The recent spate of movie and music stars opting to have children via surrogacy has generated a lot of interest in surrogacy and surrogate mothers. Below are frequently asked questions on the surrogacy procedure & an overview on the surrogacy process in the USA.
1. Surrogacy Explained
Surrogacy refers to the process by which a woman gets pregnant by accepting human eggs or sperm donors or fertilized eggs on behalf of another woman, and carries the baby to term. On delivering a healthy child, the child is handed over to the intended parents who had hired the surrogacy services.
2. Surrogacy procedure
Any one of the following two methods can be used:
1. Eggs from the female of the intended parents are removed and fertilized in vitro by the husband's sperms through IVF/ICSI procedure. The resultant embryo is transferred into the surrogate mother's uterus, and the surrogate mother carries the pregnancy to term. The resultant child/ children are genetically related to both intending parents.
2. In the second method, the surrogate mother is inseminated with sperms from the male partner of the intended parents and the surrogate mother carries the pregnancy to term. The resultant child/ children are genetically related to the male partner of the Intended parents.
If the female partner of the intending parents is unable to produce eggs or has had repeated miscarriages or suffers from other medical complications, then the services of an egg donors are used. Similarly, if the male partner of the intending parents has a low sperm count then sperms can be procured from a sperm bank or a sperm donor.
3. Selecting a surrogate mothers
Surrogatematchmaker.com offers a self registered database of surrogates and intended parents from which one can choose and interact with like minded others. Surrogatematchmaker.com is not just a database, but has a built in matchmaking software that matches surrogates and intended parents base on a whole list of similar features and wants. Once a would be surrogate mom and intended parents find each other on the site, Outside of surrogate matchmaker.com, a further selection process can be done in person to take into account and/or verify the following:
1. The surrogate mother is between 21 and 35 years of age
2. Has previously delivered a healthy child / children
3. No history of miscarriages
4. Has had some formal education
5. House and environment is hygienic
6. The intending surrogate mother appears physically fit and healthy
7. Understands that surrogacy is a commercial arrangement and that the baby will have to be given up on birth.
Once the in person-selection screening is completed, the surrogate mother undergoes a physical and detailed medical examination including historical examination for past diseases.
Once the in person assessment is done and both parties are ready to go ahead, a legal agreement is drawn up between the surrogate and the intended parents.
An online resource for Canadian surrogate mothers and intended parents.