Surrogacy means a woman agrees to carry a baby for someone else. After the baby is born, the surrogate mother gives custody and guardianship to the intended parents.
Surrogacy is a complex legal and medical step. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of this process, seek professional advice, and build supportive networks.
In this post, we have answered these fairly common questions: how can surrogacy be done, and whose DNA does the surrogate baby have?
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Why choose surrogacy?
Surrogacy can help those couples experiencing infertility issues and others who want to have biological children or have other medical issues.
There are many reasons people have to choose surrogacy When:
- A woman is experiencing health issues that prevent her from carrying on a pregnancy.
- Infertility issues prevent couples from getting pregnant, such as recurrent miscarriages.
- Same-sex couples wish to have children, this can be two men, but women also find this option attractive because the egg embryo from one partner can be transferred and carried by the other partner.
- Single people want to have biological children.
How to choose a surrogate?
There are no regulations about who can be a surrogate mother. But experts suggest a few points about how to choose one.
It would be best if you chose surrogates who:
- Are at least 21 years old.
- Have given birth to one healthy baby to understand the risks of childbirth and pregnancy and the emotional issues of bonding with a baby.
- Have passed through psychological examination by a mental health expert to uncover issues with giving up the newborn after birth.
- Sign a contract about their responsibilities in the pregnancy.
Types of surrogacy
There are different types of surrogacy:
The birth mother does not receive any payment. This is allowed in Australia. Some states allow reasonable repayment of the surrogate mother’s medical expenses.
The surrogate mother delivers her egg with the commissioning father’s sperm. Thus the baby is biologically the surrogate mother’s child. Traditional surrogacy is not generally offered in clinics in Australia due to legal requirements, but the surrogate mother can inseminate herself at home. It is also possible to practice traditional surrogacy through an overseas clinic.
This involves a birth mother receiving payment or material benefit. It is banned in Australia.
It is not legal to pay a third party to arrange a surrogacy, and advertising for a surrogate parent or commissioning a parent is generally not allowed.
How is surrogacy done, step-by-step?
Once you’ve found a surrogate, achieving pregnancy depends on what type of surrogate you choose.
With gestational carriers, the process looks like this:
- Choose a surrogate, usually via an agency.
- Create a legal contract and have it checked.
- Obtain donor eggs. Create embryos using the intended father’s sperm or donor sperm.
- Transfer embryos to the surrogate and then follow the pregnancy.
- Once the child is born, at that time, the intended parents get full legal custody as the legal contract.
- If it doesn’t work out, intended parents and the surrogate mother can seek another IVF cycle.
On the other hand, traditional surrogates donate their eggs, so IVF is usually not involved.
- Choose a surrogate.
- Create a legal contract and check it.
- Go with the IUI process using the intended father’s or donor’s sperm.
- Follow the pregnancy or try again if the first cycle doesn’t work out.
- Once the child is born. The surrogate may need to terminate parental rights to the child legally.
Of course, this process may be a little different depending on the state in which you live.
Considerations for being a surrogate
The Family Inceptions Agency summarizes a few things to consider before being a surrogate.
- You will need to meet all the minimum requirements regarding age, health status, reproductive history, and psychological status, which may vary by agency.
- It would help if you were OK with giving up control during your pregnancy. But it’s not up to you.
- It would benefit if you thought about the process. Getting pregnant via IVF takes several procedures and medications. Consider how you feel about taking injectable and oral drugs and hormones.
- You should consider if your own family is complete. Do you want more children? Understand that with each pregnancy and advancing age, more risks for complications can arise that might impact your fertility.
- You also need to get input from the rest of your family. How does your partner feel about surrogacy? What about your children?
These are just things to consider for being a surrogate. Surrogacy can be a wonderful process.
Whose DNA does a surrogate baby have?
In a compensated surrogacy arrangement with a gestational carrier, the baby’s DNA comes from the intended mother’s egg, or an egg donor, and the intended father’s sperm, or a sperm donor.
In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother and the child share DNA because the surrogate’s egg is used to create the pregnancy.
While surrogacy may not always be straightforward, more and more people are choosing this route.
It’s a dynamic process but certainly worth investigating. If surrogacy seems like it might fit your family, consider contacting an agency near you to learn about the timeline, costs, and other considerations that may fit your journey. There are numerous ways to become a parent, and this is one of them.
We hope you have found the answer in this post on how surrogacy is done and whose DNA does a surrogate child have?
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