Giving Childless Couples A Chance to be Parents
Childless couples who wish to have a child, but are unable to, may look into “gestational surrogacy” (or a “Surrogate Mother”). According to USC Fertility, gestational surrogacy refers to a treatment process, in which a surrogate undergoes the embryo transfer process, and then carries the pregnancy to full term. Once the baby has been born, the intended parents take over parenting immediately after birth. While surrogacy may be controversial to many religious or family value groups, surrogacy is a promising choice for a couple wishes to be parents to a child. Before you decide if surrogacy is the best choice for you, there are two different types of surrogacy to consider.
Surrogacy: Which Type is Best for You?
This type of surrogacy is more familiarly known as “in vitro fertilization” (IVF). During gestational surrogacy, a healthy egg or eggs are taken from the intended (or hopeful) mother and fertilized with the intended father’s sperm. The fertilized egg(s) are placed into the uterus of the gestational surrogate. A surrogate, typically does not have a genetic tie to the child or the intended parents and carries the child until birth.
A traditional surrogate’s egg(s) are fertilized by the intended father’s sperm, having genetic ties to the child. When the child is born, the intended family receives the infant as their own. Traditional surrogacy may also be performed with the sperm of an anonymous donor.
Between the two types of surrogacies, there are an estimated 750 surrogacy births in the U.S. each year.
Searching for a Surrogate
Some couples are fortunate to find a surrogate mother within their network of family and friends. Some couples choose to use a surrogacy agency; currently, there are more than 100 agencies across the U.S. The agencies are responsible for assisting a hopeful couple find a suitable match with a surrogate mother. Agencies make all of the arrangements and handle monetary transactions between the intended parents and the surrogate.
A suitable surrogate should be healthy and be tested for diseases that may affect the unborn child like syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, hepatitis B and C, and cytomeglalovirus. A thorough check-up and a clean bill of health is also recommended to ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby. A healthy surrogate will have a better chance of birthing a healthy infant.
Having a baby is expensive and having one via a surrogate will cost even more, estimated at about $120,000, which includes insurance, agency fees, medical fees and the fees that the surrogate, herself, charges. For a couple who are eager to start a family, it is a worthy financial investment and the opportunity to raising a child of their own is considered “priceless”.
Surrogacy Brings Hope to Hopeful Couples
Surrogacy is a promising option for couples who want nothing more than to start a family, but are unable to for their own biological or medical reasons. Many couples who tried to have their own children for years, but were defeated by miscarriages, stillbirths, or infertility issues, have a real chance to be the parents they always wanted to be.