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The importance of seeking a trustworthy gestational carrier agency led you on a long search for anything relating to surrogacy. Before we talk about agencies that provide gestational carriers and what they mean, we should delve deep and have a grasp of most of the terms.
What is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is when a woman agrees to carry and deliver a child for another person, known as the surrogate (birth parent). After delivery, the surrogate gives the child to the intended parent/parents. The surrogate also grants the intended parents custody and guardianship of the child. This process is complicated both legally and medically, and there are some steps that must be met. Therefore, it is essential to seek professional help to accomplish the process.
What are the types of surrogacy that exist?
There are two main types of surrogacy, and they are traditional and gestational surrogacy.
This is when a woman carries a child who is biologically related to her. In other words, the child is related to the surrogate. The woman undergoes artificial insemination with the sperm of the intended father or a sperm donor. She then carries the child to term and delivers them. In traditional surrogacy, there are different terms used. They are
- Natural surrogate
- Partial surrogate
- Straight surrogate
In traditional surrogacy, legal complications may arise when a sperm donor is used as the child is not related to one of the intended parents. The child will need an adoption process to establish parenthood with the intended parents. This can cause issues if the surrogate, because of an emotional connection to the child, changes her mind and refuses to give the child to the intended parents, despite the contractual agreement. This makes traditional surrogacy undesirable and not highly recommended.
This is a less complicated process legally, this is because at least one of the intended parents is related to the child, making the second parent adoption unnecessary. Infertile people or unable to carry a child to term are good candidates for this surrogacy. There is no relationship between the child and the surrogate in gestational surrogacy. The fertilization is carried out in vitro and then implanted in the surrogate, who then carries the pregnancy to term. The eggs and sperm used in fertilization are obtained from the intended parent/parents. Gestational surrogacy typically involves three critical steps.
- Egg donor – the intended parents, choose the egg used for fertilization. This could be donor eggs or an egg from the intended female. The individual then prepares herself for egg retrieval by taking some fertility medications to stimulate her ovaries.
- Fertilization – after the egg retrieval, they are then fertilized with the intended father’s sperm. The embryos are then either frozen or transferred immediately to the surrogate.
- Embryo transfer – this is when the embryos are then placed into the surrogate’s uterus through a catheter. The surrogate does not have any genetic relation to the child because an egg donor was used.
Gestational carrier agency
Back to the topic of this article, surrogacy may also be classified as whether its agency-led or independent.
Independent surrogacy – this refers to when a carrier is working alone without the help and expertise of an agency. This is usually when the intended parents personally know the surrogate. This method is risky as an agency offers knowledge, safety, protection, and support for the people involved in surrogacy.
Agency-led surrogacy – this is where an agency, for a fee, helps the intended parents and the surrogates through all the steps involved in the surrogacy process. This includes screening, matching, mediating, etc.
What is a Surrogacy Agency?
This is an agency that provides everything relating to the surrogacy process. They provide a solution to various problems that an intending couple may face, from finding a willing carrier, screening, medical clearances, legal issues, and all other intricacies that may arise in the process. The intending couple does not face any issues and then is left to focus on the family building and preparation for the child’s arrival.
Services offered by a surrogacy/gestational carrier agency
Surrogacy agencies differ in the services they offer, but most are involved in a wide range of services. Some of these services are coordinating visits to medical facilities and handling the legal aspects of surrogacy to ensure a smooth and problem-free process. The primary or core service lies in their screening and matching of surrogacy candidates and coordinating everything to the end to remove any complication the intending couple may face.
Importance of surrogacy agency
The role of surrogacy agencies cannot be overemphasized in the surrogacy process. The process requires expert information on medical, legal, and other vital aspects of which the intending couple may be ignorant.
With an agency, all these processes and the sheer amount of paperwork, running around, and communication required may make the process more manageable and attractive. This might scare off the intending couple. Another critical role an agency plays is support and counseling for both the surrogate and the intending couple. The surrogacy process is an emotional rollercoaster for all parties involved.
The agency then fills the role of a detached and independent third party which mediates in the interest of all parties. Also, for the surrogate in gestational surrogacy that is carrying a child, she is not genetically related to it. She cannot afford to get attached to the baby. In this scenario, it is crucial to have a team of professionals who help guide and attend to the mental health of the surrogate. The agency provides professionals, and they also play other critical roles in satisfying the needs of the surrogate.
Searching for a suitable agency
It is always advised to be thorough and cautious in the search for a good surrogacy agency. It is essential to ensure that the agency is in tune with your requirements and preferences, as they will supervise and facilitate a crucial life decision. An online search will provide the agencies in your state and country. It is necessary to make a list of them and eliminate them based on suitability. This is important as the selected agency will be tasked with helping you in your quest for a child.
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