Surrogacy is defined as the process in which a woman carries a pregnancy for another couple. The process is legal and a proper contract is signed between both the parties –The intended parents and the surrogate, on the basis of their mutual agreement. The rising prevalence of infertility in today’s time has made this process a heard name. Surrogacy is also referred to as “womb renting” referring to as renting a part of the body to the couple in need. The process starts with extraction of egg from the intended mother and the sperm from the intended father and transferring the resulting embryo into the surrogate. That’s where the surrogate’s role starts. She carries the embryo for the couple in the condition that the mother was unable to do it for certain reasons. The process would sound very strange in the past times but now with the modern times people have become very straight forward and open to such things. As per the surrogacy agreement the surrogate agrees to give the child to the intended parents immediately after delivery of the newborn.
The need of surrogacy can often arise due to reasons like absence of uterus, impaired uterus, chronic health problem, cancer. These reasons are purely medical and make it impossible for the woman to carry the pregnancy. Surrogacy in India is also a good option for gay couples and single fathers who want to have at least one genetic tie to their child.
Types of surrogacy:
There are two types of Surrogacy in India – Gestational Surrogacy and Traditional Surrogacy
Gestational Surrogacy- This is a type of surrogacy in which a woman carries a pregnancy for another person or couple. The woman who is the gestational carrier undergoes the transfer of embryo created via IVF using the sperm and egg of the intended parents or donor. The gestational carrier does not have any genetic connection with the child as she is only carrying the pregnancy without contributing her egg. A legal agreement is made between the intended parents and the surrogate stating that there is no relation between the carrier and the child and that she should hand over the baby right after he/she is born. Lesbian couples support gestational surrogacy as it allows one of the girls to contribute her egg and the other one to carry it. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) allows only Gestational Surrogacy.
Traditional surrogacy- This is a type of surrogacy in which the surrogate’s egg is inseminated with the sperm of a man who is not her partner in order to conceive and carry the child for another couple. In this case the sperm can be taken from the intended father or a donor. This is a complicated method as it gives an open end to have a relation between the child and the surrogate. This biological relationship between the child and surrogate often challenges the validity and parental rights of the surrogacy agreement. This is why many places around the world do not allow such type of surrogacy. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) does not allow Traditional Surrogacy.
There are two more types of surrogacy from a financial viewpoint-
In this type of surrogacy the surrogate does not receive any financial compensation but she is reimbursed with all the expenses that happen during the process. The intended parents cover all the medical and legal expenses incurred during the surrogacy process.
The success rates of IVF depend majorly on the age and health of the woman providing eggs and the health of the surrogate.