There are two types of surrogacy, namely traditional and gestational types. Traditional type of surrogacy involves surrogate mother as the biological mother of the child. In the gestational type of surrogacy, the female member of the couple is the biological mother and procedures like IVF are utilized for implanting the embryo in the surrogate's uterus.
Surrogacy is one of the most viable options for people who can’t conceive naturally. Mostly surrogacy procedures are commercial, however in some cases; one decides to be a surrogate mother for humanitarian reasons as well. Surrogacy is often done utilizing IVF- In Vitro Fertilization but in some cases, it is done through IUI. But, in countries like India, only IVF-Surrogacy is allowed in the form of Gestational Surrogacy.
Types of Surrogacy
Depending on the fertilization method of the surrogate mother, surrogacy is of two types - Traditional Surrogacy and Gestational Surrogacy
1- Traditional Surrogacy
In Traditional Surrogacy, the Surrogate is the biological mother of the child. Under this method of surrogacy, the surrogate mother is inseminated with the father’s or the donor’s sperm naturally or through Artificial Reproductive Techniques such as IUI. The embryo is formed and placed naturally in the uterus under Traditional Surrogacy. Nowadays, traditional surrogacy is banned in India. So, it is essential for an interested couple to opt for the gestational type of surrogacy to avoid any kind of legal complications in the later years.
2- Gestational Surrogacy
Gestational Surrogacy is the more popular form of Surrogacy as compared to the Traditional Surrogacy. This process of Surrogacy is opted by those women who want to be the biological mother of the child. In such a case, the embryo is formed artificially under Artificial Reproductive Technique such as IVF using the father/donor sperm and the mother’s egg. Once the embryo is formed, it is implanted in the surrogate mother’s uterus. Normally, the women who are under medical threat for conceiving naturally opt for Gestational Surrogacy.
Who is a surrogate mother?
Surrogacy is one of the blessings of ART, which provides assisted conception under a legal protocol. Surrogacy is a medico-legal agreement where a woman’s uterus is used to implant, carry and deliver a baby for another person or a couple. The woman carrying the baby is known as surrogate mother.
Contact a fertility clinic or a fertility specialist under whom you begin your journey of surrogacy. You can find the List of best surrogacy centers in India. After your consultation, you need to follow the below-discussed procedures which sum up the actual procedure of surrogacy.
1- First, the surrogate mother and the intended mother go through various medical examinations. Their menstrual cycles are synchronized.
2- After that, the intended mother goes through ovarian stimulation under fertility drugs such as HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) and Clomid if natural ovulation does not occur.
3- After a successful stimulation, once the follicles are mature, eggs are collected from the intended mother’s ovaries. The eggs are mixed with the father or donor’s sperm. It is to be noted that, if the intended mother is unable to produce mature follicles, donor eggs are used.
4- Once the embryo is formed under laboratory supervision, the embryo transfer procedure takes place after 3-5 days. In some cases, it is done through Frozen Embryo Transfer Cycle (FET) where embryos are already developed.
5- After a fortnight, pregnancy test is done to confirm pregnancy
6- After a long journey full of emotions, your baby is born. You need to go through legal formalities and establish legal parental right over the child. This is the most gracious part. Welcome to a new life!
Things to do before opting for Surrogacy
The entire surrogacy procedure is very complex if you start doing it in haste. It should be procedural and you should be careful in making proper decisions at every step. For your benefit, we bring you a step-by-step guide to surrogacy treatments that you should follow for better chances.
1- Make an informed decision
Carefully decide if surrogacy is a right choice for you as it is a long emotional journey. Learn surrogacy legalities, pros and cons.
2- Contact an Advisory Agency/Surrogacy Agency/Surrogacy Centre
If you are uncertain about your decision towards surrogacy, reach a surrogacy agency or any mediator so that you can learn all the possible risks and benefits of surrogacy for you.
3- Find a Surrogate as per your choice
The most exciting yet careful step towards surrogacy is to find a proper match as a surrogate mom for your baby. Here, surrogacy agency or centre comes handy.
4- Complete legal requirements
Once the intended parents and the surrogate have decided to move forward, a legal draft of surrogacy contract is formulated under the presence of an attorney which is signed by both the parties under complete consensus. Nowadays, there are surrogacy centres or the IVF clinics, which help you in every step of surrogacy including all legal formalities that further saves your time and money.
When to go for Surrogacy?
You can go for surrogacy services under following situations:
1- Single father or a Homosexual male couple who wants to become parent.
2- Couple where the woman has various reproductive area problems such as Endometriosis, Fibroids, Cervical Cancer, and Fallopian tube blockages, Urinary Tract Infections or a Hysterectomy can opt for surrogacy other than adoption if they want a child.
3- Couple where the woman is over the age of 35 and is at risk of natural pregnancy due to low ovarian reserve or other possible abnormalities such as Preeclampsia, Gestational Diabetes, Premature delivery and baby with low birth weight should opt for surrogacy.
4- Couple suffering from infertility issues such as unexplained infertility, previous IVF failure should go for Surrogacy services.
5- Women who have psychological issues with childbirth such as Postpartum Depression, trauma from previous childbirth or experiencing serious cold feet regarding childbirth should look out for a surrogate mother to have their baby born.
6- When a couple desiring a baby go through high-risk pregnancy where the woman needs to be on a prolonged medication regiment due to various heart, kidney or autoimmune diseases such as Lupus and Multiple Sclerosis should look out for surrogacy to avoid complications in natural pregnancy.
7- Couple where the woman has hormonal disorders such as PCOD (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), Thyroid needs surrogacy services if these disorders pose a risk to her pregnancy or ability to conceive.
Surrogacy - FAQs
1- What is surrogacy?
Under a surrogacy agreement, a woman provides legal consent to carry and deliver a child for another couple/person for material or humanitarian benefit. Eggs and sperms are collected from the intended parents and embryo is formed in the lab. Finally, embryo is transferred to the surrogate mother.
2- How much money are surrogate mothers paid?
The compensation amount varies from centre to centre providing the surrogacy treatment as well as the individual carrying pregnancy. On an average a surrogate is paid between USD 6000 to USD 7000.
3- How successful is surrogacy?
There is 65-70% success rate of surrogacy. But once the surrogate is pregnant, the successful birth is 95%.
4- How long does the surrogacy process take?
It usually takes about 1 to 3 months to get matched surrogate mother. But once the required surrogate is found, the screening and legal process takes about 1 to 3 months. You can start with IVF procedure by starting on being medications for 3-4 weeks prior of having embryo transfer.
5- How can I find a surrogate?
There are several centers and agencies, which help couples in finding the surrogate for them. The surrogate can also be intended parent’s family member or friend.
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