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What is surrogacy?

  • 4.8 (2 Votes)

Surrogacy is a fertility treatment in which a surrogate mother carries a baby for full nine months pregnancy term and delivers the baby for another couple under a legal contract signed between the surrogate mother and the intended parents.

When there is a problem in conceiving and no other fertility treatments such as IVF, IUI, Egg donor IVF, Laparoscopy, MESA, TESA makes it possible to get pregnant, surrogacy is the onlyoption availableto experience parenthood. Now you must be wondering what is surrogacy and whatis the process of surrogacy?

Here is the answer for your entire question. “Surrogacy is a way to pregnancy, wherea legal agreement is signed between the surrogate mother and the intended parents. Under this agreement, the surrogate mother agrees to carry the child for a childless couple.” The option is best reserved for the parents who are unable to have children through their own pregnancy.In the process of surrogacy, another woman womb is hired legally. The carrier of the child or children whose womb is hired is known asa surrogate mother.

Surrogacy might also involve monetary agreement between the biological parent and the surrogate mother. In a country like India, gestational surrogacy is allowed but with a legal procedure.In other countries like, Japan, China or the other, surrogacy is considered to be completely illegal.

In countries, where surrogacy is allowed or is legal, intended parents can seek surrogacy and get pregnancy arranged through the source known as surrogate mother. But the entire surrogacy treatment is practiced under the supervision of medical practitioners.

Reasons to choose surrogacy

Pregnancy risks, unavailability of medical treatment for the infertility cases are the main reasons for couples to opt surrogacy. The infertility can either be with the female or the male or there are also the chances with the couple being infertile together and therefore the female partner is not getting pregnant.

Single parent surrogacy is also prevalent in India. Same sex couples also require surrogacy to complete their family.

Reasons to opt surrogacy may vary from an individual to individual. You should get the treatment done under the guidance of an expert gynecologist to experience fruitful results.

What does surrogacy involve?

Surrogacy involves the usage of one woman’s uterus to carry and deliver the baby on the behalf of a couple who are facing medical challenges to have their own baby.


The above-mentioned process involves IVF process in order to place the fertilized egg into the surrogate mother’s uterus.

Types of surrogacy

There are commonly two types of surrogacy, which are prevalent, worldwide.Out of these two types,gestational surrogacy is practiced in India.

Gestational Surrogacy

In this type of surrogacy, the embryo formed externally is placed into the surrogate mother’s uterus. In gestational surrogacy, the child will not bebiologically related to the surrogate directly. It involves the creation of embryo using biological father’s sperm and biological mothers’ egg. The process involved to do so is known as IVF. Here, in this process the surrogate eggs are not used to create embryo. If the intended mother does not produce eggs then egg donor can also be required.

In various countries including India gestational process is more active and is consideredcompletely legal.

Traditional surrogacy

IUI orIntrauterine Inseminationis the process used for traditional surrogacy where the surrogate mother is impregnated. The surrogate for the traditional surrogacy type acts as the egg donor as well as actual surrogate for the embryo. IUI process is used where transfer to uterus is done by the treating surrogate doctor.  The doctor will transfer sperm taken from biological father into the surrogate mother uterus where the natural fertilization takes place.

traditional surrogacy

Here, in this type of surrogacy, the surrogate mother is also the biological parent of the child. For a couple whose sperm or egg cannot be used, in such cases the doctors suggest traditional surrogacy. At many places including India, traditional surrogacy is considered to be illegal and is banned.

Surrogacy Process

Below is the listed surrogacy process required to be aware of while undergoing gestational surrogacy.

1- Diagnostic Tests: Before beginning with the surrogacy procedure, certain diagnostic tests are done related to the gynecological, physical as well as psychological status of the intended couples.

2- Surrogacy Centre or Agency:Choosing a surrogacy agency is crucial. It plays an important role in creating a proper co-ordination between the intended parents and the surrogate mother.

3- Finding a surrogate mother:Intended parents need to search for the surrogate mother who will bear their child for the next nine months. Nowadays, a surrogacy centre or agency helps couples to find a surrogate mother. Once the desired surrogate mother is found some medical tests including infectious disease examination, Pap smear and trial transfer are performed.

4- Legal documentation:The finances and the social communication between the intended parents and the surrogate mother are clarified and signed by both the parties. The legal documents are kept intact and utilized, if any dispute arises.

Legal documentation

5- IVF process:The egg from the intended mother or donor is retrieved around 14th or 15th day of the cycle. Afterwards, eggs and sperms are fertilized in the laboratory. Then after few days, the embryo is implanted in the womb of the surrogate mother, where it grows into a baby for the next nine months.

6- Time to time checkup: The concerned gynecologist creates a routine of regular checkups and ultrasound of the surrogate mother. This helps in monitoring the growth of the fetus and lifestyle of the surrogate mother during the pregnancy tenure.

7- Delivery: Finally, the day of delivery arrives. The baby is born and given to the intended parents.

Factors revolving around Surrogacy

There are various factors that need to be considered during surrogacy.

  • The surrogate mother should be healthy to carry the child till birth, ifthe matched surrogate mother is not healthy, then you should look out for another surrogate.
  • Overall health should be determined, whether the surrogate mother has any disease or not.
  • The rules of legal formalities should be made transparent before starting with the surrogacy.This ensures that disputes are minimized between surrogate mother and intended parents.

Legal and Illegal surrogacy

Gestational surrogacy is completely legal in India.Surrogacy treatment is divisive around the world and is illegal, raising difficult moral, social and legal issues. As a result, the legal situation varies considerably. Many countries do not have laws which specifically deal with surrogacy. Some countries ban surrogacy outright, while others ban commercial surrogacy but allow altruistic surrogacy (in which the surrogate is not financially compensated). Some countries allow commercial surrogacy, with few restrictions. Some jurisdictions extend a ban on surrogacy to international surrogacy.

illegal surrogacy

For the countries accepting surrogacy as the legal process, the couples get the help of doctors and surrogacy clinics to look over the complete surrogacy process; from the initiation of the process till the birth of child. The process also includes the legal documentation and agreement between the couple and the surrogate mother.

Why opt for Surrogacy?

Intended parents might need to arrange a surrogate pregnancy because of female infertility or other medical issues, which make pregnancy or delivery impossible, risky or otherwise undesirable. Same sex couples and single parents can also opt for surrogacy. The surrogacy planning parents may provide both the sperm and/or the eggs — but donor sperm, eggs and embryos are also often used. The legality and costs of the surrogacy vary widely around the world. The cost of surrogacy in India ranges from Rs. 14,61,200 to Rs. 16,38,500.

In most of the countries the procedure is prohibited or heavily restricted. In some countries, like the United Kingdom and Canada, ‘commercial surrogacy’ where the surrogate mother is paid is illegal while ‘altruistic surrogacy’ where the surrogate mother volunteers the service and is only reimbursed for expenses is acceptable. In the United States, India and Thailand the process is legal and are extensively practiced.

Even wheresurrogacyis legal, the legal landscape varies greatly. In all cases a contract needs to be drawn up which should specify that the child becomes the legitimate adopted child of the intended couple. The couple, the surrogate and her husband will all sign this document.Making the decision to have a child is very important. But if some one does not have any child because of any infertility reasons, the need for having own baby becomes their life’s desire.

You can get to know more about surrogacy andvarious other fertility treatments from the ElaWoman Fertility Treatment Blog. Also, find the diet to have before starting IVF to improve your success chances.

Dr. Sandhya

About The Author

Obstetrician, Gynecologist Dr. Sandhya

Dr. Sandhya Is a Gynaecologist and Obstetrician at Chintamani Hospital, Pune. She Expertise into Baby Pregnancy Delivery, Delivery care, Obstetrics High Risk Care, Gynae Problems, Menopause Problems and Cesarean Delivery. She has done her MBBS and DGO. Patients from all around Saswad come to Dr. Sandhya with lots of hopes and the doctor ensures that the patients are satisfied with the treatments, with her experience and the techniques she uses as a Gynecologist-Obstetrician.


  1. Must know risk factors of pregnancy after 30 Pregnancy risks, Elawoman - 2017
  2. What is in-vitro fertilization (ivf) and its needs IVF, Elawoman - 2017
  3. Surrogacy type complication and its technique types of surrogacy, Elawoman - 2017
  4. Intrauterine insemination may help you conceive Intrauterine Insemination, Elawoman - 2017
  5. Five important things that optimize sperm quality sperm, Elawoman - 2017
  6. What is the process of surrogacy? surrogacy process, Elawoman - 2018
  7. Treatments used for infertility issues in couples infertility, Elawoman - 2017
  8. Diet before starting ivf before starting IVF, Elawoman - 2018



Karishma Dhankhad

Totally a new concept for someone like me. I had heard about surrogacy but this blog cleared all my concepts.

June 5, 2018, 10:45 a.m. 5.0


Nisar Hasan

Surrogacy procedure helped me become a mother after a lot of struggles.

May 9, 2018, 6:05 p.m. 4.5

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