What is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is form of assisted reproductive technology (ART) where a woman (the surrogate) offers to carry a baby through pregnancy on behalf of another person or couple and then return the baby to the intended parent(s) once it is born. In surrogacy, an embryo is created using an egg and sperm produced by the intending parent(s) (or donors), and is transferred into the surrogate’s uterus. The surrogate has no genetic link to the child.
Who is eligible for surrogacy?
A person is eligible to commission a surrogate if;
As a woman she is unlikely to become pregnant, be able to carry a pregnancy or give birth due to a medical condition;
As a couple, multiple transfers of a genetically normal embryo have been unsuccessful;
The intending parent is a single male or in a same sex male relationship.
Who uses surrogates?
A woman might decide to use a surrogate for several reasons.
She may have medical problems with her uterus.
She may have had a hysterectomy that removed her uterus.
There may be conditions that make pregnancy impossible or medically risky, such as severe heart disease.
Other woman choose surrogacy after trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant with a variety of assisted-reproduction techniques (ART), such as IVF
Surrogates have also made parenthood an option for people who might not be able to adopt a child. Reasons could include.
Their marital status
How is gestational surrogacy performed?
An appropriate surrogate is chosen and thoroughly screened for infectious diseases.
Consents are signed by all parties. This is an important step in surrogacy cases. All potential issues need to be carefully clarified, put in writing and signed. The patient is stimulated for IVF with medications to develop multiple eggs. The surrogate is placed on medications that suppress her own menstrual cycle and stimulate development of a receptive uterine lining. When the patient's follicles are mature, an egg retrieval procedure is performed to remove eggs from her ovaries. The eggs are fertilized in the laboratory with her partner's sperm. The embryos develop in the laboratory for 3-5 days. Then, an embryo transfer procedure is done which places the embryos in the surrogate mother's uterus where they will hopefully implant. The surrogate delivers the baby. The baby goes home from the hospital with the "genetic parents".