How Does Surrogacy Work? If you are struggling with infertility or unable to carry a pregnancy to term, surrogacy can be an option to help you start or grow your family. Surrogacy is a process in which a woman carries and gives birth to a baby for someone else. In this detailed guide, we will explore how surrogacy works, including the types of surrogacy arrangements, the process of surrogacy, the medical aspects of surrogacy, and the legal considerations.
What is Surrogacy and Why is it Used?
Surrogacy is a method of assisted reproduction in which a woman, known as the surrogate or gestational carrier, carries and delivers a baby for another person or couple. Surrogacy is used when a person or couple is unable to conceive a child on their own due to various reasons such as infertility, medical conditions, or other circumstances.
There are many reasons why people choose surrogacy. Some may have medical conditions that prevent them from carrying a pregnancy to term, while others may have had multiple failed attempts at in vitro fertilization (IVF). Some couples may also choose surrogacy if they are a same-sex couple and wish to have a biological connection to their child. In this guide, we will explore how surrogacy works, including the types of surrogacy arrangements, the process of surrogacy, the medical aspects of surrogacy, and the legal considerations.
Types of Surrogacy Arrangements
There are two main types of surrogacy arrangements: traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy.
In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate uses her own egg, which is fertilized by the intended father’s sperm or a donor sperm. This method is becoming less common as it can lead to legal and emotional complications, including the surrogate having a biological connection to the child. If you are interested in helping others become parents, you may consider becoming an egg donor.
In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate carries an embryo that is created using the intended parent’s or donor’s egg and sperm. The embryo is implanted in the surrogate’s uterus through IVF, which allows for the surrogate to have no genetic relationship to the child.
Surrogacy can also be classified as either altruistic or commercial. In altruistic surrogacy, the surrogate is not paid, and usually has a personal connection to the intended parents. Commercial surrogacy involves a contractual agreement where the surrogate is paid for her services.
If you are considering becoming a surrogate, it is important to understand the process and responsibilities involved. Surrogacy can be a rewarding experience, but it is not for everyone. To become a surrogate, you must meet certain criteria such as being of a certain age, having given birth before, and passing medical and psychological evaluations. You will also need to work with an agency or clinic to find intended parents and create an agreement.
Process of Surrogacy
The process of How Does Surrogacy Work involves the following steps:
1. Finding a Surrogate
Intended parents can find a surrogate through a surrogacy agency or through personal connections. The surrogate must meet certain criteria and be willing to undergo medical and psychological evaluations.
2. Medical and Legal Evaluations
Once a surrogate is found, both the surrogate and intended parents will undergo medical and legal evaluations to ensure that they are suitable candidates for surrogacy. These evaluations may include physical exams, blood tests, and psychological assessments.
3. Creating an Agreement and Plan
After medical and legal evaluations are complete, an agreement will be created outlining the expectations and responsibilities of all parties involved. The agreement will cover topics such as compensation, medical care, and the surrogate’s role in the child’s life after birth.
4. Medical Aspects of Surrogacy
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most common method of creating embryos for gestational surrogacy. This involves fertilizing the intended parent’s or donor’s eggs with sperm in a laboratory and then transferring the resulting embryo(s) to the surrogate’s uterus. The surrogate will then carry the pregnancy to term and give birth to the baby.
During the pregnancy, the surrogate will receive regular medical care to monitor the health of both herself and the baby. She may also be required to take medications to prepare her uterus for embryo implantation and to support the pregnancy.
Once the baby is born, the intended parents will take legal custody of the child. In some cases, the surrogate may have legal parental rights, which can be terminated through a legal process.
5. Legal Considerations
Surrogacy laws and regulations vary by state and country, so it is important to work with an experienced surrogacy attorney to navigate the legal aspects of surrogacy. The legal agreement between the surrogate and intended parents should outline the legal parental rights and responsibilities, as well as any compensation and medical care agreements.
International surrogacy can be more complex, as different countries have different laws and regulations surrounding surrogacy. Some countries, such as India and Thailand, have banned commercial surrogacy for foreigners, while others, such as the United States, allow commercial surrogacy but have different laws by state.
In conclusion, surrogacy can be a viable option for people who are struggling with infertility or unable to carry a pregnancy to term. There are different types of surrogacy arrangements, including traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy, as well as altruistic and commercial surrogacy. The process of surrogacy involves finding a surrogate, undergoing medical and legal evaluations, and creating an agreement and plan. IVF is often used to create embryos for gestational surrogacy, and the surrogate will receive regular medical care during the pregnancy. It is important to work with an experienced surrogacy attorney to navigate the legal aspects of surrogacy, especially if the surrogacy involves international travel.