A surrogacy is a formal agreement between two parties in which one of the parties agrees to bear pregnancy for the other. This is done in cases where a couple is unable to have a child due to impossibility of a pregnancy or any type of pregnancy risk that might put the mother and the child’s life in danger.
Surrogacy is of gestational type in which the host carries the pregnancy completely, from conception till birth and the traditional type which requires insemination by the surrogate party.
Types of Surrogacy
There are mainly two types of surrogacy procedures:
Gestational Surrogacy (GS)
This surrogacy procedure requires an in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment for impregnation. The child thus born is usually genetically unrelated to the surrogate mother.
These are the various sub-types of gestational surrogacy:
- Gestational surrogacy with intended parent’s embryo – Also known as GS/IP in short this method involves implanting a surrogate with an embryo created using IVF technique. This procedure requires the intended father’s sperm and the intended mother’s eggs.
- Gestational surrogacy and Egg Donation – Also known as GS/ED this method also requires implanting an embryo using IVF technique. This method uses the intended father’s sperm and a donor egg in which the donor and surrogate are not the same. The child born will be genetically related to the intended father but genetically unrelated to the surrogate.
- Gestational surrogacy and Donor Sperm – Also known as GS/DS this method requires using IVF technique for implanting the embryo. This method involves using the intended mother’s egg and donor sperm. The child born will be genetically related to the intended mother but unrelated to the surrogate.
- Gestational surrogacy and Donor Embryo – Also known as GS/DE this method requires implanting a donor embryo in the surrogate. The resulting child is not genetically related to either the intended parents or the surrogate.
Traditional Surrogacy (TS)
This procedure requires natural (or artificial) insemination of a surrogate with the intended father’s sperm using an IUI (intra-uterine insemination) method or other home insemination methods. Using this method the child born is genetically related to the intended father as well as the surrogate.
A sub-type of traditional surrogacy method is the traditional surrogacy and door sperm (TD/DS) method. This method requires artificially inseminating a surrogate with donor sperm using any of the artificial insemination methods such as ICI, IVF or IUI, etc. The resulting child from this method is genetically related to the surrogate but is not genetically related to the intended parents.
Need for Surrogacy
A woman might have several reasons to choose surrogacy method for having a child, such as:
- Uterine problems that prevent pregnancy
- Conditions make pregnancy impossible
- Medical complications prevent pregnancy
Women who have tried various other pregnancy treatments unsuccessfully such as IVF are also ideal to seek surrogacy.
Finding a Surrogate
There are several different ways to find an ideal surrogate for you, such as:
- Friends/Family – Many people prefer to ask a friend or a relative to become a surrogate for them. Although this is not a common practice there are still some legal hassles involves with this in many countries thus making this option a controversial one at times.
- Surrogacy Agency – Most people prefer to use a surrogate agency in order to arrange a gestational surrogate. There are a large number of completely-legal agencies that operate to arrange a match between intended parents and prospective surrogates.
Surrogacy is a modern and efficient procedure for couples who wish to have children but are unable to do so due to any of the large number of reasons. This is a safe and effective procedure and available in select countries without any hassles.