentage to people who wouldn't be able to enjoy those blessings on their own.
But not all surrogates do it for the money; many do it solely for their loved ones who either can't conceive a child or can't bring a baby to term without risking complications.
Fortunately, the good news is that altruistic surrogacy is an option if intended parents already have a suitable candidate in mind.
The only catch is that this person will still have to meet our agency's basic requirements and be of legal status to participate in surrogacy arrangements in the first place.
Interestingly, it's often a female sibling who comes to a couple's rescue, offering to bear a child on their behalf.
What is altruistic surrogacy?
Not every surrogacy agreement involves monetary compensation. It may sound impossible, but many surrogates agree to get pregnant for altruistic reasons, motivations based on nothing else but an admirable abundance of kindness.
That's the short definition of altruistic surrogacy, yet that doesn't mean this type of surrogacy is free of charge.
The intended parents will still have to pay for the surrogacy; they'll merely have more financial flexibility in the contract since the surrogate will receive no payment.
On the other hand, commercial surrogacy is when a woman gets paid for her participation, and a contract outlines the terms of the deal at length.
So, who are the most common types of altruistic surrogates nowadays?
Can an altruistic surrogate be a sibling?
The short answer is yes. Yes, indeed, altruistic surrogates can be siblings, and they're the most common type too.
In fact, using a family member is preferable in many cases since there is a close relationship between the surrogate and the intended parents.
Emotional bonds matter equally as much as genetic links, especially during the emotional roller coaster of pregnancy. There's also a certain peace of mind gained by choosing a surrogate sibling instead of someone you don't know intimately.
While state laws in the U.S. are clear about surrogacy, the last thing anyone wants is for a disagreement to end up in paternity court.
The honest, upfront truth is that there have been cases where the surrogate essentially got cold feet and decided to keep the newborn child.
Yet, using a surrogate sister would ideally avoid that conundrum altogether since the relationship with the intended parents will be familial, not mainly financial, as with commercial gestational surrogacy.
That said, what else should you keep in mind when considering being a surrogate sibling?
Things to consider before becoming a surrogate for a sibling
Most important, you should ensure that you're healthy enough to deliver healthy babies, meaning that younger women make more ideal candidates.
It's technically possible for middle-aged women to be surrogates, but it's not necessarily advisable since there will be a lower likelihood of the successful in-vitro fertilization process.
That's not to say there's anything wrong with mature women bearing children. The facts and statistics, supported by scientific studies, simply show that younger women have a greater chance of a successful pregnancy with no complications.
Thus, the age of the potential surrogate matters tremendously, even when the candidate is a sibling.
Besides that, there are other requirements to be a surrogate, and it's wise to make sure a familial surrogate satisfies them too.
How to become a surrogate for a sibling
At SurrogateFirst, we rely on a rigorous screening process to increase the likelihood of a successful outcome. That's why we ask our surrogates and intended parents to be patient with us as we go through each step.
The ideal age range to be a surrogate is 18 to 40 years old, so you don't necessarily have to be in your 20's. Likewise, it would be best if you have a healthy body mass index below 32 but higher than 18.
Nevertheless, the best surrogacy candidates have no history of complications during pregnancy or birth and don't abuse drugs and alcohol. In addition, surrogates need to be non-smokers and reside in a non-smoking environment.
Of course, you need to also reside in a state with favorable surrogacy laws. Specifically, the state in question needs to have clear regulations over paternity and parentage.
For example, some states require a pre-birth parentage order, yet others don't, mandating that intended parents adopt the child the traditional way.
Typically, surrogates can't have a criminal record with a felony, even if the candidate is a sibling.
Besides, if you feel like you meet these basic requirements, the next step is to visit an agency like ours to speak with a professional.
We'll walk you through each of our requirements and get the process started.
In the end, the journey into surrogacy is a joy to witness, especially when the surrogate is a sibling doing it as an act of kindness.
At SurrogateFirst, we're a boutique surrogate agency specializing in quickly matching intended parents around the world with our fully-vetted, exceptional surrogates.
We help individuals and couples, regardless of race or sexual orientation, build their families through the miracle of surrogacy.
Every team member at SurrogateFirst is either a former intended parent or an experienced surrogate herself. We also have first-hand knowledge of what it takes to have an incredible, successful surrogate journey.