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Print Posted on 06/19/2017 in Surrogacy

Surrogacy and IVF treatment

Surrogacy and IVF treatment

Some controversy still exists around surrogacy as a fertility treatment. In the UK for example, surrogacy is legal but the woman must not be paid for surrogacy except for cost of pregnancy. In the US on the other hand, commercial surrogacy is legal, though the legal processes involved in surrogacy is a bit tricky and varies from state to state. Irrespective of these complications and restrictions, surrogacy is still a viable option for fertility treatment in a number of cases and a lot of couples are vying for it.

What is surrogacy?

Surrogacy is when one woman’s uterus is used to implant and carry the developing embryo and deliver the baby for another woman or couple. It is frequently done through the use of IVF although sometimes it is carried out through the process of intrauterine insemination. The woman that carries the pregnancy is referred to as the surrogate mother or gestational carrier.

Types of Surrogate Motherhood

There are two types of surrogate motherhood. These are:

Traditional surrogate motherhood

In a traditional surrogate motherhood option, the surrogate mother is artificially inseminated with the sperm of the child’s father. The surrogate mother then carries the child, gives birth and hands over to the father and the partner to bring up. A traditional surrogate mother is the child’s birth mother and the biological mother because it was her egg that was used in the fertilization. A donor sperm can as well be used in a traditional surrogacy.

Gestational surrogate motherhood 

Gestational surrogacy is made possible through the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Through IVF, the eggs of the intending mother of a child is collected, fertilized with the sperm of the partner and the fertilized embryo is then implanted into the womb of a surrogate mother.

The surrogate then carries the baby through pregnancy until birth. The resultant baby is genetically unrelated to the surrogate mother. In this case, the gestational surrogate mother is referred to as the birth mother while the woman whose egg was fertilized is referred to as the biological mother. The gestational surrogacy involves a less complex procedure and regulations in the U.S. This is because the intending mother and father of the child are biologically related to the child. For this, reason, gestational surrogacy is more widely accepted than the traditional surrogacy.

Is surrogacy a good fertility option for me?

Surrogacy is a suitable fertility option for women who have medical conditions that make it unfeasible or unsafe for them to conceive and to give birth.

The types of medical conditions that may require surrogacy include the following:

•              Lack of or deformity of the uterus

•              repeated pregnancy loss due to miscarriages

•              Recurring failure with in vitro fertilization (IVF) implantation.

If gay couple chooses to use a traditional surrogate, one of them donates the sperm that fertilize the surrogate’s egg through artificial insemination. The surrogate then carries the baby and gives birth. A gay couple may also decide to choose an egg donor, fertilize the donated egg, and then the fertilized embryo is implanted into a gestational surrogate who will carry the child till birth.

Legal issues associated with surrogacy

Surrogacy motherhood arrangement involves complex regulations. To ensure you stay safe, it is recommended that you seek medical advice before making decision and seeking medical help during the procedure.

Getting a Surrogate

There are different ways to find a surrogate mother:

Use Friends or family

You may be able to get a friend or family who is willing to act as the surrogate mother for you. Although, it is a bit controversial, the high cost of surrogacy makes this a viable option for some couples.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine endorse specific family ties as satisfactory for the practice of surrogacy but commonly disallow surrogacy that results to a child that will carry equivalent genes as a child born of incest between very closely related family members.

A surrogacy agency

Some people in the US make use of surrogacy agency to arrange for a gestational surrogate but such agency is unlawful in the UK. There are roughly one hundred surrogacy agencies that operate in the US. They act as mediator between the intended couples and the surrogate mother.

Choosing a suitable Surrogate

There are currently no specific regulations regarding who to use as a surrogate mother. However, experts have come to a consensus on a few points to consider before choosing a surrogate.

The surrogate mother must:

•              Be at least 21 years of age.

•              Have given birth to at least one healthy baby to enable her to experience pregnancy and childbirth and the emotional issues surrounding child birth.

•              Go through and pass a psychological screening exercise carried out by a mental health professional to check if she has any issues with handing over the child to the intended parents after birth.

•              Sign a contract to state her role in the surrogacy arrangement like prenatal care and accepting to release the baby after birth.

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