Surrogacy is the term that refers to the arrangement where a woman agrees to carry a baby, usually by legal agreement, on behalf of another person or persons. That person or couple will then become the parents of the baby or babies after she has given birth. People may consider surrogacy if pregnancy poses a risk to the life of the mother, when pregnancy is not possible due to medical reasons, or when a single man or a male couple wants to have a baby.
There are, however, several factors to consider before choosing surrogacy: the type of surrogacy you want, screening a surrogate, and the legal aspect.
Which Type of Surrogacy?
There are basically two types of surrogacy to choose from if you decide to use a surrogate:
- Traditional surrogacy– with this type of surrogacy, the surrogate is the genetic mother of the baby. Sperm from a donor, or the intended father, is used to fertilize the egg through artificial insemination and she would be the biological mother of the child.
- General surrogacy — this is when sperm from a donor, or the intended father, is used to fertilize an egg from the intended mother in a lab and then the fertilized egg is transferred to the surrogate. In this case, the intended parents can be the biological parents.
Screening a Surrogate
For parents planning surrogacy, there are a few important factors to consider before choosing a surrogate carrier (or becoming a surrogate). A lot of careful thought needs to go into making this choice, because it will affect not only the process, but also the health of the child.
According to the experts the surrogate you choose should be older than twenty-one and should have already given birth in the past. This will increase the likelihood of fecundity and a successful birth.
List all potential surrogates; make a short-list of the few that you feel comfortable with and do background checks on them. The background check of the surrogate should include not only her physical and medical conditions, but also the type of person she is. This is essential if you want the surrogate to remain an important part of your child’s life and want to stay in touch with her.
Medical screening should cover her medical history, including a genetic profile (if she is a traditional surrogate), obstetric history, and blood tests. A clean bill of health, certification that she is able to maintain a healthy pregnancy, negative results from infectious disease checks, and good levels to main pregnancy in blood tests are all signs to look for in a good surrogate. The type of person she is may be gauged by her overall lifestyle, including any history of alcohol and drug abuse.
The Legal Aspect
Surrogacy is a complicated procedure and you will need plenty of guidance along the way. Hire a surrogate agency, an attorney, and perhaps a counselor or therapist to help you and your surrogate to get through the complex process with as little emotional pain as possible for both parties.