Surrogate parenthood, sometimes referred to as “contract pregnancy”, is an agreement where one or more people, preferably a married couple, come into terms with a woman to carry a child for them and then voluntarily give up the baby after birth.
Breaking Down What Surrogacy Means
There are two types of surrogate parenthood. There’s the traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. For traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother is inseminated by the sperm of the child’s genetic father. In this case, since the surrogate mother is also the child’s genetic mother, the surrogate has to sign a contract terminating her rights as a parent and the female rearing parent adopts the child.
While for the gestational surrogacy, both the child’s genetic mother and father have a genetic connection to their child. The mother’s egg is fertilized by the father’s sperm outside the womb. This then will be implanted on the surrogate mother’s womb. In this case, the surrogate mother’s only connection to the child is purely gestational. No adoption is needed.
Given its nature, surrogate parenthood is mostly applicable to infertile couples and male-female couples. Please keep in mind though, that not all countries are surrogacy friendly. After carefully considering whether surrogacy is for you or not, it is also ideal to work with an agency. This will help save you time and money.
How the Surrogacy Process Works
Your chosen surrogacy agency will help most of the surrogacy services. This includes cross-matching, screening, managing of cases; they may also provide legal support, counseling, and a lot more. It is also advised that you find a surrogacy attorney which will help with all your legal papers and legal work.
Now, being a surrogate also requires a lot of preparation. You have to make sure that you are emotionally and physically ready to carry someone else’s child. Knowing that your body will go through extreme changes, you have to ensure that being a surrogate mother is for you.
In looking for intended parents, you, as a surrogate mother, get to decide which type of parents you’re willing to work with. What kind of relationship would you like to have with them? Depending on your choice, you can consider the parents’ religion, age, sexual orientation, race and a lot more.
For the intended parents, during the process, you may be asked to create a profile to introduce yourself and your family, which may or may not include photographs, as well. This will help the agency and the surrogate mother get to know you and your plans throughout the surrogacy.
Once an agreement has been made between the intended parents and surrogate mother, it is very important to settle legal requirements. This will include the signing of the legal contract, review of the terms and aspects of the surrogacy and approval.
Not until a healthy and safe pregnancy is announced can the surrogate mother then receive compensations and allowance from the intended parents. This also has to be discussed and agreed upon in the contract. Along with this, the surrogate mother is also to receive prenatal care up until the end of the pregnancy.
What Happens to the Child in Surrogacy
After the surrogate mother gives birth to the child, the baby comes home with the intended parents. Depending on the agreement or situation, the surrogate mother and intended parents can choose to keep in touch or maintain a relationship throughout the life of the child. Still, the surrogacy agency may choose to help both parties with any other assistance they may need.
The whole process of surrogacy may be very difficult especially for the surrogate mother as she will be carrying the child for nine months and will later have to relinquish the baby to the intended parents. As such, it is highly recommended that before becoming a surrogate, proper research, investigation, and preparation is made. For the intended parents, the decision to go through surrogacy can be an emotional and exhausting experience. This process requires a big commitment not only for the surrogate mother but for the intended parents, too.
Although this can be a very long and tiring process, it can also be a fulfilling experience. Knowing that you can help build a family and knowing that you can now finally have a family of your own is such a rewarding experience. At the end of the process, seeing and having your baby come home with you will make all of it worth it.