Surrogacy is a very complex issue and should not be taken lightly by either the surrogate or the intended parent(s). Learn all about surrogacy from how it works to the costs involved.
times a couple, or individual, wishes to have a child but for whatever reason is
unable to do so. When this happens, surrogacy becomes an option. Surrogacy is
when a woman, also known as a surrogate, becomes pregnant, carries out the
pregnancy, and gives birth to the baby all with the intention of handing the
baby off to another couple or individual. Surrogacy
is a very complex issue and should not be taken lightly by either the
surrogate or the intended parent(s).
Reasons for Surrogacy
are quite a few different reasons that a couple or an individual may consider
surrogacy. When a couple or individual is unable to have a child for any of the
following reasons, they may consider surrogacy as an option to build their family.
1. Woman Lacking Uterus or
Other Parts Vital to Childbearing
some cases, surrogacy is considered when a woman is unable to have a child due
to lacking some of orall of the needed body parts. This may be from a birth
defect where the woman is missing part of her uterus or possibly her ovaries or
other reproductive organs. It can also be from a medically necessary hysterectomy, or removal of the woman’s uterus.
even if a woman has all the working parts to have a baby, she or her partner
may struggle with infertility. This would mean that it is extremely difficult or impossible for the woman to
conceive a pregnancy. Couples that are struggling with infertility often
turn to surrogacy as the best way for them to build their family.
3. Pre-existing Condition that
Makes Pregnancy and Birth Dangerous
are quite a few conditions that a woman may suffer from where becoming pregnant
and giving birth would be dangerous for both mom and baby. Some conditions that
make pregnancy more dangerous are polycystic
ovary syndrome, diabetes, and autoimmune disease. Those are just some
reasons that a couple or individual may have for considering surrogacy.
4. Same-Sex Male Couple or
a man is incapable of having a child on their own. However, some men that are
in a same-sex relationship, or even some single men may be interested in
becoming fathers. Surrogacy provides these men with the chance to have a child that is still genetically related to them.
5. Reoccurring Miscarriages
couples may be able to get pregnant, but may not be able to carry the pregnancy
successfully. Miscarriages and stillbirth are devastating. Once a woman
experiences a miscarriage, she is more likely to miscarry her next child with
her chance of miscarriage rising with each miscarriage that she has. Losing multiple babies can make it
extremely scary and difficult to continue trying to have a baby. Surrogacy
provides an option for couples suffering from multiple miscarriages to build
their family still.
6. Failure of In Vitro
a couple is struggling with fertility, they may give in vitro fertilization a
shot. In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is when an egg is fertilized with sperm outside of the body such as in a petri
dish. This creates embryos that can then be inserted in the uterus with hopes
that the baby will implant and grow. It’s a long and complicated process that
doesn’t always work. If it’s not successful, the couple may consider surrogacy
as an alternative option to grow their family.
Types of Surrogacy
are a couple of different types of surrogacy. The type of surrogacy is
determined by where the egg used in surrogacy comes from.
1. Traditional Surrogacy
traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is inseminated using the semen either of
the intended father or donated semen. It’s possible that this can be done at
home using an insemination kit, but can also be performed professionally in a
fertility clinic. With this type of surrogacy, the surrogate is the genetic
mother of the child, which is illegal in
2. Gestational Surrogacy
IVF (in vitro fertilization) is used with the egg and semen of either the
intended parents or donors, it’s called gestational surrogacy. In this case,
the surrogate is not genetically related to the baby. This type of surrogacy is
the only type that is legal in
Eligibility for Surrogacy
order to be eligible to commission a surrogate and go through the process of
surrogacy, the intended parent or parents
must not be able to become pregnant, or must not be able to have a
successful pregnancy, or there must be a considerable risk to the mother and/or
child if pregnancy is executed. Surrogacy laws also vary by area, so be sure to
check the laws where you’re located.
Eligibility to Be a
is a lot to consider when searching for a surrogate. It’s important that
surrogates meet certain requirements. These requirements include:
The surrogate must be at least 25 years of age.
The surrogate must have successfully carried out a
The surrogate needs to go through a criminal record check.
The surrogate should go through counselling and receive legal advice.
Process of Surrogacy
is a long and complex process that involves complicated legal, financial,
emotional and physical matters. There is a lot that goes into it and it can take a considerable amount of time.
1. Finding a Surrogate
may take time to find a surrogate. It’s likely that you will be asking either a
family member or friend to be your surrogate as it is illegal to advertise that
you are looking for one. It’s also illegal for a surrogate to advertise her services.
Give the person that you ask to surrogate for you plenty of time to consider
their decision. It’s a big decision that will be making a significant impact on their life and should not be taken lightly.
2. Achieving Pregnancy
surrogacy, pregnancy is achieved through in
vitro fertilization, or IVF. This is where the egg is fertilized outside of
the body and then inserted into the uterus. The egg and sperm used for this can
either be that of the intended parents or that of donors. The egg of the
surrogate cannot be legally used, however.
3. Birth of the Baby
the baby of a surrogacy is first born, the
baby is legally the child of the birth mother even though the child is not
genetically hers. The intended parents must take out a parenting order to
become the legal parent(s) of the child. Some intended parents worry that their
surrogate may have a tough time giving up the baby. However, research shows
that this is very rare and most surrogates are very happy with the end outcome.
This is likely partially in thanks to the counselling that most surrogates
undergo during their pregnancy.
Financial Considerations of
Australia, commercial surrogacy is illegal. Instead, altruistic surrogacy is
carried out. This simply means that surrogates
cannot be legally paid for being a surrogate. It is expected that the
intended parents pay for the surrogate’s medical bills and other reasonable
pregnancy and birth related expenses of the surrogate. The surrogate just
cannot receive compensation for her surrogacy services.
Medical Considerations of
are some risks involved as well as some things that should be carefully
considered by all parties about the medical aspects of surrogacy. The intended
mother, or the donor of the egg if it is not the egg of the intended mother,
must undergo fertility treatments that help the woman to produce multiple eggs.
These treatments do carry some risks such as the possibility of ovarian
hyper-stimulation syndrome, or OHSS. The
surrogate takes on all the normal risks of pregnancy. With IVF, there is a higher chance of multiple births.
Multiple births carry multiple risks as well, such as premature birth and low
Tips for Successful
are some ways to help ensure that everything in the surrogacy process goes
smoothly, such as:
Understanding that the process can be very long
Everyone involved in the surrogacy being of good mental health
communication between everyone involved with the surrogacy
A good understanding of the entire process by
Having a clear
plan and agreement for how the pregnancy and birth will be handled
Having known and mutually agreed upon boundaries
Everyone involved having counselling to help manage emotional aspects involved in surrogacy
Surrogacy Benefits All
holds some pretty obvious benefits for
the intended parents of the baby. They are given the opportunity to grow
their family, and get to raise the child that they so desperately wanted.
However, they aren’t the only beneficiaries. The surrogate, and even the donors
if there are donors, come off better from the experience of surrogacy. We all
know how good it feels to perform good deeds for others, so just imagine how
wonderful it would make you feel to do something so amazing and selfless as to help someone else achieve their goals of
having a family. Not to mention that many surrogates are very close to the intended
parents that they surrogate for. That means you can do this amazing thing for
people that you already care for, and you will likely get to be involved with
and watch the child grow. Surrogacy can be a long and complicated process, but
it is a precious and beautiful one as well.
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