With the various advances in technology and ease of the access in-vitro fertilization or IVF treatment has proved to be a boon to many of the couples who have not been blessed with the child. A closely linked technology with IVF treatment is the surrogacy. While many do not know what surrogacy actually is, taboo, superstitions, or the of knowledge and awareness are also few of the many reasons that prevent couples from accessing this easily available technology. However, there are many questions that come to the mind when one thinks of using such a technology for the important life decision.
1. Surrogacy:The word ‘surrogate mother’ means who is the substitute or replacement or the surrogate mother is one who lends the uterus to another couple so that they can become parents. In the West, where fewer babies are offered for adoption, surrogacy is gaining the popularity very much, despite the controversial and the legal and the ethical hassles. India is becoming the surrogacy capital of the world because surrogacy in India is less expensive than in other parts of the world. This type of infertility treatment is common these days.
2. The needof Surrogacy: Surrogacy can opt by those who can’t conceive children in a natural way. The most common reason why people opt for the surrogate mother is when the woman is missing uterus or after the failed or repeated IVF treatment failures. It can be absent from birth or may have been surgically removed. Also, women who’ve suffered the multiple miscarriages many times, or who have failed repeated IVF treatment attempts for unexplained infertility. Surrogacy is also the effective treatment option for gay couples and the single men. This type of infertility treatment is common these days.
Women who agree to become surrogates mother may do surrogacy for the compassionate reasons. This includes a sister, mother or close friend of a couple.
3. Types Of Surrogacy: There are the two main kinds of surrogacy:
a- The surrogate mother provides egg: In this, the surrogate mother has inseminated artificially with the husband’s sperm. Here, the infertile woman will have no genetic and biological relationship to the new born baby. This was called the traditional surrogacy in India and is illegal in the most parts of the world now
b- The infertile woman provides egg: The egg will be either transferred to the surrogate mother by GIFT (gamete intrafallopian transfer) along with the husband’s sperm or then the egg is fertilized in the woman’s uterus by the IVF treatment with her husband’s sperm. Once the fertilization occurs, the embryo is transferred into the surrogate mother's uterus, which then acts as an incubator for the next nine upcoming months. If she does not have any eggs, it is possible to perform the donor egg surrogacy, using an egg donor. This type of infertility treatment is common these days.
This requires a surrogate mother to be bound in the contract that needs to be drawn up, which should specify that the child will become the legitimately adopted child of the infertile couple or the couples who are opting for the surrogacy. The contract needs to be signed by the couple, the surrogate mother, and her husband. This type of infertility treatment is common these days.
It is vital that the surrogate mother and the couple consider the future of the child. The receiving mother should be ideally present at the birth. She can even be prepared for breastfeeding by hormonal treatment.
4. Complexion: The surrogacy has spawned a host of the legal and emotional issues
a- What will you do if the surrogate mother insists on keeping the child?
b- How much should you pay for the surrogate mother?
c- If she gets ill as a result of the pregnancy who will pay the medical costs of it?
d- Is it possible to put the receiving mother’s name as the mother on the birth certificate?
e- Will you let know the child about the surrogacy?
f- Will surrogates mother anyway undertake pregnancy for profit?
g- What happens if the surrogate mother dies during childbirth?
Surrogacy has received quite a lot of bad press recently, especially when the contract goes sour and there is a dispute over the baby between the commissioning parents and the surrogate mother. The Courts then need to have the Wisdom of Solomon to assign the rights of the ‘genetic’ mother, the ‘birth’ mother, and the ‘social or rearing’ mother.
5. Any Other Option Available:No, surrogacy is an expensive and complex treatment option, which is the best reserved for women without the uterus. When a couple opts for the surrogacy they do so only after they have exhausted all their options.
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