If a couple is unable to have children because the woman is not able to conceive, still they can have a baby through a surrogate mother, the baby born from a surrogate mother is called a surrogate baby. Medical science has developed a method called in-vitro fertilization to create an embryo from which your baby will grow. The doctors implant this embryo into the uterus of a surrogate mother rather than a biological mother where it grows until the baby is born. The baby born out of such arrangement is genetically related to one of the partners.
Types Of Surrogate Mothers:
Basically there are two kinds of surrogate mothers –
(1) Traditional Surrogate Mother:
A traditional surrogate mother is a woman who is inseminated with the fathers sperm artificially. She then bears the baby until the surrogate baby is born and handed over to the parents to raise. A traditional surrogate mother is the baby’s biological mother because in such cases it is the surrogate mother’s egg which is fertilized with the fathers sperm. For traditional surrogacy donor sperm can also be used.
(2) Gestational Surrogate Mother:
In gestational surrogacy eggs from the mother is harvested and fertilized with the sperm of the father by a medical process called in-vitro fertilization and the embryo is then placed into the uterus of a gestational surrogate mother who carries the baby till the birth. Gestational surrogate mother is called the birth mother and not the biological mother because it is not her egg which is used. The biological mother of such surrogate baby still remains the women whose egg is used for fertilization.
In gestational surrogacy both the intended parents have genetic ties with the baby. Gestational surrogacy has become more common than traditional surrogacy because it is less complex legally.
Surrogacy Can Be An Option For The Following Reasons:
- Woman has got her uterus removed through hysterectomy
- Facing medical problems with uterus
- Cases where pregnancy becomes impossible or risky due to certain medical conditions
- Women who have been unsuccessful to get pregnant through assisted reproduction techniques such as IVF
Surrogacy has also helped people to become parents who were unable to adopt a child because of their age.
How To Find A Surrogate Mother?
One can find a surrogate mother by any of the following ways –
Asking Friends Or Family:
Because of high cost of surrogacy and complex legal issues for parental rights, some people ask their friends or relatives to become surrogates for them because a family relationship becomes much easier to handle and less complex.
Contacting A Surrogacy Agency:
Surrogacy agency helps find a suitable surrogate mother for people who are otherwise unable to find a surrogate mother. Surrogacy agency finds a suitable surrogate, handles the transaction of fees and reimbursements of other medical expenses between the parents and the surrogate mother. There are surrogacy agencies in the US as well as across the globe to help parents choose the right surrogate mother for their surrogate baby.
How To Choose A Surrogate Mother?
While choosing a surrogate mother, following points should be taken care of –
- The woman has given birth to at least one healthy baby and understands well the risks of pregnancy and childbirth and the emotional issues of bonding with the newborn child
- She is at least 21 years of age
- Has undergone psychological tests by a mental health doctor to uncover any issue relating to handing over the surrogate baby to the parents after the birth
- Has agreed to sign the legal contract to take full responsibilities of the child during the pregnancy and hand over the surrogate baby to the parents after the birth
- The surrogate mother should be properly evaluated medically for a likelihood of a full term healthy pregnancy and should also be screened for diseases such as HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B and C, gonorrhea etc.
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