15 Important Things You Should Know About Surrogacy

For some couples, the idea of having a child is deep-rooted while some women believe that to be a mother is a major purpose of their lives. However, sometimes due to infertility issues, having a child can become a lot more difficult than previously thought. These couples go through a lot of pain when realize they may not be able to conceive naturally.

Many couples simply believe that when they are ready to have children, they will stop using protection and eventually get pregnant on their own. Yes, that is how it usually works, but some couples are not that lucky.

To solve this problem, some try various infertility treatments like IVF, ICSI, and IUI. In some cases, these treatments help to successfully conceive but most of the time the chances of pregnancy are very low. Some couples spend massive amounts of money trying different fertility methods. It may seem unfair to some people who want kids and even more heartbreaking for someone who has always dreamed of having their own biological child. The idea of adoption is not usually an option for couples who want a biological child, so using a surrogate mother may be the only option for them. That is why being a surrogate is the most incredible gift a woman could give to someone.

Helping a couple bring their own baby into this world is a selfless act. Nine months of possible morning sickness, backaches, doctor’s appointments, and swollen feet is not easy to bear, but many women feel it’s worth it because they realize the value of the gift they will be giving someone.

However, surrogacy is also a very complicated process, and there are a lot of things that surrogates, as well as intended parents, don’t know about.

 

Following are some of the crucial points that need to be kept in mind before choosing surrogacy:

 

1. Surrogacy is not Legal Everywhere

 

 

Couples who have adopted the process of surrogacy know the legal implications involved behind it. However, what many of us think of as a normal possibility for couples struggling with infertility, a number of countries deem surrogacy illegal. When it comes down to it, the practice of surrogacy is still very rare and very costly in many nations. Many international patients come to India, from countries that have considered surrogacy as illegal. However, stricter laws are being formulated among the claims about young women being subjected to exploitation. 

 

2. Legal Contract and Agreement on Pregnancy and Termination

 

Generally, a woman who is pregnant has all the power when it comes to legal issues and morality because it is her body, therefore, she has the power to decide. However, when a woman is carrying someone else’s baby things get a little more complicated. In this case, a legally binding document is signed by the intended parents and the surrogate to show the claim of the child. An agreement on the well-being of the surrogate and the child is also signed to state that she is carrying the baby under her own consent.

 

3. Women Need Not be Young for Surrogacy

 

Most people think of fertility as a biological clock, they think women should have kids by the age of 35. However, being in your late 30’s probably won’t change the scenario of being a surrogate since the eggs are donated by either the biological mother or from an egg donor.

Most surrogacy agencies give more preference under the age of 40, but some may have stricter requirements. It can also depend on the choice of intended parents. Most of the time, the health of a surrogate and success of her previous pregnancies is also a deciding factor. The mental and emotional stability of a woman is also considered when it comes to selecting candidates. Age can sometimes be a factor, but it is definitely not one of the main things doctors or agencies look into.

 

4. You must have a Lawyer

 

 

Women who are thinking of helping an infertile couple carry a baby need to make sure that they are protected by law. With a lot of expanding regulations and laws, it is extremely necessary for lawyers to make sure neither party is being taken advantage of. It is important to meet everyone’s needs for protection in cases where the laws might conflict with surrogacy practices. Most people know that lawyers can be a huge financial burden and it can worsen when a couple has to pay not only for their own lawyer but the surrogate’s lawyer as well.

 

5. Surrogates Don’t Always get Attached to the Baby

 

There is a common misconception that surrogates will automatically become attached to the baby they are carrying. However, surrogacy is a vastly different process than adoption mostly because the woman carrying the baby knows that she is doing something for someone else, which can help the surrogate detach her emotions from the baby. Surrogates know that it is an emotional risk going into it, but she may not have the same emotional bond, which could otherwise be with her own child. 

 

6. Mental Strength to Face Judgment

 

Surrogacy is still a very misunderstood concept. It is something many people do not understand therefore they do not support it. Some people think it as an unnatural process and that couples should simply adopt if they can’t get pregnant. Others think the idea of carrying someone else’s baby is unethical and emotionless to give it up after nine months. As many people will always have negative opinions on the matter, the couple and the surrogate need to be prepared for negative judgments.

 

7. Psychological Evaluations are Required for Surrogate

 

 

Psychological evaluation of surrogates is not only intended to be a positive step for a surrogate, but it is also to ensure they are a good match for couples. Not every woman is ready for such a big choice and commitment, the evaluation is simply conducted to reassure the surrogate’s confidence and to confirm that she is ready to take responsibility. 

 

8. Matching a Surrogate to a Family can be Hard

 

After the potential surrogate fulfills all the requirements on her end, the doors are opened for potential matches to connect. However, some couples going for surrogacy may be looking for particular characteristics in a surrogate mother. Even after a surrogate matches a couple, they have to go through several meetings to get personally connected. 

 

9. Surrogates Don't Always Get Paid up Front

 

Surrogacy payments are usually made on per month basis. Often times, the surrogate is paid at first after the procedure and payment continues once there is a confirmation of a heartbeat. The consultancy fees, medical fees, cost of travel and the cost of nutritious food required for the healthy development of a baby are all provided by the intended parents.

 

10. Surrogates Must Go Through A Trial Run

 

 

Once a surrogate has completed her psychological and physical evaluation, she is then ready to start her mock trial run. This mock cycle puts the surrogate on the same drugs that she will be on for the real transfer. This is done in order to allow physicians to check and see how the uterus responds to estrogen replacement and the possibility of a successful pregnancy. Doctors, then perform a trial transfer and measure the angle of the cervix, and length of the uterine cavity. This helps doctors determine how far to insert the catheter when embryos are transferred to the uterus.

 

11. Not all Women Do it for Money

 

Even though money may be the main reason for women to be a surrogate, going through nine months of pregnancy, along with a series of shots and tests along with the pain of labor is not an easy task. Surrogates definitely deserve payment for what they go through. Evidence has also shown that more reasonably requested prices usually get matched quicker which show that these women are not doing it just for money.

 

12. Surrogates Can Get Pregnant With Their Own Baby While Carrying Someone Else’s Child

 

Usually, when a woman begins to carry a baby, she stops ovulating as it is prevented by hormones released during pregnancy. However, during superfetation (a second conception during pregnancy), women continue to ovulate even after they are already pregnant. This can also happen to women who are surrogates and technically, they can simultaneously carry someone else’s child as well as their own.

 

13. Surrogates Must Have Given Birth Before

 

Unlike egg donation, surrogacy agencies prefer women who have been pregnant before. Due to pregnancy changes a woman’s body so much, there are lesser risks that could occur when she becomes pregnant. A surrogate’s health is a primary concern for agencies who like to ensure that they have had easy pregnancies in the past. This will decrease the risks of complications during pregnancy.

 

14. You Can Become Surrogate More Than Once

 

Just like women can have more than one child, they can also be a surrogate more than once. Some women even repeat their surrogacy with the same family but because surrogacy is not the easiest thing to go through, many women don’t do it more than once or twice. Usually, a woman can become a surrogate 4 times in her lifetime. 

 

15. Allowing the Surrogate to Nurse the Baby in the Hospital

 

Often times, intended parents are concerned about attachment issues when it comes to their child and their surrogate. However, at the end of the day, most moms realize that the most important thing is the health of her baby if that means allowing the surrogate to breastfeed it.

 

SOURCES AND REFERENCES:

It's time to be grown-up about surrogacy Gq-magazine.co.uk, 18 April 2019

Overview of the Surrogacy Process Hrc.org, 18 April 2019

Surrogacy - Wikipedia En.wikipedia.org, 18 April 2019

Thinking-about-surrogacy-Heres-everything-you-need-to-know-about-whats-legal-and-whats-not Virginmediatelevision.ie, 18 April 2019

India: Surrogacy Bill And ART Bill: Boon Or Bane? Mondaq.com, 18 April 2019

Filipinas were going to be surrogate mothers Asiatimes.com, 18 April 2019

How Many Surrogates Does Cheatsheet.com, 18 April 2019

Why I Chose to Become a Surrogate Gaycitynews.nyc, 18 April 2019

 Seeking A Surrogate For The End Of The World Refinery29.com, 18 April 2019

 Surrogacy and me: This is the worst kind of waiting Thetimes.co.uk, 18 April 2019

 

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