Womens Health

Making A Family

When Surrogacy Is An Option

Surrogacy, the act of one woman having a baby for another, is gaining momentum as infertile couples, especially those who are getting older, are opting for this method of having a family. After trying unsuccessfully to have their own baby, a couple may choose to adopt a child. Alternatively, they may want a child that is genetically theirs, even if they cannot conceive and carry one to term themselves.

This is where surrogacy comes into play. The surrogate mother is a unique person who will be rewarded with having been the instrument used to help create a family. This is a remarkable thing and one that will stay with both surrogate and couple forever. The surrogate will be the one to help heal the broken hearts of couples who have gone through the frustrations and letdown of failed fertility treatments. It is an act of kindness and often the surrogate mother becomes very close with the commissioning couple, staying in close touch with the family over the years. Many questions and concerns must be addressed, but for those who have been a surrogate, the result is great relationships rather than problems.

Who Is A Surrogate?

Not every woman who is able to conceive and give birth is suitable to be a surrogate. Depending upon where she lives, the laws for surrogacy may vary, as will the requirements. Some things that remain constant in the process include meeting with the intended parents, going through the matching process, the legal process (which is very important to both sides of the contract) and testing. Depending upon whether the surrogacy is gestational or straight will determine whether impregnation is by artificial insemination or IVF. Then, of course, there are the emotional implications of carrying a baby for someone else. The screening for surrogacy is, and must be, very stringent, both physically and psychologically.

Psychological Implications

If the surrogacy is gestational, while impregnation is more difficult, the emotional price is less intense. If the surrogacy is straight (or partial), wherein the egg of the surrogate is combined with the sperm of the intended father, there is a great emotional price attached. The baby is genetically the surrogate's biological child and surrendering the baby may present emotional challenges greater than expected. That is perhaps the most important aspect a commissioning couple consider when choosing a surrogate. Besides being healthy with no significant medical or psychological difficulties, she must be emotionally and mentally sound and stable, able to conceive easily and carry a pregnancy without difficulties. The commissioning couple need the surrogate to be responsible and mature enough to realize that they are placing a huge amount of trust in her to carry their child.

The Great Reward

Most often, a woman does not become a surrogate for selfish reasons. Certainly, there is money involved. Medical care, clothing, testing, hospitalization, and clinic fees are all part of the cost of the process. However, most women who opt to become surrogates do so for altruistic reasons. They want to be able to give to others.

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