What is a Surrogate? All You Need to Know About Surrogacy

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Surrogacy is the practice of serving as a surrogate mother. Surrogacy is a method of assisted reproduction that helps intended parents (IPs) start families when they otherwise could not. Intended parents pursue surrogacy for several reasons. All intended parents work with a surrogate, a woman who carries a child to term.

Guide for Surrogate Mother

Guide for Surrogate Mother

Surrogacy Qualifications

Usually the surrogacy agencies or fertility clinics want a surrogate to qualify the following general qualifications:

  • Good physical and mental health
  • Have carried and delivered at least one child
  • Have had all uncomplicated full term pregnancy
  • Age less than 43 age(minimum 21)
  • Living a stable lifestyle
  • No addiction of smoking or alcohol and drug abuse.
  • Immunity test results are perfectly fine
  • Has undergone tests that check for infectious diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhoea, Chlamydia, HIV and hepatitis Band C.
  • Should sign a contract about her roles and responsibilities during pregnancy

There are two types of surrogacy arrangements: gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy.

Traditional surrogate

It is also called partial surrogacy or genetic surrogacy. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother uses her own egg and is artificially inseminated using sperm from a potential donor. The surrogate carries and delivers the baby, and then, because she is newborn’s biological mother, must relinquish her parental rights so that the child can be raised by the intended parents. The following people may consider traditional surrogacy as these people will need a donor’s eggs anyway:

  • Single men
  • Same-sex male couples
  • Intended mothers who cannot produce healthy eggs

Because the surrogate will be the delivered child’s biological mother, many of these surrogates are close friends or relatives of the intended parents.

Gestational Surrogacy

  • Gestational surrogacy is an arrangement in which a surrogate carries and delivers a baby for another person or couple which are intended parents. In this an egg is taken from the intended mother or an anonymous donor and fertilized with the sperm of the intended father or an unknown donor. The fertilized egg (or embryo), is then transferred to a surrogate who carries the baby to term. The child is thereby genetically related to the woman who donated the egg and the intended father or sperm donor, but not the surrogate.
  • Only very few people opt for it though. It’s likely that cost is a major factor preventing more people from using a gestational surrogate.

Considerations before surrogacy

  • Before starting the surrogacy process, the surrogate is screened to determine her overall health. If she does not come out healthy enough to carry the embryo, another surrogate must be chosen.
  • Once ready to proceed, the surrogate will be prescribed certain medications that will help her in developing numerous eggs for the fertilization process.
  • When the baby is ready for birth, the surrogate will undergo the typical process for delivering the baby.
  • After the baby’s birth, he or she will then go home with the new parents.

Surrogacy is controversial around the world, raising difficult moral, social and legal issues. As a result, the legal situation varies considerably. Many countries do not have laws which specifically deal with surrogacy. Some countries ban surrogacy outright, while others ban commercial surrogacy. There are laws in some countries which restrict and regulate surrogacy and the consequences of surrogacy. Some couples or individuals wanting a child in this manner but who live in a jurisdiction which does not permit surrogacy may travel to another jurisdiction which permits it.

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