In traditional surrogacy, only father contributes the genetic material and the pregnancy is achieved via artificial insemination. Earlier traditional surrogacy was the only surrogacy option available for childless couple, till the development of IVF in 1978.
What is Gestational Carrier?
GC or Gestational Carrier is a woman who doesn’t have any genetic contribution in the child she is carrying for the intended parents. There is no use of the term 'surrogate' which connoted genetic relationship in the past. In this process, the baby is not related to carrier biologically, so the egg comes from the intended mother or through a donor while the sperm is contributed by intended father or a sperm donor. In other situations, donor embryos are also used.
Several tests are conducted for the gestational carrier such as blood tests, uterine evaluation, medical evaluation, genetic screening and psychological screening to decide the medical fitness of the gestational carrier.
When is Gestational Surrogacy considered?
Below are the medical situations where people look for surrogacy option:
1- Couples struggling with severe infertility
2- Single parent
3- Homosexual couples
4- Mother who doesn't have uterus or have uterus problems
5- Unable to carry a pregnancy safely to the full term
What is the difference between IVF and Surrogacy?
Both IVF and Surrogacy are assisted reproductive technology methods and help couples to fulfill their wish of parenthood.
IVF or In-Vitro Fertilization is a fertilization process where doctors combine mother's egg and father's sperm in a lab for forming an embryo (which is also known as Test Tube baby). Afterwards, the embryo is transferred into mother's uterus.
But if the mother's womb is not in a condition for pregnancy, then embryos are implanted into other woman's womb. The woman who rents her womb for the intended parents is called a surrogate. There are two types of surrogates i.e. traditional and gestational. In traditional surrogacy, surrogate's egg is artificially inseminated with the intended father's sperm. In traditional surrogacy, there is a genetic connection between mother and child as surrogate mother's eggs are used. But when we talk about gestational surrogacy, the eggs and sperm of intended parents is used thus, there is no genetic link between the carrier and the child. Though these are two different processes but IVF is required only in the gestational surrogacy.
How long Gestational Surrogacy takes?
It takes a lot of time in searching and finding the willing and healthy gestational carrier.Whether the intended parents take help in screening the candidates through agency, friend or relatives or Internet.
After finalizing, the surrogate and intended parents finalize the agreement and the treatment begins. It takes upto 3 to 4 IVF cycles for achieving the successful pregnancy.
What are the pros and cons of Surrogacy?
Gestational Surrogacy has its own share of advantages, which makes it as one of the best choice for the couples, but they do have to go through the disadvantages. Below is the common list of benefits and challenges of this process.
Pros of Gestational Surrogacy:
1- It allows the infertile couples; homosexual couples or single parents to fulfill their dream of parenthood.
2- It helps in maintaining the genetic link between parents and child.
3- Least morally complicated, as baby is not biologically related to gestational carrier.
Cons of Gestational Surrogacy:
1- It is a legally complex and expensive process.
2- Intended parents need to give some control as someone else is carrying the baby for them.
3- Intended mothers have to undergo fertility treatments as well as other medical procedures if she is using her own eggs.
4- It is advised to all those parents who are opting for gestational surrogacy to measure all the positives and negatives before taking the step.
The cost involved in Gestational Surrogacy?
The cost for this process depends on several factors. Surrogacy is a long and demanding process involving many professionals, use of advanced medical technology and can take a long time. It also demands a yearlong commitment from both intended carrier and parents.
The cost involved in the surrogacy process ranges from $70,000 to $120,000, which includes all the necessary medical expenses, counseling costs, attorney fees, agency fees and living expenses of a surrogate. And most of the expenses are variable like the monthly allowance of the surrogate mother might vary where she lives while attorney fees might differ on state laws and legal processes. And insurance may not cover the intended parents and the surrogate's medical expenses.
Hope this article will help you to know about gestational carrier and surrogacy. You can also go through the pros and cons of the process as well ascostinvolved in this procedure. Follow Elawoman blog to get regular updates on fertility health and treatments.
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