Starting a family can be a wonderful time in one`s life. These days surrogacy is opted by many couples who are struggling with infertility. But first you have to understand what surrogacy is?
Surrogacy is a method of assisted reproduction where intended parents work with a gestational surrogate who will carry and care for their babies until birth. Intended parents use surrogacy to start or grow their families when they can’t do so on their own. The advancement of science and medicine has allowed for new and innovative family building options. Surrogacy is a family building option for couples who cannot successfully carry a pregnancy.
A gestational surrogate is a woman who is able and agrees to carry a pregnancy for another person. The intended mother provides her genetic material via her egg (or occasionally from an egg donor), the intended father provides his sperm (or a sperm donor), and through in vitro fertilization, an embryo is created. This embryo may then be transferred to the gestational carrier. While the baby will share a biological connection with this woman, she will not be the genetic mother of the baby.
In traditional surrogacy, the woman uses her own egg to become pregnant, which is fertilized by the intended father. Most commonly, this is performed through intrauterine insemination (IUI), but in vitro fertilization (IVF) may also be used, especially if the intended parent(s) wish to perform genetic testing on the embryos prior to transfer. This means that the surrogate has a genetic relationship to the embryo.
Finding a surrogate
Most people locate gestational carriers/surrogates through fertility clinics, websites, lawyers, and private agencies. Some people find a gestational carrier who is a family member. Most agencies require that potential gestational carriers already have at least one uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery, are healthy medically and emotionally and are not motivated solely by financial considerations.
What to Consider with Surrogacy?
Surrogacy involves many legal, ethical, and financial considerations. Usually,lso significant l intended parents pay the surrogate for her medical expenses; there are aegal expenses. Costs can start at $80,000 and go up to $120,000 or more. Legal contracts are required before the process begins to protect the rights and responsibilities of the intended parents, gestational carrier, and intended child. Both the third party and intended parents should have separate legal counsel. Check with your company if you have surrogacy reimbursement policy.
Who uses surrogacy?
There are a variety of reasons why people choose a surrogate to expand their family. More and more couples opt for surrogacy, when facing difficulties to conceive a child naturally. However, it’s not just couples struggling with infertility who decide to find a surrogate. Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty became a mother for the second time at the age of 44 and through surrogacy, little girl Samisha Shetty Kundra was born to Shilpa`s house. Apart from Shilpa Shetty, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Karan Johar, Ekta Kapoor, Tushar Kapoor and many Bollywood celebrities have children born through surrogacy. There are many reasons why a couple prefers surrogacy to pursuing their dreams of having child.
Infertility is one of the main reasons why would-be parents opt for surrogacy. There are countless reasons a couple or individual may struggle with infertility issues, ranging from low sperm count or urethral stricture to endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease. A woman that has previously had surgery for an ectopic pregnancy may also face infertility issues.
Age plays a big role in a woman’s ability to conceive and carry a child. By the age of forty, the likelihood of getting pregnant drops significantly, though it does still happen. Some women can conceive at this age with the use of fertility treatments, some without. However, a majority of women will likely need to use a surrogate at this age.
A single woman with an inability to conceive or carry a baby to full-term will require the help of a surrogate mother. Alternatively, a single man will require a surrogate as well, regardless of his fertility status.
Same Sex Couples
Same-sex couples are unable to conceive a child naturally and often turn to surrogate mothers to help them in their journey to parenthood. In recent years surrogacy has gained more popularity in the LGBT community as a great way to start a family.
The list of drugs and treatments that are off-limits during pregnancy are considerably long. While it’s nice to think that someone would be able to hold off on their medication for nine months, it’s not always an option when suffering from chronic medical conditions.
A hysterectomy or congenital uterine abnormality may make pregnancy or birth impossible for some women. A hysterectomy clearly makes conceiving a child an impossibility, but some women don’t find out about problems with their uterus until later in life, typically after trying to get pregnant for a while with no success. At this point they might choose to reach out for a surrogate mother.
Both physical and emotional trauma surrounding a past pregnancy or birth of a child may deter a woman from pursuing pregnancy. This is a situation where a surrogate would be chosen to move forward with having their baby. Some women go through so much during birth that it causes post-traumatic stress disorder, making pregnancy or birth an emotional rollercoaster not worth riding. Others are simply unable to conceive due to a physical trauma that occurred during the pregnancy or birth of their previous child.
Adoption is not an alternative
The surrogacy process can take a while, but it’s usually less lengthy than adoption. Some future parents choose to use a surrogate instead of going through the adoption process for this reason. Others have always longed for a child that is blood-related to them, which may be a reason for them to choose to go the surrogacy route over adoption.
Infertility is not always the main reason for choosing surrogacy. For example, some women choose not to carry their own child to be able to continue their career or maintain their physique. No matter what reason, surrogates are welcoming of every individual’s circumstances and personal decisions.
Unable to carry full-term
A struggle many women are faced with is the ability to get pregnant with ease, but an inability to carry to full-term. Conception may happen quickly and frequently, but the foetus may not develop past a certain point. There are many reasons why this may happen, some of which are treatable, and some that are not. For non-treatable cases, these women turn to surrogate mothers to carry their child to full-term.
1) Fulfilling Your Dream of Starting a Family: Surrogacy offers couples and individuals the opportunity to start a family regardless of if they are struggling with infertility or cannot conceive on their own.
2) Being able to have a genetically related child: Surrogacy gives intended parents who have struggled with infertility or an inability to have children the possibility of having the biological child they’ve always dreamed about (although sometimes donated eggs or sperm are needed).
3) Access to Agency Expertise: When working with an agency like Worldwide Surrogacy, Intended Parents have access to competent professionals and family-building experts to guide them every step of the way
4) Comprehensive Surrogate Screening Processes: Every gestational surrogate is thoroughly screened during the process to ensure that only the most qualified candidates are chosen.
5) Increasingly High Pregnancy Success Rates: Pregnancy success rates are high and ever-improving due to ongoing advances in medical technology.
1) The cost of surrogacy: It’s common for surrogacy to cost intended parents $80,000 or more once you factor in program fees, medical expenses, compensation for your surrogate and more. Intended parents must be prepared for the financial requirements of surrogacy before moving forward.
2) The complicated medical processes: When you complete a gestational surrogacy, you may have to undergo IVF processes to create an embryo (if you haven’t already). These processes are expensive, take time and may not be successful on the first try.
3) Giving up a sense of control: While you have the chance to be involved in your surrogate’s pregnancy, you cannot control every part of the process. So, if you pursue surrogacy, you must be prepared to give up that sense of control and trust that your surrogate will have a healthy pregnancy.
Clearly, surrogacy does come with certain risks as well as benefits. However, for many intended parents, the risks of surrogacy are heavily outweighed by the advantages — mainly, the possibility of finally having the biologically related child they’ve dreamed about for so long.