Surrogacy is arguably the best option for parents who are having a hard time getting pregnant. That said, there is still a lot of controversy and misinformation surrounding surrogacy. In addition, there might be a long legal process depending on where you live because these laws vary from state to state. No matter the reason you are looking for a surrogate, be it infertility or any other reason, surrogacy is a great option for almost all couples. Below, we will look at what surrogacy is and find out if it might be a good option for you.
Types of Surrogacy
Although there are a lot of nuances when selecting a surrogacy program, you might hear terms like assisted, compensated, or altruistic surrogacy. However, there are two main types of surrogacy. These are gestational and traditional surrogacy.
In traditional surrogacy, the woman is artificially inseminated with the father’s sperm. The lady will then care for the baby, carry it to term, and then deliver it for you and your partner. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is classed as the biological mother because it was her egg that was fertilized. In some cases, a sperm donor can be used.
In gestational surrogacy, eggs are gathered from the mother, fertilized using the father’s sperm and the embryo is then placed in a surrogate’s uterus after successful fertilization using a process known as in vitro fertilization. Parents who have a hard time getting pregnant any other way for any reason can visit a fertility clinic like MCRM fertility which offers in vitro fertilization services.
In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate has no biological ties to the baby because her egg was not used. This is the reason why you might hear terms like “birth mother” and “biological mother” in gestational surrogacy. Gestational surrogacy is less complex legally because both of the parents have a genetic tie to the baby, and is why many couples opt for this option over traditional surrogacy.
When to Consider Surrogacy
Surrogacy can be complicated and this is why it should only be used if there are no other options. You should consider surrogacy if you have any problems with your uterus, have had a hysterectomy, or have a condition that makes pregnancy risky for you and the baby. Such conditions include heart problems, diabetes, or high blood pressure.
Parents who have not had any success with assisted-reproduction procedures, such as in-vitro fertilization, can also consider surrogacy. Surrogacy can also be used by people who cannot have children of their own and where adoption is not an option either due to their marital or legal status, or their age. Same-sex couples are also good candidates for surrogacy.
Finding the Right Surrogate
Finding the right surrogate is the most important step when you choose surrogacy. It is also one of the most challenging and most difficult decisions you have to make because your choice of a surrogate will determine how easy the process will be and how healthy the baby will be when it is born. If you are overwhelmed by the whole process, you should strongly consider using an agency. Surrogacy agencies help you choose from a list of prescreened women. These women have undergone the necessary health and psychological screening to ensure they are ready to become surrogates.
An agency will assign you an agent with whom you can discuss your surrogacy plans, goals, and hopes. They will discuss your budget, the terms of the surrogacy (such as compensation), terms of contact with the surrogate, and your level of involvement throughout the pregnancy. You might also need to fill out a profile so that potential matches can get to know you too.
Choosing a Surrogate
The surrogacy agency will likely ensure certain criteria are met but ideally, you want a surrogate who:
- Is over 21 years old.
- Has already had at least one healthy baby. Such a surrogate understands the risks of pregnancy and childbirth and how bonding with the baby might affect her.
- Has passed a psychological screening. Such a screening uncovers any issues the surrogate might have with giving up the baby after birth.
- Is willing to sign a contract that outlines here role, involvement, and responsibilities during and after the pregnancy.
Challenges to Finding a Surrogate
Although the process might seem straightforward enough, some challenges can still arise. These include your surrogacy budget, maintaining communication between you and the surrogate, and ensuring the right legal papers are in place so there are no problems when it comes to handing over the baby.
Surrogacy is an amazing gift for parents who have problems getting pregnant. That said, parents considering surrogacy should understand the process and have a list of things they would like to happen so that everyone is on the same page from the first day.