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Thinking About a Sibling Journey? Consider These 3 Tips

Posted: 04/26/23

There’s nothing quite like the feeling that comes with witnessing intended parents (IPs) meet their child for the first time, knowing you played an important role in helping them create their family. It’s the moment surrogates consistently describe as the best part of their experience, and it often solidifies their desire to pursue another journey.

For some surrogates, their preference is to carry for the same IPs again to help them expand their family. This is known as a sibling journey. If you are considering a sibling journey, here are three things to keep in mind.

Make sure your family is on board

This goes without saying, but having the support of your family is crucial to ensuring a successful journey. Take the time to sit down with your partner and children (if they are old enough) and have a candid conversation about your desire to do another journey. You need to be sure they are committed to supporting you through the process again.

Communicate openly with the IPs

Once you and your family are certain about the decision to move forward with another journey, let your IPs know that you would like to carry for them again if they are planning to expand their family. While the discussion of a sibling journey may come up during your pregnancy, we recommend waiting until after delivery before making a commitment to the IPs. Below, one of our gestational carriers shares her advice for how to approach the topic of a sibling journey.

We let our IPs know (a few months before we planned to start the process again) that we were wanting to pursue another journey but wanted to give them the first opportunity because our preference was to carry for them again if they wanted [another child]. We said that if it was on their radar in the next 12 to 18 months, we’d happily hold off, but if not, we wanted to match again to help another family. It’s a little awkward, but I think not putting pressure on them to say in that moment helps. Let them know your timeline and when you hope to start the process again, then allow them the space to circle back.

The timing needs to be right

For a successful sibling journey, it’s important that your timeline for starting another journey aligns with the IPs timing for when they want to expand their family. It’s best not to rush the process and ensure that everyone is on the same page. Afterall, your body needs time to recover from the delivery, and the IPs need time to adjust to life with their new bundle of joy. If the timing is right, you and your IPs will have wonderful experience to look forward to in sharing another journey.

ASRM guidelines & time between journeys

The amount of time a gestational carrier is required to wait between journeys varies based on medical clearance by her OB and the requirements of the fertility clinic. However, a typical timeframe between delivery and another embryo transfer is six months for a vaginal delivery and 12 months for c-section.

According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s (ASRM) guidelines for surrogacy, it is recommended that gestational carriers have no more than three prior c-sections or five previous vaginal deliveries. Exceptions may be made, particularly for a sibling journey, but it is ultimately up to the discretion of the individual physician or clinic.

Whether you pursue a sibling journey or match with a new set of IPs, please know that our team at Egg Donor & Surrogate Solutions is incredibly grateful for you and your desire to help create happy families. We are honored to guide and support you on your journey!


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