What is Surrogacy?

A practice wherein infertile couples (referred to as Intended Parents/Couple) can hire another woman (often known as Surrogate Mother) to bear and deliver a child on their behalf. Usually, a surrogate mother is hired when the female partner experiences a womb malfunction.

Types of Surrogacy

  • Straight (Traditional/Partial) Surrogacy

    Traditionally, the female partner’s womb malfunction led the way to hire a surrogate mother, who would be artificially inseminated with the sperm of the male parent. In this case, egg will be of the surrogate and thus making a biological relation between her and the child. In some cases, the lack of sperm in the male partner would lead to hiring a sperm donor, who would also be the biological father of the child and thereby making no connection between the intended parents. Hence even if the couple hire a surrogate or a sperm donor to have a child, either of the intended parents would be not related to the child.
  • Gestational (Full) Surrogacy

    In case of straight form, biological connection was missing. Hence it was more important to have the same for the parents. In order to establish that, a technology called In Vitro Fertilization was launched. As per this technology, egg from the intended mother and sperm from the intended father are procured and put in the womb of the surrogate mother. Through this, a biological relation with the surrogate will not be valid. All over the world, Gestational Surrogacy is in place and the Straight form is banned and considered illegal as it invites legal trouble.

Arrangements

Commercial

An arrangement in which a surrogate is paid for carrying foetus of the intended couple in her womb. Medical expenses and other expenses of the surrogate are sponsored by the intended parents. A contract or a mutual agreement is signed by the surrogate and the intended parents to avoid disputes over reimbursements of medical expenses and promised compensation.

Altruistic

For various reasons, commercial surrogacy was critically questioned by many, calling it an act of exploiting the women below the poverty line. Hence many countries switched to an arrangement called Altruistic. As per this arrangement, a woman could voluntarily come forward and support the intended parents in having a child. The law in many countries allows an Altruistic Surrogate to only avail a reimbursement of the medical bill.


When to go in for Surrogacy?

When the intended mother is not able to produce egg or is experiencing a womb malfunction. This is known when the intended couple undergo a series of treatments through assisted reproductive techniques like In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) themselves.

Identifying an agency

We can see mushrooming of agencies everywhere to connect patients and hospitals. But many of these are not authorized by the law. These unauthorized agencies promise to get a surrogacy arrangement done for quite a lesser cost than what a legally authorize agency would charge. But the intended couple could be undergoing an arrangement in the unhealthiest environment. They hire surrogate mother breaching the law. Hence it is recommended to know completely about the market practice before calling an agency for assistance.

Chances of success in Surrogacy

Usually success rates in Surrogacy are high. Approximately 90 per cent of Surrogacy cases have been positive. In some, it might go till a second or third attempt for a success. Hence holistically, success rates are high in Surrogacy.


How to identify a Surrogate?

Hiring a Surrogate mother has become quite simple with hundreds of agencies all over. These agencies also identify Egg Donors if required. To be a surrogate mother, a woman should be at least 21 years old, should’ve delivered at least one healthy child before and no cases of acute ailments. To check for all those, both the Surrogate mother undergoes a medical screening test legally.

How to get an Egg Donor?

Gestational Surrogacy involves placing the Egg of the intended mother and sperm of the intended father in the womb of the surrogate as it reads above. But there are times when an intended mother is not capable of producing egg. In such a case, Egg from another woman (referred to as the Egg Donor) is acquired. The donor is usually not the surrogate mother. The agency which hires a surrogate mother on your behalf, will also hire an Egg Donor.

What are the legal issues involved?

Surrogacy could be a burden in many instances if certain procedures are not followed properly. For example, one has to go through a legally authorized agency for surrogacy. The intended couple should know whether the particular country they travel, allows all sorts of surrogacy arrangements. Israel, South Africa, Greece, Russia, Georgia, Ukraine… allow surrogacy in all forms. California, New Hampshire and Arkansas are the states in United States that allow surrogacy in all forms. But many have completely banned all surrogacy arrangements and some allow altruistic arrangement alone. Most importantly, the surrogate mother could claim custody of the child and laws in some countries allow the same.


Will my child get the citizenship of my country?

Many from abroad have travelled in mass numbers to surrogacy heavens to get a child for themselves. But the child gets the nationality of the country in which it was born with the name of the intended couple as the parents. UK demands the intended couple to apply for a parental order if the child is born abroad. To enter UK, the child requires a visa of the country in which it was born.

Can the Surrogate claim custody?

The most risky part of Surrogacy is the custody of the child. More shockingly, some destinations for Fertility Tourism allow the surrogate mother to have custody of the child if she wishes to. Australia and New Zealand especially follows this practice. The law itself allows the surrogate mother to have the child. But if your choose destinations like Georgia, Ukraine and South Africa, you’re safe enough to claim the child as your own.

Anavara has tied up with legal and ethical agency in Georgia. If you have any specific questions please contact us on enquiry@anavara.com.

You can find more information on surrogacy using the weblinks below.