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I've been asked to be a surrogate

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Anyone have any experience with this?

I don't want more children, and don't think I'd have a problem giving the baby over. I am more concerned about how do you explain to people, family, etc.

What are the other main things I should start to consider?

(Mom would be my sister, living 1500 miles away, has tried for 4?? years to get pg and doctors are saying they've done about all they can do.)
post #2 of 16
Wow. That would be amazing for your sister and you. What a huge bonding experience. I don't have any experience with this - but thought I would throw in my opinions.

This would be a child from your eggs and someone else's sperm? Or her eggs and someone else's sperm? That is something to consider, will this child be half genetically yours? And half genetically your BIL's?

How to explain it....well, I am fairly blunt and straight forward....I would just say that my sis needs me to do this because she can't do it her self. And it is something I would like to do and I think it is the best possibly gift I could give her.

Things to think about are health problems....if you develops health problems, the baby has any, etc. All could cause animosity between you and your sis.

And seriously ponder how it would feel to carry the baby and get to know it over those nine months and then have to hand it over immediately....especially if you have breastfed your kids - would that be weird for you to not be able to breastfeed this one? things like that.

Good luck.
post #3 of 16
What an honor to be asked!

I would not be able to do it if it were my egg. But everyone is different.

I suggest planning ahead of time to express and donate the milk, either to your sister (so she can perhaps breastfeed with the lact-aid? even women who have never conceived can breastfeed), or a milk bank. This might help during the postpartum period, knowing you are still doing good for others.

Some women are surrogates as often as they can be!

Usually a lot of counseling is required when someone is applying to be a surrogate mother. I would advise you to get knowlegable counseling to be sure you and the new parents can handle all aspects of this.

That said, what a lovely gift, and how lucky a surrogate birth mother is! Good luck!
post #4 of 16
In my mid 20's (and before I had my own children) I babysat for the coolest family I had ever met. I loved going over and playing with their son; getting paid was a bonus! One day I arrived and there was this HUGE flower display and I asked if it was mommy's birthday. No, the boy replied, mommy had a baby inside and now it's dead and she's really sad. [he was 5] I thought about it long and hard and a couple of weeks later, I offered to surrogate for them. I was very sincere in my offer; body, mind, and soul were all supportive of this. Unfortunately, they didn't take me up on the offer. I would still love to do this for a family [though they'd have to meet pretty high standards ] and I think that my kids would be really cool about it ~ they already know about adoption and that carrying the baby doesn't make you the mommy. Growing a baby because the mommy's body doesn't work should suffice with them. Remember in your own heart that what you are doing is Noble and Right ~ to he!! with the naysayers (they'll appear for *any* topic anyway, so don't let them get you down!)
Your sister is really blessed for you to be willing to do this If she's not gonna take your milk, might I recommend you find a local cancer patient who could really really use it? We were very lucky to have donated milk for my husband

post #5 of 16
I think that a close family member is about all that I would surrogate for, and I would do it with a happy heart. The child will always be a part of your family then, and you will watch them grow and still be there for them. I think it's wonderful if you can do it. If I couldn't have a baby I would love a sister to surrogate for me. It's the next best thing.

Good luck with your decision.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone.

I'm still in shock and don't even know how to begin thinking about it.

This would be my egg + BIL sperm (which is a little weird to think of, I guess). I'd either donate the eggs outright, or carry the child. She's just started looking into this, but they see no reason why SHE couldn't carry the child. I THINK I could donate eggs without too much problem, but I don't know about actually carrying the child & giving it up. I think it must be hard to be post-partum with no baby.

The breastfeeding issue is certainly a biggie for me in a couple of ways. I'm currently bfeeding my 14 month old & wonder if I'd be able to take whatever meds I'd need for the process and still continue to bfeed? I want to nurse him til he weans himself, and I see no sign of that in the near future.

Talked to DH last night, and he's totally opposed to it. He thinks I couldn't have a baby & give it up & also, he doesn't want to go through another pregnancy & labor with me (though I had a fantastic experience with the last baby). That has to weigh heavily in my decision, too.

Sigh . . . I hate that she has to go through this.
post #7 of 16
I think it would be easier (not easy, just easier) to give a baby to a family member.

I know a woman who was a surrogate, do you want me to have her contact you?
post #8 of 16
Wow, what a tough decision.

I'd share your concerns about meds necessary for harvesting eggs (for the scenario in which your sister would carry the baby), but that's something you could research in advance of making a decision. It might be good to express that concern right away though. It really would be such a gift to your sister and BIL, and from their perspective I can see how you'd be the best person to ask. On the other hand, it would be strange to think that your sister is carrying and rearing *your* child, and strange to think that it's your child with your BIL. My best advice is to come to terms with these things before you go through the process. How old is your sister? Is it possible for them to wait until your child is weaned? And are you sure you don't want any more children yourself?

If they end up asking you to carry the child, it would be even a harder decision. What if you have a really hard pregnancy? (My pregnancy was terrible for 5 months, but I just look at my baby and know it was all worth it; it'd make it harder to give up at teh end). I completely understand your dh's viewpoint too--I know that my dh had to take on a lot more during my pregnancy.

Have you tried to think of things from your sister's perspective? And from your BIL's perspective too? I'm sure it was really difficult for them to even consider asking you for this gift. If you were in her shoes, having tried for 4 years with your biological clock ticking, seeing your sister go through two successful pregnancies, wanting a child every day a little bit more, especially after all the procedures and BFNs, would you ask for this favor? Ultimately I probably would if I were her, so just because of that I'd have a hard time saying no. Would she do it for you if the roles were reversed? That's another good question too.

That said, it all goes back to being a really difficult decision. I hope my thoughts help at least a little.
post #9 of 16
I would definitely not have a problem with donating eggs for my sister (not that I actually have one but if I did) and i would carry someone elses child (hypothetically) but not my own and then give it up.

Just befe sure you have every thing in order legally and a back up plan and everything else. Planning is key. Plan how the hand over and birth will go, plan what you will do if you change your mmind about any part of the original p[lan and have everything done legally (adoption, etc. . . )
post #10 of 16
I am a surrogate, and currently almost 7 weeks pregnant with my second surrogacy

If you want, I would be happy to discuss all of this with you in private/over the phone. PM me if you are interested, and I'll give you my phone number.

I offer to talk over the phone, because there is so much involved, and it's just easier for me to form coherent thoughts these days verbally rather than typing it all out LOL

My best to you and your sister, no matter what you decide

post #11 of 16
I'm Catholic and it is a no no in my faith so my answer would be simple.

However, even if it weren't against my faith I couldn't do it if it were my egg. I think I could carry a child that wasn't biologically mine much easier than I could give up my egg or carry a child that was biologically mine. I would find it too hard to watch someone else raise my biological child. What if they decided that AP was nuts? What if they began Ferberizing? What if they decided that spanking was a good form of discipline? I just couldn't deal with it.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Oh boy--what a lot more to think about.

Still digesting it all--thank you for the offers to talk/email with current or prospective surrogates--I'll get back with you.

My sister will be 40 in a few months, and they aren't offering much hope for her continuing. I myself will be 35 next month, so I am no spring chicken myself--wonder if that is a problem?

My DH had a vasectomy last week, which rules out other children for us, anyway.

I guess I'd have to trust that I'd be doing this knowing that they would raise the baby "right", otherwise, I wouldn't be considering it. They live so far away, and I think that would be both good and bad.

My sister said we'd all need to go thru counselling and get lawyers, etc. She has started doing some research already.

Thank you all for your wide and varrying opinions, and for saying it all with tact and respect.
post #13 of 16
I am a naysayer, and I am only posting to help you see the other side.

I would refer you to an old book by Gena Corea,The Mother Machine , in which she analyzes all of these technologies and discusses all of them in excellent detail.

The book was published in 1985, when all of this surrogacy stuff was taking off. I just think there is alot of emotional baggage here that few poeple can anticipate or handle.

Look before you leap....:
post #14 of 16
Hi again,

I was reading through your latest post and it occurred to me to ask if they have thought about adoption? In their position, I might choose adoption over asking you to carry a child from your own egg then give it up.

Also, your sister didn't start trying to get pg until she was 36 or so? I'm sure she had reasons for waiting, but I think that in your shoes while going through all the procedures and pregnancy and everything after, I might be a little resentful about it.

I agree with concerns about how they'd parent--I think it would be too much for me to see someone else rear my child.

Just my thoughts...
post #15 of 16
A lot of people have done this, though, and had only a positive experience, happy and fulfilling. And not everyone who wants a child wants to adopt, and they shouldn't be criticized for wanting to exhaust every possible chance to carry and birth a baby. Of course there is no guarantee that once it is done you won't regret it. It's encouraging, though, that even the prospective mom is aware that counseling will be necessary.

For me there would also be the issue of care during the pregnancy. An article I read a year or so ago about surrogacy described one very unhappy surrogate; the adoptive mom was calling her daily to interrogate her on her health and habits. If I were a surrogate, it would need to be clear that during the pregnancy my body remains within my autonomous command, and I would need the family to be ok with homebirth, etc. I don't think it's unreasonable for the surrogate to have criteria of her own; indeed, that should help keep her from being merely the vessel or "baby machine" as someone said above.
post #16 of 16
When i was younger.. ( In my early 20's) I had gobs of dr's tell me i couldn't have any babies.. I was a bit sad, but ok with it.. I told my best friend since elementary school..

She told me that when the time came she would carry a baby for me since she never wanted to be a mom... At that point I knew I had the best friend in the world.. What a gift to offer someone...

That said... It's not a gift that should be given lightly.. It sounds as if there is a lot of stuff still not ironed out as to what your sis and bil want you to do... Or how it is to be done...

Think long, and hard, and search your soul for the answer which resounds from within you...

Warm Squishy Feelings....

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