The term Surrogacy means that arrangement where a childless couple or a person takes the services of (surrogate mother) a woman who carries and delivers a child for them. The reasons for which the intended couple opts for surrogacy can be different.
Now-a-days, there are a number of countries that allow surrogacy but most have them have their own legalities that offer a complete support to this surrogacy process. Fertility tourism has gained a lot of momentum in the past few years and a lot of intended parents are opting for surrogacy services in India. There are a number of surrogacy laws to safeguard the rights of the intended parents and the surrogate mother.
If statistics are to be believed, the number of childless couples all around the world is quite huge. Earlier adoption was seen as the only substitute. There are women who are unable to carry a child due to various causes like repeated miscarriage, failure of the embryo to implant, women who are capable of producing healthy eggs, yet are not able to become pregnant, hysterectomy, a heart condition, very high blood pressure, liver disease etc. Such cases where it is impossible or life-threatening for a woman to carry a pregnancy, one can opt for surrogacy when she does not want to opt for adoption.
With the recent advancements in Fertility Treatment , there is a lot of hope for childless couples. Due to development and commercialization of new fertility treatments, surrogacy has gained popularity and many couples are opting for it. Various kinds of comprehensive Surrogacy packages are easily available today to fulfill your dream of parenthood. Before the whole process gets finalized, intended parents have to go through psychological counseling and medical screening.
Seeking surrogacy is not right for all childless couples. It is extremely important that one should try to figure out where the problem lies. If a woman is infertile because of low egg quality, a surrogate is not going to prove helpful to her. So, who actually seeks a surrogate mother? It is important that the reasons behind opting for surrogacy should be medical and not social. Some of the medical reasons can be damaged or absent uterus, same-sex male couples, severe fibroid disease, abnormally-shaped uterus, that medical condition when pregnancy can be harmful for a woman's life, repeated miscarriages or when continuous failure of IVF.
Following are the conditions when surrogacy can be an option:
There are surrogate mother criteria as well. One who has to dedicate 9 important months of her life to carry someone's child, she needs to fulfill certain pre-conditions. She should be medically, psychologically, mentally as well as emotionally fit. Complete analysis of a surrogate is done. Her family background, education, habits, economic condition, various medical tests and their results, medical history and more are taken into considerations. There are a number of important issues to consider in surrogacy.
The procedure of surrogacy actually means using the uterus of a woman for the task of implementation and then carrying an embryo to a full term and then delivering a baby for a couple or a single parent. This process involves the use of in- vitro fertilization so that the fertilized egg is placed into the uterus of the surrogate.
The surrogate's uterus has to be prepared for implantation with natural estrogen and progesterone. Her evaluation cycle is accessed to determine the right time of the transfer of embryos so that the chances of success are heightened. This is done before the actual procedure starts.There are mainly two types of surrogacy:
A) Traditional surrogacy or Straight surrogacy
This type means natural or artificial insemination of a surrogate with the sperms of an intended father through IVI, home insemination or IUI. When this method is used the resulting child becomes genetically related to the father and the surrogate.
Traditional surrogacy and donor sperm
The sperms of donor are artificially inseminated into a surrogate by the way of IVF, home insemination or IUI. The child becomes related to the father-to-be.
B) Gestational surrogacy or Host surrogacy
This type means insemination of a surrogate with an embryo that has been created by IVF method, by making use of the sperm and egg of the intended parents. Thus, the resulting child becomes genetically related to the parents but not to the surrogate.
Gestational surrogacy and egg donation
The embryo created from eggs of a donor and the sperms of father are inseminated into a surrogate and the resultant child gets genetically only to the father and not the surrogate.
Gestational surrogacy and donor sperm
Via IVF, an embryo is created using donor sperms and eggs of a mother, which is then inseminated into a surrogate. The child becomes genetically related to the mother and not to the surrogate.
Gestational surrogacy and donor embryo
In this case, a donor's embryo is inseminated into a surrogate. Healthy left over embryos are easily available for the same when the other people are undergoing IVF. In such a case, the resulting child is neither related to the intended parents nor to the surrogate.
Surrogates and intended parents can pick a surrogacy arrangement, which they are comfortable with. There are two main arrangements for surrogacy :
In this arrangement, a surrogate is offered a fee for the time and effort she will be investing along with medical expenses or travel-related expenses, which are not a part of the insurance. Generally, the intended parents and the chosen surrogate are not familiar with each other.
This kind of an arrangement usually takes place between intended parents and their friends or relatives. Therefore, finance is not a part of this arrangement.
Surrogacy is like a boon and a ray of hope for childless couples or single parents who wish to fulfill their dream of having a complete family.