Quick Question – Do you really want to invest your precious time trying to figure out everythingyou need to know about surrogacy? If your answer is yes! Reading this blog post is worth your time, you will get to know about everything you need to know about the fascinating topic0 surrogacy.
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Surrogacy meaning in brief
Surrogacy is a fertility treatment/ procedure in which a woman accepts to carry out a pregnancy, to help prospective parents start a healthy & contented family. Deciding upon surrogacy is a big step, it’s also an emotional decision and process. You may want to begin telling your family members and close friends about your decision-making and planning process about your surrogacy. But before doing that, you and your partner should feel very confident about sharing such a private issue with friends and family members.
An Overview of Surrogacy
To get a closer and quicker look at surrogacy, let’s dive into the surrogacy pregnancy. Get ready to impart surrogacy knowledge without frittering away much of your time. Surrogacy involves a woman agreeing to carry a baby for someone else and giving the child to them once it’s born. There are plenty of reasons why you may consider choosing surrogacy fertility treatment. For example – If you tried but couldn’t get pregnant with a variety of assisted reproduction techniques.
For intended parents, surrogacy is the chance to finally complete their family and for surrogates, it is the chance of a lifetime to give selflessly the baby to another family who genuinely needs them.
A surrogate mother, surrogate or gestational carrier is a woman who is willing to carry someone else’s child through a procedure called surrogacy and intended parents are people who have tried for years to have a biological child, naturally or through different assisted reproduction techniques. It can include all kinds of couples and single people.
For example- same-sex male/female couples struggling with infertility, heterosexual couples, single men/women who want a child. Surrogacy might consist of an assisted reproduction treatment (such as the In-Vitro-Fertilization / IVF), using: the surrogate mother’s own eggs, a donor’s eggs, donor sperm, intended mother’s eggs, intended father’s sperm. It allows infertile couples to become parents when they may not be able to have children otherwise. Surrogacy is about one woman helping another person/family enjoy parenthood. It involves the creation of embryos in a doctor’s office and the entire process is very clinical.
For a successful surrogacy pregnancy, your health is essential. Initial screening appointment, financial consultation, surrogacy contract/ agreement is a crucial part of surrogacy. Keep in mind there are stringent regulations and eligibility requirements that must be met before entering into a surrogacy arrangement.
Note – A healthy pregnancy is always a priority in Surrogacy and make sure you check the laws in your state before proceeding with a surrogacy agreement.
- The surrogacy process is challenging and also the most rewarding for all the parties involved. Both potential surrogates and intended parents are curious about the process and how surrogacy works, in a practical sense. Before the beginning of the surrogacy process, you should educate yourself on the basics and find out if you are completely committed to this process. Surrogacy professionals can help you to learn all you need to know about a surrogacy arrangement. A formal surrogacy agreement must be done before conception.
- First, you are advised to undergo certain investigations to check the feasibility of the procedure. For that, you must determine your goals, expectations and the professionals you are willing to work with. You should also think about whether or not you want to involve the assistance of a surrogacy agency. Remember: surrogacy without an agency requires much more coordination by intended parents and surrogates, which can add an extra level of stress.
- Most agencies offer hopeful intended parents a first free consultation to get to know more about the programs available, about the financial options. Surrogacy agency provides all the surrogacy services and will also help you decide about basic aspects, including whether you need donor sperm/egg services. It’s very important that you rely on well-versed professionals and trustworthy agency.
- You will need the assistance of a surrogacy attorney, to help you understand the legalities of the process you’re entering into. The work of an attorney is required to complete the legal work (contracts, birth order, legal parentage, etc.).
- Your clinic/ surrogacy professional will let you know if you qualify for the surrogacy process or not. Both surrogate and the intended parents need to meet the criteria for a pleasant and successful journey. Once you meet the criteria for surrogacy, both surrogate and the intended parents will go for a medical assessment and will have counseling about the surrogacy arrangement after the matching process is done of intended parents and their surrogate.
- If everything is okay and both the parties agree to move forward together, they sign a surrogacy contract to ensure that the legal interests and rights of both are protected. The surrogacy contract is crucial and can prevent serious legal problems down the road. The intended parents and the surrogate obtain legal advice from two different lawyers.
- Once contracts have been signed by both sides and approved, medical procedures begin to prepare for the embryo transfer. This process will be handled by an agreed-upon fertility clinic. The medical procedures recommended for surrogacy will depend on your circumstances. The surrogate will go through fertility treatments before the embryo transfer and during the pregnancy.
- The intended mother or egg donor will be given medication to help her develop healthy eggs and will undergo an egg retrieval procedure. An egg retrieval procedure is performed at a fertility clinic. Once the healthy pregnancy is confirmed, the surrogate mother will start receiving prenatal care, which will continue throughout the pregnancy and after the embryo transfer, the pregnancy will be confirmed.
- The transfer procedure is quick and painless. The surrogacy process concludes with the birth of the baby and the discharge of the surrogate from the hospital. You should keep in mind that some details especially the legal requirements, may vary from state to state. The process of surrogacy is simple when it entails very coordinated and professional process management.
- There are strict regulations and eligibility requirements that must be met before entering into a surrogacy agreement, not everybody can enter into a surrogacy arrangement, so it is very important to seek professional advice as counseling is a requirement of the surrogacy process.
- There are different types of surrogacy and you should know which is the right one for you and your partner. It can be overwhelming to learn about different types of surrogacy, so you need expert help to make sure you choose the kind of surrogacy that’s perfect for you. As surrogacy is not one-size-fits-all, you will need assistance to make your decision. A surrogacy professional can help you choose the process that’s right for you based on what you desire from your surrogacy experience.
- Surrogacy can be classified into different types depending on the techniques used to achieve pregnancy.
- In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate woman is the child’s biological mother. She may act as both the egg-donor as well as the actual embryo surrogate. It is based on a mode of conceiving by a surrogate mother. Traditional surrogacy is also known as partial, straight surrogacy, it is the first kind of surrogacy known in history, But these days it is falling into disuse.
- In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate’s own eggs/biological material are fertilized using artificial insemination, making her the biological mother of the baby. Traditional surrogacy is not recommended due to the lack of legal protection. Also, the major con of traditional surrogacy is that there is a genetic link to the child, a surrogate is the biological mother of the child. From a technical standpoint, traditional surrogacy compromises a simpler medical process, as the surrogate is inseminated artificially through IUI, it is not required that she undergoes medical treatments prior to the procedure.
- Traditional surrogacy has become more unpopular over the years in favor of gestational surrogacy. A traditional surrogate mother is genetically related to the baby and a traditional surrogacy doesn’t need egg donation because the surrogate mother acts as both the egg donor and the actual surrogate. Because the surrogate mother has genetic ties to the baby, the legal process for traditional surrogacy is very complicated. On average, traditional surrogacy is less expensive because of the differences in medical procedures and the requirements of egg donation.
- A genetic relationship may legally and emotionally complicate traditional surrogacy, but the following people may consider traditional surrogacy:
- Single men
- Same-sex male couples
- Intended mothers who cannot form healthy eggs
Single men, same-sex male couples and women who cannot produce healthy eggs may choos traditional surrogacy because they will need a donor’s eggs in any case; in traditional surrogacy, the surrogate doubles as the egg donor. Many surrogacy professionals do not offer traditional surrogacy programs, and many surrogates are more comfortable with gestational surrogacy than traditional surrogacy. Intended mothers do not have the privilege of being biologically related to their children in traditional surrogacy.
- In traditional surrogacy, many couples prefer that the surrogate is someone from their family or close friend as the surrogate will be the biological mother of the child. The traditional surrogate mother must be a healthy fit woman completely free from any genetic diseases, with decent living conditions, no criminal record, etc. She will be donating her eggs; hence the surrogate has to be checked for fertility potential, the quality of eggs that the woman has and her physical capacity to carry the pregnancy till term. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother is artificially inseminated with the sperm of the intended father (or else sperm donor).
- Traditional surrogacy is not legal in some states and in several states traditional surrogacy is allowed. For thousands of years, the history of surrogacy referred to only one process –traditional surrogacy, because no medical procedures existed to enable an intended mother to be genetically related to her child. Until 1884, any surrogacies had to be completed in the traditional manner, requiring sexual relations. Traditional surrogacy includes various medical surrogacy procedures, IVF can be also utilized in traditional surrogacy too. Intended parents who pick traditional surrogacy may have more trouble finding a ready surrogate, increasing intended parents wait times in traditional surrogacy and also, traditional surrogacy poses an increasingly critical legal risk. The intended mother must usually do an adoption process to become the legal mother of the baby in traditional surrogacy.
- A traditional type of surrogacy is on the basis of the creation of an embryo and it is still an available option for many people who want to raise their children. Traditional surrogacy is legal in some countries but banned in most countries. When thinking about traditional surrogacy, the intended parents have to generally pay for the following- Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI), surrogate medical expenses, counseling costs, agency fees, any other related price regarding the procedure. In the case of traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother can change her mind as she is the biological mother of the child. Then again, parents need to go to the court to fight for the custody of the child. Keep in mind that most of the surrogacy clinics and surrogacy agencies do not perform the traditional surrogacy because of the inclination of gestational surrogacy. It needs proper research, time and financial security to build a family via this type of surrogacy.
- The practice of gestational surrogacy comprises a woman known as a gestational carrier who agrees to bear a genetically unrelated child with the help of assisted reproductive technologies. Gestational surrogacy is now becoming a very common form of family building approach. It has helped thousands of couples and individuals who wanted to grow their families but were medically unfit. Gestational surrogacy is the most popular type of surrogacy today, in which the surrogate is not related to the baby she is carrying.
- The baby isn’t genetically linked to the surrogate mother in gestational surrogacy. Instead, the embryo is created by in vitro fertilization (IVF) in a laboratory, using eggs and sperms of the intended parents or donors, which is then transferred to the surrogate during a minor medical procedure. In all scenarios, the surrogate does not have any genetic or biological relationship with the child she delivers. The surrogate becomes pregnant through in vitro fertilization. In
gestational surrogacy, the egg can also come from a donor. The first gestational surrogacy was conducted in 1985. The surrogate carried the biological child of a woman who had a hysterectomy but had retained her ovaries.
- Gestational surrogacy poses less potential psychological harm to all parties involved because the surrogate is not a biological parent. The cost of gestational surrogacy is generally more expensive, this is due to differences in the medical process as IUI is less expensive than IVF and also, it involves not many medical procedures and fertility treatments. There are many cost factors to be considered when choosing gestational surrogacy.
- To be eligible for gestational surrogacy, all the parties involved in this process should follow guidelines to ensure that gestational surrogacy is the appropriate treatment option for both the gestational carrier and the intended parents. Fees for gestational surrogacy often include – the cost of in vitro fertilization, associated legal and agency fees. Before choosing gestational surrogacy, be aware of the complications involved in this process, share your issues with an experienced surrogacy professional and discuss about the legal, financial, emotional challenges.
- In gestational surrogacy, the egg is taken from the intended mother or the donor (in case of the intended mother is not in a position to provide a healthy egg) and the sperm from the intended father or the donor ( in case of the intended father is not in a position to provide a quality sperm). Eggs are mixed with the sperm and the embryos are then transferred into the surrogate’s uterus. In gestational surrogacy, only one anonymous donor is used to maintain the genetic relationship with at least one of the intended parents. Anonymous donor arrangement is when the intended parent and donor have no identifying information about each other. With anonymous donors, there is no way for the intended parents or the donor-conceived child to contact the donor. The gestational surrogacy process may vary somewhat based on your state’s laws and your individual circumstances. Gestational surrogacy is possible with an embryo from both intended parents, but only in the case of opposite-sex couples. In the case of single parents and gay couples, they have to turn to donors to create the embryo that will be transferred into the surrogate’s uterus.
- The following people might consider gestation surrogacy: Anyone who is not able to safely carry a pregnancy to term, same-sex couples, hopeful single parents, people who don’t want a genetic link between the surrogate and their child, people who have struggled with infertility. In most gestational surrogacy cases, both intended parents are genetically related to their child and the surrogate mother carry the baby as if it were any other pregnancy. In general, the gestational surrogacy process involves finding a surrogate opportunity, completing legal contracts and transferring the embryo to the surrogate.
- Your surrogacy professional/attorney will help you understand gestational surrogacy laws in your state and help you in simplifying the surrogacy process. Gestational surrogacy is the least legally complicated form of surrogacy, it allows infertile couples, single parents and members of the LGBT community to complete their families.
Who is surrogacy suitable for?
- Surrogacy is not a process you complete alone; you will need counseling and support from professionals. They will provide you complete information to get started with your surrogacy process.
- Surrogacy is suitable for infertile couples, single people, same-sex couples, members of the LGBT community wanting to build a family, but unable to do so, because of various reasons. The surrogacy process is generally no different and is essentially the same for all of the intended parents. Just like with any major decision, couples and individuals considering surrogacy should carefully research and consider if surrogacy is right for them. Sharing few main reasons people resort to surrogacy- the existence of significant uterine abnormalities, the use of certain medications or specific treatments for certain diseases preventing pregnancy, such as chemotherapy, advanced maternal age, severe endometriosis, genetic diseases, recurrent IVF failure, hysterectomy(an operation done to remove a woman’s uterus), recurrent abortion, severe adenomyosis, abnormalities associated with repeated miscarriage, biological inability to conceive or bear a child. As in the case of gay males and single men who hope to have offspring, but they lack the female reproductive organs fundamental for causing and sustaining a pregnancy.
- There are some states and some countries where surrogacy may be illegal, so it’s important to speak to a surrogacy professional to know if you can proceed with your surrogacy process, learn from them, more about the process, regulations, disadvantages, and advantages. Also, it’s very important to choose a professional that is open and supportive about your decision, no matter what your sexual orientation or relationship status is.
Surrogacy Cost in India
- Surrogacy in India is uncomplicated and smooth. The cost of surrogacy in India is also far less expensive as compared to other countries in the world. If you want to start a family through surrogacy, India is a very good option, considering the low cost and quality of the surrogacy services offered. Surrogacy in India cost varies from one city to another, also from clinic to clinic. The type of surrogacy method you choose will affect the overall surrogacy cost. Low medical cost, enriching prior records and the conducive procedure have made the country way ahead of the rest.
- Also, the availability of young, healthy surrogates at a very reasonable cost in India attracts a lot of interest. On the basis of success rates and doctor expertise also the surrogacy price depends and varies. Generally, metro cities in India have a higher cost of surrogacy services. Keep in mind: getting quality service should be your top priority, also you can take help from professionals, to map out your financial goals. Unexpected expenses happen and you should talk about it beforehand.
Note: There are several ways you can save on your costs, without reducing the quality of your journey.
Surrogacy laws in India
- India has oftentimes been termed as the ‘surrogacy capital of the world’. Commercial surrogacy was legalized in India in 2002 and is still going on. Also, an altruistic form of surrogacy is allowed in India. Commercial and altruistic surrogacy is recognized as legal in India for all Indian Citizens. Access is granted to heterosexual Indian spouses with fertility problems, only. Current policies governing surrogacy in India follow certain conditions to resort to surrogacy. Same-sex couples or gay couples are prohibited from surrogacy in India, as gay marriage is not recognized in India. Intended parents will have to be married and prove that the surrogacy is done for genuine reason. Today, the Indian law doesn’t allow access for foreign citizens anymore, foreign couples are not allowed to pursue surrogacy in India. Non- residents who intend to start a surrogacy arrangement in India, cannot do so by entering the country as tourists.
- The Indian Government prohibited surrogacy to foreign citizens, in an attempt to cease the vast incoming of fertility tourists looking for a woman to carry their child. Only Indian citizens residing in India or a foreigner married to an Indian citizen, heterosexual married couples with fertility complications can avail surrogacy services in India. In 2002, India became the first country to legalize commercial surrogacy and by 2012, India became the surrogacy capital of the world. A new bill was passed by the Lok Sabha during the monsoon session of the parliament on august eight, the ultimate aim of the surrogacy regulation bill – it seeks to prohibit commercial surrogacy and regulate altruistic and surrogacy services in India. The bill, in its present form, only allows altruistic surrogacy, under which only medical expenses and insurance cover are provided to the surrogate mother, section 4 of the bill allows surrogacy in cases of proven infertility. The provision prohibits surrogacy for producing children for sale, prostitution or other forms of exploitation. The bill also prohibits the abortion of a surrogate child without the written consent of the surrogate mother and the authorization of the appropriate authority. The surrogacy regulation bill, 2016 has not yet passed.
Surrogacy Success Rate
- Understanding surrogacy success rates are not as simple as looking at raw data, there is a myriad of factors to consider. Surrogacy success rates posted by surrogacy agencies, surrogacy clinics may seem simple, but they are often misleading. As clinics are free to post their own surrogacy success rates based on inconsistent criteria because surrogacy regulation worldwide is a bit inconsistent. First, to understand surrogacy success rates, you need to understand the process of surrogacy and what affects the whole process, you need to find true and realistic information. Keep in mind that, a reputable surrogacy agency will not post false information about its successes.
- Age affects the success rate of surrogacy hugely, also no red flags in health history, active lifestyle affects the success rates. Since the success rates for surrogacy pregnancies are reported differently in different locations, exact numbers cannot be claimed. Factors such as- where the surrogate is living, type of agency used, health, age and number of previous pregnancies reported by the surrogate are also variables that affect the statistical numbers. Countries with a lack of good healthcare can contribute to more high-risk pregnancies and births, resulting in lower success rates.
- There can be so many factors that play a part in the surrogacy success rate, your focus should be to make practical choices and know what your choices mean in terms of reaching your parenthood goal. Your ideal goal should be to have the best chance of success and a healthy baby. Keep your stress levels to a minimum.
Surrogacy Vs. IVF
- Surrogacy and In- vitro- fertilization both are a method of assisted reproduction technology. Assisted reproduction technology (ART) is used to treat infertility. The decision to choose IVF or surrogacy is not an easy one for most couples and individuals. Both IVF and surrogacy help you conceive a child.
- Surrogacy is derived from the term ‘surrogate’. In surrogacy, an arrangement is made by surrogacy professionals, that allows a woman to carry the baby for another couple/ individual trying to build a family, but unable to do so. In Vitro Fertilization is about a process of combining egg and sperm inside the laboratory. This fertilized egg is implanted in your uterus.
- Both surrogacy and IVF include many steps. Deciding carefully whether surrogacy or IVF is the right choice for you, is the first and most important step. It does require a big commitment. IVF is colloquially known as a test tube baby, a child conceived through IVF is the result of an egg being fertilized by a sperm in a Petri dish. IVF is affordable to a large section of Indian society; this method of assisted reproductive technology may be the first option if- a woman’s fallopian tubes are blocked, in severe cases of male infertility, if a surrogate is needed. IVF follows a sequence of procedures to achieve pregnancy, it has been part of the medical and social landscape for 40 years.
- Surrogacy gives the opportunity to all parties involved, the surrogate and the intended parents. Intended parents come from all the different backgrounds to start a family using surrogacy. Surrogacy family building option is often used by the intended parents who have exhausted their fertility treatment options, all the intended parents using surrogacy services, or planning to opt for surrogacy, have one thing in common- a strong desire to complete their family goal.
- Benefits of IVF treatment – In vitro fertilization (IVF), also known as test-tube baby treatment can help couples facing unexplained infertility, the best part about IVF is that it is completely safe procedure with highest success rates and with a very low rate of multiple births, men with low sperm count or issues with sperm motility can benefit from this treatment, also IVF can help single women and same-sex couples, through IVF embryos can be used to screen for inherited diseases, it can help to diagnose fertilization problems, can treat variety of infertility problems, no legal implications/issues, can increase your chances of having a healthy baby and in IVF you have control over timing.
- Benefits of Surrogacy – Surrogacy creates relationships, many intended parents and surrogate mothers develop meaningful bonds during the surrogacy process, it gives hopeful parents the opportunity to raise a child from birth, surrogacy gives intended parents more control and peace of mind throughout the pregnancy than they usually have with fertility treatments or adoption, for intended parents surrogacy doesn’t involve physical discomfort, that may arise during IVF process, surrogacy allows for genetic connections through gestational surrogacy, often enabling one or both parents to maintain a biological relationship with their child.
- If the intended mother doesn’t become pregnant even after multiple rounds of IVF and artificial insemination, surrogacy is the ideal option. Types of surrogacy, based on the mode of conceiving by a surrogate mother- gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy. Types of surrogacy, based on an agreement to payment of consideration- altruistic surrogacy and commercial surrogacy. Either surrogacy agreement can be unpaid (altruistic) or paid (commercial). Talking about in vitro fertilization, it is further classified into two types- natural IVF and mild IVF. Both are somewhat similar but have some differences as well, in natural IVF the woman’s eggs are harvested directly from her fallopian tubes in the course of her natural cycle and mild IVF, mild drugs are used to stimulate the ovaries into producing around two-seven eggs. Mild IVF includesfewer medications, fewer injections as in comparison with the natural IVF cycle, it basically requires a low quality of stimulation and retrieval procedure.
- Both in vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy are alternative methods of having a healthy baby and can be resorted to when a couple or individual cannot conceive the natural way. Before making a choice, you should be aware of all the financial, legal, emotional and physical risks associated with the choice of a procedure that is best suited for you.
Surrogacy cost in Mumbai
- In Mumbai, you will get the best surrogacy services. The general/average surrogacy cost in Mumbai is Rs. 10,00,000 to Rs. 20,00,000. Mumbai is the best city for medical services, especially for surrogacy services. The treatment costs for surrogacy in Mumbai depends on the kind of surrogacy arrangement you opt for, also on the fertility clinic undertaking the treatment. The cost of medicines, legal fees, the consultation fee may add up to the overall cost. Your medical reports and age can also play a role when talking about surrogacy costs. Using a donor egg or sperm brings about extra charges. Even the top surrogacy centers in Mumbai offer affordable services to patients, making Mumbai the most sought out option for surrogacy.
- Surrogacy cost in Mumbai depends on various factors such as- the experience of the doctor, quality of medicines and drugs used, the reputation of the clinic, patient’s medical history. To gather the proper information about the cost involved and its treatment, you will need expert advice from someone in a related field.