Not all surrogacy journeys begin when prospective surrogates and intended parents are matched by a surrogacy professional. In fact, it’s becoming more and more common for intended parents and gestational carriers to find each other on their own — or know each other for years — before meeting with a surrogacy professional.
Here at the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson, we get approached by many women who are interested in being a surrogate for a family member in South Carolina. Not only is this an incredibly viable option for you and your loved ones wanting to be parents, our professionals will help you create the perfect surrogacy plan — tailored to your individual needs and desires!
Below, learn a bit more about becoming a surrogate mother for a family member. Remember, you can always call our team anytime at 864-573-5533 or contact us online for answers to your specific questions and concerns.
Can You Be a Surrogate for a Family Member?
Whether a loved one has reached out to you, or you have offered your services as a gestational carrier to a family member who is struggling with infertility, you’ve taken the first steps in your surrogacy journey. Becoming a surrogate mother for a family member is a big deal, though, so it’s important that you are aware of the process ahead of you — and that you meet the necessary requirements to be a gestational carrier.
See, while it’s an admirable thing to be a gestational carrier, it’s not the right path for everyone. Being a surrogate mother for a family member comes with many challenges and potential risks, even with your preexisting relationship. For this reason, there are specific requirements you must meet — to keep you and your intended parents safe from harm.
You’ll find that many surrogacy professionals will set similar standards for gestational carriers. To work with our surrogacy program, a prospective surrogate must:
- Be between the ages of 21 and 38 (older than 38 may be considered if you’ve had a recent pregnancy)
- Be raising a child that you’ve given birth to yourself
- Be financially stable and not on any form of government assistance
- Have a healthy pregnancy history and lifestyle
- Be smoke- and drug-free
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and speak fluent English
- Have a vehicle and a valid driver’s license
- Reside in South Carolina or within one hour of the border
You will also need to pass medical and psychological screening before you are 100 percent approved for the surrogacy process. Keep in mind: Even if you and your intended parents are comfortable with the risks of pursuing surrogacy without meeting necessary requirements, you will be hard-pressed to find a professional who will work with you.
For more information on our surrogacy requirements, including any case-by-case exceptions that can be made, please contact our team today.
How to Become a Surrogate Mother for a Family Member in South Carolina
If you meet the basic requirements to be a surrogate for a family member, our team will be happy to guide you through the next steps of the surrogacy process.
Step 1: Contact Our Office
First, you will need to contact our office so that we can schedule an initial consultation with Jim Thompson. During this consultation, Jim will gather additional information regarding your plan to be a gestational surrogate for a family member and will discuss the preliminary legal steps. Our team will conduct an interview with you and the intended parents to confirm your surrogacy eligibility and that you are both ready for the process ahead.
Step 2: Undergo Additional Screenings
Then, we will coordinate with other local professionals to complete your medical and psychological screenings. These screenings will ensure that you are 100 percent mentally, emotionally and physically ready for the challenges of being a surrogate mother for a family member. For example, your mental health professional will ask about your family relationships to prepare you (and your intended parents) for any feelings of jealousy, sibling rivalry, etc.
Step 3 Finalize Your Legal Contract
Once you all have been approved for surrogacy within the family in South Carolina, our legal professionals will start drafting your surrogacy contract. You and the intended parents will be represented by separate attorneys, who will ensure your rights and interests are protected. Your surrogacy contract is basically a road map for your upcoming family-member surrogacy; it will address all the potential what-ifs and lay out expectations and responsibilities for each party moving forward. We will also negotiate a compensation rate you and your loved ones are comfortable with, as it may differ from our program’s average rate.
After your legal contract is finalized and signed, you and your loved ones will be ready to start the medical process of surrogacy — and be even closer to bringing your newest family member into the world!
Why Work with Our Program When Being a Surrogate for Family?
Prospective surrogates often ask us, “If I’m being a surrogate for a family member and I’ve already matched, why do I need to work with a surrogacy professional like your program?”
Surrogacy professionals are responsible for more than just matching intended parents and gestational surrogates — they are needed to ensure that your surrogacy journey proceeds safely, legally and efficiently. You cannot complete an independent surrogacy without the assistance of a surrogacy lawyer and fertility clinic, at the minimum.
Here at the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson, we know that family members pursuing surrogacy together often have different needs and expectations when it comes to the services for their journey. Some simply need a lawyer to draft their surrogacy contract, while others want a professional to guide them through every step of the process (including insurance review, pre-surrogacy screening and more). That’s why we tailor our identified surrogacy services to what you need.
When you contact the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson, one of our professionals will schedule a consult with you. During this meeting, they will help you create a schedule of services that works for your personal journey. We will be here to offer exactly what you want, however large or small that scope may be.
Want more information about being a surrogate mother for a family member? Ready to get started with your identified surrogacy today? Contact our surrogacy professionals here.