Surrogacy is a procedure which involves a series of steps. This includes screening and selection of the surrogate mother, medical examination of the intended parents and the surrogate mother, signing of the legal agreements. After this, the embryo is transferred into surrogate mother who carries the baby for the next nine months.
Surrogacy is an agreement and method where a woman agrees to carry the pregnancy for another couple who will be biological parents of a newborn child. In the process of surrogacy, an embryo is transferred to the surrogate mother and she carries the baby till the birth.
What are the steps involved in Surrogacy Process?
If you are looking for the surrogacy process for fulfilling the parenthood dream then you must go through the below steps involved in surrogacy. Intended parents must go through the steps to have a clear picture of this procedure:
1- Consultation with the doctor: Most of the couples start their parenthood journey after consulting the doctor. In this, the parents are enlightened about the options available, the detailed process of matching with a surrogate, the legalities involved, insurance related concerns, financial implications and basic medical details. Before the consultation, you will get a basic questionnaire for tailoring details. Find Best Surrogacy Centers in India.
2- Officially wants to become parents: Some agencies or hospitals will make an agreement to be signed between intended parents and surrogates. And then will be asked to submit a portion of fees.
3- Screening and Selection process for egg donor: The egg donor should be a young, healthy woman between the age group of 21 to 29. Agencies and hospitals have their medical records through a licensed reproductive endocrinologist. Once the donor is selected, she goes through psychological testing. Some of the intended parents also choose to get their own egg donors who can be their family members or friends.
4- Surrogate's screening and selection process: Generally surrogates are between 21 to 41 years age group. They have to undergo a health screening before being matched with intended parents. The screening process involves extensive medical and psychological assessment. Apart from these, criminal and financial background checks are also taken into consideration.
Once all the screenings are done, surrogate and intended parents are introduced to each other.
1- Medical examination: Before engaging in the actual method of IVF, all the involved people i.e. parents, egg donor, and surrogate have to go through the medical screening directed by a reproductive endocrinologist.
2- Legal Agreements between involved parties: For ensuring clarity and legality, the surrogate and egg donor have to sign an agreement. Intended parents also sign an agreement with the egg donor as well as the surrogate mother.
3- Medical Procedure:The In Vitro Fertilization procedure and embryo transfer is then managed and done at an IVF clinic under the supervision of the licensed endocrinologist.
4- Pregnancy:Once the procedure of IVF completes (which usually takes up to 3 cycles), the surrogate mother attains pregnancy and is constantly monitored to check the growth of the fetus.
5- Legal Representation: The legalities are different in each and every country. The legal representative will explain when and what documents are needed.
6- Birth:Before the delivery of the child, the hospital coordinates with the intended parents and then gives the baby to the couple.
A surrogate mother is a woman who through the IVF process carries the baby and delivers to the intended parents. The egg can be from the intended mother or from an egg donor.Intended parents need to enter into a legal contract with the surrogate.
There are two types of surrogacy process:
1- Traditional Surrogacyis a type of surrogacy in which father's sperm is used and fertilized with surrogate's egg thus, the child is biologically related to intended father and surrogate mother.
In this process, the baby will be technically related to surrogate but with an arrangement, the intended father will raise the child.In some circumstances, a sperm donor will also be used but the process of insemination will take place in a traditional method. There can be issues of custody if the donor sperm is used. This might imply that the baby won’t be related biologically to the intended parents (but still be related to the surrogate). In such situation, the standard adoption process will be followed.
2- Gestational Surrogacyis another situation where surrogate mother doesn't have any genetic ties with the child. In this procedure, intended mother's egg is fertilized with the intended father's sperm and the embryo is then plant in surrogate's womb via IVF process.
Also known as Host surrogacy, this surrogacy type is physically more complicated as well as expensive than straight surrogacy. And some of the surrogates prefer this method, as sometimes they are not comfortable with using their own eggs for conception.
Host Surrogacy has three stages:
1- Egg Donation: There is a special procedure of extracting a number of eggs from either female intended parent or the egg donor.
2- The process of fertilization i.e. egg is fertilized with semen in the laboratory.
3- The egg is then transferred into the surrogate’s mother womb.
The fertilized egg then transferred into the surrogate’s mother either ‘fresh’ or after been de-frosted from the egg storage. For the fresh transfer, there must be synchronization between the egg donor and the menstrual cycles of the surrogate. And if the embryos have been frozen already and will be transferred once the surrogate is ready after taking hormone medications to prepare her womb lining.
The intended parents might want to take this route if they have healthy ovaries (along with fertile eggs) but have a problem in carrying a pregnancy to term. The parents can select a friend or relative to be their carrier or can contact the IVF clinic for finding the one.
Possible Risks with Surrogacy
Keep in mind some of the following risks, which you might face:
Process of Screening and Preparing for the Surrogacy Treatment
The fertility clinic will ask the parties involved in a surrogacy arrangement to go through a number of procedures and check-ups. The procedure varies according to the clinics and will guide you accordingly.
Who uses Surrogacy process?
There are several reasons for considering the surrogacy procedure:
1- Medical issues with the uterus of the mother.
2- Removal of uterus via hysterectomy.
3- Conditions like heart disease making pregnancy impossible or risky for the mother.
Host surrogacy with donor eggs:
Some of the intended parents unable to create embryos themselves due to medical reasons or they are homosexuals. The options available to them are:
1- Known Donor: This can be a friend of any relative of intended parents who will donate eggs.
2- Anonymous Egg Donor: Most of the IVF clinics have their own donors. The intended parents have to inquire about the clinic of their choice. In this situation, the couple will not meet the donor and will get only limited details about her as she had chosen to keep her identity as anonymous. In this case, the child born through egg donation has the right to get the details about the egg donor after turning 18.
3- It is illegal to make any payment to the egg donor apart from reasonable charges.
How to select a Surrogate?
Below are some of the points for selecting the surrogate:
1- Should be between 21 to 29 years of age.
2- Has at least given one birth to healthy baby. The idea behind this is she will understand the medical risks of pregnancy and childbirth plus emotional problems in bonding with the newborn.
3- Should have passed a psychological screening by a mental health professional to see if there is any issue while giving up the child after delivery.
4- Need to sign an agreement where she agrees her roles and responsibilities in pregnancy i.e. prenatal care and also agree to give baby after birth.
Do you want to know about the complications in surrogacy? If yes, please feel free to read our extensively researched article on Surrogacy Complications and its Technique. If you are planning for Surrogacy in India, then find the comprehensive list of Best Surrogacy Centres in India.
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